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My True Love Gave to Me...

Chapter Text

It started on a Monday.

The first of December.

A medium sized, rectangular box, wrapped in bright crimson paper and tied with a silky black ribbon was dropped on the table in front of her, causing Ruby to jolt as it landed atop the pages of her open Grimmology book.

"Gah!" She jumped, eyeing the box before looking up at Yang, standing next to her. "We agreed no presents until Christmas eve, Yang." Ruby scolded the older girl even as she picked up the package.

"It's not from me. It was sitting outside the door." Yang nodded to the present.

'RUBY' was written in big blocky lettering on the corner, but nothing else. She turned it up and over, looking for anything else but it was blank.

Ruby gave it a slight jiggle, something shuffled around inside.

"Well? Open it." Yang nudged her, curiosity shining in lilac eyes.

No need for further prompting Ruby pulled off the bow and ripped away the paper before letting out a squeal of delight.

A box of double chocolate chip cookies from her favorite bakery in Vale.

"Cookies!" Ruby barely stopped herself from ripping the clear plastic lid off at the sight of the small white paper taped to the lid.

In the same blocky writing as before was a single line of text.

'Sweets, for the sweetest person I know.'

Again, there was no name or indicator of whom they were from.

Here cheeks warmed slightly but grew hotter at the chuckling over her shoulder.

"Oh ho ho!" Yang grinned down at her. "Someone has a secret admirer!"

"Who has a secret admirer?" Blake asked as she and Weiss walked in through the dorms open door.

"Ruby!" Yang crowed over Ruby's stuttering of "No one!"

Blake glanced at the box, looking over the card.

"I suppose it was bound to happen eventually." She said simply, a smile playing on her lips as she went to her bed, books tucked under her arm. "She's hardly a fifteen year old girl anymore, someone was bound to notice."

"I know," Yang sniffed, wiping at non existent tears. "My baby sister is growing up."

"I'm eighteen," Ruby grumbled, despite the glow on her cheeks.

"You'll always be my baby sister, though." Yang reminded with a wide smile.

Weiss wandered over to look at the gift. As Ruby opened the lid and plucked a single cookie from one of the four rows.

"Well, at the very least there familiar with your incorrigible sweet tooth," She commented, a smile tugging at her lips as their leader took a bite and moaned in a way no one should when eating cookies. Yang snorted.

"Cause that was a national secret." She laughed as she reached down to grab a cookie, only for Ruby to turn out of reach with a growl.

"I think you'd be more worried, Yang." Blake hummed as she flipped open one of her books.

The blonde looked up from trying to wrestle a single treat from their growling leader.

"Worried?" She parroted.

"Yes, that someone may just be trying to get into Ruby's... skirt, as it were." She couldn't help but smirk behind the cover of her book at the horror that filled Yang's face and the choking Ruby next to her. Weiss patted her back, helping dislodge the cookie in her throat.

"Blake, your right! I need to find out this admirer's intentions for my precious baby sister!"

"You have to find out who it is first,Yang." Blake reminded. "That's the 'secret' part."

"Oh, I'll find out. Someone, somewhere, knows something and I'm gonna figure it out." She declared before strutting purposefully out the door.

"Any ideas on who it is, Ruby?" The faunus asked, mildly interested in her leader's situation.

Cloaked shoulders shrugged.

"Nope. I just hope Yang doesn't figure it out. I'd like to let him down gently cause... you know..." She mumbled around another cookie, glancing back at the door, in case her sister came back.

Blake and Weiss shared a glance. Ruby had confided her interest in the fairer sex to them but hadn't yet plucked up the courage to tell her sister, despite multiple assurances from her friends.

"If it's not a guy?" Blake questioned casually, flipping a page.

Ruby nibbled silently on her treat. The monochrome duo of the team waited patiently for their leader to speak.

"I... guess it would depend…" Was all she finally said before turning back to her homework, cookies sitting open on the desk beside her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The school week passed, slowly for the youngest member of team RWBY.

There had been no other mysterious notes or gifts but it had been stuck in her mind since Monday. She twirled her pencil between her fingers, an impatient habit.

"Are you paying attention?" Weiss poked her leader in the side.

"What?" She blinked, turning to her partner.

Blue eyes narrowed in annoyance at the obvious answer to her question.

"You haven't taken a single note all day, what's wrong?" She asked quietly as Professor Peach continued her lecture.

"Nothing, I'm just... thinking." She mumbled, continuing to spin the pencil.

"Anything I can help with?" Weiss questioned, glancing at the dangerously twirling pencil. Ruby had let her semblance get away from her before and sent things flying. A week worth of detention had been the result when she'd impaled professor Goodwitch's blackboard with a ballpoint pen.

"No... I'm just thinking about those cookies..." She admitted.

"When are you not?" The heiress questioned, lips twitching upwards. Ruby rolled her eyes but grinned.

"No, not like that. I mean, I wonder who they came from." She clarified. The pencil twirled even faster. Quick as lightning Weiss reached out and grabbed her hand, halting the potential projectile and gently pressed it back down to the desk.

Ruby smiled apologetically, letting go of the pencil and drawing her hand back into her lap.

"I mean... why me?" She sighed. A white brow quirked up at the question.

"Just an educated guess, but I'd say because they like you?"

"Yeah, ok, I get that. I mean, why me? There's nothing special about me, I'm just me." She huffed, dropping her chin in her palm.

"Don't be ridiculous." Weiss sniffed. "You're selling yourself short and you know it."

"I guess." The young leader acquiesced.

"Never thought of yourself as being in a relationship?" Weiss asked curiously.

"It's just... I dunno... I've seen Yang be in quite a few relationships over the years, so it's not like I've never thought about it, though it has taught me what not to do." She whispered the last part, conscious of the blonde sitting behind them.

Weiss snorted and her hands flew up to cover her mouth.

Ruby grinned toothily. It had taken nearly 3 years to get the heiress to open up to her and now she took full advantage of it at every opportunity, that cute little snort was like the prize for a good joke.

"I heard that!" Yang growled lowly, causing them to break into giggles. Professor Peach glanced their way and they quickly quieted until her attention went elsewhere.

"No one's ever been interested so I wasn't really worried about it." She shrugged, grabbing her pencil and jotting down the notes on the board.

"You've never been interested in anyone before?" Weiss asked.

The pencil stilled.

"Well, sure... but it's... it was just... ya know, a crush." She shrugged before going back to the notes on the board just as the bell rang.

"Freedom!" Yang cheered, her chair skittering across the floor as she jumped up. Professor Peach did not look as amused as Yang.

"Hey, Ruby."

She looked up at Rust Grand, One of her classmates from her leadership class.

"Hey, Rust." She smiled.

"Here's your notes back, thanks for letting me use 'em to study." He handed over a white binder.

"No problem" She accepted the binder from him.

"Hey Grand!"

He and Ruby both looked back at Yang, leaning over her desk above them.

"I'm watching you." She glared, pointing at her own eyes before pointing back to Rust.

"W-what?" He stuttered, backing away from the glaring blonde brawler.

Blake sighed heavily and Ruby grimaced, cheeks turning the same color as her cloak.

"Ignore her." Weiss supplied, picking up her books.

"Uh, sure." He mumbled before hurrying away.

"Ugh, Yang!" Ruby groaned, dragging a hand down her face as she walked down the steps, the rest of the team following.

"Dad's not here, it falls to me to protect you from the boys, Rubes." She wrapped an arm around around her sister's shoulders. Behind them Weiss and Blake shared a knowing and amused look.

"Me and my high caliber sniper scythe can protect ourselves." She grumbled as the blonde squeezed her.

She only escaped when they made it back to their dorm.

"It's Friday, you guys want to go into town and have pizza for dinner?"

"Can't, I told you I promised Blake we'd work on that project for Goodwitch tonight." She grumbled, dropping her bag on her bed.

"Aw. Weiss?" She looked at her partner, silver eyes wide and pleading.

Blue eyes stared back, unflinching before she sighed and Ruby fought to keep the smile off her face, knowing she'd won.

"Let me change."

Ruby pumped her fist when the heiress's back was turned.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ruby shoved her hands deeper into the pockets of her hoodie as the cold air buffeted against them.

"It's always kind of strange to see you in pants." Weiss admitted as they walked down the bustling streets of Vale.

Ruby glanced down at her blue jean clad legs, her customary black and red boots peeking out from beneath the cuffs.

"You don't like my pants?" She asked, looking up.

"That's not what I said." She corrected, adjusting the white silk scarf wrapped around her neck as the wind pulled at it.

"They're nice. It's just... odd."

"Well, they don't make leggings thick enough for a Vale winter and as much as I love my skirts, it's too cold. Aren't you cold?" She asked, glancing over at her partner's long bare legs, perhaps a little longer than appropriate.

"No, this is nothing compared to the winter's in Atlas." She assured.

"So, a skirt but also a coat?" Ruby asked with a smirk, eyeing the white and blue duffle coat.

"I like this coat." She huffed, adjusting the collar.

"Cute," She mumbled. "I mean it." She quickly added when the heiress glanced over at her. "It's cute." She trailed off, looking back to the pavement in front of them.

"Hmm, thank you."

The pizzeria was moderately busy for a Friday night but they managed to squeeze into a booth in the front by the shop's front glass.

Ruby eyed the menu as Weiss pulled off her coat.

"Do you think I could do the triple challenge?" Ruby asked, staring up at the menu over the counter.

"The what?" Weiss blinked.

"The triple challenge." She pointed toward the menu.

In large red letters that Weiss guessed was supposed to look scary was "The Vale Triple Challenge!"

"An extra large pizza with double your choice of three toppings, finish in forty-five minutes and be placed on the wall of fame." Weiss read aloud.

"I can do it." Ruby grinned.

"Ruby, no." Weiss warned.

"Ruby, yes." She insisted.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Weiss watched in mild disgust and astonishment as Ruby finished the last bite of the twenty inch pepperoni, pineapple and ham pizza and with fifteen minutes to spare.

"Where did it all go?" She mumbled to herself as the diners cheered for her celebrating partner.

The manager handed over a shirt with 'I Beat the Vale Triple Challenge!' on it and took the grinning leaders picture and stuck it on the 'Wall of fame'. Hers was the only one.

She plopped back into the booth across from Weiss with a grin.

"How could you eat all that and still be able to move?" She asked in wonder.

"My semblance makes my metabolism fast too. I've always eaten a lot." She shrugged.

Now that she said it Weiss had noticed Ruby often went back for seconds at meals, but had never thought anything of it, though she'd never seen her eat so much all at once so fast.

"Sorry it took so long, watching me eat a giant pizza probably wasn't any fun." She smiled apologetically across the table.

"Well, I could have been studying, but there are worse ways to spend a half hour than watching you devour a pizza big enough for five people." She smirked at her partner, resting her shin in her palm.

Ruby glanced out the window to the street.

"Hey, there playing that new Spruce Willis movie across the street, you want to go see it?" She was practically pressing her face against the glass.

"We have an essay due Monday for Professor Goodwitch, Ruby." Weiss reminded.

"Aw, come on, Weiss. It's Friday, we'll work on it Saturday, I promise." She wheedled, turning her wide steel colored eyes to Weiss who already knew she would give in.

"Alright, let's go." She slid out of the booth and started for the door, Ruby followed with a grin.

After a short wait in line Weiss was buying their tickets despite Ruby's protests.

"Our pizza was free since you ate that monstrosity, just let me buy the tickets." Weiss waved her away as she pulled out her wallet.

"You know, at this rate, Yang's going to be interrogating you next." She joked, taking her ticket. "I'm going to get popcorn, you want some?"

Weiss stared at her with wide eyes.

"What?"

"How could you possibly eat again?" The heiress exclaimed.

"Metabolism." Was the simple response.

"I'm going to find our seats." Weiss sighed, rolling her eyes.

