Hey everyone! Bringing you another chapter so soon? One might think I'm sick.

No, I didn't keep my promise I made in last chapter's note, but well... things happened. (They didn't but I like to say that to make myself feel better.)

Anyways, I hope you all enjoy, and I'll see you again soon.


Beta: Knight of Cerberus

"Really just a lot of boom."


Gritting his teeth, Jaune twisted his wrist, and was rewarded with a pop as the canister opened. He lifted the lid slowly, not even breathing as the contents hissed softly. The blond shifted the lid a little bit, and let out a sigh in relief as he stared into the open container.

The Dust hadn't been disturbed in the slightest. He swirled the contents of the container, the sickly-pick fluid seeming to glow as he returned the lid. He was going to have to invest in some windowed containers – or at least some way to look inside them without potentially having them blow up in his face.

Pure glass ones like Weiss owned were simply too expensive as things were, and stability sensors for sealed containers even more so. For now, he had to bank on the fact that no one really messed with his stuff. Until he managed to scrap enough cash together, he'd continue to use the old thermoses he'd found at a yard sale.

The blond smiled as he put the container back into his Dust bag, and retrieved another. That had been the same yard sale where he'd found the battered and busted frame that would later become Horizon's prototype.

How time flew.

That was how he was spending the early morning. Jaune didn't know why he'd woken so early, but it was far too early to justify waking anyone else just because he couldn't get back to sleep, so dressed himself and tiredly made his way first to the locker room to pick up the Dust, and then to the forge and armory.

Jaune studied the thermos for any dents or bulges, and then someone cleared their throat. Or at least made a somewhat pathetic attempt to recreate the sound.

Looking over his shoulder, Jaune half-smiled. "You're up early."

Ruby cracked a more genuine smile as her cloak ruffled behind her, stepping forwards. "Yep!"

"Like, really early." Jaune tacked on as the girl walked around the workbench he was seated at. She pulled up a stool and quickly got comfortable. "So early I'm actually almost speechless."

"Pshaw..." Ruby let out with a wave of her hand. "I'm not a kid anymore."

Jaune raised an eyebrow. "I'm not calling you a kid, I'm saying you're usually not up at five in the morning."

"I... woke up early?"

Jaune nodded slowly. "Yeah, but why? There's nothing important today going on that I've conveniently forgotten about."

The blond blinked once, then twice when Ruby didn't respond immediately. He leaned in. "I'm not forgetting anything, right?"

"Nah." Ruby chuckled. She looked off to the side, towards some arbitrary point. "Maybe it's just nerves."

"Nerves?" That didn't quite sit right. "Over what? There's no test coming up."

Jaune mulled it over in his head as Ruby again didn't respond immediately. He had a sneaking suspicion it had something to do with what had happened the other day and whatever Ruby was being so secretive about lately.

On the other hand, this would be the first chance in a long while he'd have to get quality time with her.

"Are you worried about getting a date for the dance?"

"Th-th-that's none of your concern!" The girl blushed, and Jaune couldn't help but laugh it off.

"So that's why you're up right now."

"Is not!"

"Is too!"

It totally wasn't. Jaune couldn't read minds or anything, but he could tell that a date for the dance wasn't what was troubling Ruby. He wouldn't push it, though.

To be honest, whatever was bothering her, this was more important to him.

"Got a lucky boy in mind?" He half-teased.

"No! If I could take Crescent Rose to the dance instead, I would."

"Crescent Rose is a boy?"

"No, she's-"

"So you're into girls then."

"Would you just let me talk?!"

Jaune held back the laughter as best he could, resorting in a snorting chuckle as he finally let loose.

"Hey! That's not funny!" Ruby crossed her arms in defiance. "The one thing you and Yang have in common, and it's teasing me? Some cruel cosmic joke this is."

The blond looked up to Ruby, trying to keep a straight face. But the disappointed pout on her lips just made Jaune burst into laughter anew. The girl stared him down as he tried to catch his breath, wiping the tears of mirth from his eyes.

