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Chapter 1: The World in Black and White

(Warning: chapter contains some blood)

Growing up with hatred in the heart could affect even the most delicate of souls. It could drive them to do things they would consider unspeakable, turn men into monsters, and destroy so much potential. Hate is a strong force, often blinding and illogical, though sadly warranted in many cases. Bread by ignorance and spread through discrimination, hate is mankind's greatest weakness, yet so often it is from where people derived strength. There are those that would falsely label it hope. 'If we stand and fight, if we make them fear us, then they will finally accept us, and we can live happily at long last.' Foolish thinking, but blindly those hopefuls would follow, only to be wrapped in the hatred that truly drove their endeavors. That was the White Fang's game. Lure the Faunus in with promise of gaining equality, then slowly corrupt that hope into hate. The truth of the Fang was that they did not seek to gain equality and respect from mankind, but to bring it to its knees; and when it begged and pleaded for mercy, to be forgiven of its sins, the Faunus would give none. Mankind would perish.

These were the ideals of Adam Taurus. Born into the hatred of mankind, the bull's rage was not so easily sated by peaceful protests and desperate pleas. He knew, perhaps more than anyone else, that the old Fang's ways were nothing but white noise to society. His only solace growing up was the hopeful spark that had captured his heart. A girl, admittedly five years his junior, had sensed his blackened heart. It saddened her to see, and she sought to share with him the light that lived within her own. For a time, it worked. Adam had that thrilling feeling he knew was hope, and for a brief time he truly thought he could make a difference. Despite the youthful optimism of his friend, the hatred soon took a hold of him once more, slowly, methodically. It started out as an accident, or so he convinced himself, but then it progressed to self defense. Eventually, he couldn't lie to himself anymore. Not after that first kill.

At that time, the Fang was still a peaceful group, but they were growing restless. An uprising was imminent, and fearing his personal safety, the leader stepped down. That was Adam's chance, a way to show that his ideals, his methods, would bring the Faunus more than their peace rallies ever could. It wasn't difficult to take over leadership, not with the following Adam had gained in the Fang. Beside him though, no matter how dark it got, even as the White Fang turned to violence under his control, was that one small spark.

She was hopeful, believing one day they could reach equality, even if she wasn't all for their methods. So long as no innocent was harmed, she would be by his side, her heart shining bright. It wasn't a surprise when this girl was assigned as Adam's right hand, assisting him in leading the Fang, her combat skills and agility coming naturally despite her optimistic nature. It was admirable that even in her position she could cling to such hope. She was Adam's right hand, and if his life were cut short, she would take his place. For his ideals to live on through her in the case of his parting, he had little choice. The hope she clung to, the flame in her heart that shone brightly with her beliefs, needed to be snuffed out.

Tonight.

That was how a fifteen year old Blake Belladonna found herself standing in the shadows outside of the Schnee family manor. According to her intel, it was more like the Schnee's vacation home. She wasn't comfortable in the slightest, being somewhere so dangers, so exposed. The chill in the air nipping at her ears didn't help any, and she was considering the prospect of earmuffs or a bow to keep them warm while on missions. The raven haired girl's thoughts were cut short when her attention was coughed by her partner on this mission. Stood with her, scouting the scene, was none other than Adam himself.

"There are a dozen guards patrolling the grounds and the perimeter, two by each entrance and another six on the roof," he said while placing down a pair of easily hidden binoculars. His voice was slightly rough thanks to the cold air, and his eyes were covered by his mask, giving him an intimidating aura. It seemingly didn't affect Blake though. The feline Faunus took the binoculars, taking a quick scan for her own analysis.

"There are two balconies on the second floor that are unguarded. It looks like there is an opening if we approach from the left side after the guard by the fountain makes his round past the oak tree," she replied, taking notice of the brief window they would have before another guard looked in that direction. "We'll be able to slip by unnoticed, avoiding any unnecessary conflict, though I wouldn't doubt they have some form of alarm system." Every mission, Blake would look for a way to avoid conflict. Admirable and useful in many cases, but that's not what tonight was about. Tonight was about extinguishing Blake's optimism and bringing her to the real world. There was a brief ruffling from Adam as he pulled something from his bag, before placing it down next to Blake. The moonlight reflected of the metallic object as it was set down, catching Blake's attention.

A dagger.

She didn't need it, considering she already had Gambol Shroud for self defense, so raised a questioning eyebrow to Adam. The bull Faunus did something then that he hadn't done on mission for a very long time. He took of his mask, and looked Blake dead in the eyes, his expression showing false remorse.

"Just because they're rich and hire others to do their dirty work, doesn't mean they aren't dangerous. If a Schnee, any Schnee, sees you, do not hesitate. This dagger will be harder to trace back to you, so kill with it should the need arise," he said, before placing on his mask again. The speech had left the young girl a bit shaken. The way her friend had said it, the way his spoke and the haunting expression on his face, were telling signs. He expected something was going to go wrong. It was a simple objective for such a dangerous mission; infiltrate and gather any intelligence that could aid in the fight against the SDC. Reluctantly, Blake took the blade up, before placing her own trademark weapon somewhere hidden so she could reclaim it later. She was determined not to kill, even if most would find the temptation too strong, when the man responsible for all the suffering you'd faced was vulnerable and in your reach. Blake would get this mission done, completely unseen.

