Ruby stretched, hopping down from her bed. She was excited, today they were going on another mission and she was sure she and her team would do well. Blake and Yang were already getting ready yet Weiss had not even moved. Frowning, Ruby moved over to wake her partner. Shaking the girl and telling her to wake did no good, she didn't move.
"C'mon Weiss…" Ruby grumbled, pulling the blanket back.
Weiss still did not move but it was then Ruby saw blood on the heiress's face, it was dried now but had run from her nose and ears.
"Weiss?" Ruby asked, a bit panicked as she shook her partner again.
Weiss wasn't breathing.
"WEISS? WEISS!" Ruby was in tears, unable to process what she was seeing.
Yang and Blake came over when Ruby started yelling, Yang pulled Ruby away and hugged her as Blake looked the motionless girl over.
"She's… dead…" Blake announced.
Ruby sobbed, burying her face against her sister.
"How?" Yang asked, hugging Ruby tightly.
"I don't know…"
"We need to tell a professor."
Since Yang's arms were full of sobbing Ruby, Blake covered Weiss back up and left the room. A few minutes later Blake returned with Professor Glynda, who went over to look at the motionless Weiss.
"Brain aneurysm would be my guess… Poor thing, at least it would have been quick."
Yang was now sitting on Blake's bed, holding Ruby who was beside herself with grief, having lost someone who meant so much to her. She just couldn't seem to stop crying. Her heart ached and her head hurt, unable to accept the truth. Unable to accept that Weiss was just… gone.
"What do we do?" Blake asked.
"For now? Get Ruby out of here, You have the day off, no mission. I'll handle the rest, Weiss's body will be sent to Atlas. To her family."
Blake and Yang both nodded, leaving with Ruby still in Yangs arms. Not knowing where else to go or what to do they knocked on team JNPR's door.
Nora answered and frowned when she saw Ruby. "What happened?"
"Weiss…" Blake explained sadly. From Blake's expression Nora could tell something bad had happened to the heiress. She stepped aside, letting them in.
Ren was sitting on his bed pulling on his shoes, looking every bit a zombie. Pyrrha was brushing her hair and Jaune was doing a poor job of fixing his bed. All three looked up when the remaining members of team RWBY walked in.
"What happened?" Jaune asked, worried.
"It's Weiss…. She died last night." Blake explained. Jaune sat down very slowly, stunned.
"How? She seemed fine yesterday?" Pyrrha asked, confused.
"Glynda thinks it was an aneurysm…"
Yang came over and sat next to Jaune, rocking slightly and holding her sister tight, trying to comfort her though it seemed like nothing would. Like nothing could even get to her.
Weiss looked around, confused by the men in her team's room, they were zipping up a big black bag on a stretcher, a body bag she realized.
"What are you doing? Who is that?" She demanded. They didn't answer her.
Glynda was there, standing off to the side but Weiss did not see her team. Unsure what to do she headed over to the professor.
"Miss Goodwitch? What is going on?" No answer, Glynda didn't even seem to see or hear her.
"Why are you ignoring me?" Still no answer.
"What was the girl's last name?" Asked an officer with a clipboard.
"Schnee." Glynda replied sadly.
"What?" Weiss looked from the two of them to the black bag on the stretcher and back again. "No.."
"She was a first year…" Glynda added and the officer nodded.
"This has to be a dream… A really bad dream." Weiss huffed. "And once you know it's a dream you can wake up, so, I'm just going to wake up now."
Weiss did everything she could think of to wake herself up and none of it worked. Finally, frustrated, she tried to leave the room even though there was a person standing in the doorway. She tried to push past them and found herself pushing through them and stumbled into the hallway, trying to shake off the unpleasant feeling. The person in the doorway shifted uncomfortably as well.
Now that she was in the hall she could hear someone crying.
Not sure what was going on, not accepting her fears she reached for the knob of the door. Again her hand passed right through, though it wasn't as unpleasant as when she had walked through a person. With a huff she walked through the door.
Inside was team JNPR and her own teammates. Ruby was crying so she hurried over.
"Ruby? Guys? What is going on? Why can't Glynda see me? Why am I walking through doors and people? Who died?" No one answered her, no one looked at her or seemed to hear.
