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Everything Put Together Falls Apart

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Chapter 1:

"Here Ruby, a guy bought me this but I kind of already have one." A blonde woman stated as she held out a glass that Ruby just stretched out and gently grasped.

"Yang, my Mom will kill you if I'm late... andwill tear up the town looking for whoever gave me more than one glass." Ruby stated already loathing the loud music and people around. Making her wonder about what the reason was to have a party like this, or even why she allowed herself to be talked into this.

"Well, you haven't had one yet have you? So just drink up. I promise I won't give you another one. And why would your mom kill me? I'm loveable." Yang reasoned to her room mate as she wondered what was meant to make her so fearful of a woman.

"Yang, she nearly literally skinned a guy for taking the last of my favourite ice cream from a store down town." Ruby said trying to show her friend how serious she was in the situation. She didn't want to have another friend terrified away from her from talking with her mother. She really didn't want to have her roommate be too terrified to even look at her.

"I hate it when people misuse that word. But come on, drink up. I'm going to go look for Flynt. I feel like I should embrace the empty room tonight and he is really hot. Plus it gives me a chance to see how good a trumpeter is with their lips."

"I'll be here Yang..." Ruby said as she raised the glass to her lips taking a sip as she could see her blonde friend walk off. A single thought occurred to her as she just decided to down the drink given how it would mean she'd be able to sober up quicker before she got home to spend the weekend with her Mom.

Waking up, the first thing Ruby noticed was the pain in her head and the chill that spread over her body. Looking down at her frame, Ruby let out a gasp as she noticed the lack of clothes. Grabbing the side of her head, she tried to force her mind to remember what had happened the previous night.

All that came to her mind was the pain that filled her entire body with each second that seemed to radiate from between her legs and from her face. She didn't know what had happened but what she did know was she felt sick. A disgusting type of sickness as she could feel a slickness between her legs that was alien to her

As the wind blew again, Ruby shivered and knew that she had to get back home. Even if she had no idea where she was. She just had to get to a phone.

Standing up, Ruby had to ignore the pain that flared up her body as she looked around and noticed the ditch she was in. Wincing a little as she tried to cover herself with her hands the best she could, Ruby tried to walk up the small hill. Praying that there was someone nearby or even a phone she could use.

As she came to the top of the embankment, Ruby just smiled at the archaic sight before her. Limping a little towards the box, praying that the phone was still attached. It had to be. If not, Ruby had no doubt that she'd freeze to death before she'd be found by the looks of the road.

Balling a fist up in the man's jacket, Cinder delivered the other across his jaw sending him to the ground. "Now I want this clear to all of you. If it was one of your children, I would and have devoted the same resources. And now that mine is in need, if I find out any of you are backing out I will personally watch as you dig your own graves and bury you alive. Now get out of my sight unless one of you knows where she is. Am I clear?" Cinder demanded as she witnessed the group start to leave with the exception of the man currently bleeding on the floor in front of her.

"Get the fuck out Marcus, or I'll put a bullet into your skull right now. Or is the fights with your son causing you to develop a glass jaw?" Cinder rhetorically asked as she could see the man start to shift himself around to try and pick himself up. Cinder just shot him a glare as he started to lumber out of the room. As he stood in the doorway, the boss spoke up once again. "I'll bill you for the cleaning of the rug."

Once the door closed, Cinder gently grabbed the sides of her head and wanted to scream at how she had this terrible gut feeling all night that just increased as time went on. Something that she knew would lead to heads rolling, possibly literally if she didn't find her daughter soon.

As the urge to scream, the mobile on Cinder's desk started to ring causing her to groan as she reached up and noticed the unfamiliar number. Quickly swiping the answer Cinder raised the phone to her ear. "You have a collect call from..." As Cinder heard the robotic voice get replaced by the silence to be periodically broken by the sound of a sniffle followed by the sound of Ruby's name.

"Yes I'll accept the charges." Cinder snapped at the voice, all but demanding that her daughter be put on the phone. She needed to hear her daughter's voice. She needed to know why she was in tears and even where she was. As the ringing was replaced with the sound of air followed by some sniffling, Cinder could feel her heart break once again.

"Ruby... is everything alright? Just tell me where you are and I'll be there for you." Cinder said softly as she needed to be with her daughter she felt like she needed to be there for her.

Hearing a loud sniffle followed by the voice laced with tears from her daughter. "... I don't know... I don't remember anything... I woke up naked..." Ruby began as Cinder tensed her hand around the phone. She could hear the phone cracking from the strain in her hand. "... I don't know where my clothes are... I was in a ditch... and I'm in pain Mommy." Ruby cried out as Cinder felt like she wanted to break her phone then and there knowing that someone had targeted her daughter. A message that Cinder was going to be sure to deliver back twice as hard.

"Ruby... sweetie... look around the phone... there should be a name or number on it somewhere." Cinder said as she could hear her daughter sniffle loudly again. With each second it was paining Cinder more and more that she wasn't there.

"I'm in Patch... the number says three seven five... please hurry Mommy... I'm cold and I need you. Please Mommy." Ruby continued as Cinder stood up, knocking her chair down as she nearly ran out of the room.

Entering a near sprint as she ran towards the garage, Cinder stopped for a second once she noticed the green haired woman walking in. "Emerald, gather the men and I want every damn piece of information as to what happened at the party Ruby was at last night. And find out who Ruby had contact with so I know how many graves I need to dig. I need to go to Patch." Cinder said as she walked into the room.

Stopping for a second Cinder turned quickly on her heel to look at the woman. "Get Neo to draw a hot bath, and I don't care what but a hot soothing drink." Cinder stated as her the green haired woman nodded her head in understanding as she nearly ran towards the inside of the house as Cinder nearly entered a full sprint herself towards the closest car to the door.

Twisting the key resting in the ignition of her coal black charger Cinder simultaneously slammed the button opening one of the large doors. Shifting into gear, Cinder all but slammed her foot onto the floor. She knew that there was going to be damage to one of her prized possessions, but there was something far more important that needed her.

Wrapping her arms around her again, Ruby felt the cold take over her as she walked a bit away from the phone just so if someone that drove by that wasn't her mother wouldn't see her in this state. She didn't want it to get out that she was naked

She could feel the tears just barely being held back as she tried to preserve all the warmth that she could.

How long had it been since she hung up the phone? The pain in her body that only was racked more and more by the chill had her believe that it had been hours. Maybe even days.

Feeling another twinge of pain as she tried to force herself to remember how she got out this way, Ruby just wanted to scream. Opening her eyes, Ruby could feel the tears slip once she recognised the car driving down the road rapidly.

Sniffling again, Ruby started to walk out of her hiding place, she raised the hand covering her bosom and started to rub the tears from her eyes. Even if they seemed to increase as the driver door was flung open and her mother nearly jumped out of the car.

"I'm sorry Mommy..." Ruby muttered as she got wrapped in a tight hug. She knew that the tears were spilling freely now but that didn't matter. She was in pain and the only person who ever seemed to be able to remove any pain she was in was there.

Feeling the anger inside her flare ten fold at the sight of her battered, naked daughter, Cinder was positive that there was going to be at least one grave dug. She didn't care who or what was trying to send a message to her, but she knew for certain that there was going to be a trail of bodies out in the open if she was in a good mood.

"You have nothing to be sorry about baby girl." Cinder said calmly as she held the teen tight to her. Gently rubbing her back as she could feel her daughter just starting to break down once again. Entering into a near shaking type of crying as she just let the tears fall. "Let's get you home... it is freezing out here." Cinder said knowing that she really didn't want to leave her daughter for even a second, but knew that if she was going to stay out for much longer she'd be running a serious risk of dying.

Nodding her head, Ruby allowed herself to be lead towards the passenger door, knowing that she was a mess compared to her normally very composed mother. It was just making her feel worse about the situation. She hadn't been needed to ever be collected by her mom after she was drinking. Nor had she ever caused her mom to worry as much as she had.

As Cinder reached across and clicking the seat belt in place, she couldn't help but notice the state her daughter was in. The bruises, the blood caking parts of her body, the white substance seemingly stuck to her nether region.

Once she was sure her child was safe, Cinder closed the door and ran nearly to her side. Climbing in as she turned the heating on full blast, as she shifted the gears a single thought occurred. 'I swear if anyone touched you Ruby, they'll wish I killed them and sent their black souls to hell. It would be a mercy compared to the wrath I have in mind.'

Cinder gripped the wheel tighter as she started to press her foot down on the ground. She knew that the longer she wasn't able to get to the bottom of this, the longer people were allowed to breath that shouldn't be given that right.

Taking her gaze off the road for a second, Cinder frowned as she could see Ruby crying as she continued to try and cover herself for any extra source of heat.

Just the sight was enough to make Cinder feel a larger and larger twinge of anger. Her baby was hurt and she couldn't do nothing about it. The thought of it made her feel a little sick.

Shifting into the highest gear, Cinder reached across to gently place her hand over Ruby's smaller ones. She could feel her daughter's normally porcelain skin being cold to the touch, it just seemed to pain her that much more.

Biting her lip, to the point Cinder could feel the copper tasting liquid float into her mouth, Cinder knew she had to ask one of the hardest questions she ever had at this point. Even harder than when she was curious which way Ruby was sexually inclined.

"Ruby... do you remember anything from last night?" Cinder asked softly as she pained herself further to remove her hand from Ruby to shift into a lower gear as to turn the car.

Sniffling as she rubbed her eyes to try and remove the tears from fogging her vision, Ruby could just feel the disgust piling on further and further as she was with her mom. "No... nothing after Yang giving me a drink someone else bought her... I'm sorry Mommy." Ruby cried out as her vision was quickly fogged over once again. As she felt her mother's hand rest over her's once again. It was bringing some comfort to her but she knew that it wasn't going to help how she was feeling towards herself at this point.

"You have nothing to be sorry about. Nothing is going to make me think otherwise. You are my little gemstone." Cinder said as she could feel Ruby's shivering die down. "We're almost back, I asked Neo to get you a hot bath going... we'll get you cleaned up and a nice rest... and when you remember anything and want to talk about it you know I will always listen and make time for you." Cinder continued as she pressed the clicker for the garage as she started to drive up the secluded road.

As she started to slide in just as the door started to close, Cinder could still make out the tears slipping down Ruby's face. Just paining her even further. When the teen cried it always seemed to have that sort of reaction to her. Something she knew the cause of. It was because she couldn't protect her child.

What she did know was she could get revenge. Opening the car door, Cinder slammed it shut as she walked back towards Ruby's side and opened it for her. A small smile appeared as she could see the woman stopping her shivering as she unbuckled herself and started to climb out of the car.

Quickly walking towards the coat hooks, Cinder pulled one down that she couldn't believe she forgot making it hurt that much more at her making Ruby suffer. But at least she could give her daughter some decency now. Wrapping it around her body, Cinder at least picked up at the sight of door opening, revealing the tri coloured hair of one of her daughter's oldest friends.

Carefully wrapping the woman in a small one arm hug, Cinder started to lead her out of the cold garage and into the home. She was ignoring the way people were staring, she knew they were going to have their hands full in a matter of minutes. But right now her daughter needed her. "Neo, Emerald, Mercury with me now." Cinder demanded as she could see some more tears start to spill from her daughter. Leaning down as she lead the girl up the stairs, Cinder just had to make it better for her in any way she could. "It is for something else."

As Ruby nodded Cinder breathed a sigh of relief as she could see the steam emanating from the white bathroom. "Go in Ruby, I'll be in in a minute with some clothes for you." Cinder stated as Ruby nodded and started to shuffle into the room.

Reaching out, Cinder grabbed the door handle and closed the door as she turned around to face the trio that had followed her orders. "Get me this 'Yang' Ruby's is friends with. Because the evidence is screaming Ruby has been raped, and don't be gentle in getting her. Just make sure she is breathing and won't be dead from sitting tied to a chair in the basement for a few hours. And once that is done, tell the rest of the men, to go and do what I pay them to do instead of gawking at my daughter." Cinder snapped as the three nodded.

'I swear that woman best know exactly who bought her that drink, because if not I'm going to make her wish that I would just torture her.'

Chapter Text


Chapter 2:

Walking into large dining room, Cinder almost felt like skinning each and every person that seemed to be coming up with nothing. Almost less than nothing. She had no doubt that the woman wouldn't have vanished into the aether, and she was not going to hold back if this woman was ever found. Just the thought of bathing in her blood was an appealing idea.

"So, thirty two adults who could tell me if an athlete we pay tripped and injured themselves thousands of miles away, can't find a single fucking college age woman in the city!?" Cinder yelled at the room as they nearly jumped at the tone she had. No one had any idea as to why she had even let them breathe for the last two hours if they weren't going to deliver in what she wanted of them.

Reaching behind her to pull the silver pistol from behind her, Cinder pointed it towards one of the men standing around. "Now, so we are clear, unless you have that bitch with you bleeding, bruised and near catatonic or unless you hear directly from me I don't want to see another damn hair of any of you! Next one to show up ignoring my friendly warning will have flowers sent to the family with a friendly note of how they'll never find the corpse." Cinder continued lowering the gun as she could see the ice cream themed girl running into the room.

She was actually debating if she should threaten her daughter's friend as well. It was actually tempting given the situation. She really wanted to just possibly injure the woman. Especially if she was here instead of doing what Cinder had told her.

"Neo, you best have something important to add, otherwise no matter how much respect your father has earned with me, I will send your corpse to him. Express so he won't miss it in cell when he gets out in a few days. Am I clear?" Cinder said as Neo nodded and quickly ran up to the intimidating woman.

Standing on her tiptoes, Neo cupped a hand around the raven haired woman's ear and spoke up softly. "Mercury told me that he found her and is bringing her in. She isn't hurt yet though. And Emerald is still with Ruby... we still haven't been able to convince her to get out of the tub." Neo knew that at least from the good news that Cinder's anger might have tapered off.

"Go back to Ruby. When Mercury gets here, you and Emerald are to stay in either her room or the bathroom until that woman is tied to a chair. Let Emerald know as well, if I see either of you not with her unless I send for one of you, you will be meeting the same fate as whoever did that to Ruby. And we know unlike them you both know what I'm capable off when pushed." Cinder stated coldly as Neo nodded and quickly took her leave. Not wanting to test to see if Cinder was bluffing.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Cinder turned to the group that had stayed there waiting to be dismissed like the loyal foot soldiers they were. "Marcus, get the basement ready. To teach a lesson to our guest your son is bringing over. The rest of you get the fuck out of here and go and do your jobs." Cinder bit as she stared at them all leaving the room. Releasing a sigh as she started to walk out herself and up the stairs. She needed to make sure Ruby was alright.

Climbing the stairs, Cinder opened the bathroom door to see Ruby still sitting in the bathtub, forming a small ball like object as she had her arms wrapped around her legs, with Neo and Emerald sitting on either end of the tub. As if they were trying to protect her at the same time coaxing the woman out of the bathtub.

"Ruby, baby..." Cinder started walking closer and kneeling down just next to her. Just gently reaching forward to grasp the woman's face. Trying her hardest to just get Ruby that much closer to how she was just a day previously. She wanted her daughter back. "Can you look at me please?" Cinder continued in a soft tone, as she resisted each and every fibre of her being to drag the teen's head into looking at her directly. She didn't want to harm her further.

"Please my Little Gem... just look at me. I want to make sure you are alright." Cinder continued as she noticed some tears starting to fall down Ruby's face. Amplifying the pain that Cinder had been feeling up until that point.

She could just make out the faintest of words from Ruby. The words she had been saying since she had been there really. Just her mantra seeming to be 'I'm sorry Mommy'. She had no idea what the woman had to be sorry about but she knew that it was going to be something that whoever hurt her Little Gem was going to be the one who should really be sorry.

"You don't need to be sorry about anything Ruby. Even if you don't remember what happened. I promise you don't need to be sorry." Cinder continued as she could feel Ruby's head give slightly to the hand moving her head. The tears just seemingly never stopping.

Moving the hand on Ruby's face up a little to just brush some of the tears away with her thumb. Cinder never liked the idea of tears on the woman's face but there wasn't much that she could really do at this point. Not while she also wanted to make sure whoever did this was going to be in agony and suffering. Only then could she focus solely on her daughter who seemed to be in pieces right now.

"If anything I'm sorry Little Gem because I couldn't help you."

The want to just be with her timid daughter was shattered by the sound of a knock on the door. Sniffing hard, Cinder stood up and planting a single kiss on Ruby's head. Trying to force the tears down as she spoke up softly, just so Ruby would be the only one to hear her in an incredibly weak tone.

"I'll be back in a few minutes Little Gem. I'll be back as soon as I can... just can you please go with Emerald and Neo into your room?" Cinder asked knowing that it really didn't matter with how much sound proofing that went into the building of the walls and ceiling of the basement that nothing was going to come out if she didn't want it to. She would just rather if Ruby was in a room that she knew was going to be the most comfortable for her.

Feeling a small nod, Cinder smiled down at her daughter. Seeing her stand up on shaky legs. Snapping her fingers as she held her hand out, glad that Emerald had taken the context and placed a towel into her waiting hands. Wrapping it around Ruby's frame, she smiled at the sight of Neo joining Emerald in standing up.

"I promise I'll be up as soon as I can Ruby." Cinder continued as she planted a kiss onto Ruby's forehead. As she pulled back, ignoring the twinge of pain that filled her chest as she had to part from her daughter.

Opening the door she could see the young face of the silver haired man standing there looking away causing Cinder just to smile at how the word has gotten out about what she would do if the men were gawking at Ruby.

"Everything is ready boss. We just need you to come downstairs."

"Mercury, stay up here and act as relay. I'll go and sort this out." Cinder said not even giving the man a chance to respond as she started to walk down the stairs. Already knowing that there was going to be more than enough for her to relieve the amount of anger she had been feeling, not to mention the pain that she would gladly dish out in spades.

Standing at the base of the stairs, Cinder smiled at the sight of Ruby being lead down the hallway and into her room. Once Cinder knew that Ruby was safe, she smiled as she walked towards the basement door. Flinging it open, Cinder started to descend the stairs her smile shifting to a cruel one as she could see tufts of blonde hair sticking out under the bag.

The sight of Marcus standing at the base of the stairs staring at the woman with an almost sickening smile on his face. Coming to a rest at the base of the stairs, Cinder started to fix her shirt as she glared daggers at the man.

"Get up there you drunk. And if you touch anyone you will meet the same fate." Cinder let her cold and callous voice carry through the room to show her new guest how this was going to go. Something that only increased the fear to a visible level as the sound of Marcus barrelling up the stairs. Sensing him being close enough to the door Cinder wanted to put the final nail in the coffin for this woman. "And close the door."

Hearing the door slam shut and letting darkness fill the room, Cinder just smiled as she walked over towards the wall where she knew a cord was dangling. Wrapping it around her fingers, she gave it a sharp tug downwards. Hearing the click, she almost felt the smile grow as she could see the light starting to come on.

"I'm sure you are wondering the reason you are here." Cinder said as she started to walk towards the girl who was visibly shaking now. "Truth be told, this is a rare thing. There are dozens of unused bunkers that people always forget about. But some things have come up." Cinder continued walking behind the woman and ripped the sack off her head.

Walking out in front of her, Cinder bent down and stared into the lilac eyes. She had no doubt that there was some defiance in them if the power dynamic was even remotely similar.

Tutting a little Cinder hooked a finger between her cheek and a piece of rag. "You see, I have it on good authority that you unwittingly contributed to the drugging and raping of my daughter. And instead of doing what I normally would, namely drive you out eighty or so miles into the wilderness, shoot you a couple of times in the gut and watch you slowly drag yourself away." Cinder began as she walked behind the blonde and bound woman to do what she had no idea.

That was until she came back in front of her holding a large looking bullet. "You see this is little gun here..." Cinder started lightly swaying the gun in her hand. "This is known as a Raging Bull. If you want to get technical it is called the Taurus M500. And these things leave huge... gaping holes. Which makes sense because they are meant to put down most of the big five game. Now what do you think it would do to a lying and possible rapist?" Cinder asked as she slid the final cartridge into the cylinder.

Lowering it as she pulled the hammer back, aiming at one of the solid concrete walls as the other hand came up to brace the main one as she squeezed the trigger. As the bullet went flying out, she barely had enough time to stop the barrel from smacking her in the face smiling as she could see the gaping hole in her wall as she turned back to the woman that she could have sworn if she listened carefully she could hear the sound of her wetting herself.

"Now, to show I'm not unreasonable, I'm going to give you a chance to defend yourself and tell me what happened last night that made my daughter wind up in a ditch, naked. Miles away in a different town, shivering with semen dripping from her nether regions with the last memory she has of you handing her a glass of beer." Cinder began as she rested the barrel just on top of the blonde's shoulder. Letting her never forget about the gravity of the situation. "And best not lie. Because I will pull the trigger for every. Single. One."

As the time started to tick past Cinder could almost feel her last nerve be plucked by the woman in front of her. The expression on her face was an annoyance. It was almost like she was trying to put a face to the statement which just seemed to grind Cinder's gears that much more.

Pulling the hammer back once more as she twisted the barrel into the shoulder Cinder stared into the terrified eyes to try and send the message as to what is going to happen. Almost as if she wanted to remove the doubt that the woman might have, Cinder spoke up. "Best speak up because my patience is thin, and I could care less if you die. You would just be another body I've left in my wake. And there has been literal scores of them."

The chill from the voice made Yang try and forcibly make sense of the night and what had happened in the short time since she walked out of her dorm room to go get some breakfast. And it seemed to come up empty on all fronts except one which didn't make sense to her.

"Look, I don't know where you are getting your information from. Because I gave one person a drink that some dude I haven't seen in a long time bought me one while I already had a full one. And that person left willingly with two guys." Yang stated partially out of fear at what this very possibly deranged woman would do if she was pushed further. Thus far the only thing that was going through her mind was how much she just wanted to be home with her father, and if she was there her step mother as well.

Chuckling a little as she pulled the gun away from the shoulder, much to the thanks of Yang. Thanks that was revoked almost as fast as Cinder brought the barrel sharply against the side of the blonde's cheek, making her crash to the floor.

"Then you admit to giving my little Ruby the drink." Cinder said as she walked towards the downed woman. Kneeling down to twist the barrel again, this time just on the exposed temple. "Now, I'm going to need names. Because there was nothing consensual going on and I know that for a fact." Cinder started as Yang just coughed at Ruby's name being mentioned.

'Suddenly, I doubt Ruby was misusing 'literally' last night. And what Reese said is also starting to make so much sense.' Yang thought as Cinder pulled the hammer back once again. Ushering Yang a lot faster in trying to place names through at what point was a drunken haze.

"Look, don't shoot. I'm trying to think and the gun isn't making it any easier. All it is making me do is want to go and hug my dad and cry. It isn't helping." Yang said in a last ditch effort as Cinder just seemed to chuckle once again.

"I don't give a fuck. The fact you are still breathing and not buried is because apparently you are a friend of my daughter. Typically I would have much rather watch you squirm as you bleed. Now give me the names of who most likely raped my daughter like a real friend would." Cinder continued, letting her index finger drift towards the trigger.

As the tears started to fill Yang's eyes she still couldn't figure out how this woman could know if something wasn't consensual when she wasn't there. Under any other, non pants wetting situation she would ask, but right now all she could do was try and find a way out which was looking like there was only really one way.

"Jaune Arc and Cardin Winchester... those are who I saw Ruby leave the party with. Now can you please let me leave? I promise I won't call the cops or anything." Yang said as Cinder stood up right, replacing the hammer carefully as she pressed the toe of her shoe into the side of the blonde's face.

"You could call the cops. It won't change anything. I'm what you kids call untouchable." Cinder stated as she started to twist her foot as the blonde let out a simple gasp of pain as Cinder started to bear down with more force. "Now, I want you to remember this. While Ruby is at the age where I can't tell her who to be around, what I can do is remind her friends exactly what they have to lose if they hurt her or let her get hurt when they could have stopped it. Remember your fragile skull under my shoe, remember the damage what is essentially my toy did. I want you to remember how I really only value you when you have value to Ruby." Cinder said as she relented a small bit keeping the tip of the shoe just hovering above the spot she could inflict maximum damage with such little effort.

"So tell me, and tell me truthfully. Will you remember those simple things? Will you remember them in a month's time? How about a year's time? Or should I just give you a reminder of our talk?" Cinder stated as she pulled the hammer back and lowered it, once more. This time towards the woman's knee cap. As if she was sending the woman a clear message.

"I promise you I'm not going to forget. Probably not for the rest of my life." Yang yelled through the tears that were streaming freely down her face. As the gun was removed from her knee cap and hammer placed back into a resting position.

"Good. Now while I have some men go and check to make sure you aren't lying about those names, get comfortable where you are. I might need to ask you some more questions." Cinder said walking behind the woman to place the gun back on the small shelf as she quickly ascended the stairs.

Leaving Yang alone with the light being the only thing to comfort her as tears streamed down her face. The only thought being how did such a shrew of a woman have such a sweet daughter like Ruby. A thought that only increased as she could hear a series of locks clicking into place locking her in the room. She felt a lot alone, and like for the first time in a long, long time that she would even accept her step mother's affection in a situation like this.

Chapter Text


Chapter 3:

"Are you positive you found them?" Cinder snapped into the phone. She didn't like that it was taking her organisation longer than a couple of seconds to find a group of college students, but she was at least happy that they might have found the dead men who were walking around.

"Yes Ma'am. It matches the pictures we were able to gather. We collected them and sent a picture to you to get a confirmation from the blonde." The voice came over the phone as Cinder just took a deep breath and quickly opened up the email that was sent to her.

"If the information is good, this will just be a good reminder to Ruby's friends where they stand to me. Rough them up but keep them alive and put them in the stocks in our place by Patch if you want. It is only fair we leave them where they left Ruby. Just keep their faces in tact. Maybe get our brand guy to make us a new one that says rapists." Cinder stated as she didn't even way for some sort of confirmation as she hung up the phone and quickly pressed the two keys to start print off the images.

If just for the sake of she didn't want to damage the computer she had just bought to replace the one she broke from the last girlfriend of Ruby's just seemingly pushing her buttons in all the wrong way. The only joy to Cinder was the fact that they at least broke up and Ruby seemed to be fine with it.

Walking over towards the printer, Cinder snatched the two sheets that came off as she walked out of the room. A little glad that Ruby had at least managed to go to sleep after hours of coaxing. It made what was to come a lot easier. It meant that Cinder could at least let loose.

Taking a step towards the guarded door, Cinder smiled and gestured for the man to open the door. Smiling as she started to descend the stairs, a little glad that someone had at least sat her upright like she had asked. That didn't stop the fear from becoming ever present once again on the teen's features as she saw Cinder descend the stairs.

It was like a fine wine to Cinder really, seeing that fear on someone's features when they attempted to harm her daughter. Something that Cinder just had to put a stop to here.

"Please... just let me go." The blonde woman cried as Cinder just smiled at her with a sickly sweet smile.

"Don't worry. Our time is almost up. And you've been so helpful before. All you need to do now is look at some pictures, and provided you tell me the right thing... we'll send you back to where we found you no worse for wear, except the knowledge of what I'd do to you if you ever harm Ruby." Cinder stated as she grabbed one of the seats a guard who was down there had and brought it to in front of the blonde haired woman.

As Cinder smiled at her, Yang couldn't help but feel slightly disgusted by the gesture. She wasn't sure if it was meant to be a reassuring gesture or an intimidation one. All Yang knew for sure was that it had either worked like a charm, or it had failed.

"Now, simple yes or no question." Cinder began as she pulled out the sheet and held it towards the woman and spoke up again. "Are these the two people who you saw leaving with my daughter? Remember, if you lie to me, you are not only helping rapists, but I might just let my mother bear instincts come through. Something you haven't even seen yet." Cinder said as Yang quickly looked down, if just because it would get her out of here and hopefully would get her far away from this woman.

However, Yang wasn't sure what was harder for her to discern. She could see in the pictures the abject terror in their eyes, but if what the woman said was true, then she just knew that what she might have experience would pale in comparison. Hell, Yang wasn't even sure if she would see them again, but they would have also deserved it if what she said is true.

"Yeah... that is them. But I still don't believe Jaune would rape someone. He has issues talking to girls." Yang said as Cinder smiled this time Yang could actually feel some reassurance coming from it.

"Well, I'll just need to have some words with the both of them. But the alternative is, the striped Ruby and left her out a portion of the night in the middle of nowhere. Which isn't as bad but it is far from going to be a pleasant conversation with me." Cinder stated standing up and grabbing the back of the chair and bringing it back towards where she picked it up from as she balled up the sheet of paper in her remaining hand.

Grabbing the black bag that had been resting on a hock in the wall, Cinder just walked back towards Yang and stared into her eyes. "Now just to make sure. You aren't dumb are you? You aren't going to tell Ruby or your parents about this trip will you? Because some people will be watching you for a while. And if they find that out, you won't be getting the nice Madam Fall you've been dealing with. You will be wishing to be back down her. Because you will die. Your parents may die as well. I may even make you watch them die. I can be very creative when I'm mad."

"No I won't tell anyone. Just... I want to go back home." Yang said as Cinder smiled and grabbed Yang's lower jaw and started to push her cheeks together to force her to look up into Cinder's eyes. The fear Cinder could see was enough to make her smile.

"You wouldn't lie to me about this would you? I tolerate lying about as much as I do about tattle tails. Something that would make me gladly cut a few toes off, maybe beat you a bit. You know really get the blood pumping and then turn you loose in a large cat exhibit. So am I clear?" Cinder asked again in the same cold and calculated tone that Yang seemed to have grown to fear in a matter of minutes just by being in her presence.

"I'm not lying. I just want to go home and cuddle up with my stuffed bear Peaches." Yang pleaded, hoping her honesty was coming through. She really didn't want to see how true she was being about her being in a nice mood earlier. She just knew that if that was true, nearly nothing was going to stop her from killing her.

"Good. I'll put a bag over your head and then some people will be down to carry you out and they'll drop you off. I suggest closing your eyes and not opening them until you get the bag off. If you try and sneak a peak well I can't be held responsible for what my men will do. Or how sad your parents will be when they need to pick out caskets. Okay?" Cinder said as she quickly started to slide the bag on.

She wasn't even going to consider waiting for Yang's response. She could feel in her gut that Ruby was needing her. It was at the point that Cinder didn't even care if it was something as mundane as wanting a glass of water. She felt like she owed Ruby being there for even that. Especially if she wasn't able to be there to protect her from a cruel fact of the world had something against Cinder and by extension Ruby herself.

As she ascended the stairs, Cinder opened the door and smiled at the sight of the multi coloured hair girl that was one of her daughter's best friends holding a tray with several mugs on it. Something that Cinder just knew was going to be for her daughter and possibly whoever else was in the room. Judging by the amount on the tray she just knew it was Emerald as well.

"Neo, I need you to get Mercury and go and take our friend back where she was found. And if I find out Emerald is trying to syphon off my booze again, I'll be cross." Cinder stated as Neo glanced down at the tray before looking up at her. She could see the lack of room for her to comment on the topic. "Go. Take Emerald as well. Just point me the cup that is meant to be Ruby's." Cinder continued as as she could see Neo finally relent in her mind knowing this was not the wisest thing to die from.

"The middle one... she is doing a lot better though... compared to how she was this morning." Neo said at least glad that she could give that progress report before someone else could take at least partial credit. Or even all the credit for what was essentially a decent rest with friends nearby.

"Good. Remember, get Mercury and drop her off where he got her. Don't damage her any more than I already have. I'll send Emerald down." Cinder stated as she took the tray from Neo who quickly grabbed the mug that Cinder just knew was going to be for her. Something that for once Cinder didn't care about.

Walking towards the stairs as she could hear Neo nearly sprinting back towards the kitchen to do what Cinder just knew was to get a travel mug. Shaking her head, Cinder climbed the stairs as she could see the door to Ruby's room open to reveal the green haired woman standing there, a smile turning quickly into a stoic expression as Cinder rounded the corner of the attic room.

"Emerald, go help Neo and Mercury with the special guest. I want to spend some alone time with Ruby." Cinder said as she spun the tray to put the mug containing Emerald's drink closer to her.

As Emerald took a step out of the room Cinder smiled at the closing of the door just because it meant that she'd be able to at least remind Emerald of what happens when people steal from her. "Emerald Sustrai, I hope you aren't trying to steal anything from my alcohol selection. I may let you, Neo and Mercury get away with a lot because of your closeness to Ruby. I even tend to overlook some things that I would kill others for, including taking a bit of product off the top. But right now, there is zero tolerance for everything of that sort." Cinder stated coldly as she as Emerald gulped a little.

"So tell me. Do you want to take the mug, or would you rather I poor it down the drain?" Cinder said offering the girl an out if what she feared was the case.

"I didn't ask Neo to put anything but marshmallows into it." Emerald said as she pulled her hand back to herself. She knew that Cinder was being serious, but she also wasn't sure if Neo hadn't spiked hers from the last bout of mockery that Emerald had dished out towards her last week.

"Then take the mug, and don't harm the blonde too much. We don't want Ruby getting scared if she ever goes back to that college. And if her roommate is hurt..." Cinder continued as Emerald nodded along and grabbed the mug that was closest to her.

As Cinder watched the second of her daughter's friends leave her presence, she smiled a little before she looked towards the door and felt her smile being stripped from her. She was a horrible person that had let the one person that meant the world to her get harmed in such an unspeakable way. But she could be here now to help Ruby get back to the confident woman she was just yesterday.

Knowing that she shouldn't leave Ruby alone for longer than she absolutely had to, Cinder opened the door and walked in. Frowning as she could see Ruby jump a little from Cinder closing the door over with her foot.

Feeling her heart sink a little, Cinder could feel her heart soar a little at Ruby recognising her. As though that was going to be the thing to fix all of her problems. Feeling a little unsure of what she should say, Cinder just defaulted to walking deeper into the room and picked up loan mug before placing it into Ruby's waiting hands.

Just the sight of Ruby's slight apprehension, Cinder felt like she should explain herself at least a little. Just because she didn't want Ruby to stress any further than she probably already had. "I ran into Neo on my way up... and since I have nothing left to do..."

"It's okay Mom." Ruby said as she raised the mug up slowly to take a small sip from the mug as she gestured over lightly towards the other side of the bed next to her.

A place that Cinder was more than happy to take. Just a chance to be closer to her daughter. Even if Ruby decided to kick her out of the room later. It would sting Cinder a lot, but she'd accept it once she knew Ruby was safe.

As Ruby took another sip from the mug. Neither seemingly wanted to break the silence, but they both just couldn't bring themselves to do that. That was until Cinder knew that she had to remove the doubt that was starting to wiggle it's head into her mind.

"Ruby... how are you doing?" Cinder asked, knowing that if Ruby was going to be a mess, then she was going to do some terrible things to the men that caused her to be like that, and she'd feel at least next to nothing for what they did.

