Ruby Goodwitch loved the library. It was so big with so many books. Almost as big as the big one in Vale! Of course, it made sense for the big one in Vale to be bigger. Otherwise it wouldn't be called the big one in Vale. But Ruby loved the library, because she loved books. She loved the smell, she loved the feel and she loved the thumping sound they made when she closed a really big one after she finished it.
Not to say that she finished many of them, but she was fairly confident that she had gone through at least a hundred. Maybe.
She lost count at the number of books she read. But, she was too busy to be distracted by such thoughts as how many books she read, instead of focusing on the current book she was reading. Sitting there on a chair, alone at one of the many study tables in the library, her attention was fixed on the book she was reading.
It was a big kid book. Lots of pages, broken up into chapters, and most importantly, no pictures. Big kids didn't need to pictures in their books.
Picture books were still her favourites though and she loved it when her mommy read them to her before bed. Alone in the library however, she was perfectly happy to read a pictureless big kid book. It was a good one too. The second book in a really big series.
It was about two people; a boy and a girl, as they tried to find the girl's big sister, by way of maps. But so far, each map they found only lead to a different map, or some other adventure. Ruby hoped that the big sister was okay. Ruby would hate for anything bad to happen to her, even if she was just a character in a story.
"Is anyone sitting here?" Came a quiet voice.
Startled, Ruby let out a squeak, unconsciously hopping in her chair and nearly slamming the book on the table. Looking around, she didn't see the librarian, so she was in the clear.
In front of her was a raven-haired girl. Blake. The cat faunus. Blake still had her ears tied up in the bow on top of her head. It didn't look very comfortable. During the winter when it was cold and snowy, mommy had made Ruby wear uncomfortable earmuffs, so Ruby was sure she knew what Blake was going through.
"No," Ruby finally replied. "It's just me. I usually have this table to myself."
Blake looked around. As did Ruby; seeing all the other tables in the area to be filled with other students. A common sight, even though it was only a few days into the year. "It seems like all the other spots are busy. Would you mind if I sit here? I won't disturb your reading… Is that The City of Paper?"
Ruby's eyes widened, nodding furiously. "It is!" A pleased smile lit up her face as she showed Blake the cover. "It's the second book. The Electric Heist."
Blake let out a low whistle as she removed her bag from her shoulder and began pulling out a textbook, a notebook and a book-book. "It's a great series. I reread it a few months ago. Aren't you a little young to be reading that book though? I didn't start it until I was fifteen or so and even then I was younger than most."
Ruby shrugged. "Mommy said that I can read whatever I want, as long as I ask her first. She said this one was okay because there was no swearing or gra-grat… gratious scenes."
"Gratiatous. I really like it. I'm at the part where Ember and Cobalt are in a big fight, so they split up but now Cobalt has been captured and is stuck in an aquarium."
"That is a good scene. Though, my personal favourite happens in the third book. Trust me, you will know it when you read it."
Ruby smiled and the two fell into a calming silence as Blake went back to preparing her notes and Ruby read a page in her story. After a few more minutes, Blake put down her pencil and flicked open to a page in her book.
"Whatcha reading?" Ruby looked, trying to see the title on the cover.
Blake held up the book to give her a better view. "It's called Faunus Ranch."
"I don't think I've heard of that one before."
"I'm not surprised. It's definitely not a book for lit- for kids."
"What's it about?" Ruby's curiosity shining through in her silver eyes.
Blake bit her lip, eyes darting around. Taking a breath, she explained. "You know how sometimes faunus aren't treated very nicely and have to hide?" She looked around more, then leaned in, her volume dropping, "like me?"
Ruby nodded quickly.
"Well, this book is about a place where bad people took some faunus and did mean things to them. It's… it's really not for kids. So, don't go trying to read it until you're at least my age. Promise me?"
"Good," Blake smiled, leaning back comfortably in her seat. "You know what Ruby? I'm glad I chose to sit down here. You're not half bad. And you like to read. Can't say that about many people here. Seriously, we're in a library and not one person is using it for anything other than a study space."
Ruby giggled at that. It was true. Even after so many years of being there, most of the books being taken out were textbooks, study material or other books for assignments and projects. Not many of the books from the fiction section were taken and just read for fun. It seemed like the whole section was purely for Ruby's enjoyment. Not that she minded.
And well, Ruby guessed Blake would be enjoying it too.
"Can I…" Ruby began, blushing bright pink. As quickly as she started, her voice faded into nervous silence.
