Ruby shifted in their bed, then shifted again. Her normal snoring stopped, replaced instead by a soft whimper. It wasn't much but this deviation from the norm was enough to wake Weiss. She was usually slow to wake but worry sped up the process. Turning around she saw Ruby rolling around on the bed as much as the limited space allowed, tears rolling from the corner of her eyes. Whatever she was dreaming of was obviously upsetting. Not wanting her to suffer any more she shook Ruby awake gently. "Mom!" her lover yelled as she started awake.750Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ2BVYeSwDZi
Mom? Weiss knew that Ruby's mom had died when she was very young. She thought Ruby didn't remember her. Now she needed to reassess that assumption. "Are you okay?" Weiss asked, trying to keep the tone of annoyance out of her voice that came so easily for her. She wasn't annoyed, she was concerned. "You were having a nightmare." Ruby nodded in a not quite awake sort of way. "Do you want to talk about it?" Ruby shook her head no. "Okay, come here then. I want to hold you." And Ruby did for the rest of the night, burying her head into Weiss's shoulder. Whatever that dream had been about, it had really shaken her girlfriend. She was never this quiet.
Worry kept Weiss awake past when Ruby was asleep again. She ran her fingers through Ruby's hair, and looked down. Weiss's face still had a cold yet oddly beautiful cast to it normally, like a snowflake. That night the snowflake melted. A week of dating her is all it had taken for Ruby to affect this change, which amazed Weiss. She was happy again. Happier than she had ever been, even counting the last three glorious years with her team. Of course in the morning Weiss was going to return to normal. It was a bit perverse but Weiss liked the frosty persona in everyday life. It felt safe and was a great way to manipulate a situation. If she said something cutting to get to the heart of the issue, well that was just Weiss being Weiss. At this moment however there was no one to see under her cold mask. Someday she may allow it to stay off, at least for Ruby. Especially for Ruby. These are the thoughts that kept her awake that night as she comforted the center of her world that was unaware of that tenderness while she dreamed.
The night affected Weiss's day however. It was expected for Yang to be half conscious with Sun in town. She was actually remarkably awake if a bit less cheerful than normal. Weiss, on the other hand, required twice as much coffee as her normal in order to speak complete sentences, and another couple so those sentences were civil. Ruby laughing at her the entire time didn't help. Damn morning people. "It's your fault you twit; waking me up in the middle of the night, and then snoring through the rest of it. The least you could do is shut up and get me some more coffee." It wasn't really true that Ruby's snoring had kept her up. She'd gotten used to that years ago though having it right next to her ear was a new experience. The real reason went unmentioned. None of them needed to know, particularly Ruby.
Ruby saluted her. "On the double, ma'am. Do you have any other orders before I go Ma'am?" This only elicited a growl from her. Ruby giggled as she headed to their coffee maker for another cup.
When Ruby returned Weiss grabbed the back of her neck pulling her down for a kiss. "I hate you."
"I can tell," she snickered.
Her girlfriend's smile was almost infectious, like Weiss had proclaimed her undying love. "Your Dolt."
"God help me, yes." She couldn't get herself to sound upset by this though, and she was trying.
The rest of the day progressed in a sleepy blur. She caught quick naps between classes, and got class notes from the only person she trusted to take decent ones: Blake. Ruby was always hovering near her when she could; making sure she got up before being late to the next class; giving neck massages and providing a steady stream of energy drinks; and generally over compensating for her guilt. It was impossible for Weiss not to know how guilty she felt; even though there wasn't anything she could have done different. During one of the few times she didn't share a class with Ruby, Weiss slipped a note to Blake asking if Yang and her could avoid their room after classes. Blake read it, and then nodded slightly while seeming to pay complete attention to the teacher.
After classes Weiss was glad that her friends had done as she'd asked. Ruby was starting to drive her insane and she wasn't sure what she was going to say. Nothing that would be for their ears was a strong possibility. Ruby didn't even see it coming. "You're being a nit-wit you know."
"You think that all the time Weiss." Ruby was trying to around to give her another massage, but Weiss moved to avoid it. This needed to be talked about first.