"I don't remember... anything really from last night. That is what hurts the most I suppose." Ruby spoke softly as she took a drink from the mug. "Also I hurt a bit down there... but after that I have no idea." Ruby said as she rested her head against Cinder's shoulder.

Ruby wasn't sure why she felt so calm about the situation, but she also knew that no one would do anything with her in any sort of state. Just from past experiences of what Cinder had done to people who had done some of the most mundane things to Ruby... something that bad she just knew that Cinder wouldn't be holding back.

Something that she wasn't sure if she ever wanted to truly know happened. At least then she could feel her conscience be guilt free from what the woman had or will do. Then, maybe everything will be at least a little right in the world.

"You know I'm always here for you." Cinder said as she freed her shoulder from Ruby's head and quickly pulled her into a one armed hug as she placed a small kiss on top of Ruby's head. "I'll get you anything you need. You know that."

"I just want my Mom right now." Ruby muttered as Cinder held onto her tightly. Her other arm coming up to stroke Ruby's hair a little. "I love you Mom." Ruby spoke softly as she raised the mug a little again and took another mouthful.

"I love you too Ruby." Cinder said as Ruby started to move a little from the embrace just so she can place the mug down on the nightstand before she quickly wrapped her mother in a hug.

The unsafe feeling Ruby had since she woke up earlier in the day after she got back just seemed to constantly vanish when Cinder was there. As though Cinder wasn't going to stop at anything to make sure she was safe. That was what Ruby ultimately wanted.

Or at least what Ruby wanted was just to be with her mother at that moment. At least then, she'd feel perfectly fine. Something that she didn't care about how long it was that they'd be like that provided she still got it for now.

Both just seemed to enjoy the silence that was befalling them. The silence seemed to have been periodically broken by the soft snoring that Cinder just knew was mostly from Ruby, and even a little from Cinder herself.

The sleep just making Cinder feel at least mostly useful with Ruby's new needs. Even if she didn't know about them. It made her feel for the first time in a long time that Ruby was still dependent on her to keep the bad dreams away and would periodically crawl into her bed.

Cinder wasn't sure how long they had been laying like that, but she could feel Ruby slightly kicking her leg back. It was as though she was having the remaining piece of the puzzle that she had been missing. Namely Ruby having another bad dream.

Wrapping the girl tighter in a hug, Cinder leaned down and planted a single kiss on her forehead. Knowing already that she wasn't going to make it out of the room that night, and if she was being honest, she really wouldn't want it any other way.

If she went to her room, Ruby might have a panic attack from something coming to her, and the crime boss would just rather that it didn't happen and she would go through any means she had to to make sure that never happened. If at all. And if that meant that she had to sleep in her daughter's bed with her a few times, she wouldn't care.

At the simple maternal contact, Ruby seemed to calm down from the feeling as she quickly pulled Cinder closer. At the feeling of Ruby being so desperate to keep her there, Cinder started to wriggle the blanket out from under them so they could be warm at least through the cold night.

Confident that sleep wasn't going to be long, Cinder placed another kiss on Ruby's head as she spoke up. "I'm not going to let harm fall onto you again Ruby. Never again."

Chapter Text


Chapter 4:

Gasping a little as she woke up, Yang quickly started to look around, and knew that at least she wasn't in that nightmare hole where ever it was. And there was at least one person she knew that possibly had a run in with Ruby's mom and possibly had the same interaction she had as well. If not worse. She still remembered Ruby introducing her as her ex girlfriend.

As she nearly jumped out of her bed she frowned as she heard a ping from her phone. The threat of how she would be watched for however long and how she wouldn't be found if she was found to lie. Almost fearing what had been there, Yang walked a few feet and could feel her heart jump into her throat as she could see the flashing form the small led on the device.

Taking the final step, Yang felt her heart sink at the message that was waiting for her. It wasn't one she feared, but one that she just loathed as much. Quickly deleting the message from her step mother, Yang quickly dialled the number for the person who might just be able to tell her what the fuck had happened to her.

"Yang, I'd love to talk, but it is early and I'm really tired. I haven't slept for like two days." The voice carried over causing Yang to just take a deep breath.

"Reese, I seriously need to fucking talk and I feel like you are the only person who might be able to tell me what the fuck happened when Ruby's mother found me!" Yang yelled into her phone, not caring that she might be heard in the dorms next to her's. She needed to talk and this was the one person who she knew that she might just be able to talk to about it and knew that no cop alive would believe her from the simple fact of how long her rap sheet was.

"You met Ashes? How is she doing. Was she happy that Ruby and I broke up? I mean I'd ask Ruby but she doesn't even know the half of what Ashes would do." Reese spoke as Yang took some deep breaths. She wasn't sure if her panic was coming through, but when Reese spoke up it seemed to be what she needed. "Look, I got no idea where on the campus I'm at. I haven't seen the outside for like twenty four hours. And I really need a shower if you catch my drift. What I do remember is there is a small cafe nearby called Belladonna's... meet me there in... half an hour... forty five minutes tops. Depends how distracted I get in the shower."

"Reese, if you leave me hanging for some freaking booty call I will gut you. I'm freaking panicking right now and I can just barely feel confident to leave my dorm room and not get gunned down." Yang said as she heard a loud yawn coming from the other end.

Yang could feel a vein develop in her forehead at the gesture. If Yang was being honest, she wanted to reach through the phone and strangle the woman on the other end.

"Yang, calm down. Ashes won't kill you unless you go to the cops. Just relax. And if Ruby is with you, don't let her know... that will probably get you killed. At the very least you will become religious." Reese spoke as she started to pop her bones every which way coming over the phone just causing Yang to groan once again.

Really to Yang it was feeling like Reese wasn't taking her possible death very seriously. Something she wasn't sure how she was meant to convince her how to, but she knew it was a possible thing she could do. "Yang, have some deep breaths, go to the cafe, and have some hot chocolate, or hot milk, anything to calm your nerves. Repeat after me, Ruby's mom won't harm you."

Groaning a little, Yang mumbled what Reese had asked of her, not even having the utmost confidence in what she had just spoke. But she knew that if anyone knew how she could possibly breathe after what she had just been through it was Ruby's ex-girlfriend who had to have caused the ire of Ruby's mother at least once.

"I can sense you don't believe it, but Yang just trust me. I'll meet you as fast as I can. But you need to relax. Do whatever you agreed to to her, and you'll be fine. Even if you don't remember it she'll give you some breathing room. Ashes is many things... including the reason you shouldn't wear white anything. But she is somewhat fair. Okay? Just trust me Ruby is your friend and she will protect you immensely." Reese continued as Yang at least felt a bit better at that statement. Perhaps Reese was right and she was just going crazy about this. "Short of something bad happening to Ruby you are fine. If that happens then there may be nothing that can save you."

There was the proverbial nail in the coffin. "That is the thing Reese. That somewhat crazy woman thinks Ruby might have been drugged and raped... by one person who would do any girl's homework for her if she just so much as sat in his room for like five seconds. The other guy was a dude bro but I don't think he has it in him to actually do something like that." Yang said as she could hear a small gasp.

"Okay, change of plans, we re still meeting at the cafe, but get your ass over to the cafe now, and you might need to accept my apologies about smelling like sex and not going to lie... a little bit of shame." Reese spoke as Yang just took a deep breath at the fact it seemed like she had finally started to take this seriously.

"Okay, I'll see you there."

Sighing a little as she locked her phone, Cinder turned back to the pan sitting on the stove. Just a small smile on her face as she could hear some shuffling coming down the stairs. She knew that just by the pacing of the feet that it meant that Ruby was up.

Giving the bowl next to the stove one last stir, Cinder walked towards the coffee pot and quickly pressed the button on the side as she smiled at the sight of Ruby walking into the room rubbing her eyes still dressed in the rose pattern pyjamas as she walked towards one of the bar stools.

"I'm making your favourite breakfast." Cinder said as Ruby smiled a little at the gesture. But that still seemed to raise some more questions to Ruby. Some that Cinder wasn't anywhere near ready to answer, but Cinder knew that she had to address some of the questions that were brewing. "I know I promised I wouldn't push you... but I'd really appreciate if you didn't go to college for a few days. At least until you are comfortable again. I mean if you want to you can take the year off and we can get you set up in a different college." Cinder said hoping that Ruby would see reason, but Cinder also knew that if Ruby really wanted to stay where she is there was nothing that she could do.

"But this is the university I want to be in Mom. It has the best aerospace engineering course in the world." Ruby said as Cinder frowned a little at the comment. Something that she knew wouldn't have gone amiss to Ruby but she knew that there was no way she could hide her displeasure on the subject. "Mom... if I get even within the top ten places, people will literally have bidding wars over me... and if I get to the top of the class, then I'd be left to my own devices meaning I could possibly help colonisation of a different planet."

Knowing that for whatever reason that was one of the biggest dreams Ruby has had since Cinder could remember. Something that Cinder just knew that she couldn't get in the way of. If she did then she knew Ruby would never forgive her. Something that the mother just knew would hurt her so much worse than anything else.

"But Ruby, you can see it from my point of view. You went to a party... and woke up naked in Patch with no memory. I'm worried for you Ruby. What if unscrupulous people wanted to take advantage of you?" Cinder countered as Ruby just smiled up at her mother.

"I know Emerald or Neo or Mercury will tell you. Mom, I'll happily stay back a day or two... but I can't stay home any more than that." Ruby said as Cinder took another deep breath. "Like if it makes you feel better, I can go back to doctor Goodwitch. But her stance probably won't change and will ask me to take a bunch of pills which I don't like." Ruby stated as Cinder took a deep breath and just continued to stare into Ruby's eyes.

"Okay Ruby. I'll call Goodwitch but can you just give me a few days? I'm worried still." Cinder said as Ruby rolled her eyes softly before walking around from where she was sitting and wrapping the tall woman in a hug.

"I'll give you a few days Mom. I don't like seeing you like this." Ruby said as she felt her mother quickly return the hug. Something that Ruby just smiled at the feeling of her mother being so comforting as of recently. But none of that really mattered to Ruby. Just as long as she could get her mother to cheer up.

Ruby smiled at the feeling of her Mom seeming to have forgone the mask that she often had on when other people were around. In a way, Ruby felt like she had her mother back. It was something that she hadn't seen in a long time that Ruby had started to think that she had started to harden all over again.

Knowing that she should probably leave the embrace before some of the staff had a chance to see her in this state, Cinder pulled back and stared into Ruby's eyes. "I'll finish making the pancakes. You should pour the coffee, and I think there is some strawberries in the fridge." Cinder said hoping that it would give Ruby enough time to do something before the breakfast was done.

At that one statement Ruby picked up and quickly ran over to the fridge. Far more curious as to why she hadn't consumed these ones already given how she wasn't gone all that long since the last major shopping trip. But she just knew that it was something that she had to rectify.

Opening the fridge Ruby smiled at the small plastic container that she quickly pulled out and slipped one of the red berries into her mouth as she walked over towards the island where she had been sitting.

Glancing over towards Ruby, Cinder couldn't help but laugh at the gesture of Ruby trying to restrain herself from shoving more of the fruit into her mouth. Something that Cinder knew was a near herculean feat for Ruby to not do. That kind of thing had been clear to Cinder from the multiple times anyone tried to make something that would require the strawberries to go untouched in the house for a few hours and how Ruby always seemed to have red stains on her hands.

"Ruby, the coffee as well. The strawberries will be fine for a few minutes without someone watching over them." Cinder said as Ruby looked towards her a bit hurt that someone so close to her would make such a statement like that to Ruby.

"But they have an extremely short shelf life... and I mean we wouldn't want to eat bad berries... at that point we might as well turn them into something like wine... but then they are yucky." Ruby said as Cinder laughed at how her daughter had been trying to defend her position.

"They will be fine for a few minutes Ruby. If not, I'll buy you more." Cinder said as Ruby picked up at that statement and quickly ran towards the machine with what Cinder just knew was a hope that the fruit would somehow turn bad in the few minutes it would take for her to get back. As Ruby slipped the pot back onto the burner she quickly made her way around to the seats and placed them down before he plucked up several more of the red berries. "Eating them isn't them turning bad." Cinder countered as Ruby looked towards her.

"But they are no longer edible then. And technically are fermenting." Ruby stated as Cinder shook her head and quickly scooted off the golden disk. "But I'll save you some... don't worry about that. Strawberries go great with pancake, and I wouldn't be a very good daughter if I didn't let you get to try some." Ruby said as Cinder just laughed as she started to make the second pancake.

"This isn't going to be like last time is it?" Cinder asked rhetorically as she glanced towards Ruby who had just placed another berry into her mouth. "That answers that question." Cinder stated as Ruby started to cough a little.

"That was my birthday and Neo had threatened to steal them all... better in my belly than on the floor like she would want." Ruby countered as she took a deep breath and pushed the small half empty plastic container away from herself so she could keep her promise. "But these ones are delicious as always."

"I'll take your word. These pancakes are going to be a few minutes. You might want to heat up the maple syrup."

"Okay Mom."

Yawning the teal haired woman started to scratch her jaw as she walked into the building where she started to scan the cafe. Smiling as she could see the blonde woman sitting in the corner quickly looking around the room as though she was trying to find something.

Chuckling as she started to walk towards the woman and cracked her neck. A smile on her face as she could see the woman jump at the sound. "Calm down Yang. It is just me." Reese spoke as she could see the blonde woman shoot her a glare that she was positive could almost kill.

Glancing towards the clock on the wall, Reese could at least see some of the reason and just knew that she had to defend herself. "This super hot chick wouldn't let me leave without a shower. And once I was in she surprised me. And I'm sure if you ask Ruby she'll tell you once I start I don't leave half finished." Reese continued hoping that this woman wasn't going to take some offence to what Reese had said.

"An hour and a half? I could have been killed." Yang spat as Reese just shook her head a bit and quickly started to look around to see if she could recognise anyone from the very brief time she had dealt with Cinder being angry at her and by extension her gang nearly killing her.

"Calm down Yang. I'm only ninety minutes late. And I can't see anyone. So Ashes may just be trying to scare you. And provided you personally didn't do anything to Ruby, you will be fine. If not, I can call Ruby up, possibly really piss Ashes off, which under most circumstances, I'm all for." Reese began as she took a moment to let out a yawn before shaking her head. "Anyways, you are going to be fine. You had me worried for nothing. But if Ashes does ask you to verify who the people are, don't lie. And don't think about what she'll do." Reese stated as she could see the blonde woman tense up.

"Yang, don't. Trust me. It is for the best. And if true, personally, they are getting off easy." Reese spoke leaning back in her chair as she could almost see a look of question develop on the blonde woman's face as Reese just took a deep breath knowing that he was going to need to explain this, she had just wished that it would have been a while from now.

"Look, you don't know Ruby all that well, and know even less about me. But Ruby is probably the best example of a pure soul out there. I mean when you probably think back on your childhood, you probably have something. With Ruby... there is nothing until she is six. Which is something she doesn't let on, and it took me two years of dating her to find out. And in that time, she always put me first. You should have seen this one time when I broke my arm showing off to her." Reese spoke with a slight chuckle at the memory of Ruby being very cross with her.

Smiling a little, Reese could see Yang glaring at her causing her to roll her eyes. "If she is so good, why the hell did you break up with her? Maybe then I wouldn't be in this situation? Maybe I wouldn't have given her that glass meant for me." Yang hissed at Reese as though she would at least get some answer from her.

"Because honestly you always feel like you come up short as being a good person. I mean think about it, you said it yourself she drank something meant for you, and provided it comes back to her, I doubt she'll ever blame you." Reese stated as she met her friend's worried gaze. At least then she would be able to tell how sincere she was.

As Yang was about to talk, Reese continued her point. "Seriously Yang, chances are those guys would have done to you what they did to Ruby. And the only difference is, with Ashes if they live chances are they'll never do it again. So here is what I want you to do, go home. Take a few days off, hold onto your mother, or father or whoever, and just say how you want family time. If you have an animal, hold onto it if you can for as long as you can. I'll try and give some of Ruby's other friends a call who are closer with Ashes than you might realise and check to see if she really is mad at you. Once I know that I'll give you a call. Okay?" Reese knew that it might seem a bit condescending, but really that would be the best thing for Yang mentally and physically at this moment.


Chapter Text

Chapter 5:

Humming softly, Reese began to skip towards the silver car that she recognised. Something that just made her enjoy the fact that she still had some numbers of those close to Ruby memorised. As she got comfortable, she began to slide the sunglasses off as she looked towards the silver haired man sitting in the driver's side.

"I hope you do know, Cinder is already on a warpath. Frankly you are long past playing with fire." The man spoke as Reese yawned and began to stretch in her seat.

"Look Merc, I heard partially. I just want to talk to Ruby and possibly Ashes. I don't know Yang much, but what I do know is she wouldn't intentionally let Ruby get attacked. You just happen to be the only one to answer my call and not going to lie, Neo scares me at points." Reese said as the man took a deep breath and stared at her. "Seriously. I still have a scar on my foot where she bit me when we were twelve. And on my arm where she stabbed me with a spoon when Ruby and me started to date. I'm telling you that woman is freaking crazy."

Rolling his eyes, Mercury took a deep breath as he began to pinch the bridge of his nose out of annoyance. He began to remember why Emerald had always told him it was best to not answer a call from her number because of what would happen.

"If Cinder hears you call her that, she'll kill you. And if I bring you, you'll find me in seven dumpsters downtown. The fact I've been a childhood friend of Ruby be damned. So how well do you think Cinder will take it that you are there again after you and Ruby broke up?" Mercury asked hoping to just dissuade the woman enough so where he wasn't digging his own grave while the woman was so furious in recent days that she had threatened to kill some of her longest serving generals.

"Ashes will be fine. She was happy we broke up and that I didn't really break Ruby's heart. But she is furious we are still friends. So come on. I can't get past the gates any other way without getting knee capped, dragged to Ashes, be told to crawl as far as I can as she takes pot shots. And again, Neo is freaking terrifying. Seriously, seventeen stitches from a spoon wound, and six followed by rabbis shots from her biting my foot." Reese countered as she stared at Mercury who took a deep breath. "Plus Emerald is too much of a stinker for the rules Cinder sets up. Plus if you ask me is a little hot and bothered by Cinder and Ruby. She always gave me the stink eye when I stayed over and me and Ruby were about to get a bit frisky."

Groaning vocally as he swung his head down just catching it in his hands, Mercury breathed deeply just praying to calm how this was going to happen. "One considering the some of the people that work with her, you'd be lucky if one of the guards just gets your kneecaps if you break in. Hell they get punished if someone is able to get to a certain point. And I don't mean a pay hit or a pink slip if you catch my drift. Second and once again, if I'm seen bringing you in I'll be murdered. So tell me again why I should sign my death warrant like that." Mercury asked as Reese just smiled at him like she knew something that he didn't.

"Because if something happened to Ruby, you just need to tell Ashes that I'm like the only person that can get her to open up any."

"So you want me to tell her that she is a bad mother... did I say seven dumpsters? If that is the excuse seven would be a pipe dream of me going peacefully. No if I say that she'd string me up on main street by my own intestines."

Rolling her eyes, Reese just couldn't believe she was having this conversation with the man but she knew from personal experience that Cinder really was a terrifying woman, and from what she has heard a few times that was the easiest way to get on Cinder's bad side and from what she had seen of Cinder being miffed she didn't want to think of what would happen if she let someone onto her bad side.

"Then get her on the phone... way I can see it, I'll either piss her off so much like a few months ago that she'll demand you bring me or and the hopeful one in my opinion I convince her that it will be best if I come over. I'd call her but she changed her number. If you ask me I think Ashes doesn't like me too much." Reese said with a chuckle in her throat as she could hear a loud groan coming from the man. "Come on Merc. I'm in your car and since I dated Ruby I've had guns pulled on me from just about everyone besides Ruby... so your options are kind of clear."

Sliding his hand into his pocket, Mercury tossed his phone onto Reese's lap. "Make up some excuse as to why you have my phone that isn't going to piss her off. Because I feel like I need to repeat myself she isn't taking prisoners right now, and I'd seriously would rather go a few rounds with my old man than even irk her a little right now." Mercury said as Reese smiled and began to unlock his phone. "And don't call her 'Ashes'... she is probably going to be much easier to anger until she can deal with those guys which isn't looking like an easy thing to happen." Mercury spoke as Reese rolled her eyes.

Hearing the phone being picked up on the other end, Reese just smiled. "Hey Ashes."

As Reese spoke she turned to Mercury who started to blanch at the pet name Reese had for the woman. Something that never made sense really to Reese given how they had pet names for each other.

"If it isn't the pain in my side. So before you somehow further make me wish Ruby hated you so their wouldn't anything holding back my trigger finger, how did you get Mercury's phone. Be careful because what you say will be used against him in his end of employment review." Reese heard the woman on the other end just causing her to chuckle softly at.

"Relax Ashes. I heard some shit happened with Ruby. I went to where Mercury normally is gathering information, he saw me and bolted... dropped his phone. What can I do to help?"

"Stay far away from me. It is best for everyone, because right now you do not want to test me unless you want to join in what is going to happen to those animals." Cinder's cold voice that normally Reese would be overjoyed to mess with but right now there was something about it that told Reese to tread carefully. It was probably just the fear that she knew the woman could cause when she just wanted to mess with someone. She didn't really want to see how Cinder could command one of the largest syndicates single handedly making it a feared name all while making it home in time to start cooking dinner.

"I just want to help Ruby. And I hate to play this card, but I do still remember the number for the land line in Ruby's room. I will go over your head." Reese said as she could feel her knees shiver slightly. She just knew that if she wasn't sitting down she would be forced to either stand or talk. She couldn't do both. "For once our goals align Ashes..."

Hearing a sharp inhale on the other line, Reese could feel her knees almost redouble their violent spasms as she could hear the near melodic voice on the other end carry over. "You are lucky she just walked into the room. But since I doubt your story, tell Mercury to stop by the hardware store and pick up stuff for cleaning. There may be a huge mess that needs to be dealt with."

"Cool thing Ashes. If I see him swinging back to the spot for his phone I'll let him know. Want us to get anything else?"

"Mom why are you in here? Who are you talking to? Is it uncle Hazel? I haven't seen him in years." Ruby said as she walked into her mother's office as she could see the soft amber eyes lower the phone in her hands before placing her hand over the microphone.

"You know the rules Ruby. This is my work office." Cinder interjected as she could see Ruby looking down with a frown on her face that caused Cinder further untold pain. "It isn't any of your uncles. It is a different pain in my ass." Cinder said just hoping to make the feeling of pain vanish that she caused.

Seeing Ruby's face scrunch up trying to almost piece things together before her face lit up with joy. "Tell Reese I said hi. Can she come over? I promise we'll be good. I mean Neo and Emerald can even come by and I promise we won't try and repeat making crème brûlée again. I don't know why I trusted Neo with a blow torch and sugar." Ruby promised as she ran towards her mother's side jumping for joy as Cinder just groaned softly.

"Hello!? Ashes? You still there?" Cinder knew Ruby had heard causing her to just frown at. Just because there was nothing that she could do about this given situation. No matter how much she really wanted to. It was making her angry but knew that she couldn't take her anger out on Ruby or even one of her daughter's friends right now.

"No. Nothing. Just hurry up." Cinder said in great agony of not being allowed to explode in the way that she wanted. She felt some great relief however as soon as she felt Ruby quickly lunging into a hug. Something Cinder just enjoyed as she as pressed the hang up button before she tossed the phone back onto her desk returning the hug with a small smile as she knew that it was something that Ruby just enjoyed.

Rubbing Ruby's back gently, Cinder pulled back to see Ruby smiling brightly that just caused all of Cinder's anger and pain vanish from the site as Ruby started to bounce with joy. It was something that just made the pain Reese caused her by existing worth it. The joy that Ruby seemed to exude even though Cinder knew that something was missing in Ruby's memory of the party, but she knew that as long as Ruby was happy right now that was what mattered.

"No more attempting crème brûlée, and I talked with doctor Goodwitch. You have an appointment tomorrow at eight. This time though if she thinks medication is the way to go, can you promise to at least give that a chance Ruby?" Cinder asked as Ruby's smile began to fall softly as she stared at her mother. "I know you don't like them Ruby. And I know you don't like me comparing your ex-girlfriend to them... but she is, I also really don't like her and doctor Goodwitch is just trying to help you."

"Reese is nice and funny and I'm sure if you get to know her you'll like her just as much as you like Neo and Emerald and even Mercury." Ruby spoke as she could see Cinder frowning a little at what Ruby just knew was coming. "I know that look Mom."

"Why couldn't you date Neo or Emerald? They just annoy me a lot less than that woman." Cinder pleaded as Ruby frowned at her mother's blatant question directed towards her.

Sighing at her mother's question Ruby began to pout as she lightly kicked the ground as she stared at Cinder. "I knew that was coming." Ruby hissed softly. "And Neo still bites things that she likes. I still have the scar from when I wore my first two piece... or the reason I don't wear sandals any more." Ruby muttered as she could see the next question brewing in her mother's mind. "And Emerald is like a sister. I've seen the pictures of us in the bathtub together. And not to mention she never seemed interested in me that way... pretty sure she has a crush on Mercury." Ruby muttered in a faux counter that she could muster as Cinder just smiled at her.

Hearing a ting sound, Cinder just smiled at the sight of Ruby's mouth suddenly watering that she knew was a Pavlovian response. "I swear you have the ears of a bat when it comes to the cookie timer." Cinder chuckled softly as she could see Ruby running towards the door as she started to paw at it.

"Enough chit chat. Those cookies are going to burn if we don't get them out. We mustn't let that happen. I mean unless you want us to try and make crème brûlée again. I promise to not trust Neo with the blow torch again. I mean once we remove that from the equation it is almost like the kitchen fire never happened." Ruby said as Cinder began to push her chair in.

"No. Never again. I don't like coming home to find our home on fire, and knowing it was just you and your friends inside the house and I couldn't find you. I don't want that panic again Ruby. Especially after you wound up naked and in Patch with no recollection of the party. My old heart can only handle so much stress and panic in one week." Cinder said calmly as she could hear Ruby smiling as they began to walk out of the room.

Cinder just laughed softly as she could see sprinting towards the kitchen causing Cinder to just speed up remembering Ruby's tendency to not think about the safe thing to do when it came to these situations.

"OW!" Ruby yelled as Cinder redoubled her sprint to fall into the kitchen to see the oven door being open followed by Ruby shaking her hand causing Cinder to just frown. "Every time!" Ruby hissed as Cinder just frowned bending down to grab the towel from the hanging from the door. "Why do I always forget that!?" Ruby yelled as Cinder just wrapped the towel over her hands and pulled out the metal tray.

"I don't know." Cinder said dropping the tray onto the counter as she closed the oven door before leading Ruby towards the sink. As she turned the cold water on, she smiled at the sight of Ruby holding her hand under the stream as she sulked. "Now, I'm going to put those cookies on a plate, I want you to keep your hand under this water until we can get a decent look at your hand."

"Stupid oven." Ruby pouted as Cinder pulled a drawer open to grab a spatula as she could hear Ruby just continually muttering her hatred of the oven.

It was something that caused Cinder to laugh because she had always been reassured that eventually Ruby would learn that if something had been in a hot oven for nearly twenty minutes. It did make her feel a little bit easier, despite the fact that she knew there was nothing that she could really do but just maintain hope that Ruby would learn eventually.

"I don't know how ovens constantly trick me... all I know is that they do... and it sucks." Ruby muttered as she pulled her hand out from the cold water and smiled. "And it doesn't look like I got any blisters this time... just a sore hand." Ruby said with a chirp as she turned the sink off as she was quick to Cinder's side bouncing up and down in the spot.

Stopping what she was doing Cinder gently reached down and grabbed the hand and just smiled at the slightly red sight. It was almost as if all that happened was Ruby held her hand under too cold water for a while. It was a load off her mind as Ruby just smiled brightly up at her.

"These cookies just need to rest right now Ruby. And I mean it. An actual rest. By the time that pain in my side gets here it should be long enough for you to have a single cookie. I don't want you spoiling your dinner." Cinder scolded as Ruby rolled her eyes.

"I'm not a little kid any more Mom. I'm a big girl and know my limits with cookies." Ruby countered as Cinder just chuckled as she grabbed Ruby's red hand and raised it into her line of sight. "That isn't fair. The oven tricked me. And you never make Grandma Salem's special cookies. I can't be helped." Ruby said as Cinder just smiled at her.

"That is because every time I do you burn yourself and you also never brush your teeth from the chocolate deaths that they are, leading to cavities. Which leads to you biting the dentist's fingers." Cinder said as Ruby rolled her eyes. "Seriously Ruby, ten to fifteen minutes, then a single cookie. Am I clear?" Cinder said trying to be firm with Ruby knowing that she would crumble if they she came back to discover all the cookies vanishing and Ruby having a tummy ache all over again.

"Fine Mom. Crystal clear. I will only have one cookie when Reese comes over... where is the security by the way? They don't normally leave the inside of the house until night time." Ruby asked as she could see Cinder looking around as if she was really trying to find an answer but already knew the truth.

"They are outside and some are in town doing me a few favours. But I will take the cookies into my study if you are going to misbehave Ruby. I'm making spaghetti carbonara for dinner. And from scratch. And I don't want it to go to waste."

"Fine Mom. I promise. I'm going to go fill in Emerald and Neo that Reese is coming over." Ruby said as she skipped out of the room causing Cinder to just sigh as she witness Ruby vanishing into the home.

Reaching towards her phone, Cinder quickly dialled a number and just smiled as she heard the person answer. "Marcus, best tell me you have the location.."

"We have the location of Boss. How are you going to advise?"

"Take them there as so we can finally have a meeting. But I want them both alive. Am I clear?"

"Crystal boss."

Chapter Text


Chapter 6:

Jumping to hug the woman, Ruby just smiled as she felt the familiar arms wrapped around her laughing a little from the teal haired woman just enjoying the feeling. "I'm glad you're here Reese." Ruby chirped as she quickly pulled back from Reese as she could see the woman just smiling at her.

"Ruby you mind... I'm kind of sore." Reese said as Ruby just began to press her lips into a thin line as she stared at her ex-girlfriend before she groaned and lightly smacked the woman's arm as said woman just chuckled at the action. "Seriously Ruby. I'm sore and not for that reason... or entirely that reason. I've been on the go for like a day plus now after going to sweet rave." Reese said rubbing her arm lightly as Ruby just smiled faintly and grabbed the woman's hand before dragging her towards the house before remembering she was meant to deliver a message.

Stopping at the door as she could see the stationary silver car, Ruby quickly began to bound down the stone stairs of the side door, before coming to a stop by the passenger door. Lightly tapping the glass, Ruby smiled as she could see it sliding down to reveal her silver haired friend sitting in the car.

"Mom says she wants to talk with you in her office and to bring in the stuff she said Reese told you to get. There are cookies though. Want me to save you one? They are my Grandma Salem's special recipes." Ruby asked as Mercury just smiled at her.

Rolling his eyes gently, Mercury just glanced at the door of the house seeing Reese just wave her hand as if there had been some big accomplishment done. But as far as he could tell the only thing she had managed to really accomplish was making Mercury deliver the materials for his own coffin.

"It's fine Ruby. I probably shouldn't keep Cinder waiting. She probably isn't happy that Reese is here." Mercury said as Ruby just nodded her head. "Just go back in. I got everything taken care of out here. Just go and enjoy the rest of your day if I don't see you again today." Mercury said as Ruby nodded her head.

"You seem off Mercury. Is your dad hitting you again? I mean I know Mom can't really protect you at home but I do know she can help you a little. And I know you hate it when other people step in... but I don't want to see you hurt." Ruby asked calmly practically forgetting Reese being inside but just enjoying the fact that Mercury just chuckled softly.

"I'm not worried about that jackass Ruby. I'm happy that you are still concerned about me like that. But seriously just go back in. I don't want your Mom angry at me because you are out here in your bare feet." Mercury reassured her as Ruby just nodded her head almost ruefully as Mercury just smiled as he began to climb out of his car. "Serious Ruby, I promise you if the drunk jackass starts swinging at me and I can't beat him fast enough, I promise to tell you."

Happy that Mercury was at least going to tell her if something big did come up, Ruby began to walk back up the stairs, smiling as she could see Reese yawning into her hand as she came to a near stop next to Reese.

"We are in the living room... but Mom made cookies and I promised her I wouldn't touch them before you came here." Ruby said as she began to skip lightly towards the kitchen as Reese just smiled as she began to follow after her.

The matter of fact remained that Reese had no idea how she was meant to bring up that her mother very likely threatened her roommate at gunpoint for information and then proceeded to make her very likely piss herself.

A feat that Reese knew from experience no one had shame about when it came to Cinder protecting Ruby. Let alone if Cinder thought someone brought harm against Ruby. That was something Reese had learned through countless years of experience that even accidentally swelling Ruby's lips were enough to get the crime lord to desire to slowly murder you.

"So I ran into your roommate today." Reese said trying to just ease Ruby into the topic, knowing that if she treads wrong it would become clear why she was really there. Not to say she wasn't actually concerned about Ruby. But she also knew that Ruby would be looked after so well that she would recover.

"Really? How is Yang? I haven't really seen her sense she talked me into going to that party... I hope she is doing fine. She was looking for some guy." Ruby said as she picked up a few cookies and took a nibble as she held one out for Reese.

Shrugging her shoulders as she grabbed the offered item, "Said she was going to go home for a few days. Didn't really tell me why. But I assume she got the guy. Kind of ruined my thing with this girl I ran into." Reese said as she walked with Ruby towards the room she claimed the rest were.

As the door swung open, Reese frowned at the sight of Neo draping herself over the arm of the couch with a grin on her face that just made Reese feel a little uncomfortable. She just could never tell what was going through that devious mind, and how it often led to her being in agony. Or the even more common outcome of Reese getting a trip to the hospital from something Neo did to her.

"Brought cookies... and you all as my witness, I only had one. Mom is still treating me like a child all because I woke up in Patch from probably drinking too much. But at least she made more cookies."

"The fact you probably burnt your hand has nothing to do with it?"

Glaring at the small girl, Ruby wasn't sure how she should feel about the comment. Hell she wasn't even sure why Neo had been grinning as she was hanging her body over the edge of the couch. What she did know was she could get revenge on the woman. All that it really took was some time on her part.

"I didn't burn my hand. In the medical sense of the word. And that oven is evil... Plus Mom made Grandma Salem's special cookies that she normally only makes twice a year." Ruby hissed as she shoved the cookie into Neo's mouth before she tossed the other one towards Emerald who caught it with a smile. "And Emerald stop pouting. Reese just wants to hang." Ruby said as she plopped down causing Reese to quickly take a seat on the far end of Ruby just to be away from Neo whose eyes had been following her.