"Okay, sorry. I'm sure Crescent Rose is a wonderful dancer, but-" He held up a finger as Ruby went to speak "-do you really not have a date?"

The young girl grumbled, leaning forward to rest her chin on crossed arms. "I don't..."

"I could be your date." Jaune offered.

"Eh?" The girl seemed genuinely surprised, and it took her two very silent moments to respond. "W-what about Yang? You two are dating."

Jaune smiled softly and scratched the back of his head. "Well, the second-year team that volunteered to be in charge of the dance is late coming back from a mission, and most of our other seniors are busy, so Goodwitch saddled us with it. Yang'll be greeting people at the door all night, so I'll only get like one dance with her at most."

Ruby put her fists on her hips. "So it's a pity date?"

"Well, if you weren't my cousin and I wasn't going out with your sister, I'd have asked you to the dance normally." Jaune blinked, before chuckling. "That sounds weirder out of context, doesn't it?"

Ruby hummed quietly, eyes narrowing.

"What is it?"

"Let's forget about the whole cousin thing, and you going out with Yang. Would you actually ask me to the dance?"

"Well yeah, I just said that."

"But..." Ruby pressed her fingers together, moving her lips around. Jaune was forced to sit and watch quietly until she finally parted them. "Why?"

Jaune blinked. "Why what?"

"Why would you ask me to the dance?"

The blond made to lean back slightly, hands resting on the workbench before them. "Well... That's a harder question, I guess. I met you and got to know Yang better around the same time. Back then I didn't know we were related."

Ruby nodded along in agreement.

"If you weren't my cousin and I wasn't dating Yang, well... you're certainly cute. I have a lot of fun whenever I'm around you." Jaune hesitated before continuing. "It's really hard to imagine anything being different from how it is now, though. We could've been on the same team, or I could've spent even more time with you than I did with Yang."

"But things could always be different." Ruby remarked, reaching behind her back. She pulled Crescent Rose out and laid it across the table. "Had things turned out differently that night I fought Torchwick and Professor Port came to the rescue, I might not even be a Beacon student."

"Right." Jaune put the Dust-filled thermos down for the moment. "It's hard to give you a straight answer there. If you weren't my cousin and I didn't get to know Yang so well, I'd maybe feel a lot differently about you. Maybe I wouldn't even know you at all."

Ruby hummed, Crescent Rose slowly popping open as she pulled it apart. "You'd still ask me to the dance though?"

The blond let out a sigh. "Yeah. I would."

Ruby looked contemplative as she took a screwdriver and got to work. "It's just something you've really got me thinking about now."

Jaune opened his mouth to ask Ruby what she meant, but he took a moment to ponder her words.

He took a breath, and dove right in.

"Is it weird that I'm dating your sister? She's technically like, a half cousin or something."

Ruby's silver eyes bounced up to Jaune's. The blond scratched his leg as the girl hummed.

"Would it be weirder if we were dating as cousins?" Ruby quizzed. "Honest question."

"Weird in theory." Jaune shrugged as Ruby continued to stare. "But I'd already gotten to know you for nearly a year before I even learned we were related. You see it in stories all the time, right? People falling in love before learning they were actually siblings or cousins from the start?"

Jaune caught Ruby's blush before desperately waving it off, feeling his own cheeks warming. "I'm not saying that's the case with us or anything like that, but suddenly learning you're related doesn't change how people feel about each other, right? And there's people who don't let that stop them either..."

Gee, this got weird fast.

"Yeah. I guess you're right." Ruby let that out quietly, getting back to work.

Jaune grabbed the Dust-filled thermos from atop the workbench, and it hissed open as he twisted the lid.

"So hypothetically, would you date me if you weren't dating Yang?"

He stared at the contents of the canister for a good few seconds – dreading Ruby might think he hadn't heard and ask that damning question again – before closing and re-sealing it. His heart beat quicker, and he could swear he felt a bead of sweat roll down his back.

