So... this was supposed to be a one-shot. A simple tale; one more about coming to terms with yourself than with the romance of Ruby and Weiss. As I read through the reviews, inspiration struck for a second part to this story. A mostly self-contained story that built off the previous chapter, but I felt told the next step in coming out. What started out as five pages of notes (yes, I learned my lesson from the first part's lack of notes), eventually exploded into 7.5k words and the longest single chapter I've released in anything, to date. Thank you all for your incredible words which prompted the creation of this part 2. Enjoy.
Ruby hummed as she skipped back to the gate where a nervous and nervously excited honourary brother and half-sister were waiting for her. Ruby smiled as she gave the two of them a big hug, bringing a squeal of anticipation from her sister.
"So? How did it go? You're smiling, it must have gone well. She your girlfriend now?"
"Nope!" Ruby beamed, tugging the two along with her back to their home. She only glanced back once or twice as Yang gawked at her demeanor and Jaune tried his best to understand her confusingly cheery attitude.
"I asked her if she wanted to go on a date with me and she said no. She was really nice though…" Ruby blushed and looked down, twisting in her spot. "She said she wants to be friends first before getting romantically involved with anyone."
Ruby's blush turned crimson. "But she told me to ask again in a month."
Ruby yelped as she found herself on the ground, stuck in a dog-pile containing a wheezing Jaune and laughing big sister. "I'm so proud of you Ruby!"
"Ya, so am I," Jaune struggled to say, beneath the heavy blonde. While similarly stuck under the two of them, Ruby couldn't help but giggle at the situation.
"Thanks guys. You two are the best."
Only a few moments later, Ruby waved goodbye to Jaune and Yang lead her up to their shared bedroom for another important and secretive sister conversation. One which started with Yang plopping down on her bed, legs crossed, and gesturing for Ruby to do the same in an empty spot next to her, which she inevitably did.
Yang stared at Ruby without a sound. Ruby looked into her sister's serious eyes. Did she do something wrong? Was this about Weiss? No, Yang was happy about that. Ruby inaudibly gasped, did she accidentally use Yang's shampoo?
"We need to have a very serious talk," Yang began.
"Is this going to be one of those serious-serious talks? Or is this the sort of serious talk which is just an elaborate set up to a joke?"
"When are you going to tell dad?"
Ruby frowned, "oh. Serious-serious."
Ruby didn't know. Really, she never thought that far ahead. She wanted to tell Yang; no, she needed to tell Yang. And Jaune too, but that was more of Jaune being super-smart than her truly telling him. But her father? Ruby didn't quite know how to go about that. It was... easier with Yang in a way. Yang and her were super close. Even though she was scared of what Yang would think, there was always the voice in the back of her head that knew Yang would always love her. She wasn't as close with her father though. It's what happens when she looks identical to a younger version of her mother and the woman who crushed her father's heart.
"Can i just... not tell him?"
Yang shook her head. "Do you think you will be happy having to hide who you are everywhere you go, even while at home? The place you are supposed to feel the most relaxed?"
"Maybe just for a little while?"
"Rubes, you told me. You told Jaune. And you asked out the girl you have a crush on. And she said yes-"
"-In a month-"
"A tentative yes. Don't you feel awesome? Powerful? Like, with a ton of courage and stuff? You know, like how i feel on a daily basis?"
The last comment brought a giggle from Ruby, just as Yang hoped it would.
"Then, don't you think you should be using your newfound power to tell dad before it goes away? Trust me, you'll feel better having said it, than hiding it."
"No butts. Except for mine that is, because it's amazing. You'll feel better. Have a little faith, okay?"
"Can I... sleep on it."
"Of course, little sis."
Yang brought Ruby into a one-armed hug, placing a kiss on her forehead. Ruby encircled her own arms around the blonde, enjoying the warmth that was shared between them.
Ruby heard a faint tap on her window. Looking around to make sure that Yang was nowhere in sight, she slid away from their shared desk and onto her bed, miniature whiteboard and marker in tow. She heard a second tap as she opened up the curtains of her window. Staring at her with a small smile was her neighbour holding up her own whiteboard
Ruby giggled lightly, a faint blush on her cheeks as she wrote her own note and held it up to the window.
'Hi. Want me to open up my window so we can talk?'
Weiss smiled as she shook her head, holding up a new message.
'Don't want my parents hear.' She held up a finger as she erased and wrote down the rest of her message, 'this makes it feel like a spy movie.'