"Yes, but today you are really pushing the boundaries," she said, sounding peeved. Well she was! "Stop acting like all my problems today has been your fault."
"But Weiss, they have been," Ruby said with misplaced guilt. "If I hadn't woken you up you'd be your normal grouchy self, not this groggy grouchy self. You couldn't even insult Cardin and make it stick and he's an easy target."
The guilt was what had prompted Weiss to start this talk. Seeing more of it didn't help her mood any. "I wasn't awake today, but there isn't anything that you could have done to stop that from happening. You haven't slept with anyone over night, have you?" Ruby shook her head. "Well I have, many times, and all of them were rough at first as we got used to each other. Neptune used to take over the bed, Rice stole the covers, and Alvin punched in his sleep. That one didn't last past the first night because I punched back. And now there's you. I'll adjust to you, and you'll adjust to me."
Ruby looked petulant. "It's not fair that you should wait."
"Stop it! Just stop it already! Ruby, you don't need to take all the responsibility on your shoulders for everything. If this relationship is going to work you're going to have to accept that not only are you and I a team, but we're equal partners in it for both the good and the bad." If Weiss had been paying close attention she'd have noticed Ruby flinch at those words. Instead she realized that voice was coming out again. The temperamental angry voice that went up one octave and sent shivers down people's spines. Realizing it she took a deep breath to calm down, then continued. "This is the first night we've had any problems, and it's not like you're going to have a nightmare again anytime soon. This was the first, and probably won't happen again for a long time." Weiss stared directly at Ruby as if trying to pull the information out of her with sight alone. "Though I would like to know what in that dream had upset you so badly. That's not like you."
Ruby avoided eye contact, turning her head. That was an obvious tell that there was something serious going on; something that she wasn't willing or able to tell her girlfriend. Possibly anyone. Yang knew Ruby the best, so Weiss resolved to talk to her about it. It was obvious that she wasn't going to get anything from Ruby.
Two nights later the night replayed itself, and then again after two more. Weiss appealed to Yang as she had planned, but Ruby's sister came back with the same answers that Weiss had gotten. "I'm okay, don't worry. Just a few nightmares. They'll pass, okay?" None of her teammates believed her.
"You know, this isn't the first time she's had nightmares like this," Yang told Weiss in the hall between classes, Ruby once again heading off to a separate class. Weiss felt sorry for her, but Headmaster Ozpin insisted that she learned CQC, or Close Quarters Combat, to round out her fighting style. Weiss completely agreed with the decision no matter how hard it was on Ruby. At night Weiss found bruises in interesting spots on her lover. Ruby's teacher obviously wasn't going easy on her.
"Do you know why it was happening before?" Weiss asked.
"No, it was pretty much like this. She would just say it wasn't any big deal and go back to sleep. It happened a couple of times a week that we knew of, but I'm sure there were more." Yang stopped for a second, then continued, "Then one day she went out without telling us. She was gone for two days. Dad was beside himself and I was searching the woods every chance I had. After those two days she returned and was back to her old self. We still don't know where she disappeared too, dad even grounded her and Ruby wouldn't say."
"Do you think she'll do it again? Disappear?"
"Yeah, I do. If it was a specific spot she went she'll be gone longer than two days because we're far from home, so I'm hoping she just went out for a walk to clear her head last time. I don't know for sure though."
After that conversation Weiss couldn't get a deep sleep, afraid that at any moment Ruby would walk off without a word. It started to show in her studies; how she interacted with her friends; and how she made those she didn't like suffer from her scathing tongue. She couldn't help it. She was quickly reaching her limit. The only person spared was the one who had her in this state: Ruby. She didn't want her lover to feel guilty again. She definitely didn't want her to know that she was being watched at night out of fear that she might disappear.
Weiss tried to convince herself that she was overreacting and that it would resolve itself. To put it mildly it didn't work. If anything it served to make her more obsessed. Both Blake and Yang tried to get her to relax and sleep, but were completely unsuccessful until they agreed to watch Ruby in shifts, each taking a different day. Every night it was the same thing though. When Ruby started moving from her dreams Weiss would instantly wake up to make sure she was okay.
