A new RWBY story, inspired by Cinder Fall, the Story Blood Rose, and a lot of youtube.
This was just an idea I had and decided to write up, I'm not really sure if I pulled it off. To me it feels like I didn't capture the tone I was going for, but whatever. I like the idea so I'm posting it.
From the Briar Patch
The City of Vale was calm.
Dust lamps lit quiet streets, their soft glow pushing back the darkness. In the sky above, the shattered moon stood vigil, glowing with even greater brilliance. Happy and normal people walked the streets in ones and twos, safe in the knowledge that they were protected from the shadows by their ever vigilant guardians.
In the shadows of an alley way, Yang Xiao Long could only watch that happy world wistfully. From where she stood the comforting warmth of the light seemed so very far away.
"Yang?" A small voiced asked beside her. She felt a tiny hand come up to grip her sleeve. Glancing down, her violet eyes met a gaze of liquid silver.
She flinched, there was so much trust in those eyes. Too much trust. "Yang what's wrong?"
Yang frowned to herself. And they saw so much besides... Honestly, a seven year old shouldn't be so good at reading people.
"Ahaha- Nothing's wrong, Sis." Yang said, pulling off her best happy go lucky grin. At her side Ruby frowned lightly to herself but said nothing. "It's just... ah. I heard there's a place where... I can get some food... but I'd have to go alone..."
Ruby blinked, and then said exactly what Yang wanted. "Oh, okay! You don't have to worry about me Yang. I'll be fine!"
Yang's smile wavered once. "Really Ruby?" She asked "Are you sure you'll be okay w-without me?"
"Yeah! I'm a big girl after all." Ruby said with a mock salute.
"Okay, Ruby. I'm holding you to that." Yang said, fighting to keep that fake smile in place. "I'll be back later..." She started walking down the street but a few steps later she stopped, turning halfway towards her little sister. "Take care of yourself while I'm gone okay?"
And then the darkness swallowed her up. She never did come back.
One Year Later
"Hey! Let go of me! Let go of me!"
Roman Torchwick pinched the bridge of his nose. "Every. Single. Time." He said, glaring at his incompetent hired muscle. "Okay, which one of you let her in here?" Unsurprisingly, none of his men stepped forward to claim responsibility.
Turning back towards the man who caught the nuisance, Torchwick frowned as the little girl with red-black hair and piercing silver eyes continued to struggle impotently.
"Look- just." He sighed. "Get rid of her. I don't have time for this."
"Don't have time for what, Roman?"
Roman sighed. "Perfect." He spun around, pasting a charming smirk on his face. "Nothing that you need to worry about, Ms. Cinder. Just... taking out the trash." He made a shooing motion towards the thug, clearly telling him to remove the brat from the immediate area.
"I said let go!" The little girl's shout drew the attention of everyone in the warehouse. With a twist she slipped out of the ratty, oversized, shirt that held her hostage, landing on the ground with a triumphant grin. Roman almost groaned.
"Remind me again why I'm even paying you people." He said. "Well, don't just stand there you incompetent moron." He pointed at the little girl with his cane, "Get her!"
A look of sudden realization came to the thug's face. "Uh.. Yeah!" He quickly reached down to grab the child again, only to find that she had disappeared, leaving only rose petals in her wake. "Wha-"
"Ha!" the girl shouted from the top of a nearby shipping crate. "Take that you big meanies!" She brandished a small wallet in her other hand.
"Hey! That's my wallet!"
"Not if it's miiine~!"
The thug growled as he advanced on the shipping crate. "Get down here!" He said, glaring at the little girl.
She giggled. He probably would be more intimidating if she wasn't several feet out of his reach. She promptly plopped down on the crate and began riffling through the contents of his wallet. "Make me mister." She said. "Ooh!" Her grin grew wider as she pulled out a plastic card. She turned to Roman's thug, who by now had made it on top of the crate.
"Hey mister, how much lien is on this one?"
"Wouldn't you like to know you little brat." He reached out to grab her once more, but she rolled out of reach and jumped the small gap to the next crate over.
"Over here you big meanie!"
"Hey! Stop standing there and grab her!"
"Ooops!" With another burst of rose petals the little girl evaded the second thug. She giggled as she held up her next piece of loot. A dust pistol.
From the floor, Roman Torchwick and newly arrived Cinder Fall continued to watch with despair and amusement respectively as a girl who couldn't be older than eight years old avoided several full grown men while skipping.