Ruby had no real answer to that. But, to her it made perfect sense. It was a mini-adventure. One with a friend and crush. Two girls talking silently so their parents and siblings wouldn't know about their interactions. As if they were on two different sides of warring families, trying desperately to stay in touch. It was romantic in a way.
Kind of like Romeo and Juliet.
Ruby quickly shook that thought from her head. No, she refused to let it be like Romeo and Juliet. She had no plans to die over a crush, even if it ended up being requited.
Their conversation continued, Ruby sharing stories from her old town and about her father's new job and about their dog Zwei. Weiss shared a few of her own, mostly about her sister and how she always wanted bunk beds as a child, and would love to meet Zwei since she never had a dog before. To the redhead, it was amazing to talk to Weiss. To learn more about her and just know that there was no awkwardness between them over what had happened earlier in the weekend. As they messaged each other through the window, only taking a short break when Yang came in to grab some clothing for a shower, their conversation became a little more serious. Ruby told Weiss about how she came out to Yang, as well as the date-not-date with Jaune. A story which seemed to relieve Weiss. The conversation eventually turned to Weiss and her parents.
'So, what do you parents think about who you date?'
Weiss shrugged once she read Ruby's question, taking a moment to write down her reply.
'They didn't really care too much when I told them about me. Winter was supportive and Whitley just followed father's lead of not caring much. In my parents' minds, as long as I marry someone respectable and of a similar socioeconomic standing, then it could be either a guy or girl for them.'
'Would you prefer a guy or girl?'
Weiss rolled her eyes. 'I'm giving you a month to woo me. What do you think?'
The reply made Ruby blush profusely, much to Weiss's delight. Ruby's blush deepened and her heart hammered in her chest as she watched Weiss's silent laughter through the window.
The dinner table was quiet, aside from the clinking of forks and knives on dishes as Ruby, Yang and their father Tai, sat around the circular kitchen table eating a well prepared meal. Yang had opted to move her chair a little closer to that of her younger sister's and away from their father. Not that he truly minded. It just meant that his two amazing daughters would be in front of him, instead of next to him. Better to look at, he had said.
"Ruby Gem? Can you pass the peas?" Their father asked.
"Ooh, me next." Yang said, lifting her view from her own plate, piled high with mashed potatoes and roast beef, all smothered in gravy.
"Thanks, my dear baby girl," he said with a wink, causing Ruby to roll her eyes at his usual behaviour.
The meal returned to silence once more. The three of them continued eating. Well, Yang and their father continued eating, but Ruby's plate, still piled with her usual large portions of food was barely touched. If anything, the contents were only spread around a little more as she played with her food, rolling peas through a gauntlet of gravy and potatoes.
Finally, she heard her father sigh exaggeratedly. "Come on Gem. I know you want to tell me something. Firecracker over there keeps giving you the side-eye and you haven't funneled your entire meal and asked for seconds yet. What's on your mind?"
Ruby looked up at her smiling father. She felt Yang's hand on her forearm, a gentle squeeze of support.
"What would you say if I was gay?" Ruby cringed. She had an entire plan. A speech prepared detailing exactly what she wanted to say and how to say it. But instead, the first words out of her mouth was a question that anyone with half a brain could understand the message behind it. Still, she waited for her father to respond.
The kitchen was even quieter than it had been before, now that all attention was placed on the conversation, rather than the meal. More so, all attention was placed on their father as his face flickered through a handful of emotions, most often returning to surprise.
He flinched when he noticed his daughters having the same reaction.
"Um... Ruby. Thank you for having the courage to tell me. It was very brave of you." He gave her a small smile.
"And?" Yang asked, eyes beckoning her father to continue.
"And? Oh, and I respect your choices, Ruby."
"Thanks, dad. Can I be excused? I just have a lot on my mind right now."
"Of course. I'll clean up everything."
With that, Ruby excused herself from the table and wandered back up to her room. Where, she was quickly pounced on by Yang, squealing.
"Rubyroo! I'm so proud of you! That was amazing, no pauses, no stuttering. Just you being your awesome gay -gay as in happy, obviously... Or do I mean both now? Whatever,- self."
Ruby giggled, "thanks Yang. I couldn't have done it without you there. I was so scared."
"Course you could've. You heard what dad said. The bravest! That's what you are. Now, everyone that matters knows. Unless you want to tell all our friends? No, that's future us's problems. One thing at a time, I always say."
"Ya, you say that whenever you have more than one project to work on at a time." Ruby laughed, shoving her sister off of her.