"So who did you rope in to answering?" Emerald asked calmly as she bit the cookie in her hands just looking at Reese feeling at least a little better that she was no longer meant to guard Ruby around the woman as closely, she just wished that Reese was less of a trouble causer to make what Emerald constantly had to do a lot easier.

"Mercury was kind enough to answer." Reese said as she raised a foot to place it on the coffee table as she looked at Emerald tensing a little bit.

"That reminds me." Ruby said as she rested her head on Reese's shoulder before turning to Emerald. "Emerald, your close with Mercury, I mean you guys did share a flat for a while. He was acting strange when I opened the door for Reese. You don't think his Dad is hitting him again right?" Ruby asked as Emerald coughed lightly as she patted her chest.

Smiling softly, Reese gently wrapped Ruby into a one arm hug as she handed the woman the half of a cookie she had left. "Mercury is fine to my knowledge Ruby. And he is still sleeping at my place. So if Marcus was going to do anything I think I'd now."

Leaning into the hug, Ruby just smiled as she felt the comfort she longed so long for. Even if she knew that she shouldn't find comfort in it because of how they broke up. But she still was going to enjoy the contact as long as she could.

"So what is the plan Ruby." Emerald asked lightly hitting Ruby's foot as she just groaned as she started to shake off the vestiges of sleep from her being stripped from her and the familiar contact that she just longed for.

"Mom just says we aren't allowed to bake... or use power tools. So I was thinking, we could go get some baggies so we can be baked and watch crap in the theatre room." Ruby says as Reese laughs a little as she could see Neo perking up as Emerald began to frown and slouch into her seat. "Oh come on Emerald, when was the last time we were all together like this and able to just relax? I promise I'll tell my Mom... once she is done with Mercury. And hopefully if he isn't busy we should invite him to join as well. If not, no harm done. Maybe he'll reveal what is on his mind." Ruby continued as she began to sit up fully with a smile as she looked towards Neo.

"Come on Em, is this because of how last time you told us you found Cinder hot? If anything I agree with you... in a domineering kind of way." Neo said with a laugh as Ruby began to shiver and gag lightly at her friends.

As she was acting like she was gagging, Ruby began to flail her hands lightly to her chest as she let out an 'ew'. Something that just caused Reese to laugh at lightly as Ruby just gently back handed her ex's chest as she shivered out of disgust.

"That is my Mom. So much ew. How would any of you feel if I talked about your parents like that?" Ruby gasped out as Emerald just laughed softly.

"Both of mine are dead, Neo only has a dad who is currently in jail for a while longer and Reese I don't know, how is the home life with your parents?" Emerald asked as she pulled her phone out of her pocket to quickly start a text just so she knew that if they were going to get drugs that they weren't going to be laced with anything because of how much Cinder would being the hammer down on the small fries for harming Ruby with something like that.

"Happily married and very straight. I mean they occasionally try and beat me with a bible whenever I visit but that could be because one of the more recent times Ruby and I got caught playing hide the super big strap on." Reese said as Ruby blushed a dark shade as she gently shoved Reese away as she remembered that memory very vividly. Added together with the fact she remembered her Mom wanting to burn the family down after the screaming that Ruby relayed back to her.

"Let's not talk about that. Still not sure if Mom was joking about wanting to kill your parents and burn them on a fire made of bibles... and she wanted to harm you too because of how we were intimate." Ruby mumbled as she stood up and began to walk towards some of the room's doors. "And Emerald... send that text... I'll buy this time. If you guys are going to get the munchies. I'm going to go tell Mom about the new plan." Ruby said as could see her friends just seemingly chuckle softly as Emerald just rolled her eyes seeing Ruby walk out of the room to do the one thing many people wished that they could be able to do. Namely walking into Cinder's office to interrupt her having a private conversation about the business and walking out with no chance of being killed.

Seeing the door closed, Reese took a deep breath as she slid away from Neo as she quickly looked around knowing that this would be the best time for her to get information for Yang, and if anyone knew it would be these two.

"So what is the story with Yang? Heard she met Cinder under bad circumstances and is terrified for her life?" Reese said as she could hear some soft laughing next to her making her remember exactly the kind of people she was surrounded by without the protection of Ruby.

Placing her head onto Reese's lap, Neo just stared up at Reese as if she was enjoying the fear and terror that was in her eyes. "She inadvertently gave Ruby a drink that had been drugged, and she woke up naked with signs of being raped in Patch. As for what is going to be done with Yang, we are out of the loop on that. But we all know if Cinder wanted someone dead she wouldn't be given the chance to go whining to someone who pisses Cinder off almost as much as someone harming Ruby." Neo said with a chuckle as she could see some terror begin to become more and more pronounced. "So I'd tell her to not worry. As for if someone is watching her, wh-"

"Neo. Drop it. You know what will happen if what we know gets out to anyone that isn't need to know. No exceptions. And we both know with this information we won't be taken care of quickly. Especially with how angry she is due to the war path to find them and Reese's call just tipped it over." Emerald said snapping at Neo who just frowned a little as Reese breathed a sigh of relief. Something that increased as they could hear a door close followed by Ruby skipping into the room holding something behind her back.

Before anyone could ask the ever important question, Ruby produced a clear plastic bag and dropped it onto the table. "May want to call your guy back Emerald. Mercury had some that he was willing to share and he says once he is done a few more errands and will even pick up some fully loaded pizzas and junk food... provided we don't smoke it all on him and we don't watch his favourite Spruce Willis movie."

"Die Hard?" Reese asked as she nudged Neo's head off her lap and picked up the bag giving it a sniff causing her to just cough lightly before she felt a large smile take over.

"Yup... but I mean we could still get a movie or two in... and we do still have my mom's cookies... I already brought in some for her. And she is fine with us smoking. Just again as long as we don't get high enough to try stoned backing again. All because last time Neo set fire to the oven liners... and the herb plants..."

"Why do you keep handing Neo the torches?" Emerald asked as Ruby plopped down onto the couch shrugging her shoulders.

"I keep thinking 'this time will be different. She can't possibly screw this up.' which I know is the definition of insanity... but that time I at least had the excuse of being the highest I've ever been and Reese and I were already a little drunk." Ruby stated as she crossed her arms as she could see Neo standing up and quickly walking over to one of the humidors that were in the room. "And Neo at least has the right idea..." Ruby began as she could see Neo holding up one of the cigars as if to ask if that would do. "No Neo... that is one of Mom's expensive ones. The smaller humidor a shelf down. That has the cheap ones that she doesn't care if we get the skins from."

As the woman quickly replace the one she was holding before she reached down to shelf that was more at her height as she gently closed the one above it before grabbing a few of the cigars before skipping back over towards Ruby, tossing the items towards Reese who smiled faintly.

"It never amazes me the kind of stuff just laying around here..." Reese said with a smile as Ruby rolled her eyes at the comment as she plucked the bag from Reese's lap.

"Mom just has a lot of meetings she does from home. Plus when my Uncle Arthur visits he always brings some. Does make for good smoking fodder though. So shut up and get to unwrapping it. I'm going to be stuck home for a few more days and going to a shrink again... so I want to just forget that shit." Ruby said as Reese stopped what she was doing to just look at her ex-girlfriend. "Long story. Short version is she is worried over nothing and it was the only thing that could calm her down."

"I should question that but I know you don't like talking about shit like that. So let's just focus on the important issues right now. Namely getting high and figuring out ways to piss of Ashes. So let's just drop that and move on."

"Thank you. You guys see? Reese gets it. Not that I agree with pissing off Mom. She seems like she is in a bad mood. And the only thing I can think of a reason is the fact that she needs to work right now when she said we'd do some mother daughter things. Which she normally loves, but is being forced to go do something that I have a feeling is slightly… majorly… super illegal. But you know all know how Mom won't tell me exactly what it is." Ruby said as she opened one of the drawers of the old coffee table to produce a lighter as she could see some doubt in her friend's eyes. "The only time Mom calls off our time together is for her work, And when you two are almost forced to be around me nearly against my will, and Mercury isn't, she is always planning something super illegal that she doesn't want to get back to me." Ruby explained her reasoning as Emerald nodded gently along to it.

"Not entirely wrong... but I promise with what I know Ruby it isn't going to be something terrible. At least not nearly as bad as it could be. Just trust Cinder isn't going to go overboard." Emerald said as Ruby rolled her eyes.

"You and my Uncle Hazel both always say things like that, and I still never believe it. Mom seemed really mad yesterday. I just hope she calms down before she does something bad that can't be taken back..."

"Ah Ruru, you are worrying over nothing. Ashes isn't going to kill someone. So let's just get baked and put your pretty mind at rest." Reese said producing a freshly rolled item that caused Ruby to just smile grabbing it and placing it between her lips as she struck the lighter. "That a girl."

Chapter Text


Chapter 7:

Coughing into her hand, Reese began to shake her head as she knocked on the door to the address Yang had given her. She couldn't help but just chuckle softly at the sight of the large almost intimidating man opening the door quickly before frowning.

"Sorry." Reese began as she blinked hard before shaking her head again. "Is this Yang Xiao Long's house?" Reese continued as she just took a step back to look around before sighing softly.

"Yeah. Step in for a second." The man spoke taking a step back as Reese just nodded walking into the house as she slipped her hands into her pockets. Just smiling at the sight of the house. She had to admit that it was a nice place. As she got comfortable, she could see the man eyeing her up carefully before sniffing the air lightly for what Reese just knew what it was about. "You aren't going to sell anything illicit here are you?" Tai asked carefully as Reese just chuckled at him.

"Not the kind of shi-" Reese began as a loud cough filled the building.

As the duo looked towards the blonde woman looking at them with slightly worried look on her face. "Dad. Relax. She is a friend, and even from here I can tell you that is just the smell of weed. And you know I would tell you if I did anything of the sort." Yang said as Reese just rolled her eyes lightly.

"Plus, I don't have any on me. Just got dropped off after spending the day with Yang's room mate." As the phrase left Reese's mouth she could see Yang shift slightly as she pushed between her father and Reese.

"Dad we'll be in my room." Yang said as she grabbed Reese's wrist and started to lead her up the stairs. The near demand in her actions just caused Reese to chuckle as Yang shook her head at the sound of Tai yelling at her to keep her door open.

Flinging the attic door open, Yang nearly tossed Reese onto the bed as she just laughed at the feeling as she bounced slightly with outstretched arms staring at the ceiling. Groaning a little, Yang slammed the door shut to get the woman's attention.

"Yang you need to calm down. Kind of regret not keeping some of the primo shit Ruby had. It is like the one bad thing about no longer dating Ruby... that and Ashes is like always a few seconds away from killing me. And if you want to join in on that fun, seriously call Ruby's mom Ashes." Reese laughed as Yang sighed as she flexed her hands before she took a deep breath to try and calm herself down.

"I wouldn't do it anyways. My mother is an addict. But stay focused. Do I need to be looking over my shoulder?" Yang bit hoping that she could get some sort of response from the woman who just continued to chuckle.

Jumping onto the woman's hips, Yang simply balled up her hands into Reese's hoodie as she just laughed resting her hands on Yang's hips. "I'm not some addict. I just smoked a bit of weed. And again, you need to relax. Ashes isn't out to kill you. Just seriously don't go to the cops because that will change it. And keep an eye out for a freaky almost mute with multiple hair colours who is one of Ruby's oldest friends." Reese began as she rolled over smiling at the sight of Yang shocked expression. "But that isn't because she'll kill you. Neo is just freaking crazy. I mean she bit my hand today... and I don't mean a friendly bite. I mean a literal bite... I was bleeding a bit." Reese said holding up a hand with some white cloth wrapped around it causing Yang to be taken aback. "Wish I could say that was the first time she bit me. But that was the only reason I stopped by. I was invited to a party." Reese said as she began to stand up stretching a little, gasping softly as Yang pulled her back down onto the bed.

Smiling as she looked into the lilac eyes, Reese just laughed softly at her. "Blondes aren't my type Yang. Plus personally, I prefer my girls to be completely clueless on how to please another woman. They always try so much harder." Reese said as Yang just shook her head.

"Long list of things wrong there. Most importantly, your stoned as all hell. But you should sleep here Reese. We are in the country, it is late, and I don't really trust you to make it back to Vale safely." Yang said as she stood up to just stare at the woman who shrugged her shoulders and began to move up the bed. Her back just resting against the headboard.

Sniffling softly, Reese just looked at the slightly worried expression on Yang's face. Something that was a bit of a shock as Reese just rolled her eyes lightly. "Yang, you need to calm down. It is weed. I'm not on anything harder. If you want me to stay, fine. I'm not going to be some risk to myself though if I left." Reese said as she could see Yang crossing her arms as she lightly glared. "Not that? How bad of an addict is your mother?"

Shaking her head, Yang walked over to her desk chair that she just climbed into as she stared at Reese. "Step Mother." Yang corrected as she leaned back in her seat to just look at Reese better "And a pretty bad one. I mean I just found out earlier she hasn't been here for two weeks on some binger." Yang continued as Reese began to nod her head. "Hell I just wonder how long it will be till my Dad wises up and dumps her like she dumped my baby sister."

"Feel like I'm missing something there. But don't worry about it. As far as you are concerned there is nothing to worry about Ashes wise."

"I wish I could be as confident as you... that woman is beyond terrifying. Not to mention she thinks I raped Ruby." Yang said calmly as Reese just began to chuckle softly.

As Reese was chuckling, Yang could feel a vein start to develop in her forehead as she just prayed that there would be some clarification. Even if it was minor at this point. It would still go a long way to making her feel at ease if she just knew at least how Reese could be confident about this.

"If Ashes truly believed you did that... which it actually happened by the way... but if she actually believed you harmed Ruby instead of just being a victim of circumstance you wouldn't be walking around. This is her normal scare tactic stuff. I'm telling you Ruby won't let Ashes harm you. Just don't push either too far. And I'm yet to find Ruby's... unless you call her a bad person during sex. Because that is the fastest way to push her to the edge... and Ashes the fact you are terrified of her means you can't push her all that far." Reese said as Yang just breathed a sigh of relief as she leaned fully back in her chair as she could hear some stumbling down stairs causing her to sigh. "Is your dad alright? That shit sounds like it hurts."

Sighing softly as Yang walked calmly over towards a wooden box on the desk which she carefully opened as the door swung open to reveal the blonde man from earlier. Rolling her eyes at the hushed conversation before he quickly left closing the door as Yang sighed walking over to close and lock it.

"Not my Dad. Seems like my Step Mother is home. And right now we aren't sure what she is on... it keeps changing every single one of these drug fuelled romps. So you can see why we aren't very keen on drug users in this house. At least partially."

Smiling softly, Reese began to prop herself up on her side with her elbow supporting her head as she just patted a spot in front of her. Something Yang adamantly refused as she walked over towards the chair she had been sitting on to just stare at her friend.

Rolling her eyes at the gesture that said so much, Reese just continued to enjoy the relaxed state she had been in. "I smoked weed Yang. I didn't shoot up anything, I didn't huff anything, and the weed isn't going to be laced with anything because it came through Ruby. Someone who I might add, just walked up to Ashes and was just like 'Mom me and my friends are going to get baked and watch some crappy movies.' and Ashes was cool with it."

"How do you or Ruby know it wasn't laced with something?" Yang countered as Reese just began to laugh causing Yang to feel the same sort of anger all over again.

Shaking her head gently at the naivety. "Ashes is the head of Grimm. You know that criminal organization that does just about everything illegal under the sun, which Ruby is surprisingly ignorant on... even though she has dragged me to parties Salem has thrown. Let me tell you after I've talked with Salem for fifty seconds, Ashes is no longer terrifying." coughing loudly at that comment, Reese just smiled as she began to shake her head once again. "I agree. It is weird, but Ruby really doesn't know about her mother running Grimm. Something Ashes has worked hard to foster. All Ruby knows from what she told me was that Ashes does something illegal which she does feel bad about."

As Reese continued Yang began to cough harder and harder. Lightly patting her chest to try and ease her lungs, Yang just stared at the teal haired woman who had a smile on her face. "So yeah, safe to say when Ruby gets weed, if it was laced, I guarantee you there would bodies littering the streets. Something that almost happened once when people told Ashes that Ruby was in a drug den doing angel dust... for her to then turn around and get pissed at me because she storms up to Ruby's room to find me pearl diving with Ruby."

"You... you... you aren't joking... are you?" Yang asked calmly as Reese just began to shake her head. "So... the leader of Grimm had a gun to my head because she thought I had helped people rape her daughter... and you are telling me to calm down."

"Exactly. Think about it. Just pray for the people who did. Because I've never heard Cinder being that angry. She almost killed Mercury for simply answering my call. Even made him pick out the equipment that she would use to kill him. But Ruby calmed her down... made some cookies with her." Reese said as she rolled onto her side before she took a deep breath. "Which reminds me, did you know Salem has this kick ass cookie recipe? And Ashes can bake. Like yeah I'm stoned, but I had that shit before we started lighting shit up and it was delicious." Reese chuckled out as she began to slide her hands under her head before she hummed softly.

"Look, either way Ruby is going to be out for like a few more days. She is going to start seeing her shrink again, all you need to worry about is simply not going to the cops. That is it." Reese said as she felt the bed dip next to her. Just hoping that it was Yang relaxing finally. "So what is with all these old pictures up on the ceiling?" Reese asked just hoping to break the silence they had fallen under.

Sighing softly, Yang just took a deep breath as she began to speak up, "They are the only pictures of my younger sister who my Step Mother downstairs killed... they are all I know of her really."

Smiling softly Ruby clicked one of the final pieces as she heard a knock on her door. Clearing her throat lightly, Ruby began to mumble as she stood up and walked towards the door. Opening it, Ruby just smiled at the sight of her mother standing there holding a tray.

"You look like you are finally coming down. I wish you wouldn't get so paranoid." Cinder stated as Ruby just rolled her eyes and began to walk further into the room. "And I wish you wouldn't roll your eyes like that."

Walking slowly towards the device she had been working on, Ruby began to get comfortable on her chair once more. "Force of habit Mom. And I don't get that paranoid." Ruby mumbled as she began to just smile as she righted the device on her desk before she looked at her Mom lowering the tray next to her. "And what are you apologising for? You only bring me up your special cocoa when you want to apologise for something you are about to do."

Sighing softly, Cinder just walked over to the stool in front of Ruby's bed. "There is some business I need to attend to which is going to take me out of the house in a few hours until later tomorrow night. And I know I promised I wouldn't but this isn't something I can exactly trust to someone like Marcus... and Roman isn't getting out of the drunk driving charge for a while longer." Cinder spoke pleading, as she just hoped that she could get Ruby to see things from her point.

Frowning a little, Ruby spun around to just look at her mother. A sight that Cinder had seen all too often. It was one of the reasons that she had stopped doing as much hands on things. But that wasn't going to stop that Cinder needed to be there. "You aren't going to harm anyone are you Mom? If you do you know I'm going to get you to go back to church." Ruby asked as Cinder just stood up to gently rest her hand on her head as she bent down extending a pinky on her other hand.

"I promise you Ruby. I won't harm a single person, or if I can help it let harm fall onto a single person. It is just some things that require a more hands on approach." Cinder said as Ruby proceeded to loop her finger around Cinder's.

"Don't get into the meth trade either Mom. Rumour has it Grimm are there and I don't want you to get hurt by them." Ruby said as Cinder just smiled as she separated the pinky promise as she wrapped Ruby into a hug.

"I can assure you Little Gem, Grimm won't be a problem to me." Cinder said as she placed a kiss on Ruby's forehead. "Before I go, want to tell me what you are building there?" Cinder asked trying to just change the subject as Ruby smiled brightly.

Spinning around, Ruby just began to hold up the lid of the model. "It is the model Neo got me last Christmas. It is called a 'Strandbeest'. If I had a fan connected, or some compressed air I could show you what it does... but basically when wind hits it right it walks." Ruby said with a smile as she lowered the lid she had been holding with a smile as she picked up a few of the small plastic pieces just so she could get continue the construction.

"I'll never understand your fascination with these machine models. But I suppose that is why you are doing engineering." Cinder said calmly as she just watched Ruby get into a zone while working. "Well, that and I can only replace so many appliances before it gets taxing on everyone."

"I only took apart like four microwaves. The last one was one I got at a charity shop with the express purpose of adding to my arc welder sets... slash my arc furnace sets." Ruby said with chuckle as Cinder just smiled snapping her fingers as if she finally remembered something.

"Where are those by the way? Because I don't want another incident of you forgetting to unplug them and setting the second garage on fire." Cinder asked calmly as Ruby just looked up towards the ceiling in deep thought. "The fact it is taking this long to think about it is cause for alarm."

"They are in the trunk of that one car the Sienna gave you... I was trying to see if I could rewire the alternator to one of them but that just caused some problems so I unhooked it and closed the car up. I just don't remember if the shag carpet lining was damaged... I'm sure if it was at the time I would have told you." Ruby said shaking her head as she reached for the mug next to her model. Taking a happy sip, Ruby looked towards Cinder who began to chewed her lip in thought.

"I best go look and I have to go anyways. Don't want to keep people waiting. But you shouldn't stay up late. And if you want some more food there is the some pizza still in the fridge. Please don't leave home until morning." Cider chided as Ruby groaned softly lowering the mug to just look at her. "Ruby, you are still coming down, and I'll worry about you if you are going to be staying up late."

Groaning slightly louder, Ruby spun the chair to face Cinder as she just sighed softly. "I promise I won't be up late Mom. I'm going to finish drinking my cocoa, finish building my strandbeest, might raid the pizza box again then go to sleep." Ruby spoke as Cinder just nodded in appreciation towards Ruby's plan. "Remember Mom... no harming people. And can you close the door when you leave?"

"I remember Ruby." Cinder said with a smile as she began to walk out of the room.

Whistling softly, Cinder descended the stairs as she walked over towards the garage door. Gently gesturing for Emerald to walk over towards the door for the garage. Gently flinging the door open, Cinder just couldn't help but laugh as she plucked the nearly forbidden keys off the hook.

"Emerald, I'm going to be busy for the next while. We got the two feral beasts... that well... I don't want to spoil myself by talking about what I might do. But it might have something to do with an arc welder... might not. Depends on how much fear I wish to install before I possibly decide to put them out of their misery... suffering would be such a kindness to them." Cinder spoke walking towards the car which she opened the trunk off. "Anyways, point as to why i'm asking you in here. I want you and Neo to start the process to get a dorm room in the same place as Ruby's. Enroll if you want. I just want her safe when she inevitably goes behind my back soon and goes back to college early. Send whatever paperwork and costs my way and they will be taken care of."

"And her roommate?"

"Do whatever you and Neo want, but don't kill her. And don't chase her off." Cinder spoke as she looked around the four devices in the trunk. "And which one of these would cause the most damage to a human without killing?"

Pointing towards two of them, Emerald just began to quickly shake her head gently. "I think that one... she keeps messing with them when the mood hits her. And I'll start getting everything ready and even tell Neo. Once she comes out of the bathroom." Emerald said as Cinder just nodded along.

"Okay. I'll move these over, you just go start getting everything ready for your college life."

Chapter Text

Chapter 8:

Smiling to herself as she began to check her nails as she could hear the muffled crying under the bags. It was something that was actually making her feel some small amount of joy. The only fear she had going for her right now was if she'd ruin her fun by accidentally ending them too early. Producing a file, Cinder began to drag it across her finger tips.

The sound seeming to do its job silencing the two before her as she just gently crossed one leg over the other. Blowing the dust off, Cinder smiled as she snapped her fingers and pointed towards the two. She couldn't help but laugh as she could see the fear increase as they were blinded by the lights. Just praying for their eyes to adjust quickly.

"Marcus, are you sure you got the right people? They seem so young... and yet they also seem stupid enough to touch her." Cinder asked coldly as she could see the silver haired man just roll his eyes lightly at her. Walking over towards her, he reached into his pocket to produce a hard cover pink spiral bound book with a unicorn on front. "And apparently one of them is hiding the fact they are oh so very gay." Cinder spoke accepting the gift that she began to flip to just whistling a tune softly. "And roll your eyes at me again Marcus and I'm taking your eyes."

Taking a deep breath, Cinder just shook her head at the sound of panicked screams coming from the duo as they tried to fight the restraints they had been placed in. It was a little funny to her, but things took a far more interesting turn for her.

"But it does seem like this little diary of a 'Cardin Winchester' does tell me exactly how things went." Cinder said leaning back in her seat with a smile as she rested the book on her lap as she looked towards one of the guards and quickly gestured to the bound men. "Now, we are going to play a game here. It is called 'when the gag is removed you have five seconds to tell me which one is Cardin and which one is Jaune other wise we are going to see what is under the sheets around this place'. I know it is a lengthy name, but when I deal with morons like you two who write down your confession after committing a crime... well it is best to be blunt."

Seeing the men stop just behind the two teens, Cinder just held up her hand as she smiled. "It is no fun playing a game when both try to blatantly lie. Especially when they don't know what will happen when they lie. Because it is going to make me become creative. Something I really wish I can be. I mean last time I was allowed to be creative was when my Little Gem was going into kindergarten... which was when Salem ordered us to start stringing up rats and moles up by their intestines in front of the police stations." As Cinder spoke she began to take some great joy at the look of fear starting to increase in their eyes. "But that was just an average Monday when I was bored, single mother whose child just started school. But now... these cretins decided to harm my world, by drugging her and having their way with her. At least one did. Say, Roman, seeing as you just got out of lock up, what would you say should be my first idea if they lied. I mean you remember Ruby."

Jumping a little both teens tried to look back to see a calm red haired man walking in, to lean on his cane. "I don't know boss. I'm a little curious what you'd intend to do with those caged rats. They seem pretty feral." Roman stated calmly as he rested the crook of his cane on his wrist as he produced a cigar placing it between his lips. "Frankly if it is what I think it is... you'd be bringing down Grimm with this baby stuff. I mean my little ice cream cone could come up something better than just letting rats eat away at their insides." Roman continued as he produced a lighter just taking a small breath in as the cigar began to smolder.

As the names continued to leave their mouths, Cinder just enjoyed the sight of the fear becoming rampant in their eyes. "Now, that you know the stakes if you lie... let me tell you what happens if you tell the truth. Well, after I break your bodies down while keeping you alive... I might turn you over to the cops. Or I might simply point you into the direction of a town with a hospital that could treat you. I'm not overly cruel. I have people for that now days." Cinder spoke with a smile as she began to dangle her foot. "Now, Mercury, if you could be so kind, remove the blond's gag." Cinder stated as she handed over the pink diary to the red haired man on her left.

Ripping the cloth gag off the man's face, Mercury just smiled as he could hear the panicked breathing as he tried to get control of the tears that had been rushing forth since what Mercury just knew was bound to be from the time he was taken.

"Blondie. My patience is trying. Rules are simple. Just say your name. I can't make it any simpler for you." Cinder's voice broke the sound of gentle sobbing.

Shivering from fear at the sound of the woman's voice, he just knew what he had to do. And that was pray the truth option was really that nice compared to what she would plan to do otherwise. "I'm Jaune. And I didn't do anything to your daughter. I didn't want to do anything. Cardin was blackmailing me."

As the man started to plead essentially his life story, Cinder just began to chuckle at the sight of the brunette man starting to buck harder against the restraints. "Hold up Blondie, it seems that the maybe Kristina Sprehe is trying to say something." Cinder spoke with a smile as she could see some confusion on people's faces. "Famous Equestrian. Does dressage. One of my daughter's friends turned me onto her during the olympics a few years ago." Cinder spoke as she gestured for the other gag to be removed.

"He's lying. I'm Jaune." The brunette man bellowed as Cinder just smiled a sly smile at them. "He claimed if I didn't help him he'd tell the world I forged my grades to get into college." The man continued as Cinder began to laugh clapping her hands together out of amusement.

"I'm not sure which is funnier. The fact one of you thinks I'm lying about what will happen. Or the fact that you think I don't already know the truth. Trick is boys, don't carry around your ids in your wallets." Cinder said as she stood up, walking towards them. With each step she began to look at her nails carefully. "You see, you'd be surprised what information can be gotten when you have several high ranking politicians in your back pocket, but also what kind of information that people just freely give. Like Jaune Arc. Youngest born to the his parents behind seven sisters. Including a lesbian one... I wonder what she would do knowing her very... what was the driver's licence picture again Marcus?" Cinder asked as the silver haired man just smirked shaking his head.

"The blond looks an awful lot like the picture for Jaune." The man spoke causing the blond to just freeze further as he produced a plastic rectangle before tossing it to the ground.

"There we go. We found the real Jaune. The man who watched a lesbian being raped. I mean how would your poor sister Saphron take that? How would her wife? Over something as petty as you faking a few grades. But not just any rape, you wanted to do it to be an old friend..." Cinder spoke in a small melodic voice as she gestured to be handed the other plastic rectangle. Looking at it, Cinder began to shake her head as she dropped it onto the brunette's lap. "Now, Kristina, I want you to take a deep breath and think about your name again. Think of this like a test. Don't worry though, you have a cheat sheet sitting on your lap. Or would you rather the clear sign of you being in the closet? Don't worry, I'm not your pastor Daddy. It won't stop what I plan to do to you regardless of where you land sexuality wise."

"Fine. I'm Cardin. What are you going to do about it?" The man asked as Cinder just smiled looking between the man chuckling at him and the people in the room. Laughing softly to join along, Cinder just smiled as she slammed the file into the man's forearm.

"Oh this is going to be a fun time. It has been a long time since someone this stupid was was brought before me. Breaking him is going to be fun." Cinder chuckled out as she twisted the nail file before she just chuckled quickly walking towards the cloth covered table.

Ripping the cloth off, Cinder just smiled at the sight of various implements. "But Cinder, didn't you promise Ruby not to harm a single human?" Roman asked leaning on his cane as Cinder just chuckled as she picked up the large rubberized carbon rods, letting it arc between them as she just smiled.

"I don't see any humans bound in chairs. I even struggle to call them animals." Cinder said quickly bringing the carbon rods together letting the sound of the air turning into plasma fill the room as the gags were quickly replaced into the squirming men. "Animals, are so much better. Not to mention even when they do something wrong, they at least have the joy of ignorance. What I see are two cretins dreading the fact that they were unlucky enough to drug and rape my daughter, and soon they will be dreading that fact as well as wishing for death to come to them." Cinder spoke removing the rods from each other to cut off the circuit. "Unfortunately for them, I'm positive that death is going to be busy. And will be passing them up until I make them beg for me to finish them... and even then I might not be all that merciful." Cinder spoke in a melodic voice as she could see them quickly looking between each other in deep fear. "Make sure mister watcher is looking. I want him to watch what is going to happen when I get bored of the liar."

Yawning as she started walk down the stairs Ruby just smiled at the sight of Emerald opening the front door, not even looking up as she started to go over the mail in her hands. "You're up early Ruby." Emerald started as she lightly tapped the group of letters as she looked towards her silver eyed friend. "Sleep well?"

"Well enough. Is Mom not back from work yet?" Ruby asked as they walked into the kitchen. Ruby just smiling at the sight of Neo laying on the counter holding a bag of sugar to her chest. "That answers that. Neo, get up. You know there is a couch like two rooms over you could have slept on." Ruby scolded as Neo just began to grumble as she rolled onto her side.

"Fine. Emerald and I will dig into the ice cream Mom likes to think is hidden from me." Ruby said laughing a little at the sight of Neo jumping awake tossing the bag of sugar onto the counter where she had been sitting. A smile on Ruby's face as she opened the freezer. "And no Em... I will not have what you and Mom consider a healthy breakfast."

"Yeah Em. Shut up. Cinder always gets the really good kind. And because I was woken up by Ruby and Ruby is suggesting that, it means we don't need a negative nancy." Neo said as she skipped next to Ruby staring into the freezer. "Dibs on the neapolitan." Neo said as Ruby stepped to the side to see her reaching in before stopping. "Wait... you aren't hiding some Spumoni on me? Because you always seem to do that."

Smirking as she began to nudge Neo out of the way. "No take backs. Besides there is only enough for one person of spumoni... not one of your normal helpings. And Em... if it makes you feel better I won't eat a bunch of mint chip and claim I brushed my teeth." Ruby whistled softly as she started to grab a few of the tubs before taking a step back to see Emerald looking at her with a raised eyebrow. "That's right... you weren't in on that. But I suppose no harm done. I do intend to do this with or without you."

"What if I call Cinder and tell her about this?" Emerald posed as Neo stopped in her tracks holding a number of spoons.

Both just wondering as Ruby plucked one of the spoons from Neo's hand as she closed the freezer. "Go ahead. Then let me talk to her so I can know what is so important that she is doing that she can't be here with her daughter knowing that I'm meant to be going to the shrink today." Ruby said with a chuckle as she tossed the lid for the tub onto the counter that she quickly followed after it to sit down comfortably as Emerald frowned. Placing the spoon of green ice cream into her mouth Ruby just chuckled at the sight of Emerald frowning. "Was I not meant to have a card like that up my sleeve?" Punctuating the sentiment by placing the spoon into her mouth.

Humming in small joy as she could see Emerald pouting as Neo smiled and joined in a spot next to Ruby. Humming softly as she started to join in with Ruby eating the sugary treat as Emerald groaned loudly.

"Don't ask us why Mom trusts you to be the mature and responsible one knowing that Neo and I always over power you with sound logic. So just relax... grab the cookie dough ice cream and join us." Ruby began as she skewered her spoon into what remained of her ice cream as she picked up the spare spoon and held it out for her friend. "Join the fun side of life. We have ice cream." Ruby said with a smile as Emerald reached for the spoon. "Ice cream quantities are subject to change."

Laughing softly, Emerald walked over to the drawer to place the spoon back into it, ignoring the chorus of 'boos' coming from behind her. "I can't just join you two. I'm meant to be the mature person here and watch you two." Emerald started as she turned around to glare lightly at Neo. "And shouldn't you be on your way to jail to pick up your dad? It is nine. When is he getting out?" Emerald asked trying to just change the topic as Ruby hummed in approval as she looked towards Neo lightly patting her arm as if to tell her to continue.

"Merc said he'd do it because he is doing somethings in that area for the boss lady. As far as I'm aware he is meant to walk out in like half an hour. But you know how my Dad is like. Likes to try and keep me in the dark... probably asked Merc to do it as well just so I don't see him like that." Neo said with a smile as she picked up another scoop up before placing it into her mouth. "Besides you probably want Cinder mad. Maybe she'll spank you."

Hearing her friend state that, Ruby began to cough violently in beat with Emerald who had developed a harsher glare towards Neo. The small girl just smiled as she slipped her spoon into the tub resting in Ruby's lap to scoop up some of what was in it. A smile growing on her face as Ruby lightly shoved her.

"That is so gross. That is my Mom. What is with you always bringing that up?"