A week later is when it happened, but not how Weiss expected it. Weiss was getting a deep sleep for the first time since the nightmares started. Her exhaustion finally overpowered her anxiety. Ruby woke her up, but this time it wasn't from a nightmare. A slight shaking was all it took. As soon as it registered to her sleeping mind she was awake. Ruby was already fully dressed, Crescent Rose included. Weiss gave an accusing look at Yang's bed since it was her night to keep watch on Ruby. The position the sentry was laying wasn't a natural one.
"Don't be angry with her. I switched out the coffee she was using to stay awake with something that would make her sleep. She's going to be really mad in the morning," Ruby said in hushed tones.
Weiss tried to give a look that said "what are you doing?" It must have been close enough.
"I need to go or the nightmares won't end. They're getting worse each time now. I won't be good until I get things fixed, and neither will you. I know what you three have been up too, and I know you've been carrying most of it." Ruby leaned in for a kiss. "Thank you."
"I can, and I will," Ruby said as passionately as she could in a near whisper. "but I knew you'd blame yourself if I did it while you slept."
"I also knew you weren't going to let me leave easily." She nodded towards the clothes at the foot of the bed, all of them hers including Myrtenaster. "So come with me. I need you to come, actually. I don't think this will do any good without you." Weiss shook her head no, and Ruby made a face of frustration. "At least this way you know I have someone watching my back. And again, you can't stop me. You can't watch me every minute of every day, and with my semblance ten seconds is all I need. You know it."
She was right, and Weiss hated it. "What about them?" She looked over at Yang's unconscious form and Blake's empty bunk.
"I've already written a note." Ruby said in a matter of fact tone. "It's on Yang's desk and a copy near the coffee pot, just to make sure they don't miss it."
She'd waited till the day Blake was out on patrol, so once Yang was drugged only Weiss was there to stop her. And apparently she needed Weiss. "You've thought of everything, haven't you?" The anger at being manipulated was palpable, but she was also resigned to following Ruby's plan.
Ruby smiled, though there was sadness around the edges. "I wouldn't be much of a team leader if I didn't plan ahead, would I?"
Not knowing what else to do, Weiss quietly got up and dressed. She didn't have to worry too hard about waking Yang. She knew that even pulling out some of Yang's hair wouldn't wake her if Ruby had drugged her. Yang was already a deep sleeper as it was. The last piece on was her cloak, which she did with both joy and bitterness. Its closeness felt as if Ruby was hugging her. It was also the last act that cemented her commitment to leave.
Yang's going to be mad in the morning, that's for sure, she thought. It's just a question of who she's going to want to kill first.
Ruby walked with purpose through the deserted halls of the academy. After a while Weiss realized they were heading to the hangers where the transports were. Surely she's not going to try stealing a bus, is she? she asked herself. But that was exactly what Ruby had in mind. One of the transports already had its hatch opened, and Weiss balked. "Are you trying to get us expelled?"
"I cleared this with Ozpin, don't worry."
Pure shock hit her. "You what?" Weiss wasn't sure what to think, but surely the headmaster wouldn't allow this!
"I told him I was going back to Patch for family business. He didn't believe me, but he knew I'd go no matter what. Because I'm flight trained now he arranged for me to go. I just needed to make it back to classes in time. He does give us more leeway than most after what we did in our freshman year, so I wasn't surprised." That was the most she'd spoken all night, and Weiss knew it was just so she could get her on the bullhead quickly.
Overwhelmed Weiss asked "Ruby, what's so important that you are going through all of this?"
If she'd hoped for a clear answer those hopes died when Ruby said "I can't tell you; I need to show you. Can you trust me that long?"
Weiss sighed, giving up on getting any usable information from her girlfriend. "Okay. You're going to owe me after this though."
Quietly, "I know." More of the sadness was showing and Weiss didn't know what to make of it. Seeing Ruby unhappy was like seeing a siren refuse to sing. It just didn't happen.
Some small part of Weiss's brain was realizing that even Yang had not been trusted to come with her the last time. What was driving her and why was it important that Weiss was with her? Then she suddenly remembered the first nightmare, and ruby yelling 'Mom.' This was all tied to Summer Rose somehow she realized, and it also had to be tied to her. This was all insane.