Ruby tapped her foot impatiently as she waited in line, once she had the bucket in hand she hurried into the theater. Even in the dim theatre she could see Weiss's telltale white locks, a beacon against the dark interior of the theatre.

"Excuse me. Oops. Sorry." She whispered to the people she tripped on as she scooted down the row before plopping down next to her partner, who despite trying to look stern, couldn't hide her amusement from her partner of three years.

"Here." She held the bucket out in Weiss's direction.

"We don't all have a special semblance driven metabolism." She nudged the bucket away.

Again Ruby shook the popcorn bucket at Weiss whose lips kept twitching upwards the more she jiggled the bucket at her.

"Will you stop it?" She finally turned toward her, smiling despite herself..

"Eeeeat some." Ruby hissed with a grin.

"If I eat some will you stop being a dolt?" Weiss questioned.

"Yes." Ruby promised.

Without a word Weiss took a handful out of the bucket before turning back to the screen as the previews started, intent on ignoring the bright smile plastered on Ruby's face.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Hey, you guys were gone a while." Yang greeted them from her bed when they walked in the door.

"We saw that new Spruce Willis movie after dinner, it was great." Ruby told her sister as she pulled off her hoodie and grabbed her pajamas before disappearing into the bathroom.

"Have fun, Weiss?" Blake asked, glancing up over the top of her book. Blue eyes caught gold for a brief moment before hanging up her coat.

"Before or after the horror of watching Ruby devour a giant pizza to win a challenge?" She asked.

"The Vale Triple Challenge?" Yang asked, leaning over the side of her head to look down at Weiss.

"Yes…" She barely got out the answer before Yang was leaping off her bed and running over to rip open the bathroom door.

"You beat the Triple challenge?!"

"YANG, I'M CHANGING!" They heard their leader scream before Yang disappeared inside the bathroom, door shutting behind her, the loud sounds of the sisters scuffling was muffled by the door.

"Ugh." Weiss sighed, fingers pressing to her temples.

"So, you two had a good time then?" Blake asked, though it sounded more like a statement.

"After my horror at the amount she eats subsided, yes." She nodded, pulling her nightgown out from behind her pillow.

Blake just smirked in reply.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ruby lay stretched out on her bed, staring up at the ceiling, a small smile on her face.

So maybe Weiss wouldn't have called their night out a date.

But that didn't mean Ruby couldn't think about how if it had been a date, that was how she would have wanted it to be.

Chapter Text

On the eighth of December Ruby found the next gift herself.

Coming back from her leadership class she stopped outside her dorm to stare at a small glass vase sitting on the carpet in front of the door.

Sitting inside it was a single red rose.

She picked it up, running her fingers over the the velvety, perfect, blood red petals, tied around its stem was a note.

In the same blocky handwriting as the week before was a simple message.

"A rose for a Rose"

She held the delicate flower to her nose, inhaling the familiar scent. It would be a lie to say she wasn't at least a little flattered by this secret admirer, but that didn't change the fact that she couldn't return their feelings. She knew it was impossible, but nothing could shake her feelings for her partner.

With a sigh she swiped her student ID, unlocking the dorm and letting herself in.

She kicked off her boots and sat at her and Weiss's desk, setting the vase down on it as she pulled out her History book. She really didn't want to study, but midterms were starting in less than two weeks and anything less then a 'B' would send Weiss into a fit. No need for a repeat of second semester of their first year.

She was halfway through the first chapter there were studying when the door flew open and Yang walked in followed closely by Blake.

"Hey Rubes." Her sister called as she threw her bag up on her bunk.

"Hey Yang, Blake." She returned, glancing over her shoulder at them.

"Hello." Blake greeted, not even looking up from her book.

"Where'd you get the flower?" Yang asked, noticing the rose on her desk.

"Oh... uh... " Telling Yang where it came from would only invite more teasing.

"Another gift from her admirer perhaps." Blake guessed.

The betrayal on Ruby's face made the faunus chuckle.

"So, lover boy strikes again, huh?" Yang hummed, eyeing the red flower.

"Who?"

They all looked up as Weiss walked in.

"Ruby's mysterious Romeo has struck again." Yang informed her, reaching out for the vase only for Ruby to slide it out of her reach.

"I see." She said, looking at the bright flower Ruby was now holding out as Yang tried to reach over her and grab it.

"I wonder how long they'll keep up." Blake pondered.

"Nothing to do but wait and see I suppose." Weiss said as she pulled her notes out of her bag.

"A rose, that's kind of corny, like one of Blake's romance novels." Yang scoffed, giving up on getting her hands on the flower.

"I think it's romantic." Blake defended.

"You would." Yang rolled her eyes.

"I do too." Ruby supplied. Her sister looked at her, blonde brows disappearing behind her bangs. "I mean it is kinda romantic... but I've been reading some of Blake's books too though."

"Which ones?" Blake asked, bow twitching nervously.

"Just a few..." Ruby replied cryptically, looking at Blake knowingly. The raven haired huntress had the decency to look embarrassed.

"It doesn't matter though, I have to turn him down anyway..." She trailed off.

"Why?"

She turned back to Yang who was looking at her curiously.

"As much as I'm stuck to dislike anyone trying to date my baby sister, he could, I guess, be a good guy." The blonde reasoned.

"Well... I…" Silver eyes darted to her friends pleadingly.

"Maybe she's just not ready yet, Yang. Not everyone is as... eager to throw their hat in the ring as you are." Blake came to her rescue.

"I would have said pants instead of hat." Weiss mumbled from her seat on her bed.

Yang glared at heiress before turning back to Ruby.

"You have to work your way into a relationship, sis, but you said yourself, you're eighteen, your technically an adult. You can't go on kissing Crescent Rose forever." Yang smirked as Ruby's face turned hot.

"I do not kiss my sweetheart!" She argued. From her side of the room Blake snorted.

"That's my point right there." Yang smirked smugly. "You should be kissing a sweetheart, but one that preferably has lips." She pointed out.

"I'll kiss whatever I want!" She yelled, frustrated before realizing what she said. Her face turned beat red as Yang's grin turned maniacal. Weiss covered her face with her hand while the book covering Blake's face shook. "I... you… you know what I mean!" She whipped back around to her desk, violently flipping the page of her history book while Yang chuckled.

"Fun as teasing you is, I have some investigating to do on whoever it is that wants to kiss you while the trail is hot." Yang declared as she left with a wave, the door clicking shut behind her.

"Ugh." Ruby groaned, dragging her hands down her face.

"Masterfully handled." Weiss drawled, crossing her legs as she looked at her partner.

"Yes, thank you!" Ruby snapped, blue eyes widened in surprise at the tone. Ruby sighed.

"I'm sorry." She apologized.

Blake's book snapped closed, drawing her teammates gazes.

"You need to tell her, Ruby." She said.

"I know." She sighed again. "I just..."

"You need to tell Yang you're gay. If she gets angry it will only be because you waited so long to tell her." Blake reasoned.

"I know, I know!" She shook her hands. "It's just... I don't... I'm just afraid that she'll be... disappointed in me." She finished.

"Disappointed?" Weiss repeated.

"Yeah..." Ruby mumbled. "Yang practically raised me, I just don't want her to be disappointed in me." She ran a hand through her dual colored locks.

"You're not giving Yang enough credit, Ruby." Blake slid off the bed to stand by their leader, resting a hand on her shoulder. "Yang loves you, she could never be disappointed in you."

"She's right, Ruby. As irksome as Yang is, I can't see her ever being upset, much less disappointed in you." Weiss chimed in.

"I'll tell her after Christmas." She said after a moment.

"You shouldn't put it off." Blake pushed.

"Were going back to Patch for Christmas, she'll end up telling dad and Uncle Qrow and I just can't deal with all that at once, Blake. After Christmas." She said with finality.

Blake knew there was no arguing with their stalwart leader once she'd made up her mind.

"If you think it's best." She conceded.

"It is. Thanks guys." She smiled gratefully at her teammates.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On Thursday evening Ruby looked up and noticed that the rose on her desk was just as vibrant as the day she got it.

"You know... this thing hasn't started to wilt even a little." She rubbed her fingers over the bright petals.

"That is kind of weird." Yang said, looking down at the thriving flower.

Weiss walked over to examine it, rubbing a finger over the petals before pulling back to examine them.

"It's covered in dust." She finally said. "Time dust."

"Time dust?" Ruby and Yang echoed..

"Yes, it's a rare and expensive type of dust used to preserve things." She explained to the curious sisters.

"So whoever is trying to win you over has some money, eh?" Yang whistled.

"This is hardly a good indicator." Weiss scoffed. "Time dust is expensive, yes, but the paltry amount needed to keep a rose alive for a few months wouldn't be more than a hundred lien." Weiss looked up at the blonde lounging on her bed.

"Weiss..." Yang started. "Let me explain to you what's a lot and what's not for us non rich people..."

Weiss glared up at her.

"Yang," Blake warned.

"It kind of makes me feel bad that they spent that much money..." Ruby frowned, fingering the petals.

"It's really not, Ruby." Weiss tried to assure her.

"Don't." Blake said, closing her book and standing just as Yang opened her mouth to argue.

"I'm going to the library, want to come with me Weiss?" The faunus asked.

Weiss looked at her curiously. Blake gave a subtle nod toward the door.

"Very well, I need to find a certain book on advanced dust application." She said following Blake out of the dorm.

The walk to the library was silent, not that that was unusual for the calmer members of team RWBY, but to Weiss the silence seemed charged, Blake wanted to speak to her, but to what end she couldn't say.

The library wasn't very busy for a Thursday night, especially considering that finals were on the horizon. Blake walked straight to the back where the classic literature was kept. Predictably, it was empty.

Only after a few minutes of perusing the stacks did Blake speak.

"When are you going to tell her?" She asked nonchalantly. Weiss froze, book in hand.

"Tell who what?" She said after a minute.

"You really want to play that game?" Blake turned to her with a smirk.

"I don't know what you mean." Weiss insisted, going back to her book.

"Ah, well, I'm asking when you're going to tell Ruby that you are her secret admirer." Blake smirked to herself at the sound of a book hitting the carpet.

She glanced over at Weiss who was staring at her in horror.

"I-I don't..." She started.

"Weiss…" golden eyes twinkled in amusement.

"What... gave me away? She asked quietly.

"I've had my suspicions about your feelings for some time, but it was the dust that confirmed that the gifts were from you." She revealed. "It's expensive for one, secondly it's not just rare, as you know, it's so rare it's not available to the general public." She couldn't help but sound smug.

"Ugh," Weiss groaned. "This is not how I wanted this to go." She sighed.

"Don't worry, Yang and Ruby don't know enough about dust to know that, but if you're not more careful Yang is going to figure you out." Blake warned.

"You're not going to say anything?" Weiss asked warily. A dark brow arched in silent question. "To Ruby, I mean."

"Why would I do that?" She asked. "It's not my place to tell Ruby how you feel, just as it's not ours to tell Yang about her." She pulled a book off the shelf. "Though you never did answer my question; when are you going to tell her?"

"I... don't know." She sighed.

"So the gifts..?"

"I'm... trying to lead up to it, soon, I'm just... a little worried. If she says no, things will be awful for the rest of our time here at Beacon." She leaned against the shelves, crossing her arms over her chest.

"True," Blake said simply. Weiss pursed her lips. "But you know, if you don't take a chance nothing can happen."

"I know, that's why I started... this." She waved her hand through the air.

"Well, you need to be careful, Yang may not seem like the brightest, but she's smarter than you think and she'd protect Ruby from anyone. I'd wager even from you, if you give her cause." She warned. "You're going to need my help."

"You... want to help me?" Weiss blinked.

"Yes." Blake answered without hesitation.

"Why?" Weiss couldn't stop the question from popping out of her mouth.