"I'm not the one with a crush on her. Emerald is. Frankly I'm not one that likes Cinder in any way but a platonic manner of being my friend's mother and a sometimes employer of me." Neo said with a smile as she jumped onto the ground as she placed the container down, stretching softly as she just laughed softly at the fact that Emerald had barely recovered herself. "Seriously. I'm not one that likes to be the bottom in the bedroom. Not like you or Emerald... and it takes a special type of woman to get my attention. Guys are fun though. No unnecessary feelings needed."

"Is that why you've fucked Merc?" Emerald asked as it was Neo's turn to cough.

"Everyone knows about you two. For the record I think you two would make a cute item. Or you and my college roommate. But I don't think she is a lesbian. And I don't think you've met her yet." Ruby said lightly tapping her chin in deep thought before just shrugging her shoulders as if there hadn't been some big news told to her.

"Me and Merc just shack up occasionally. And it isn't so much something I reciprocate. It is just a dine and dash. And if it is that blonde chick... I don't feel anyway about her." Neo said in her defence as Emerald and Ruby just shrugged their shoulders.

Before long, Ruby jumped off the counter. "Then why do you bite Reese so much? She is a natural blonde. Just dyes her hair... and waxes like every other hair." Ruby countered as Neo simply shrugged her shoulders. "Right, while this conversation has been enlightening... and disturbing... I now have a real reason to go to therapy... so Imma go get ready for that. I'll leave you two to clean... but we get to drive one of Mom's many badass cars. So decide who gets shotgun amongst yourselves." Ruby said calmly as she began to skip out of the kitchen with a smile on her face, just knowing that the day was only going to end up looking up after she got out of that office of hell.

Chapter Text


Chapter 9:

Groaning softly as she rolled onto her side, Ruby took a deep breath. She couldn't believe she was back to doing this. And yet here she was. What made this hell even worse was that Cinder had promised her that she would be here even though she wasn't. Something Ruby knew she would need to get back at her for, but she was fine for one meeting really.

"Ruby, you've been here for twenty minutes into our hour. And you haven't said anything to me." The blonde doctor said calmly as Ruby just sighed softly. "I know you aren't overly fond of our talks Ruby. Specifically how I did have to report somethings to your mother. But even though it has been years since we parted ways, I can assure you now I don't need to tell your mother anything if you don't want me to." The blonde psychiatrist said softly as she began to fix her glasses. "I mean your mother just mentioned how you seem to have blocked some more moments out of your memory. She didn't mention the situation that lead up to it, or anything else. This is all up to you."

Grumbling softly, Ruby just rested her head on the rest again as she took a deep breath. "I also don't like the crap tonne of pills." Ruby mumbled as the green eyed woman just nodded her head gently. "But I don't know what happened. I went out to a party with my roommate because she was mad at me holding myself up planning to not go out and do something stupid like party this year... she even thought it was because I broke up with Reese a month back... then I woke up nearly noon the next day in a ditch in Patch. Hell I'm only here because it was the only way I could get my Mom off my back and let me go back to college."

Nodding her head gently, the psychiatrist started to write something down. "Ruby, can you see this from your mother's perspective? That is something most people would be worried about. Even with your long and mostly blocked out memories. Not to mention add in the break up with your long term girlfriend, the stress of starting college, and to top all that off memory ending at a party and waking up in a ditch a couple dozen miles away from your college."

"Reese and I are still close friends Glynda. And It is just another memory I don't have. Like nothing solid until I was five. And there is no real stress of college. I got the course I wanted with lots of room to spare because shocker women aren't common in aerospace engineering and everyone practically wanted me." Ruby stated calmly as she could see a look in her doctor's eyes. "Plus I'm not even really that mad about Reese and me breaking up. I mean there was no real hard feelings to begin with. We both kind of felt the relationship ran its course."

"Be that as it may Ruby, it is still something to worry about. I mean you told me some of our last visits that you were starting to make some worrisome comparisons to some of the memories you've gotten back." Glynda spoke as she flicked a few pages back. "Like and I quote 'Reese means the world to me. If she breaks up with me I don't know what I'd do... I'm just constantly reminded of the same feeling of abandonment. The silver eyes staring at me with minor contempt in them...' So you can see why I'm a little sceptical of that claim."

Grumbling softly Ruby began to pull her knees up closer to her chest. "Reese and I dated for a year after that... and I had intentionally forgotten about those eyes." Ruby muttered softly as she took a deep breath before she continued. "Not to mention I still don't even remember the face...or who it could belong to. Just the eyes. And the cold feeling. Like water." Ruby stopped to shiver a little as she looked at the ground by Glynda's feet. "And then next thing is me walking into Mom's room because I had a nightmare... and her warm eyes as she gently tried to calm me down."

"But that is why your mother searched me out originally. Because you wanted to know so much of your past which she didn't have the answers for."

"Yeah but what is the point of searching for them now? Mom has given me a great life. I have amazing friends and am getting an amazing degree doing what I love. I either became a great person despite the memories, or because them. And those aren't very good odds." Ruby said softly as she took a deep breath. "As for the party missing memory... if movies and tv shows are to be believed... I got drugged and possibly raped... but I don't see that happening. I spent most of the part I remember in the darkest corner away from everyone. Only person that came towards me was my roommate. And she just handed me a beer that someone else got for her."

"Maybe you were drugged. Just not the intended person." Glynda spoke as Ruby just shrugged her shoulders. "I mean it isn't impossible to rule out."

"Doubt it. Yang doesn't even look that hot to me. Like I know some people find her hot but I don't think any of those people are the type to drug her." Ruby stated softly as she sighed softly to herself. "Plus I've done some drugs... and it wasn't the same feeling. Normally in my experience you do notice a slow fading from reality. This is just once the beer was done, a couple minutes pass... Yang is making out with someone who I assume is the person she was looking for then things start to go dark as I try and sit back down in the corner I was happy in."

Leaning back as she fixed her glasses, Glynda sighed softly. "I thought you've told me that you don't like drugs."

"No. I just don't like taking a million and a half pills which are meant to royally screw with my brain. I mean you put me on things for anxiety and depression and for my OCD and my panic attacks and for my small bit of bipolar tendency and my ADD and then my sleep." Ruby recited off all the things she can remember as Glynda simply held up a hand. "I feel like I'm missing one or two."

"Ruby, I know it seems like it was a lot. But if you recall I never claimed you had anything close to resembling bipolar disorder. I said one of the pills I was taking you off of for depression and putting you on instead could be used to treat bipolar disorder. It was for your depression. As for your obsessive compulsive disorder, and attention deficit disorder, that is things you should have been on for a while." Glynda said calmly as she began to flick some more of the sheets back as if to jog her memory. "Yeah, in my notes I have it mentioned that you often complained about those two things but felt like your mother didn't listen to your complaints about it and just said that it was normal. Tell me are you still taking those at least?"

Crossing her arms tightly across her chest, Ruby sighed softly. "Yes. It just makes everything about life easier to do for me... and now that I haven't taken them in a while it is starting to suck." Ruby huffed softly to herself, just loud enough for Glynda to hear. "But I haven't been depressed recently and been sleeping just fine. And while I've been having mild panic attacks from anxiety that is purely from moving from home into a dorm. Which as the days move on it is getting easier and easier. I think Mom is just starting to suffer from empty nest syndrome."

"I'm not qualified to talk about your mother like that. I'm not her doctor. But what I do know is your mother cares for you deeply and just wants to see you achieve everything you want." Glynda stated as she began to fix her notes looking up at the clock that was just above the door. "But we have ten minutes left. So is there anything you want to talk about now?"

"Not really... I just came today to appease my mother. And she probably spent a lot of money to get this rushed appointment so I'd feel bed if she wasted money like that. Could have gone to charity." Ruby mumbled again as Glynda just smiled softly.

"Okay. But it might hurt you a bit for me to tell you that we have another ten meetings booked. Same day and time each week." Glynda said as Ruby let out an elongated groan as she rolled onto her back. "Again she is worried about you Ruby."

"Doesn't make it less sucky." Ruby whined softly as she began to sit up. "No offence Glynda." Ruby continued as she looked turned a little to look towards the clock, just making a mental note to herself to chew her mother out for that broadsiding and sending her to this hell weekly all of a sudden instead of the much more preferable once a month one she would have taken as a compromise.

"None taken." Glynda said standing up to match Ruby who just smiled. "But I think this is us done for this week. I'll let you get back to doing whatever else you planned for today."

"Thank you Glynda. I suppose I'll see you next week then." Ruby said as she gently followed Glynda to the door. Just laughing softly as she could hear Emerald and Neo feuding over what she knew was the ice cream for breakfast.

Opening the door, Ruby just chuckled softly as the door opened revealing the duo getting ready to jump into a fight with each other. Rolling her eyes gently, Ruby took a deep breath as she spoke to them. "Come on guys... we should get going. I need to talk with my Mom..." Ruby said snapping their attention to her with a simple shrug of their shoulders.

"Shotgun." Emerald said laughing softly at Neo's hurt look on her face. "Yeah that's right small fry. I get it this time madam 'I'm going to shove the seat back forcing the tall person to have her knees embedded into her chest.' I get it."

"Oh, I'm going to shank you in your sleep."

"Guys. Enough of this... we must escape hell first."

Hearing the phone ringing, Cinder pulled back looking at the black and red marks littering the brunette's body, Cinder just smiled as she could see the blonde tied boy nearly gagging at the smell of cooked flesh wafting up.

"Wake the bitch up and keep them silent. Private phone is ringing." Cinder said dropping as she carefully tossed the red haired man the iron she had just used to brand the men what they were. Walking over to the table, Cinder smiled as she could see the urine bucket that had been under the man getting tossed onto him to wake him up.

Smiling softly, Cinder could see the name she often adored to see coming up on her phone. "Make sure they don't make a sound." Cinder snapped as she could see some of the guards of the room nod as Roman just smiled softly as he started to twirl the branding iron like it was his cane before he placed it back into the still burning fire.

Happy that no one was going to interrupt this, Cinder quickly slid her finger across the screen as she took a deep breath. "Hey Ruby. What's wrong? If this is about Glynda, I'm so sorry I couldn't be there for you. My hands are tied at the moment."

"You blindsided me with that hell Mom! And now I'm meant to go every week!? What the damn hell Mom!" Cinder heard her daughter yell causing her to sigh softly. A frown starting to grow as she could see out of the corner of her eyes the bowler hat wearing man just barely withholding a laugh. "Honestly Mom. I feel so betrayed."

Sighing softly, Cinder pinched the phone between her head and shoulder as she picked up one of the old and rusting knives that littered the table. Bringing her finger across it lightly to test it's sharpness, causing her to just take a deep breath as she held the phone to her head again. "Ruby, you wouldn't have agreed to one meeting if I didn't. And I'm deeply worried about you." Cinder began as she quickly embedded the knife into the wooden table with a small frown.

"And this is something we should talk about face to face Ruby. I promise I'll be home in time for dinner." Cinder said as she took a careful step to the side picking up a hammer which she began to toss lightly in her hand as if she was trying to judge the damage it would cause.

"Fine Mom. And we are totally talking this out... but can you send Mercury by the house? I'm also inviting Reese and my roommate over. Be glad I'm not blind siding you like you did to me today." Ruby hissed lightly as Cinder began to press her lips into a thin line as she took a deep breath. "It is just to get high Mom. I just want to have some fun so I can forget about needing to talk about those damn eyes, and the cold water."

Sighing once again, Cinder gripped the handle causing her to quickly snap the tip off the blade. "Fine Ruby. But don't go too far. I'm not going to let him give you much though Ruby." Cinder said calmly as she could hear Ruby just sighing on the other end.

"I'm sorry I yelled at you Mom. And I'm making demands like a spoiled child. You know I love you."

"I do Little Gem. And I love you. Just don't get into too much trouble. I'm bringing Roman over as well. So don't let Neo get into much trouble like she is so inclined to." Cinder said as she pointed the jagged tip towards the red haired man. "Drive safe and don't drive under the influence."

"Tell Roman I said high. And I won't Mom. Bye." Gently nodding her head Cinder said a simple 'bye' as she tossed her phone onto the table as she took a sharp inhale.

"Say one word Roman and you are ending up in the same position." Cinder stated as she tapped the three inches of the rusted blade on the table as she turned towards the nearly crying duo. "Now, as I was saying before the one person you shouldn't have harmed called me. You two, our time is nearly up. It certainly is up for your time with Mercury." Cinder said as she took a few more steps towards them where she lightly rested what she had to assume was the blade portion on the shoulder of the blonde man. "Mercury go bring the girls a few ounces. Remind the blonde if she is there about our chat and how it would be terrible if we had to have another one because I won't be as nice."

Bowing his head gently, the silver haired twenty one year old nodded his head before righting himself. "I'd get going Mercury." Cinder said lightly tapping the the knife once more onto the cowering blond's shoulder.

"What if the women doesn't head the warning?"

"Then I guess these two will have a guest joining them." Cinder said with a laugh as she swapped the hand holding the knife, dragging the jagged metal across the brunette man's shoulder. Just smiling at the blood starting to rush to the surface. "Now go Mercury." Cinder barked the final order as she could see the man quickly walking off.

Turning towards Roman, Cinder just smiled faintly at him. "Did you know you need to get a tetanus booster every decade? They just wear off."

"Yes, but that would only matter if skin is punctured by something rusted that happened to stay outside in animal shit for months." Roman said calmly as he began to inspect the second branding iron. "Oh wait... is that the knife we used to disembowel the undercover agent for the White Fang last year while he was low ranking? Because if so, they might just have a chance of getting tetanus. We still have days to find out the old fashion way."

"Hear that boys? We have days to find out if you'll start to have painful muscle spasms." Cinder spoke lightly tapping the bruised face of blond man as she began to drag the knife down his upper arm. "You never know, I may get bored by then and you two might live. If I don't take your genitals that is. I know how you college boys think your life depends on your dicks. Pity they are tiny right now." Cinder taunted softly as she swapped the knife with the new branding iron being handed to her by Roman.

"Now Blondie, I don't think it would be fair to brand you as a rapist. After all thanks to your friend's accidental confession we all know you just simply watched. You watched a woman get defiled after drugging her because you thought you were going to get the blonde women I had a chat with... so I hope you watching your friend get branded taught you not to move too much." Cinder said as she pressed the red hot metal into the centre of the man's chest. Taking some joy at the muffled crying sound coming from the man as Cinder pressed harder. Taking some minor joy as she could hear the faint sound of bones cracking under the pressure the smell of burnt flesh started to become pungent. "Maybe if you live this will teach you both a valuable lesson. But we still have some hours to play before I make that decision. So why worry about the future? Especially you two. You might not have long." Cinder said in a chilling tone as she tossed the most recent torture device down as she could feel her mind starting to rush with ideas causing the corners of her mouth starting to hike up into a menacing grin. Cinder knew that this was going to be a great time just reminding the world of what will happen when someone harms Ruby.

Chapter Text

Chapter 10:

Pulling the parking break up, Ruby just sighed as she looked towards Neo who held the cone carefully in her hands as she smiled as she waited for either Ruby or Emerald to leave so she could leave as well.

"Neo... don't bite. Don't do anything like you normally do. I even bought you good ice cream. Don't scare Yang. I'm meant to live with her this year at least and I don't want her to be petrified any time I offer her to come over." Ruby bit as Neo rolled her eyes gently.

"Yeah, I know. I said I wouldn't." Neo said sticking her tongue out as Ruby sighed softly as she took a deep breath slipping the key free from the car as she began to climb out. Smiling a little at the sight of Emerald bend her seat forward as Neo quickly scrambled out with a smile as she took one more lick of the ice cream cone.

"And I swear if the back seat is coated in ice cream again Neo. I'm not taking the fall for that again. And you know how after me, the only thing Mom really cares about are her cars." Ruby said as Neo rolled her eyes gently. "Don't do that Neo. You know Mom is very temperamental when we argue and I'm starting to think I'm going to need to drag her to church again." Ruby said crossing her arms as she began to just walk up the stone stairs to press the doorbell.

"I never understood why is church a punishment for her and we've known each other for a long time?" Emerald ask coming to a stop just behind Ruby who just rolled her eyes gently. "Let me guess, you'll tell me later?"

Chuckling softly as she could see the door opening carefully. Quickly looking towards Emerald, Ruby just smiled at her. "I just don't like talking about mine and Mom's relationship. You know that Em. At least not to anyone but Mom. I mean you've seen how Uncle Tyrian likes to mock her when she shows anything like that." Ruby said as she turned around jumping slightly at the shocked expression on her roommate's face.

"Hey Ruru. You bring one of the cool cars?" Reese said quickly pushing past Yang to get a look as a gleam developed in her eyes "Oh yeah. Dibs on shotgun." Reese said with a smile as she looked towards Yang who she could see looked lost causing her to shake her head a bit. "I knew I forgot something. We're heading to Ruby's. Maybe have a laugh at Ashes' expense."

"She is busy working in town. And you know Mom hates it when you call her that." Ruby said in a stern tone as Reese rolled her eyes lightly. "And come on. We need to beat Merc back. I got hit by a train because my Mom lied to me and he is bringing something to just calm me down."

"Yang is a square Ruru." Reese said as Ruby deflated a little and looked towards the further confusion on the blonde woman's face. "She is talking about weed. Which I tell you Yang, it is super great shit. You should try it at least once. And no safer shit out there."

Slamming her fist into the teal haired woman's shoulder Ruby glared at her. "Don't peer pressure her Reese. If she doesn't want to do it she won't have to. We just need to make brownies then. And as long as Neo stays away from things... should be fine." Ruby said with a smile as Yang Just began to rub her arm lightly.

"I know that look Yang. Your coming." Reese barked as Yang just gently rolled her eyes. "Relax."

"Fine. But I'll follow. You know when I ultimately need to leave." Yang said calmly as Ruby just frowned a little as she looked towards her with a bit of sorrow in her eyes. A gesture that made Yang feel confused but here she was standing not asking for that little bit of clarification.

"Um... family security are kind of itchy on the trigger finger. And tend to shot first at strange people coming to the house. Especially last time there were guests. But that was with some... um... unsavoury guests. So I'm a bit worried about your safety." Ruby said in a sheepish tone that baffled Yang. If just because of the time she had been around that woman and what Reese had told her, it just made her wonder who would be around that would cause that.

"Relax. We'll get you back here. Worst case we'll get Merc to drive us. I'm going to take Tai up on that offer of teaching me how to make red bean buns tonight. I might be able to turn that into a way to get laid." Reese said with a smile as Ruby punched her arm once again. "What? If you recall right you loved my schemes to get you in the mood. Remember that time in the cinema watching that old movie with ducks." Reese teased as Ruby began to blush a dark shade as she punched the woman again in the shoulder.

"You know what? For that. Yang gets shotgun. That was private." Ruby hissed as Reese began to deflate a little at the comment as Ruby had to ignore the sound of laughter coming from Emerald and Neo. "And I swear if you two tell Mom that is why Reese and I got dragged into a police cell... I'll rig Emerald's fridge to become an oven and tell everyone about you and Mercury." Ruby said pointing to them as she stated how angry she was that that was getting out. "Now let's go. We seriously need to beat Merc back home." Ruby said bouncing from one foot to the other as she became clearly excited for that one thing.

"Fine." Emerald said turning around as she gestured towards the car, just enjoying the sound of people following behind her.

Smiling a little at the sight of Emerald jumping into the back seat first. Causing Reese to just sigh as she gestured for Neo to climb in first. "By the way Ruby, how do you think I knew about the duck thing? I'll give you a hint, shouldn't really trust Mercury with that kind of thing."

"Going to deck him in the throat..." Ruby mumbled as she quickly walked around to the driver side just smiling at the sight of Yang taking the passenger side seat. A slight look of unease was present in her features which caused Ruby to just sigh softly towards her. "I seriously won't force you to do some weed Yang. And the security won't touch you while you are with me."

"It isn't that Ruby. I'm just not overly easy while people are doing drugs... I have some really really bad experiences with people using them. My Step Mom does a lot." Yang said as she reached for the seat belt as Ruby just smiled as she turned the key laughing internally at the sound of the engine jumping to life and the small smile drifting onto Yang's face.

"Think of it as Emerald and Reese have glaucoma, Neo is a borderline anorexic and needs the munchies, and I have some bad anxiety and depression." Ruby laughed softly as she quickly shifted into first gear and started to press her foot onto the gas. "Which I actually do... and Neo does have a history of anorexia... so those have the benefit of being true."

Ruby knew her smile was becoming more and more pronounce as she began to shift into another gear just enjoying the sight of Yang seeming to calm down further and further. Just the sight of that was enough to make Ruby smile. Especially because she knew how intimidating Ruby knew her family could be.

"Starve yourself like twice. Besides, my Dad just got out from his bogus DUI... by the way can we stop and get some more ice cream? The breakfast stash is done and my cone is gone." Neo corrected as she sighed softly as she looked towards Reese with a small smile on her face. Ignoring the elbow being delivered to her side by Emerald. "What? I have a sweet tooth. Sue me."

"It was meant to get Yang to relax. And Emerald is already going to nark on us for eating ice cream for breakfast. In a few days at least... after I yell at Mom for tricking me into weekly therapy."

"Why are you in therapy?" Yang asked just trying to get at least some explanation to the polar opposites that were Ruby and Cinder. Despite how much Reese had assured her Ruby's grandmother was which did bring its own terrors to her.

Sighing softly, Ruby began to shift into a lower gear as the car came to a stop at an intersection. "Again, really really bad anxiety... lots of depression... gaps in memory which the shrink says it was down to my mind just repressing it... some OCD... used to have frequent panic attacks and to top all that insomnia." Ruby said as she began to continue driving forward as she just had to continue her point. "But most of those vanished long before college and I just accepted the gaps in my memory and after the party and how I just don't remember anything really after I finished the beer that you gave me... I have nothing until my Mom came to get me." Ruby said as she came to a stop once again. "Think I actually woke up around here... ah well. Doesn't matter now."

"If I had gaps in my memory I'd be freaking out." Yang mumble softly starting to see why things were at least suspicious with Cardin and Jaune. Especially if they did really leave Ruby out this way because of how for most of the time it was so dark and due to the season it got really really cold out this way.

"I'm weird." Ruby said with a smile as she began to fix the mirror so she could look towards Reese who had a relaxed look on her face. "So Reese, did you make it to that one girl's party? I ask because you seem a lot more talkative than you normally would be afterwards."

Snapping her fingers, Reese began to reach into her pocket. "I didn't. Thanks for reminding me Ruru. Told you. Yang is a square. Like I went to her's and she instantly thought I would be some danger." Reese chuckled out gently as she frowned at the black screen she was looking at. "And my phones dead... do you have a charger in here I can use?"

"No I don't think so. Mom had this one cleaned out after that incident where you convinced me to take it off road. You can just charge it when we get back to my place." Ruby stated as she began to shift gears once more, just knowing that there wasn't going to be many turns or points where she had to slow down.

Which would mean she would get to enjoy the drive that much more, as she could see out of the corner of her eyes the sight of Yang seemingly becoming further and further relaxed as the time began to tick away.

Something that quickly caused her to frown as she picked her phone up to just look at the name. Handing the phone behind her, Ruby was glad at the feeling of her phone being accepted. "Just tell Merc we are on our way back now. We shouldn't be much longer. Twenty minutes max if I really open this puppy up."

"Please don't... no one is wearing a seatbelt but me." Yang said as Ruby groaned lightly at the comment.

"Reese is right. You are a bit of a square. This is a sixty eight charger with souped up specs... and when me and my Mom were screwing with it last we might have accidentally taken out the airbags."

"What!?" Yang yelled as Ruby just laughed simply.

"It is a joke. This car never had airbags in it. Airbags didn't come out for like half a decade after this car came out. As for the lack of seat belts... the one on my side is broken and I haven't gotten around to trying to fix it. And as for the back seats well they have two people in the way." Ruby said quickly shifting up to the fifth gear as she gripped the wheel tighter. "Besides, car is super safe regardless."

"Doesn't inspire confidence." Yang said as she quickly looked round to see Ruby's friends in the back carefully eyeing her up as she could see Reese having her eyes closed tightly. "Next you are going to tell me you've never been in an accident so what would be the point."

"Well, I haven't. At least one that hasn't been my fault." Ruby said as she quickly dropped gears as she slid around a corner, laughing as she could see in the mirror Neo just smirking. "I swear Neo if you bring up June. That was you taking the break off causing me to roll into the shitty car."

"Fine then. But if you recall Cinder still thinks that one is on you." Neo said shrugging her shoulders as she quickly rested her head on the suddenly alert Reese. "And you need to calm down hot stuff."

"Not going to happen while you are this close." Reese said with a soft but clearly uncomfortable chuckle as she began to gently move the head off of her. Ignoring the look on her face as she took a deep breath. "So what exactly is Ashes doing or does no one know?"

"She is talking to some people about venturing where they shouldn't have. Probably shouldn't have crossed over the line... like being stupid. Or brash. Like that time Sienna Kahn tried to venture into our territory." Emerald spoke loud enough knowing the message was being carried over to the blonde in the front seat.

Laughing softly at the comment as Ruby began to slowly drive up to the gate. "I doubt it is Sienna Mom is dealing with. Normally that would be at our house... plus she would have taken the car. My money is she is talking to some new group. I mean why else would she deal with them herself. Especially with Roman getting out so soon." Ruby said looking towards Yang as she reached up to hit the garage door button. "And Yang... I'm telling you to relax. My Mom won't touch you. She is like a big teddy bear."

"I'd say Ashes is closer to a pudding filled cactus."

"Maybe you should stop calling her that then." Ruby said as she started to spin the wheel as she started slowly park the car. "And she isn't like a cactus. You just spent an entire month mocking her after you met my grandmother..."

"That woman is crazy. No matter how delicious her cookies are... speaking of which if we are going to do brownies... want to do some cookies as well?"

"No." Ruby and Emerald said in unison towards Reese who simply held her hands up in her defence.

"Fine... going to be fun regardless. Let's just not watch action movies again... Let's watch bad movies."

"Sounds good. As long as it will make up for this torturous day my Mom put me through."

Dusting her hands off lightly, Cinder took a deep breath as she felt relaxed for seemingly the first time since this entire ordeal start. She wasn't sure if it was the cathartic release from having just dealt with the people who had wronged Ruby, or if it was from the sight of the men in tears.

All she knew was that she was actually looking forward to just be with Ruby. Even if they would get into an argument over the therapy but that was something that she knew she could get Ruby to see the reason of.

"I suppose you two are wondering what your punishment is going to be." Cinder said with a smile as she walked to the one tool that had remained sitting on the table. A smile as she could see Roman gathering what she had meant as he began to hold the brunette man up. Making her regret a little the choice she had made in breaking one of his knee caps, but just knew that it was going to become a moot point quickly.

Pulling the blade out, Cinder smiled at she could see minor recognition in what the tool was out of one blond's face. "It seems that you recognise a deer gutting knife Blondie. But don't worry... you after all just have a habit of watching." Cinder spoke as she walked towards the man that caused Ruby such agony. Even if she didn't remember it. It was something Cinder couldn't approve of.

Sliding the knife into the brunette's lower abdomen, Cinder could see the man wince as his blood began to rush forth. Twisting the knife around, Cinder gave it a sharp yank tearing out some of the small intestines causing her to just smile as Roman let the body fall into a heap on the floor.

"You see, mister watcher, you aren't going to get the easy way out. And neither is the cretin at my feet. He is going to bleed out. Unless he can keep his miserable blood inside his body, or he can ignore the several broken joints, drag his miserable body twenty seven miles to the nearest home and then wait for an ambulance." Cinder said delivering a final kick to the downed man's ribs. "Blondie, however you need to survive simply twelve hours maybe more. But after that... if the police were to hear about what we did... well... Roman, how do we treat those stupid stupid beings?"

"He'll wish you stuck him with that knife and gave you the same treatment his friend got. Would be a shame if we had to drag in ten maybe eleven other people to be brutally beaten and killed before him. Might even have to kill that adorable nephew. I mean it has been a long time since we've had to kill such a young child in front of it's mother. Not to mention how much they scream. And then the anger the mothers would have once they realised it was because someone was dumb enough to think that they would be protected by the police. After all, they wouldn't be the first people in witness protection that Grimm got to." Roman said as he lightly tapped the blond's face.

"Let's not tempt me. Just be a good cretin and stay put and you'll live... of course you'd need to explain some things but you'll have plenty of time to think of a good lie. Because unless you want to watch your family being slain because you said something stupid thinking I would never know." Cinder said as she smacked the boy's cheek in an almost condescending manner. "Stay warm, tonight is meant to get cold. But just be glad I'm not as cruel as you and the dying thing. After all, you both left my daughter with nothing on in a ditch... you are at least protected and have some clothes on." Cinder finished giving the man one last smack.

"Have fun tonight. Roman, let's go get some food to bring home to our girls."

"Sounds good. Prison food is a lot worse than I remember. I'm just glad that the warden was corrupt enough to get your message and bring in some nice porterhouses." Roman chuckled out knowing that he was just driving home Cinder's point about how there was nothing that there was nowhere the man could hide that they couldn't get to him. Something that every time he had seen realisation hit it just made it better and better for him.

Turning around at the old steel doors, Cinder just smiled at the crying man. "Don't thank me Roman. Those were gifts from the mayor and chief of police."

Chapter Text


Chapter 11:

Smiling calmly Cinder opened the garage door, as she sniffed the air causing her to frown internally at the smell. It meant that Ruby had broken the one rule Cinder had when it came to Ruby consuming some narcotic and with Emerald and Neo around. People who had a penchant of causing damages and putting people in danger, ultimately causing Cinder some worry.

"Oh, something smells good." Roman said with a chuckle as the front door swung open with him holding several boxes. "Did Red make some pot brownies? Didn't know she knew how to do that." Roman said with a chuckle as Cinder slammed the front door shut.

"If your daughter started another fire, I'm going to kill her. And then send you the bill for the damages she caused. Especially considering as last time I had to replace most of my entire poolside bar and pizza oven." Cinder stated towards the man who took a step back showing the defensive nature in what what it was Cinder had just stated. The way he knew that when she really wanted to really do something not much was going to be able to stop her, especially after what she had just got done doing to those two men.

"I don't think Ruby would let that happen again to begin with. She knows how mad you get at things like that." Roman said calmly as she smiled at the shocked gasp that filled the room as they could see Neo stumbling out of a room. "Yeah if Neo is any indication they are wasted though. So you might have dodged a bullet." Roman joked gently as Neo quickly ran the man and quickly began to rub his face causing a small chuckle.

Chuckling softly Roman began to gently nudge his daughter's hands away as he followed Cinder towards the kitchen where the rest had been sitting. Cinder just smiled faintly at the sight of Ruby giggling gently as she began to rest her head onto Reese's shoulder. The sight the of the blonde sitting upright was enough to cause Cinder some immense joy.

"Ruby, who is your new friend?" Cinder said as Ruby just started to giggle gently from the comment.

"It is Yang. She is my roommate." Ruby said with a small laugh as Reese just gently began to push her into a sitting position. "Be nice Mom. Now I'm starving. Did you bring home some good food?" Ruby said as she began to rest her head once again on Reese's shoulder who just calmly began to move Ruby's head.

"Reese." Cinder deadpanned as the teal haired woman just smiled at her.

"Don't worry Ashes. Yang and I need to leave. Nice to see you're out Roman. You two do look like you just had fun... stomping on rats?" Reese asked rhetorically as Roman just smiled as he placed the items down onto the table.

"You can say that. It would be wrong... but you can say that." Roman said with a small laugh as he could see the blonde woman tensing up before he looked towards his daughter who had begun to laugh softly. "And it seems my little ice cream cone is really far gone." Roman said with a chuckle as Ruby began to tap the table.

"You're going to church Sunday Roman. I don't want you to be a bad influence on Mom." Ruby said in near exhausted manner as Reese gently began to lower her head down onto the table.

"You may want to keep an eye on Ruru... she had a lot of brownies... which she handled entirely we just made sure she didn't burn her hands. And the brownies on the blue plate are normal. If there is any left on the green one those are the fun ones." Reese said standing up as Ruby began to chuckle softly. "Merc come on, you promised to drop me and Yang back off near her house." Reese said with a chuckle as she stood up just seeing Yang pale slightly.

Smiling softly Cinder took a step back as she spoke up hoping to send the message clear to the blonde woman about the situation. "Don't worry... Yang was it? I'm sure you'll get used to Mercury driving you places. Especially towards Patch if memory serves me right about where Ruby said you lived." Cinder knew from the paling face of Yang that Reese had told Yang about much more. "Don't worry though Yang... I'm sure you are going to be safe. Mercury is a very safe driver. No one has ever been harmed while he is behind the wheel." Cinder said as she could see Ruby chuckling softly.

"That's it Mom... Church Sunday!" Ruby said extending her arm from her laying position as she began to giggle softly pulling it back down. As she felt her back being gently patted.

"Would be a lot more pressing if you weren't gone." Cinder said with a small laugh as Ruby took a deep breath pushing herself off the table as she looked towards her mother as Reese began to fix herself as she gently gestured towards Yang to get up. "Yang, don't be a stranger... Reese, don't let the door hit you on the way out. I don't want to see ass prints on my door."

Laughing softly at the comment, Reese began to stretch gently. "Love you too Ashes. Tell your mother I still have night terrors of her. And probably won't see you for a few days. Have personal things to take care of." Reese said with a smile as she could feel Yang walking behind her. "By the way, I hope those rats or whatever it was got what it deserved and you weren't too gentle."

Hearing that Ruby quickly looked around before slouching a little. "I thought Grandma Salem really was here... she'd be really mad I made pot brownies... especially because I tend to get a bit giggly and stupid when I eat them. Don't scare me like that Reese."

"Sorry Ruby. Didn't mean to." Reese said as she turned towards Mercury and Yang. "Let's get going. I want me to learn how to make red bean buns. Seems like a fun thing to do... at least if it is half as fun to make as they are to eat." Reese said with a chuckle as Yang began to pale slightly.

"Bye Yang... I'll see you when I'm back in school next week. You keep your silly head though... and that adorable if delicious sounding teddy bear." Ruby said as Cinder shook her head gently and began to lower her head once more on to the table.

"Yeah... may want to check on her throughout the night. I think the meeting with Glynda really messed her up. She ate a lot more than she normally does... and I don't think it is from the weekly meetings with Glynda either. If you want my professional opinion as Ruby's ex-girlfriend... I think it is down to the eyes." Hearing the comment, Cinder looked towards Ruby who shivered gently at the statement as Cinder gently placed a hand on Ruby's back.

Seeing Ruby relax at the contact, Cinder just looked back up in time to see Reese walking out with the duo. Gesturing with her head, Cinder could see Emerald quickly going after them with the intentions on joining.

"Want us gone too?" Roman asked softly as Cinder looked towards Ruby and could see the look of worry on her face.

"Please." Cinder demanded in a faux asking manner.