"What a cute kid..." Cider said. She turned to Torchwick, eyebrow raised. "But I hope you didn't call me here to show off the incompetence of your hired footpads."
"Che-" Torchwick only scowled as Cinder Fall chuckled lowly. "Just imagine how much dust I could have stolen if I'd been provided with even mediocre henchmen."
Torchwick sighed as the little terror nearly perforated a man's skull with her new pistol. "You know, I've had just about enough of this." He said. Swinging up his cane he pointed the polished handle at the girl. "Playtime's over, Silver."
The grappling hook caught the little girl around her waist and yanked her off the crate she was currently standing on. With a flick of his wrist he sent her back up into the air, rolling his eyes as she landed with a soft thud on the wooden table in the center of the warehouse.
"Yes yes you have a great big booboo." Roman said, taking the gun from her limp fingers. "I'm sure the child services would be very put out with me, but for the love of god just be quiet Silver."
Cinder walked over to the table and looked down at the dirty little child.
"Silver?" She asked.
"The color of her eyes." Torchwick said. "They glow almost as brightly as your spotlights do."
Cinder smirked. "Why, Roman, I'm flattered."
"I'm sure you are, my dear; however, I would be eternally grateful if we could just move on and forget this whole little... altercation... even happened." Torchwick turned to the nearest henchman and gestured for him to come over. "You, get rid of... this."
Cinder caught the man's wrist as he reached for the now restrained girl. "This one's piqued my interest, Roman. It's not every day you see a child who has a semblance already..."
Torchwick sighed and waved his men off. "Fine, just take her." He said, picking up the child's shirt and tossing it at Cinder. "Now not to rain on your parade but we do have actually important matters to discus."
Cinder cast one last glance around the warehouse. "This should be sufficient to begin our next step." She said, gesturing to the crates full of dust and dust crystals.
"And what, pray tell, is that next step?"
"Getting better henchmen for a start." She said, Roman scowled. "Lay low for a while, set up a scapegoat for the dust thefts. We're going to need some... time... before we're ready to put these plans into motion on a larger scale."
"Yes, years, you've been over this already." Roman rolled his eyes. "I've stolen your dust. It's long past time for you to start bringing the white fang around."
"Have faith, Roman." Cinder said as she gathered up the tiny child from the table. She stared up at Cinder with wide eyes. "We'll be changing the world before you know it."
As she exited the room, Cinder looked down at the child she was carrying. Her golden eyes flared once as the girl started to shift. "Don't even think about it." The girl froze.
Outside on the street an elegant black car sat with a nondescript older man in attendance. He bowed slightly as he opened the door for Cinder. And though his eyes lingered on the girl in her arms, he made no comment about her. "Was the meeting productive, Ma'am?" He asked as he got into the driver's seat.
Cinder Fall laughed. "More so than usual." She relaxed back into the seat, watching amusedly as the little girl with silver eyes yanked furiously on the opposite door handle. It was child locked, a second rate intimidation tactic and Cinder new it. Still it served the current situation rather well.
As the car pulled out of the industrial district and onto the highways the little girl finally stopped and turned to face Cinder. She sat in a ball in the opposite corner of the car and squinted up at the elegant woman who captured her.
"So what's your name?"
The child looked away. "Why do you care?" Cinder let the silence rest for a moment, just watching how the flashes of light from the dust lamps reflected off her silver eyes. Roman hadn't been lying when he'd said they glowed.
Most would be put off or annoyed by the little girl's reticence, but this wasn't the first time Cinder had dealt with stubborn children.
"My name is Cinder Fall." She said. No response. "...I'll just call you Silver then."
The little girl glared. Cinder smirked. "That's not my name."
"Oh? Then what is it?"
"Hmph. Not telling." She stuck her tongue out.
"Then I'll just have to call you Silver." Cinder flicked her hair over her shoulder and turned her attention to the city. To pass the time she pushed her aura into her fingers and snapped, sparking a small flame.
She needed dust to do anything worth mentioning, but a tiny blaze like this she could maintain with just her aura. She heard a soft rustle of fabric and glanced over to see the little girl only a few inches away, looking at the flame with wide eyes.
"Oh? You're interested in this?" Cinder made the flame dance across her fingers. "How about we make a deal, little one. If you tell me your name I'll teach you how to do things just like it."
"Really?" Cinder nodded in reply, and the little girl looked away. "I'm Ruby Rose." She said.
