Glad to see so many of you liked the bar fight last chapter, and agree speed Semblances plus alcohol is a bad combination. That chapter was pretty fun and light hearted. Which is needed for this chapter lol. Hope you enjoy it.

Yang awoke with a start, suddenly intensely aware of her own laboured breathing. Another nightmare. Only this time, she wasn't able to save her. "Damn it." She hissed, pushing herself up off her bed.

Her lilac eyes adjusted to the darkness of her room, and she could hear strange sounds coming from downstairs. Pushing herself off the bed, she winced as a glint caught her eye. The metallic sheen of the prosthetic arm that lay on her bedside table reflected the moonlight.

She brought her hand over to grip the metal plate that covered the stump of her arm. She took a breath and let her arm drop, getting up off her bed and grabbing her jacket. It used to be her Dad's and was something of a comfort to her.

It made it feel like he was always looking out for her. She slowly made her way out of her room and down the stairs, where the noises became clearer. "I took a stroll on the ol' long walk, on a day-i-ay-i-ay!"

It sounded like… singing.

"I met a little girl and we stopped to talk, *hic*, on a grand soft day-i-ay!"

Very drunken singing.

Yang had a brief moment to wonder whether or not her Uncle had returned, before another voice began to sing that definitely didn't belong to any man.

"And I ask you friend! What's a fella to do? When her hair was black and her eyes was blue!" Yang's eyes were wide as she recognised the singer, and quickly made her way to their kitchen where the singing was coming from.

"And I knew right then!" Yang entered the kitchen, and felt her jaw drop open. "That I'd be taken a whirl!" Glynda Goodwitch sang, a red tint across her cheeks. "'Round the wind path prom with a Mistrali girl!"

Three sets of hands clapped in applause, and Yang suddenly realised it wasn't just her combat teacher that was in her home for some reason. Professor Port and Doctor Oobleck were sitting at the kitchen table, and her father was leaning against one of the counters while Goodwitch leant against another.

Having only one hand, Yang found herself unable to applaud the sight. However, as she brought two fingers to her lips, she was able to do something else. A wolf whistle suddenly disturbed the scene, causing the adults within the room to suddenly jump.

"Yang!" "Ms. Xiao-Long!" Her Dad and former teachers exclaimed in shock, the latter suddenly realising what they had been caught doing. Yang couldn't help but laugh at the situation, leaning against the doorframe as she looked at the scene.

"I thought stuff like this would be saved for the end of year party." She said. She had heard tales from her Dad and Uncle about the end of year teacher's party. One of the few times her Dad actually drank, it usually ended up with some of the teachers passed out within the gym.

"Well, there is certainly cause for celebration, dear girl." Port seemed to regain himself first, turning round in his seat to lean an elbow on the back of it as he smiled widely beneath his moustache. When Yang raised an eyebrow in confusion, his smile grew wider as he threw out his hands.

"We have reclaimed Beacon!"

Yang's eyes were wide as she found herself almost slipping from her place on the door frame. "You have?!" She asked in incredulity, looking between her teachers.

"Well," Doctor Oobleck began, pushing his glasses up his nose slightly. "We cannot take all the credit."

"Speak for yourself." Port chuckled. "If you had given me the chance I would have gladly ventured to the top of the tower." Even Port's boasts couldn't dampen Yang's mood, and the same could be said for the rest of those in the room.

Beacon was free of Grimm. That was amazing! "How did you manage it?"

"That would be in thanks to the Huntsmen of Mistral." Goodwitch spoke up, slowly inching her glass away from her. "As well as some of our own students." She looked remarkably proud at that fact, the expression probably wouldn't be nearly as clear were it not for the alcohol in her system.

"Students? Who helped?" Yang could only think of a few teams that remained in Vale to help out, the majority of them decided to continue their education in Vacuo as it was the only Academy still on the same continent.

"I believe you know/ the name of the saviour/ already Ms. Xiao- I say, this is a lot harder than it looks." Oobleck stopped himself, frowning as he tried to figure out how many syllables he had used.

Yang's jaw, which had only just picked itself up from the floor, dropped once more. "Blood?! That haiku humming huh- hah- I can't think of another word! Blood saved Beacon?!" Yang looked between her teachers in disbelief.

"Not alone, mind you." Goodwitch fixed her glasses as she pushed herself up off the counter, falling into the familiar position of providing information. "Are you aware of Mr. Saber's Semblance, Yang?" She asked.

Yang shook her head immediately. "No. He always said his Semblance was 'too dangerous to use in a battle'." She rolled her eyes as she said it, recalling the few times she sparred against him in Beacon.