Seeing Roman scoop up the food as he quickly walked out of the room, Cinder looked towards Ruby who hadn't seemed to shift much from where she was sitting. It was a slightly pleasant feeling for her. She just knew that at least Ruby was going to be open and honest about how she was feeling.

Carefully moving the chair so she was looking at Ruby, she couldn't help but be reminded of the first time Ruby had night terrors when all she knew was of those eyes. Something that had constantly made Cinder furious because she could never help Ruby with it.

No matter how many times Cinder reassured her, no matter how many times Cinder had promised, no matter how many times it had been proven that the eyes were the exact same colour as her own, Ruby always was terrified and felt betrayed by those eyes. That simple thing had just made it hurt Cinder all the more.

"Ruby... you know I'd never let anything happen to you. And you know if the owner of those eyes ever tried anything again, I'd stop at nothing to make you feel better about them." Cinder said calmly knowing that if she ever did find anyone that matched Ruby's description of those eyes she'd probably blind the person with them. She wasn't really sure how, but she knew that they would have had it coming from even thinking about harming someone like Ruby. Even if it was only a figment of Ruby's imagination.

"Those eyes are stupid. And if I wasn't stoned... a little terrified Grandma Salem is around. I'd probably never get to sleep tonight. Everyone brought those memories back up... and I just know I'd have that nightmare again..." Ruby mumbled softly as she smiled softly at the familiar and comforting feeling of Cinder contact with her. "Can you tell me how you found me again?"

Smiling at Ruby's simple question. "I must have told you that story a thousand times over. Do you really want to hear it again Ruby?" Cinder asked as Ruby nodded her head. "Do you not want to eat first? I can always tell you it afterwards." Cinder wagered as Ruby just began to frown as she could see Cinder deflating a little.

"I'm not very hungry." Ruby mumbled softly as she could see Cinder just frowning softly. "Please Mom? It always makes me feel better... that and when you hug me." Ruby continued to mumble gently. "Can I actually have a hug as well?" Ruby asked pushing herself off the table and holding her arms outstretched.

"I'm hurt you think you need to ask." Cinder said as she leaned into the hug, squeezing Ruby as tightly as she could without causing Ruby any sort of discomfort. Holding Ruby close, Cinder began to gingerly rub Ruby's back just enjoying the feeling of Ruby pulling her closer. A smile being ever present as she just knew that it was going to be a tough night ahead for Ruby if history is anything to go off of.

Knowing that there was only so much Cinder could do, she did know that there was something that she could do to hopefully make it easier on her.

"It was the coldest night in two decades in Vale. I was by the river doing something for your grandmother. When I heard something being knocked around. Fearing it could be something bad, I went and investigated it." Cinder said knowing that it was a greatly redacted story that she had told Ruby time and time again. If just because she knew that Ruby would be all kinds of mad if Cinder had to say she was drowning an undercover cop under Salem's order. Especially with Ruby's normal disposition towards hearing Cinder ordering a few kneecapping for people who frequently would try and short change her much lower down in the supply chain.

"That is when I found this small swaddled baby about a year old. Shivering, soaked from head to toe with nothing but a dog tag like thing around her neck with the name of 'Ruby'. Once I saw this shivering silver eyed baby... I quickly picked her up, and rushed to the hospital. I had no idea how long she had been out and cold, but I did know it was already dipping close to minus ten without wind chill. But something told me this silent child who had a feeble grip on my jacket told me I had to rush." Cinder said deeply enjoying the feeling of Ruby pulling her tighter to herself.

"When I told the doctors of what happened, they took her temperature and said it was dangerously low. That there was only another half an hour... maybe an hour that she could have survived in the conditions I described to them." Cinder said as she pulled back and began to brush Ruby's bangs out of her face as she took a deep breath. "That night I talked with your grandmother about it. Nearly a year later I finally finished the paperwork and fully adopted the person who means everything to me." Cinder said as she gently kissed Ruby's forehead. "And you still do mean everything to me Ruby."

Gently lowering her head onto Cinder's shoulder, Ruby took a deep breath before she sighed gently. "I know Mom..." Ruby said softly as she squeezed tightly once again reminding her Mother about the fact that they were still holding onto each other. "I love you Mom. But I suppose we should bring back in Roman and Neo... that way we can have dinner." Ruby said softly as Cinder just smiled before she stood up and planted a small kiss on top of Ruby's head.

"I love you too Little Gem."

Her body was cold, but as Ruby blinked her eyes a few times as she could feel herself being lowered down. Softly. The eyes that peered at her. The near soulless silver that didn't seem to have an ounce of fear or regret. As though they had spent a long time making up their mind about what they were going to do now.

"I'm sorry my Little Rose... I can't... I can't do it... I can't be a mother to you." The woman said softly as she placed a final kiss onto the top of Ruby's head. As though she was removing the last of her uncertainty about what was to come next. "I tried hard... oh so very hard. For you... for your sister... for your father. But I can't do it anymore. Once I'm done here... I'll be sure to join you quickly." The person spoke as she began to look around the room. "I'm sorry I can't give you a quicker death... but even when I know I'm a failure... I still can't bring myself to seeing you pass." The woman said as she found what she was looking for.

Walking towards one the open cans that had been collecting water for Gods know how long. Gently pouring the contents onto the baby form, Ruby could make out the apprehension leaving her as she took a deep breath. "May the Gods forgive me..."

Bolting upright letting out a scream, Ruby quickly placed a hand over her chest feeling her heart beating rapidly as she could see her door being flung open almost violently to reveal two of the armed men walking into the room guns at the ready as they flash lights started to sway.

"Guys. It was a nightmare." Ruby bit at the men quickly scanning the room as Ruby rolled her eyes as she took a deep breath and flicked her blanket off of her. Taking a few panicked breaths as she could see her mother quickly storming into the room with a slight glare on her features before she looked towards Ruby. "Mom. It was a nightmare. No one broke in." Ruby said softly as Cinder just let out a sigh of relief.

Whistling softly, Cinder looked towards them and gestured them to leave the room. Hearing the door close, Cinder just took a deep breath as she walked towards her daughter's nightstand where she quickly flicked the light on as she took a seat on the edge of the bed.

Gently pulling Ruby into a one arm embrace, Cinder just softly began to rub Ruby's back as she took a deep breath. "Was it the one nightmare?"


"It's going to be okay Little Gem. It is all just going to be okay."

Smiling softly as she stared at the ceiling, Reese just couldn't help but smile as she braced her head up with her hands. One leg being stretched over the other as her knees bent, she just smiled at the sound of Yang banging away at the keys.

"How can you be calm? You're friends with the daughter of the current leader of Grimm. There is no telling what Ruby has done." Yang said as she looked towards Reese who rolled her eyes gently as she continued to look at the ceiling. "And you are still high aren't you."

"I didn't touch the pot brownies. And Ruby has done nothing. At least nothing illegal. She is the type of person that will go back to a store when they give her a cent extra in change. And Ashes really won't do shit to you if you don't harm Ruby. I told you that." Reese said as she began to push herself up into a sitting position as she just smiled at the shocked expression of Yang. "Yeah, I'm not an addict. Go figure. And I'm telling you, Salem is so much more terrifying. If Ashes puts a gun to your head after showing what it will do, Salem will shove a lit stick of dynamite into an orifice and just watch. Which she actually did once to someone in front of me. It was an addict that broke into her house looking for something to sell for ironically a hit."

"How the hell did you even meet Ruby? With people like that?"

"School. We went to a private Catholic boarding school together. Mind you Emerald and Neo were there as well. Merc could have been but too much penis. And my parents thought that that wouldn't turn anyone into a lesbian. I mean you should have seen Ruby in this smoking hot uniform. Would have turned any woman into a lesbian. Without a doubt." Reese said as there came a knock at Yang's door.

Groaning softly, Yang began to stand up as she looked towards Reese. "Yeah, I'd rather not think about how fun that talk would be with Ruby's Mom." Yang muttered as she opened her door to see her Dad standing at it rubbing his eyes gently. "What did she take this time Dad?"

"Nothing. She just left to go on some new binger. I was just letting you know." Tai said as Yang sighed softly.

"Fine. Thanks for that I suppose."

"Not to interject but, are those buns ready? I'm getting hungry." Reese said with a smile as she could sense the tension starting to build up between Tai and Yang over the comments. A small smile being ever present as she could see the tension escaping from between them.

"They should be ready in about five minutes."

"Cool cool."

Chapter Text


Chapter 12:

Zipping her coat up, Ruby just smiled as she looked at her mother. A smile on her face as she dived in to give her one last hug. "Bye Mom. I'll see you at Glynda's office Wednesday. And if I show up and you aren't there I swear I'm going to slash every cars' tires except for the one Sienna gave you. And seeing as I'm taking the really cool charger..." Ruby countered as Cinder gently shook her head.

"Don't even joke about that Ruby." Cinder deadpanned as she could see Ruby just smiling as she shook her head as Cinder caught for another hug. "But stay safe out there Ruby." Cinder said as she leaned down and planted a kiss on the top of Ruby's head. "If you have any more nightmares don't be afraid to call me Ruby. At anytime... you know no matter what I'll always be there for you." Cinder spoke as she could see Emerald taking a step into the hallway before quickly walking out of the room back towards the garage.

"And don't forget to call... and make sure you do your homework." Cinder continued as Ruby just groaned gently.

"Mom relax. I'll see you Wednesday." Ruby said as she began to separate from her mother with a smile on her features. "But I've got to go now. I promised Yang I was going to meet her at this cafe... so just relax." Ruby said as she pulled away from her mother entirely. "Now I really need to go."

"Okay. I need to go call Roman. But call me once you are back in your room. Your friend being there or not. If you don't I'm going to tear apart the town looking for you again." Cinder said calmly as Ruby just laughed softly at the comment knowing that her mother might just seriously do that. "And remember Ruby... no flings and no drugs... if you must use call me and I'll send someone over with some."

Smiling a little Ruby turned around and began to skip towards the garage when she stopped at the door seeing Neo and Emerald getting comfortable in the car. Quickly looking towards her mother getting ready to have a fight she just frowned at the lack of her and the sound of the front door closing.

"Totally going to bring this up in therapy... just the not trusting me to be a responsible adult thing is getting old." Ruby muttered softly as she began to walk towards the car slightly peeved by everything. Walking towards the driver side Ruby frowned opening the door as she looked into the back to see Neo smiling as she took a bite from the ice cream sandwich she had been clearly saving. "And to what do I owe this pleasure? And or pain in my keister."

"Dad says it would be best if I pursue my education... and Em said it wouldn't be wise to trust the both of us unchecked for an entire semester. So Dad and Cinder are paying for her to get a degree in forensics." Neo said with a smile as she took another bite out of the ice cream sandwich. "And I mean... can you imagine what would happen to Beacon if we were left unchecked? I mean remember that time we broke into the Nunnery and epoxied all the locks in the door shut, and then we killed all the fish in the pond. Remember how pissed Sister Cordovin got... and then even more pissed when Sister Calaveria just said we were children far away from home... and then she licked all the silverware."

"Yeah, yeah. I get it. You are a bad influence and I should never show you something I'm interested in because chances are I'll be roped into doing something illegal." Ruby said as she pressed the garage clicker as she twisted the key. "Now important question is... what is so important between my Mom and Roman that I'm not meant to know about? If it is work she normally would have put it off. You don't think they are going to become a thing do you?"

Laughing softly at the comment, Neo just rolled her eyes as they began to drive out of the garage as Ruby waved slightly aggressively towards her mother as though she was trying to send a message about how she did not approve of this sudden trap springing around her.

"Dad is still hung up on my Mom. Even if it has been five years since she got killed in active duty. Plus Cinder never seemed like the type to me to be open enough with anyone but you to have a relationship with... Maybe that is why Emerald has the hots for her?" Neo said in a joking manner as the green haired woman began to cough as she turned around to glare at her. "Let me guess, you don't really have a crush on Cinder. Everything is just platonic. Nothing to be ashamed about. Cinder is a looker."

"I swear I'll crash the car. That is my Mother." Ruby hissed as she leaned back in her seat to stare at the car's other occupants. "Bad enough I just know that my Mom would have intimidated the dorm building people to get you guys into the same one I'm in." Ruby continued as she began to shift gears just so she could enjoy the sound of the engine revving a little as she started to drive off. "Go on, tell me I'm wrong and that Mom's orders weren't specifically for you to get into the same dorm building if not the same floor."

"Cinder didn't say get into the same dorm building if we couldn't get one on the same floor. She did however demand we actually get the empty dorm room you told her about. I mean this is probably just going to end up like school again... just hopefully with less fires. And hopefully less crazy accidents of me or Neo walking in on you and Reese."

"Gods forbid you two know what the tie on the doorknob means. The only exception I'd accept would be that time we were in the shower the last week before graduation." Ruby mumbled softly towards no one in particular.

Stretching softly, Yang began to sigh as she rubbed her face gently as she could see the raven haired barista walking towards her placing down two cups before she began to look around slightly confused.

"Meeting a friend." Yang said as she sighed softly rubbing her face a bit before shaking her head.

"It isn't that one super loud woman is it?" The barista asked as Yang just shook her head as she took a small gulp of the coffee.

"Reese? No. She is busy doing... for the life of me I don't know and don't ever really want to know." Yang chuckled softly as the barista just smiled as she began to chuckle as the barista just seemed to smile at that comment. "Seriously, she plays with metaphorical... and possibly literally fire. And the fact she has been jumping from one fling to another makes me worry. For everyone."

"Eh, nothing is wrong playing with fire. It can be very fun. But that is just my experience. Doesn't excuse the being loud." She stated as she looked towards the door to see a small woman opening the door. "And I assume that is your friend." She stated calmly as Yang just smiled softly at the sight of the bow atop her head slightly flexing from the gust of wind.

Looking towards the door, Yang smiled gently at the sight of Ruby walking in with a slight frown as she came to a stop as Yang gestured towards the spare seat across from her. Sighing softly as slumped into the seat groaning softly as she accepted the cup on the table meant for her as she took a deep drink.

Shaking her head from the bitterness causing her to regret not adding sugar to the coffee but she felt like this was the single most important thing at this moment. "Yang... I'd like to start of by apologising for my Mom. I know the look on your face the other day was someone who met my Mom while she was angry. I'd kind of understand it if you didn't want to be roommates any more... we can still be friends though." Ruby said as Yang began to cough lightly. "She gave you the speech about how if we weren't friends then you'd mean nothing to her didn't she?" Ruby said as she began to bow her head gently. "I'm so so so so sorry if she did." Ruby stated as she clapped her hands together in a pleading manner.

"It's okay Ruby..." Yang said as she held her hands up in defence not sure how Reese could take this calm of a stance if she had come across Cinder and even someone who is apparently far more terrifying. "I mean Reese kind of put it into perspective... but I mean she used your grandmother as an example..."

"Yeah... while I do fear her when I do have special brownies... she is actually very very nice to me. Except for the few times she has caught me sneaking into the cookie jar before dinner when I'm over there with my Mom and Uncles. But in my defence my Mom never makes cookies at home, and Grandma Salem is like part elf that lives in a tree or something." Ruby said with a small smile as she could see Yang raise an eyebrow at the comment. "Yeah... that is how most people are. But pretty much she is only anti special brownie because those things take a while to hit you as I'm sure you've noticed. But she is still one of the nicest people you could meet. Reese just likes to lock horns with everyone in my family. I don't even know why. I swear she gets a rush or something from it."

Chuckling uneasily at the fact that Ruby clearly didn't really know the full extent of her family, Yang just shook her head gently as she raised the small cup in front of her again as she took a small sip. "And Ruby I don't mind being your roommate. Just try not to do stuff in the room... my step mom does all kinds of crap like that and it has lead my home life to be a bit tense." Yang said in a sheepish tone as Ruby just took a deep breath as she stared at Yang.

"I promise I'm not going to force you to do anything like that Yang. And if it makes you more comfortable if I don't do any of it there, fine I won't. Which is made even easier by the fact that my Mom pushed Emerald and Neo into getting a higher education... and then she pressured the dorm agency to give them the spare one on our floor." Ruby said in a similar sheepish tone as she could see Yang pale slightly at that. "This is hopefully not going to turn out like catholic school again... I can only take so much embarrassment of getting caught doing things with Reese and getting hauled into Mother Superior's office so many times." Ruby mumbled as Yang just began to look at her quizzically.

It wasn't even something that Ruby didn't know what it was about. Especially given how much Reese might or might not have told her. "We played a variant on boggle that she made up... she called it something like strip boggle. And because my room only had me... and Neo and Emerald I swear were told to beaver dam me at every turn. And both of them know how to lock pick so I couldn't lock the door... It lead to some tough times in senior year." Ruby mumbled as she shrugged her shoulders gently. "Ah well. I doubt they are going to burst in now... thank the gods for key cards."

Laughing softly, Yang just shook her head as Ruby looked up at her as she just smiled. "By the way, please tell me you know what tie on the door knob means." Ruby said carefully as Yang just chuckled softly.

"You going to be bringing guys around?" Yang asked with a chuckle as Ruby just seemed to laugh along with her.

"If I do, there won't be a tie on the doorknob. At least not mine in which case, please barge in." Ruby said carefully as Yang let out a gasp as if something had finally clicked into place. That did cause some slight worry for Ruby but Yang just looked at Ruby carefully. She couldn't help but think that she had made a slight mistake as Yang shook her head.

"So no guys at all?" Yang asked just wondering if this had been the ultimate reason as to why Ruby's mother was so sure that Ruby had been raped when Jaune and Cardin walked out with her.

"Nope. Never been interested in guys, and they've just done nothing for me. And trust me, Reese has tried. Lots of naughty videos that if anything just took me out of the experience. But don't worry, I'm not going to try anything with you. You aren't really my type." Ruby said as Yang was taken aback and almost offended by the comment.

"I'm everyone's type." Yang said as though her honour had been offended just from Ruby's blanket statement as Yang shook her head a little.

Shrugging her shoulders gently Ruby smiled as she popped up. "Not mine..." Ruby began as she grabbed the small saucer that the cup had been resting on. "So what is it you are drinking? You've bought me one, and I feel like I owe you a lot... I know my Mom is a little overbearing and super protective of me." Ruby said in a sheepish tone as Yang just nodded her head gently. Almost with a smile at the fact that Ruby at least wasn't nearly as bad as her mother and at least seemed to be apologetic to what she had gone through. It did make Yang actually feel a lot better.

At least she knew that chances were she didn't send Cinder towards people wrongly. At least from what she knew, and what Reese had assured her. She just wished that there had been some proof she could have seen that meant they were still alive. It was starting to eat away at Yang a lot more then she knew it should. If they were alive and were in fact guilty of something like that, Yang couldn't see any harm in Cinder making them suffer, but if she was wrong, or they were innocent... Yang had no idea what the woman could make anyone confess.

Yang was even positive that the woman would even be able to make her confess to loving her Step Mother despite all the horrors she had done to Yang and her family.

Being snapped from her thoughts as Ruby came back to take her seat. "Blake is going to bring over some more..."

"Who is that? Another friend?" Yang said as she quickly looked around the room carefully to try and see if someone would kill her at this point. Especially with how Ruby had been acting around her.

"What? No. It is the cute barista. Did you seriously not ask her name?" Ruby said as she leaned back in her chair as she looked at her roommate.

Smiling as she placed the cups down, Blake just began to chuckle softly. "So you think I'm cute?" Blake stated as she could see Ruby blushing a dark shade. Placing the final cup down, Blake looked towards Ruby who had coughed lightly at the comment.

"Yeah. You are super cute. Like a kitten. Now if you don't mind me, I'm going to die from embarrassment." Ruby mumbled softly as she took a deep breath to try and calm herself down as she slid down in the chair she was sitting in.

"Don't bother, I have to get back behind the counter." Blake said as she walked off causing Ruby to just breathe a sigh of relief. She was at least a little glad that she got out of that situation, she just knew that she wouldn't be able to ever go up to her ever again.

Laughing softly at the sight of her roommate, Yang just couldn't help but shake her head as Ruby began to cover her face with her hands. Just the sight of which was enough to cause her some joy as she couldn't help but wonder how could someone so innocent come from such an evil place.

"So she is your type? And who asks baristas what their names are?"

"She seems like a cuddler... and I like to cuddle. Even Reese did. As for asking people their names... the Nuns drove home the whole 'treating people with respect' and learning their names so you can keep them in your prayers..." Ruby mumbled softly as she crossed her arms. "Even drove home stupid things like sewing and knitting and the proper place for women isn't in the cool things that can make explosions... and especially the really fun things of being alone with your girlfriend. Can't tell you how many times I had to kneel and beg for the gods' forgiveness."

Laughing softly at Ruby's demeanour Yang simply accepted the cup in front of her as she could see Ruby seemingly relaxing at the gesture, as she reached forward to grab her own mug. "I mean no one should do things with explosions... that sounds super dangerous." Yang said as Ruby rolled her eyes at the comment.

"It isn't. It is fun. And way to diminish the degree I'm getting... madam sports management with a side of fake science." Ruby mumbled softly as she grabbed the cup in front of her as she could see Yang just shaking her head softly. "That was a low blow, I'm just still embarrassed Blake heard me, my Mom effectively backstabbing me by not telling me about Neo and Emerald... and I shouldn't insult something like that I know it is what you are interested in. I'm sorry." Ruby said in a sheepish tone as Yang just stared at Ruby. She knew that Ruby shouldn't be the one apologising. But there she was.

"Don't worry about it. No offence is taken."

Chapter Text


Chapter 13:

Walking towards the door, Yang opened it and nearly jumped at the small girl on the other side as Ruby just groaned gently at the sound. It was one that was all too familiar to her. "Neo, I can't go out and party with you and Emerald. I have nearly a week to catch up on." Ruby said without taking her gaze off the book as she used her other hand to write down something.

"Come on Ruby. You've been saying that for like a week now. I mean I have like two weeks to catch up on. But I mean Nursing is super easy. But I mean I did take care of a vegetable for a number of years." Neo stated pushing past the shocked blonde as the woman began to climb up onto the desk behind Ruby's stack of books as she continued to write.

"Don't call your late Mom a vegetable. She got shot in the line of duty. And we've only been here two days. Don't be hyperbolic." Ruby mumbled softly as she quickly reached up and clicked the top of the pen as she looked up at her friend. "And short of you being able to explain to me the laws of thermodynamics and specifically the math to go along with it, I can't go out and drink." Ruby said as Neo began to lay down letting out a loud groan.

"Come on!" Neo complained as she began to roll around gently in the small section she had hollowed out as Ruby placed a protective hand over the books as the woman began to stop. "Em says she won't come out unless you do... Mercury is busy so I can't exactly get some with him... plus he doesn't like performing with an audience... as soon as someone else is there that isn't taking part he just starts pushing rope."

Rolling her eyes softly at Neo, Ruby just took a deep breath as she looked entirely at her. "Gross. You two would make a cute couple but gross. And if we were to go out, Emerald would come with us to be a buzzkill. Or do you forget how many times we've been dragged in front of priests or mother superior with many many police officers in the room." Ruby said as she looked back down at her notes.

"Twice. That happened twice."

"Are you counting finals week? Last year... or the week before that."

"Oh... yeah then a lot more. Like a lot." Neo said nodding her head gently along the entire time as she stopped for a second as if she was trying to add the times up. "Twenty by my count... but in our defence those Nuns blamed us for everything. Especially Cordovin. I mean she blamed us for the tractor in her being in her room during the day."

Placing the pen down Ruby just stared at her. "That was us. We did it, and frankly if they had cameras in there we'd be screwed." Ruby said leaning back as she just took a deep breath as she spoke up. "Yang is there freezer space in the mini fridge?" As Ruby spoke, she could see Neo quickly beaming at what Ruby was hinting at.

"Yeah should be. I've only put in some energy drinks... and I don't think you've put anything in there."

"You guys have a mini fridge? Lucky." Neo said as she began to slide off the desk as she looked towards Ruby who had been leaning back in her seat. "I suppose it is a good thing though. I'd just be eating a bunch of ice cream and Em will be pissed."

Sighing softly Ruby began to rub her eyes gently. "All dorm rooms in this building has mini fridges. That is why it is often the first one filled out. So if it gets you off this kick of trying to get me to go out I'll buy you some spumoni. I need to call my Mom anyways." Ruby said as Neo began to jump slightly with joy as she nodded. Smiling faintly at the notion of how easy it was to manipulate Neo like that.

Rubbing her face calmly Ruby began to close the books she had around her as she looked towards Yang who had been resting her head against the peach tinted bear as she held a magazine open. A calm expression that just made Ruby enjoy the fact that Yang was in a pleasant state as she hummed softly reading some article.

"Want anything while I'm out? Or do you want to join us on a spumoni quest?" Ruby asked as Yang flicked the page she was looking at.

"I've got no idea what that is." Yang said as she began to lower the magazine as she could see Ruby and Neo just staring at her aghast with what had been said. "I assume it is ice cream. Or some sort of frozen treat. That much is obvious. But I'm from a redbean and condensed milk shaved ice cones type family. Which taste a lot better than they sound." Yang continued as Ruby gently covered her mouth as she gasped.

"That is horrible. Spumoni is a delicious ice cream... It is like the best thing ever. And should be made like standard in every ice cream place. But there isn't. I only know of like five places in town that sell it." Ruby said as she lowered her hand from her mouth as she quickly lunged towards the blonde. "And that seals it. You need to come with us. Don't worry Neo isn't going to be sitting up front... and I need to make sure someone is there while I call my Mom so Neo doesn't do something that will get me banned from the ice cream stores." Ruby complained as Yang let out an audible sigh.

"Fine. But it isn't going to beat my Dad's shaved ice cones. That stuff is great. We should totally get some next time we are in Patch and he has some made... tastes a lot better and is a lot healthier than ice cream." Yang said as Ruby quickly grabbed the magazine from her hands before rolling it up to smack the small girl behind her. "Is it weird that I've learned not to question things like that." Yang said as Ruby quickly turned around to face her.

"Neo is crazy about ice cream..." Ruby started as she took a step back to see Neo pouting as Yang just smiled gently grabbing her jacket. "And if you believe Reese she is normal crazy." Ruby continued softly as she took a deep as Neo began to slink away towards the door. "Sorry about the magazine Yang... better then needing to go to the hospital for bite injuries." Ruby continued as she tossed the magazine behind her as she just smiled as Yang began to smile at her. Shaking her head gently Ruby just looked towards Neo.

"Go get Em. She probably needs to relax as well... she is probably already panicking about the first semester tests... even though those she shouldn't. And if she maintains a stance of not going just remind her of the times we went out for ice cream in highschool and she didn't tag along... or did you forget about the digger into the swimming pool?"

"That's right... we did do that. Can't believe they caught us doing the tractor thing but not that and they believed the construction crew just forgot to put on the breaks." Neo said with a smile as she quickly left the room.

Sighing softly, Ruby just rolled her eyes as she picked up the ring of keys on her desk. "Let's just hope that Emerald actually comes... Neo might do something bad and I'm easily swayed to have a fun time. As I'm sure you can tell... we don't tend to break the law that blatantly. Neo's Mom's good will she had before her passing can only get us away with so much. Especially me. They didn't know me when I was a baby." Ruby said as she could see Yang carefully eyeing her up. "Neo's mom was a cop. And kind of because of how she spent so long working there Neo was more so close with her dad and kind of hated her mother but still cared for her for a long time."

Walking towards the door, Ruby laughed a little at the loud gasp coming from down the hall which she just knew was Emerald being told about the leverage. Something that just constantly amused Ruby how often she forgot about things like that. But she did know that it was going to get her friend to come along regardless.

Flicking her keys around with a smile as she looked towards Yang who just smiled as she slipped her keycard into her inside jacket pocket. Before either could speak the dorm room in question flew open as Emerald stuck her head out the door. "I'll be ready in three minutes. Don't leave." Snapping her fingers before she flicked a thumb up at her, Ruby just smiled as Emerald quickly closed the door.

"Your friends are weird." Yang said softly as Ruby just smiled faintly as she shook her head.

"I know. But we all are a bit weird. We just never decided to hide how weird we are... plus Neo and me can really get into a lot of trouble. I spent more days in Mother Superior's office then class my last year of highschool. Frankly it was a miracle we weren't expelled and just forced to confess and then do the Rosary like a million times. The only good thing about Nuns... they'd rather turn the other cheek as long as you don't break real and life threatening crimes." Ruby said crossing her arms as she sulked a little from the memory. "Can probably recite the Rosary from pure muscle memory."

Laughing at her friend's clear discomfort from the memory. "Yeah wasn't raised in any religion here... no idea what that is. Is it like a special prayer or something?"

Opening her mouth to respond, Ruby quickly closed it as she just simply shook her head. "More so a counting system for like the two most basic prayers and hymn that every good catholic girl and boy should know... they are the little beads. I think I brought one of mine from that time. Kind of helps when I'm having a super mild panic attack." Ruby said as the door opened with Neo skipping out as Emerald was quick to follow. "Em, how would you describe doing the Rosary? Was talking to Yang how we spent twelfth grade."

"Annoying... especially because Ruby and Neo and Reese would always wait for the exact second my back was turned so they could do something borderline illegal." Emerald said as she closed the door and gestured towards for the duo to walk towards the exit. Ruby just smiling as she laughed softly as she shaking her head. "Don't give me that Ruby. We shouldn't have done it like two hundred times in a month. Not even grannies do it that much."

"Better than expulsion. Only bad thing was the annoying stupid housewife classes we had... and they wouldn't accept any excuse if I didn't knit that night's homework." Ruby mumbled slightly angrily as Emerald rolled her eyes. Something that Ruby knew she had done. "There is no other way to describe Home Economics. It is housewife classes. We learned how to sew and how to knit and how to cook. And I'm not crazy like Neo so I didn't get out of it."

"Told you. Set a few fires and salt everything. And you can get out of nearly every class. Especially if you did it shortly after a parent's death and don't cost much damages." Neo said with a smile as Ruby sighed softly as she slipped the key into the lock and quickly unlocked the car.

Smiling a little at the sight of everyone climbing in. Ruby just smiled as she climbed in with a smile as she began to twist the key just enjoying the fact that she could at least do something that wasn't trying to actively melt her brain like what she had been doing in the room.

Groaning vocally as Ruby took a spoonful of the ice cream, Neo began to cross her arms frowning as shot the woman a glare. Quickly gulping down the treat, Ruby just smiled at the sight of Neo frowning deeply.

Taking a deep breath Ruby hopped up to sit on the hood of the car as she could see Emerald holding a newspaper which just seemed to have Ruby's attention as well. Just the fact that Emerald had it was something that was strange.

"Anything note worth in the news?" Ruby asked as Yang was quick to join sitting next to Ruby as Neo just frowned as she quickly turned back to her melting ice cream cone. Ruby just smiled as she could see Emerald quickly folding the newspaper over and in half as she held it out.

"Police found a Grimm scene from an anonymous tip... one man left alive. Police say he was intentionally left alive as he dealt personally with the leader. Something about the rape of the leader's daughter, but he isn't speaking. They do have a picture of him and are asking for any tips." Emerald said as she showed the picture of the matted blonde hair of a man whose face seemed to have swollen shut.

The simple sight of which was enough to pale Yang further as Ruby began to scrunch her face gently as if she was trying to place where she had a memory of the person. Quickly taking the paper back, Emerald just smiled softly. "Yeah... turns out one of the people had confessed to it in their diary. So it looks like the survivor might be facing a jail sentence if he doesn't turn septic." Emerald said as she handed the paper back towards Neo who began to read it with a smile on her face. "Weird how protective parents can be."

"This is why I'd rather not Mom going to step on the toes of Grimm. But what does she do? Constantly ignores my worries. It has gotten to the point I've been tempted to call my grandmother to talk sense into her." Ruby mumbled softly as she remembered another one of the reasons she was out in the first place. Hopping off the car, Ruby quickly slid her phone out of her pocket as she she just smiled as she could see a message from her mother. "Speaking of which, I need to call my Mom... Yang watch out for Neo. She has a habit of making out with unsuspecting people just to get more spumoni." Ruby said as she began to walk away. Not bothering to pay attention to Neo's defence of the action or how blonde people aren't her type.

Smiling softly as she could see some people looking at the car before quickly running at the sight of Emerald and Neo. At least she knew that one of her mother's favourite cars was going to be looked after.

Pressing the phone to her ear, Ruby just smiled as she heard the other end being picked up. "Mom? You okay?"

"Of course I'm okay Ruby. Why would you ask that? I'm just a little worried about you. I haven't heard from you in nearly two days." Came Cinder's concerned voice over the phone as Ruby just smiled gently at her mother's concern.

"I've been fine Mom. I've just been catching up on work. I'm out with Emerald and Neo and Yang getting ice cream. And we were just reading an article about the most recent Grimm sighting... so I'm worried about you. Looks like they caved some guy's face in and killed another over someone rape one of them committed or something. And if they did that over something like that do you have any idea what they would do if they find out someone is entering their territory of crime?"

"I promise Ruby. You don't have to worry about Grimm coming after me. You have better odds of of your Uncle Tyrian explaining what is so funny all the time than Grimm causing me any trouble." Cinder spoke in a calm tone as Ruby breathed a small sigh of relief.

"I'm still worried Mom." Ruby began as she could see some more slightly shady looking people walking up towards the car to quickly examine it before they looked towards Ruby, Emerald and Neo. Seeing Neo walking up to them and whispering something to him causing them to run. "And Neo is busy scaring the crap out of people looking at the charger... but that doesn't matter. You are my Mom... you do legally grey things... I'm worried that Grimm won't be taking it nicely." Ruby whispered softly just in case someone was eavesdropping.

Laughing softly at the concern, Ruby could feel some minor anger coming from the issue but it just caused her to take a deep breath. "Ruby, I'm telling you. I'll be fine. But I'll put more money into your account knowing you, you probably need it after supplying Neo's sweet teeth. I love you and I'll see you Wednesday. But I need to go. Some minor insubordination."

"Don't kill Mom. And I love you too. See you Wednesday. Remember eleven in the morning is when we are meant to be in Glynda's office." Ruby said as she could hear her mother over the other end just smiled at the clarification. "Goodbye Mom. And remember no killing." Ruby scolded as she began to take a few steps towards the car as she could just hear a soft chuckle on the other end.

"Bye Ruby. Drive safely. And tell Emerald to call me when you get back to college... she needs to verify a man's story." Cinder said as Ruby just smiled coming to a stop.

"I can put her on now Mom if you'd rather." Ruby said as she looked towards Emerald who had a raised eyebrow as she folded the paper she had been reading closed.

"No. This is something that can take a while and knowing you, your phone is nearly dead."

"Okay Mom. Bye. I love you."

"Bye. I love you too Ruby."

Smiling as she hung up her phone, Ruby looked towards Emerald and just shook her head. "Em, Mom wants you to call her when we get back. But let's get going... I don't want Neo to harm anyone causing the cops to be called." Ruby said as she gestured for everyone to get into the car.