"What… what am I going to do without Weiss?" Ruby sobbed.
"I know it's hard, we can make it through this Ruby." Yang said, hugging Ruby close and burying her face in her little sis's hair.
"Why does everyone I love die?" Ruby sobbed harder, ending her sentence with a wail.
Weiss sunk to the floor, unable to deny it any longer. "I'm dead…"
Suddenly the crying stopped and Weiss found herself somewhere very dark. She looked up to see the place she was in looked like the dorm halls but darker, the light seemed to barely illuminate anything and all the colors were deeply saturated. She stood, trying to figure out how she had gotten there when a man appeared before her. He was dressed in a black suit and had white hair, he looked young but at the same time his eyes held a wisdom that only comes with age. One of the doors behind him in the hall opened and light poured in from it. He held a hand out to her.
"Come with me dear child."
"No… Who are you? Where does that go?"
"To the place your ancestors rest. It is time."
"No! I'm still young, I have to fix my family's reputation, I need to at least finish school!" She snapped at him, backing away.
"You cannot do this. Your time has come."
"I don't believe you!" She snapped at him, turning and running down the hall. The farther away she got the darker the hall got. She tried opening some of the doors but none of them budged.
"This is most unwise miss Schnee." The man called after her, his voice seeming so far away. She didn't care. She wasn't ready.
The farther away from him the darker the hall got, yet somehow she was still able to see. While the floor seemed linier she felt like it was twisting under her feet, making her feel like she was running on the wall, then on the ceiling though her feet were still pounding along the maroon carpet. The hall seemed to just go on and on.
Ruby didn't really remember much of that day, just the feeling of her sister being close and the knowledge her partner was gone forever. Ozpin had postponed their mission, it wasn't a pressing thing she guessed, though part of her wished he hadn't. The next day she remembered what Glynda had said about sending Weiss back to her family and she wondered if they would have a funeral.
Ruby found herself sitting next to her sister in the cafeteria, she felt more cold than hungry, even with her favorite food sitting in front of her it was untouched.
"You gotta eat sis.." Yang said suddenly, drawing Ruby from her thoughts, she could tell her sister was worried.
"Yeah…" Though she proceeded to poke at her food and push it around the plate, she just couldn't bring herself to eat. She didn't want food, she wanted her partner. Ruby continued like this for a while, not really listening to anyone, not really paying any attention to what she was doing, it was like she was on autopilot. Going through the motions with no motivation. She felt cold, remote and that cold was quickly turning her senses numb.
There were points she would look up, around, and see where she was and wonder how she had gotten there, how she had lost the last six hours.
It was the same case the day of Weiss's funeral, she didn't even know what day it was anymore. First thing she remembered that day was her sister helping her pick clothes the next thing she knew she was walking behind Winter Schnee, carrying Weiss's coffin to the mausoleum. She couldn't help but think how cold Atlas was, how heavy Weiss's coffin was, how numb she felt. Again she was just going through the motions, almost like she was watching herself from outside, like some horrible dream she couldn't wake up from.
She heard people talking but didn't know what they were saying, their words empty and hollow to her.
The next time she took note of her surroundings she was on an airship, heading back for Beacon and her sister was kneeling in front of her.
"Ruby please, snap out of it, you are really scaring me."
"You don't look good in black…" Was all Ruby managed to say in response.
Somewhere she knew Yang was hugging her, crying even, yet she couldn't respond or even care. She was numb and the world was bleak.
The next thing she knew she was laying in her bed, unable to sleep, images of how she found Weiss kept running through her head so she got up. Blake and Yang had fallen asleep in the same bed, scrolls laying beside them.
She walked over to the closet she had shared with Weiss and found that some of Weiss's clothes had been left behind. Ruby pulled the jacket off the hanger and pressed it to her face, it still smelled like Weiss and Ruby was struck by a whole new wave of sorrow and agony. She hugged the jacket to her and sobbed, trying hard to convince herself that Weiss was still there and she was fine and nothing hurt. Everything hurt and she only managed to cause herself more pain.
Ruby wasn't even sure she remembered what it was like to not hurt or feel numb anymore.
Weiss wasn't sure how long she'd been running down the hall before she saw another open door. It didn't have any light flowing through it but she did hear quiet sobs and realized it was Ruby. Worried about her partner, Weiss stepped through that door and the hall vanished behind her.
