The same morning that Ruby was proclaimed officially dead she woke in the bed alone, looked around groggily then dragged herself away from the comfortable pillows. She headed for the bathroom and pulled the door open.
She had not been expecting to see a freshly showered Roman standing on the other side, hair dripping wet, scar clearly visible on his chest and only a towel around his waist. He turned a confused look at the doorway and the young miss standing there, his face was covered in shaving cream and he had a razor in his hand.
Ruby's face turned a bright shade of red, He looked almost exactly the way she had thought he would.
She slammed the door and ran back across the apartment, hiding under the bed.
After a short while Roman walked in. "Red? You in here Red? I know I'm ugly and all but you don't have to go and remind me, you know."
"No, that's not it, I mean, you are really… reallyhandsomeandthat'stheproblem." Ruby said hastily. "I mean, uh, are you less naked now?" Ruby asked.
"Yes." Roman said, trying not to chuckle. He got down on his knees and peeked under the bed.
"You look like a cat." He laughed.
She stuck her tongue out at him and he laughed again.
"Do you plan to spend the whole day under there? Or, do you want to come play some Minecraft with me?" He asked, grinning at her.
"That could be fun..." She said, acting as if she had to think about it.
"Which one?" He asked.
Roman chuckled and left the room.
Ruby wiggled her way out from under the bed and headed for the bathroom again, this time without finding a towel clad Roman.
Roman plopped on the couch, laptop in hand and started altering settings to set his favorite map into a server. It was the map he had had the longest and he never shared it with anyone before.
Ruby returned, fetching her laptop and parking herself next to him. "I haven't used this in a while..."
"No better time than the present." Roman grinned. "I'll have the server up in just a minute."
Ruby watched patiently and happily logged on when he gave her the code.
She spawned in a swamp but Roman was already there to guide her to shelter. The first place was just a dirt mound under a tree. Once day came he led her onward towards the mountains. He seemed to know the map quite well.
They had to stop in two more similar shelters before they reached a sprawling city.
"Wow..." Ruby said, looking at the skyscrapers he had built. "You did this on survival?"
"Yep, I had to find something to do with all the stuff from the strip mine under it. I was having decent luck and still learning so I just started stacking things in places then had this idea. It's been a while since I've seen it." He explained.
"It's really cool" She said, exploring the place.
There were tall buildings and smaller ones, houses and apartments. It even had a park. The city took up an entire biome.
After she was done exploring and day had come again he led her onward.
They found a village but it was partially blown up and the villagers were missing. Roman lead them straight though this place and onward.
They came to a jungle where there was a tree-house that they stayed in for the night but it was fairly simple.
The day came again and Ruby could see the beach, and the ship on the ocean, next to that was a bridge.
They headed down that bridge, it spanned the whole breadth of the ocean, taking them to the next beach. Once there Roman turned south and followed the beach for a while, avoiding the desert.
They came to another mountain range, this one had many different things built on it. He led her to a hidden door at the base of a mountain that led to a ladder. It went all the way to the top but once there Ruby could see why he had chosen this place as a base. There had been a cave structure at the top of the cave opening in many places to show a stunning view of all sides.
Roman showed her around. He had hollowed the place in a few areas and filled in in others.
The walls were covered in paintings and items and made of bookshelves in some places. He had an enchanting room, a forge, a kitchen, an armory, nether portal room, mine and a bedroom.
Outside on one of the lower hills was an animal pen and garden.
The thing that surprised her most though, was that there was villagers running about.
"How did you get these guys in here?" She asked.
Roman chuckled and gave her a sly grin. "About three versions back there was a glitch, it allowed you to use a lasso and lead villagers wherever you wanted them."
"So that is why there was none of them at the village we passed." She mused.
"Yep, took some from other villages too, only the useful ones though, I killed the rest." He explained. "I try to only keep what is useful and dispose of the rest." He added.
"What about me?" Ruby asked, looking over at him.
Roman turned a confused look on her.
"Am I useful? Do you just 'keep' me around because you can use me in some way?" Ruby asked, feeling hurt.
Understanding now he smiled warmly and patted her head. "Red, you are my friend. I don't 'keep you around' as you put it. You needed a place to go, I gave you one. I have no intentions of using you. You are my friend and I care about you. Coming from a guy who only cares about himself, consider yourself special."
She relaxed, smiling. "Thanks."
He nodded, turning back to the game.
That had been hard for him, anytime he looked into her eyes he saw that moment when she killed Winchester, remembered his sisters death and to be honest, she terrified him now that she had blood on her hands. He had worked hard to keep that image pushed away though and was glad she hadn't noticed. He wished he could have added that she had been the only person he had really trusted in a long time but right now he was too afraid of her to trust her, even knowing that was irrational.