"He was correct." Goodwitch's words caused Yang to freeze as she looked to her teacher. "His Semblance allows him to cut anything perfectly in half. So, imagine what might have happened if he used it in a spar."

Yang did, and immediately found herself swallowing. "Yes. So, he needs to remain in control of his Semblance at all times. I believe you and he may have gotten along, had you given him the chance." She said without any real heat, though Yang still found herself shrinking slightly under her teacher's words.

"However, it is not just him we have to thank."

"That is correct." Oobleck agreed with his colleague. "We also have Team CRDL to thank, along with one Sunny Marina." Yang's mind was spinning with his words. The edgelords and the old bullies had teamed up to save the school?!

"How?" She asked, her blonde ponytail flicking wildly as her attention snapped between the teachers.

"Mr. Winchester led a small group, without our knowledge mind you, to the wreck of the Atlas Battleship. At which point, Ms. Marina used her Semblance." Oobleck informed, swirling his drink as he did so. It looked like some kind of coffee but smelled of alcohol.

"Oh." Yang found herself blinking. She knew Sunny's Semblance, she had explained it when she was showing off Y.O.K.O.

"Quite." Oobleck nodded with a sip of his mug and a raised pinky finger.

"I'm certain Ironwood would have a fit if he saw what became of his 'pride and joy'." Port chuckled. "Though I must say it is a rather remarkable machine. The council nearly wet themselves upon seeing it."

"Have you announced that Beacon's been reclaimed yet? Does everyone in Vale know?" She asked, wondering why she hadn't heard anything on the news about it.

"My dear, a gigantic battleship rose from the ground and headed towards Beacon, where shortly afterwards the Grimm was cleaved in two. I would be surprised if there is not a person in Vale who doesn't know the Dragon is de-" "Wyvern." Port interrupted Oobleck with a frown.

"The taxonomic definition is that of a Grimm Dragon." Oobleck pointed his mug angrily to Port.

"A Dragon in mythology has four limbs and two wings. That Grimm has two wings and two limbs, ergo, Wyvern." Port countered. "And, need I remind you who the Grimm Studies Professor is?"

Yang sidled away from the argument towards her fellow blondes. Her Dad and Goodwitch looked at the scene with completely different expressions. Taiyang looked like he was reminiscing of old times, whereas Goodwitch grabbed her drink and downed it without regard for her student in front of her.

"They've been arguing about it since the monster latched onto the tower." She pinched the bridge of her nose, moving her glasses out of the way.

"I just call it Kevin." Taiyang said with a chuckle.

Both Yang and Goodwitch turned to stare at him with disbelief. He seemed to wither under their gazes as he scratched the side of his cheek awkwardly. "It's what Ruby called it." He defended.

It wasn't much of a defence, but his words did spark something in the Headmistresses' memory. "Ah, has there been any word from Miss Rose?" Her words caused her two colleagues to cease bickering as they looked to Taiyang for an answer.

Yang herself found her head hanging, as she knew the answer herself. "Not yet." Taiyang shook his head, briefly glancing at the ground.

Silence seemed to fill the room, as the mood fell drastically. "Well." Goodwitch said, coughing slightly as she fixed her glasses. "Once the CCT is repaired I'm certain communication will not be an issue."

Yang blinked and looked to her Dad. He shared the same look of sudden realisation, as if he hadn't even thought of the fact the CCT would be fixed. "Do you think if I called and told her she was grounded she'd come back home?"

Yang couldn't help but snort at the joke, as the rest of the teachers smiled. "Not if I call first and tell her I'm throwing out her comic book collection. That'd probably get her home sooner." She laughed, leaning back against the counter.

"You'd do that to Ruby?" Taiyang said in comical disbelief. "You must have lost your morals along with that arm."

There was a sudden coughing as Oobleck choked on his drink and Port's eyes seemed to pop out of his skull as they stared at their old student. Yang was stunned by the words, her lavender eyes widened as she met her fathers eyes.

"Jerk!" She said with a smile, giving her Dad a punch in the shoulder.

"Oh, it was a joke." Goodwitch realised, a frying pan that was covered in a purple glow fell onto the counter behind Taiyang's head. It landed against the wood with a dull thunk, causing the man to jump and look behind him.

"Yeah, don't worry Professor." Yang smiled at her gratefully. "Terrible jokes are just a coping mechanism for blondes."

"Speak for yourself." She replied with a hint of a smirk.

"Ah, are we finally talking about the Goliath in the room?" Oobleck asked, recovering from his surprise as he rubbed his throat. Yang couldn't help but laugh once more, along with her Dad once he recovered from the fact he nearly got whacked over the head.