"Rose...? Interesting." She extinguished the flame with a flick of her hand. At Ruby's disappointed sighed she brought it back a moment later. "Tell me Ruby, who taught you to do that trick back in the warehouse?" Ruby looked at her in confusion. "How did you dodge all of the..." Cinder chuckled. "Big meanies?"
"Oh that!" She shrugged and looked back at the flame, one hand reaching out to grab it before pulling back. "I can move really fast!" She said, grinning proudly. Now Cinder could see that cheerful, happy go lucky, attitude that Ruby had shown while running circles around Roman's men.
"No one taught you how to do it though?" Cinder asked again. The flame in her palm trembled slightly.
"Nuh-uh! I did it all by myself!"
"Imagine that..." Cinder felt a smile slowly spread across her lips.
The car pulled to a stop next to an upscale apartments near the inner city a few minutes later. "We're here Ma'am." The driver said over his shoulder as he put the car into park. As Cinder nodded he exited the car and opened the door for her. She gestured for Ruby to follow as she stepped out onto the concrete. "Also, you uncle asked me to inform you that he requests your presence next weekend at the villa."
Cinder rolled her eyes as she pulled Ruby close to her side. "Tell him I highly doubt I'll have time to spare. I've already made plans." She said as she made her way to the door. It slid shut behind her just as Ruby began to squirm. "Stop struggling." Cinder chided as they entered the elevator. "We're just going to your new home."
The child froze, looking up at Cinder with huge eyes. "What?"
Cinder smirked, reaching down she rested a hand on top of Ruby's head. The little girl flinched but didn't pull away. "We're going to the place where you will live from now on." She said. "There will be food and new clothes and a soft bed for you, if you would like that."
Even if Ruby didn't say anything she couldn't hide the way her eyes lit up at Cinder's words, before her common sense caught up with her childish imagination. She glared up at Cinder with all of the ferocity of a kitten. "Why?"
"Poor girl." Cinder said, ruffling Ruby's hair "Someone abandoned you didn't they. Now you're suspicious of everyone."
"Hey, let go!" Ruby said "And I'm not suspi- suspi- suspiclish!". Ruby didn't understand this way happening. She was a nobody that nobody else had time for, especially some one like Cinder. She didn't understand why this woman, who to Ruby, looked like everything Ruby herself was not, would care about her at all. This woman was the kind of person to walk past Ruby on a busy street, and not even notice the little girl in dirty clothes who lingered in the background.
"Shhh." Cinder soothed, smiling down as Ruby continued to struggle. "You don't have to be afraid of me. I promise that I will never abandon you, Ruby Rose."
Ruby pulled back slightly, shaking her head back and forth. "Why-?" She said, not willing to meet Cinder's eyes. Why did this tall and beautiful person want anything to do with her? She didn't understand it at all.
Just like she didn't understand why Yang would ever leave her.
Cinder stood and pushed Ruby towards the elevator doors at the far end of the lobby. "Silly girl." She said. "You're special." As the two entered the elevator Cinder smiled down at her newest acquisition. "And someday we'll show whomever abandoned you what a terrible mistake they made."
After a moment Ruby smiled back. "Really?"
The metal doors slid shut with a quiet ping, leaving only the empty foyer behind. The elevator raced up the building, reaching the top floors mere seconds later. Cinder strode down the hallway, her heels sinking into the thick crimson carpet that covered the floor. The hallway stretched the entire length of the building, but there were only two doors on the landing. Cinder could feel the grin growing wider and wider on her face even as she pulled out her scroll and let Ruby into one of the doors.
She watched as the little girl practically skipped into the room, taking in her new surroundings with something akin to awe. A child, practically a toddler, who'd unlocked her semblance on her own. It was nothing short of miraculous, and where did she end up? On the streets?
Cinder almost laughed. It was a such a waste of pure, unadulterated, talent. And fools like Ozpin had the nerve to call her criminal. It was just Cinder's luck that this little girl interrupted Torchwick's meeting. The fool, he would have thrown her away too. Only seeing the nuisance of Ruby's antics, and not the potential that they revealed.
Ruby sprinted around the room, leaving another trail of rose petals in her wake. Cinder wrinkled her nose at the breeze she created. "Ruby, when was the last time you had a bath?"
The little girl froze, looking at Cinder, fear danced in those silver eyes. "Ummmm..."
Well that, Cinder thought, was more than enough of that.