Ruby thought about that, actually feeling special. She grinned, watching him play now that he was quiet again. She set her laptop down and hugged him very suddenly, causing him to jump.
"I care about you too!" She said happily, closing her eyes and burying her face in his side.
He set his laptop down and hugged her back, glad she hadn't noticed his real fear.
Returning to the game again they played well into the night.
The next day they decided to play again, not wanting to leave the house just yet in fear she might bump into someone who might just recognize her. If that happened they would be in a lot of trouble.
Roman went out to get breakfast alone and saw that the paper was out already, he got one. Bringing it back to Ruby.
"You might want to see this." Roman said, holding the paper out to her after setting the box of donuts on the coffee table. "We made headlines."
She took the paper without a word, almost afraid. It showed a picture of the now empty arena, the Grimm having been killed or removed. The headline read.
Missing Beacon girl found brutally murdered
The paper never mentioned her name but did give a few details about her kidnap and murder.
It also mentioned that the family would soon be holding a funeral for her in their home town.
She put the paper down quietly and Roman watched her closely.
"How does it feel? Being dead to your old world?" He asked carefully when she didn't speak.
"Really, very strange." She admitted.
"Now you can start over Red, a whole new life." Roman smiled.
A chill ran down Ruby's spine, remembering the nightmare suddenly, that had been what he'd said before shooting her.
She realized suddenly, the whole thing made sense now, it had been a premonition. All of it.
Watching her face, Roman frowned. "You alright Red?"
She shook her head to chase the thoughts away, they did her no good now. "Yeah, yeah, it's just... A lot to take in."
He nodded. "I understand."
Ruby looked back at the paper. "I want to go."
"Go?" He asked.
"To my funeral." She explained.
He nodded. "We will need good disguises. Leave it to me."
"Thank you." She smiled sadly.
Class had started but Weiss, Blake, Yang and Cardin were called to Ozpin's office.
They stood. Silent. Cardin looked irritated.
Yang looked lost in pain.
Weiss was unreadable.
Blake seemed to be in turmoil with herself.
Ozpin looked them over for a few minutes, letting them get worried.
"To be quite honest, I have every right and reason to expel all four of you right now." He said at length, his tone even.
Cardin shot him a glare but quickly returned his gaze to the floor.
The girls didn't even blink, all seeming to expect that or feel they deserved it.
"But... I don't think Ruby would have wanted that. Still, it was your actions that lead to her death. Your irresponsibility. Lack of trust and lack of respect. Your foolishness and doubts led to this. To add to that, Cardin, your actions caused to Ruby to feel she had no choice but to leave and put her in the position to get kidnapped. It was your actions that lead to your own uncle's death as well as Ruby's." Ozpin let that sink in before continuing.
"Weiss, Blake, Yang. You not only doubted your leader, you distrusted her, disrespected her and refused to believe her. You let her down when she needed you most then turned on her in her weakest hour. You are the primary reason she left." Again he let that sink in.
"If it wasn't for the actions of you four, Ruby Rose would still be alive. To be honest, it's a waste. Ruby had more potential in her left hand then the four of you do in your entire bodies combined." They all flinched in one way or another.
"None of you will ever make half the Huntress she would have been. You four are responsible for her demise as much as the bastards who killed her. It is for this reason that as of today, all four of you are suspended from Beacon for the next two years." Ozpin said.
Cardin was furious but not a word escaped his mouth when he looked in Ozpin's eyes. Ozpin gave the boy a look that clearly said he hoped Cardin would never return. This silenced the fool.
Blake looked disappointed as much in herself as in everything else.
Weiss accepted the punishment, feeling it was only right.
Yang. Yang still looked completely lost. Broken.
Within the next few days Roman managed to find out when and where the funeral would be held and got transport. He also got costumes ready.
Ruby looked in the mirror when Roman finished with her disguise. She now looked like a portly little old grandmother. He then worked on his own disguise, making himself look equally old. That done, they headed out.
"Remember, you go by 'Granny' and I'm your husband 'Pops' that is what everyone calls us if anyone asks." Roman said.
"Alrighty, dear." Ruby said in her best granny voice.
"Perfect." Roman said in a raspy voice.
The trip was a quiet one, Roman having picked a flight after the Beacon crew.
Ruby spent most the trip sleeping with her head on Roman's shoulder.
Part of him didn't mind, even liked that a little, the part of him that feared her though, that side wanted her to stop touching him.
Once they arrived they made the trip to Ruby's home town. It was strange, seeing it and knowing it could never be her home ever again. She wasn't even sure how to feel about that.
They arrived at the docks a bit early, the services still being prepared. Soon though, things were ready and people started flowing in. Because of the lack of a body, which was a common thing in Remnant for Huntresses and Hunters, they had prepared a boat. It was filled with roses and soaked in oil. Ruby's cloak was also in the boat, the only thing that had been left of her.
