I try not to add comments before my stories, but since this is my first in quite a long time, here goes. This is my first venture into the RWBY fandom and I hope that the point of the story gets across to everyone who reads it. Please comment or message me with any reviews, critiques or edits.

"Enough Yang!" Spat the younger sister with more venom than any of them had ever heard. Angry Ruby was supposed to be cute. Like a puppy barking. This was not that. Ruby's adorable smile was drawn into a tight frown and her wondrous silver eyes were pulled into a dark scowl. There was rage in her words.

"I'm not a child. I'm not your adorable plaything and I am NOT your daughter." With every word, Yang flinched and curled into herself, trying to escape Ruby's wrath. "I got accepted into Beacon just like you did and I was made leader of this team. I've trained just as hard as you and worked just as hard as you. Just because I did it better than you doesn't mean you have the right to treat me like an immature child. To mock my achievements and make jokes. Stop babying me, stop coddling me and stop trying to protect me. I'm your leader. I'm this team's leader and every time you keep things from me to try and protect me, you are not giving me information I could be using to save people's lives. Those men that died tonight? They died because I didn't know about the massacre in the basement. You didn't tell me."

Ruby stepped over her cowering older sister, her voice low and harsh. "I will have to live with their deaths Yang. And you do too."

With that final word, she spun around and grabbed Crescent Rose, leaving the room. The door slammed behind her.

They were all quiet. Blake and Weiss were sitting on Blake's bed, too stunned to say a word. Listening as the silence was filled with the quiet sobs from Yang.

It was too much. They had been a team for a little over a year. They had gotten used to the jokes and the teasing. Having the young girl as their team leader, but also the team's baby sister. That's what Ruby felt like to all of them.

"Yang?" Blake tried to fill the somber mood, unable to find the right words.

"Ruby's gone." Yang sobbed into her knees. "My baby sister is gone and I'm never going to get her back."

Blake reached down to the blonde, hesitating before she could make contact. "She's not gone, Yang. She just needs time to calm down."

"No Blake!" Yang's eyes flashed crimson. "My Ruby is gone. The little girl who thought the best in people and wanted to protect every living thing. That girl is dead because I couldn't tell her about that basement. I killed my Ruby." Tears flooded her eyes as she whimpered, "I killed my Ruby. I killed my Ruby."

Blake looked back at Weiss, who shrugged helplessly.

"Ruby was going to get older eventually," Blake tried to reassure her, knowing that every word she was saying was wrong. Striking like a physical blow against Yang's broken heart. "As much as she hates to admit it, she's a prodigy huntress. She is a brilliant tactician and strategist. There was no way to keep her safe from this part of the world forever."

"I should have tried harder." Yang mumbled. Neither Blake nor Weiss had ever heard so much defeat in the girl's voice before. "I should have protected her. I don't want Ruby to be my leader. I never did. I wanted her to be my baby sister. The girl I cared for. The one I tucked into bed every night with a song, and protected from bullies and put band-aids on her knees when she fell. Not this. Never this."

A fresh wave of guilt hit the trio. All of them were at fault, even though Ruby's anger was focused on her sister. They had all hidden information from the hooded huntress at least once before. This was just the first time lives had been lost.

"Just leave me alone. Thanks for trying, but I don't think anybody but me can solve this." Yang's eyes were red from crying. She looked tired. Worn out. Wasting away. Defeated.

Weiss and Blake looked at each other, a silent conversation trying to find out how to help the usually upbeat blonde but failing. They complied with her demands and left the room.

"Maybe we can find Ruby." Weiss offered, her voice barely a whisper. Blake nodded, not trusting herself to speak. She let Weiss lead her down the halls.

Whenever Ruby was upset, there were only two places she could be. She was either in the forge, working on Crescent Rose or in the training grounds, practicing or sparring with whomever wished to join her. The monochrome pair tried their luck in the armoury first, to no avail. The forge was silent and Ruby's work station was empty. The forge was full, many people sharing workbenches and tables, but they all left Ruby's station alone. With the amount of time Ruby was working in there, it might as well have been reserved ad infinitum. The two asked around, if anyone had spotted the redhead, but they all shook their heads. Ruby had not been down there for a while.

They did look at her work station. Ruby's table was littered with dust and bent metal from dozens of half-finished projects and tinkering. Weiss reached out, lifting up a red cartridge. It looked like any normal munition which Crescent Rose used. Weiss twirled it in her fingers, trying to figure out why it felt so different.

"The tip," Blake commented. Yes, the tip. How could she have not noticed it sooner? Ruby's cartridges usually held a rounded tip. It allowed for more dust to be loaded in and gave a hard punch before the dust contents exploded. The perfect one-two punch against any grimm. First a physical blow, then a dust attack. Add to that the speed and power of her high-calibre gun, it meant many dead grimm.

