"Temporary." The doctor confirmed for the fifth time.
"It better be… I need my eyesight." Cardin grumbled, upset at having lost his eyes for any amount of time.
"Yes, well, at any rate you are staying a couple more days, so be considerate of your roommate, a lady after all." The doctor said before leaving the room.
Cardin was annoyed at being stuck in the hospital, more annoyed at having to share a room with someone and further annoyed that it was a girl, the only thing that could make it worse in his opinion was if she was also a faunus.
On that note he decided to make sure she wasn't.
"Hey." He said, not considering she might be sleeping or reading or something.
"What?" Came a lovely but annoyed voice.
"What is your opinion on the White Fang?" He asked, attempting to get his answer discreetly. He was blind after all, they could simply lie on a yes or no question.
"Scum." She grumbled.
He grinned, she didn't' defend them so she couldn't be a Faunus.
"Agreed." He said after a moment.
They fell silent for a while and Cardin got bored, he couldn't do much without his eyes, couldn't watch tv or message his team. He doubted he could even navigate his scroll.
"So what landed you in here?" He asked.
"I was shot and fell three stories." She answered flatly.
"Ow, damn, how long you been here?" Cardin asked.
"Not sure, don't really care either." She grumbled, not seeming to want to talk.
"The name is Cardin by the way, Cardin Winchester." He introduced himself.
"Aquila Estela." She announced, still in a flat tone.
"Are you a student at Beacon?" Cardin asked.
"No, I grew up on the streets and I don't like people. I would never fit in a place like that let alone get along with three other people for four years. Forget it." She explained.
He chuckled. "I have to admit it isn't always easy."
She made a noise to acknowledge that she had heard but said no more.
"So, how did you get shot?" Cardin asked after a moment, not considering that it might just be a bit of a touchy subject for her.
"Pissed off the wrong people." She grumbled.
"Oh, I see." He said, he wanted to keep talking, it was the only thing he could do, but he couldn't' think of anything to talk about. With a sigh he gave up on conversation.
He was silent for a long while, and bored, when finally Aquila spoke on her own.
"How'd you end up here?" She asked.
"Well, my team and I were planning a prank, just harmless fun… Anyway, that idiot of a partner of mine decided to set off the stupid flashbang in my face." Cardin explained, annoyed.
"I see." Aquila said in a flat tone, almost making him think she was sorry she asked.
They fell silent for a while until food was brought in. Cardin didn't like the smell of it but he heard his roommate gobbling her food down and he couldn't' help but picture a pretty girl stuff her face like she'd been starving.
Finally the sounds stopped and were followed by a rather unladylike belch.
"I's give it a six outa ten." Cardin chuckled then attempted to eat his own food.
Problem was he couldn't see his food, it took several minutes to get anything on his spoon and then he managed to hit his nose with said spoon and send peas everywhere.
"Dude, you are hopeless!" Aquila laughed.
"Hey, it ain't nice to laugh at a wounded man." Cardin said defiantly.
"Oh, my pardon your princeship, I didn't mean to offend." She replied teasingly.
Cardin groaned, knowing he couldn't win. He heard rustling followed by a pained grunt then the sound of bare feet on the tile floor. Her footsteps were careful and slow but she managed to make it to his bed and sit down, more rustling until she got settled.
"Here." She said softly, the kindest tone he had heard from her so far. She picked up his tray and helped him eat, eventually helping him figure out how to do it on his own.
"Thank you." He said once he'd finished.
"No problem." She said and got up again, walking back to her bed.
They talked for a while after that, he honestly liked her attitude, she had a way of pointing out his faults without really offending him or making too much fun of him. It was just enough to bring them to his attention in a way that was almost amusing.
The next day the rest of his team came to visit him.
"So how you doing?" Russel asked.
"I'd be better if you weren't an idiot." Cardin said simply.
"What's up with the chick?" Dove asked.
"Don't call me that." Aquila snapped. "I have a name."