The boy looked up at Ruby and met her inquisitive stare.

"Where did that come from?"

Ruby pursed her lips and stared for a short while at Crescent Rose, before gently wiping the weapon down with a cloth.

"I-I'm surprised you're not working on Horizon, Aquila, or Crocea Mors."

The blond boy frowned at the sudden change in topic. Something had been weird about that discussion all along, but now there was a tight feeling in the back of his neck to accompany that.

Something was off, but he wasn't about to push back hard.

"I had to disassemble the trigger mechanism on Aquila yesterday and base the parts. She's been giving me nothing but trouble."

"She's a she now, huh?"

The blond rolled his eyes, fastening the lid on the container he was holding and switching it out for another he hadn't tested yet. "Yes, she's a she."

Jaune kept his eyes on Ruby as the girl worked, only really moving stuff around to make it seem like he was busy. The girl seemed focused on the maintenance of her own weapon, but her fingers were more sluggish than usual.

"So, about that thing you asked me."

Ruby seemed to have trouble with a screw as Jaune spoke again.

"What thing?"

"Dating you if I hadn't been dating Yang?" Even saying that left a bad taste in Jaune's mouth as he ran his fingers through his hair. "Maybe yes? It's a bit of a weird question."

"How? Because we're related?"

"Well, yeah." Jaune put forward bluntly. "You wouldn't date Yang, right?"

"Not really, but that's different."

Taking a breath, Jaune wiped his forehead. He looked to Ruby, looked around the empty room, and then let out a heavy sigh.

"Just hypothetically, right?"

"Right."

"Yeah, I like you. I'd take you out on dates and the like. I mean, I have Yang, but-"

"I get it."

The blond took another deep breath, shaking his head slightly. He put the canister he'd just checked in his bag, and retrieved yet another to inspect.

"I'd be happy to be dating you, Jaune."

The words Ruby barely whispered made the boy feel like his heart skipped a beat, and he nearly boggled the container as it hit the table with a soft thunk.

"What?"

Ruby's face was red as her namesake as she pulled a screw out of Cresent Rose, shifting a part of her weapon as she took a small brush to it.

"The dance? I'd be happy to be your date, even if I'm only taking Yang's place." She stopped cleaning her gun, and her eyes met Jaune's. "That's okay, right?"

Jaune could feel his ears warm a little as he nodded. "That's what I'd asked in the first place."

"Yeah, but now I know."

Know what?

Before Jaune had a chance to word his question he was cut off by Ruby giggling.

"You're an odd duck."

"Me? You're the one making a big deal of everything even though I already asked you to the dance and... and everything."

Ruby slid out of her stool and walked around the workbench.

"Ruby?"

The girl took two quick steps forwards and Jaune felt her arms wrap around him, her head buried in his chest. Jaune gingerly put his hands to rest along the girl's sides as she hugged him.

As Jaune looked down towards her, her head turned up and she laid her lips on his cheek with a small peck. Her arms tightened as she pulled herself into his lap, and the blond supported her back with his hand.

She was trembling as she nestled her head in the crook of his neck.

"I'm so glad we found each other..."

Whatever she meant by that, Jaune could do nothing more but hug Ruby as she shook in his grip. He reached up and patted her back, lips pursed as he held her close.

"I've always had family, but... but...!" She sobbed.

He had no idea what brought this on, but he was doing what instinct and experience told him to. When Lily would have nightmares, she'd be bawling her eyes out, tugging on his arm to wake him up. What he had to do here with Ruby was no different.

"I'm here. I'm here."

They sat like that for a while. Jaune's back had started to hurt, considering he had to compensate for Ruby's weight as well as his own on a small stool, but he didn't budge. His shirt was a little damp where Ruby held her face against it, but he didn't budge.

The door into the armory was pushed open. Yang stared with her mouth open and a cup of steaming liquid in her hands. After a moment, she rested against the doorway, her knowing eyes meeting Jaune's with a bittersweet smile.