"Ruby?" She asked softly but still she was not answered.
She crept closer to see Ruby sitting in the floor, holding her jacket and crying into it. Weiss wasn't sure how long she had been in that hall but she could tell from looking at Ruby it had been a while. Ruby's pajamas fit her very loosely, she was pale and did not look well.
"Ruby…" Weiss whispered, not really expecting a reply this time. She knelt next to har partner and rested her hand on Ruby's shoulder, it was difficult to touch her without putting her hand through her. Ruby fell silent and froze, looking up at the room in confusion, even glancing Weiss's way yet not seeing her.
Weiss wanted to talk to her, wished with all her heart she could just hug her one more time. Instead she watched as the younger girl closed her eyes and fell forward then rolling to her side, clutching the jacket close and tears running down her cheeks to drip on the floor.
Weiss felt tears of her own rolling down her face as she reached for her living partner. She was distracted a minute later by a low growl. Glancing up she saw a huge dog, it's eyes glowed red like a Grimm, it's fur was dark but not quite black. It snarled with huge fangs that glimmered even in the lack of light. She glanced fearfully back to the girl on the floor. Even when the beast howled Ruby didn't move so Weiss guessed only she could see it. Looking back up she realized it was only inches away now, it's breath hot in her face and smelling heavily of blood.
With a terrified scream she turned and ran, finding herself in the hall again with the hound right on her heels. It snarled and nipped at her, trying hard to catch her. She ran as fast as she could, not even paying attention to where she was going, just trying to get away. She was in a panic as she ran, not sure what to do, she didn't have her weapon so she couldn't fight. However, that didn't mean she didn't have her semblance. She attempted to use her glyphs to slow the beast down but they did not come to her call and the momentary distraction cost her.
She tripped and rolled down the hall, the hound closing on her with it's vicious teeth. She felt the sharp stinging pain as it bit her leg and the crushing force of its jaws. Weiss screamed and kicked at the thing. It only growled at her.
The longer it held on the weaker she felt, fighting back became very difficult.
"I tried to warn you miss Schnee…" It was the man in black again.
"Will you then come with me?"
"I can't… Not yet."
"Don't you see? The only thing that awaits you in this realm is the hungry hounds. They will devour your very soul."
"Why can't I just go back?"
"That is impossible."
The dog bit down harder causing Weiss to scream in pain.
"I will find a way!" She snapped, suddenly furious, she used that anger and ripped her leg free of the hound. It tore her leg up badly in the process but she was free to run. She sprinted away again, this time escaping from the dog despite her wounded leg. Looking at the wound she was shocked to not find blood dripping from the tattered skin but mist flowing out of it. That mist just seemed to hang around her and she had a feeling that was not a good thing.
With Ruby lost in her depression, Glynda had thought it a good idea to put the girl to work in the hopes of Ruby out of it by distracting her. She gave the team a new mission, going with them just in case it didn't work. They set out to one of the small villages outside of the city of Vale, it was suffering from an onslaught of Grimm attacks.
Ruby felt oddly detached again, it was the first time since Weiss's death she had been allowed to have her weapon, even then Yang and Glynda watched her closely. They rode together in the bullhead, Blake trying to draw her into a conversation by talking about books Yang had told her she'd read. Ruby tried to focus, to respond but it seemed so pointless.
They arrived at the location and found the Grimm attacking again. They quickly set to work. Ruby did feel slightly better taking out her pain on the evil monsters, making them suffer like she had suffered, still, she wasn't at her peak health or attention span.
She didn't have the heart for it she used to.
Yang and Blake worked well together yet the four of them as a whole were disorganized and not quite the killing force they should have been. Ruby was too distracted to work with anyone for more than a few minutes.
At first the Grimm ranks had been thin, a few here and there, trickling in like a slow leak. Suddenly, new Grimm started showing themselves, bigger and older Grimm. Smarter Grimm.
Glynda found herself having to give cover from a nevermore as one of the buildings the village's children had been hiding in collapsed. Blake and Yang focused on taking down a death stalker. Ruby killed several more beowolves then found herself staring up at a huge one, it was bigger than any ursa, covered in huge spikes and it growled at her.