Ruby remained silent the entire flight, which was unnerving to Weiss. For the first time since they met Weiss had to carry the conversation if she wanted to talk. She tried again to find out what was going on, but those questions were met with silence. Since that was the only thing on Weiss's mind, as her worry started to consume her, the flight was only interrupted by the sound of the engines.
They landed at a hanger near Signal Academy. Ruby gave the tower all the proper information and was guided in. It was obvious that they were expected. This was a new location for her, but Ruby had gone to school here before being accepted at Beacon. She knew it almost as well as she knew her current school. "I called my uncle Qrow. He's still a teacher here so he used his pull to get us in this far." She was looking for something in the darkness, and then smiled when she found it. "He doesn't know what's going on, but he trusts me." She got on an atv. The keys were already in the ignition. "This will make the trip much faster, but keep your eyes open. The noise will attract beowulfs."
Weiss didn't need to be told that, but she knew Ruby was mainly talking on autopilot. It was a good thing that Ruby had that mode or she would have gone nuts figuring out what was going on. Not that she knew what was going on but at least she knew how her girlfriend was getting away with all of this.
"How long have you been planning this?" Weiss suddenly asked realizing this wasn't something she had put together on the fly."
"Last week, after the first nightmare."
Weiss was angry knowing that Ruby, the person she trusted the most on Remnant, had been working behind her back. That was outweighed by the worry. Her love had to have pulled every favor she owed to her in desperation.
Ruby had been true to her word about the beowulfs, and a couple nevermores thrown in for spice. It was nothing that the two highly trained fighters couldn't handle, but it did slow them down. They got to their destination near noon. It was a beautiful cliff side. The view was spectacular with Signal visible in the distant. You would never guess there was grimm in the woods below. On the cliff itself there was a single stone marker, and Weiss grew fearful as she realized what it was.
"I had to. You had to meet her. In my nightmares I saw her die again and again. I've seen some horrible carnage in our training outside of Vale. We both have, so you can understand how that fueled my imagination making her death worse each time it played out. When it really happened I hadn't been there. I'd been too young to go outside alone let alone out to one of her missions, but in the dreams I was there and unable to stop it." Ruby's tears were thicker than Weiss had ever seen on her lover, and her face was twisted with pain that Weiss remembered too well. It was the same pain she'd felt when she'd lost her mother. "But there were other dreams when she would be fine and talk to me. I know it's my imagination gone wild so don't worry about that, but in them she wanted to meet you." She paused, taking a breath. "I thought it over the next day when I was trying to take care of you, trying to understand why I kept dreamed that last part. I was used to the scenes of death. Well as accustomed as you can be seeing your mom ripped apart. But not those calm talks. I realized I felt I was betraying her memory in a way, because you made me so happy that I could let go of the pain. I could really be happy."
Weiss was speechless. When they had professed their feelings she had thought they understood the other's pain. Now she knew that her pain was nothing compared to her girlfriend's.
Silently Ruby grabbed her hand and pulled her to Summer's grave stone. Quietly she cleaned it off, though it was obviously visited regularly because of the lack of weeds. There was only some dust and leaves." Mom, I want you to meet Weiss. She's been making me very happy lately. I think you'll like her."
Touched didn't come close to expressing the emotions flowing through Weiss at that moment. Even the Ice Queen she had been at her worse would have melted to this display of love. This was something sacred to Ruby, and she not only wanted her there, she needed her there. Needed her to meet a mother she probably didn't even remember. What do you say to that? What do you say to either of them?
You tell them the truth.
Weiss went to her knees and touched the gravestone tenderly. "Hello Summer. You have a great daughter, even when she is being a dolt. I'll take good care of her, I promise you with all my heart." Tears love and sadness tracing their way down her face. She looked up at the woman who was defeating every aspect of her sorrow, and tried to take on some of Ruby's the only way she could think of. "Come here, and tell me about your Mother. I want to know everything."
And Ruby did, sharing the joy, the pain, and the loneliness. She let Weiss in deeper than she had allowed any other person in her life, even Yang.750Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡkR6D5FDh9j