He didn't budge.


"Oh, Ruby, we were wondering where you were..."

The rest of the conversation was cut off from Yang and her partner as she gripped Jaune's hand, the door to PBRL's dorm closing shut behind her sister. With a heavy sigh, Yang turned to Jaune, put her free hand on his shoulder, and gave him a push.

She pushed and pushed, until she pushed him up into the wall next to their own dorm. Yang stood on her toes and wrapped her arms around his neck.

She was the luckiest girl in the world, having someone like him at her side.

Their lips separated, and Jaune blushed as he looked away. He was so cute when he was shy like that, but Yang didn't really mean to tease him. After he and Ruby separated in the armory, Yang made her presence known.

Ruby tried to hide that she'd been crying, but the stains on Jaune's shirt and her sniffles were all the evidence the blonde needed. Yang didn't ask questions, and instead let the rest of the hour progress as the two finished what they were there to do.

"Do you know what set her off?" Yang pondered aloud, still hanging from Jaune's neck. The boy shook his head with a blush.

"Not a clue. I asked her to the dance, though."

Yang smiled to herself only slightly bitterly at the comment. "Asking my sister instead of me? How dare you."

It was fine, of course. They'd already discussed it.

"How many girls are you going to dance with, now? I mean, Ruby's your date so you'll be dancing with her."

"And you, of course." Jaune chuckled. Of course.

"If Weiss doesn't find a date – which I'm sure she will, you told me you'd ask her for a dance."

"Yeah, and I still will." The blond boy smiled. "That's four, then."

"Four?" Yang asked in confusion. "Who's the fourth?"

"That's a secret."

"We don't keep secrets, Jaune." Yang glared. She settled her knee between the boy's legs for emphasis.

"No, but I want this to be a surprise. Maybe you'll even get a laugh out if it."

She watched Jaune swallow. Yang eased off, stepping back.

"I'll trust your judgment, glorious leader." Yang pulled her scroll from her pocket, chuckling. It seemed her threats of physical violence didn't really scare Jaune anymore. Unlocking the door, she pushed it open, leading the way inside.

Weiss was topless, half-facing the door with wide eyes as they entered. Yang stopped in the doorway. Jaune bumped into her from behind, and she heard his gasp.

As a courtesy to her petite teammate, Yang reared her arm back, elbowing Jaune in the gut.

He wheezed as Weiss crossed her arms in front of her chest, blushing with a scowl.

"I suppose I can't fault you two for not knocking, but seriously?"

Yang grinned as she watched Weiss scramble to put a bra on.

"Come on Weiss, it's not like you have anything worth hiding."

The heiress growled loudly, putting her hands on her hips – chest still exposed. Yang was actually taken aback at how brazen she seemed to be.

"Okay, so I'm not dreaming." Jaune murmured.

Weiss covered herself up again and ran off to the bathroom, door slamming behind her.

"I guess I can't be angry at you for looking." Yang remarked with a sigh, fists at her hips. "She is really something, isn't she?"

"That's bait and I know it."

Yang could only smile. "You really think I'd do that? You already have a dance with her on the weekend."

That got Jaune to sigh, and she patted him on the shoulder.

"Gee, what is with today?" Jaune complained, striding over to his bed. He collapsed onto the mattress, rolling around on it, and Yang raised an eyebrow at his antics.

"We haven't even had classes yet, and you're already losing it? Maybe you should defer your leadership rights to me?"

The door to the bathroom opened a crack, and both Weiss and Jaune let out a crisp "Never".

Nora rolled over in bed a moment later. "Nope."

Yang pouted, and staggered over to her own bed and fell into it. "Oh well."

The blonde girl closed her eyes, just for a moment.

Then she was being shaken awake.

"Oi, Yang, we've gotta go."

With a grumble, Yang swatted Jaune's hand away, blinking her eyes open. "I'm up, I'm up…"

"Yeah well, can you be up quicker? Class is in five."