"Fine. Let's go." Emerald said as Ruby quickly slid the key into the lock to unlock the car. "And hopefully I don't get an earful because of trusting you and Neo to be mature again." Emerald mumbled as she climbed into the car just after Neo.

"That is your fault. Should know better."

Chapter Text


Chapter 14:

The music was becoming louder and louder. It was almost deafening to her. But that didn't seem to bother her nearly as much as she could start to feel slightly light headed. It was a feeling she was at least familiar enough with.

Shaking the notion from her head and just figuring that it was just something stronger that she had drank, Ruby just sighed as she downed what remained of the cup as she palmed her phone out of her pocket. Just frowning internally.

She had no idea why she was even still here, or even why she had let Yang talk her into spending two hours at some party before it was considered alright to leave.

But here she stood.

An hour and a half down and only thirty minutes remained. It was something she had to admit that she was starting to feel a little bit giddy for, but knew that she shouldn't count her chickens before they hatched. After all a lot could happen in one thousand eight hundred seconds.

The only solace to Ruby was the fact that she knew that Neo and Emerald weren't present so it did limit what chaos could be gotten up to. Even though she knew they would make getting back home a lot easier.

Hearing a throat clear, Ruby looked up from her phone as she could see a blond and brunette man just standing there smiling at her. Blushing a little, Ruby began to slide her phone into her pocket as she coughed slightly.

"Sorry..." Ruby said softly as she could feel an arm gently wrapping around her shoulder. Looking towards the offending arm of the brunette, she could feel her discomfort beginning to rise in the pit of her stomach. She wasn't sure why he was being so touchy feely to her.

"You see, my acquaintance, let's call him Jaune. He couldn't help but notice you being by your lonesome, and we felt like that it would be the correct thing to come over and talk to you. You can call me Cardin." The brunette stated as Ruby just took a deep breath as she began to gently move the offending arm off of her shoulder.

"I'm Ruby." Ruby began as she looked towards the blond. She could see he was feeling at least a little bit uncomfortable. But she couldn't for the life of her figure out why. "And I'm actually meant to be going soon..." Ruby said hoping that maybe that was the reason as to why he was feeling like he was.

"Well, seeing as you are looking a bit worse for ware, I think it would be the gentlemanly thing to do is to walk you home." Cardin spoke as Ruby just smiled at the notion.

"Okay. Thank you for that." Ruby said with a small smile as she lowered the plastic cup onto the window sill she had been standing near, feeling a little guilty about that one gesture but she just knew that they were right and it would be a lot easier to walk to the dorm room so she could sober up a bit before she drove back. "It is very kind of you two to walk me back. I should just let Yang know where I am going to be." Ruby began as she felt the larger of the two men quickly catch her hand.

"Nonsense Ruby. Jaune and I'll be back right after we make sure you are safe... we'll be sure to make sure she knows that you are going to be safe and in your room. I mean it is starting to seem like you can't even stand properly." Cardin spoke as Ruby just nodded her head faintly as she began to brace herself against him.

"Sorry... it must have just been something a lot stronger than what I'm used to." Ruby said as the suddenly formed trio began to walk out of the party. A sinister smile over taking their features as Ruby could feel her body moving robotically. "But I'm glad that you there are two strong men who aren't nearly as bad as my mother feared willing to help me." Ruby said as she began to close her eyes, just letting them practically drag her.

"Don't worry Ruby. Jaune isn't going to let anyone else see if he knows what is good for him."

Jolting upright, Ruby began to scream lightly as she could see a light coming on next to her. Placing a hand over her chest, Ruby began to take some panicked breaths as she quickly looked around the room to see her blonde roommate starting to get up, rubbing the sleep by force out of her eyes.

"What time is it?" Yang asked as she started to look around the room.

Taking a shaky breath Ruby just took a few seconds as she looked over towards her roommate who seemed to have taken stock of the situation. "I'm sorry Yang... just go back to sleep." Ruby said as she began to move into the corner of her bed as she took another deep breath. "It was just a really bad nightmare." Ruby continued as she began to take some panicked breath. Just hoping that there was a way out of her getting however long of sleep until her alarm would go off. She might even just text Reese to see if she was open for anything. Even if it was to find some park where they could sit down and just talk for awhile.

"Do you want to talk about it? That often makes me feel better about nightmares... although that is with my dad who is like a big teddy bear but also is a great listener." Yang said as she began to flick her blanket off of her as she began to sit up.

"I get that you are trying to help Yang... but even Reese mocked with the bar I consider a nightmare while we dated. I mean I just dreamt I was at the party you took me too when we got settled in and just two creepy dudes all but dragged me out."

As Ruby chuckled Yang gulped silently as she began to stretch a little as she looked at her phone before walking over towards Ruby's bed to take a seat on it. "I mean... how creepy are we talking about her?" Yang asked as she began to push herself towards the wall as she could see Ruby just taking a deep breath. "I only ask because most people don't wake up screaming at half four in the morning from just creepy dudes at a party. Unless you are shallow and judging from Reese... you aren't shallow enough to judge people by their looks."

Sighing softly, Ruby rested her head against the wall as she took a deep breath. "No. It isn't that they look creepy. If I was that shallow I'd be in a confessional. I was taught better than that. Just something about them felt creepy. I don't know how to describe it... but I think it might have been the guy that was in the hospital that Emerald showed us. It is hard to tell with how swollen his face looked in the picture." Ruby mumbled softly as she could see Yang taking a deep breath.

"I mean... what was creepy? I'm not trying to undersell how creepy it was. It is just so I can get a grasp on the situation." Yang asked as she snapped her fingers before quickly popping up and walking over towards her bed where she plucked up the stuffed bear and handed it to Ruby. "Here. Peaches also helps me when it is something I don't know how to describe or feel about... even if it doesn't work for you... can't hurt." Yang said with a slight laugh as she could see Ruby rolling her eyes gently at the gesture as she accepted the offer.

"I just don't know." Ruby said softly as she took a deep breath as she just decided to bite the bullet. "I know Reese has probably mentioned to you that I don't have the greatest grasp on memory... it takes me actively trying to remember things most of the time. Just something about him... and this other guy... it not only felt like I lived through it before but something really really bad happened." Ruby continued as she began to hug the bear tightly as she could see Yang blanching a little.

Not sure how she should help Ruby, Yang was just left taking a deep inhale. "I don't know what to tell you. I'm not going to mock you... I think every woman has been around creepy guys. Especially at parties. But if you say it was scary, then it was. Do you know what my dad would do in this circumstance?" Yang asked as she got up once more and began to walk towards the small fridge by Yang's much smaller desk.

"I'm already staying up it seems... so why not add caffeine onto that." Ruby rhetorically quipped as Yang stopped to look at her.

"Nah. He'd figuratively kill me about that. He'd read me a fairy tale. Regardless of how old I got." Yang said as she produced an old leather bound book that she rested on top of her desk as she looked towards Ruby as if she was trying to search for any sort of hesitation.

"No Yang. You don't need to. I need to be up in two hours anyway. So I'll just go into the twenty four hour gym... running always calms me down fully. And I'll talk about it in therapy." Ruby said as she began to stand up and walk towards Yang's bed where she gently placed the stuffed animal down. "Thanks for not laughing either way. I know if I told Neo or Emerald they would have... and Reese would have chuckled a little. And I've been friends with two since before I can remember properly and I dated Reese. Even took her to a family party my Grandmother hosted... was a bit of a mistake. Since that day Reese has always been mocking my Mom with that nickname. Which is a shame. I really like spending time with her."

As Ruby spoke she began to stretch a little as she could see Yang looking at her with a raised eyebrow. "You sure? It is super early... like I'm actually debating not letting you go out because not to sound like that woman, but lots of creepy people are out there at this time. Mostly drug addicts."

Smirking softly at the woman's concern, Ruby just took a deep breath. "Drug addicts don't scare me. Most for some reason like to keep a clear berth of me. And it is like two blocks away. Worse case I run the rest of the way either way. I can cover that distance in no time. I used to do track and am stupidly fast. And if not, I plan to call my Mom on the walk down."

Looking at Ruby carefully, Yang shook her head gently. "Your mother seems like the type that would kill anyone over them interrupting her sleep." Yang said softly as she walked back over towards her bed.

"I'm not just anyone... and frankly she'd actually feel a lot better if I called her and told her about the nightmare before I see her at therapy. Especially if my shrink is worried that this time I'm actually going to do something dangerous because not last time but the time before that I kind of said something I regret now... even though I still stand by it. I shouldn't need to take a million and a half pills and then try hypnosis to try and get me back into my memories to find the meaning to some symbols." Ruby said as she walked over towards her phone which she quickly unplugged from the charger. "Besides knowing Emerald... and maybe Neo they not only heard me but already sent her a text as a warning. Especially given the fact that I have a questioning text from my Mom from like two minutes ago."

Smiling gently at her friend, Ruby just gently shook her head as she walked over towards the drawers and quickly pulled out some clothes. "Don't worry Yang. I promise I'm already feeling a lot better just from talking to you. Even if I wasn't, I'll be back in like two hours and we can head to that cafe... according to the cute barista they do all the baking in house and I'm curious about that." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Yang just nodding as she began to lay down.

"Okay... first round of coffee is on you though." Yang said as she let out a loud yawn. "I might not be all that far behind you because I'm not going to go back to sleep and might as well get some form of a work out in." Yang continued as she began to rest her hands under her head.

"Okay. Sounds like a plan."

Taking a seat in the locker room, Ruby took a deep breath as she slide her headphones on as she quickly dialled the number as she closed the door. She couldn't help but laugh a little at the sound of the other end quickly picking up.

"Mom. Relax." Ruby said as she started to walk out of the room. Just a smile as she could see the empty room. "It was just a bad dream and not the normal one... so now I'm just in the gym and going to run for a bit."

"What was it about Ruby? You woke up screaming loud enough to wake up Emerald in a different room. I mean I'm already wide awake and deeply worried about you." Cinder said as Ruby placed the water bottle onto a spot on the treadmill as she climbed up.

"Promise you aren't going to get mad." Ruby began as she could hear a sigh coming from the other end. "It was a dream about me being at the party and two creepy guys came by and practically dragged me out. And it just felt like there was something creepy about them... all stemming from a picture Emerald showed me last night about a guy who had angered Grimm." Ruby said as she took a deep breath as she began to turn the treadmill on slowly. Just enough to where she could have a fast walk.

Hearing a sigh on the other end, Ruby just frowned internally at what it meant. "Mom. Don't be mad at Emerald... we all know memories aren't my strong suit and chances are it was just a false memory or something... I promise there is nothing bad going on. And even if there was we are meant to see each other in a few hours." Ruby continued as she could hear her mother standing up from some chair that Ruby just knew that it was from her office.

"Ruby how am I not meant to worry about this kind of thing? You sticking up for Emerald I'll give it to you is something to be commended about. But if she did even accidentally cause you some issues with sleep..." Cinder said as Ruby shook her head gently as she reached up and pressed the incline button.

"Mom. It is fine. You know it isn't nearly as bad as the insomnia I've gotten in the past. And if it makes you feel better I'll talk to Glynda about the dream... even though she is probably just going to say it is some repressed memory trying to get through again." Ruby said as she could see the first person she had called walking into the room looking as if she hadn't slept but didn't seem to need to.

Just the sight of Reese yawning softly was enough to bring some deep comfort for Ruby. Even if there was a red head walking in behind her as she slid a hand over Reese's stomach. Just the sight was enough to make Ruby feel some jealousy but she couldn't blame Reese.

"Okay Ruby. Promise me. You will." Cinder asked as Ruby groaned internally.

"I promise Mom. Now I've got to go... the treadmill is starting to pick up. Love you." Ruby said quickly and once she heard her mother's response she quickly hung up the phone as she began to flick her headphones off to look at her ex.

"You know when we broke up, I thought I wouldn't get interrupted by you having nightmares..." Reese said as she just began to laugh at the gentle smacking coming from the redhead behind her. "Right fine. Ruby meet Pyrrha. Pyrrha the hot stuff working her fine ass into a tighter thing is my ex Ruby." Reese chuckled out as she felt the strong arm hold onto her tighter in a defensive manner. "And how is Ashes?"

Rolling her eyes gently, Ruby just looked towards the woman she now knew as Pyrrha as she spoke. "Relax. We may be exs but we don't intend to go have crazy sex. Been there done that. You don't really need to worry about that." Ruby said trying to defend herself just in case this was someone who Reese was interested in a romantic sense before she turned to the woman in question. "Two things, one I'd like to think even if we aren't dating anymore that we could still talk to each other about this kind of thing. And two don't call my Mom that. You know she is going to snap one of these days and I don't think I can exactly calm her down if that happens."

"Relax. Ashes is like a wet kitten compared to your grandmother." Reese laughed out as Pyrrha leaned down to whisper something to her. "Fine babe. Go do what you want. I'm just going to talk with Ruby about this... I'll come find you when I'm done." Reese said as she quickly turned her head as she planted a chaste kiss onto her lips.

As the redhead began to walk out Ruby and Reese began to quickly lean forward, watching her walk just causing Reese to chuckle. "You are just as thirsty as when we dated..."

"Shut up. I'm not the type of person who is keen on one night stands like you. But your new girlfriend is hot." Ruby said as she quickly turned back towards Reese who smiled as Ruby began to turn the speed up.

"I know right? Anyways back onto the topic at hand. Your dream. What was it about?"

Chapter Text


Chapter 15:

Sitting down at the chair Ruby sighed softly as she started to rub her eyes. She was just glad at the sight of Yang walking into the small cafe with Neo skipping shortly behind her. A smile on her face as she came to a stop into a seat next to Ruby.

"Hey Ruby want to make ten bucks real quick?" Neo asked softly as she began to lean back as Ruby just took a deep breath as she met her eyes. "Come on. If someone doesn't take the fall, Emerald is going to be pissed. And I can't take another lecture on what is and isn't an appropriate to keep toys."

"Like building blocks, crayons and the like?" Ruby pleaded as she looked towards Yang who had taken a seat as she looked carefully between the duo. As Neo just began to chuckle softly at her. "Ew. No. I'm not taking the fall for your depravity. Seriously just kick Emerald out for a while and invite Mercury over... or get a girl because you keep saying you are bi." Ruby stated as she gently shoved Neo who rolled her eyes at the gesture.

"Come on. I took that hit the time you dated Reese and bought one the size of your forearm and like twice as thick."

"No you didn't. You told my Mom about it and what it was for. Which lead to me driving that monstrosity that I'm positive Sienna knew was hideous and is just waiting for us to scrap it which Mom is far too stubborn to do that. Plus Sienna is a bit temperamental about crap cars and wants to harm normally very very pretty cars for no other reason then she wants to cause us pain." Ruby stated as Yang began to clearly start to become uncomfortable from the comments.

Being snapped from the concentration as some cups were being placed down. Smiling gently, Ruby began to blush lightly as she could see it was the same one that Ruby had embarrassed herself in front of.

"So, if it isn't the woman who thought I was cute. To what do we owe your presence." Blake said with a slight amount of anger in her voice.

Before Ruby could respond, the door flew open as Ruby just began to groan vocally. "Sorry for what you are about to hear?" Ruby mumbled as Neo just began to chuckle as she quickly ducked under the table as a green haired woman jumped over a small partition.

"I swear Neo! I'm going to shove that knobbly vibrator so far down your throat you wont need to find a place to hide it in my shampoo bottle!" Emerald yelled as Ruby began to blush as Yang began to chuckle as Neo slid back out from under the table on the other side as Ruby began to slouch in her chair. Just fearing how far this was going to go. Especially with how far they have gone in the past over similar things.

"Not my fault! You said I couldn't keep it in your nightstand and mine is filled." Neo said with a chuckle as Emerald's eyes began to twitch.

Seeing Yang looking towards her with a slight longing for this conversation to end, Ruby just sighed as she knew what she had to do. It was something that had just caused her to be deeply annoyed by everything.

"Both of you! Stop it! We are in public!" Ruby bit causing them to just mumble looking towards her as they slumped into their chairs. "Seriously. You both are as bad as Corsac and Fennec the few times Sienna had them babysit me while she was talking with Mom... still better than the Malachite twins. At least they didn't treat me like I was a bother." Ruby mumbled as she heard the sound of something shattering.

Quickly looking towards the source, the group just began to wonder what had happened as the raven haired woman began to shake her head. "Sorry. The truck stop bagel is going to be a few minutes longer." Blake said softly as Ruby just nodded her head.

"The hell is a truck stop bagel?" Yang asked towards Ruby who just smiled softly as she leaned back in her chair.

"It's okay Blake." Ruby responded seemingly ignoring Yang's question before she turned towards Yang. "Cream cheese, beef jerky and peanuts... I was curious. So sue me. Not nearly curious enough to question Neo's train of thought between a place like a box under the bed instead of a shampoo bottle." Ruby mumbled a little as she began to brace her head against her hand.

"That sounds so gross." Emerald commented as Ruby rolled her eyes.

"I'm having sleep issues again... and have therapy in like an hour and a half. Plus slightly miffed that in Neo's world taking the fall for something is synonymous with her telling my mother about a toy me and Reese bought for fun times together... but not only that turns out Reese got a new girlfriend who is seemingly the super jealous type... although I will give it to Reese her new girlfriend is smoking hot. Like I'd die from dehydration if I wasn't talking to Reese at the time. Hell she is even in some of Yang's classes apparently."

As Ruby said that Yang began to look at her questioningly as some plates filled with bagels and toppings on the table in front of them. "It is Pyrrha Nikos. And she seems like the type of girl I like... someone who is a cuddler." Ruby said as Yang began to cough as she lowered her mug.

"Pyrrha Nikos? Like six foot in heels... fiery red hair... has legs for days... abs so solid you can grate cheese on?" Yang asked as Ruby just solemnly nodded along. "Damn. Didn't even know she was gay. I might have the reason she is the jealous type. At least if rumours are to be believed."

"What did she catch an ex in bed with a farm animal?" Neo quipped gently as she quickly reached across the table to grab one of the plates before pulling it towards herself. A smile being ever present as Ruby rolled her eyes gently at the comment. "This is why you'll never catch me in a committed relationship. Those things get messy. And not in the fun 'let's spice things up in the bedroom' kind of way."

"Neo... can you do me the favour and not make me want to drag your ass to the nearest church and make you recite prayers for forgiveness as I call the nearest Mother Superior." Emerald mumbled as Ruby just chuckled softly at the threat.

"Regardless what is the rumour?" Ruby asked hoping to change the topic knowing that this would be something that would start yet another fight between them.

"Multiple ex boyfriends ended up getting a side chick that was their ex while dating her... which is all kinds of stupid. Seriously she makes me actually contemplate becoming a full blown lesbian instead of just being mildly curious." Yang responded as Blake came back to place the plate in front of Ruby. "Wait, she is your type but I'm not?" Yang interjected her own point as Ruby just chuckled rolling her eyes.

"You don't seem like a cuddler. She does. And I like to cuddle. Next to a nice fire... a nice book... someone's arms encircling me in a protective manner preventing the troubles of the worlds seeping into the moment. As we talk about everything and nothing. That seems like it would get under your skin quickly."

"I've got no defence for that. It would get under my skin. Why do you need to be such a girl about this?" Yang asked rhetorically as Ruby just chuckled softly as she picked up the hot bagel as she took a bite. "Seriously... who would want that? That sounds like hell." Yang continued as Ruby just began to chuckle softly as she swallowed the mouthful of food.

"I do. I really really do. I mean I do have Neo's outlook on sex... that means nothing. Anyone can do it, and in the case of Reese can do it really really well. But not everyone can cuddle and that is what separates the girls from the women." Ruby mumbled softly as she coughed lightly. "And this bagel is surprisingly good. Could be better if there was like some hot sauce."

"I swear the more I get to know you, the more questions get raised." Yang continued as Neo and Emerald just began to laugh softly at the comment as Ruby shrugged her shoulders as if she was just lost trying to think of the explanation.

"Everyone says that at some point. Even the nuns in high school. But I suppose for them it was mostly because they were stuck in the stone age if you ask Ruby when it comes to what women can do because by the time we got to science our first year she was already beyond the teacher's ability."

Frowning as she sat in the seat across from the blonde haired doctor, Ruby took a deep breath as she closed her eyes and lightly dangled her head back. She knew that this was only going to be one thing.

"Mom told you didn't she?" Ruby bit not nearly as harshly as she wanted to but just glad that it didn't seem to stick to hurt the doctor.

"She told me simply that you had another nightmare. Do you mind if I ask was it the one with the woman with silver eyes?" Glynda asked as Ruby began to frown harder.

"No. While that one sucks it typically won't make me wake up in a cold sweat screaming... at least not enough to keep me shaken up since then making me just decide to go for a run in the gym as I talk to Reese who was a little mad I interrupted her time with her new girlfriend." Ruby began as she took a deep breath a smile being ever present as she began to slump further into the chair. "This was a new nightmare."

Gasping softly, Glynda clicked the top of the pen as she smiled softly. "That is strange... you've never had a new nightmare persay. It was always the same two. The cold silver eyed women as she pours the water on you. And the loud arguing between the couple as another girl crawls into the crib with you as the fighting gets worse. Do you mind if I ask what this nightmare was about? Maybe we can get to the bottom of that one a lot easier than the others." Glynda stated as she could see Ruby just frowning deeper.

"It is stupid. It was just I was at the party I don't remember... I was in the corner were I like to be... and I was starting to feel really bad physically and these two nice men came by and offered to help me back home... but something about them seemed creepy. And then I woke up. All of this coming from a picture Emerald showed me the night before of a guy who was one of them I think ran into trouble with Grimm and is in intensive care according to the newspaper... he was barely left alive when the police found him... all according to a rape he might have contributed to."

As Ruby said that Glynda was slightly taken aback. It wasn't that she didn't know Cinder had pull with the criminal underground. She didn't know how much but if Ruby was the victim of something like that, Glynda had no doubt that she would do something drastic like that.

The only issue that Glynda had was she hoped if Cinder did have that pull she would have enough pull to make sure she got the right person. Especially because if it was true then she had done something horrific.

"So what do you think that one means? Another repressed memory coming to the surface or am I just going coo coo bananas. Either way... do you think I should be back on the crap to sleep properly? This is the second one in as many days and if past is anything to go by you can bet there are going to be more causing me to get less and less sleep until I'm down to bouts of half hours again."

"Chances are Ruby, with your past and the mountains of papers I have on you specifically... it is possibly a memory you repressed and your subconscious mind is trying to get you to remember something." Glynda started ignoring the small scoff coming from Ruby. "But if you want something to be a sleep aid I can prescribe something much more gentle compared to what you were taking and leave it to your discretion to use. It is entirely safe because it would knock you out before you would overdose. Plus it is a naturally occurring chemical in the body." Glynda said as Ruby just smiled crossing her arms.

"Will it stop the nightmares? Because I know I've woken up at the very least Emerald and Neo who are in the same dorm building... and my roommate. And I do feel bad about that. Not to mention Emerald or Neo called Mom waking her up making me feel worse." Ruby said softly as she stood up and quickly walked towards one of the couches where she sat down and pulled her legs up to her chest. "I mean... if it was the one of the two people arguing over something and someone crawling into my crib... I could deal with that. That isn't even all that terrifying. Just some of the words are hurtful... even when I'm not sure if they are directed at me... I can't help but think the man was trying to help all three of us... and the woman was having bad depression or something. She always just talked about how she was a terrible mother and she should just end it all."

Sighing softly, Glynda began to stand up and quickly walk towards the chair just opposite the couch. She was actually a little interested by this new revelation. Ruby had almost never talked about what was discussed in her dreams let alone in that much detail. She figured at least she might be able to get to the bottom of something that was Ruby's mysterious past.

"If you ask me that sounds like a postpartum psychosis. But that doesn't really fit in with our old theory of it being a repressed memory. That typically would happen between a few weeks to months which would be far too young to actually form memories of." Glynda said as Ruby just rolled her eyes.

"I've got no idea what that is... is it anything like postpartum depression?" Ruby asked as Glynda just met Ruby's gaze.

"Sort of. It is far more rare, but it is also a much harsher version of it. It is suggested that if you suffer from it shortly after child birth you should be hospitalised immediately. It leads to suicide... or death of the baby. But what is far more likely both."

Sniffling softly, Ruby began to just stare into the green eyes of the psychiatrist as she began to just frown. "That sounds so sad. Why would anyone harm their child? Especially if they just gave birth to the child?" Ruby asked as Glynda sighed softly.

"No one really knows. There are some theories, but nothing concrete. And I'm not saying I've the answer either. I mean you know first hand about some of the thoughts that go through a depressed person's mind. Add in a new life you are expected to raise into a full blown human." Glynda said as Ruby sighed loudly in understanding. "The main difference is you can't treat it in the same manner ignoring the talking element. But in your case it was down to a chemical imbalance in the brain which is surprisingly common which is treated by one pill a day." Glynda continued as Ruby just sighed softly.

"I still don't really get it. But I mean I know Mom doesn't really understand depression... so I'll take your word." Ruby began as she rolled onto her back as she stared at the ceiling letting out a loud sigh. "Still doesn't explain why my mind keeps dreaming of that occasionally... and those damn soulless eyes."

"I'm sure if we continue our talks we can figure it out. Or at least another working theory." Glynda stated happily as Ruby just grunted softly. "I know it seems daunting Ruby, but you know I'm not going to just give up on you. And I know you don't necessarily have the same drive you once did to find the answers of your past... but it might have the answer to why you have so many recurring nightmares."

She knew that just the thought of that was enough to at least keep Ruby focused on a goal. Something that she knew was what Ruby needed all the time because just a concept wasn't nearly enough to keep Ruby's attention on anything for long.

"I don't think I want to know though... I mean if we were right that they were repressed memories of my life before Mom. Mom has given me everything I could ever want. She has supported me coming out to her... she supports the fact I want to be an aerospace engineer. She even supports the fact that I occasionally want to smoke weed with some friends and her only requirement for that is the fact is she would like to know beforehand how much we are going to smoke with who I'm doing it with and that I don't drive under the influence which I don't mind because I don't want to harm anyone." Ruby mumbled as she began to look towards Glynda again. "And before you ask later when you are giving me the stuff for sleep... I don't do weed much or even often. Just once in a while unless I'm feeling all kinds of emotions that I just don't want to really address."

"That sounds right for your character... although I don't think we should discuss further on your consumption on narcotics. If I know more, I'm legally obligated to inform the police. Just make sure it isn't mixed with anything else like it can be from what I've been told by ex patients."

"Fine... but according to Reese and from other people I've been told it is some of the purest stuff... with almost no people touching it. So I doubt it will be laced with anything. But let's talk about something else."

Chapter Text

Chapter 16:

Walking towards the door, the blonde doctor handed Ruby a sheet of paper. "Take two of those whenever you are having trouble sleeping Ruby. It will keep you out for about eight hours. And the most important thing is to not drive after consuming them until after eight hours has passed. Even then, I'd strongly suggest at least ten." Glynda spoke as Ruby opened the door seeing her mother sitting with one leg tossed over the other as she was flicking through a magazine that was quickly tossed aside as Ruby began to grumble softly.

"I'm not dumb Glynda... if it is meant to keep me out for eight hours, I'm clearly not going to drive a car that has next to no safety features until that time is up." Ruby said sarcastically as the psychiatrist just shook her head. "Thanks either way Glynda... I'll let you know next week if I've used the crap or not. Hopefully I won't need to." Ruby mumbled as she looked at the prescription in her hands. She couldn't believe the cocktails of pills was already starting. But at least right now it meant that she could sleep just fine most of the time if she needed it.

She was actually a bit ecstatic at the fact that not only would it cure her sleeping issues, but it was purely optional. That alone was enough to get Ruby hooked on it. Hopefully it wouldn't really be needed. That was at least what Ruby was hoping or.

"Just making sure Ruby. You'd be surprised. With some of the things I've had to say people who've taken pills especially that exact type. So it is better to just make sure." Glynda said softly as she could see Cinder standing up and looking at duo gently.

"Ruby... can you wait here a bit? I want to have some words with Doctor Goodwitch, it will be like two seconds." Cinder asked as Ruby looked towards the woman in question.

"If this is about me, you can't say anything we talk about in there now unless I give permission right?" Ruby asked just trying to make sure she understood the doctor patient confidentiality situation she was in now. Just the loathing she had towards her mother's overbearing attitude the last time Glynda and her had a conversation was enough to drive her further and further crazy.

"Unless I believe you are an immediate risk to yourself or someone, yes. You are an adult now and are now protected fully with doctor patient confidentiality." Glynda said calmly as Ruby just smiled at the reassurance that nothing was going to be talked about unless it was on her terms then.

"Ruby, I'm just worried about you." Cinder said softly as she crossed her arms looking at her daughter who frowned as she looked at her slightly exhausted. Really that was all Cinder wanted to do. She knew if it wasn't important, she could just threaten the information out of the psychiatrist. She knew it wouldn't even be an overly hard thing to do. But she also knew the second she did that it would put an end to Ruby getting the help she needed with the one person Cinder trusted to go poking around inside Ruby's head besides herself.

"It's okay Miss Fall. I assure you that there is nothing to worry about. At least not that I can tell. She is prescribed a sedative that is at her discretion to take that once she does it is going to keep her out for eight hours. Don't worry, if I do have a fear Ruby is going to do something either self destructive or destructive towards someone else, I will inform you." Glynda said calmly as Cinder just breathed a sigh of relief. Even if it was just from the fact that she knew if it did get bad that she would be informed again. Even if it was a small accomplishment at this point. It was better than nothing. "Is that all you wanted to talk about?"

"Mostly..." Cinder said softly as Ruby stuck her tongue out towards her mother out of defiance against what they all clearly thought was going to be the thing that was talked about. Cinder had to restrain with all her strength from snapping her hand to catch Ruby's tongue as a way to teach her a lesson about it.

"Okay, well then I can't disclose anything else without Ruby's permission. So if that is it." Glynda spoke leading the conversation to what she hoped was a conclusion as Cinder just sighed vocally as she looked at Ruby who had started to fold up the sheet of paper and slid it into her pocket.

"Fine. We'll be on our way. Same time next week right?" Cinder asked as Ruby had already started to walk towards the door just so she could clearly get out of the situation and hopefully to a far more agreeable one to her.

"Yes. Now go enjoy your day. I have another patient coming in soon." Glynda said calmly as Cinder waved towards her gently as she started to walk towards the door where Ruby was patiently holding open.

Smiling faintly at the sight, Cinder just had to admit that she was happy that it seemed like Ruby was at least a lot better. Not to mention that she knew now that Ruby had something to take care of nightmares or even her sleep issues when she needed to. Something that was just what was needed.

"I'm sorry for trying to go behind your back Ruby... just with your history you can't blame me." Cinder said softly as they walked towards the two cars. Where she smiled at the sight of Ruby frowning a little as she spun around to face Cinder. "Don't give me that look Ruby. You've been on suicide watch before from a mixture of a bunch of issues. And I get worried about that kind of thing Ruby. You mean everything to me."

"I know that Mom... it just hurts that you wouldn't trust me enough that if I was having serious sleeping issues and the dream was coming back in full force and not only that but I was getting depressed again that I wouldn't talk to you. I even told you when I was contemplating suicide because of everything that had happened back then. You mean everything to me as well Mom." Ruby said crossing her arms as she climbed up to take a seat on the hood of the car. "Seriously Mom. No matter how bad I'd get I'd always come to you eventually. I just want to keep what Glynda and I talk about between us for a while. Even though I told you about what we mostly talked about. Which was the new dream."

Ruby had to admit that she was actually feeling a little bit bad just from the expression on her mother's face. But that didn't stop the fact that Ruby had to admit that she felt slighted against. At the very least she knew that her mother wasn't as hurt as she was letting on.

"So what do you want to do now? I've got a few hours before my one and only class today and I don't want for our one time seeing face to face today end on a bad note." Ruby stated softly as she crossed her arms over her chest to see her mother just sighing softly as she ran her fingers through her hair.

"Did you eat something substantial for breakfast?" Cinder asked as she crossed her own arms as she looked at Ruby. She knew how her daughter tended to get when no one was watching her and she was meant to eat a healthy breakfast.

"I had a nice bagel at this cafe near my dorm. That Emerald and Neo both can testify to the fact it was filling. But I am kind of hungry... I mean it is nearly lunch time. Want to go to that make your own burrito place you normally like?" Ruby asked calmly as Cinder just smiled faintly.

"Yeah sure if that is what you are hungry for. But you should know by now I can't trust what Emerald and Neo say about you ultimately... you have them wrapped around your finger and could do some real damage to a lot of people if you wanted to. I mean Emerald and Neo both often have firearms with them nearly twenty four seven and we both know Neo is a few marbles short of a game. And Emerald would do anything to protect you and then come back to me like a puppy happy with what it did looking for a reward." Cinder said as she pulled out her key and gestured for Ruby to jump into her car.

"Neo just really bites though... and Emerald apparently has a crush on you. I don't believe it and think it is just Neo trying to get a reaction out of me. Wouldn't put it past her. She does that a lot... especially when I'm driving." Ruby said calmly as Cinder just laughed softly shaking her head. "Seriously... if Emerald does have a crush on you... don't let on that you know. She gets super moody and is already kind of majorly pissed at Neo. I don't want to add more onto her today. Especially because today she has like nine hours of straight of class for the first time since high school." Ruby mumbled as she began to take a deep breath.

"I promise Ruby." Cinder said as Ruby began to get comfortable in the seat she was in as Cinder just shook her head gently twisting the key in the ignition. "Besides, if she did you know I'd lower her down gently." Cinder stated as she gently added in 'like a tonne of bricks' under her breath so she could say she had never lied to Ruby about anything.

"What was that Mom?" Ruby asked looking up from her phone that Cinder hadn't even realised she had taken out.

"What was what? I didn't say anything. Maybe the radio is on the fritz." Cinder said knowing that if by the time Ruby went back home, Cinder was going to need to loosen a connection on the radio just to make sure that wasn't a lie.

"Want me to look at it?" Ruby asked sliding her phone into her pocket as she looked towards Cinder. "Probably just a loose wire or something. I mean we did have to rip out that modern radio to put in the original one. I might have stripped a wire too short." Ruby said as Cinder just shook her head gently.

Smiling as Cinder began to slow down at the intersection. "Nah, it's fine for now. It can wait till you are back home for a weekend. We can make it another mother daughter project." Cinder said knowing that was the easiest way to get Ruby's attention off of it and would give her enough time to just damage something that she cared for.

Somehow to Cinder that was still more of a bearable thing than telling Ruby a lie. At least then she could confidently say that she only had told Ruby one long half truth. At least she knew then that there was going to be at the very least plausible deniability from Ruby. The one gift that Cinder was overjoyed to give Ruby just in case. At least then she knew Ruby was going to be perfectly safe.

