Glimpses of Blossoming Roses

Winter Schnee was a woman of duty. Before, her duty had been to her family, shielding her younger siblings as best she could while she was there. After she'd broken free of her father's influence, her duty became to the military, to Atlas, to General Ironwood. Ask anyone, and they would tell you that you could find no one as loyal, as serious, as dutiful, as Winter Schnee.

However, Winter would admit that she did have one indulgence.

Whitley had refused to talk to her once she left. He seemed keen to follow in their father's footsteps, so though it pained Winter, she let him go.

Weiss, on the other hand…

Weiss admired her, Winter knew that. Winter knew that Weiss wished to be a huntress like her, to be strong as she saw Winter being, to follow a path similar to Winter's but distinctly different. Though Winter had originally become a huntress and joined the Atlas special forces to escape their father's grasp, Weiss wished to leave for a greater purpose that went with her new role as the heir: Weiss wished to right the wrongs of their father and restore honor to the Schnee name.

Admittedly, Winter sometimes doubted that she could do it. Weiss was as stubborn as any Schnee, but she had always been fragile in a way Winter was not. Weiss simply tended to care too much despite the icy exterior she'd managed to create. She wasn't able to harden her heart against the cruelty the world had to offer, though Winter tried to toughen it as much as she could. Winter knew that she was hard on her little sister, but she had to be if Weiss was to survive.

Winter worried about her.

Especially when she turned down a position at Atlas Academy and chose to go to Beacon of all places.

That was further than even Winter had tried to go. It was quite far from their father, to be sure, but it also meant that Weiss would be woefully unprotected should the worse happen.

Luckily, Weiss decided to write to her.

Her letters were always a highlight to Winter's day whenever one arrived.

And as she learned more about Weiss's training and lessons and classmates, one aspect of her letters continually intrigued Winter.

Ruby Rose.

The leader of Weiss's team and her partner, a girl who'd managed to enroll in Beacon early due to her skills as a fighter.

Given that it was her partner, it would make sense that Weiss would talk about her the most out of her new acquaintances, but it was how Weiss talked about her that caught Winter's attention.

The girl went from Some stupid idiot crashed into me today and made my dust supplies blow up to We're partners now and she clearly has skills but she just leaps in and doesn't think about what she's doing to I'm trying to be a good teammate and help her catch up but she constantly gets distracted to Ruby's always saying I'm her best friend but I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean.

Winter watched her sister's regard and care for Ruby Rose unfurl like a blossoming flower in their mother's garden. It was stunning, if not surprising, to see it happening through the glimpses she caught in her letters.

Weiss clearly cared for this Ruby Rose, in a way that Winter had never seen her care before. To be sure, she also cared for her other teammates as well, but Ruby was special. Weiss had never let anyone get close, knowing that most who approached her wanted something from her, but, slowly yet surely, she was letting Ruby Rose slip past her guards.

And like any older sister would, that worried Winter.

"Specialist Schnee!"

Winter closed the latest letter from Weiss and turned to the soldier at her office doors. "Yes?" She asked, nodding to show he could relax from his salute.

"New orders from the General." He stated as he passed the relevant tablet to her. "He wishes for you to escort more reinforcements for the Vytal Festival."

Winter hummed as she looked over the mission details. The Vytal Festival…

"Understood. Please have my ship prepared."

"Yes, ma'am!" With a final salute, the soldier left to follow her orders.

Winter cast one more look upon the letter from Weiss before tucking it away with all the others.

The Vytal Festival was taking place in Vale this year, and Weiss had already informed her that her team would be participating. Escorting the reinforcements and checking in with the general would not take long, perhaps she'd be able to spare some time to meet with her sister.

And should she happen to meet Ruby Rose and judge for herself what sort of interest she'd been taking in her little sister?

Well, that would simply be Winter fulfilling her duties as an older sister.

AN: Winter is kind of interesting. When we first meet, she seems super badass, but so far in actual fights she seems to get her butt handed to her. She also encourages Weiss to separate from their father more fully and expand her world view, but it really seems that Winter herself never really expanded her own world. Sure, she travels sometimes (up until the Fall of Beacon), but she mostly sticks to Atlas. She traded the rigidity of the Schnee manor for the rigidity of the military. And it certainly seems that she traded one control freak a-hole who had a plan for her entire life for another control freak a-hole (who also has an entire military behind him). And sure, after learning that Ironwood had basically built her into the perfect Maiden material she accepted it and chose to do it, but it is overall a surprising number of contradictions.

It really makes it clear why she chose to ultimately stand with Ironwood even over her beloved sister. (Like after the warrant went out, her first words to Weiss were "what did you do", as if she's the enemy.)

But before these dark days, there were the Beacon Days, and it's obvious that Weiss must have talked about Ruby in her letters or emails to Winter since Winter knew who Ruby was. So I was wondering about what that must have been like to see her small, isolated, baby sister talking so much about another person. Plus, she thanked Ruby for her interest in her sister. That's just - so interesting. "Interest," huh.

Anyway, I don't have anything else until Day 5 (if I finish it, since I'm working on it - I had a good idea for the main concept and now I'm trying to figure out how to dig my way out of this). I'm super busy at work so I'll probably wait until the weekend to read all this great new content.

Thanks for reading!