"I will have you know that I always end up finishing my work well ahead of the deadlines."
"10 minutes before-"
"Still counts as ahead of the deadlines!" Yang bellowed, causing the two of them to erupt into another fit of laughter.
Ruby could not remember smiling as much as she did now. Maybe it was because her heart was still hammering away in her chest as the last bits of nerves and anxiousness left her. Maybe it was because she finally, truly figured out who she was, at least in a romantic sense. Or maybe it was because she just needed a good laugh alongside her sister. She didn't really know, nor did she spend any time thinking too deeply into it. For now, she felt free.
Taiyang Xiao Long's orange van pulled up into the school's main parking lot, letting his two daughters hop out. The weather was starting to turn, great grey clouds covering the sun and a slight wind nipping at Ruby's scarf. Their father stepped out of his vehicle and around to Ruby and Yang to properly see them off for another day of class. He hugged Yang, squeezing her shoulders and rubbing his chin in her hair, mostly to annoy his hair-crazed daughter.
"Dad! Stop it with the hair!" Yang whined in a way that only a father could accomplish.
"That's my Firecracker. Have a great day at school, honey."
"Thanks dad," she said, smiling as she did her best to fix her hair after his chin-attack.
Next, his focus turned to Ruby. Kneeling down on one knee, he held her at arms length and stared straight into her silver eyes. Ruby gripped his forearms and returned his gaze.
"Have a good day at school Ruby. Be a good girl." He gave her a small smile.
She nodded, "I will, dad. See you after class."
The morning bell rang, signalling ten minutes before class was to begin. Ruby was at her locker, switching out her textbooks for those of her morning subjects, plus her chemistry book just in case she had some free time for light reading. From the corner of her eye, she could see her elder sister shake her head dejectedly, knowing exactly what Ruby planned to do with that extra textbook. Ruby pouted.
"Hey, I like learning."
"It's not like I can spend every class goo goo eyeing Sun and dreaming about his abs." Ruby huffed and crossed her arms.
Yang's gaze darted behind the younger girl and her lips twisted up into a smile. "You can still make goo goo eyes at someone else," she nodded behind her to where Weiss was walking towards them, a small smile on her lips and skip in her step.
Ruby's face immediately darkened as their gazes met.
"Catch you later baby sis!" Yang cackled as she ran to class.
With the two girls, standing at Ruby's locker alone, all immediate conversation died out. Ruby replaced her textbooks, and with just a simple question of heading to class together, the two walked shoulder to shoulder towards their first class of the day.
It was nice, being just the both of them. Together. Alone. Together. They spoke regularly, through their window, over the phone, and by text. Even during classes, which had started to get the two in a little bit of trouble. If not for their stellar grades, they would have been penalized in very much the same way Yang and Sun, or Nora and whoever was around Nora, were. But Ruby was Ruby, and Weiss was Weiss. Teachers let them off with warnings, interrupting their hushed whispers or passed notes, often leaving the two giggling to each other, eyes always returning to the other.
Ruby often passed messages to Jaune as well. They were masters at passing notes and it wouldn't do to get rusty. But suddenly their conversations became a little less about the next comic book movie to come to theaters, or what new level they beat over the weekend on their favourite games. Conversations became more serious. They had been friends for years, best friends in fact. And with each passing day, their relationship seemed to get even closer. Ruby didn't know if it was because he was the first person she told, or just because she was starting to get older, but Jaune knew.
He was pleased with how the two were getting along. They were family in all but name. To Jaune, Ruby was just one more younger sister. And now, his new little sister was finally coming into her own. She was still dorky, and prone to clumsiness and fits of excitement, but it now felt more honest. More her.
And Weiss? Well, she and Ruby were truly using the month of friendship to their fullest. Classes became more fun. Lunches in the cafeteria, surrounded by friends was a boisterous affair. At first the white-haired girl was quiet, allowing Ruby and her friends to lead the conversations, saving her words for important moments. Lately however, she had joined in on the excitement, carefree with her opinions and prone to show her emotions much more readily. Especially when it involved butting heads with Ruby's sister or chastising her window-neighbour for her eating habits. It was all in good fun.
Tai was waiting at the front door when Yang and Ruby arrived home. Engulfing Yang into a hug before she had time to scurry off to her room, he nuzzled her, welcoming his daughter home.
"Welcome home, honey. How was your day?" He asked as he released her.
"It was good, dad. We have a math test coming up soon and Rubes already promised to help me study."
"No I didn't!" Was Ruby's witty response.