She raised her weapon to face the thing but found herself unable to do anything. It readied itself to lunge at her. In that moment she accepted her fate. Knowing she couldn't kill a Grimm that old. It's huge fanged maw came speeding towards her yet she wasn't afraid.
"RUBY!" Yang screamed.
She didn't move.
Just as the fangs were nearly to her she caught a glimpse of fire rush past her, Yang's fist connecting with the beast's nose, turning it just enough to bite the ground next to Ruby.
"Pay attention! You'll get killed!" Yang snapped at her.
For the first time in a long time Ruby saw things clearly, able to think with all of her mind, for the moment her pain and sorrow faded and she was able to focus. She gave her sister a determined nod and turned back to the Grimm. They both fired at it as it rose for another attack, that only seemed to enrage it, though.
She and Yang worked together well with Blake providing cover as the two punched, slashed and shot at the oversized Grimm. Despite their efforts though, it hardly seemed bothered, only angry. Ruby rushed it's flank, looking for a weak spot when it turned suddenly, violently to lunge at Yang.
Ruby was unable to stop her momentum and was caught in the face by it's tail, the bone spikes caught her cheek and the next thing she knew she was flying backwards and rolling through the dirt.
"Ruby!" Yang cried as her sister tried to get to her feet.
"I'm fine!" She yelled back. She was trying to open her eyes, they felt like they were already open and yet she couldn't see. Her face hurt bad and she reached up to cover her eyes with her hand, to feel for damage, what she felt was a bloody mess and touching it made the wound burn. The pain was white hot, overwhelming and ground accepted her as she passed out.
Yang huffed a sigh, listening to the heart monitor that beeped in time with the unconscious Ruby's heart. Blake was half sitting on a stool, half draped across Ruby's bed crying.
"C'mon Blake, it's not your fault she got hurt. Stop blaming yourself."
Blake only sniffled, rubbing her eyes.
"Everything will be fine."
Ruby stirred, groaning.
"See! She's waking up!"
"How do you feel?" Blake asked, trying to keep her voice from cracking.
Ruby ran her hands over the bandages around her head. "What happened…"
"That Grimm got you in the face… It took your eyes."
"I.. I'm blind?"
"Yes… But don't worry, I'm going to take care of you." Blake promised.
"We will." Yang corrected.
"Where is Yang?"
"Don't be silly, I'm right here!"
"She didn't make it."
Yang felt like she had been punched, that explained why Blake had not been answering her…
"No…" Ruby shuddered, lowering her hands to her lap, her lips quivered but she could no longer cry.
"No… No I'm right here! Can't you hear me? Blake look at me! I'm here!" Yang yelled at them, waving her hands in Blake's face.
"No.." Yang said, backing away.
Suddenly she found herself standing in a hallway, it looked like the dorm halls, yet… wrong. She heard a noise behind her and turned, coming face to face with Weiss.
"You can see me? Wait, how did you get here?"
"Apparently I'm dead."
"Join the club…" Weiss sighed. "It's not fair… I'm not done yet.."
Yang shrugged. "It was gonna happen sooner or later, just happened sooner. Hey, what happened to your leg?"
"There is some kind of dog monster that roams these halls, It bit me."
"Oh, Is there anything else here?"
"A man in a suit, other than you that is all I've seen in these halls… Once in a while one of the doors will open and I can see you guys but, it's rare… How long have I been dead?"
"About three months when I was last alive…"
"Really? It only feels like a few hours at most…."
"That is because of where you are." A male voice filled the room. The young man appeared again, an open door behind him flooded the hall with light.
"Not you again…" Weiss grumbled.
"Who are you?"
"I am the angel of death."
"Listen here bub, neither of us are done yet, we are going to find a way back to the world of the living and go back to our teammates and then everything will be better!" Weiss snapped.
"Don't you understand?" Death snarled, a wave of his hand openeđ the door next to them, showing them the hospital room. Showing them Ruby, her arms over her face as she cried, face covered in bandages. Blake held her and cried just as hard.
"If you do not accept your fate neither can those closest to you! If you do not move on neither can they! The longer you wait here, trying to get back what you cannot the more they suffer! You are not meant to exist in this place forever, this is just a passageway, you need to move on. If you remain you will only cause those you love to suffer, they cannot have peace until you have it. If you let the hellhound devour you they will never again know peace. Ever."