"Okay. That should be fun. We should at the very least check all the cars though while we are doing it... maybe scrap that nasty thing Sienna gave you. Bitch destroyed a perfectly good car." Ruby sulked as Cinder gently flicked Ruby's ear causing a loud gasp as she quickly reached up to rub the sore appendage.

"It is a rude thing to do to a gift Ruby. Besides she needs to blink first."

"Still! It is a stupid stupid stupid looking car that was once so beautiful and rare... and she might as well have sent a box filled with dog crap." Ruby mumbled in defiance as she crossed her arms in protest.

"Never said it wasn't. Frankly if it was from someone besides the current leader of the White Fang, I'd snap the person's neck and then spend a fortune trying to fix it. But once Sienna blinks and admits defeat you can bet we are tearing that thing apart and setting it right... but until then, just pretend that it was a poor translation from Ghira to Sienna when they reigns shifted and they went full blown terrorist organisation." Cinder said calmly as Ruby just nodded her head calmly. "Even if more often than not I want to grab her by those tigress ears and bash her head against the hood... but that would cause a lot of issues. So we need to play chicken and wait until she blinks first and destroys the car I got her."

"That metallic purple and neon yellow one? The one that got the suspension jacked up and the lug nuts welded to those super tough and experimental wheels you got from the Schnees? The ones that mysteriously a news report a week later stated they were stolen by a crazy lab tech who was found drowned in Schnee Manor with a message from the White Fang engraved into his back?" Ruby asked as Cinder just smirked gently as she came to a stop in front of a near desolate food truck.

"The very car. Which means she'll give in. Don't worry. Only a matter of time. But I wouldn't go bringing it up in public. The Schnee are still sore about that." Cinder said with a small laugh as Ruby rolled her eyes. "Seriously, you know how much they feud with the White Fang. Best not to add to it."

"I know Mom... now come on. I'm starting to get hangry. I could seriously punch a horse then eat it." Ruby complained as she began to rub her stomach out of anger as Cinder just chuckled. "Okay you're right I couldn't punch a horse. They look too cute. But I'm still getting hangry." Ruby corrected as she slumped in her seat a bit.

"Fine. We don't want you hungry or angry... especially if you want to harm a horse. An animal I know that is one of your favourites. Them and dolphins... and strangely enough felines of all sizes and natures..." Cinder said twisting the key that as Ruby just shrugged her shoulders.

"Not my fault there are a lot of cute animals... plus you always remind me of a mommy lioness. Or a panther. Always circling me making sure I'm protected and well looked after. And you are still the greatest person ever. Even if you can use a healthy dose of religion once in a while." Ruby chuckled as she began to climb out of the car. "Frankly if the main religions weren't blatantly anti gay and anti women doing things outside of being baby factories I'd argue everyone should be apart of one. Especially after the morning I had with Neo and Em. Seriously Neo hid one of her adult toys in Emerald's shampoo and were arguing about it in front of this really cute girl effectively shutting the door on any chance she'd give me a second look because I'm already ugly and now that it is known how weird my friends are..."

Feeling a frown over take her features, Cinder quickly walked towards Ruby before wrapping her in a gentle hug. Leaning down to plant a kiss on the top of her head. "You aren't ugly Ruby. Show me someone who thinks that and I'll show you a liar. You are the most beautiful woman to ever grace the earth."

"You have to say that. Your my Mom. I mean you should see Reese's new girlfriend... a smoking hot six foot tall woman that makes me look frumpy." Ruby mumbled softly as she returned the hug coming from Cinder. "I mean seriously she was super hot... and now I'm just reminded of how I'm single and all the cute single girls would be looking at her then look towards me and my frumpiness..."

"You aren't... whatever that word means. And if it makes you feel better I can have Mercury pay that new girl a visit... or Reese... please tell me you want me to get involved with Reese. I'd love to converse with her. Seriously just say the word and you'll never have an issue with her ever again." Cinder said as they seperated.

Tapping against the shutter, Cinder looked towards Ruby who crossed her arms and just glared at her. "No Mom. I like Reese as a friend now. It is fine that she is moving on. I'm just mad at myself because I don't have a smoking hot or even cute girlfriend. And it just looks like I need to go longer because Emerald and Neo are so embarrassing. I can never not just blush entering that cafe now because of them shouting about stuff like that. In front of my roommate and everything... shocked the same cute girl I really liked. But I know there will be more cute girls and hot girls." Ruby mumbled crossing her arms as the shutters began to open up.

Laughing softly as she could see the man jumping at the sight of Ruby and Cinder standing there before he smiled as recognition seemed to dawn on the man. "The usual?" He asked with an almost timid tone as Cinder began to eye him up carefully.

"Can I actually have no sour cream on mine this time? Oh and extra hot salsa?" Ruby asked as the man nodded before looking towards Cinder.

"Same. And no questionable meat on either unless you want the health inspector really knocking on your door or worse. Or do I need to remind you about last time." Cinder said carefully hoping her threat was being carried over effectively to the man who nodded his head quickly.

"Of course not Miss Fall." The man behind the counter spoke as Cinder just nodded her head. "There is no need to get those guys involved again."

"Depends on if you get the order right." Cinder whispered softly as Ruby seemed to have thankfully become absorbed in her phone once again. "This time they won't be nice enough to stop at the breaking of your foot and ribs." Cinder hissed softer as she could see him quickly nodding as though her message was clear. "Good. Remember no sour cream and extra hot salsa." Cinder said with a cheerful tone as Ruby nodded her head in agreement.

Chapter Text


Chapter 17:

Grumbling as she pressed the key card against the door, Ruby just let out a sigh as she could see Reese sitting on her bed flicking through some magazine causing Ruby to quickly scan the room for Pyrrha who had been resting on Yang's desk chair as the blonde in question just looked up from her own magazine.

"Sup Ruby. Look who stopped by." Yang said with a small smile as Ruby just began to grumble lightly.

"Hey guys." Ruby said as she placed her bag onto her desk as she was quick to open it. "So why did you two stop by? Not that I'm not happy. Just had a draining day and I think my lunch isn't sitting right. I have no idea why I keep trusting that freaking burrito truck." Ruby said as she could see Reese just looking at her carefully. "Yes Reese the one that gave me food poisoning last time. Worst way to spend five days..." Ruby mumbled as she produced a bottle and rested it on her desk.

"Was just going to ask how the deal with the shrink went. But I can see Glynda is already prescribing pills. So probably bad." Reese said softly as she could see Pyrrha quickly walking over to sit next to Reese as she pulled her into a protective embrace. "Seriously Babe. You don't need to worry about Ruby. Trust me, if I went back to her, I'd without a doubt end up in a fifty gallon oil drum. Her mom hates me. And so does her grandmother. Right now there is just a pleasant truce between all three of us which has a key in us not getting back together." Reese said with a chuckle as Ruby just shook her head.

"Stop insulting my mother. I keep telling you that. And Grandma Salem just doesn't trust too well. She got dumped hard by some guy and then just kind of spiralled for a bit. So it takes her forever to come around to anyone new. Even me, at least according to my Mom." Ruby grumbled softly as she began to twist her seat around a bit. "And the pills I got are solely for me to sleep and I'm not meant to be on some regimen. It is just meant to knock me out cold for like eight hours. Which is why I'm glad that for this entire semester I don't have any classes until noon at the earliest." Ruby continued to mumble gently.

Laughing softly, Reese began to wrap a hand around her girlfriend's waist as she heard a soft whimper from her. "Tell you what then. There is a rave happening Friday night. Want to get the gang together? Preferably without Neo. I can't handle another call to the folks from being handcuffed to a hospital bed because she bit me in the neck again. Seriously what is wrong with her?" Reese asked softly as she could feel Pyrrha just looking at her. "You'll be coming as well Pyr don't worry. There is one of my favourite groups there and two lien beers. Plus it is my natural habitat... like you at the gym."

"If I don't have an ass load of work fine. And Neo is just a strange cookie. If it makes you feel better, she bites me a lot as well. Just never to needing to go to the hospital. And Emerald is feeling a bit swamped either way and could probably use a distraction." Ruby mumbled softly as she slide a thick bound book before dropping it onto her desk and turning towards it. "Not to mention if I get enough sleep. Or did you forget that one you dragged me to shortly after we broke up where I just fell asleep in the bathroom and it took Emerald and Neo four hours to find me and you were busy at the bar trying to stop some bleeding."

"Whoa whoa. The hell? You go to raves Ruby?" Yang said as Ruby simply nodded her head gently as she started to flick open the book. "And why do you always end up bleeding it seems?" Yang asked towards Reese who simply just began to chuckle.

"Partially Neo... partially getting into fights... partially doing stupid things. Regardless it always seems to end with all branches of emergency services being called and me getting an earful from my parents." Reese said with a laugh as she turned back towards Ruby. "And yeah I wouldn't want to fall asleep in the bathrooms in this place. It is in this sweet industrial nightclub called Junior's. Really sketchy place."

"Junior's is still open?" Yang asked as Ruby closed the book and looked towards Reese carefully.

"What Yang said. Last I heard Roman said the place shut down... or did he say the kitchen was shut down. Now that I say that out loud I think that he said kitchen and that the forced it to shut down because of his food trucks he kept outside." Ruby stated as Reese just chuckled at the comments.

It was actually something that caused Ruby herself to chuckle as she started to return to her work. "I always forget he has those. But yes Junior's is still open. You may want to let Ashes know you'll be there though. You know how pissed she gets about these things. And Yang. You in? You might be able to find some dude that isn't a two pump chump. Probably going to be hard though." Reese said with a chuckle as Ruby just joined in softly.

"Yeah, that is something I'm glad I never have to experience." Ruby said with a small chuckle as she could hear a knock on the door before she sighed softly knowing it was going to be one of two people. Pushing backwards, Ruby walked towards the door as she could see Yang just groaning internally. It was just something that she was happy that she wasn't the person being embarrassed about something. Especially with how her day was going.

Flinging the door open, Ruby just smiled at the sight of Emerald. At least it wasn't the far more destructive friend of Ruby's. She couldn't help but wonder what was causing the woman even further but very clear stress. She knew that it couldn't be Neo just because Neo wasn't even out of class yet.

"Ruby I need you to explain to me this crap about dna. I'd ask the professor but I'm practically minutes away from beating him to death." Emerald said softly as Ruby just let out a small sigh that she hoped was enough to carry her message across. Something that it clearly did as Emerald rolled her eyes. "I know your knowledge is limited. But I didn't take biology in highschool remember? I don't even care what you remember as long as it is enough for me to pass. Cinder is insistent I pass."

"This really is like highschool all over again. Just swap biology with physics." Reese said with a chuckle as Ruby gestured for her friend to come in.

"Hey Reese. Shut up. You know if Ruby or Cinder wouldn't be pissed I'd gladly beat the ever loving shit out of you." Emerald snapped as Reese just chuckled at her. "One of these days, the second you piss off Ruby enough, I hope you know no where is going to be able to hide you from Cinder. And I just hope I'm the one to find you."

Whistling loudly to snap the duo out of their small fight Ruby just looked towards Emerald with a slight pout. "I don't need you help you Emerald." Ruby got out as she looked towards Reese. "And Reese, you forget your parents gave me a lot of copies of those pictures you thought were destroyed. Like the ones where you tried to swallow your foot to get out of mass because you just wanted to stay dressed as a bunny rabbit. Pretty sure Pyrrha would love to see those photos." Ruby said as she could see Reese blushing as the room was filled with women chortling as they tried to suppress the laughter.

"Your bluffing. You don't have those." Reese said carefully as Ruby just matched the eyes. Something that she was just glad that Reese had seemed to accept as she took a deep breath. "Fine. Have it your way. I won't try and start shit right now... but still... rave. Pyr and I need to leave... I need to go talk with my parents to make sure those pictures don't exist." Reese said standing up as she looked at Pyrrha who had continued to chuckle. "And no. I'm going to try and stop you from ever looking at those. I didn't even know my mom had a camera... who would take a picture of a two year old in that situation."

"Talking about when you were nine Reese." Ruby chuckled as she grabbed Emerald's textbook as she could hear everyone just laughing. "Frankly if I didn't only have one copy I'd show it as proof." Ruby said softly as she didn't even need to look to know that Reese was blushing seemingly for the first time since Pyrrha knew her as she could hear a small fawning coming from her.

"I want to see this picture now." Pyrrha said for the first time in a loud tone as long as Ruby was around. Even with a giggle in there, Ruby could see why Reese was so attracted to her.

Hearing an 'eep' echo in the room followed by the door slamming, Ruby couldn't help but just laugh softly as she looked behind her to see Yang laughing. It was something that Ruby actually enjoyed. "Yeah, Reese was always a weird person. Still really fun to be around. But her logic wasn't something that either of her parents or me that we could figure out. And I doubt anyone ever will." Ruby chuckled softly as she turned back towards Emerald. "Now what exactly is confusing you about the topic of dna Em?"

"Near enough everything. Especially the letters... who the hell decided what they are? Why can't I just use like a q or something." Emerald said calmly as Ruby just sighed softly. "Don't give me that. You know I don't get this shit. Frankly if Cinder wasn't so insistent after giving me a job and an education I'd gladly switch to a much easier major." Emerald said as Ruby just laughed softly.

"There really isn't things much easier. The letters are just the first one of the full name. But you just need to come up with a mnemonic device. It just so happens that for dna... there isn't long strings you need to remember. And if you do them right, you can not only remember the letters but what they pair with."

"Right before my brain melts, I'm going to go out. Figure if I'm meant to head to a rave this weekend, I might as well get some new clothes. Junior's or not I don't want my good clothes ruined." Yang said as she began to walk out of the room.

Turning towards the book again, Ruby just took a deep breath. "And before you ask the same question both Yang and I asked, apparently yeah... Junior's is still open. And I will tell my Mom about me going. Provided I get enough sleep and I don't have a bunch of work that needs to get done. Figure it is better than me needing to just pop some of those thankfully chewable pills. Plus you never know, I may meet my true love there. Worst case scenario I just have some fun with some friends." Ruby said calmly as she quickly scanned the page that Emerald had flicked to before.

"May want to make sure fully that Cinder does know. You know she isn't above tearing apart a place like Junior's to make sure you are alright and you know how things can get if you do something there as well."

"Not dumb Em. I know. Which is why I planned on telling her tomorrow because she is meant to be busy today. Uncle Hazel is coming into town next week." Ruby said as she could hear Emerald just laughing softly next to her. "Grandma Salem is having a party at our place and Uncle Hazel just agreed to help."

"I suppose he probably is the best option if Cinder does need help. Tyrian always angers her and Watts is just as smug and would do nothing." Emerald muttered softly as Ruby just chuckled softly.

"They all would help just because it would be an excuse to see me and because it is something that Grandma Salem wants. I'm just happy Grandma Salem is going to be in town. Because that means she is probably going bake and I even get to spend some extra time with Mom." Ruby said with a smile as she shook her head. "Regardless, let's just make sure you are understanding this. It should take priority for now."


Twisting and turning, Ruby could feel her eyes opening as she could hear the screaming getting louder. She wasn't even sure what was the issue. All she knew was it sounded like it was a bad argument.

"You need some help! I'm not saying that to undermine you! But I do notice the signs!" Ruby could hear some man yell as she could see out of the corner of her eye the sight of a blonde toddler climbing into the small crib next to her. As if she was trying to simply block out how bad it was going to get. "I've lost one wife to it, Summer. Please. You need to talk to someone."

Hearing just a groan followed by a door slamming shut, the blond man just sighed as he walked towards the crib that contained Ruby and the blonde toddler. She wasn't sure what was etched onto her face but it had been clear that the man understood it.

"It is okay Honey. Mommy is just going to stay with her parents for a few days." He said as he gently stroked the blonde toddler's hair. "But it seems your sister is awake." He spoke as he bent down and began to carefully pick her up. "Never forget, you are loved Ruby." He said softly as he raised her a bit more and planted a soft kiss onto her forehead.

Bolting up, Ruby quickly scanned the dark room. She was happy she could hear Yang snoring away. It actually did make her feel a little glad that she hadn't had one of the really bad nightmares. Flicking the blanket off of her, Ruby spun around and placed her feet firmly on the ground as she just sighed softly.

"I wish I could just have a solid night without one of those." Ruby said softly as she reached for her phone just to check the time. As she could see the digits change, she frowned at the sight of it simply reading one thirty. "Guess it is a good thing I got the crap from Glynda." Ruby said as she lowered her phone and walked over towards her desk. Taking a seat, she cracked the pill bottle to produce two clear yellow pill like objects.

Popping them into her mouth but taking great care to not swallow or chew them before she got back into bed just from how in the past how strong the ones Glynda had prescribed, Ruby recapped the bottle before resting it back down.

Quickly swapping seats, Ruby sat down as she just took a deep breath as he teeth pierced the items as she could feel the awful taste flooding her mouth but she just gritted her teeth and swallowed the items.

"Just hope that is going to work." Ruby said as she began to lay down sighing softly as she pulled the blanket back up to her neck. She had to admit that even if it was a vein hope, she did just hope that what she had just taken was going to keep her out and that it would keep the nightmares at bay.

She still remembered the annoying time they had last time of them trying to find something that would keep her out and didn't for whatever reason cause her nightmares to increase. Just the thought of that was enough to make Ruby slightly regret taking them.

Just the thought that that was the trade off she was making was enough to make her want to just shove her hand down her throat in some desperate attempt to grab the chewed masses before they had the option to do their work.

Shaking her head softly Ruby just sighed as she knew that they were bound to work if she was meant to get to sleep because two hours wasn't going to be enough to get her through the day. She just had to hope that the nightmares weren't going to come back.

Sighing softly Ruby closed her eyes once again as she began to rub her face firmly into the pillow as if she was trying to just remind herself that she could in fact get enough sleep and then the day was going to fly by. It always did seem to do that once she had enough sleep.

"I'll text Mom in the morning telling her about this." Ruby said softly to herself remembering the promise she had made to her mother just that day. Just because Ruby knew she needed sleep just as much as Ruby did. Yawning louder then she had intended just from how sudden it came Ruby could just feel a smile take her features as her eyelids seemed to be extremely heavy now. Just the thought of opening them was starting to seem like some ordeal that would be recounted only in myths. It just seemed so much easier to let them stay. Before Ruby could realise it sleep had overtaken her.

"I'm sorry my Little Rose... I can't... I can't do it... I can't be a mother to you."

Chapter Text


Chapter 18:

Jolting up, Ruby began to scan the room carefully. As she could see the sunlight shining in. Grabbing her phone, Ruby scanned the time as she just sighed falling back onto her bed as she could hear her door opening.

"You up?" Yang asked tossing her bag into the corner as she walked in and plopped down on her bed as Ruby just started to groan.

"I need to call my shrink and tell her the pills she prescribed are shit and don't stop nightmares." Ruby groaned softly as she began to push herself up. "I'd love to stay and chat Yang but I have to get a shower in and dressed to make it to my first class."

"You have two hours. Calm down. Was it the same nightmare?" Yang asked as Ruby just groaned as she walked towards where she kept her things for her shower. Just the sight of it was enough to get Yang to worry a little.

She hadn't seen anyone react in that manner to a simple nightmare. "No... it was older ones. And a lot more terrifying. And I don't want to talk about it Yang. I never really want to talk about them. Not even to my Mother who I tell everything. Even when I got a bit suicidal. I still told her. This is just something I can't. Just..." Ruby began as she took a deep breath shaking her head a bit. "I'm going to get into the shower, and call my shrink. I'm not going to do anything stupid. Don't worry. If you don't believe me ask Reese or Emerald... or Neo... about my nightmare of the eyes. They'll understand what it means."

Ruby said as she quickly ran out of the room. Seeing a near dust cloud start to fall, Yang just sighed softly as she stood up and walked towards the door. Propping it open, Yang walked down the hallway and knocked on the door with people which she couldn't believe she was willingly contacting. She still had to make sure that Ruby wasn't going to be at danger of herself.

Seeing the door opening to reveal an exhausted green haired woman who Yang knew was going to be in due to seeing her walking into the room. "What?" Emerald snapped as Yang just rolled her eyes.

"Ruby just had a nightmare and sprinted out of the room. Something about the nightmare of the eyes... and I'm worried about her." Yang said as Emerald quickly shoved off the door and walked into her room. "Um... should I be?" Yang continued as Emerald quickly started to type away a message.

"Probably. Normally when she has it multiple times in a month it leads to bad things with Ruby... and this time she doesn't have anyone to comfort her like Reese." Emerald said as she closed her phone. Not even a second had gone by until the phone in Emerald's hand started to ring.

Jumping at the sight Yang was shocked as she could see Emerald swiping on her phone. "Yeah Boss... her roommate just told me... I'm looking at her right now... do you want to talk to her?"

Before Yang could even respond any sort of denial to the offer, Emerald grabbed one of her hands and placed the phone into it. "Make it quick. This isn't something that she takes lightly." Emerald spoke quickly as she could see Yang gulping as she raised the phone to her ears.

"Make this quick Blondie, or I'm going to drag you to a private meeting with me and some toys I used to put down that oaf and cripple that other blondie. Tell me exactly where Ruby is right now, and tell me how long she has been up." Cinder's cold voice came over the other end as Yang just shook her head gently to try and focus her mind.

"She just went to get a shower... apparently something about calling her psychiatrist... and as far as I'm aware she is only up a few minutes. I just got back as she was waking up." Yang could feel her voice croaking as she spoke as she could hear a sigh coming from the other end.

"Put Emerald back on. And do it quick." Hearing that comment, Yang held the phone out as Emerald just quickly snatched it and raised it up.

"Okay. Okay. She looks like she is telling the truth. Okay. I'll keep you posted boss." Emerald said with a calm smile as she could see Yang still having yet to regain any colour into her face. It was something that made her just laugh softly. Gently smack the blonde's cheek. Emerald couldn't help but enjoy the shocked expression on her face. "Keep me in the loop. And an eye on Ruby. If she has the nightmare again tell me or Neo the second you know. If you thought when you met Cinder for the first time she was terrifying, you'll find out quickly if you let that fester how terrifying she can really get." Emerald continued with a calm expression as she walked into her room after slamming the door shut.

Gasping a little offended by the action, Yang just shook her head as she quickly walked into her room, knocking the door closed as she walked quickly towards her phone hoping that her other option was going to be able to fill her in enough to know if she should be worried about Ruby or not. Even if she knew that it was often like holding onto a live grenade when it came to many situations.

"Hello? What time is it?" The groggy voice came from the other end as Yang just sighed.

"It is like ten. And just listen... Ruby had a nightmare about eyes or something and I told Emerald who messaged Ruby's Mom and like five seconds later I'm forced to talk to that crazy woman with the threat of her falling out of the loop is me meeting a really crazy version."

"Oh... that is not good. You aren't in any danger. But I'll be over in like an hour... two hours maybe. I need to take like caffeine neat right now. I only got six hours of sleep after marathoning really great sex. Telling you, nothing is better than teaching a girl how to eat you out when they've never been with someone or just dudes." Reese said on the other end causing Yang to just shiver slightly. "Could probably use a shower as well... so make it three hours. Nothing should be wrong if this is just the first time this month."

"Apparently it isn't the first time this month... Emerald gave me a long spiel about it happening multiple times." Yang said as she could hear a sniffle.

"Everything should be fine for now Yang. Don't worry. This is a pre-existing thing. Just if you are worried don't be until she stops sleeping. That is when you need to panic because it throws everything out of order with Ruby's mind. I promise if I notice anything like the last time I will let you know. And then give you the number of her shrink who will then hopefully get it back to Ashes... unless you want to go through Emerald and Neo. It might be best if you go through them."

"Just hurry up Reese... Ruby seemed off about it and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried for her."

"Yang calm your tits. Ruby isn't the type that just crumbles out of nowhere. You'll see the signs well in advance. Just if anything does tip her over Ashes will catch her. At least by proxy. It is the way it has always been with her."

"Fine. Just... seriously hurry up. I'll go pick us up some coffee and we can talk."

"Sounds like a plan."

"No doctor Goodwitch! I couldn't. I was forced to live that dream dozens of times. Freaking the triazolam wasn't even that bad." Ruby snapped as she held her phone to her ear as she looked through the glass double doors to her lecture hall. "And I know it is only the second time... but I'm getting the feeling like a trend is starting and I don't want a repeat. I can't have a repeat of that."

"Ruby, I get that. I promise you if you still have it after a few more days, I will get you back on your old course. There isn't anything inherently wrong with the medication I gave you. It is a naturally occurring chemical in the body." The voice came over the other end in what Ruby knew was trying just to calm her down.

Hearing a small chime, Ruby just groaned internally. "Glynda... I'll keep you posted if it happens again. I just don't want to run the risk. But it seems like my Mom is trying to call me." Ruby said softly.

"Okay Ruby. Just you know you can call me if something bad happens and you aren't sure if you can tell your Mom." Glynda said softly as Ruby just smiled. "Goodbye Ruby."

"Bye Doc." Ruby said as she quickly hung up on that before she started to dial her mother back. She didn't really want to talk to her mother about this this soon, but she supposed now she had no choice but to talk about it. "Hey Mom. Let me guess, Yang told Emerald or Neo who in turn told you."

"Something to that sort. But I'm worried now Ruby. Please tell me you've already called Goodwitch." Cinder's worried voice came over as Ruby just sighed vocally as she debated if it would have been worth the slew of extra calls if she just hung up then and there. But she knew that would probably make her the worst daughter in the existence of the world so she had to withhold the urge to end this conversation soon.

"Yeah Mom. I just got done talking to her. She wants me to keep the stuff and continue to use it if I need it until our next meeting just in case it was a once off. But I don't think I can roll those dice Mom. I spent eight hours living that horrible thing. And right now I'm just wasting time before I need to go into the building for class." Ruby mumbled softly as she could just imagine her mother frowning at the comment and just barely with straining her urge to tear up the town to get to Ruby to just try and comfort her.

Hearing an almost defeated sigh, Ruby knew that there was one thing that she could do that would be easy enough to fulfil all it was going to take was some time. "Look Mom, the doors are opening for class. So if you want to reassure that I'm fine and not sleep deprived, we can meet up. There is a cafe called the 'Belladonna Cafe' near campus we can meet up at in like two hours. So we can talk. But I assure you that I'm fine right now. Just shaken up." Ruby said softly as she began to pray that Blake wasn't there because she knew that it would be impossible to recover any chance of Ruby wanting to ever ask her out once she met Cinder after meeting her friends.

"Okay. I'll be there. Try and not be late Ruby. I'm really worried here and just seeing you might be enough to put that worry to rest. And I know we did just have a face to face yesterday but I'm really worried about you."

"Empty nest syndrome much." Ruby mumbled with a chuckle as she just knew that her mother would have been smirking at her. "I'm sorry Mom. I've got to go. I'll see you in a bit. Love you Mom." Ruby said softly as she could hear an almost happy tone coming from her mother.

"Bye. Love you too Ruby."

Quickly typing a message, Cinder smiled as she opened the door and could see the unmistakable sight of the large man behind the counter. As he turned around, she took some joy at the sight of recognition setting in as she just smiled internally at the gesture.

"Mom. Over here." Ruby said as she waved her hand as Cinder just continued to smile walking over towards Ruby as she could feel the worried eyes on her. But that didn't matter. Ruby seemed like she was feeling a lot better about everything. And that is what mattered to her.

"I'm glad you are here Ruby." Cinder said as she gently hugged her daughter who had stood up to greet her. She was feeling some sort of indescribable joy as she could just feel Ruby holding tightly onto her. "I hope you weren't waiting that long." Cinder said calmly as she just held onto Ruby like her life was dependant on Ruby staying where she was.

"Of course I did Mom. You would have gone crazy if I hadn't and I actually really like this place." Ruby said with a smile as they started to separate from the contact as Ruby just sat down. "I also ordered you a coffee. The way you like it. Black two sugars, and a touch of that hazelnut syrup stuff you like." Ruby continued with a small amount of joy as she picked up her own mug that she took a small sip from.

Taking a seat, Cinder began to eye the cup carefully as she just turned her focus towards her daughter whose eyes were looking towards the ceiling. "What is it that you want my permission for especially after causing me such distress?" Cinder asked calmly as she picked the mug up to give it a gentle sniff as Ruby just deflated.

"I wish you couldn't see through my methods so easily. Even Grandma Salem has issues doing that." Ruby huffed as Cinder took a small sip. A gesture that did make Ruby feel a lot better about but that still didn't make what was to come any easier. She still remembered how hard it was to get her to agree to let Ruby go to the last rave Reese had convinced her to go to. "Reese invited me to a rave at Junior's the weekend. And I really really want to go. I'll even take Emerald and Neo with me."

"Go back a bit. Junior's opened up again? I surely thought Roman told me it got shut down." Cinder said calmly as Ruby just laughed softly at it. "I'd like to speak with Junior first Ruby. He did get into some trouble that I got him out of so he owes me." Cinder began as she lowered her mug. "Especially an explanation." Cinder added as Ruby just rolled her eyes at the comment that she knew was meant to be something that would have gotten a reaction out of other people.

"Come on Mom. You know Junior has great security. I'm going to be with friends. You know I'll be fine. I just want to go have fun. Come on didn't you want to go have fun when you were my age?" Ruby complained softly as Cinder just chuckled softly.

"I don't mind you going Ruby. Just make sure you call me before you leave and the next morning. Otherwise you know I will tear up Junior's just to find you." Cinder said calmly as she reached across the table to just grab onto Ruby's hand giving it a gentle but reassuring squeeze. "And for the record, your grandmother wasn't big on us having a social life like I let you have." Cinder continued as Ruby just frowned a little.

Raising her mug to take a drink, Ruby just had to laugh a little. "I find that hard to believe. Grandma Salem was only ever strict about spoiling dinners by eating cookies and eating fun brownies with me. I mean if I dated Reese longer she would have eventually gotten used to her." Ruby said with a smile as Cinder just leaned back raising her mug to her lips again taking a long drink in what Ruby just knew was her trying to silence herself before she said something that Ruby would have found infuriating.

Staring her mother down, Ruby could see her unrelenting as she rolled her eyes lowering the mug down again. "Your grandmother would have gotten worse towards Reese than I ever good. She really was never big on relationships frankly. She figured if she couldn't get one to work, they are all destined to fail and the only reason she tolerated Reese for as long as she did was because you softened her up." Cinder said in her same defeated tone that only seemingly Ruby could drag out of her. It was getting to the point that Cinder was actually wondering if her own daughter had some sort of magic device that she kept hidden from everyone else.

"That doesn't sound like Grandma Salem. I mean I'm sure if I can find someone who doesn't remind her of who her husband I'm sure I can get her to accept a girl." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Cinder scoffing lightly at the comment. "What? It is true. I mean you forget you have dated a few stinkers when I was younger. I'm just glad none of them stuck around that long." Ruby continued as she could see Cinder simply shrugging her shoulders.

"For someone with memory problems I wish you would forget about them like I did. You know they would always come a distant second in my mind to you. They always have and eventually when I get back out into the dating world they always will." Cinder said softly as she caught Ruby's hand once more giving it a gentle squeeze. "Now if you don't mind, my coffee is out so I'm going to go get a refresh. Do you want another one or some sort of baked treat?"

"Cookies please. And hot cocoa."

"Predictable. But it is in a good way." Cinder said with a smile as she walked towards the counter as Ruby slipped her phone from her pocket as she started to send a text to Yang just so she wasn't going to worry about her. Ruby had to admit that she was starting to look forward to the weekend. Not to mention she got to spend more time with her mother. As far as Ruby was concerned suffering that nightmare was beyond worth it just for those two factors alone.

Chapter Text

Chapter 19:

Rubbing her eyes, Ruby just plopped down onto the seat across from who had started to clean her ear with one of the keys that had been tossed onto Ruby's desk. "And to what do I owe the fun of needing to clean my keys again?" Ruby asked as she leaned back and spun around being taken aback by the sight, or lack there of the tall long legged redhead.

"Raided your closet to see if you have anything nice for tomorrow night. Yang let me in but left for something or another... Neo and Em stopped by as well. Something about going shopping because Neo was being... well Neo and after the last rave Emerald totally couldn't wear the outfit that she did. I mean did you know glow sticks stain? And we both know how it freaks Neo out when she does pills... which she always does when we go to one of these and it makes her trip hard. So let's go shopping for something nice... maybe you'll find Misses right. Or just get laid. Both are fun. Frankly if Pyrrha wasn't super defensive, I'd offer a threesome." Reese said as she pulled the key from her ear and tossed it onto the desk in front of Ruby.

"Yeah not happening. You are good but you've only got one mouth. But speaking of Pyrrha, where is the hotness that she is?" Ruby asked as she took one of the pens from the cup and began to just raise the keys up by the key ring. A little glad that they seemed to still be clean as she just tossed them onto a spot at the corner of her desk. "Or are you going to feed into some strange paranoia she has as some form of a rough cure you are prone to do."

Sniffling softly Reese laid down fully onto Ruby's bed. "I wouldn't call it paranoia. Her last seven boyfriends all dumped her to go back to an ex-girlfriend... and one guy was just using her to test to see if he was straight turns out he was bi... but didn't think she was his type which frankly makes me think he should go to a nuthouse." Reese said as she began to place her hands behind her head. "But she knows I'm here... and why... lead to some angry sex... which when I get to her place later today I plan to turn it into make up sex as well. I mean you know me I'm a one girl type of gal that likes a lot of kinky sex. So let's go clothes shopping to see if I can get another round of angry sex. All I'd need to do is mention we helped each other pick out a sexy little piece for the both of us that is going to turn heads." Reese continued chuckling as Ruby tossed the stress ball that was on her desk at her.

"Okay I kid. But seriously, we need to go get you something nice. And I just wanted to talk to you about the nightmare. And personally it is the real reason Pyrrha was fine with me coming here without her. Although we did have a small fight." Reese said as she began to shift herself up with a small sigh. "And I only know of one nightmare where all you'll tell anyone is something about the eyes. Well anyone but me, Ashes and your shrink." Reese said with a smile as she began to stand up seeing Ruby tense up further.

"Is Yang telling everyone?" Ruby hissed softly as she dropped her bag onto her desk. "I just got done talking to Mom about it... who agreed to let me go to the rave tomorrow but she wants me to call her the day after."

Chuckling softly, Reese began to help Ruby out of the chair which she just enjoyed how easy it was. "For the record, as far as I'm aware Yang only told Emerald and me but she was just looking for reassurance which I gave that you are fine because if you weren't the sleep deprivation would become obvious. Which we both know is a bull face lie. So tell me Ruru... how are you feeling about it? What even started it? Because if you start going down that path mentally again... even if we aren't dating I'm going to feel god awful even leaving you alone in the room again." Reese continued as Ruby quickly hugged Reese and rested her head on top of Reese's shoulder.