"Miss Xiao-Lo… Yang." Port spoke up, once seeing there were no hard feelings about the situation. "If you don't mind me asking, why haven't you tried on the arm yet?" His words came out surprisingly softly for such a robust man.

"Oh, yes yes!" Oobleck agreed, raising a pointed finger. "A piece of Atlas technology being given out like that is rare indeed. Not to mention the effort it took to deliver it here. It seems, a great many people want to see you return to normal."

With the attention of the room completely on her, Yang found herself swallowing a lump in her throat. "I'm… scared." She never believed she would ever have to say it out loud, much less in front of her old teachers.

"Everyone keeps talking about me 'getting back to normal'. And I appreciate it. But…" She looked down to the knot tied in her sleeve that hid her arm. "This is normal now. It's just, taking me a while to get used to it."

"Yang." Goodwitch spoke up, immediately drawing her attention. "I think you'll find normalcy is far from what anyone expects in this line of work." She took a moment to take off her glasses and meet Yang's eyes.

"What might be considered 'normal' to you or I, might be considered abnormal by someone else. Going out to fight Grimm would be considered terrifying by a civilian, but you do so with ease. And the way you defeat Grimm, up close and personal, might be considered strange by someone who uses a rifle or fights from afar."

"Or how some teachers find getting their tests graded and turned in on time abnormal." She took a moment to stare pointedly at Port, who gave a slight cough as his moustache bristled.

"Her point is normal is what you make of it, sweetheart." Taiyang brought the conversation back to where it was needed. Reassuring his daughter.

"Do you want me to just pretend like nothing happened?" She asked, frowning slightly. She knew her Dad's words were meant to comfort her, but how could she be comforted in a time like this. "I lost a part of me. A piece of me is gone. And it's never, coming back."

"You're right." Taiyang agreed with his daughter immediately, surprising her. "It's not coming back." He knew the feeling of losing a part of himself to never regain it. It had happened twice in his life already.

"But that doesn't have to stop you from becoming who you want to be." He pushed himself off the counter and placed his hands on his hips as he met his daughter's eyes. "You're Yang Xiao-Long. My sunny little dragon."

Yang blinked at the nickname. She hadn't been called that for so long. "You can do whatever you put your mind to. So, whenever you're ready to stop moping, and get back out there. I'll be there for you."

The words struck Yang, despite her best attempts to not let them. She found herself failing to form words, as she tried to explain how she was still afraid. How she wasn't ready. "Fear is like any other emotion."

Yang looked to the one who had spoken, as Port continued. "It comes and goes. It is all in how you handle it." He leaned back in his chair and placed a hand against his chest. "Why, even I find myself wrestling with that emotion from time to time."

"Really?" Yang popped a fascinated eyebrow. "You?"

"He's afraid of mice." Oobleck whispered, as Port slammed a fist down on the table and defended himself. Yang couldn't help but snigger as she brought a fist up to her mouth, before devolving into full blown laughter.

"You know, Ozpin once told me something about fear." Goodwitch said, swirling her drink as she stared at it, as if reminiscing. When Yang wiped a tear from her eye and looked to her teacher, she elaborated.

"The single quality that is common across every living creature on this planet, is fear." Her words brought the bickering of Port and Oobleck to a standstill, presumably recognising the words. "It's funny then, as common as fear is, we so easily underestimate its power."

Her olive eyes met Yang's, and they seemed to fill with an emotion she didn't recognise. "Fear of growing close to someone. The subsequent fear of loss." Yang finally realised what her eyes were filled with.


Goodwitch knew Yang had lost more than an arm at Beacon. She had lost some of the people she held dearest. And she wasn't alone. "The fear of failure. And as more people depend on you, those fears can take on greater power."

"But fear itself is not worthy of concern." Oobleck chimed in, linking his hands around his cup. "It is what we become while in its clutches. Will you be proud of that person? Will you forgive them?" He looked to Port as he finished, who carried on the words.

"Will you understand why they felt the need to do the things they did? Will you even recognize them, or will the person staring back at you be the very thing you should have feared from the start?" He finished with a morose twirl of his moustache.

Yang found the words repeating in her head, the feelings of fear she had felt since Beacon becoming justified, but at the same time growing dimmer. "I guess we all find out, sooner or later." She said with half a smile.

"Quite." Goodwitch smiled as she placed her glasses back on her face. "I am yet to meet anyone, Huntsman or otherwise, who does not feel fear in some shape or form."

"Excluding a certain 'Unwavering Wolf', I take it." Came Port's chuckle.