"Oh and what might that be miss sheet-wrapped-weirdo?" Sky asked tauntingly.
"Hey, lay off, she's got more wit than you three numbskulls put together. Her name is Aquila." Cardin snapped.
Aquila huffed defiantly at the three rude young men.
"Hey, since you guys are here though, tell me what she looks like." Cardin ordered.
"She's got brown hair and eyes, pale skin." Russel started.
"Make that flawless skin, soft looking hair and a very sharp attitude." Dove clarified.
"I'd hit that." Sky grinned.
"Seriously though, what is up with the sheet? It's not cold in here." Dove asked.
"I heard one of you was an idiot and I don't wanna catch it." She answered, a smile in her voice.
"Oh, wait, hey!" Russel snapped at her, causing her to burst into laughter.
She didn't take the sheet off though. They talked on a while longer, Aquila was quick to pick on them for anything stupid they said and after a while they got a little more thoughtful of their wording.
"You handled them well." Cardin said after they left.
"Just callin' 'em as I see 'em." She replied.
"Still, those idiots run off most girls." Cardin explained, laying back in his bed.
"I see." She chuckled then turned on the tv to catch the news. There was something going on with the White Fang again and Aquila turned it off again after a few minutes.
"Stupid, disgusting Faunus." Cardin spat.
"Human's can be disgusting too." Aquila said pointedly.
"Maybe so but not as bad as faunus." Cardin argued.
"I've seen the worst of both and they are about the same trust me." She groaned.
"Still, they are animals!" Cardin snarled.
"At least they are not Grimm." She grumbled.
"Are you taking up for them?" Cardin asked incredulously.
"No, just callin' it as I've seen it." She replied.
"Oh…" Cardin sighed, deflated. The next day was mostly quiet until the doctor came and told Aquila she was good to go home.
"Thanks, doc." She smiled to him.
Cardin sat quietly while she got ready to go, so much rustling, he wondered if that was normal and he just hadn't noticed before because he hadn't been relying on his eyes. He heard her heavy boots clunking on the floor as she was leaving.
"Hey." He said, causing her to pause.
"Yeah?" She asked.
"Where can we meet again?" He asked her.
"I work at the bakery by the town square." She replied then left.
The next day Cardin was released as well though he was informed his sight still wouldn't return for a while yet. That made class difficult so he made Dove do his schoolwork. Finally the weekend came and Cardin had his team show him to the bakery.
"What can I get you?" He heard the familiar lovely yet irritated voice.
"Whatever your favorite is." Cardin grinned. "And for you to go out with me tonight."
Aquila snorted and got absolute girliest thing in the case out for him.
"So, we got a deal?" Cardin asked as Russel paid for the cupcake.
"I get off at seven." She replied.
"Cool, I'll meet you in the square." He grinned stupidly, taking the bright pink frosted cupcake and walking out. Just as he said, he was waiting alone when the clock tower chimed seven. It was only a few minutes later he heard her approach. Her heavy boots and the sound of something, a coat he figured, dragging with each step.
"How are you?" He asked, smiling at the light post beside where she had stopped.
"Tired and hungry." she replied flatly.
He turned to face her and continued to smile.
"Let's fix that then, show me to your favorite restaurant." Cardin said, offering his arm.
"Alright." Aquila said, intrigued. She took his arm and led him off. They walked into a busy place that smelled of burgers and he instantly was glad he'd trusted her. Guessing from the booth they sat at he was sure this was one of his favorite places in town.
"Pop's Roadcar?" he asked.
"Yep." She replied.
"Awesome." He grinned.
"I don't have to read you the menu?" She asked, sounding amused for the first time that day.
"Nope, I know exactly what to get." He smiled at her.
"You woo all the girls with that prince charming smile of yours?" She asked.
"I try, but few understand my greatness." Cardin replied.
"What?" He asked.
"You are an ass and you know it!" She chuckled.
"Well, there is that too." He admitted with a shrug.