Blake stared back like she couldn't believe she'd just been asked that.

"As strange as it seems, you and Ruby, are my friends, and I'd like nothing more than to see you two happy. Any more missteps and Yang's going to be on to you. I'm doing what I can to throw her off your trail, but too much evidence and I can't help you."

"I... thank you, Blake."

"You don't have to thank me, Weiss. You still have to do the hard part yourself." She reminded.

"Believe me, I know..." She mumbled.

"Look at it this way, you have a better chance than the imaginary boy Yang is hunting down." She chuckled as she walked toward the front.

"Well aren't I lucky." She rolled her eyes as she followed.

"We can spin this to our advantage though, a little subtle misdirection will send her chasing any leads and sending her further off your tail."

"Weren't you the one who just said she's smarter than she seems?" Weiss argued.

"She is. Yang is quite good at letting people think her... assets belie her intelligence. She's quite brilliant, if a little excitable." She smiled. "She's my partner though, and I know how to work her." Blake sounded quite sure.

"For my own sake I hope you do. This is hard enough without that blonde brute breathing down my neck." She grumbled.

"Let me worry about Yang. You worry about wooing Ruby." She teased, enjoying the the bright red flush the stretched down the heiress's face.

"You're starting to sound like Yang." The heiress groused.

"Occupational hazard." She shrugged. "Tell me what you have planned."

"I'm not sure, given her obsession with her weapon I was thinking of giving her some specialized ammo for Crescent rose, but I may have to go in a different direction, so long as she thinks its some boy, spending much money makes her feel bad because of the inevitable turn down." Weiss mused.

"True, though she never would have known about the dust if you hadn't said anything." She lowered her voice as they walked past a table of students.

"I'm new to this, okay?" She growled.

"You can still give her the ammo, just give it to her for Christmas, you know, as yourself."

"I will, I've been so consumed with worrying about this I haven't given Christmas presents much thought." She looked a little guilty.

"Don't worry about it, you always manage; As for Ruby, you know her better than me and I'd say maybe even Yang, use what you know."

"I'll think about it." Weiss mumbled, already thinking.

"Let me know, it would be easier to throw Yang off to have your gifts delivered at different time of the day, she told me she's started to narrow down the time frame of when the gifts are being dropped off, if I hadn't known she'd have probably caught you in the act sooner or later." Blake informed her.

"Why must she be so..." Weiss trailed off with a frown.

"It's a little zealous, but she's just trying to look out for Ruby."

Weiss just grunted in response.

When they returned to the dorm Yang and Ruby were both huddled over a scroll talking to someone.

"Bye dad." They chorused before hanging up.

"Your father called?" Blake asked, making the sisters look up.

"Yeah." Ruby replied glumly. Yang patted her shoulder as she stood from the desk beside her sister.

"Bad news?" She asked, concerned.

"Sort of, yeah, Dad's going away on a mission, he won't be back till January, so Ruby and I are going to be staying on campus for Christmas." Yang grumbled, hoisting herself back up onto her bunk.

"I' won't be leaving campus either." Blake reminded them.

"Hey, you're right. We could have a team Christmas!" Ruby jumped up, smiling. "Oh, wait, Weiss, are you going home for the holiday?"

"It wouldn't be much of a team Christmas without the ice queen." Yang chimed in.

"I suppose I could change my plans, no one will be waiting on me back in Atlas." She said looking at her partner's hopeful face.

"Team Christmas!" Ruby bounced on her heels. Yang whooped.

"Hey, you think we would get a tree in here?" The blonde asked, looking around at the space.

"We can not fit a tree in here." Weiss turned to the blonde, hands on her hips.

"Not a big tree, no, but like, maybe a narrow six footer." She suggested.

"Oh, it'll be just like home. We can put it in the corner and put our presents to each other under it." Ruby was practically vibrating.

"We can go get our own decorations and stuff too." Yang added.

"It does sound like fun." Blake lowered her book, starting to look excited, or at least as excited as she ever got.

They all turned to their fussiest teammate.

"I suppose it would be fun." She admitted, knowing the battle was lost before it even began.

"So, ladies, we're in agreement. Tomorrow after class we'll go into the city and buy a Christmas tree." Yang announced.

Ruby squealed with excitement.

Chapter Text

Friday afternoon team RWBY piled into an airship bound for Vale.

Ruby stared out the windows, looking out over the city. Shops all around the city below them were putting up decorations and stringing up lights, she could practically hear the holiday songs now.

"How long are you going to stand here humming 'jingle bells' to yourself?"

Ruby jumped, leaning away from the glass to look at Weiss who was now standing beside her.

"Oh, was I humming?" She chuckled, embarrassed.

"Loudly," Weiss confirmed. "I don't think anyone else noticed though." She said, turning to look out the window as Ruby had been.

"I'm just really excited about this Christmas." She smiled. "We get to spend it together."

Weiss's heart skipped a beat. Consciously she knew that Ruby was speaking of the whole team, but she couldn't help but think about just the two of them.

"Maybe next year too." She suggested.

"But what about after?" She heard her partner mumble.

"Hmm?"

"I've been thinking... we only have a year and a half left at Beacon, then what?" She turned to her partner with a frown. "I'll probably see Yang occasionally, but what about Blake? What about you? Will I ever even see you again after graduation?" She asked dully.

Weiss didn't know what to say, a year and a half was still some time, she hadn't yet given it much thought, but evidently Ruby had.

"I... don't know, Ruby. I hope so." She admitted.

"Me too…"

"That's still a long way off, let's just worry about this Christmas for now, okay?" She nudged her partner.

Dull grey's turned back to shining silver as her frown turned back into a smile.

"Right! I still have to go shopping for presents, I guess I can do that tomorrow, you want to come with me?" She asked.

"Won't you be getting mine as well?" Weiss wondered.

"No, I already got yours. I think I know what I want to get Blake and Yang too. So?"

"I suppose so. I need to get Blake something nice anyway..." She mumbled the last part to herself.

"Great!" She grinned.

"Hey girls." Yang called to them just as the airship began to land. "So how about Blake and I go get the tree and the stand and you two go get the decorations?"

"Sounds good to me." Ruby agreed. Weiss nodded.

"Great!" Yang clapped as she stood and they walked down the ramp onto the docks.

"We can't loiter around with a tree so we'll head straight back to school after we pick it up, you two take your time and get the decorations." Blake added with a subtle look to Weiss. Now the heiress needed to get her an even better present.

"Alright, we'll see you back at the dorm." Weiss nodded.

"See you guys later." Ruby called as she and Weiss started down the street to the shopping district.

"Don't go crazy, Ruby!" Yang called after them.

"Don't buy a twelve foot tree!" Ruby countered before turning to Weiss.

"So I was thinking we could do the tree decorations in the team colors, whatd'ya think, Weiss?"

"I'm sure we could manage something tasteful." Weiss nodded as she followed her practically skipping partner down the chilly streets of Vale. On every block a shop was hanging lights or signs advertising their holiday sales and wares. Somewhere in the distance Weiss could hear the familiar tunes of the season.

"Where are we going?" She asked after a few blocks.

"The biggest Christmas store in Vale." Ruby grinned. They turned a corner and Weiss could now see where they were heading.

"The North Pole?" Weiss read the sign.

"Yeah! This is the biggest Christmas store in the entire kingdom. Their only open about three months a year; they have everything we could possibly need. Come on!" She grabbed Weiss's hand and dragged her inside.

Weiss was too stunned to think to even complain at the younger woman for dragging her along like a sack of potatoes.

"Ta-da!" Ruby released her grip on Weiss to throw her hands out.

"It looks like Christmas threw up." Weiss noted, looking around the bright shop.

"Aw, come on, Weiss. Doesn't it feel like we're in the middle of Christmas?" She grinned, running down the nearest aisle.

"Yes, an ugly Christmas sweater." She mumbled to herself as she followed the trail of rose petals.

She found Ruby excitedly perusing an aisle of ornaments. She picked up a box of bright red ornaments.

"Let's get these and these for Blake." She said picking up another box or ornaments identical to hers except they had a gradient from violet at the top to black at the bottom. "Now what do we get for you and Yang?" She asked quietly to herself.

"Garland comes in yellow." The heiress suggested.

"Oh, good idea!" In a flurry of petals she was off. With a roll of her eyes Weiss trailed behind, looking at the hundreds of items packed onto the shelf. Full size trees were even packed into the store, fake, but trees nonetheless.

Ornaments of every size shape and color lined the bursting shelves, some were pretty and some were the most gaudy things Weiss had ever laid her eyes on; included under that category were the twelve feet tall inflatables.

Something glittered in the corner of her eye, turning to look she found herself standing in front of a section of tree toppers but one in particular drew her gaze.

A six pointed star made of glittering crystal. She gently picked it off the shelf, examining the bright and clear cut crystals. The overhead lights refracted through the facets casting small rainbows against her skin.

It was beautiful, and vaguely reminded her of the piece that went atop her family's tree. The one that sat in the Schnee mansions overly large foyer every year, lavishly decorated, but devoid of all the joy it should have had. Weiss clutched the decoration tightly.

Maybe, just maybe, she thought, she could turn those cold memories into bright, warm ones this year.

"Hey, Weiss! What do you think of this?" She looked up to find Ruby standing beside her with a long golden colored garland wrapped around her neck.

"It's perfect, Ruby." She nodded.

"Oh, what did you find?" She asked, looking at the star still clutched in Weiss's hand.

"A topper." She held it out to Ruby to examine. "I thought we could get this one for the tree."

"Oh, it's beautiful, let's get it." She agreed.

"What else did you pick up?" Weiss noticed two more boxes sitting atop the glass ornaments.

"Oh, well this one's tinsel." she held up a box of shiny silver strands. "And I thought maybe these could be could be your representation on the tree." She held up a box of white glitter covered snowflake ornaments.

Weiss couldn't help but giggle as she took the box, making Ruby smile.

"They're perfect."

"Great, now all we need is lights. Ooh, let's get the ones that twinkle." before she could take off again Weiss grabbed her hood, jerking her back.

"Relax, Ruby. We're not in a hurry." She lightly scolded.

"Ah, sorry." She grinned.

They picked out a string of lights before walking up to the front counter where Ruby dropped everything next to the register before digging through her pockets for her wallet, but Weiss was faster on the draw, handing the teenager behind the register a shiny black card.

'Weiss!" Ruby protested. "I was going to..."

"Ruby, what good is money if you don't spend it?" She reasoned.

"I guess but…" She started again only for Weiss to turn to her.

"I want to too." She said, leaving little room for argument.

"Fine." Ruby pouted as the cashier handed them the bags.

A bitter wind whipped around them when they stepped outside.

"It's getting colder." Weiss observed.

"No kidding!" Ruby pulled the neck of her hoodie up. "Let's get some coffee." She nodded across the street to a little cafe on the corner.

They hurried across the road and into the sanctuary of the shop. The inviting aroma of coffee filled the air, making Weiss sigh.

Ruby wasted no time ordering a large coffee with with cream and five sugars. Weiss followed at a more leisurely pace and ordered a large black coffee.

Before she could even blink Ruby slapped her wallet on the counter, staring hard at her as she slid the money to the woman on the register.

Her lips twitched but she said nothing, keeping her hands in the pockets of her coat.

Satisfied that Weiss wasn't going to whip out her credit card Ruby turned back to the counter, accepting her change and receipt with their order number on it.

They settled into a table in the back and when they called the number Weiss went to get their drinks, when she came back Ruby was already digging through the bags.

"Thanks." Ruby excepted her sugary concoction.

"Yang and Blake have probably already gotten back to the school by now." Weiss mused, sipping on the pitch black liquid.

"Probably, and I don't hear any sirens so the tree farm is probably still in one piece." Ruby said distractedly as she dug through the bags.