"Ruby, help your sister." Yang stuck her tongue out at her little sister, who scowled adorably in return. Of course she was going to help Yang, but not without at least a little bit of complaining.
Tai let Ruby give him a quick hug, "hello Ruby. Girls, I'm making dinner tonight, so please set the table after you put away your things."
Yang bounded off to do as she was told, Ruby trailing after her, looking over her shoulder to her father as he smiled passed her.
Dinner itself was a favourite in the household. It was leftover night. While many families considered leftover as a chance for a quick meal, just to reheat previously half-eaten items, the Xiao Long family had always used it as a means to play with their food. To see how many new combinations of meal can be made from portions of different ingredients. Mashed potatoes were mixed with sautéed onion and pepper and baked in the oven. Chicken was added to water along with whatever remaining vegetables were in the fridge to create a new soup. Even spaghetti and meatballs were re-purposed. Into more spaghetti and meatballs of course, because according to Yang there was no more perfect a food than that.
With the three-member family sitting together once more for their evening meal, the conversation was vibrant.
"I spoke with Sun again today and I just know he's cracking." Yang exclaimed between bites. She raised a fist, "I'll get him to take me out on a date even if I have to do it myself."
Tai laughed, "that's my girl. Nobody is a match for our Xiao Long charm."
Ruby frowned as she saw Yang's telling smirk.
"Speaking of Xiao Long charm, want to ask your other daughter about her love life."
Tai twirled a fork-full of pasta, "Ruby's still too young to date, let alone know who might strike her fancy. Who knows what the future holds for her?"
"Ruby, care to add anything?" Yang's attention placed back on her.
Ruby blushed and poked her index fingers together sheepishly, "Weiss and I have been getting a little closer."
Tai looked stunned at the response, gazing at Ruby wide-eyed. "I... didn't realize there were more people like you here."
"What was that?" Yang's voice was low.
"Care to repeat that, Yang?"
"I said," rage was boiling up from the blonde, her fingers gripping the edge of the table turning her knuckles white. "What do you mean by 'people like you'?"
"Nothing at all, dear. I just didn't think it was very common for people to have Ruby's... disposition."
"Disposition?!" Yang slammed her hands on the table, both her father and Ruby jumping up in response.
"Dad," Ruby whispered, silencing Yang's outburst. "Do you support me?"
Tai was taken aback by the statement. "Ruby, of course I support you."
Ruby's glare was telling. "Do you? Do you really?"
"Ruby, what's this about?"
"That's exactly what this is about! Ever since I told you that I'm gay, you haven't been treating Yang and me the same."
"How could you-"
"Not once this entire week have you called me 'daughter', or 'your girl', or 'gemstone' or any of the dozen nicknames you used to. Just 'Ruby' for me. The big hugs go to Yang. The nicknames go to her, the kind words and support go to her. Where's that love and care for me?"
"There you go again," tears started to sprinkle in her eyes. "Just 'Ruby' for me. I'm not jealous that Yang gets love. I just wish I knew what has changed to stop you from giving me the same. All I can think of is what I told you. What I am."
"Ruby, you know I fully support you."
"Then say it. Say 'I support you, Gem.' Or honey, or daughter or my girl. Anything."
"Look at me. I fully, 100% support you, Ruby."
Tears streamed down Ruby's face as she backed away from the table. "Then why don't I believe you?"
Ruby cried as she ran into her bedroom.
"You should really take a look at yourself dad. Maybe then you'll see that there's a difference between saying you support her and actually supporting." And with that final word, Yang too, left the table choosing instead to give Ruby some time alone and walking out the front door.
'How do you feel about your family?'
It was the most serious question that Ruby had ever started off a window-conversation with. Judging by the redness around Ruby's eyes and puffed up cheeks, Weiss quickly wrote down her response, placing it up against the glass.
'They're my family. I love them, but aside from Winter, I'm not particularly close with them.'
'That's just the way things have always been between us. As long as I do well, they are happy. No real familial bonds outside of that with my parents.'
'Does that make you sad?'
Weiss shook her head, 'Have you ever heard the phrase, Blood is thicker than water?'
'Ya, it means your family is closer than anyone else.'
Weiss smiled and shook her head once more. Ruby watched her head bob as she wrote down a long message, lightly smiling as Weiss tucked a strand of loose hair behind her ear.
'It's actually only part of the real phrase. 'Blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb.' It means that the friends you choose to have are closer than any family you are forced to have. While my parents and I aren't particularly close, I get to choose my own family. That includes Winter and my friends from before the move. And now it includes you too.'