"No." It was Yang who answered, shaking her head as memories flooded her mind. "I've seen him afraid before. Never in a fight, or against an enemy but…" She paused, remembering Crue's expression the last time she saw him.

"But when he was afraid he might lose us." The only time she had ever seen Crue with an expression of fear was directly before those fears were confirmed. But, the other way around.

"Uh, not to be rude but, who're we talking about?" Taiyang interjected, staring at the expression on his daughter's face.

"That would be the recently departed Crue Cullen." Goodwitch explained with a sigh, fixing her glasses. Taiyang gave an odd noise that sounded like he realised how badly he messed up. "I'm surprised neither of your daughters mentioned him. He was quite close with them both."

"He was what?" Taiyang asked immediately, as Yang gave a groan that belayed a smile.

"This is why we didn't tell him." Yang leaned against the counter and fixed Goodwitch with a surprisingly good imitation of her frown. "We knew he'd freak out if he found out we had a guy staying in the same room as us."

"He what!?" "See." Yang smirked over her Dad's outburst, as the rest of her teachers laughed. The rest of the night from that moment on was filled with drunken jokes and singing, as slowly, very slowly, Yang found her fear slipping away.

Tortuga gave an annoyed grumble as she stumbled through the undergrowth. She was given the important task of looking for Crue. Why was it only her doing this? Because it was nighttime. And she was the only one who could see properly in the dark.

"I knew we should have had more Faunus operatives on this squad." She pulled back a branch out of her way and let it slap futilely against her shell. "Who was the guy Ironwood was considering? Armin? Zukini?"

She muttered to herself as she carefully walked amongst the gnarled roots of the trees around her. She supposed it was fair she was the one to look for Crue, considering it was partially her fault he got away this time.

Along with Elm, but as she had no night vision to speak of, it was left up to her to find the runaway. Which was going to be doubly as hard considering Crue could see in the dark as well. "Clover stayed behind. Without his luck, what are the chances he's just going to walk right in front of me?"

Then, Crue walked in front of her.

"Crue?!" Tortuga exclaimed, immediately bringing out her weapon as the chains on her nunchucks began to spin round.

Crue hadn't noticed Tortuga until her shout, as she was on his left side. So, when he turned to face her, the Ace-Op found her weapon slowing down in its movement.

"Not tonight, Tortuga." Crue's entire body seemed to be hunched over, as if carrying some burden. But, to Tortuga's eyes, all he was carrying was a few large sticks. His expression was one of complete and utter sorrow, but not directed at her.

"You can't really put off an arrest just by saying 'not tonight'." Tortuga said slowly, letting her weapon come to a complete stop. She expected a witty comeback, or some swear or other that would begin their usual chase.

She did not expect the soft: "I know." That came from Crue's lips. "I know, I'll come along. Just, not now." With that, he began to walk away from her. Walk. Not run, not jump up a tree and disappear into the brush.

He walked away.

Tortuga followed.

She followed him out of the treeline and to a small clearing that seemed to look out on the edge of a cliff. She watched as Crue let the sticks fall, before taking a particularly sturdy looking one and slamming it vertically into the ground.

He fidgeted with it for a while, before deciding it was safe enough to leave it be. He picked up a thinner branch and began to affix it about three quarters of the way up the already embedded stick. Tortuga watched with curiosity and concern.

Once he was finished, he took a step back to check his work. Tortuga also examined his creation, and found herself becoming even more confused. It was a cross. Not a particularly difficult thing to make, or even recognise, but Tortuga still wondered why he had fashioned it.

That's all that symbol was to Tortuga in the first place anyhow, a piece of fashion. She had seen a few Huntsmen with clippings or designs of crosses. She wasn't entirely sure where the fad came from, and she certainly wasn't sure why Crue had created such a large one.

Her confusion ended, when before her eyes, Crue got down onto his knees, and clasped his hands together as he held his head low and began to speak softly.

"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."


"I didn't realise you were religious." Tortuga said after a moment of silence. She didn't recognise any of what was said, but she knew a prayer when she saw one.

"I'm not." Crue answered.

"But you…" She trailed off, as Crue turned to face her. His one eye seemed to shimmer in the moonlight, and Tortuga realised it was because he was on the verge of tears.

"I'm not religious." He repeated. "I'm not. But, my family were." He looked back to the cross, still on his knees. "So, every year. Every year since I lost everything, I would go to their grave, and I would pray."

"But I couldn't do that last year. Because I was nowhere near their grave. I missed the day." His hands pressed against the soft earth as he lowered his head again. "I missed them. I still miss them. I-God damn it."