They continued like this, enjoying dinner and sticking around after, just enjoying one another's company until the place closed and the owner shooed them out.
"How about I walk you back to Beacon?" Aquila asked.
"I'm supposed to walk you home." Cardin pointed out.
"Yes well, you are hopelessly blind. I can take a rain check until you can see again." She laughed.
"Sounds fair." Cardin grinned and they headed off.
"I'll see you tomorrow?" Cardin asked once they reached the dorms.
"I guess, whenever you get off school come to the square, I'll be there, I'm off tomorrow." She replied.
"Have I earned a kiss?" Cardin asked.
"Not yet." Aquila chuckled and she turned to leave, letting Cardin bumble around the dorm on his own. The next day she was waiting just as she promised and once they met up Cardin shooed his team away. They started walking together and Aquila sighed.
"What's on your mind?" Cardin asked.
"You are the most vain guy I've ever met, you are literally dating a girl you can't see. Who's to say the minute you can see again you will instantly lose interest?" She asked.
"My team likes you, They may be idiots but they have about the same taste in women as me." Cardin said with a shrug.
"I see.." She sighed as they walked. They fell silent for a couple of blocks before Cardin spoke up.
"Am I really that vain?" He asked.
"Completely." She replied without doubt. They spent the next couple of weeks together, meeting after school when she was off work or meeting after she got off work.
Cardin found himself falling for her, she was so honest and blunt, his rudeness often caused her to laugh and he really loved that. She could actually stand to be around him for hours at a time and he knew she would be there for him in hard times because she was dating him while he couldn't even see her. He had to rely on her while on their dates to help him keep from running into things or getting lost.
He hoped if nothing else she could stand to be around him long enough for him to get lucky. On the day that he was to go to the doc and have the bandages taken off his eyes he found himself excited not just because he could see again but because he could see her. There was something he wanted to tell her, had wanted to for a few days now but he decided to wait until he could look her in the eyes first.
The doctor removed the bandages and while it did take a moment for his eyes to adjust he was relieved that he could see again.
Aquila was working late that night so Cardin had time after school to not only get the trip to the doc over with but to head back to the dorms and get a shower and clean up his appearance a bit. He put on his nicest clothes this time and stopped to buy her flowers before heading to the square to wait on her.
It was dark when he finally heard her walk up behind him, that familiar rustle of her coat made him smile. He turned to see her, she was standing near one of the trees in the square, leaving her partially in shadow.
What he could see left him at a loss for words.
She was even prettier than her voice. Smooth, soft fair skin, large brown eyes and long, soft looking brown hair pulled into double pony tails. She was wearing a light brown trench coat that was sleeveless, a brown scarf, red shirt and dark brown pants. She had a gold circlet on her head with little red stones set in it.
There was a scar on her right cheek but that added to the tough air about her.
She watched him study her quietly, nervously. He also noticed a bulk behind her and he wasn't sure what it was because it was in shadow.
"You…" He said, sounding enchanted. "Are so pretty…"
"Thanks." She said, almost absently, she looked so nervous she might fall over and that worried him. Why was she so nervous? He'd never known her to be like this before.
"Well, come here so I can see you better! Why are you standing in the shadows?" Cardin asked. Aquila took a deep breath and stepped fully into the light. He dropped the flowers and took a step back.
She had wings. Big brown and gold wings stretched out from her back, they were huge, looking like they could easily carry her in flight.
"You… You lied!" He snapped at her, anger rising against his shock.
"No I didn't." She said flatly.
"You're a faunus!" He snarled.
"You're a human." She said calmly.
"You didn't tell me!" He snapped.
"You didn't ask." She shrugged.
She was right, he hadn't. He growled angrily at her.
"You don't like the White Fang! What kind of faunus doesn't support them?" He demanded.