Pink touched both of their faces and the two smiled at each other from their rooms.
"Friends, you say?" Ruby hummed, thinking out loud.
The usual rustle and bustle of the cafeteria during lunch break matched Ruby's muddled thoughts perfectly. Even with Yang pushing her along with the edge of her lunch tray, Ruby could not walk straight, her brain too clouded with doubts and second-guesses. After accidentally tripping over her own feet for what must have been the fourth time in as many minutes, the sisters finally made their way to the rest of their group of friends. Ruby, of course, took the seat of honour, sitting between Yang and Weiss and across from Jaune. Nora was busy telling a brilliantly complicated mess of a story that only someone who had known her for as long as Ren had, could understand. Though, by the expression he was making, he might have been as lost as the rest of them.
Ruby however, truly enjoyed Nora's exuberance and the atmosphere of insanity that seemed to always follow her. If all of them could still be friends after everything Nora had ever let slip over the years, then Ruby would be safe too.
Yang had assured her they would be.
And suddenly, her bowl of cut up strawberries seemed that much more interesting. Yes, how could she say anything with her mouth full? Weiss said it was impolite to speak while chewing. Not that that idea held true for pretty much anyone else in their social group minus Pyrrha. Pyrrha, who happened to just arrive with her lunchbox and thermos of ice-cold orange juice. She found a spot right next to Jaune, sitting quite close to him. Her eyes did flicker to Ruby's for a second.
Yang snorted. It was quite obvious that Pyrrha was still jealous about Ruby's and Jaune's date-not-a-date, no matter how often the two told them otherwise. Ruby glanced at the white-haired girl beside her, who was cutting her sweet potato cubes into smaller, more easily consumed pieces.
Yang helpfully gave Ruby a nudge. Everyone was there now. It was time. No turning back now.
"Everyone?" Ruby began, taking a deep breath, clenching her fists under the table. "I have something to say. Something super important that I want all of you to know. Because I trust you guys because you're my friends and my best friends. Not that all of you aren't not my best friends. And sister of course. And honourary big brother. But not all of you because that would be weird-"
Yang elbowed her once again. "Take a breath Rubes. We're all listening. We're all here for you, just take your time. And nobody is going to say anything if you don't want them to." While she still spoke towards Ruby, it was clear that most of it was an order for the rest of them to follow. And when Yang was in big sis mode, it was safest to listen. Judging by how nervous Ruby looked at that moment, it held doubly true.
Ruby looked up at Yang, then at a nodding Jaune, smiling at the two in kind.
"I wanted to tell everyone that I'm… I'm… I'm gay."
Not enjoying the silence which followed immediately after, her focus turned to the bit of dust on her pants.
Pyrrha spoke first. "Ruby, when you went out with Jaune…"
"I needed his help to figure things out. It wasn't a date. Not really," Ruby mumbled, still deciding that her legs were more worthy of her focus than anything else.
That was, until, "oh thank god." Pyrrha's whisper was louder than she had thought.
Yang was the first to laugh, followed quickly by Nora. Suddenly, the entire table erupted in fits of giggles and laughter. Even Jaune joined in, his chuckles interrupted by his voices of confusion to why they were laughing in the first place.
It was an incredible break in tension. Ruby was back to smiling, an arm around her sister's waist and head on her shoulder as the two rocked with giggles.
"Does that mean you need to wear flannel? How about get a short haircut?" Nora began shouting her questions, vibrating with excitement and happiness. "Well, you already have short hair, so I guess that's one check. Is it rude if i say I think you wouldn't look good with long hair? Oh, or maybe you would... Renny, would Ruby look good with long hair? No, wait. Don't answer that, you obviously prefer short hair, exhibit A." Nora gestured to her own mop of hair.
Ren covered Nora's mouth and directed his attention back to Ruby. "What Nora is trying to say, is that we support you. You're still our good friend Ruby. Whoever you date will in no way change that."
"Thank you," Ruby whispered.
Around her, all her friends were giving their support. Blake and Pyrrha were smiling at her, Jaune and her sister were as well.
Weiss took a sip of her coffee, unperturbed by this new information. Something which Nora caught up on.
"Ice Queen, do you have anything to say about Ruby's news?"
Weiss's attention darted to the rambunctious redhead. "Not really. I already knew."
"Wha-how?!" Nora gaped. "Rubiroo! How could you tell Weiss before me!"
Ruby and Weiss erupted into crimson blushes.