He pressed a palm against his eye to stop himself from crying. "I, I didn't know." Tortuga swallowed, feeling like she was intruding on something private.

"No one does." Crue said, removing his hand. "A few, the people I care about. They know about my family. But, no one, not even before, no one knew I did this." He looked up to the cross once more, and he couldn't stop the tears that fell.

Tortuga found her head lowering into her shell unconsciously. Here she was, meant to capture and interrogate him, and he was baring his soul unwillingly in front of her. She knew what it was like to lose family, even if Crue had been wrong about what her family was like.

"It'll stay that way." She said, almost surprising herself. Crue looked up, and it pained her to see him look so hopeful. "You can have the night. Maybe just, trip, the next time we're after you." She suggested.

Crue let out a soft laugh as he rubbed his eye dry of tears. "I'll do my best. Thanks, Tortuga."

"Don't mention it. Seriously, if the others find out about this I'll probably get in some serious trouble." Her orange eyes winked at Crue through the darkness, though her words were no less stern.

She turned to leave, hesitating for the briefest moment before turning her head back. "Happy Birthday, Crue." With that, she disappeared back into the forest, leaving Crue alone.

"Yeah." He frowned, as he stared at the cross, backlit by the shattered moon. "Happy birthday to me."

In Tortuga's eyes, she left him alone to grieve. But to Crue, that could not be farther from the truth. It had been a while since he had seen Penny's form, and this time, she wasn't alone.

The rest of his family was with her, all equally translucent, and all of them leaving Crue unsure as to whether or not he was hallucinating, or being visited by the spirits of those he failed. If there was one thing he was certain of, it was that his family were his own from his memories.

He knew this because they weren't Faunus. He didn't dare meet their eyes, his head hanging low as he stared at the bottom of the cross. He felt something well up inside him, a sorrow he hadn't felt for so long.

And a sorrow that he wasn't entirely sure was his own. He frowned, concentrating on the feeling. He had only ever experienced the Wolf within him's wrath. This sadness was something new, even to him.

But, despite that, it was still there. The Wolf felt his grief, and it had its own. For once, Crue didn't push the emotions down. He let them stay. Let them exist. He let the Wolf share in his loss. Whether Crue liked it or not, the Wolf was now a part of him.

And that meant it shared his feelings. His memories of his family. "Sorrow shared…" Crue murmured. The feelings inside him seemed to lessen, as he looked directly upward along the cross, past his family and Penny, as his eyes landed on the moon.

Crue had already mourned in his own way. Maybe he should let the Wolf have its turn. In the quietness of his solitude, he brought a hand up and removed his eyepatch as he closed his eyes for a moment, concentrating on the feeling of woe deep within him. When his eye opened once more, it was a molten gold.

The silence was broken, by a long mournful howl that echoed through the night. It stretched on for almost a full minute, and could be heard from miles away. As soon as the howl ended, the silence returned, filling the space like water filled a vacuum.

And then, it was broken again. This time by different howls coming from far away, beyond the cliff Crue had prayed at. Other wolves, joining in on his sorrow, sharing his pain.

Crue's expression softened, as the sadness within him slowly ebbed away, leaving only a feeling of alien comfort. With a sigh, Crue put his eyepatch back on, and blinked his eye back to the steel blue it was meant to be.

Among the howls of the wolves, Crue closed his eyes and listened, letting his own wolf ears hear them clearly. A wave of calm washed over him, feeling at peace amongst all of these howls. And he could feel that calmness radiating from inside him as well, along with, if he was understanding it right, a hint of smugness.

Crue let out a scoff, as he opened his eye and stared up at the shattered moon. "I guess you aren't all bad."

I feel like I can't give Crue a good time without giving him a bad time right after. The law of equivalent exchange I guess. One thing about this chapter is the whole 'Beacon being saved off screen'. Personally I think it's pretty funny that the last people you would have expected saved the day. Though, I understand that might feel a bit anti-climactic, or a bit of a cop out. So, I have the idea of making a side story explaining how it happened if you guys are interested in that sort of thing.

And as for Crue's part in this chapter...

Yeah, boy's not doing well. I hinted at it in EHL but here it confirms that the day he lost his family was his birthday. And they were only in Australia because it was his birthday. So yeah, guy's been having survivors guilt since he was ten years old. Doesn't help now that in the Fall of Beacon one of his sisters quite literally died in his arms because he couldn't protect her. Maybe I should call this chapter 'Whump Central' or something damn.

Anyway, hope you liked the chapter, let me know if you did, and as always...

Until Next Time