The girl swung her legs out of bed, straightening her uniform. She dragged her arm over her eyes, rubbing at them. "Right, five minutes… Wait."

"You fell asleep."

Groggily, the girl stood. Weiss was ready now and Nora was up, dressed, and seemingly raring to go.

"How?"

"C'mon, lazybutt!" Nora called out.

Yang shook her head and rubbed her face, frowning to herself. Had she really fallen asleep, just like that?

She hadn't even felt tired.

"Is something wrong?"

Yang turned to Jaune, and the boy's brow bent in concern. She shook her head with a smile.

"It's nothing. Guess I just really needed that nap."

He nodded in understanding, like he always did.

"First is Port's class?" Yang blinked at Weiss' remark. She had a feeling the heiress was just trying to put her back to sleep with that.

Nora chuckled. "Maybe he'll give us more work because of our win over CRDL."

That put a smile on Yang's face. Though Jaune might have found it unsporting, well... She did brag about it once or twice behind his back. And the faces Cardin made when she grinned at him? Totally worth it.

Though, she did need to have a serious discussion with the other team's leader at some point. He'd overloaded the Dust crystal in the head of his mace during their fight, and she was wondering if there was any way she could apply that much force in a single punch with her gauntlets. Perhaps she could bring Jaune and Cardin both together to talk about it? Maybe with Jaune's help they could take what Cardin did and make it so there wasn't as much of a risk towards the taller boy as well.

Of course, she also needed to find the right time to bring it up. As much as there was apparently a lot on Ruby's mind this morning, it seemed that something was bothering Jaune. Yang could tell.

She made an unspoken agreement with herself to not bring it up – another similarity to what happened with Ruby this morning. As much as she wanted to dig, he'd probably just say something about it being his business. Yang wanted to respect his privacy as much as they'd respected his sister's.

The girl snorted. As much as they claimed they didn't keep secrets from each other... they totally did.

Her boyfriend still didn't know that she went and 'shot up a bar in Vale' back around when they had just graduated Signal, and despite everything else they'd talked about.

Yang refused to bring up her mom around the blond.

Well, maybe she'd mentioned her once or twice already? She wasn't about to ask him if she had or not.

"Do we have the extended class with Glynda today? With the second years?" Yang quizzed, following everyone else into the hall.

"No, she's giving us a pass today, so we can get more stuff done for the dance?"

Yang snapped her fingers. "Right."

"You didn't forget, did you?" Weiss accused.

"Of course not!" Yang stepped forward, putting a hand on both Nora and Jaune's shoulders. "You two want to help out?"

Nora turned slightly. "Want help carrying more things? I can do that."

"We could always move those speakers again. And you Jaune?"

"I've got something I need to do, so you guys can go ahead."

"What's that?" Yang hummed.

"Glynda wants me to pick something up in Vale for her."

"Huh." The blonde girl didn't question it, simply looking Jaune up and down. "Getting you to go do leader things for once?"

"What do you mean 'for once'?"

The four teammates, Jaune included, shared a laugh.

"Jaune, I have a question for you. It's been eating at me." Nora spoke up the moment their short-lived mirth died down.

"What is it?"

"It's the middle of summer, so why do you still wear that scarf?"

Yang blinked, before her eyes settled on the scarf that was loosely hanging around Jaune's neck. From what the girl remembered, it had been a gift from Juncea.

"Ah, my sister made it for me. It's a personal attachment." The boy fiddled with one of the ends of it as he spoke. "I'd considered leaving it behind once or twice – especially with a summer like this – but it's been good luck."

"Good luck?" Weiss tilted her head.

"A lot of good things have happened while I've been wearing this scarf. Sure, there's been some rough patches, but it's mostly been uphill."

"Come to think of it..." Weiss looked over to Nora, then back to Jaune as she seemed to ponder her next words. Yang hung back a bit, only listening as they walked. "Weren't you wearing it when we met? It was covering your face then, which was part of why I didn't recognize you immediately."