"What?" Weiss asked, confused. Ruby looked up at her, confused too before understanding flashed across her face.

"Oh, right. Well last year on Patch we went to pick out a tree and the worker who was helping us thought it would be a good idea to... pinch Yang when she walked by."

Weiss choked, sputtering on her coffee. Ruby grinned at her.

"Hmmm," Weiss cleared her throat. "Dare I ask what happened?"

"Well... let's just say when one pine tree goes up in flames, they all go up in flames." She mumbled around her coffee.

"Only Yang." Weiss rolled her eyes. "Hopefully our tree at least made it to the dorm."

"I'm sure it did. Blake is with her." She giggled to herself. Weiss shook her head, hiding a smile behind her cup.

Ruby's scroll jingled in her pocket. She pulled it out of her pocket to look at the new message.

"Oh, I spoke too soon." She sighed.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"What took you two so long?" Yang asked when they walked through the door an hour later.

"Just hanging out in town." Ruby answered, setting there bags on the floor. "I see you got our second tree up." She said, looking at a seven foot pine tree, sitting in it's base in the corner of the room.

Yang glared at her partner who simply quirked a brow in return.

"What exactly happened that made you burn down the first one?" Weiss turned to the blonde, a hand on her hip.

"Not important." Yang brushed off the question. "The point is, we have our tree, it's a little taller than we agreed but the six footer that... burned down was the last one, now, do we have decorations?"

"Yeah!" Ruby dropped to her knees and started pulling their purchases out of the bag. "These are mine," she set aside the red glass balls and pulled out Blake's. "These are Blake's…" She held the box out to the quietest member of the team who examined them. "...and this is for you." She tossed the long garland to her sister.

"Sweet." Yang tossed the golden strand over her shoulder. "Tinsel?"

"Yup." She threw the box to the blonde who set it on Blake's bed.

"Lights?"

"Covered." She passed it over as well.

"Great, let's get started!" She popped open the box and started pulling out the long strand of lights.

"Here, Weiss." She handed over the box of snowflakes before opening up her own.

Once the lights were in place they spread out and started hanging the ornaments.

Yang, only getting smacked once for teasing their faunus teammate with a few strands of tinsel.

"Weiss, you picked out the star, why don't you put it on..." Ruby suggested.

"Alright." She picked up the crystal decoration and reached up but quickly came to the realization that she was too short. She made the vain effort of stretching on her tip toes but was still out of reach.

"Maybe I should…" Yang started.

"I can do it." She insisted, but after another few second of stretching to no avail she knew she couldn't, just as she dropped back onto her heels in defeat she felt a pair of arms wrap around her thighs and then her feet were off the ground.

"Agh!" She squealed, twisting enough to find Ruby holding her aloft.

"Put it on." Her partner grinned.

All the blood in her body must have rushed to Weiss's face as she stared down at Ruby, with her cheek pressed flush against Weiss's lower back and her warm arms wrapped around her thighs, fingers pressing into her bare calves.

"I'm so proud of how strong she is." Yang wiped an imaginary tear from her eye.

"Crescent Rose isn't exactly lightweight." Blake added.

Flustered beyond words Weiss placed the star on the tree's top before Ruby lowered her back to the floor, face still steaming, but Ruby chalked it up to embarrassment of a different kind.

"It looks pretty good." Blake cocked her head, looking over the tree.

"Yup, just one more thing to do." She bent down and plugged the lights in, making the twinkling lights flicker on and off, casting their light on the all the glass decorations and shining tinsel.

"Yay!" Ruby cheered.

"I wasn't very sure about the colors coming together, but I have to say, it works." Blake turned to Ruby and Weiss with an approving nod and a smile.

"It's awesome." Yang agreed. "Now we just need some presents to go under it."

"Oh, I got one." Ruby said, trotting over to the closet and pulled out her duffle bag.

"You're stinky gym clothes are NOT a present, sis." Yang smirked as Ruby stuck her tongue out.

"Good, because there aren't any gym clothes in this." She said pulling a moderately long rectangular box wrapped in icy blue wrapping paper and a white bow stuck on top.

"Who's it for?" Yang couldn't help but wonder.

"This is Weiss's present from me." She informed, sliding the box under the tree.

"You got Weiss's gift before mine?" Her sister clutched a hand to her chest in mock hurt. Standing behind the sisters Blake couldn't help but smirk, making Weiss scowl, turning away to hide the flush on her face.

"Yes." She again stuck her tongue out at the blonde.

"I am just so hurt." Yang moaned.

"You are such a ham." Blake said as she sat back down on her bunk.

"I just haven't gotten yours yet." Ruby rolled her eyes.

"Still!" The blonde whined.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Weiss sighed to herself, looking down at the sticky fruit mess laid out in front of her. The online video made this look so much easier than it was.

It was five in the morning in the kitchen on their floor of the dorms. She hadn't been at this for very long, but it wasn't working out for her anyway.

She cleared away her mess and swiped her finger across her scroll starting the video over again.

"Weiss?"

Weiss yelped, nearly jumping out of her skin at the sound of the voice.

She spun around to find Blake, still in her sleeping yukata and barefoot.

"What are you doing here?" She hissed, though there were pretty far from any occupied dorms.

"I could ask you the same thing." Blake challenged. "She glanced over the items on the counter briefly. "You're making something for Ruby?" She asked.

"Trying," Weiss stressed. "It's not going the way it's supposed too."

"Let me see." Blake walked around the counter to look at the video playing quietly on Weiss's scroll.

After a minute Blake picked up Weiss's discard knife and went to work.

"Blake, you don't have to..." Weiss started.

"Don't worry about it, I'm up and you need some help." Blake shrugged away her friends protest.

"Why are you awake?" Weiss had to ask.

"I'm usually awake first; I saw you weren't in bed so I came looking." She explained.

"I'm twenty years old, I'm quite capable of taking care of myself." Weiss huffed, making Blake smile.

"I'm aware." Was all she said, making Weiss glare.

They worked in comfortable silence till it was finished and foil wrapped carefully around it. Picking up a pen that had been sitting on the counter Weiss painstakingly wrote Ruby's names in a blocky script completely different from her usual flowing cursive.

"No note this time?" Blake asked. Weiss glanced at her.

"I don't know what to write for this one." She admitted, picking it up. Blake hit the switch to the kitchen lights as they walked back to their room. Weiss carefully set it on the floor next to the door before they snuck quietly back inside and slipped into bed.

"Blake," Weiss whispered across the room.

"Hmm?" was the equally quiet reply.

"Thank you."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Whoever this guy is seems to know a lot about you, Rubes." Yang frowned.

"Anyone who's ever seen Ruby eat lunch in the cafeteria knows she loves strawberries,Yang." Blake reasoned.

Ruby just hummed happily as she ate the strawberries, cut and arranged to look like flowers.

From her place in front of the dresser Weiss just smiled to herself, enjoying the sounds of satisfaction as her partner happily devoured her gift.

"I guess... though I don't know why she can't share!" Yang whined.

Chapter Text

Lilac eyes glanced around suspiciously.

Someone around here was preying on her baby sister and she was damn well going to figure it out.

So far it wasn't working out.

She had, in her opinion, stealthily interrogated a handful of students who were awfully chummy with Ruby, but they didn't know anything. Under threat of her *ahem* confiscating their family jewels, she was inclined to believe them.

She did feel a little guilty that she'd made a second year wet himself. He would be okay though.

Mostly she was starting to get a little frustrated. She was pretty much out of suspects.

As a rule of thumb she'd ruled out all the first years, true since she'd been moved ahead they were only a year younger than Ruby herself, but the blonde was certain that the freshman were all too intimidated by the upperclassmen to go after even someone as approachable as Ruby.

She ruled out the fourth years as well, being three years older she couldn't imagine any of them being interested in her sister(which was their loss), but they all seemed way to immersed in preparing for graduation after the coming semester.

That left their year and the second years. Not exactly a small suspect pool, but she managed to wrangle it down to people who attended class with Ruby, still large but a much more manageable number.

She'd paid especially close attention to any of the guys who spent time with Ruby in class.

She thought she'd hit pay dirt when a terrified classmate admitted to a crush on her sister but he didn't know anything about any gifts. It wasn't him, but good to know.

She growled to herself as she scanned the faces in class. Right now Ruby was sitting with Weiss, animatedly swinging her arms as she told the heiress a story or something. Weiss was covering her mouth with her hand and giggling.

That did make Yang smile. She'd been more than a little worried about Ruby when they came to Beacon. Perhaps her opinion was a tad biased but her sister was pretty great, but she was the most socially awkward person Yang had ever known.

She was worried that Ruby would have a hard time making friends after being skipped ahead two years, and then getting partnered up with the Grand Puba of Bitches.

The first week of school was a bit rocky, but then Weiss seemed to loosen up, just a little, but as their first year came and went she opened up more to them, was less harsh on their leader and more… friendly, in her Weissy fashion of course.

Yang snickered to herself, maybe Weiss would never admit but Ruby had changed her, she was good at that. By midway through second year Ruby and Weiss were thick as thieves. It was also about that time Yang realized, Ruby was growing up.

She didn't hang all over the blonde like a much needed security blanket, she had finally started to come into her own, as Yang had always hoped and yet dreaded.

Summer's death hit them both hard, but Yang more so maybe because she was older and her memories were better, she had time to come to terms and deal. Ruby was too young, she hardly had any memories of Summer to be sad about, but she still felt the lost presence, and even though Yang knew nothing about her or where she was, her mother was still out there, somewhere; Ruby's was gone.

Yang had done her best to fill that empty spot, practically raised her sister and now she was realizing her sister didn't need her, not as much as she had. Now she had to come to terms with this, her precious baby sister growing up.

"Are you okay?"

She blinked, coming back to herself before turning to Blake, who was looking at her worriedly.

"I'm fine. Just thinking." She smiled.

"That's dangerous." Blake smirked.

"Ha ha," She stuck her tongue out at the smirking faunus. "I was just thinking how far they've come." She nodded to the laughing pair a few rows below them.

"You have no idea." Blake mumbled to herself.

"Sorry, what?" Yang turned back to her partner.

"I said you're right." Blake thumbed through the pages of her text book. "They've changed a lot, but… so have we."

"Hmm, I guess, you have at least, I don't feel like I've changed all that much." Yang shrugged.

"In some ways, no, not at all, but you have, even if you don't see it." Blake smiled.

"Ugh, it's too early in the day for philosophy, kitten." Yang grumbled.

Under the table Blake gave a sharp pinch to her thigh, making Yang yelp.

"It's three in the afternoon and don't. Call. Me. Kitten." Blake hissed.

Yang just grinned, rubbing her sore skin.

The bell rang and students jumped up, rushing through the classroom door.

"Alright! Let's go back to the room and change and then we can go get the tree and decorations." Ruby bounced excitedly as they left class. Only Weiss with years of practice was able to keep stride with their excitable leader. Blake and Yang walked at a more leisurely pace behind them.

"So have you noticed anyone paying any attention to Ruby lately?" Yang whispered to her.

"What kind of attention?" Blake asked, she knew exactly what Yang was referring to of course.

"The teenage boy kind." Yang said.

Blake glanced ahead of them to where Ruby was now pulling Weiss along by the hand.

"No, I haven't noticed any boys going after your sister." She replied honestly.

"This guy is just too good at covering his tracks." Yang grumbled.

"Have you ever considered that they're being this sneaky because of you." Blake suggested.

"I don't know what you mean." She flicked a lock of golden hair over her shoulder.

"You made Sterling Crom wet himself this morning." Blake reminded.

"I didn't MEAN to." Yang defended herself.

"That's not the point, Yang." She grabbed her partner's arm, bringing them to a stop in the middle of the emptying hall and pulling her into an empty classroom.

"You mentioned before that you were surprised no one was ever interested in Ruby before now, have you ever thought about what might be the cause of that?" Blake said.