Now everyone caught on to their reactions, bringing about a new round of shouting and questions directed at the girls. Surprising no one who knew her tastes in literature, Blake was the one to ask if the two were dating. The question was met with silence by the two girls, still blushing profusely. Ruby felt the heat descend down her neck.
Yang chose then as the perfect moment to answer. After all, it was still a big sister's duty to embarrass her younger sister.
"Nah, Ruby and the Ice Queen-"
"Aren't dating. Weiss-y here turned her down."
"So Weiss," Jaune perked up, rolling his shoulders forward to look bigger and with a smile he considered suave, spoke with an obviously exaggerated bravado. Ruby didn't like that conspiratory look he was giving. "Does that mean you are-"
Weiss held up a hand. "Let me stop you right there. Literally anything else has a greater chance of getting a date with me. And yes, that does include inanimate objects."
"Ooh, kinky," Yang helpfully added.
"And besides," Weiss continued, paying no attention to Yang and knowing exactly what Jaune was trying to get her to say, "I have already promised Ruby a chance to ask me again at the end of the month. I don't date anyone who isn't already a dear friend."
"Wei- what- who- umm..." Ruby flustered at that answer, her cheeks descending once more into blazing red. "You can't just reveal that!"
"And why not?" Weiss replied, turning her body and entire attention to Ruby, as the two started bickering without any concern for the rest of the table.
Yang smiled down at her sister. Ruby's attention was fixed on Weiss. Even as they ranted and raved at each other, bickering like an old married couple, the two's smiles told everyone what their words didn't. Yang glanced at her own best friend. Blake always seemed to be on the same wavelength as her, especially when it came to romance. They nodded to each other, a silent conversation ending in agreement. Those two were perfect for each other.
Hands slammed down on the table, shaking cups and plates. "That's it!" Yang shouted in faux anger, glaring at all her friends around her. "My baby sis is NOT allowed to go on a date before I do. And being the magnanimous big sister that I am..."
Growling in annoyance, she stomped onto the cafeteria table, shouting for silence.
"Everyone I've got something important to say!" Looking around the room, she found her target, pointing straight at him. "Sun Wukong! I've waited long enough. Will you go out with me this Saturday!"
Sun for his part, looked quite stunned at the announcement and the attention being placed on him. Running a hand through his blond hair and regaining his chilled expression, he smirked and shouted his own reply, "sounds good! I'll pick you up at seven!"
With some cheering around the food hall from the announcement, Yang happily hopped off the table and slid back into her seat. "There, now you won't have to wait. Now you know how to ask out your crush, Rubes."
Ruby groaned as her head smacked the table.
Yang shrugged off her jacket and bag as soon as she entered her house, sighing loudly and sprawling out in an exaggerated fashion. It had been a long day. The two of them had a math test and having walked home, already spoke at length about the questions and their answers like any classmates would. Of course, when one's younger sister could be considered by many, a prodigy when it came to school, it did little for the nerves to have not one, but fourteen answers different from that of said prodigious younger sibling. Ruby could only giggle at Yang's actions, patting her on the back and reminding her that she could still be right. And part marks were an important part of any math class.
"Welcome home, girls." Tai said, walking into the front room to see his daughters.
"Hey dad. I got a date this Saturday." Yang smiled as Tai brought her into a hug, kissing the top of her head.
"That's my girl. Did you finally get him to ask?"
"Nope," Yang said, popping her 'p'. "I asked him. Stood on the table during lunch and everything."
"Sounds amazing. Excited for your date?"
"And how about you. Anything happen today?"
Ruby shook her head, not bothering to look at him as she hung up her jacket and readjusted her bag. "I'm going to do some homework."
She moved passed her father, leaving him behind without so much as a hug.
Yang gave her father a look, "Don't worry, I'll talk to her."
Their shared room was, as the name suggested, shared. They did everything together, from homework to sleeping. Even changing clothes was something that was often done together in some fashion. And yet they had both grown accustomed to knocking before entering the room. It was just another part of their relationship that they had developed over the lifetime they knew each other. It was never about informing the other that they were there. It wasn't even about ensuring that the other was fully dressed. It was just what they had always done and would always continue to do.
And so, Yang knocked twice on the door, gentle taps, before opening it just as gently.
"Ruby?" Yang peered at their shared desk first, finding it empty.
Ruby lay on her back twirling a pencil in one hand, over her head. No fear of it falling onto her face, though Yang suppressed a chuckle at the many, many memories she had of just that occurring.
"I thought you were going to do your homework."