"Yeah, he was wearing it when we partnered up in Nyurse too."

"Those are both bad times." Yang snorted. "The scarf is bad luck. Burn it."

"Yang!" Jaune only half-whined. He could tell she was joking.

"I don't really have anything like that." Nora pointed out, hands behind her head. "Well, maybe one thing."

"What is it?"

Nora skin turned as white as Weiss' hair. "Um... that is to say, uhh..."

"Is it that little wooden thing you play with sometimes?" Weiss pressed. Yang had no idea what little wooden thing the heiress was talking about, but she seemed to have the right answer as Nora's blush hit her ears.

"Never mind that! Yang, is there something personal that you have?" Nora leaned back, looking past both Weiss and Jaune.

The girl played with her hair for a moment as she considered it. There was, actually. "Well, I do have this one necklace."

"You mean that one you always wear now?" Weiss asked.

"Yeah, my dad got it as a graduation present. He asked me what I wanted, and I said I wanted something practical."

"And he got you a necklace?" Nora seemed confused.

"He said it was practical for his daughter to look her best." Yang shrugged. "I didn't even put it on until that one day when we went to Forever Fall."

"That one, huh." Jaune smiled softly.

Yang gave him a big grin in response. "I guess you and my dad have similar tastes?"

The blond boy simply laughed it off, turning and leading the team into Professor Port's classroom.

The four of them stopped in their tracks the moment they entered. The majority of the class was seated, and Professor Port stood proudly before them.

It would be an understatement to say he had an evil glint in his eye.

"My dear students. Do you know what time it is?"

Yang glanced to the clock.

Oh.

They were late, and there was a fairly large cage on the other side of the classroom.

"Since you're already up, perhaps you should go find your combat gear, and prepare yourselves for today's lesson."

The blonde girl leaned a bit to the side, staring beyond the rotund professor.

"Oh son of a bitch." Weiss cursed. Loudly.

"Uh, Professor? What the hell is that thing?"

It was a blob. A mass of black... something. Yang hesitated to call it flesh. She could see what looked to be the outline of a human-like face protruding from it – but she had to just be imagining things, right? It had white bone plating layering it, but it seemed like it sunk and surfaced as the creature 'breathed'.

"That is a Dreadmire. Devilish fiends. CRDL had quite the hard time dragging it out of the bog deep in the Emerald Forest, but I was there to step in if anything went wrong."

The man took in a breath, chest pushed out proudly.

"You four had better hurry. I don't want their efforts to go to waste."


The moment class had ended, Blake and the rest of her team had bolted out the door quicker than Doctor Oobleck could say 'now then'.

Earlier in the day, she, Pyrrha, and Ren had woken long before classes for their planning, only for Ruby to be absent. The moment the girl came back, however, Ren had stretched the map of Vale over the wall, pinning it there as they went over their strategy for tonight.

As Blake looked among her teammates, she knew she shouldn't even bother asking if they were going to back out on her now. Ruby's legs were swinging, boots already on as she sat on her bed. Pyrrha was polishing her shield, while Ren was doing maintenance of his own on his weapons.

When she'd been asked, Ruby smiled and said she'd taken care of everything on her end already.

The black-haired girl smiled. Such reliable teammates she had.

For Blake, this was the stage when she always had the worst nerves. She took a breath and scratched her head, checking the clock.

If everything went as planned? Like the other day? Great.

It was rare in their simulations with Oobleck that things went exactly as planned. Perhaps that was because their planning had been done with their mentor himself, and he knew exactly what to throw at them to give them the worst possible situation. Maybe he did it to reaffirm that what can go wrong, always could go wrong?

Either way, it made Blake wary. That was the point, or so Doctor Oobleck had explained.