"What is that supposed to mean?" Yang put her fists on her hips. She could feel a sort of accusation in Blake's words.

"We both know Ruby is sweet and anyone would be lucky to have her, have you never considered the possibility that no one has ever approached her because they're terrified of you?" Blake made her point clear.

"They should be terrified of me, anyone who hurts my sister is going to pay for it!" She replied hotly.

"But they haven't hurt her!" Blake couldn't help her rise in volume as she tried to get through her partners thick skull. She knew that along with those boys, after Yang's recent string of 'attacks' even Weiss was rattled.

"They barely even get a chance to talk to her before your breathing down their neck. After what happened this morning this person may not ever show themselves, because of you." She knew it sounded harsh but it was the truth. She was too proud to admit defeat, but Weiss was faltering after the morning's events and Blake needed to get Yang to back off some.

"I know, you love Ruby and you just want what's best for her, but you have to let her make these decisions." Blake reached out and squeezed her partner's arm. Yang seemed to deflate at the words.

"I just don't want her to get hurt."

"I know, but you can't stop that. We all get hurt." Blake gave another squeeze.

"I know." Yang sighed.

"It will be fine, now come on, Ruby and Weiss are probably waiting on us." She tilted her her head in the direction of their dorm.

"Right" Yang nodded as she followed her partner back to the dorm room.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Don't go crazy, Ruby!" Yang called as she and Weiss went in the opposite direction.

"Don't buy a twelve foot tree!" Was the reply.

Yang chuckled as she and Blake walked down the chilly streets of Vale.

"I hope they have some good trees left, they usually go pretty quick." Yang said as they passed shops all in the midst of decorating.

"We could always go cut down our own if they don't." Blake suggested.

"Yeah, but they're usually not as good as the ones at the tree farm, also. One year we did that back home only to find out later that a family of squirrels were living in it." Yang grinned.

"Squirrels?" Blake blinked.

"Yeah" Yang laughed. "It was great. We were putting the ornaments on and Uncle Qrow was standing next to the tree doing something when a squirrel jumped out of the branches and got in his shirt! It was the funniest thing I ever saw." Yang laughed at the memory.

"That did not happen!" Blake was looking at her skeptically.

"No, it did! Ask Ruby about it when we get back. It was hilarious."

Blake just shook her head. She'd have to follow up on that one.

As they walked they passed a bar with an open porch, it was mostly empty save for a group of guys probably about their age.

"Hey, blondie, wanna have some fun with a real man?" One of the men called at Yang.

Blake sighed through her nose. This happened more often than she liked.

Yang glanced over at the guy calling to her from the bar.

"Sure, know any?" She answered, never breaking stride.

The other three men with him all howled with laughter, jabbing at their now scowling friend.

"You could just ignore them." Blake suggested after they'd passed the bar.

"Well where's the fun in that?" Yang grinned, making Blake roll her eyes.

After a few more blocks they stopped.

"Here we are." Yang held out a hand.

In front of them was a large fenced off section of the city. Trees of every shape and size as far as the eye could see were laid out in front of them.

"How can I help you ladies?" A man wearing the farms logo walked up to them.

"We need a christmas tree, about six feet." Blake informed him.

"They're over here." He nodded, leading them to a section of pine trees in the range they were looking for.

After a few inspections, and a squirrel check, they picked out the last six foot tree on the lot.

"So where should this be delivered to?" The salesman asked them, pen poised over a clipboard.

"Naw, we'll take it ourselves." Yang waved him off as she hefted the tree up onto her shoulder.

"Uh... yeah... okay..." He stuttered as Blake handed him the money before following the blonde out of the lot.

"Alright, got our tree, hopefully Weiss can keep Rubes reigned in on the decorations."

"I'm sure they'll be fine." Blake assured her as they walked past the bar on there way back to the school.

"Hey, blondie, change your mind?" The same guys as before were still sitting on the porch of the bar.

"Ignore them, Yang." Blake mumbled. Yang grumbled but didn't look at them, unable to see them over the trunk of the tree resting on her shoulder.

A metal rattling made Blake's ears twitch. She looked over her shoulder in time to see the same guy who'd been yelling at Yang earlier hop over the railing behind them.

"Hey, I'm talking to you, Bitch!" He yelled, grabbing a fistful of blonde hair.

Blake jumped back as Yang whipped around, narrowly missing her with the tree as her semblance flared to life and the tree burst into flames.

With a roar she swung the flaming trees sending him rocketing down the street. The other guys jumped over the railing, coming at them. Spinning around she swiped all three of them with the flaming pine, sending them flying into the railing.

Yang took a single step forward and the singed guys scrambled to their feet, taking off down the street, leaving their unconscious buddy lying on the sidewalk.

Yang huffed, glaring red eyes fading back to lilac.

"Were going to need a new tree…" She heard Blake sigh. She looked down at smoldering ashen tree in her hands.

"Oops." She mumbled.

Blake shook her head as she pulled out her scroll and sent off a message to Ruby as she turned and started going back the way they'd come.

"Back to the tree farm..."

Chapter Text

By Monday afternoon Ruby was in a foul mood. It didn’t matter that the last official day of the semester was tomorrow, she still had finals all of that day as well as today.

Several of her finals had begun today and she’d stayed up late the night before studying with Weiss.

For one, they were long and grueling, especially Oobleck’s.

The doctor loved to try and stump his students with double negatives and trick questions. She had to spend extra time on every question trying to derive it’s true meaning. It was a long two hours.

Secondly, staying up late and subsisting on nothing but coffee made Weiss and herself rather snippy. They’d gotten into it over Ruby’s taking too long in the bathroom and again at breakfast when Ruby accidentally spilled her milk.

They hadn’t spoken since and they wouldn’t; not till they had a little more rest. It was the usual.

Now, Ruby and Yang were on there way to their specialized combat class. Luckily it didn’t have a final, though they would be sparring.

Gone were the days of first year where the team had all their classes together. This year she had her combat class with Yang, while Blake and Weiss had this final hour free, effectively getting out early.

Weiss had declared at the end of their history final that she was going back to the dorm to take a nap. All the better for the rest of the team.

Blake was going to study in the library, no surprise there.

“I am so ready for this!” Yang pumped a fist. After two hours of forced silence and thinking in Oobleck’s class she was ready to go a few rounds.

“Me too, no more dates and facts, just me and my baby.” She held her folded up weapon to her chest. Yang rolled her eyes.

“Yeah, you may want to consider this secret admirer of yours ‘cause this…” She pointed at Ruby, nuzzling the scythe. “Is probably unhealthy.” She joked.

“Look, I have lots of friends and stuff now, this isn’t like before we came to Beacon, I’m not a child anymore.” She argued.

“I’m just teasing, sis.” Yang grinned as they walked into class.

Ruby just grumbled under her breath.

Within a few minutes of class starting students were pummeling each other into the dirt.

Yang whooped as a student went flying across the floor, ending the match.

“Since you seem to be having such a good time, Miss Xiao Long, maybe you’d like to have a turn?” Professor Goodwitch leveled a glare at the other blonde over her glasses.

“You bet!” Yang bound down to the arena.

Her opponent wasn’t remarkable, a dagger wielder who got a hair to close, slicing said hair, and causing the predictable Yang meltdown.

“And you think I have a problem?” Ruby mumbled to her when Yang sat back down next to her, cradling her hair.

“Shut up.” She grumbled, threading her fingers through the strands.

“Miss Rose.” Goodwitch called her down.

Ruby skipped down the steps to the floor, standing opposite from a student she was only vaguely familiar with.

He hefted his great hammer off his shoulder and grinned at her, good spirited.

With a flick of her wrist crescent rose unfolded into it’s full, intimidating glory and gave a respectful nod in turn.

“Begin.”

Ruby wasted no time flying forward, slashing at her opponent who blocked, pulling back to catch the blade around the hammers shaft, yanking Ruby forward to deliver a vicious headbutt that sent her reeling for a moment.

Before he could capitalize on his counter she came back to her senses and zipped away in a shower of rose petals, flanking him, and delivering a cracking strike against his back.

Up on the board his aura dropped to 85.

Before he could recover she hooked his feet with the blade, dropping him flat on his back and slamming the blade down.

He flipped over, blocking the strike with the bottom of his metal plated boot, kicking it away and hopping back onto his feet and swinging the hammer. It was blocked by Crescent rose’s shaft, sending Ruby sliding back. He reared back for an overhead blow but was too slow for Ruby, who flung herself backwards, just in time to avoid the crushing strike as it cracked the floor.

She dug her her foot into the ground, suddenly changing her trajectory and flinging herself forward, scythe reared back.

Without time to lift his hammer he threw his hand out, the telltale glow of his aura indicating the activation of his semblance. An invisible force slammed into Ruby, sending her flying backwards and crashing to the floor.

She came back to her senses just in time to see him flying down on her, hammer reared back for another overhead slam.

She held crescent rose up to block only for the hammer to snap the shaft in half and slam into her chest, sending her aura plummeting and the now two pieces of Crescent rose scattering across the floor.

The once rowdy class was now deathly silent, even her opponent looked shocked at what just happened, taking a step back, having no intention of continuing to attack, but Glynda called for a halt anyway.

“Ruby!” Yang bound down the steps to the floor where Ruby was staring at her broken weapon with a lost look on her face.

“Hey…” Yang said softly walking up to her despondent sister. “You okay?”

With numb fingers Ruby picked up the pieces of her weapon, her pride and joy.

“No.” She croaked.

Monday was officially the worst day ever.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Weiss woke from her nap feeling refreshed, but knew the cycle would repeat itself again tomorrow, including arguing with Ruby most likely.

It was always this way during finals, they stayed up too late and worked probably too hard, until they were grumpy and tired.

She still had to apologize for her unnecessary outburst at breakfast. It was an accident, Weiss knew that, but she’d been so grouchy this morning she just wanted to yell, and for all the times to yell at Ruby she really didn’t want to do it now, when she was trying to pluck up the courage to tell her leader how she felt.

She sat up, stretching, noticing Blake, now sitting at her and Yang’s shared desk, jotting something down.

“I’ve been thinking... ” She started. Blake didn’t look up but her ears swiveled in Weiss’s direction. “I think I’m going to tell Ruby on Christmas.” she finished. Blake did look up at that.

“Any particular reason?” She asked.

“I... need to tell her, and it’s as good a day as any other.” Weiss shrugged

“Hmm,” Blake hummed. “If that’s what you want.” She bobbed her head.

“Do you think I should wait?” She slid off her bed, straightening out her clothes.

“No, the sooner you tell her the better I think.” Blake seemed sure.

“I agree, do you think...” She stopped as the door opened and Yang walked in.

“Hello, Yang.” Weiss nodded to her teammate before realizing her partner wasn’t with her. “Where’s Ruby?”

Blake glanced over her shoulder and noticed Yang’s now worried expression.

“What’s wrong?” She asked turning fully around in her chair.

Yang sighed, running a hand through her hair as she explained what had happened in their combat class.

“Oh no.” Weiss mumbled. Everyone knew just how much Crescent rose meant to Ruby.

“Where is she now?” Blake frowned, just as worried about their leader as Weiss.

“I don’t know.” Yang sighed, pulling off her gauntlets. “She ran off after class, so if I had to guess, I’d say the workshops.”

“I’m going to go check on her.” Weiss announced, pulling on her shoes.

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea…” Yang glanced at her. “She was already in a lousy mood after fighting with you this morning.” The blonde said. The accusation was subtle but Weiss felt it keenly. “She’s... well, really upset and I think she might just need to be alone for a little while.”

Weiss pursed her lips, Yang was probably right of course.

Sighing to herself she sat back on the bed with a frown.

She would wait...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

By seven, Ruby had still not returned and Yang couldn’t stop fidgeting. Weiss was fairing only marginally better, she sat at her and Ruby’s shared desk studying, or at least looking like she was studying.