Ruby mumbled something that sounded like "finished it at school."
"Then what's really the matter?"
"And don't think about saying 'it's nothing' when we both know it's not."
Ruby sighed. Yang was in big sister mode again. There was no stopping big sister mode. Ruby's hand fell to her chest, pencil and all.
"Do you think dad will ever treat me like his daughter again?"
Yang paused, collecting her thoughts. She had her honest opinion, but seeing how down Ruby was now and the quiver in her voice as she asked such a heartbreaking question, told Yang all she needed to know.
Yang slid in beside Ruby, wrapping her arms around the younger girl and placing a soft kiss on her cheek. "Of course he will," Yang assured her. "As soon as he gets his head out of his ass and realizes how immature he's being. Dad just needs to realize how stupid he is."
Shouting the last bit made Ruby giggle. Shuffling around in Yang's embrace, Yang didn't realize what the girl was going to do until she felt a pillow wack her.
"Hey!" Yang laughed, trying to protect her hair from her sister's onslaught.
"Thanks Yang," Ruby whispered, snuggling up closer. "For everything. For accepting me and helping me with Weiss..."
"Speaking of Weiss, mind if I ask what you like about her? Come on, I tell you all the time why Sun is the bomb," she fake coughed while whispering 'abs', removing any tension between the girls with fits of laughter. "I want to know how this girl stole my sister's heart."
Ruby blushed, "At first it was because of how pretty she is. She was... she was just so composed and perfect in everything she says or does. And her hair is so much better than yours."
"We'll agree to disagree," Yang snorted.
"But now? It's just so much more. I think I understand why Weiss wanted to wait a month before I could ask her out again. I know so much more about her and with everything I know, there is so much more to lo-like. More to like about her."
Ruby sighed happily, "Being around Weiss, I think I understand a bit more about how you feel when you're around Sun."
"I hope not."
Silence followed Yang's words. Then the two fell into fits of crying laughter. "Ew! Gross Yang!" Ruby squealed, whacking at her big sister.
As the two girls inside the room laughed and the unmistakable sounds of their usual play-fights continued, Tai couldn't bring himself to do anything more than he had been since he heard his daughters talking. He sat alone outside their door, unsure what to say. What he could say, if anything at all. His head fell back against the wall.
"Yang!" He heard Ruby's telltale squawk and a chorus of giggles from his eldest.
He wanted to chuckle at their interactions, but he couldn't bring himself to even smile.
And then Ruby spoke about... that girl. And from there on, he was even more lost than he had been to begin with.
The school bell rang with its usual ferocity. Books were placed in and taken from lockers which were then unceremoniously banged shut. Talking and laughter continued as people roamed the halls toward the first classes of the morning. A boy was slammed into the locker next to Ruby, causing her to flinch and watch as he laughed and retaliated against his friends, only for the entire group to be scolded by a teacher on hallway duty.
Ruby exchanged her art history books she had brought home to finish up an assignment with that of math and English. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the telltale shadow of her neighbour. She looked up at Weiss with a big smile. One which was reciprocated with ease.
"Just one sec, Weiss. Want to walk to class together?" Ruby asked, speeding up her book-swap.
Weiss chuckled and shook her head, "you always ask me that every morning."
"And I will always continue!" Ruby said cheerily, hopping up and closing her locker and lock, giving it a little jiggle, just in case. Placing both shoulder straps of her bag on her shoulders, the two girls started the walk to their homeroom, the first class of the day, just as it was everyday.
Their shoulders bumped into each other, "sorry," Ruby whispered, refusing to meet Weiss's eyes.
"That's alright," came the reply along with another shoulder bump, bringing a smile to both their lips.
"So... speaking of questions I ask," Ruby's cheeks warmed. "Well, as you know... because of course you know, since you're so smart like that and don't get confused by things like that. Umm...the date on the calendar is, well, of course it's on the calendar, because that's where the dates are, but speaking of dates, not the calendar dates, but date-dates... Weiss, it's been a month, but you knew that. Umm... gosh, is it getting warm in here? Just, bear with me a second. My mind is frazzled. More frazzled than normal. So, Weiss. I would like to ask you, do you want to-"
Ruby's mumbling and mutterings stopped as she felt a foreign warmth in her hand. Carefully, she closed her hand around it, entwining her fingers with that of Weiss's. Weiss squeezed Ruby's hand, sending her heart aflutter and butterflies zipping around her stomach. Silver eyes met sky blue. Eyes that seemed to pop underneath that pristine and beautiful white hair.