Blake raised a singular eyebrow at her, above her book. "Can you…"
"Can I tell you about it? The book. When I'm done with it. I… nobody really likes to read the same books as me. Even mommy. She tries, but unless it's a picture book, she doesn't really read them."
"Um, sure. We can talk about it when you're done. You can ask me questions and everything. Maybe I'll even recommend you some of my favourites."
At Blake's response, Ruby let out a delightful squeal of adorableness. "Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you! I've always wanted to have a reading buddy. This is so cool. We can form our own secret book club! Meeting in the middle of the night, talking about secret books, like ninjas. Nobody will know! Except for mommy. I'm not allowed to be up passed my bedtime without her permission. But she'd definitely say yes. I'm reading! Parents always want their kids to read more!"
"Settle down. We're in a library."
"Oh, right. Sorry," Ruby's cheeks turned red.
"That's alright. But, maybe instead of midnight, you can just come by my dorm room every once in a while. We can talk books or something and then I can look over your study notes when you dig through my collection?"
Ruby's smile dropped.
She let out a sigh. "Did you… Were you just trying to get me to give you my notes?"
"Wha-? No, no! Of-of course not. I didn't want you to feel embarrassed or anything and it would be a fair trade-"
"Mommy says lying is mean and you shouldn't do it. I'm supposed to show my notes to all the big kids anyways, so I can do that. But, it would be nicer just to ask me. Instead of pretending to like my books."
Ruby hopped off her chair, tucking it in from behind.
"You can have the table now. I won't bother you anymore."
"Hey, wait. Ruby," Blake called out. "I didn't mean it like-, no I'm sorry Ruby. I should have been straightforward with you. I do really enjoy that book series and I do like talking books with people. Because heaven knows there are a rare few people that actually have the same eclectic taste in literature that I do. I did come sit with you to maybe have a quick look at your notes, without needing to visit Professor Goodwitch's, and your home. I'm deeply sorry for that. Really I am."
"Really?" Ruby sniffled out.
Blake nodded. "Really, really. We can form our own little book club. And, if you're reading the City of Paper series, then there are definitely other books of a similar reading level that you and I both will enjoy."
"You're not just still saying that because you feel bad that I caught you? Because I want to read the Thunderbolt Heist or a Spiral of Frogs next."
Blake flinched but pushed on. "I'm really not. And I love both of those. I've been meaning to read a Spiral of Frogs again anyways. Maybe we can read it together? As an apology for my actions?"
Ruby rubbed at her eyes with the back of her sleeve, nodding all the while. "Okay. And I can bring my notes to class if you want to take it back with you. What class are they for?"
"Situation Diffusion," She said promptly.
"I will bring it to class tomorrow morning. See you tomorrow."
"And no lying."
"Even if you think it's the right thing to do. People don't like catching a lie or knowing that they've been lied to. And it gets worse the longer you wait."
Ruby scratched her hair, just beside her scalp, giving Blake a knowing look.
As Ruby turned to leave, clutching her book in both arms, she didn't notice Blake's own hand reaching up to the corner of her bow.
Oh my god, it's been so long since my last update. Three months! Ya, no real excuse, except for saying that I did warn you I'd be updating this thing sporadically. Hopefully it won't be a 3 month wait for next time. I do still have plans for this and don't plan on dropping it any time soon. Updates do come randomly, as my focus is more so on Reaper in Red and grad school. But hopefully this nice and charming scene between Blake and Ruby sorta made up for it.
YuukiAsuna-Chan - Well, there will be more focus on Ruby in the future, but the point of the story is that it's about Ruby but told through the perspectives of everyone around her.
ExRayBEx - Thank you! Hopefully you feel the same way with this one too.
Cun - Ruby shall fight! Maybe... when her mother's not looking.
Kivuntappaja - Yes, that fabled Beacon student Wind Breeze. Always getting herself into trouble over the silliest little things.
JohnBarry - It might be possible for Ruby to be Jaune's trainer. It would be hilarious, though probably not exactly what Jaune needs. Considering Ruby is still basically a beginner with her weapon too. Though... that does make for an interesting idea about Pyrrha training both Jaune and Ruby... stay tuned while the idea juices are flowing...
merendinoemeliano - Thank you so much!
YeTianshi - Hopefully the light-hearted moments make up for me tearing young Ruby down a little bit. Gotta start a character's journey somewhere right? And when it's at the bottom, that just means the only way to go is up!
See you all (hopefully) soon.