"So we have to give up?"
"You arent even fighting."
Yang reached down and took Weiss's hand. "C'mon, we can't go backwards and I don't want them to hurt, do you?"
"Then let's go, see what is waiting for us. It's a new adventure."
Weiss sighed but nodded.
Death gave Yang a grateful nod and stepped aside, letting them pass through. Weiss was hesitant and didn't trust Death but she trusted Yang and followed her through the glowing door.
Death sighed, relieved he no longer had to deal with the rich little heiress. He closed the door behind them plunging the hall into darkness and reached down to pat the hellhound that appeared next to him. They walked over to the other door and looked at the two still living girls. The hellhound whined at the crying teammates.
"Worry not, the unnecessary suffering will end now that the others have moved on." With that Death closed that door as well.
Ruby and Blake cried together, mourning the loss of their fiery companion. Somewhere deep down Ruby felt part of her pain lessen, she felt a weight lift from her chest as the last of her tears fell. She was sad yes, she missed her sister and her partner yet, the pain no longer felt strong enough to destroy her. She would be alright, she would be able to live again. After a while her sobs subsided and Blake fell asleep. She had climbed into the bed to hug her while they cried and now Ruby just laid there, unable to see anything but feeling the faunus girl wrapped around her, the pillow wet from tears.
It was rather awkward but eventually she, too, fell asleep.
Glynda found them like that a while later and smiled to herself, sure that they could pull through this tragedy together. Ozpin stepped in next to her, looking at them he nodded.
"I can ship that."
Glynda turned a wide eyed look on him and smacked his leg with her riding crop.
"What? My other ships sank when the girls died…"
Glynda growled and raised the Riding crop threateningly. Ozpin knew better than to push her farther, he turned and left.
Glynda was still there when the girls woke. "How are you holding up?"
"Surprisingly well.." Ruby noted, shifting under Blake. "Sometimes it's hard to tell if I'm awake or not though."
"I can only imagine… I spoke with Fox from team CFVY, he agreed to teach you anything he can about fighting blind. As well as anything else you need help with."
"Ughh." Blake groaned, sat up and rubbed her eyes, they were sore and puffy from all the crying.
"Thank you… Why Fox?"
Blake got up and went to wash her face while the others talked. Ruby was glad Blake still seemed to be herself, sad but not the mess Ruby had been after Weiss had died. She was also glad she was finally able to breathe again. She missed Weiss, her sister too, this was true, but she felt like they would want her to keep going. Ruby found herself with an odd determination to make her late sister proud of her. To overcome this handicap and become a Huntress unhindered.
Ruby turned her head the direction she guessed Glynda to be in. "So… I know she's gone but… what exactly happened to Yang?"
The professor sighed heavily and Ruby guessed she had looked away from her.
"Yang… she tried to take that Beowolf on her own after you got hurt, she fell into a rage. I tried to call out to her, to get her out of there but she wouldn't listen. Then, it just... it hit her with it's paw, slammed her into the ground and I swear I could hear….. Anyway, she didn't get up after that. Blake and I managed to finish it off, your sister did do a number on it. After that… I checked on her but it was too late. She was gone. I'm sorry Ruby."
Ruby sat up and found Glynda's hand. "Don't blame yourself, she wouldn't want that."
A small sound escaped Glynda's lips and Ruby assumed she nodded. Blake returned a few moments later and pushed something into Ruby's hands.
"What's this?" Ruby felt over the item with her free hand and her question was answered when she stuck her fingers in water. "Oh."
"I brought you a sandwich too.."
Blake sat next to Ruby, watching her as she tried to take a drink and manage to miss her mouth with the cup. Blake redirected the glass and Ruby made an appreciative sound.
"So, what happens now?" Blake asked as she looked up at the professor.
"Well… You two are now partners, beyond that unless we get transfers from another school, you will be your own team."
Ruby switched hands with the glass and reached with her free hand to find first Blake, then her arm, down her arm to the waiting sandwich. Ruby managed better with this than she had with the water at first, she was quickly catching on.
"I've been kinda out of it lately." Ruby started.
"We know." Both the others said together.