It was shortly after bath, and a surprisingly large dinner, that Cinder showed Ruby her room and left the now exhausted little girl to fall asleep. Returning to the lounge Cinder sank into the plush leather of the couch, drink in hand, and allowed herself a contented sigh.
Ruby Rose was a diamond in the rough. A gem of almost incomparable value, and Cinder could only thank the poor fools that dropped this Ruby in Cinder's lap.
Cinder had just begun sipping her drink when her scroll rang. She sighed, checking the caller I.D. before flicking the picture towards the television screen. It lit up, the image resolving into the face of a man. His visage was lined with age, wrinkles exacerbated by a deep frown, and his close cropped hair was salt and pepper gray.
Cinder set her drink off to the side. "Good evening, Uncle."
She stretched out on the couch. "Why are you calling me so late, Uncle?"
Instead of responding directly he said "You have refused to answer my summons."
Cinder cocked an eye brow. "So it wasn't just a request?" She asked. "Honestly, Uncle, you didn't care in the slightest when I moved to Vale. I don't see why you should be so interested now."
"I did not care that a little girl chose to move to the city and fritter away a small portion of her parents' finances for her own idle pleasure. When that little girl began accessing more and more accounts for no discernible reason I began to grow concerned."
"And yet despite the meddling of that little girl our 'finances' are still doing better than ever. After all, If they weren't in perfect condition you'd be here in person instead of calling me. So, clearly, there's no reason for you to meddle in my affairs." Cinder held her arm up languidly and began examining her nails.
"There is every reason." The man replied with a deep frown. "Just because you are eighteen years old and have the legal right to use that money-"
"Doesn't mean I have the ability to manage it properly. Yes you've told me that before." Cinder picked up her drink and looked away from the screen. "And yet I seem to be doing just that, don't I?" She smiled at him. "I believe that will be all."
She ended the call and finished her drink. Before she went to bed she had a bit more work to do.
Meanwhile, in her new room, relaxing in her new bed, and wearing her knew sleep clothes, Ruby looked up at the ceiling.
She just... didn't get why all of this was happening to her. Cinder said she was special, and that's why she decided to keep Ruby. But Yang didn't think she was special, or she never would have left Ruby behind. Right? So what if Yang was right and Cinder had made a mistake? When Cinder realized that Ruby was just a normal girl she'd leave her behind just like Yang did wouldn't she?
Well, Ruby thought, to stop that, she'd just have to be special. If she was perfect, then Cinder wouldn't leave her behind. Yeah. That's what she would do. Ruby nodded to herself as she snuggled deeper under the covers. She'd prove the Cinder was right, and that Yang was wrong, and that she Ruby Rose, was special and important after all.
"Ruby... Rose..." Cinder waited for her tablet to bring up information about her young charge, and when she saw the first article she almost started laughing again. "The missing daughter of the late hunters Taiyang Xiao Long and Summer Rose." The news had a brief summary of how she and her older sister, Yang Xiao Long, went missing from the local orphanage they'd been placed in shortly after their parent's death.
Further investigations of that orphanage led to it being shut down due to neglect on the part of the staff, "... but apparently nothing worth pressing charges over..." Cinder murmured. "I wonder what happened to her older sister..."
A look at the police reports revealed that the orphanage hadn't been abusive... but rather the caretakers showed a level of neglect to most of their charges that bordered on criminal. It was the cost of legal fees and the lack of consistent testimony that saved the staff of the orphanage from a lawsuit in the end. There were also mentions of some underworld connections, but nothing that could be traced or even substantiated beyond a few vague words.
And yet despite her tumultuous beginnings, Ruby seemed surprisingly well adjusted, especially for a girl her age on the streets. Cinder wondered if something else lurked behind those innocent eyes.
The two girls had an uncle... who had been on a frontier deployment against the Grimm when Ruby's parents had died. A quick check of the hunter databases showed that he still wasn't back in Vale, but his tour was going to end in the next week and he'd return to the city shortly afterwards.
Cinder just had to handle the legal side of things before he came back and discovered his nieces had gone missing.
Turning the tablet off, she stood up and stretched. She would deal with the rest of those problems later. With that she went to sleep.
The next morning, Ruby slept in. Just a little bit.
Normally she didn't get much sleep, either because of the noise, the sunlight, or her own hunger. But this morning, having eating a large meal last night, and insulated from the noise and light both by the walls of the penthouse, all of Ruby's normal 'alarms' were silent.