Ruby had expected her dad and team to show and maybe her Uncle but was surprised to see other Beacon students.
All of team JNPR.
All the professors.
A few students she didn't know.
Sun, Neptune and the rest of their team.
The owner of the Dust shop she had stopped Roman from robbing.
People were shuffling around, finding appropriate places to stand.
In the process of this Qrow was making his way around, thanking those who made the long journey to be there.
Ruby noticed him first and reached to take Roman's hand. She studied her uncle's features. He was sad, that was clear, but he also seemed to have already accepted things.
Roman must have spotted him because Ruby felt him tense. She squeezed Romans hand as Qrow approached them.
"How did you know my niece?" He asked politely.
Roman was frozen, unable to speak. He was trapped between fear and a hunger for vengeance.
Ruby squeezed his hand again.
"I used to make cookies for the girl, she was a sweet little thing." Ruby said, using her granny voice well.
"Ah, Ruby did love cookies." Qrow said, giving a sad smile. "Thank you for coming all this way."
Just as Qrow was about to leave he met Romans eyes and there was a flicker of recognition. "I know you..."
Before things could go any farther though the announcement was made that the service was about to begin. Qrow turned, watching Roman as long as he could before vanishing into the small crowd.
Ruby's family, her dad, sister and uncle, gathered in front of the boat.
Her father couldn't bring himself to even speak, Qrow spoke for him instead.
"Ruby was the very embodiment of hope, and while she may no longer be here in body, she is still with us in our hearts and memories. She was a strong and defiant light against the darkness of this world and her light will burn on through us." Qrow finished and stepped aside, motioning someone on the side to step up. It was Weiss.
Ruby found herself angry just looking at her. The look of guilt in Weiss's eyes was strangely satisfying.
Weiss started to sing as Ruby's family carried the boat into the water. Weiss turned to face the water as well as the family walked back.
"Loved one. Please carry on, we are with you, will always remember. Loved one, do not fear now, it is time now. Time to walk the hall of heroes." She followed that verse with a long, low to high string of notes. As she did this a man off to the side pulled back a bow, someone else lit the tip of his arrow on fire. He shot and hit the boat dead on, setting it alight.
"Loved one." Weiss's voice cracked. "Please be strong now. We will one day meet again."
Weiss shuttered, it took her a moment to continue.
"Loved one. We will stand now, in your absence." Her voice was cracking every other word now.
"Loved one, we will be strong now... Ruby..." Weiss fell apart, unable to finish the song as she crumpled to the ground in sobs.
The boat was nothing but a ball of flames on the water now.
Ruby's family and Blake went over to help Weiss off to the side.
Yang finished the song, though she could barely carry the tone with her scratchy voice.
"Loved one, we'll be strong now, in your place so you can rest. Loved one, guard your soul now, You are free now of this mortal coil. Loved one." The last two words were dragged out in long notes that would have been better in Weiss's voice.
Still, Yang had a pretty voice when she hadn't cried it away.
Ruby studied her older sister. She was grim looking. Almost, emotionless.
Roman started pulling Ruby away, explaining that they couldn't risk bumping into Qrow again.
They passed professor Ozpin on the way out. He looked tired. He glanced their way but here was no recognition at all this time and he returned to his conversation with Nora.
The trip back was also uneventful.
Once back at the apartment and out of the disguises Ruby found Roman milling about in the kitchen aimlessly.
Ruby walked in silently and hugged him, he jumped.
"What's wrong?" Ruby asked.
"Nothing... Just a bit frazzled after seeing... him." Roman said, referring to Qrow.
Ruby stepped back and met his gaze, then reached up to brush the hair from his face and say something comforting. But he flinched.
Ruby quickly withdrew her hand. "It's me... Isn't it?"
"No! no... not, that's not it." He said, turning away and hoping she wouldn't know he was lying.
"Yes... It is me..." She said, tilting her head and following him, keeping eye contact.
He sighed, giving up and meeting her gaze. He couldn't hide his fear, he saw Qrow, saw his impending doom when he looked into those eyes.
"Why are you afraid of me?" She asked, a little hurt.
"It's just... The way you... It was the same..." He said, his fear getting the better of him and he found himself backing away from her, only to bump into the cabinets which made him jump again.
"Please." He said, heart racing and looking like a cornered rabbit. "Just don't hurt me."
"Hurt you?" Ruby echoed, taking a step back, starting to turn away. "Why would I hurt you?"
He didn't answer or relax and she left the room, stinging in a way that she never thought she would. She was so sure he would leave her but in a way he had.
Roman sank to the floor, punching the cabinet door in a sudden flash of angry frustration. "Damn it."
He then heard the front door open and close, which caused him a painful sense of loneliness.