"Eh… and anyway, How's team JNPR? I don't remember if I've seen them recently or not…"
"They are out on a mission with Professor Oobleck." Glynda explained.
"Oh? how's he?" Ruby asked as she stuffed her face, only then realizing how hungry she was.
"Well enough, I suppose… Still drinks too much… coffee."
Ruby squeaked in pain when she managed to bite her own finger.
"Don't inhale it!" Blake laughed.
It was the first real laugh Ruby had heard in a while and it drew a giggle from her. Glynda smiled at the two, reassured that they would be alright.
"Team CFVY are back from their mission." Ozpin stated as he entered the room.
"They left yesterday…" Glynda noted.
"Velvet handled most of it this time."
"Oh, I see."
"Does that mean I get to talk to Fox soon?"
"As soon as he's up to it, he looked terribly exhausted." Ozpin answered, his voice getting a bit louder, Ruby realized he was just getting closer, not raising his voice.
"You really think Ruby will be able to relearn how to fight? It's safe?" Blake asked, worried.
"You've seen Ruby fight? You've seen Fox fight as well?" Ozpin asked.
"It just sounds dangerous…"
"Thanks for the vote of confidence." Ruby said as she stuffed the last of the sandwich in her mouth.
Pyrrha deflected the Ursa's blow with her shield, that caused it to be torn from her hands and sent the disk flying. Before she could use her semblance to get it back the ursa knocked her to the ground, raising its claws to crush her.
Jaune managed to get between them at the last second, trying to knock the claws away but his angle was off from the charge and his sword only managed to change the angle of the ursa's paw, driving it's claws through his chest.
Jaune cried out, still trying to strike the beast.
There was a loud explosion and the ursa toppled with Nora standing on it's side. The impact was enough to free Jaune of it's claws and he fell into Pyrrha's lap. Nora cast them a worried glance but had no time to actually stop before rushing off to help Ren.
"Jaune?" Pyrrha struggled out from under her partner, worried. He tried to answer but could only manage to cough. He smiled up at her with blood dripping from his lips. Pyrrha shifted around to sit and hold him, offering him a warm smile as she fought back tears. She knew he wouldn't survive.
"I… saved you.." He smiled then coughed. More blood came up with that cough.
"Yes, very heroic of you." She nodded, honest.
A burning Beowolf rolled past them, screaming in agony. He nodded weakly, grinning stupidly and unable to speak. His strength was abandoning him quickly. He wanted to say more, wanted to to tell her to look out for the team… but the world was going dark.
Tears fell freely down Pyrrha's face though she was trying hard not to cry, to make sure it was only warmth that carried him over but she could hold it no more, watching the light fade from his eyes. She was only vaguely aware someone was calling her name. About the time she realized she was in danger it was too late. Long Beowolf claws dug into her back, running her through. The last thing Jaune saw was Pyrrha's face filled with agony.
Snarling in pain, she twisted the arm that still held her weapon and stabbed the creature behind her, it's claws slipped out of her and took her weapon from her hand as it fell dead behind her. The blood flowed faster with it's claws gone and she felt herself weakening. She saw Nora rushing over as she fell forward, on top of Jaune who had long since gone still.
"Nora! Get back!" Oobleck's voice rang out and Nora squeaked.
Not a moment later something impaled Pyrrha. She noticed the shadow of a Nevermore feather sticking out of her back as the world fell dark.
Jaune found himself standing in a hall, it was dark and somehow familiar yet not. He was looking around and knew he was dead or at least he thought he should be, when someone rested a hand on his shoulder, causing him to jump. He turned to see Pyrrha.
"Wait… No… You're not?"
"I let my guard down." She shrugged.
Jaune sighed. "So, we're both dead…"
"Now it is time to move on." Came an unfamiliar male voice.
They looked to see a young man with white hair in a black suit. There was a door open behind him that cast a bright light into the hall.
"What's in there? Other than light, that is…"
Pyrrha rolled her eyes, grinning.
"To be honest, I don't know exactly. I do know your ancestors are there as well as your fallen friends, Weiss and Yang."
"Wait, when did Yang die?" Jaune frowned.
"A couple of days ago."
"I guess we should go meet up with them and find out what happened…" Pyrrha noted. Jaune nodded and they both headed through the door.
