"Why don't we ever talk, Blake?"

The cat Fanus, looked up from her book, and at the young girl in red. Her leader was staring out the window, watching the people below scurry about like ants. It was only the two of them in the dorm right now, Weiss was off catching up with Winter, while Yang was with team JNR. Nora had challenged yang to another arm wrestle and Blake had left the room to get some peace and quiet. Blake pondered the question, and realised Ruby was right, the two of them rarely talked. "I don't know…" she trailed off lazily.

"Is it… Am I…" Blake looked up at Ruby, meeting her in the eyes. It seemed like she was struggling to get what she wanted to say out. Ruby sighed and flopped over to the bed, "you're hard to get a read on, you know?" She muttered into the pillow.

"I'm sorry?" Blake replied, not sure where Ruby was going with this.

"No, it's fine, It's just tha-. It seems that with everyone else in the team, we're the only ones who haven't gotten to know one another." Blake nodded in response, "it is like that, isn't it?" Said the black-haired girl, "perhaps we should change that then. Fancy a walk?"

In shock, Ruby's head shot up from the pillow, usually Blake was so quiet and reserved. Yet here she was asking Ruby to spend time with her was this the same Belladonna she-admittedly barely-knew back at Beacon? Sensing Ruby's stunned reaction, she continued, "we don't have to if you don't want to, I was getting up to a good part in my book."

"Oh no no no. Definitely let's explore Atlas!" Ruby got up and stood triumphantly, whipped her cape on, and with one hand on her hip and the other pointing upward at nothing in particular shouted, "Ladybug bonding mission is a go! Failure is not an option!" Hearing gigging behind her, Ruby turned around looking at Blake standing with a small grin on her face. Ruby tilted her head in response, "what's so funny?" She asked with a quizzed look on her face.

"Your enthusiasm is infections," Blake replied, "now c'mon, let's go."

Atlas was surprisingly warm, despite the sun having set. The streets were illuminated by the lampposts, giving the streets an ethereal blue white look. Ruby and Blake were on the one of the upper levels of the layered city and were able to take in the sights of the city below, eventually they stopped at a balcony, where they could rest their feet and look at the lower levels of the city.

"We've come a long way," Blake said softly, "when you think about it."

"Yeah…" Ruby's reply was also soft, "it was that long ago when we're were all at Beacon."

"Feels like a lifetime ago."

"Ha. You can say that again."

Not knowing how to respond, nor really wanting to continue a conversation that would eventually be morose, Blake simply looked out over the city in silence. When suddenly she heard Ruby gasp. "Look Blake, an ice cream shop!" Her eyes were wide as dinner plates, and she was slightly bopping up and down in excitement. Blake was about to protest, but decided against it. It was an uncharacteristically warm night after all, perhaps she should enjoy it while it lasts. "Ok then, let's go get some ice cream." She said, heading towards the shop.

The bell jingled as the duo walked in, and they were greeted by a jolly voice. "Welcome to Vanilla's Ice Creamery, what can I do for you two?" The woman at the counter was young, yet had a motherly look about her, with her light blond hair braided over her left shoulder. Dark, reddish-brown eyes were contrasted against her hair, but perhaps the most striking part about her were her ample assets, only further magnified by the tight blouse she was wearing, blank except for a name tag which read, 'Vanilla'. She reminded Blake of a certain blond she had gotten close to recently. Realising she was staring for a bit too long, Blake darted her eyes away, and began to peruse the variety of flavours in stock.

"Cookies and Cream please, two scoops, and with sprinkles." Ruby said. "Ooh! And in a cup! I hate cones."

"Coming right up," said Vanilla as she prepared Ruby's order. "that'll be 5 Lien please." She finished as she placed it over the counter.

"I don't suppose you'd have anything fishy? Like a salmon flavour perhaps?" Blake inquired.

Vanilla let out a shrill laugh, "this is an Ice Creamery, not a fishery. Now what can I do for you, Fanus?" Blake slightly flinched, the way she had said Fanus was a little too forceful, a little too familiar. "One scoop of mint, in a cone." She said curtly.

"Of course, coming right up." Vanilla prepared the order. "That will be 5 Lien please."

Blake blinked, unsure if she heard right, but with a sneaking suspicion that she had. "I'm sorry I think I might have misheard; did you say 5?"

The smile on Vanilla's face twitched a bit as she responded. "You heard correctly, 5 for your ice cream."

Ruby's spoon was halfway to her mouth as she watched this exchange. "Well hang on," she said "why is Blake's he same price as mine? I got two scoops with sprinkles; she just got the one!"

Turning to face the shorter girl, Vanilla replied. "Oh I think she knows why, now the Lien please."

Blake shot the owner a dirty look. "You're disgusting" she spat out before turning to Ruby. "C'mon, let's go."

"Yeah, let's." Ruby agreed, but not before turning her ice cream upside down and letting splat on to the floor. Looking up at Vanilla, she blew a fat raspberry and the duo left the store.

Walking out, Blake went to the balcony opposite the store and looked out over the city again. Feeling a hand against her shoulder she turned and saw her leader looking at her with sorry eyes.

"Blake, I'm sorry."

"It's ok, it's not your fault. It's just ice cream, not like I had payed for it. Besides, I'm used to it."

"You shouldn't be."

"No, but I am, it's just the way things are, unfortunately."