She’s been starring at the same page for an hour. With a violent sigh she slammed the book closed and stood.

“I’m going to go find her.” She declared, strutting out of the room.

“Message me when you do!” Yang called out after her.

Remembering what Yang said, the first place Weiss checked were Beacon’s forge and workshop.

The light was on but it looked deserted.

She walked around the large workshop a few minutes before she heard a noise. It was quiet and she thought she might have imagined it, but then she heard it again. She followed the sound to a small private room in the workshop. She opened the door, peeking inside.

Ruby was hunched over a workbench mumbling to herself as she worked, the quiet clinking of metal echoed in the workshop.

“Ruby?” Weiss called quietly.

Ruby didn’t look up or move.

“Ruby?” She called a little louder.

Ruby jolted, glancing over her shoulder.

“Oh, what do you want, Weiss?”

She sounded tired and the words were a bit cold, making Weiss frown.

“Yang told us what happened. Are you alright?” She walked up behind her partner, glancing over her shoulder she could see the multitude of red and black pieces scattered across the table.

“Just a bruise, I’ll be fine.” She mumbled distractedly, screwing several pieces onto a long black metal barrel.

“That’s not what I meant…”

“I’m fine and busy.” She grumbled.

“I know, but you missed dinner and you haven’t slept. Why don’t you take a break?” Weiss tried again.

“Can’t, I need to fix her, and I’m not hungry.” Again she blew off the heiress. Weiss scowled.

“You need...!” She started but jumped when Ruby slammed her hands down on the table before spinning around to her.

“I need you to leave me alone so I can work! I’m not a child, I’m tired of everyone telling me what I need and I’m especially tired of arguing with you for one day!” With that she spun back around, moving the parts around a little harder than necessary.

Weiss had no words, Those glaring silver eyes and sharp words pierced her heart.

After a moment it was clear Ruby intended to ignore her, so, silently, she turned and left.

She would, under threat of torture, never admit to the stinging behind her eyes, partially at Ruby's words and partially that her partner was obviously very upset by the destruction of her pride and joy as a huntress and maybe a little bit past all her blustering pride, she felt bad that a small part of Ruby’s sour mood had been caused by yelling at her that morning.

Otherwise, why bring it up?

She stopped in the hall and sighed. So Ruby didn’t want to talk right now, Weiss could understand and respect that, but that didn’t mean she would do nothing.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A loud knocking on the workshop door made Ruby look up.

She was so very tired, her eyes were dry and her stomach was grumbling angrily, but her baby needed her. It didn’t matter that she wouldn’t really need the scythe till the holiday break was over.

“What?” She called.

There was no reply.

With a huff she stood, back popping and sore muscles complaining as she trudged to the door.

Pulling it open she was met with air. Glancing around she found no one and nothing but the quiet machinery.

Grumbling about pranks she went to shut the door but something caught her eye.

Sitting on the floor was a steaming cup of coffee.

Picking it up she took a whiff of the enticing, rich aroma, before taking a tentative sip.

The warm liquid quenched her dry mouth and made her sigh. Cream and five sugars, just as she liked it.

Realization struck her like a lightning bolt and guilt turned the warm sweet drink bitter in her mouth.

Only one person knew how she took her coffee.

She glanced over her shoulder where Crescent Rose sat in a pile of parts. The barrel/shaft and some of the braces had been the only pieces broken, the rest was fine. It had taken four hours but she’d already finished creating a new barrel and the braces, She still had to put it all back together and do some testing to make sure everything was in working order before her next mission, but…

Crescent Rose was just a weapon, and much easier to repair than her relationship with Weiss, whom would never admit that Ruby had undoubtedly hurt her.

It could wait until tomorrow.

With that thought she flicked off the lights and locked the door.

She drank her coffee on the way back, contemplating what she would say to her partner when she got back to the dorm.

She’d been upset about Crescent Rose and a bit sleep deprived but those were excuses, she should have never yelled at Weiss. Weiss was important to her and she should always show it.

Now she was standing in front of her dorm. She took a deep breath before opening the door.

Sitting across the room at their desk was Weiss, hunched over, working. Blake and Yang were, thankfully, nowhere to be found.

The door clicked quietly behind her making Weiss look up; upon seeing Ruby her face grew tight and she quickly turned back to work in front of her.

“Weiss... can we talk?” She asked.

“What is there to talk about? You were right, you’re not a child, you can take care of yourself.” She said stiffly.

“That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate when you try to do it.” She said. Weiss’s pencil stopped, but she didn’t turn back around.

“I’m sorry for yelling at you. You didn’t deserve that.” She stared down at her boots. She heard Weiss sigh, followed by the rustling of clothes. She peeked up through her bangs, Weiss had turned around to look at her.

“I shouldn’t have yelled at you this morning and I knew you’d be upset about...” She started.

“Don’t make excuses for me. I was wrong.” Ruby insisted, looking up fully. “You’re my best friend; Crescent Rose is just a weapon.”

The look of utter surprise on Weiss's face told her that her sister was probably right. Maybe she cared a little too much for her weapon if it came as a surprise that she valued her friends far more.

“Ruby…” She didn’t know what to say. She was overwhelmed, her heart in her throat. “I... Thank you.” She said sincerely. Ruby nodded, hoping the heat she felt on her cheek wasn’t visible to Weiss.

“Well... I’m gonna go to bed.” In a swirl of rose petals she disappeared behind the makeshift curtain covering her bunk.

Weiss turned back to her notes.

“Weiss...”

The heiress looked up at the sheet covering the top bunk, though Ruby did not reappear.

“Thanks for the coffee.” drifted down to her.

Weiss turned back to her work, a small, happy smile on her lips.

“You’re welcome.”

Chapter Text

“Ruby…”

Grumbling, Ruby buried her face farther into her pillow. She didn’t know what Yang wanted but it could definitely wait. It was too early.

“Get up, Ruby…” Yang grinned, poking her sister's cheek.

“Go away Yang…” Ruby slapped away the hand prodding at her face.

“Are you suuuure?” She drew out the word.

Even without opening her eyes she could hear the grin on her sister's face.

“Yes…“ She mumbled, flipping over to face the wall.

“Alrighty then…“ The curtain rustled as Yang let the flap back down.

“Guess Ruby’s not coming with us for Christmas breakfast.” She heard Yang’s muffled voice tell the rest of the team.

Silver eyes popped open.

“It’s Christmas!” She jumped off the bed, falling straight into the grinning blonde brawlers arms.

Blake and Weiss laughed at the scene.

“Yeah, now get dressed so we can eat.”

“Right!” In a breeze of rose petals she disappeared inside the bathroom.

“I told you.” Yang grinned, shooting the girls a thumbs up.

“I can’t believe that worked.” Blake smirked. Weiss just shook her head.

“I think no matter how old she gets Ruby will always be a child at heart.” Yang chuckled, crossing her arms.

“That’s not a bad thing.” Blake countered. Weiss hummed with a smile.

“I’m ready, let’s go!” Ruby burst out the bathroom dressed in her regular clothes.

The cafeteria served breakfast for the students still on campus, though the large, usually loud, dining hall felt empty with the few students that remained.

Ruby wasted no time filling her plate with warm fluffy pancakes and drowning them in a lake of strawberry syrup.

“I swear, you’re going to sugar yourself into a coma one day…“ Weiss rolled her eyes as she took her seat on Ruby’s right with her eggs and toast.

“Metabolism,” Ruby reminded around a mouthful of pancakes. Or at least that was what it sounded like to Weiss, it came out more like ‘Mephtaboism’.

She didn’t even have the chance to scold her partner before she was swallowing her mouthful and apologizing.

“Sorry, Weiss.” She smiled, licking a dribble of syrup from her lips.

A perfectly innocent act of course.

Not that stopped Weiss’s heart from speeding up.

“Nothing like a big fresh breakfast to start christmas off.” Yang announced as she plopped herself down across from the two with her own stack of pancakes, startling Weiss out of her thoughts.

Blake silently took her place next to her partner with her own, more modest breakfast of fruit and yogurt.

“So, the dining hall is gonna be open tonight, but they're not serving anything special, so me and Blake were talking and we could go into town and get some fixings and make our own christmas dinner in the dorm kitchen.” She said before stuffing pancakes in her mouth, looking at the other half of the team questioningly.

“Oh, that’s a great idea!” Ruby said, turning to look at Weiss, who nodded.

“That does sound lovely, shouldn’t Ruby and I help?” She asked.

Blake smiled behind her her spoon while Yang outright snickered around a mouth full of pancakes.

“No… no, I think Blake and I got it.” She said after swallowing. “Ruby’s more of a baker than a cook, and none of us have forgotten how you set the kitchen on fire last year.” She grinned at the heiress even as she scowled back.

“Yang and Blake are great cooks, let’s just leave it to them.” Ruby said, patting her partner's shoulder. Weiss just huffed, turning back to her breakfast.

It was halfway through their meal that Ruby happened to look out the dining hall windows; sterling eyes turning wide.

“It’s snowing!” She cried, causing all the heads in the dining hall to look out the windows.

Sure enough fat white flakes were falling rapidly onto the grounds outside the dining hall, piling up quickly on the sidewalks and frosting the glass.

“Whaddya know, a white Christmas, sweet.” Yang said, staring out at the windows.

“It is lovely.” Blake agreed.

Glancing over at her partner, Weiss could see Ruby practically vibrating, whether that was from the all the syrup she’d consumed or excitement for the snow was anyone’s guess.

Either way she knew she’d be out in the snow later.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“We’ll be back in a little while.” Yang called as the door closed behind her and Blake.

Once the door closed Ruby dove under Weiss’s bed and pulled out two gifts wrapped in gold and purple and moved them under the tree next the pile of other gifts in a rainbow of wrapping papers.

“Did you really need to hide them?” Weiss asked after watching.

“One year I found out Yang had opened her gift and then rewrapped it so I wouldn’t know, so I just hide them till the last minute.” She said.

“And Blake's?” She asked.

“If I only hid Yang’s she’d look for it.” She reasoned. “So they’ll be gone for a while, ya wanna go outside with me?” She asked, pulling on her cloak.

“Sure”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“This is great!” Ruby called, running through the fresh piles of powder building up on the ground, leaving trails of bright red petals scattered over the stark white ground. Weiss followed at a more leisurely pace; content to enjoy being out in the cold and watch Ruby.

“It is peaceful.” Weiss agreed, watching Ruby throw herself into the snow, swinging her arms and legs before jumping up to admire her imprint.

Weiss glanced up, watching the flakes falling endlessly from the sky. This was perhaps the only thing she truly missed about Atlas, the near constant snow. Reaching out, she caught several fluttering flakes on her hand, watching them melt away into her warm skin.

“Hey, Weiss!”

She looked up as a snowball smashed into her face.

Ruby’s laughing echoed around the courtyard.

Weiss slowly wiped the snow off her face, glaring at her partner who took one look at her soggy glare and broke out into more giggles.

“Think that’s funny, do you?” She grumbled lowly.

A glyph blinked into existence beneath her feet.

The second Ruby saw it she took off in the other direction, scattering petals.

“You can’t run from me Ruby Rose!” She yelled, giving chase via her glyphs.

Ruby screamed, zigzagging across the courtyard, Weiss still in hot pursuit.

Till a rock hidden by the snow caught the speedsters boot, sending her rolling. Weiss saw too late to stop before tripping on her partner and sending them both tumbling through the powder.

Weiss sat up, rubbing her head.

“Are you alri…” She started, turning to Ruby only to find her flat on her back in the snow, laughing.

Seeing her laying there on the ground, hair and clothes covered in snow and laughing uncontrollably Weiss couldn’t help but start laughing herself.

They stared there, on the ground, laughing for several minutes.