The two made their way in the cover of the night to the fence nearest their planned path. There they waited patiently. They'd only have fifteen seconds to jump the fence, silently dash towards the building, and then jump to the balcony. An impossible feat, were it not for their aura and the enhanced jumping capabilities they both possessed. On Blake's signal, they made their move, swiftly and efficiently moving the balcony, going prone as soon as they arrived. Fortunately, the balcony was not in view from the rooftop guards, and was often out of view of those on the ground. Despite this, they had to work fast. Blake gently pressed her right Faunus ear to the cold balcony door. She could hear the soft breathing of a person, but only the one. She weighed up her options and sighed softly, gesturing to Adam a simple command. 'Hide.'

The bull did so with a curious expression, and Blake gently tapped on the door, not enough to attract guards, but enough to stir the person inside to wake up. It was risky, borderline idiotic, but it would be the easiest way inside. Eventually, she heard the ruffling on someone waking up, shortly followed by sleepy footsteps walking towards the door. The feline Faunus backed up and hid, quickly gesturing for Adam not to attack. The door let of a soft beep as the alarm disabled, and then the faint click of a door opening could be heard. A moment passed, and then another, before finally the door started to close. Taking the opportunity, Blake slipped out of her cover and managed to place a small pebble in an attempt to keep the door from closing fully. It worked, leaving whoever opened the door no wiser as they got back into bed. The two Faunus waited until Blake could hear the soft breaths once more, indicating the inhabitant was asleep. Satisfied that it was clear, Blake nodded to her partner, before standing up and swiftly moving for the door; however, when she stepped inside, something unexpected happened.

Blake tripped. Or more accurately, Blake was tripped, though she had no idea that it was not her own doing. Adam stealthily made his move at the last possible second, making the black-clad girl fall into the room with a small thud, the door behind her seemingly shutting. The noise of her fall had an undesired affect, as light quickly filled the room as the one inhabitant reached for her lamp. This was bad. This was very bad. With no shadowed corner to quickly hide in, and no way out, she had little other choice. She dashed for the bed, swiftly jumping onto it and pinning its occupant down, a firm hand covering their mouth while the other held a dagger near their throat. Blake Belladonna had to kill.

...

But she couldn't.

Helplessly pinned down beneath her was a Schnee; the youngest Schnee, to be exact. The girl was small, somewhat pale, and her blue eyes were filled with such intense fear. She couldn't have been any older than Blake. She was no monster like her father, but a child. Blake couldn't bring herself to end the young heiress' life. Not when she was an innocent. Not when she was just a child. Muffled cries for help, or mercy, barely made it past Blake's hand, as those icy orbs filled with fear as they looked over the covered face of her attacker. She couldn't see many features with how Blake's head was wrapped up to hide herself, nor even an exact face structure; only the amber eyes that looked down at her, and the small cat ears atop her head were visible.

While both girls were in their own state of panic, the sounds of Adam 'attempting' to pick the lock of the door had brought them to the same conclusion. The Schnee was going to die. What Blake didn't know is that the trick she'd used on the girl she now had pinned was being used on her, the door not truly closed, simply open enough not to shut and reactivate the security system. Adam's attempt was simply to push Blake to finish the deed, though not able to see through the blinds. Blake had to come up with something, and fast. Only one plan came to mind, and she didn't particularly like it, but if Adam walked in and found the heiress alive, even just unconscious, after the noise they'd made he would kill her to be sure there were no witnesses.

Blake moved the fabric covering her head a little, opening up a hole that exposed her mouth. She used her mouth to start removing the glove on the hand that held her weapon, while she also placed the hilt of her dagger in her mouth, biting down to hold it as well as muffle her own cries of pain. Her now free hand reached for the blade of the dagger, and she grabbed hold of it tightly. The metal edge stung her hand as it bit into the flesh of her palm. It hurt like hell, and she barely bit back her cries of pain as she let the knife draw blood. Once she thought she had enough, she quickly smeared it across the pale neck of the trapped Schnee. It looked convincing enough, and turning off the lamp would be able to fool Adam's night vision. She quickly took the dagger out of her mouth, placing it down on the bedside table before she swiftly struggled to get her glove back on with her just her mouth. She'd have to wrap her hand up properly later on, but for now she had to make sure the Schnee knew what to do. She leaned forward, scaring the girl more as she whispered in her ear.

"Please, I'm begging you to listen. When he comes in you need to lay still, hold your breath and pretend to be dead... or else he'll kill you," she said, her voice shaky, the pain and the fear making her voice waver. "When we're gone, wash yourself up to get the blood off. I'm going to remove my hand... please don't scream... I'm so sorry." With that, a teary-eyed Blake hesitantly removed her hand. Much to her relief, the pale girl with blood pained across her throat didn't scream bloody murder. The Faunus quickly moved, picking up her dagger and turning off the lamp. She made her way to the door and opened it. "Adam, we have to go," she said with a shaken tone.