"Of course I will."
The second bell rang as Ruby and Weiss entered their homeroom class, hand in hand.
"I'm so proud of you Rubiroo! They really do grow up fast. Next thing I know I'll be catching you two making out in my room." Yang practically shouted as she unlocked the front door.
"Yang! It's our room. You will catch us making out in our room. Not that you'll catch us making out! We haven't even had our first date yet, let alone kiss!" Ruby tried backtracking, waving her hands at her sister who was smiling and laughing.
"When's the big day?"
"This Sunday. We're going to get hamburgers at the place around the corner cuz Weiss's never been and then to see the baby penguins at the zoo."
Yang nodded with a smirk. "Pretty good first date options. Can't beat mine and Sun's though."
"You guys went to the movies."
"Nuh-uh-huh, dear Ruby. We didn't go to the movies. We went to all the movies. Big difference."
"I know, and then the security guard chased you two around the theater, Sun stole a bag of popcorn, you may or may not have broken the shooting game and you made out on the roof of the library next door." Ruby said, ticking off each event on her fingers.
Yang sighed with a faux-dreamy expression plastered on her face which Ruby thought may have been more real than fake. "Ah, yes. the most perfect date I've ever been on."
"You should just go on another date," Ruby placed down her bag, rifling through it for her lunchbox to bring to the kitchen.
"Already have one planned. We're going dancing."
"Sounds great. Though not for me, I can't handle those lady stilts-"
Ruby and Yang dropped their conversation as the their father walked into the room. Ruby rubbed a foot against her shin, looking away, while Yang stared straight at him, daring him to speak.
"Welcome home girls," Tai tried.
Yang nudged Ruby. "Ruby has something to tell you."
"Oh, umm... I asked Weiss to go on a date with me and she said yes."
Tai coughed. "Oh! Ah, aren't you a little young to start dating? I mean, congratulations for asking, ah, her. Out. It's your choice after all."
"Not a choice," Yang mumbled under her breath.
"Are you sure you're ready, Ruby? Ah, Gem? You never know who you may meet in the future. Weiss might just be that one in a million girl that you find... attractive. How do you know you just haven't found the right boy yet?"
Ruby held a hand on Yang's arm, stopping her.
She look up into her father's eyes. "I don't know if I just haven't found the right boy. But, I do know that I HAVE found the right girl. And this girl is going out on Sunday to look at baby penguins with her."
Ruby held her father's gaze. She had said all she needed to, so grabbed her bag and went upstairs without another word. Tai watched as she left, nothing more escaping his lips.
"Rubes?" Yang knocked and opened the door slowly. Yang's own voice was shaky after hearing the spat between her own closest family.
Tai had always said that siblings should always have the closest of bonds. That siblings should always stand up for each other against anyone in the world. It almost made her laugh to think about the past few weeks. She never would have guessed she would ever need to stand with her sister against the very person who told her that motto. Not that she wouldn't have done so anyways.
And this would be one of those moments where she knew she would need to act the big sister and comfort her younger one. It was always hard for Ruby to talk back to dad. It often left her in tears and Yang was sure this situation would be no different than the last. But that was alright. Yang was a master. She knew the exact buttons to push to make sure her Ruby would go to sleep smiling and looking forward to the future. It was her favourite personal trait.
"Are you okay? Uh-" Yang paused as she saw Ruby on her own bed, laying on her stomach.
Legs kicking above her and pencil in her mouth, she was humming a tune and reading through a school textbook. Silver eyes flickered to Yang, "hey sis."
"Wha?" Yang shook her head. "Are you... not... sad? Or angry? Anything? Dad was... well, he wasn't being a real dad."
"No, I'm alright. I've got you. And Jaune, and Weiss and all my friends at school who care about me. Dad will either come around, or he won't. It's up to him to decide how much he wants me. I have everyone I need. My real family. Dad can come back on my list whenever he wants, but until then? I think I'm good."
Yang crashed into Ruby, hugging her deeply. Ruby nestled her forehead into the crook of Yang's neck and the two breathed out equal sighs of relief.
That night, little homework was done. Nor was much sleep to be had. Ruby and her sister spoke and laughed long after the moon rose and fell in the sky. They spoke about their upcoming dates. They spoke of Weiss and of Sun. They spoke of Yang's best friend Blake, and Ruby's best friend Jaune. They spoke of all their friends and they spoke of each other. And with each new memory they relived together, their smiles grew.
Because they knew who their family was.
And that was never going to change.