Ruby was silent, and started looking out over the city as well. Glancing over at her leader, she could see a familiar look on Ruby's face, one that she had seen on her very own countless times.

"Ruby." Blake said, with a matter of fact tone "you need to work on your poker face."

"What do you mean by that?"

"I can tell you're feeling guilty."

"How'd you know I was fee-" But Blake shot her a who-do-you-think-you're-talking-to look.

Ruby sighed, "it's just that, I wanted us to have fun tonight. For it to be memorable. I never wanted something like that to happen. I didn't even think something like that could happen."

"Ruby, I already said it was ok!" But Blake could tell there was something deeper troubling the girl.

"It's like what happened back at Argus, and the lying to the General! That was my first instinct Blake! I didn't even think of the consequences, I just do! And hope that everything will sort itself out! I never think of the consequences!" The younger girl looked like she was on the brink of tears. Her hand reached out, and grabbed Ruby's, and waited for the girl in red to compose herself.

"I had a similar problem you know." Blake stared out into the night sky, admiring the stars.

Ruby looked at her, "eh… what do you mean by that?"

"When I ran, it was my first instinct. I ran away from my parents and joined the White Fang, with no regard to their feelings, to how they might feel about their only daughter running away. I ran away from Adam instead of confronting him, I may as well have led him down the path he ended up on. I ran away from the team when I accidently let it slip that I used to be part of the White Fang." She paused to take a deep breath and let it out with a shudder. "I ran away from Yang when she needed me most, after she was hurt because of Adam." Sinking her head solemnly, she finished. "I was so selfish." And the girl fell quiet.

Ruby was confused, Blake had started her story saying that the two of them were similar. Did she just call Ruby selfish as well? But before Ruby could ponder that thought Blake started back up again.

"But therein lies the difference between us Ruby. It's flight or fight. While my instincts beg me to flee, yours tell you to fight, you're selfless. The truth is, I'm just a coward." Letting go of Ruby's hand, the girl fell silent again. A few moments passed before Ruby decided to reply.

"I don't believe that at all." Ruby replied. "Not one bit, you stood up to Adam, didn't you?"

Looking over to Ruby with sad eyes, Blake replied, "Ruby, I killed him. The man needed help and I killed him."

"It was in self-defence!"

"I know, I know! But once upon a time, I did love him. And what I did… The guilt doesn't go away easily. He needed help; he was lashing out at everything that hurt him. The world, humans, the SDC… Me… He knew nothing but pain and hurt, so he inflicted it back onto the world tenfold. He needed help, and what did I do? Ran a blade through his chest. Got rid of him so I didn't have to deal with him anymore. Like a coward." She hung her head again, and Ruby could see small tears falling off Blake's face, sparkling as they caught the lights of the city.

Now it was Ruby's turn to hold Blake's hand. "You reconciled with your parent's though, and you came back to us, twice! If you ask me, that's all that matters." The girl ended the sentence with a small squeeze of Blake's hand.

Blake pulled Gambol Shroud out of its sheath, ran her thumb over the gold strip that now adorned the blade. "I did come back," she said with a smile. It was the first smile that Ruby had seen since they left the ice cream shop.

"Hey, you fixed Gambol Shroud!" Noticing the gold, she enquired, "ooh, pretty, Why gold though?" The Ruby's eyes narrowed into a sly look. They had only spent a couple of days in Atlas, but she had noticed the glances between Blake and Yang. "It's not because of my sister is it?" She said with a cheeky tone.

Blake's smile got slightly bigger, and if it wasn't so dark, Ruby could bet she could see her teammates face turning slightly red. "The gold is there so I never forget. A constant reminder. Yang is one half the reason but the other half, I owe to Sun."

"Sun? What's the story there?" The red on Blakes face was a lot stronger this time.

"It's simple really, he helped me a lot back on Menagerie. Because of him, I'm learning to be a better person, to not run, to not be a coward." Blake said curtly, before finishing softly, "I really do owe him a lot." Sheathing Gambol Shroud she stopped leaning on the railing. "C'mon Ruby, we should be heading back." As she turned a started walking back to the academy.

Walking next to Blake, she replied in a sing song voice, "are you sure that's all there is to Sun?"

"Ruby! That's all there is." But Blake's face betrayed he tone; she was red and failing to turn down a smile. Normally Ruby wouldn't pay any attention to things like this. Was she really that obvious?

Ruby in turn, was shocked, she had only meant to lightly tease Blake, but her response showed that it was true, she had a crush on Sun and Yang at the same time! "My, my Miss Belladonna, two at once? Tsk tsk."

"Ruby please, I'd rather you keep this a secret." Blake said, hurriedly

"Hey don't worry about me, I can keep a secret remember. I just think you need to work on your poker face."

"That easy huh?"

"Your face turned as red as my cape when you brought up Sun."

Blake looked away, trying to contain a giggle, but failed. Soon she started laughing which in turn got Ruby laughing. Ruby wiped away a tear as they arrived at the steps of Atlas Academy. "For what it's worth Blake, I think you've already changed heaps, more than you know.

"Thank you Ruby." Blake let out a content sigh, looking up at the building above her and then, with another smile, down at Ruby next to her. "I don't know about you, but I think Ladybug bonding mission was a success."

"I give it my leader tick of approval, that's for sure." Ruby said with a smile back.

Their worries behind them, the two girls climbed the steps to the building, knowing that team RWBY had just strengthened another bond of friendship.