"The kind who doesn't take lightly to being shot by the leader and thrown out windows. I was just trying to leave my apartment and saw they were hurting someone so I tried to stop them, you saw where that got me, I'll give you a hint, it's where we met." She snapped back, now also angry. He saw she seemed to have fangs as well as wings.
"You're a monster." Cardin stated.
"I knew this would happen. I should have just listened to myself and stayed away from you! But some stupid part of me hoped if you got to know me you might overlook my heritage. It's not like it was something I got to choose!" She snapped at him, tears in her eyes.
Part of him hated himself for making her cry. That distressed tone didn't belong in her voice and he hated that too.
"But you're an animal…" He said, his tone more level now.
"And your an ass." She said, shaking her head. "I knew better…"
Before he could say anything else she turned and started to walk away.
"But I still love you…" he mumbled.
She didn't hear him over the rustle of her own wings as she took to the moonlit sky. Cardin sulked all the way back to the dorms, knowing after that she would never speak to him again. Part of him didn't care and part of him did.
He tried to forget her, to return to a normal life, but he couldn't' stop thinking about her. He felt bad, seeing those tears in her eyes. But she was a faunus. He reminded himself. She had stuck by him even though he was truthfully the biggest jerk he'd ever known and he knew that. He just didn't care but neither did she.
He found it impossible to focus on school, his thoughts filled with nothing but how he missed her and mentally attacking himself for loving a faunus. He hated himself and didn't want to all at once. He knew he should hate her for what she was and yet that seemed so hard to actually pull off.
By the time a week had passed his grades were suffering and he was far more miserable. The weekend rolled around and he still found it impossible to sleep. Getting up and dressed he walked out to the cliff that overlooked the city. He sat there and mulled over his predicament. Finally he decided he was a disgusting excuse for a human being because of his feelings for her. He took a deep breath and jumped off the cliff. He knew if the fall didn't kill him his armor would surely drag him deep into the lake and he would drown.
His turmoil over her continued to churn through his mind as he fell. He watched the water grow closer and closer then suddenly there was a familiar rustle and he looked over to see Aquila flying as fast as her strong wings would allow. She was less than a foot above the water and the pressure of her tearing through the air left a wake in the water below.
She angled up and caught him before he could meet his doom. Her speed slowed considerably as she met his momentum and weight. It took several strained, heavy wing beats to get them moving again and he could tell that his weight was hard on her, even as strong as her wings were.
They reached the top of the cliff and she dropped him on the ledge, barely making it onto the ledge herself. Cardin looked at her in disbelief as she lay on the ground, wings trembling from strain.
"How did you know?" He asked.
"I was at the docks… But, the reason I knew was my semblance. I can hear peoples thoughts when they are loose in the air." She explained as she forced herself to stand.
"Oh…" He said, watching her as she regained her footing, her wings drooping limply at her sides. He wondered how badly they'd been injured.
"You, on the other hand, need to get a damn grip. I'm just one woman out of many and definitely no reason to go trying to kill yourself. If you can't stand being with a faunus then don't! If you really do love me then you need to get over this 'Faunus are nasty animals' complex of yours." She said angrily, pain evident in her eyes.
"I just…" Cardin started.
"Agh uh! Stop right there. You do what I said, ass. Get a grip and grow up." She snarled then stomped off, her wings dragging the ground behind her.
Cardin sighed heavily, not sure how he would handle this.
However he knew she was right. He needed to make up his mind.
A/N: I'll be one of the first to admit that Cardin is not my favorite character but for some reason I thought it would be amusing to have him fall for a Faunus so... Here we are.
I mean, I've killed him off in other stories and still don't really like him, though I am tempted to continue this one and see where it goes I don't know if I will or not.
Sorry for taking so long to post anything, I've got to untangle the timeline for Bumblekits before I can continue posting, hopefully that gets sorted out soon though.
I've also been massively busy, this fic here is actually one of the ones I wrote in case I needed to throw a one shot at you guys and I figured you deserved something to read.
Let me know how you feel on this one, I love feedback and I promise I don't bite!