This one was pointed. It would make for a faster flying bullet for sure, but would hold less dust and would not offer the same sort of brute force attack that worked so well against grimm. This was meant more for piercing. Maybe with the right combination of speed and dust, it could even pierce through the thickest of armours. Weiss breath caught in her throat as she dropped the round. This one wasn't meant for grimm. It was the perfect ammunition to use against people.

Weiss felt Blake's hand on her shoulder in a sign of quiet comfort and sympathy. "Let-let's go." Weiss stammered. They still had to find Ruby.

The two girls walked slowly, shoulders bumping into each other. It was comforting to know that there was someone beside them. To share in the misery. Beacon Academy looked less cheerful today. Nothing about the school had changed. People were still walking to and from classes or lounging on the grass and underneath the trees to escape the warm sun. Everyone's faces were happy or pleased. Without a care in the world. Yet, Weiss and Blake knew of two who would be the opposite. Ruby's smiles had once brightened up all their days. Now, they both could only picture the anger and pain that the little girl had shown them. The girl who wanted to become a huntress to save lives. Not to kill grimm, or escape from something or just for the adventure.

Ruby wanted to help people.

Blake's faunus ears perked up, hearing the clang of metal on metal. There was a spar happening. And by the sound of it, it was a rough one. The two hurried their pace into the open courtyard where the training grounds were located. Already a crowd had formed, but there was no cheering. Just eyes focused on the two fighting in a flurry of motion.

Weiss would notice that red head anywhere. It spun with a ferocity that she had never seen before. Faster than she would have thought imaginable. The almost-sixteen-year-old was swinging her scythe with an intensity which shook the ground beneath her. The girl's giant weapon flew forward, but was thrown off course by something without even being touched. It was then she noticed who Ruby was fighting.

Pyrrha's face was stern and covered in sweat. Her long hair, once tied neatly behind her was blowing wildly in the wind made by the younger girl's attacks. Pyrrha, the invincible girl. Looked tired. Using her semblance to throw Ruby away, the younger girl spun, using the change in direction to add rotational energy to a new attack. One which struck Pyrrha's shield hard, sending the two flying back, but landing on their feet.

Blake looked on. "Jaune says that they've been at it for a while now. Longer than he had ever seen Pyrrha fight for." Weiss nodded in response, not taking her eyes off the fight between the young prodigy and the experienced tournament fighter.

Professor Goodwitch had never paired Ruby with Pyrrha in class before. Weiss had always believed it was because Ruby wasn't strong enough or skilled enough to stand toe to toe with the girl. Even Yang lasted mere minutes against Pyrrha. The invincible girl could have taken out entire teams in the time this match with Ruby was lasting. And that was without even considering how long they had been fighting before she and Blake had arrived to watch.

Ruby was panting from exertion, but so was Pyrrha. It even looked like she had taken damage. Weiss pulled out her scroll and looked at the aura levels of the two combatants. They were lower than she expected. Ruby at less than 40%. The real surprise was that Pyrrha was not doing that much better. Her aura had dropped below halfway. Witnessing another of Ruby's attacks, it was less surprising. Every blow of the scythe against either the shield or spear sent shockwaves. Just by making contact with Ruby's weapon, she was getting injured. No strikes had landed on her person, not with her semblance redirecting the smaller girl.

Pyrrha dove underneath an overhead strike, flipping her spear into a gun and taking three rapid shots at Ruby. Two connected, but the third missed. Ruby fired her own weapon at the ground, achieving incredible height, before firing behind her to gain speed and momentum. Pyrrha dove out of the way, using her semblance to shift Ruby's descent. Never before had she so blatantly used her semblance in a spar.

Ruby expected the slight shift in her weapon. As her weapon began to veer to the left, she moved. Crescent Rose stuck in Pyrrha's polarity felt like it was in a moving brick wall. She used it as a bounce-board, flinging herself off the weapon and directly at Pyrrha. Pyrrha turned her head, just in time to notice Ruby's desperate attack and fierce glare.

She was surprised. Unable to move as the hooded girl landed on top of her, a little fist striking her cheek. The two were on the ground, Ruby on top of Pyrrha. She no longer had her weapon, but her little fists flew with a fury nobody expected from the young and once happy girl. She struck Pyrrha's face and neck. Hard strikes filled with rage and anguish which Pyrrha attempted to block. Finally, Pyrrha kicked out hard. Ruby fell, rolling onto her back. Pyrrha stood on top of her, her weapon in gun form, held over the young girl's head. The two were panting heavily. Pyrrha's forehead and cheeks were red from exertion and slight pain not blocked by her aura.

"Surrender." Pyrrha spoke calmly.

"Shoot me." Ruby replied, surprising the girl over her.

"I said give. Surrender Ruby."

"Shoot me!" Ruby cried out. "Just shoot me! I won't give, you need to shoot me!"

Tear began to flow from the girl's silver eyes.