“Aw, man...” Ruby sighed, still smiling as she sat up, brushing snow out of her hair. “Are you okay? She asked, turning to Weiss, she squealed when a fistful of snow was shoved in her face.

“Fine.” She grinned, watching Ruby sputter and wipe the snow off her face

“I deserved that.” She chuckled... even as she tossed another snowball at the heiress, who shrieked before returning fire.

They sat there shoveling handfuls of snow at each other and laughing till they were both wet and freezing.

“Okay! Okay... truce!” Ruby panted, holding up her hands to fend off the onslaught.

“I will accept nothing but unconditional surrender.” Weiss grinned, rearing her arm back threateningly.

“I surrender!” She said, peaking through her fingers. Weiss dropped the snow.

“Ready to go in?” She asked seeing her partner's cold flushed face.

“Yeah... my clothes are starting to soak through.” She pushed herself up and held her hand out to Weiss, who took it letting Ruby haul her out of the snow.

They shook off as much of the caked on powder as they could before going back to the dorm and shedding the we layers.

“I’m gonna go make some hot chocolate.” Ruby said as she finished rubbing the towel through her hair.

“I’ll go with you, I could use some coffee.” Weiss followed her down to the kitchen.

“Hey, guys.” Yang greeted when they walked into the kitchens.

“You’re back already.” Weiss commented, looking over the food and ingredients laid over the counter as she walked over to the coffee maker.

Yang and Blake both had their hair tied up as they worked on the team's dinner.

“Yup, went by the post office too, I got dad to send us something.” Yang grinned, holding up a postal tube.

“What is it?” Ruby asked, pulling the cocoa powder out of a cabinet.

Yang popped off the lid and with a shake a black furry object popped out.

“Arf!”

“Zwei!” Ruby cheered, scooping up the small dog.

“He would have been alone on the island so he’s gonna stay with us till new years.” Yang explained before turning back to chopping up some vegetables.

“Keep it away from my things…” Blake said, side eying the corgi.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Dinner was great, guys.” Ruby groaned, patting her stomach.

“You outdid yourselves.” Weiss agreed, slipping a chunk of turkey off her plate to the corgi sitting on the floor as they cleared away the paper plates from the table.

“It was fun to cook for everyone.” Blake smiled, putting the used ware in the garbage.

“No kitchen fires either.” Yang chirped with a cheeky smile, Weiss glared at her from across the room.

“Yang, it’s Christmas, be nice.” Ruby scolded the blonde, who pouted.

When the kitchen was as clean as they found it there was only one thing left to do.

“Presents!” Ruby cheered, racing down the hall to their room, Zwei hot on her heels and barking all the way, the rest of the team not far behind.

Back in the dorm Ruby settled on the floor with Yang and Zwei next to the tree. Weiss and Blake sitting on their beds. In the safety of their room Blake pulled off her bow, running her hands over her now free ears.

“So, who’s first?” Yang asked, looking around.

“I will.” Blake moved to the tree and passed around three boxes wrapped in green, watching as her friends pulled away the paper.

“Hey, new sparring gloves.” Yang grinned, pulling on the thick leather gloves and smashing her fists together. “Thanks, Blake.”

“You found the last comic for my collection?!” Ruby turned wide eyes to Blake.

“It wasn’t an easy find.” She admitted.

Weiss opened her small box to reveal a beautiful black fountain pen, Her name etched in silver down the body.

“This is beautiful, Blake. Thank you.” She smiled. Blake nodded her head.

“How bout you next, ice queen?” Yang turned to the heiress.

“Alright.” She nodded walking over to the tree and handing out three boxes, wrapped in deep blue paper with perfect white bows.

Ruby was, of course, quickest to rip hers open, to find a heavy box of ammo for crescent rose.

“This is great, Weiss.” She grinned picking out a round and seeing the lightening bolt symbol etched into the casing. “Are these lightning dust rounds?”

“They are.” Weiss affirmed.

Ruby looked down at the box off 200 count rounds before looking back up at Weiss.

“But these are really expen-” She started, only for Weiss to hold up her hand.

“Don’t worry about it.” She said simply.

“Yeah, Rubes. She’s rich, remember?” Yang laughed peeling the paper off her own present, Zwei pawing at the shreds of paper on the floor.

“Yang…” Blake sighed.

Ruby chewed her lip thoughtfully before looking up at Weiss and smiling.

“Thanks, Weiss.”

“You’re welcome.” She said, ignoring the momentary skip in her heart beat.

“Hey, this is great, Weiss.” Yang said, pulling out a package of the hair oils she liked to use in her golden mane. “Whadja get, Blake?” She looked up at the faunus looking over a small piece of paper in one hand and a small foil bag in the other.

“Tea.” Blake said.

“Tea?” Yang parroted.

“It’s a year subscription. They send you an exotic kind of tea every month.” Weiss explained as Blake opened the foil bag, taking a tentative sniff of the first month's tea with a smile.

“This is perfect, Weiss, Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Blake.” She nodded. Hoping to convey her gratefulness for Blake’s help over the month.

“My turn!” Yang sing-songed. Quickly passing out two boxes wrapped in striped paper to Weiss and Ruby and handing an envelope over to Blake.

“Sweet, I needed some new pajamas. Thanks, sis.” Ruby grinned pulling out a black tank-top dotted with roses and a pair of red and black striped pajama pants.

“I noticed. Your old ones were getting a little… tight ...” She trailed off.

“Are you saying I’m getting fat!?” Ruby glared at her sister who roared with laughter making Zwei bark.

“I think she’s just saying you’re… starting to resemble her a little more.” Blake smirked.

Finally getting control of herself Yang wiped a tear from her eye.

“Your boobs are a lot bigger than they used to be, Sis.” Yang grinned at the red creeping across Ruby’s face.

“They are not...” Ruby denied, glancing down at her chest. “I mean... since I was 15 yeah, maybe...”

“Weiss, tell her they are definitely bigger.” Yang turned to the heiress whose head whipped up.

“W-what?” She almost squeaked.

Behind Yang, Blake had to bite her lip to keep from laughing at the look on Weiss’s face.

“We’ll talk about it later…” Yang promised with a wink to her embarrassed sister. “Now come on you two, open up your presents.” She urged.

Blake chuckled, pulling out a gift card to her favorite book store. Yang grinned, rubbing the back of her head only a little ashamed.

“You’re hard to buy for.” she admitted.

“It’s great, Yang. I can get whatever I want.” Blake assured her.

“What did you get, Weiss?” Ruby asked, turning to her partner who was holding up a clear bottle filled with deep red liquid.

“You like fancy things, I thought wine would be right up your alley.” Yang said.

“Were not supposed to have alcohol on campus.” Ruby reminded the blonde.

“How did you even get it?” Blake asked, reminding them that none of them were drinking age yet.

“I know a guy…” She said vaguely.

“This is actually a very good vintage, thank you, Yang.” Weiss nodded, sliding the bottle under the bed.

Blake and Ruby shared a glance, shrugging.

“That just leaves you, Rubes.” Before she even finished Ruby had jumped up and passed out her own gifts.

Yang tore open the paper with a smile. “Furious fists 5!” Yang pumped a fist. “I’ve been wanting to play this forever. Thanks, sis.” She reached over and ruffled the younger womans hair. Ruby grunted in response.

Blake pulled the paper off her obviously book shaped gift.

She stopped once it was fully open, ears standing straight up.

‘Ninja’s of Love : Special Edition.’

“I hope you like it, Blake.” Ruby smiled. “When I went to get it the author was actually there and signed it for me, did you know he was a faunus?”

Black quickly flipped open the cover and there at the bottom of the acknowledgments page a short message in blue ink.

‘To Blake, thank you for all you do as a huntress. ~ Jin Alabaster’

She looked back up at her smiling leader and couldn’t help but grin back.

“I love it, Ruby, Thank you.”

“What kind of book is that anyway?” Yang asked, glancing over the cover.

“Uhh... mystery stuff.” Ruby lied. Lilac eyes narrowed as she glanced between the red and black members of the team.

Weiss finally pulled the paper off the long light blue box that had been sitting under the tree since they put it up. She pulled off the lid and was struck speechless.

Sitting atop the same colored tissue paper was a scabbard.

Smooth metal painted white, the top and the tip were plated with steel fittings and bands. Her crest inlaid in the sides in a white enamel of some kind.

“Wow, that is some fine work Ruby.” Yang said looking it over.

“It is beautiful, did you make it yourself?” Blake asked the younger woman, who nodded, smiling bright.

“Yup.” She said proudly, before turning to Weiss. “Do you like it?” she asked, doing her best to keep the nervousness out of her voice.

“It’s... exquisite, Ruby. You went to too much trouble..” She started, trying to find the words.

“No, don’t worry about it! I’m just glad you like it.”

Reaching over she picked up Myrtenaster, leaning against the bedpost and slid it carefully into the scabbard, it slid up to the hilt with a quiet ‘click’. A perfect fit.

“I love it. Thank you, Ruby.” She looked down into bright silver eyes crinkling at the corners as she smiled.

“You’re welcome, Weiss.”

“Merry Christmas, girls!” Yang shouted, the rest quickly echoing the sentiment.

Weiss slid Myrtenaster into her sash, fit snugly in it’s new sheath.

No more waiting.

“I’m going to head over to the library before it closes and call Winter.” Weiss said, standing off her bed and putting on her shoes and coat.

“Tell her I said merry Christmas!” Ruby said as she left.

“I will.” Weiss nodded before the door shut behind her.

“We should probably pick up all the trash.” Yang said, trying to take a torn piece of wrapping paper from Zwei.

When most of the trash was picked up there was a knock on the door. Zwei barked.

“Come on in.” Yang called.

After a few seconds no one opened the door. Yang walked over and opened the door.

No one was there.

“Well that’s weird...” Just as she was shutting the door she caught sight of a piece of paper stuck to the door.

She pulled it off and glanced over it, before grinning.

“Oh, Ruby…” She called holding out the piece of paper.

“Hmm?” Ruby looked up at the offered paper. She took it, glancing over the now familiar blocky writing.

“Ruby, will you meet me at the west garden fountain?” She read aloud.

So, it was finally time to meet her secret admirer.

Ruby stuffed the paper into her pocket before pulling on her shoes and a jacket.

“Good luck.” Blake smiled encouragingly.

“If he tries to get handsy you knee him right in the...” Yang started holding up a fist.

“Yang…” Blake sighed again.

“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be back soon.” With that she disappeared out the door.

Once Ruby had left, Yang turned to Blake with a grin.

“Let’s follow Ruby.” She pulled on her boots.

Blake’s ears shot straight up.

“Yang, no. You need to let Ruby handle this.” She tried not to sound desperate. If Yang stumbled upon Weiss confessing to Ruby… well she didn’t want to have to imagine how that scenario would play out.

“I know, I know. We’ll lag behind a few minutes to let them do their talking thing but I have to know Blake.” She insisted, pulling on her coat and shooting out the door. Blake hurried to tie her bow back around her ears and pull on her own shoes.

She had to stop Yang, or at least slow her down.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The courtyard and every available surface was covered in the fresh snow still falling down on her head. It was quiet, not many students remained behind during the breaks and the snow muffled most of the sound.

The only sound Ruby heard was the crunching of the snow beneath her boots as she walked down the white covered sidewalk toward the west garden.

It was one of her favorite places on campus. She vaguely wondered if this person knew that but quickly discarded the thought, the only person she had ever mentioned it to was Weiss. It was just a coincidence.

She was a little nervous, she never liked hurting people if she could avoid it, especially someone who was only guilty of liking her, which made it all the more difficult.

When Ruby arrived at the fountain she found something much different than she expected.

“Weiss, what are you doing here?” She asked, boots crunching on the snow as she walked up to her partner, who was leaning casually against the lip of the fountain. The frozen water sparkled in the light of the shattered moon.