"Why, what's happened?" he asked, though in truth he knew. Or he thought he knew at least. He hid the wicked smile he wanted to flash as he looked to the bed. In it lay the pale, seemingly lifeless body of the Schnee heiress, blood thick on her neck.

"Please, if they find her while we're inside... we have to go," Blake said, her voice less shaken now, though it carried a heavy weight to it. Adam nodded, happy that Blake had done the deed. The knife still had the blood on it, what more evidence could the bull ask for? His partner made a good point though. Had anyone head the fall Blake had, they could soon be in the room, and so the two fled as soon as their opportunity showed up again. Blake heard the faint gasp for air as they left, the heiress' lungs finally giving way with the need to breathe. A single tear fell from the corner of Blake's eye. She managed to save a life today, one she'd endangered, but at what cost?

While she hadn't killed like Adam believed she did, that fire of optimism had still been effectively extinguished. She had almost killed someone innocent. No matter what that girl would become in the future, whether an ally, or an enemy, she was currently just an innocent child. The fear in those eyes would haunt her very soul for years to come, and she slowly began question if she could really save Adam.

It did not help the matter that the bull went around boasting about the Schnee's death to his feline-like partners hands. His fury when reports later came in about Weiss somehow having survived had no bounds, but eventual the raging man calmed down. He didn't blame Blake for failing, thinking it was merely good doctors and sheer luck that saved the heiress, unaware of the truth. The damage was done though, his true thoughts on the apparent murder were shown clear as day, and then, two years after that night, Blake snapped. It was while attempting a dust robbery from a moving train. The theft would aid the Fang's fire power, and be a hard blow to the Schnee Dust Company. It was going fine too, until Adam made clear his intentions to blow up the rest of the train, effectively killing the innocent crew. She couldn't take it anymore; the man she once knew was no more, an in his place stood a monster, wearing his skin, acting as a man.

It was the last time she saw his face. She watched as the bull who she'd tried so long to show the light disappeared into the distance, until he was just a spot of darkness, and nothing more. Where she would go now, she couldn't truly say. Somewhere that her particular skill set could be used. Somewhere that she could make a real difference. Somewhere that she would never have to fear seeing that face of that monster, the one she only knew as hate. She was currently near Vale...

"Perhaps Beacon?" she questioned to herself out loud.


Beacon Academy: one of the four great huntsman academies in remnant and representative of the kingdom of Vale. Conveniently, it was also the one furthest out of reach from Atlas and the SDC's, aside from the one in Vacuo, but the weather there was far too hot for the Schnee heiress to be comfortable with. Still, being accepted into Beacon alone was an achievement in its own for one Weiss Schnee. Not that her skills and grades were of any concern, oh no, Weiss had a tendency for being the top of her every class. The achievement laid in having convinced her father to allow her to attend Beacon, rather than Atlas.

Have it gone his way, Weiss wouldn't even get that liberty, instead she'd be stuck learning the ways of the business world to further her progress in being the next in line for running the family business. But, time and time again, Weiss proved herself worthy of her choices. It was tough, filled with rigorous training and borderline deadly tests, but she finally got her father's reluctant approval. Her father could never understand the sudden desire to become a huntress when it she started only two years ago. She had her older sister, Winter, unlock her aura, and from their she trained to catch up to and surpass those she would be calling her classmates when she started attending the combat school in Atlas. And surpass them she did. Never again did she want to be in the same situation as that night.

Trapped, helplessly pinned down with a blade to her throat. The Faunus that attacked her was intent to kill, and for whatever reason, spared her. She did care who it was, or why they didn't just kill her, rather than putting themselves in pain to save her. She just never wanted to feel so helpless again. And she never would; not if she had anything to say about it. She didn't dwell on what she'd do if she met that same Faunus again. On one hand, she could thank her for sparing her life, or she would be forced to subdue her, if she'd continued down the dark path she was living.

In all honesty, she doubted she'd ever see the girl again, and she was fine with that. She'd already grown up with a skewed view on the Faunus, but that night, even if she was spared, only solidified her hatred. Perhaps it was her being prejudice, but why should she care? She almost died to a Faunus, and knew too many people who had. Beacon was her chance. The trauma of that night, followed by the endless hours of training and studying to be the best, had finally led her to here.

Beacon Academy: a chance at hope.

A/N: So here's a fic I felt like writing. Feature the rare-pair themselves because, despite some of the ship hate I've seem, I really like the Mono's... did I hear someone say otp? There's many a reason as to why I ship the mono's, but in all fairness I ship a lot of characters with a lot of characters. Still, I hope to explore this ship throughout the fic. There will be humor, there will be angst, and there will be good times for all! Hopefully! No regular upload is promised because I have lazy tendencies.

~ Read, review and above all, enjoy! ~