Cinder walked into the room shortly after seven and opened the blinds. In the bed Ruby grumbled and rolled over, but sat up a second later regardless. She looked up at Cinder, already dressed with her hair coiffed, for a moment before sliding out of the bed.
"Um... morning?" She said quietly.
"Good morning Ruby."
When she left the room, Ruby found that breakfast had already been prepared, either by Cinder or a now absent housekeeper.
Ruby wanted to ask a million questions, but Cinder was silent that morning, and Ruby followed her lead, eating breakfast quickly and not even asking for seconds even thought it was really good.
"Whaa-?" Ruby's head snapped up as Cinder breezed past her to the door. How did she move so fast?
Hopping out of the chair, Ruby scampered after the you woman as she left the penthouse. Their destination was just across the hall. Cinder opened the door with her scroll they both entered.
On the other side was one enormous room with a padded floor. The far wall was made entirely of glass windows overlooking the city and to the right Ruby saw several large, padded, containers. The left wall had been stripped down to the concrete, as had the floor immediately before it. Several dummies and targets, all blackened with scorch marks, were arranged randomly in front of the wall.
Cinder turned around. "Today we're going to being doing a few tests." She said, walking to the containers.
Ruby nodded determinedly to herself. This was her chance to make Cinder want to keep her around. Silently, she resolved to blow the beautiful lady's expectations out of the water.
Cinder pulled a small stop watch out of one of the cases. "Now, when I say 'go', I want to you touch the far wall and get back to where you started as quickly as possible." The room was nearly one hundred feet across. Even using her flames to propel herself it would take Cinder nearly twenty seconds to make it across the room and back.
And in a burst of rose petals Ruby was gone.
She was a tiny black and red blur across the room. Cinder saw as Ruby jumped and landed horizontal against the wall before taking off again. A few seconds later, she brushed past Cinder in a gust of wind, nearly colliding with the wall right behind them.
Ruby grinned up at her. "Was that good?" she asked as she tried to catch her breath.
Cinder looked down at the stopwatch: 14 seconds. For just about 200 feet.
"Oh yes, Ruby. That was very good." Her praise made Ruby grin even wider.
"What next?" She asked "What next?"
"Don't be too eager little girl. We have a long way to go."
"You're sure you can't find her?"
Ozpin sighed, but he didn't let his despair slow his stride. "Unfortunately no. It took a good deal of effort just to find the first one. The only reason I was looking for her at all is because I thought to check the orphanage that they were both staying at in preparation for your arrival."
"Or rather, the orphanage you thought they were staying at."
Ozpin grimaced. "Yes." He said. "All I can say is that I was in Atlas on a prolonged visa when they both went missing, by the time I returned the entire scandal had already blown over. I hadn't even heard about it until I checked the news sites..." He reached out to open the door in front of them. "I know it's no excuse, especially not for incompetence on this scale. I'll keep looking for her."
"Thank you. Did she say anything about it?"
"Only that they were separated... She's torn up about it, begging to go out again and help search." He shook his head. "After you. I'm sure she could use a familiar face."
Oz opened the door and Qrow walked into the small unadorned room. At the stainless steel table in the center sat a young girl with long blond hair. She was curled up in her chair, head pressed against her knees.
Yang's head snapped up. Her eyes were puffy and the man could still see the tear stains running down her cheeks. "Uncle Qrow..." She said. Her face crinkled again as she began to sob once more. "I-I-I'm so, sorryyyyyyy!" She buried her face once more her shoulders hitching with each sob.
Qrow circled the table and wrapped Yang in a hug. "Shhh. Don't worry, we'll find her. It's not your fault Yang."
Behind them, Ozpin slowly pulled the door shut. He took a deep pull of his coffee as he leaned against the wall, eyes distant.
"After all those two did for this kingdom..." He murmured. "to think that their children would end up in this circumstance." With one last drink, he finished off the rest of his coffee and started walking towards his office.
As the newly appointed headmaster of Beacon academy, he had veritable mountains of paperwork to sort through in preparation for the coming semester.
And he had a little girl to find. Silently he vowed he would not stop until he found Ruby Rose. He could only hope she was still alive and... in good health by the time he got to her.
Over a year out on the streets, on her own... It was commendable that Yang, older by two and a half years, had survived so long, but Ruby?
Ozpin sighed once more. This entire situation was beyond him. "Even brilliant lights cease to burn..."
A/N: Hope you all enjoyed the first chapter! Don't forget to leave a review on the way :D