One lesson, he'd presented them with two options: one, to keep a clear head; the other, to have an active mind. He asked them to debate which was more essential. He smiled when they told him it was essential to have both in equal measure. He threw around words like clarity, judgement, and initiative.

The lecture continued and concluded with the mention there were no absolutes in this world. No unstoppable force, nor an immovable object. A tower could stand for centuries, weathering the fiercest storms, but the slightest change might still topple it.

She'd probably be repeating the doctor – and even the rest of PBRL themselves – for the hundredth time, saying no plan is flawless. That no strategy is guaranteed to work.

With so many unknowns, they probably wouldn't even be able to come close to perfection. They were going to have to work on the fly.

That was something PBRL were very good at, at least. The few constants they knew were each other's abilities, and they could hammer out a plan on those alone.

Blake looked to Pyrrha as the girl floated her shield around her back. Pyrrha looked to Ren, who stood.

"We're all ready." Pyrrha stated, even though she didn't really have to. The minute and second hand ticked in unison.

Ruby hopped up, and strode towards the door, leading the team out into the hall.

Were they taking things a little too seriously, being this precise? Blake thought maybe they didn't need to, but it was just too easy to stay in step. They were like clockwork in the simulations, too.

The four of them walked side by side, and Blake smiled. She was also the first to speak:

"So Yang just straight-up leant you her bike?"

Ruby laughed a little awkwardly. "Yeah, I was surprised she was willing to let me borrow it so willingly. It's like her baby."

"Her bike is to her what your scythe is to you?" Ren offered.

"Basically. Maybe a little less so? She's not as obsessive as I am."

Pyrrha chuckled. "Weird to hear you admit that."

"She's not actually worried about you driving it at all?" That was the surprising part to Blake. "What about the legality?"

"I have my license."

That caused Blake to blink multiple times.

"You don't remember me driving a bike in our simulations before? I was sure I had."

The playful banter continued for a few minutes as the foursome navigated their way to Beacon's docks. Pyrrha swiped her scroll across a pad, and a Bullhead was there to pick them up rather quickly. In the cramped bay, they chatted about more innocent things. The cockpit door was open, and Pyrrha even had a short conversation with the pilot.

The moment they made it to the small landing area in the industrial district, however, it was back to business.

"We know what we're looking for, and we all know what we're doing?"

That was more Pyrrha's reaffirmation that everything was set in stone than an actual question. They all had their duties here, and they were all going to perform them.

"I'll find a lower perch, this time." Ruby confirmed. "Preferably somewhere I can see inside."

"I'll secure an exit, and settle in on the roof if you need me in there." Ren's comment was directed to Blake and put a little weight on her shoulders.

Pyrrha added to it with a reassuring pat that then lifted it away. "We'll handle the inside easily enough. Just let us know our exit."

"I'm off to the garage then." Ruby hopped twice on her feet, then started to jog. "I'll check in once I'm nice and cozy somewhere up high."

Ren nodded to Pyrrha, eyes turning to Blake just slightly. "I'll scout ahead, let you two know of anything that might make things difficult for you."

Pyrrha nodded in return. "Appreciated."

Ren stalked away, leaving Blake with Pyrrha.

"Just us, huh?" The black-haired faunus offered, reaching into the pouch at her back. She withdrew a fairly sturdy mask, and held it out towards her leader.

"You're sure I don't need a tail, or something?"

Blake pulled the ribbon from her head. "It'll be fine. Just say you have a vestigial trait, or you're a mole faunus with poor eyesight."

"Which one is more believable?"

"I wouldn't believe either, but you're with me and my trait is obvious, so they won't care."

"You're sure?"

"Sure I'm sure."

Pyrrha hummed and nodded along, taking the mask and donning it. Blake checked her scroll.

"A couple minutes, and we'll get moving." She pointed out, shuffling it closed.

Blake took a breath, and turned her eyes skyward.

"The hardest thing to believe is that we're actually doing this, and that this might make a difference..."

She smiled, putting the mask over her eyes.

"Let's go see what we can find out."