Roman shoved his fear aside and stood, rushing after her.
He came out the door to find she was already heading down the stairs. He rushed after, tripping and falling to one of the landings.
He spat a few curses and looked up to see Ruby had stopped and turned to look at him. There was pain in her eyes, as well as confusion. She could see the fear in his.
"If you are afraid of me then why are you trying to stop me?" She asked softly.
"Because..." He said, hesitating. Ruby could see in his eyes that the fear for her was stronger then his fear of her. "I care." he said, it sounded like it was tearing him apart.
Roman reached for her. She took his hand and they went back inside the apartment.
Once the door was closed he hugged her, trembling. "I'm sorry Red, I never meant to hurt you..."
She could hear the fear in his voice as well as how much he cared. It was an internal struggle.
"Why are you afraid of me?" She asked.
"It's... It's just..." He held her tighter, trembling. "The way you killed him... is how she died."
Ruby understood then and she hugged him back. He wasn't calming down though so she pulled away.
"I'll give you some room to breathe okay? Please, just calm down." Ruby said then slipped into the bedroom and out of sight.
Roman felt alone, he hated himself for fearing her and loving her at the same time.
The apartment fell to complete silence the next couple of days.
Roman trying to escape his fear and Ruby trying not to scare him. She wasn't sure why it hurt her so badly that he feared her, just a few months ago that would have been a good thing. Now, though, she seemed to care about him.
What hurt more than his fear of her, was watching him in pain and turmoil with himself.
It was three days after she learned of his fear that he came and woke her, avoiding looking at her eyes.
"I need to go speak with my employer... I think you should come along and meet her if you are going to stay." Roman explained.
Ruby watched him, she wasn't sure she was going to stay, she had been thinking leaving might make things better.
"Alright." She said, offering a strained smile.
Once ready they got in the car and drove to a part of town she had not really been in. There was a big warehouse and a few other buildings.
"Once we go in I need you to lay low and hang back till I wave for you." Roman said.
Ruby nodded. "I can do that."
Roman went in first, letting Ruby drop back a bit.
The building was full of cargo from Schnee company shipments as well as others. Ruby hopped up on a stack of these and followed Roman in shadow, watching from above.
"Well, look who finally shows up." Mercury said.
"You can zip it." Roman said with irritation. "You lot are lucky I'm alive at this point."
"Really?" Came Cinder's voice.
"Really." Roman stated flatly.
"And where, exactly, have you been?" She asked.
"Recovering from a sour deal only to end up with more work." Roman explained.
"What work have you done that I didn't tell you to do?" She asked.
"I brought a powerful ally to our side." He said smugly.
"And who might that be?" Cinder asked.
Roman signaled and Ruby hopped down and stepped into view.
Cinder arched a brow. "So you're not dead... Disappointing."
Ruby glared at the older woman. "You jump to conclusions."
"Do I?" Asked Cinder.
She walked around Ruby, messing with her hair and looking her over.
"If you are on our side then how about this - you take a job from me. If you do it, I'll consider you a loyal friend." Cinder said simply.
"What kind of job?" Ruby asked.
"I need you to kill someone." Cinder said with a wicked smile.
End part one.
You choose Ruby's path.
Good? Or Evil?
If you choose for Ruby to not take the job then the story continues on the 'good' path in White Ridding Hood.
Should you choose to take the job and follow the path of evil the story continues in Red Reaper.
A/N: I just wanna say thank you to all of my readers, friends and editors. We've made it all the way through the first part! Woo!
Oh, but this isn't the end, oh no, this is actually only half the chapter!
For the rest you have to pic a side and because it's Christmas I'm uploading both Good and Evil versions with this chapter! So hop on over to my page and they should be there.
Now, before you go and dive into the continuation of the story I wanna let you know that Red Reaper should be updated every Monday if all goes well and White Riding Hood will take the Thursday slot.
One-shots will continue at random wherever I wanna throw them.
As always, reviews are welcome and much appreciated and thank you to everyone who reviewed so far!
If you have any questions feel free to pm me, I don't bite I promise but some times I may not answer if the only answer gives spoilers!
(Once those spoilers are posted though I will answer and happily chat.)
IMPORTANT EDITOR'S NOTE:
Editor2: Alright guys, this here is a temporary note that I will be removing once I'm done here. I have to post this chapter and THEN go work on creating and posting the two continuations, so if you read this and they're not up yet, don't worry, I'm working on it.
If you're following the Author, you'll get an email notification when they go up. However if you're only following this story, you'll have to pop over to the Author's page and follow the continuing path that you choose, or both if you want to read them both, after I've got them posted.
EDIT: They're posted and the url of them both is up above, linked as well as I can do with FFN's filter. They're also on the Author's page, so go check it out!