Pyrrha stepped backwards. The fight was clearly over. She knew it and she knew deep down, so did Ruby. She moved back, her eyes not leaving Ruby's as she sheathed her weapon.

"Shoot me!" Ruby cried out. So much venom and pain filled her voice it caused Pyrrha to flinch, her stern exterior cracking in sympathy for the young girl.

Ruby was crying hard, ugly tears when Blake and Weiss made their way towards her, wrapping her in a strong hug. Her cries softened, but tears still flowed. Her mumbles of pain continued. "Please," she cried softly. "Please shoot me."

Weiss hugged tighter.

There was nothing else she could do.

"Your safe Ruby." Weiss cooed.

"People died, Weiss. Because of me, people died. I can never look at myself in the mirror again without thinking that."

"We're so sorry Ruby." Blake tried, her own eyes glistening with tears she did not know she was capable of. "Me, Weiss, Yang. We all are so sorry. We all loved you and wanted to protect you. We are the reason for their loss. Not you."

Ruby choked. "I'm supposed to be the leader. Anything you do is also my fault. In the end, it will always be my fault."

Her cries lessened and faded into silent whimpers.

The crowd began to disperse. Only team JNPR remained behind, watching the three members of their sister team hug. They all stood together, watching the moment of anguish with a curiousity they knew they shouldn't have.

"I never really believed that Ruby was a prodigy until today." Pyrrha began, turning the heads of her teammates. She handed Jaune her scroll, her own eyes still fixed at the scene before her. Jaune looked down. It was aura levels. Ruby's hovered at 28%. Only another three points more and the fight would have ended from aura loss. As was usual in a fight against Pyrrha.

But Pyrrha's aura. The one which nobody except Yang could bring down to less than 80% now rested at 34. The invincible girl was nearly defeated. "She threw herself at me. At the end, she let go of her weapon and threw herself. If she had any training in unarmed combat, I would have lost."

Jaune looked from the scroll to Ruby, whose shouts and sobs had stopped and looked to be sleeping in the arms of part of her team. The two with Ruby did not dare get up or break their hug. Ruby's sleeping expression was not one any could take comfort in. The girl was not having a pleasant rest.

Ruby, his first friend in Beacon. Maybe even his best friend. She was stronger than he realized. Stronger than any of them had realized.

Ruby woke up in her bed, alone. She leaned forward, rubbing sleep from her eyes. The last few days of memories surged towards her and struck her heart, turning her blissful grin into a grimace. But it was lighter now. It still hurt. She knew that it would never stop hurting. But the pain had lessened. Even slightly.

Stepping out of bed, still in her pajamas, she left the empty room for the cafeteria. Getting a small portion of food, she brought her tray to RWBY's usual table. They were all there. She sat down silently beside her partner, who's hands did not leave the mug of coffee resting on the table top.

None dared to look at their crimson leader. Yang especially shrunk into herself, staring straight down, sniffling. Unsure of herself and her place on the team.

Yang flinched as she felt a hand rest on her own. She shut her eyes hard, not daring to look up, but her will broke. She glanced quickly up, hoping to not see the rage she had the night before. Instead, she was treated to kind eyes. Sadness and pain still filled them, but there was the gentle kindness of her little sister.

"I'm sorry," Ruby said.

It was too much. Tear streamed down Yang's face, as she whimpered her own reply, "I'm so, so sorry Rubes-Ruby." Her voice was barely a whisper. "You're my leader. Younger sister or not, you're in charge and I will never keep anything from you again."

She gave another glance at her little sister. There was no malice in her eyes, nor any part of her face. The complete lack of rage hurt almost as much as the anger did before. Ruby did not need to say a word. Her eyes spoke to her in complete familiarity, which cracked the blonde and pierced her more than any temper or physical blow could.

Ruby had forgiven her.

Yang moaned in pain, tears continuing to fall. Anger she could handle. Yang understood anger and rage. But forgiveness and compassion. That was too much.

"I love you Yang." Ruby said, squeezing her sister's hand. "No matter what, I will love you. You're my big sister and you will always try to protect me."

"I-I" Yang could not get any words out amidst the sobs.

"I never want you to stop." Finally, Yang held Ruby's gazed. "No matter what happens, I know you only do what you do because you care. You were my mother when our mother died and dad couldn't help. You taught me to ride a bike and bought me the crayons I used to design Crescent Rose. You were the one to teach me to use a hammer and screw-driver and you were the one to save me so many times from grimm. You are my big sister and I am your little sister. I am your sister before I'm your leader…. I'm sorry I forgot that."

Climbing over the table, Ruby fell into Yang's lap, wrapping her arms tightly around Yang's neck. Ruby felt Yang's own hands reach over her shoulders and completed the hug.

The two sisters hugged, sharing in their combined sorrow. Sharing in the familiar bond which bound them together. When Weiss and Blake reached over them to join in, they all sighed in somber relief.

They had all been through so much. But there they were. Together as they had always been.

As Team RWBY.