Death closed it behind them.
It was bright enough it took them several minutes to adjust their eyes. When they did thought they were greeted by a beautiful garden in the middle of a forest, mountains beyond that. Near the middle of the garden was a pond, sitting next to this was Yang and Weiss.
"I think they are cute together." Yang was saying.
"I guess… I still don't really like the idea though." Weiss grumbled.
"I dated Blake long enough to be sure she will take care of Ruby, as her big sister I approve, I mean, look how cute they are!"
Both girls were looking into the pond, watching something. Jaune and Pyrrha walked over, looking in as well. What they saw was Blake, Ruby, Glynda and Ozpin in the infirmary, Ruby's face was bandaged.
"Hi, guys." Pyrrha said cheerfully, causing both girls to jump.
"Seriously? How did you guys get yourselves killed? I mean, I'm sure Mr. Bumbles here just pricked his finger on a spinning wheel or ate a poisoned apple or something but you too?" Weiss's tone was incredulous.
"Lots of Grimm." Jaune added.
Weiss shook her head and Yang patted the ground next to her. "Here, let me show you how to run this thing."
Ren and Nora stepped off the Bullhead together. Nora clung the sides of Ren's shirt, her face buried in the cloth as she sobbed uncontrollably. Oobleck followed them, feeling as though he had failed.
Ozpin was waiting there to welcome them back, or, to at least see how they were holding up.
"They… They're gone…" Ren stopped in front of the headmaster, not sure what to do. Nora was struck with a new wave of tears.
"I know…" Ozpin offered gently, resting a hand on Oobleck's shoulder as he passed. The professor paused momentarily, looking at Ozpin with a crestfallen expression. Ozpin gave the other man a sympathetic look and squeezed his shoulder a bit before letting his friend past.
"What do we do now?" Ren asked, seeming unsure of anything.
"Well… You two will remain as partners, and as it turns out, there is another team that has suffered two losses."
"Who?" Nora asked, peeking up from behind Ren, the saddened, tearstreaked look did not suit her.
"I know they lost Weiss…" Ren stated, confused.
"Yang was lost during their last mission outside of the city."
Nora started sobbing again, burying her face in Ren's shirt once more. Ozpin led them to the area in the courtyard that Fox was using to teach Ruby how to use her ears to their fullest.
The rest of Fox's team was off to the side with Blake.
Ozpin paused and watched them a moment before calling out to them. "Ruby, Blake, will you come here?"
Blake stood, gathering quite a bit from grim and sad expressions. Ruby turned and headed for Ozpin's voice, as she drew closer she could hear someone breathing irregularly, as if they had been crying.
"Is something wrong?" Ruby asked.
"Jaune and Pyrrha did not make it back."
Nora made another distressed sound, causing Ruby to reach for her only to find Ren. He guided Ruby's hand to Nora's and she gave it a squeeze. Nora looked up at her.
"What happened to your eyes?"
"Grimm, it was huge." Ruby grinned.
"Due to the circumstances, I have decided to merge your teams. You will now be known as team RBNR with Ruby as your leader."
"Are you sure? I can't see…"
"I don't think that will hold you back."
"I really don't mind letting someone else take charge, I really am okay with that…"
"My mind is made up, I think what has happened will only make you stronger."
"I know you can do it." Ren said, resting a hand on her shoulder. Ruby nodded, determined to do her best.
Fox taught her how to fight blind, along with how to deal with her disability from day to day and still get through school. As time passed the pain of the team's losses faded, or rather, they got used to living with it.
They worked well together and despite Ruby's blindness she led them well. Ruby and Blake became as inseparable as Nora and Ren. It was hard. But they survived and those looking after them in the afterlife… they were proud.
So, wow... everything in my life exploded! PC went down, lost my job, had to move twice... I have limited internet and my laptop is slowly dying but I haven't abandoned everything like it might seem... I'm just trying to get my life reassembled.
I found this fic edited and buried in my docs so I decided to throw it at you lot because that's all I've got right now. Not sure how many editors went through it or even if Editor 3 was done with it but I think so. I did the formatting so it's my fault if anything is off from normal.
Hopefully I can get back on track and continue writing. My social media is listed on my author page if you would like to follow me on one of those!