“I was waiting for you, dolt.” She breathed out a cloud of frozen air, pushing off the stone and standing straight in front of her partner.

“You... what?” Ruby’s face was a mask of pure confusion. Weiss took a deep breath, closing her eyes just a moment before opening them again to stare intently into the silver ones looking back at her.

“Ruby…” She paused, clearing her throat. “I’m the ones who’s been giving you things all month.” She finally said.

“I... what?” Ruby blinked, she must have heard that wrong.

Weiss sighed, reaching up to pinch the bridge of her nose, trying to cover the flush on her cheeks. Of course Ruby wouldn’t make this easy on her.

“Your... secret admirer.” She ground out the last bit, embarrassed just by saying it. “It’s me.”

“So... the rose, the cookies...” Ruby’s face burned, remembering the notes and the things she’d said in Weiss’s presence.

“Yes, it was all me.”

“Why?” It was so quiet Weiss barely heard it.

“I…” She paused, brushing a few strands of snowy hair behind her ear, a nervous habit Ruby had noticed long ago. “I was trying to lead up to telling you that... I like you... a lot more than a friend.”

Ruby’s mind was reeling. It had been Weiss all along, the gifts and the notes. Weiss... liked her. The same way she liked Weiss. Her heart thundered in her chest at the realization.

She was so lost in thought she didn’t notice that Weiss had started talking again.

“I understand if you don’t feel anything of the sort for me, I just… felt I should tell you...”

The hurt on her partners face was clear as her mouth moved but Ruby was deaf to the words after that.

Now she was panicking.

‘NO NO NO! Do something, anything!’ She screamed at herself.

In a brief second Ruby’s body was moving of it’s own accord, She rushed forward, grabbing the collar of of Weiss’s coat and smashing her lips against Weiss’s, silencing her embarrassed explanations.

Weiss’s lips were cold, but soft.

It was clumsy and rushed, but after a heartbeat she felt Weiss returning the impromptu kiss.

When she pulled back, opening her eyes, two wide blue eyes were staring at her, speechless.

Her flush stretched down her neck, having nothing to do with the cold air.

“Sorry! I’m sorry... that was sudden, it’s just... I... I’m glad.” She

mumbled.

“G-glad?” Weiss repeated. Ruby nodded shyly.

“I’ve... been trying to figure out for the past year how to tell you that…I feel that way too.” She breathed, looking down at the snow at her feet. Weiss would barely have known she’d spoken if not for the cloud of frozen air that accompanied her words.

The heiress opened her mouth to speak but couldn’t find any words to say in response the counter confession; instead she reached up to cup one of her partner's red tinted cheeks, making silver eyes gaze back up to her hopefully.

She really was too cute for her own good.

Without hesitation she leaned forward, capturing her partners mouth with her own.

For the second time they kissed, but there was a world of difference between the two.

This one was less hurried, more testing. Weiss knew her lips were cold, so were Ruby’s, but they quickly warmed as they moved against each other. The skin beneath her palm was hot and unlike before she could taste a hint of the hot chocolate Ruby had been drinking all day.

Fingers fisted into the fabric of her coat, trying to pull her closer or maybe just looking for something to stay grounded.

When they parted they stood, silent save for their heavy breathing, blue and silver staring back at each other.

The puffs of frozen air had barely faded away before Ruby pressed back in, wrapping her left hand around the back of Weiss’s neck, trying to pull her in as close as possible. Weiss shivered at the cold fingers pressed against her skin; her own hands finding purchase on her partner's hips. Her mind was spinning, completely wrapped up in the lips moving against hers and the scent of roses Ruby seemed to exude.

They parted only when air became necessary.

“So...” Ruby panted, her hand still wrapped tightly around Weiss’s neck. “We... both feel this way... what should we do?” She finally asked after a few lengthy, nervous pauses.

“Most people... date.” Weiss managed, still trying to catch her breath.

“Right…” Ruby nodded, her nose brushing against Weiss’s. “So... wanna go out sometime?” She asked, a timid smile on her chapped lips

“Yes.” Weiss smiled in turn before again kissing her partner softly.

“What the hell is this!?”

They jumped apart, turning toward the voice.

“Yang!” Ruby croaked.

“What the hell is going on here!?” She demanded, throwing her arms out, lilac eyes flickering to red. Blake, following the blonde, had stopped dead when she saw her two friends, worried golden eyes flickered back and forth between the three of them.

“It’s umm...” Ruby stuttered as Yang started towards them.

“It’s exactly what it looks like, Yang.” Weiss answered for her faltering partner.

“So you're taking advantage of my baby sister!?” The blonde roared, hair flaring as she stalked up to Weiss, the snow melting beneath her feet. Weiss straightened, blue eyes turning to ice as she reached for Myrtenaster ready to fight. Blake reached back for gambol shroud, ready to restrain her partner before this escalated further.

“I kissed her!” Ruby threw herself between her partner and her sister, stopping everyone.

The fiery aura around Yang immediately vanished, eyes again a soothing, confused, lilac. Her shoulders slumped.

“W-what?” She blinked.

“I kissed Weiss.” She repeated. Yang could only blink, stunned. ”I... I’m gay. I know I should have told you a long time ago... but I was so worried that you’d be disappointed in me...” She started to tear up.

Weiss started to reach for her trembling partner but stopped. Much as she wanted to comfort her, she knew that this time only one person could do that. She took a few steps back, still a little wary as Yang walked up to them, staring down at Ruby with unreadable eyes.

Ruby shyly met her sister's gaze.

“I’m sorry.” She sniffed.

Strong arms wrapped tightly around her and the warmth of her sister’s aura chased away the winter chill.

“No, I’m sorry, for anything I’ve ever done or said that made you think I could ever be disappointed in you, Ruby.” She mumbled into black and red locks.

Blake looked at Weiss, nodding back the way she and Yang had come. The heiress hesitated a moment before following.

“We’ll wait for you two back in the room.” Blake said just loud enough for the sisters to hear. Yang bobbed her head in acknowledgment.

When they’d gone Yang pulled back to look at her sister's tear stained face. She wiped at the wet tracks on her cheeks.

“So!” She started. “What exactly was going on here? Jumping Weiss?” She asked, trying to lighten the mood and grinning as her sister's face turned scarlet.

“No! Weiss... was my secret admirer and I...” She started.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up, Weiss!?” She asked. Ruby nodded. “That little shit... playing me this whole time!” Yang growled. Ruby sighed, bringing the blonde back to the moment at hand.

“Sorry... So... You like Weiss…?”

Ruby nodded, face still red.

“...and Weiss... likes you?” Yang was having just a little trouble wrapping her mind around this so suddenly.

“Yeah.” She nodded shyly.

“Wow… this has just been the most trippy Christmas ever.” Yang shook her head. “You’re gay, Weiss is... well into you at the very least…” Yang shook her head in disbelief. “Gotta say, I never saw that one coming…” She mumbled to herself.

“So... you’re not disappointed?” Ruby asked hesitantly. Yang blinked at her in surprise before scooping her up in a bear hug.

“Of course not!” She squeezed. “Nothing could ever make me be disappointed in you, Ruby. You like guys, you like girls, who cares? You’re my sister, I love you and nothing will ever change that. I wish you’d told me sooner though.”

“I know, I’m sorry.” She snuggled into her sister's golden mane with a smile; the weight she’d been carrying around for a year had finally lifted.

“Alright!” Yang pulled back, patting her shoulders, a grin on her lips. “I believe I... interrupted something important.” She wagged her eyebrows suggestively, taking note of her sisters kiss swollen lips, making Ruby squeak. “We’d better get back so you can talk to Weiss.”

“R-right.” She nodded.

With a smile Yang patted her on the back as they walked back inside.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“I did everything I could short of knocking her out… ”Blake started apologetically.

“It’s fine, Blake.” Weiss waved away her concern as she sat on her bed.

“So, it looks to me like things worked in your favor, regardless.” The faunus smiled, sitting next to Weiss on her bunk.

“Until Yang showed up, you mean.” Weiss mumbled. Blake chuckled.

“Yes, until than, but I think that might have worked out for the better anyway.” She smiled.

“Hmm.” Weiss grunted, not that she could find it in herself to disagree, knowing how long not telling Yang had been bothering Ruby.

“I’m glad one of you finally worked up the courage…” Blake admitted.

Blue eyes narrowed in thought. Blake made it sound like she...knew…

She turned sharply to her smirking teammate.

“Did you…?!”

Blake and Weiss, both looked up as the door opened and the sisters walked in.

“So?” Blake asked, looking between the two.

“It’s all good.” Yang threw an arm around her sister's shoulders and grinned.

Ruby caught the faunus’s ‘I told you so’ look.

“All my false leads make sense now too.” Yang turned to Weiss with a frown.

“Actually… that was me, Yang.” Blake admitted, with a bit of a smug smile.

“You knew about all of this and you …!?” She stopped when Blake tilted her head to her uncomfortable sister and teammate.

“Uhh... why don’t we talk about everything you know, in the cafeteria?” She nodded toward the door. Blake nodded, seeing her partner got the message.

“I could use some tea.” She agreed, standing from her place sitting next to the heiress.

“First things first though.” She said stalking up to Weiss, sitting on her bed. The heiress went rigid as lilac eyes, flickering to red were now right in her face.

Ruby started forward only for Blake to grab her shoulder, shaking her head, they watched, waiting on baited breath.

“You hurt my sister and I’ll rip out your spine, fatality style, Schnee.” Yang rumbled in a menacing voice, making the hair on the back of Weiss’s neck stand on end. It was no idle threat.

Before she could even reply Yang was strutting out the door. Blake followed, winking at Ruby as she passed, closing the door behind her and leaving the partners alone.

“Yang…” Ruby grumbled. Covering her eyes with her hand.

“I suppose there was no avoiding that.” Weiss mumbled.

Ruby grunted in agreement.

After a minute of silence Ruby didn’t know what to do or say. Luckily Weiss was quickly coming back to herself.

She patted the mattress beside her, beckoning the younger woman over.

Ruby wasted no time heeding it and sitting herself next to Weiss.

“You realize things are going to be different now...” Weiss spoke after a moment, turning toward her partner.

“Yeah…” Ruby nodded. “In a good way though, I think.” She amended with a smile. She was rewarded with one in turn.

Weiss’s smile turned into a thoughtful look, crossing her arms across her chest.

“We may as well set a few ground rules now.” She nodded to herself.

“Uh, okay?” Ruby agreed hesitantly.

“First, I don’t think anyone outside the team needs to know about this for now.” She said.

“Oh... yeah, okay.” Ruby nodded; team RWBY was a rather renowned team on campus, they didn’t need the whole school talking about them right off the bat.

“Secondly, you’re going to have to refrain from groping me all the time in public.” She listed.

“W-What!?” She squeaked.

“You’ve always been rather touchy feely, Ruby. I can only anticipate that to worsen.” She explained calmly, setting her hands in her lap.

“Oh.”

She wasn’t wrong, just right now Ruby wanted very much to have some kind of physical contact with Weiss. It was just in her nature to want to be close to the people closest to her. Her family were big huggers and cuddlers.

“Okay.” She reluctantly agreed.

She looked up, surprised when a warm hand wrapped around hers.

“You look like you’re going through withdrawal just sitting there.” Weiss rolled her eyes but the smile betrayed her.

Ruby just grinned, turning her hand over to lace her fingers with Weiss’s.

“I have my own rule.” She suddenly said. Weiss just cocked a brow.

“Tomorrow night you have to go out to dinner with me.” She declared.

“That is not a rule, you dunce.” Weiss returned.

“It’s my rule, take it or leave it.” She said, squeezing the hand in her hers. Weiss smirked, leaning in close.

“I’ll take it.” She said, catching Ruby’s lips.