"It is fine Reese. I only need to get through to the next meeting and if I have it more Glynda promised to put me back on the powerful ones that I don't even dream while on them." Ruby mumbled softly as she took a deep breath before almost regrettably separating from the comforting arms of the woman. "We should go if you are still unhappy about the clothes I have here..."

Laughing softly Reese took a step back. "You only have jeans, hoodies and underwear really... If you want to get over this dry spell all you need is something nice. Just no bright colours. Seriously what is wrong with Neo?" Reese said softly as she just gently caught Ruby's hand as she was about to walk towards the door. "And Ruby... you know if you need to talk to someone that isn't Ashes or the Shrink... you can talk to me."

Smiling as she took a deep breath Ruby just could feel a small longing to do what she always did with Reese when she helped her in situations like this. But she knew that was out of the question now. Instead there was only doing what Reese wanted to prove that she wasn't as crazy as people had been starting to think she has been getting.

"Fine Reese. Finding a woman would be nice. And if I meet her at the rave I might find someone like you just better and less prone to giving me headaches." Ruby said with a small chuckle.

Throwing the doors open, Cinder smiled as she could see the men startled at her presence. Something that she knew what it was about. Namely the fact she was there when they thought they had worked so hard to keep it quiet.

As she descended the few stairs, Cinder just smiled as she could see some of her trusted people walking around her as she could see the man in question gulping visibly shaken up by her mere presence that she was there. Frankly if she hadn't promised Ruby that she could come here she would have been all kinds of overjoyed that she could make the man who she would probably have taken some non necessary parts from before she had the place torn down.

"Junior, Junior, Junior. Imagine my shock to find out this place was still open." Cinder said with a smile as she could see Marcus walking behind the bar next to the man in question that he shoved out from behind the bar. Just the sight of him there caused the silver haired man to Cinder's right feel a clear twitch of anger.

Ignoring that Cinder took a step forward as she could see the man clearly wondering a lot of things. "Now normally, I'd have a pair of pruning shears handed to me as I start to take fingers and toes, with an ever growing sense of joy as you start to get paler and paler as is the way with people who short change me. However it seems you weaselled your way into a safe position accidentally. However, it is a dangerous position you've taken." Cinder said with a calm tone as she could see some questions wanting to spring forth but he seemed to have stopped himself. "You see, my daughter... who you are well acquainted with and what happens to people who harm her or because of their actions let harm come to her... well she heard about the party tomorrow night. And being the great mother that I am have decided that she has my permission to come here with her friends slash body guards... I don't need to tell you what is going to happen to you if something happens to Ruby do I?"

"No. I'll double and triple security." Junior said as Cinder just smiled as she held a hand out in which Mercury placed the crude gardening tool covered in years of crusted blood that she twisted the lock letting the springs swing open the arms. Gulping, Junior tried to fight the grip on his wrist that was quickly lost as it was placed across the counter that Cinder just lightly tapped the dull blade against one of the outstretched fingers.

"I don't need to leave you with a reminder about what happens when people claim to understand what I mean but instead would rather just ignore the very sincere warning about how serious I take things and even more so when they somehow by devein luck get a second chance with me. I mean your broken body has already healed... but you can't grow a finger back and from what I've been told it is a reminder that you can't shake." Cinder said softly as she began to slip the digit into it as she gently pressed down instantly stopping the fighting that she had been trying.

"I swear I understand you Cinder. I'll even go back to the old deal we had." Junior pleaded as Cinder just smiled as she gently smacked him.

"Oh we aren't going back to that deal. That is the deal I give to people I trust. From now on, you run this block and I expect seventy five percent of everything happening to be getting back to me and my men. And I want it before the government gets in on it... which I will find out if you forget how far my reach is. Of course I could take a hand if you want me to drop my requirement to seventy percent. But doing that with this would lead to a strange stump." Cinder said calmly as she slide the finger free and rested part of the wrist in it. "And not to mention if something happens to Ruby and you could have stopped it... well... let's just say that you'd be wishing to be back at this point taking your hand. Do I make myself clear?"

"Crystal." Junior said calmly as the relaxed the grip on him letting him take his hand back were he quickly began to count the fingers to make sure he wasn't dreaming.

"Good. Are you supplied? Raves are big parties where a lot of people start taking things a lot stronger than just alcohol." Cinder said calmly as she took a step back quickly flicking the lock on the pruning sheers which she handed back to Mercury. "I only ask because I'm sure you remember what happens when what I get looks suspect. Especially when I know there is a rave happening here. Which means I suspect a lot of money if not we are just going to be right back here Monday."

"Not really. I don't have the contacts I once did under you. It is a miracle I could get the men I have. Let alone a place like this." Junior said with a panicked breath as Cinder just rolled her eyes.

"Marcus! Go get six party packs out of your trunk. Mercury, give Junior his new set of contacts and I want all of them informed of the new arrangements. I want to hear back from every one of them eventually today." Cinder said as she started to walk towards the door stopping as she turned around. "Oh yes, Junior... I will be having constant updates as to the state of Ruby. And Neo and Emerald know what will happen to them is a lot greater than what happens to you if something bad happens to her while they are meant to watch over her. So if I were you, I'd keep an eye on her and if I find out any of your staff sold her anything harder than alcohol well... again back to you wishing that I took your hands."


Leaning back up, the brunette had a satisfied look on his face as he looked towards the blond man sitting in the driver seat. "I've got to say Jauney boy. While I would have rathered that one chick's tits... this girl is as tight as possible. I swear she hasn't even taken a dick before." He said satisfied as he began to crawl up the naked body with glassed over eyes. Just the sight of it was enough to make him ready for a nother round.

"Do you want a turn with her? I've left without a doubt in my mind what is going to be the funnest and tightest hole for you if you want it Jauney. Because I care about you." He said ignoring the sight of the driver door opening as the blond began to purge his stomach. Just the sight of which caused him some anger. "I swear Vomit Boy if you got any of that on my car!" He yelled as began to shift off of the body he had been hunched over.

"Cardin, let's just bring her back. You've had your fun. What more can you get out of her while she is like that?" Jaune asked softly as the man just began to laugh.

"What are you gay? I've only fucked her pussy four times and her somehow even better throat twice. I still have that ass." Cardin said with a smile as he looked towards the clock on the dashboard. "But I suppose your right. There is always next time. She isn't going to remember this... Even though I have one slight alteration to your idea." Cardin said as he tossed the closest door to him open as he grabbed the ankles of the woman and gave her a sharp tug outwards.

Picking up the rag doll like body he took a few steps away from the car where he tossed the body into the overgrown ditch before he turned around and groaned. "Come on you fucktard! You are cleaning my car tomorrow. I'll allow you to do that. And next time we see her at a party, I'll let you fuck her pussy after I get a chance to have it again." Cardin spoke as he clapped the blond man on the back.

"What if the cops find out?"

"The cops aren't going to find out Jaune. She won't remember. And the only way they will is if you tell them. So let me warn you now Jaune, if I get called in by the cops, I'm going to fucking kill you!" Cardin said giving him a shove towards the car. "Now I'm going to get in the back. Drive me back to my place."

Bolting upright Ruby let out a scream as she began to quickly scan the room for anything that would lead her towards what the dream was about. Those two men having their way with her as they tossed her into a ditch. She didn't even know if it was real or not, but she knew that there had to be something that had triggered such a traumatic thought to enter her mind.

Reaching towards her phone, Ruby frowned at the sight of the six in the morning. She knew that there was no chance that she was going to go back to sleep. And she certainly couldn't trust the medication. Definitely not after the last time. She would take the nightmare she just had a thousand times over instead of the one with those eyes just staring at her.

She was left feeling unsure of who to message but the sight of the orange plugs in her room mate's ears she was just glad that after the single time she learned that to at least get something for her ears to block the sounds of Ruby's nightmares.

Just knowing that she wasn't in the mood for a long lecture about some perceived idea that this was a sign that she shouldn't be in college, Ruby just took a deep breath as she sent a text to the one person that in general wouldn't give her a long lecture about how the nightmare.

Smacking her face gently, Ruby quickly typed out a text which she almost as quickly not even reading it over to give her that momentary amount of doubt, she pressed send. She just wanted to hear the reassuring voice that she wasn't as crazy as she was lead to believe.

Dropping her phone next to her, Ruby lowered her head into her hands as she began to just shake it hoping to just right what was wrong with her. Smiling at the text that had come through, Ruby just smiled as she looked at the message.

She was just happy that at least Reese was awake and had asked her to meet at the cafe. It just made her feel better about everything that she had just experienced. Just the fact that she could talk to someone that would actually help her. It would feel great. She wouldn't even care if Pyrrha would tag along. As long as she could talk to someone that would help her.

Shaking her head once more, Ruby quickly started to get dressed knowing that she was going to look like a slob but that didn't matter. She just had to get out of the room. The room that was getting more and more filled with nightmares. It was almost suffocating. Looking towards Yang to make sure she was out, Ruby just took a deep breath as she quickly shed her clothes and redoned the new outfit.

Walking towards her desk, Ruby grabbed a piece of paper and one of her pens, she quickly wrote a note for Yang in case she was going to wonder where she was given her plan was well stated it was getting her study done early. Happy with the note Ruby left it on top of her books in plan view as she grabbed the stuff she would need for this simple talk with Reese.

"God I hope this isn't a hint as to how the day is going to go." Ruby mumbled as she walked out the room.

Chapter Text


Chapter 20:

Sitting on her bed, Ruby took a deep breath as she just rubbed her eyes gently as she could see her door opening sharply as a loud but happy chirp just filled the room. "Sup Ruby. How do I look?" Yang asked loudly as Ruby just looked towards the woman.

The slightly tight sequined crop top with a matching skirt that Ruby just had to chuckle at the thought of how it was like scales on a dragon. The way the light had been bouncing off it, was just enough to cause a distraction that she just knew in the matter of hours it might just cause countless headaches for her.

"You look pretty Yang. Frankly if you seemed more like a cuddler and you were into women I'd gladly date you." Ruby said standing up once again rubbing her face carefully as she just took a deep breath. "And just keep an eye on Neo. She normally does harder things for this kind of thing and bright lights and shiny objects distract her and makes her go a bit crazy. She has been pretty tame from what you've seen." Ruby said as she could see Yang closing the door and just eyeing Ruby up carefully.

"Wait... this has been normal for her? The woman who tried to make out with me for ice cream? The woman who I've seen bite Reese twice?" Yang asked carefully as Ruby just chuckled softly walking towards her desk. "And for the record... what is with the short skirt and crop top that is closer to a real strapless top on you? Mind you you do look pretty hot in it." Yang said as Ruby took a deep breath.

"Last time we found her trying to tunnel to Atlas through a bag of gummy bears as she drew on an unconscious Emerald and her clothes who passed out tired looking for me and Reese. So yeah you've been dealing with the normal Neo." Ruby said as she grabbed her phone and quickly sent a message towards Cinder as she quickly locked her phone. Reaching down her side Ruby tugged a zipper down as she grabbed her key card, she slide it in and pulled the zipper up. "And for the record... that is a good fact of being as small as I am. You can always find cool things like short skirts with pockets."

Sighing loudly, Yang began to pinch the bridge of her nose. "Okay circling back to whatever the hell your friend was on... they make skirts with pockets? That I think is the most important thing here. I thought those were just jokes guys would say." Yang said as she looked up to see Ruby just laughing softly. "That's actually pretty cool. If you point me in the direction of the store that has those I'll try and be your wingwoman tonight." Yang said as Ruby just shrugged her shoulders.

"I'm not looking for a one night stand Yang... plus Reese will kill you. She demanded that she does that because she thinks it will lead to angry sex with her girlfriend which will turn in a few hours lead to make up sex... not to mention Pyrrha will probably do something brash to stake her claim on Reese which I know for a fact she loves." Ruby said with a chuckle as she could see Yang just sighing softly.

"I always forget you two dated. What was she like? She seems like the type that would call you up drunk because she punched a cop, stole the horse and was on the run before she got busted for trying to steal a sandwich with a fake moustache on." Yang said as Ruby just laughed softly.

"Something like that has happened. And don't beat around the bush Yang. I hate it when people do that. Ask the question that you really want to." Ruby stated slightly drier than she normally would have if she was well rested, knowing that in a few days she was going to apologise to Yang for it... but she just couldn't seem to care at that point because she had already been up fifteen hours and was probably going to be up until six in the morning regardless.

"Fine. You look beat. You sure you are feeling up enough to do this? If this is anything like Junior's last few parties it is going to get wild. You know before he shut down for a while." Yang said in a tone that Ruby just had to chuckle at. She knew that Yang was just trying to protect her out of concern for herself if Cinder had found out but Ruby just couldn't help but smile at that.

Hearing a knock at the door, Ruby took a deep breath as she walked towards it. "I'll be fine Yang. I've been to a number of Junior's parties before. It is the reason we broke out of the dorms at highschool... that and if the Nuns caught us smoking anything we'd need to scrub the entire convent slash school slash dorms..." Ruby said as she opened the door to see Emerald just looking at her exhausted look on her face.

"You telling her how we caught caught smoking behind the nunnery? Could you imagine if they caught us smoking weed?" Emerald muttered as Yang just continued to look at her carefully as if she was trying to figure out why she had been wearing something that she would have worn seemingly regardless. "Should also warn her about the bright lights and Neo's tendency at raves and the sequences are going to make her go a bit crazy."

"Already taken care of. Now come on why are you dressed like that? Neo said you two got a nice outfit for you." Ruby whined as Emerald just stared at her. "You don't need to babysit me. And Neo is right... you probably need to get laid. Maybe then you'll stop being a buzzkill around Yang." Ruby complained crossing her arms as Emerald just stared at her.

"Yeah, I'm not babysitting you. I'm babysitting Neo. And I refuse to wear something that makes panties seem like I'm going to become a nun." Emerald began as she just began to sigh gently. "Plus this way if you need something stored I have pockets. Either way come on. Neo says she has about an hour before the tab she took hits and I'd rather us being there before that. You know how bad she can get. She also says she has some edibles if you want. If not she is going to sell them." Emerald said as Ruby just rolled her eyes.

"Yeah I don't think I'm in the mood for that. But you never know. Come on Yang. You do not want to see what Neo can do when she is tripping hard. Seriously if I had a nickel for every time she did something dangerous... I could probably get Mom to stop doing illegal things that might piss off the wrong people... or have a really cute girlfriend who wants to cuddle like all the time and is interested in engineering... maybe has an adorable laugh... doesn't constantly fight with my Mom and that my Grandmother approves of."

"So you... you want to date yourself." Emerald said with a chuckle as they began to walk out of the building. Just the comment alone caused Ruby to groan as they came to the base of the stairs. "You know I'm just taking the piss Ruby. But I've met Salem... she doesn't approve of anyone except your uncles, Cinder and you. She just barely tolerates me, Mercury and Neo... but would really rather if we weren't in the picture."

Smirking at her friend, Ruby just smiled as she could see Neo and Mercury standing by a car. "Grandma Salem doesn't mind you three. She is just like Mom. Really a big softie and just doesn't like showing it to many people. I'm just the exception to prove the rule." Ruby said with a smile as she came up to the car. "Thank you for driving us Mercury..." Ruby said as she quickly hugged the man who just smiled at her.

"It's fine Ruby. Cinder wants me talk with Junior anyways. And said she wants to make sure you get there and back safely. So this is a case of everybody wins. By me just taking a small detour just remember to call me when you want a ride back." Mercury said as Ruby just smiled as Yang began to look around.

"Hey Ruby... where is Reese and Pyrrha." Yang asked just hoping that her only hope in the car wasn't going to be Ruby. She just knew that swimming with the sharks that were her friends wasn't something that she often liked. Especially with one of them supposedly doing something already with drugs that supposedly make her already crazy self even crazier.

"We are meeting them there. Reese said she had to get some things. I think it is just her waiting for us to get a place in line while she and Pyrrha do things. Trust me unless you are keen to know things about how Reese does things which I'm not keen on sharing... it is best not to ask." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Mercury opening the door for her to climb into the front seat. "Plus she won't be far behind. Just relax. And maybe sit by Emerald not Neo." Ruby said with a laugh as picked up as she could see Yang just sighing.

"Anyone got any idea what she means?" Yang asked softly as Emerald rolled her eyes as she started to climb into the middle seat.

"Edible panties... or convincing someone to wear them. According to Ruby they are uncomfortable because they are just really like a tough gummy bear. Frankly I don't mind them. You know unless someone stops half way through and you are forced to wear them. Or if you don't shave or wax your parts. Which you should do anyways if someone is going to eat you out. No one likes picking hair out of their teeth." Neo chuckled as she started to skip around the car as Yang just sighed deeply as she climbed into the car.

"Ruby your friends are weird." Yang said as she climbed next to Emerald as she could hear a soft laugh in front of her. Something that Yang just knew was something that she heard which meant that she had heard what Neo had said. Which meant that she at least could get the answer to that. "And is she right?"

Groaning softly Ruby just looked towards the man in the front seat as if sending him a message. Happy that it was carried as the man held up his hands in his defence. "She isn't entirely wrong. That is what Reese almost always does. And she isn't wrong about how hair in your teeth is awful after doing that... but she is wrong about Reese being a quitter once she starts. It is just the fact once they are gone you don't have anything covering you down there and I always wear skirts to these things and when I dated Reese they were a lot shorter... so it was a mental challenge. And not an overly fun one with the long list of ones I had been dealing with at the time." Ruby stated as she took a deep breath. "Now let's not talk about that... how about let's talk about how thus far everyone was surprised Junior's was still open despite how fun his parties can get... you know when the twins aren't being jealous bitches that always treat me like I'm five... especially because they can't get laid because they always fight with each other over the same person."

"So you hope they aren't there?" Emerald asked as Ruby just grunted an acknowledgement. The sight of which just caused Yang to smile because at least that had seemed normal compared to what she had experienced with the people close to Ruby.

"I don't think they will be. And Neo, boss says no undercutting because we all know you are going to sell and that Junior owes people a lot of money and doesn't want his debts to come in short." Mercury said driving up to a spot in a seemingly abandoned area as he twisted the key and gestured for them to climb out.

Gently catching Mercury's arm, Ruby smiled softly as she took a deep breath. "Guys, go on ahead. Try and see if Reese is here. I want to talk to Mercury in private." Ruby said as she could see the trio just smiling and nodding as they started to leave as Ruby could see Mercury sighing loudly. As if he had already expected what it was that Ruby wanted to talk to him about. Not that it was going to stop her.

Seeing the doors close as she took a deep breath Ruby turned to face Mercury and just gently glared at him. "He is hitting you again isn't he Mercury? I know you are hiding a bruise because I recognise a shitty makeup job on your jaw. And it explains why you've all but ignored times we've offered to meet up." Ruby began as she could see the man just slouching a little. "Merc... you know I won't stop at anything to help you. I'll even lie to Mom if that can help you." Ruby continued as she could see the man just looking at her.

"Ruby, your concern is noted. But I do have a plan. Don't worry. I'm still staying at Emerald's place and the only time I see the prick is when Cinder wants us to work together." Mercury said calmly as Ruby just took a deep breath and sighed softly.

"I'll talk to Mom tomorrow. Just... don't do anything rash Merc. I worry about you just as much as I do any of my friends. Maybe more so because Neo's dad still loves her, Emerald doesn't have parents and she is almost always around me... and Reese somehow has a magic trick which she can jump into danger and out of it a worrisome amount of the time. And Yang again still has parents that supposedly both do love her even though she hates one of them. But you are one that is in a bad environment." Ruby said softly as she could see him just smiling softly.

"I promise Ruby. If something bad does happen to me, or I get into a bad mind set, I will tell you. You have to just trust me that I do have a plan. Now just put it out of your mind. So you just get to enjoy your time tonight. Okay?" Mercury said as he reached for the handle as Ruby just sighed. "I promise Ruby. I'll even pinky promise if that makes you trust me a bit more."

Smiling gently at him Ruby held an extended little finger as she could see Mercury just rolling his eyes gently as he looped his own around Ruby's. "For the record Merc... I do trust you. You don't need to keep telling me to trust you. I just don't trust your Dad. And once I'm done talking to Mom tomorrow, you'll hopefully be fine. Just don't do something drastic that is something you can't take back." Ruby said gently as she shook their hands still joined at the finger.

"I promise you Ruby. I won't do something drastic. Now seriously let's get going. Cinder is expecting me to check in at a specific time and I'm sure that you don't want to sit in a car all night with me. You never know you might find that special girl." Mercury said as he opened the door and just smiled as Ruby was quick to follow after him.

A smile at how she had just at least been reassured that her friend was at least going to be well looked after. She skipped gently towards the building with the group of people just outside. Where she had to admit that she could recognise a number of the people. As she came to her group of friends she just blushed as she could see the outfit of pseudo metal like colour golden cloth Pyrrha had been wearing with a blush about how she had clearly been uncomfortable from the amount she was wearing as Reese had seemingly an outfit that Emerald must have been meant to wear or something.

Ruby didn't get much of a chance to check Reese out as she quickly hugged her with a smile. "Sweet you're here. Want to get us past the security? Because we both know you totally could because Junior has appeared and went back inside like four times. See there he is." Reese said pointing as Ruby was quick to look as she just waved at him seeing recognition starting to dawn in his eyes as he gestured for her to come.

Smiling Ruby gestured for her friends to follow as she could see some angry people in the line as she came up to the security guard with Junior standing next to him. "Hey Junior. You look well. Can we go in please?" Ruby asked softly as she could see the man just soften his expression at the sight of her.

"I was actually looking for you. I just wanted to make sure you got here safely." Junior said with a smile as he patted the security guard's shoulder to step aside as Ruby and her friends started to walk in. "Blonde. What are you doing? Did you forget about last time?" Junior asked coldly as he held a hand out to stop her as Ruby just stopped in her tracks as she spun around.

"No Junior. She is with me. I promise whatever happened last time won't happen again." Ruby said as she could see him begrudgingly letting Yang walk up next to her simply sticking her tongue out at him. "Yang, behave." Ruby said as she gave Yang a gentle shove. "By the way Junior, Mercury has a message from my Mom for you... he isn't here for the party tonight." Ruby said as she could see him gulp and just wave them on through. Shrugging her shoulders, Ruby started to walk in with the group of her friends as she just smiled knowing that tonight was going to be a good night for her.

Chapter Text


Chapter 21:

Feeling the music already booming in her chest, Ruby just smiled internally as she took a deep breath as she could see Neo just smiling as she quickly hugged her that Ruby just groaned internally at. As she could see her quickly leave into the crowd. Chuckling softly Ruby looked towards Emerald who just smirked at her.

"Twins are on the bar. Can you not fight with them Ruby? I'd rather as few issues as possible tonight. And pulling you away from potential corpses isn't an idea of fun. And remember don't drink anything you didn't buy and keep in your eyesight. You know how Neo gets." Emerald said calmly as she could see Ruby simply rolling her eyes.

"I promise I'm not going to start anything... and I'm not dumb. So on an unrelated note I'm going to go towards the bar to see if they are going to be bitches." Ruby said as she could see her friend sulking as she started to follow after her.

Walking up Ruby frowned as she could hear the duo chuckling as they stopped tossing bottles between each other. "Aww... who let the baby out past her curfew? Do you want us to make you a cup of hot milk?" The twin dressed in white asked softly as she poured some of the liquid from the bottle into the steel cup. "We'll even put in some chocolate powder to make it go down easier."

"How about I punch you in the throat Milt?" Ruby mumbled crossing her arms as she could see a confused twin dressed in red walking towards them.

"I'm Milt. That's Mel. Honestly I figured if anyone besides out parents and Junior you should know the differences." Milt said as she could see Ruby rolling her eyes as Emerald just sighed next to her.

"I do. You two want to be bitches to me tonight I'm going to bitch back and I know that is the easiest way to get both of you angry." Ruby said as she could hear a throat clear next to her. "Oh my god Emerald. Did you leave Neo unattended while she is getting high? Must I remind you how that is equally as bad as tailing me all night? Because when Neo gets into trouble I get sucked in." Ruby said as she could just hear Emerald sighing as she reached across of her and placed something into the waiting hands.

"Don't instigate Ruby. Cinder has given me permission to cut you off and drag you out by force if I need to. So don't make me use that. That should cover any drinks you want tonight." Emerald said calmly as she placed a hand on Ruby's back and started to walk away. Ruby just smiled as she could see the twins just frowning a little at what she knew was the fact there wouldn't be the back and forth they had gotten so familiar with in recent years.

"Just can I have a Green Russian? Top shelf stuff." Ruby said crossing her arms as she could see Mel just chuckling. "Seriously not tonight. I'm not afraid of decking one of you in the throat. I've been dealing with shit and I just want to have fun and not remember most of the night."

"A Green Russian will do that... but you sure Mommy dearest isn't going to cave our skulls in for giving you one?" Melanie asked rhetorically as she she grabbed a bottle of absinthe resting behind her. "What do you think Miltia? You want to run the risk?" The twin dressed in white continued to ask as she could hear a chuckle next to her.

"I would. Just a heads up though Ruby... Cinder asked Junior to make sure the hardest thing you take in tonight is alcohol. And by extension every single member of staff here has been told to not sell you anything else." Miltiades continued as she took a deep breath at the sight of Ruby rolling her eyes.

"I've got Neo who already has edibles that I can take if I really wanted some. Right now I'm again planing on just forgetting the night. Maybe fall into the arms of some cute girl... probably nothing funny going on. Unless she is really really hot. Like at least as hot as the one that Reese is now dating... the red head who is so hot the fire alarms should be going off." Ruby said calmly as she heard a small laugh as a pale green drink was being placed down in front of her. "Right hopefully we won't see each other that much until I'm wasted." Ruby said tapping the counter as she walked into the crowd taking a small sip from the liquid.

She could already feel the warming liquid flowing down her throat as the booming sounds as she just smiled and begun to slink over towards one of the many tables that had been pushed to the side. The best thing she had to admit though was just because she was no longer dating Reese, she wasn't already being dragged onto the dance floor to make a fool of herself. She knew that she could wait at least until her drink of choice started working. Maybe then she could be convinced to go onto the dance floor.

Resting against the wall by the table, Ruby just took a deep breath as she could see Neo weaving in and out of the crowd in what she knew was Neo's attempt to avoid Emerald while she just continued to let her high go wild. The sight of Yang seemingly being at ease as she was dancing at the fringe was just an attempt in Ruby's experience of people wanting an escape route from Neo. Just the sight was a chuckle worthy thing. Hearing a small throat clear next to her, Ruby looked towards the responsible person to see the orange haired woman with a swishing pink tail behind her.

Looking at the glass Ruby had been drinking, she just smiled at the lack of contents when she knew that she hadn't even left it alone. "So what is a cutie like you doing all the way over here all by yourself?" The woman asked as Ruby just downed the mouthful of what reamined of the off green liquid.

"I'm just not much of a dancer and only came because I was practically dragged." Ruby half lied as she could see the woman just smiling as she moved closer towards Ruby. Just the sight of which made Ruby blush a little as she could feel the tail slowly running along her back as the woman came to a stop next to her. "Do you mind not rubbing my back with your tail?" Ruby asked calmly as she could see an almost hurt expression develop on the woman's face. "It isn't because I'm a racist... far from it. It is just distracting and you are already really distracting. With your pretty eyes." Ruby said blushing a little as she could see the woman leaning a bit closer to her.

It was at the stage where Ruby could feel her breath on her skin as she leaned up to her ear. "It's fine. But my tail kind of has a mind of it's own. Once I see someone as pretty as you it tends to go wild." The woman continued as Ruby was just glad that chances where she hadn't seen the blush that was all over Ruby's face. "So does a pretty girl like you want a drink?" The woman continued as Ruby could feel the tail gently coiling almost around Ruby's arm.

"Um I'm fine. I recently had a bad experience with someone getting me a drink. But I would love to continue talking to you. So I'll buy you one. I'm Ruby by the way." Ruby began as she could see a smile coming from the woman. "What's your name? I bet it is as pretty as you are." Ruby said with a smile as she could see an almost sly smile develop on the woman's features.

"The name is Neon. And it isn't nearly as pretty as yours. And if you are buying, I'll take some sex on the beach. And for the drink a blue Hawaiian." Neon said as Ruby rolled her eyes.

"Like I haven't heard that joke from an ex-girlfriend before. So you want a blue Hawaiian?" Ruby asked as she could see the Faunus just smiling at her.

"Yeah. While you go get those, I don't suppose you mind if I get some party things. Unless you don't like it when women party."

"Go ahead. I actually really like it when people party. It always makes for some fun times." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Neon just smiling at her. "Just make sure that it isn't anything super strong... we don't want your really pretty tail to get into trouble now do we?" Ruby said in what she knew was a pitiful attempt at flirting, but she had to admit that this woman didn't seem that bad of an escape away from everything she had been going through and even the slight feelings she had during the day and ride there and right before Neon seemed to vanish as Ruby had talked to her.

Walking up to the bar, Ruby was glad that she could see the twins having finished whatever order they were previously making as Ruby came up to the bar. She just smiled at the sight of them seemingly getting into a groove as Ruby just took a breath to prepapre herself for the tirade that was going to come.

"Blue Hawaiian and Green Russian." Ruby said as she could hear some soft chuckling coming from them as they started to gather the bottles to make the drinks. "Don't either of you even start. I will gladly pop the both of you in the throat. I just want the drinks not a lecture." Ruby continued as she had to ignore the sound of them chuckling at the sight.

Seeing the two glass quickly getting filled with the coloured drinks, Ruby just smiled as she could hear the chuckling dying down. "Don't let the cute girl get away. It would suck if you had to sit on your hands to get off tonight." The twins said in unison as Ruby just shot them a glare. "Go ahead... stay here and prove us right." They continued as Ruby grumbled as she began to walk away from them with the two glasses.

All that Ruby cared about at this point was the fact that she had gotten away from them. Not to mention she could see the woman waiting patiently by the table with a smirk being ever present on her face as Ruby just took a deep breath and came to a stop by the table as she held out the blue cocktail that the woman took with a cheery smile on her face.

As the woman accepted the drink, Ruby took a deep breath as she could see the woman just looking at her with a smirk. "So tell me Ruby... do you like to party?" Neon asked as she gently took the glass in Ruby's hands.

"Depends on what type of party we are talking about..." Ruby said looking away from the Faunus as she could feel the tail gently wrapping around her arm. Just the feeling of the fur was enough to get her to be distracted further as she coughed gently into her hand.

"Oh you know... take something and then we make out. Something that is a lot easier to do with you facing me." Neon said as Ruby began to feel a blush taking over her face. She wasn't sure why the woman was having that much of an affect on her but what Ruby did know was that she did have one.

"It is just that you are very distracting with your pretty face."

"Why do you keep brining that up? Do you want to take it for a test drive or something. Because that would be something I would be happy to accommodate. Especially to someone like you." Neon said as Ruby began to twist around to look at Neon. Smiling as she leaned a bit closer to Ruby. "Of course I can stop whenever you want... you just need to tell me that you want it all to stop." Neon continued her lips just barely being seperated from Ruby.

Gulping loudly, Ruby knew that Neon had to have heard it. There was no way she couldn't. Ruby knew that Faunus had excellent hearing and being this close not even the music would be enough for Ruby to hide the fact of how flustered she was getting about the entire situation.

Gently capturing Ruby's lips, Neon was just over joyed to see that she hadn't fought back and instead started to deepen the kiss. The feeling of the Faunus' slightly rough tongue was not only the answer to an age old question Ruby had since she remembered meeting Faunus for the first time. But it did seem to relax her so much more feeling the strong hand simply holding onto her as the tail that had caused so much distraction to Ruby slide behind her as if it would block her escape somehow.

Breaking for air, Ruby could feel the blush seem to quadruple while it overtook her features leaving her with no idea as to how she was meant to respond to the woman's actions. "This isn't something I normally do... I guess the Green Russians are really starting to kick my ass." Ruby said as began to shake her head gently as she could feel a hand just holding onto her own holding her close.

"Ruby, you need to relax. Don't let your brain get all clouded like that. Tell you what, do you party? You never did answer that." Neon said as she reached into her cleavage to produce a small plastic baggie filled with several off white pills. "Because if you take one of these you'll feel a thousand percent better. Maybe you'll even relax a bit." Neon continued as Ruby suddenly was sucked back into reality at the sight of the clear narcotic in the woman's hands.

"Me partying depends exactly on what those are. I've only ever smoked weed before. And there are a lot of people who would be overly pissed if I do anything harder. And I don't mean just yelling I mean there might be actual dead bodies." Ruby said as she could see a small frown on the woman's features.

"It is a lot like weed. Just it doesn't dull your senses. I promise it isn't anything major. It is just ex and it is fairly pure. I know a guy who I just happened to pass by when I was looking for someone to sell me something. He is a pretty lax guy." Neon said as she began to quickly palm the bag as she just smiled at her. "I'm not going to force one down your throat. But it is here if you want to try it." Neon said softly as Ruby just smiled faintly.

"You promise it isn't anything major? I don't want a pretty woman like you to be hurt." Ruby asked as she could see the woman just smile at her as she popped the seal open and popped one of the pills into her mouth as she swallowed it.

"See? It is fine. Do you want one?" Neon asked softly as she could see Ruby just smiling at her. A smile that Neon could read clearly as she placed a second pill between her lips as she leaned down the short distance as Ruby raised up to meet her.

Feeling the pill being pushed into her mouth, Ruby felt a little giddy as she knew that she was breaking a rule her mother had set in stone for so long. Pulling back, Ruby gulped as she could see the woman just smiling at her. A smile that Ruby just had to repeat as she lowered the drink down onto the table as she looked up at her.

"So before we continue making out... I've got to know, how does a hot woman like you not have a woman already here making furiously out with you? Like say a girlfriend... I'd ask about a boyfriend but no woman who likes boys kiss like that." Neon asked as Ruby just sulked softly as she stared up into the green eyes.

"You're right. I don't like boys. And I'm single. As for why people aren't over here maybe it is because this incredibly hot girl already started making out with me." Ruby said as she could feel Neon leaning down capturing her lips once more in a nearly possessive manner. One that Ruby was more then happy to allow as she felt them being spun around with her back to the wall. Ruby just had to smile into the kiss as she slide her arms up around the woman's neck as she felt the tongue starting to wrestle with her own.

Just the feeling of the slick muscle pinning her own down, Ruby just had to admit that she was starting to feel a heat over take her as her body began to feel like it was being alighted with fire as she felt the other woman's hands grace across her skin. The feeling of which was making Ruby feel more and more elated. Especially with how the woman had come out of the left field. It was actually something that was the near perfect in its own right.

It was even a pleasant feeling and enough to make her start thinking that this woman was set up with her. It was at the stage that Ruby didn't even really care about if it was. She was just going to focus solely on this woman's tongue in her mouth.

"Want to get away from the public eyes?" Neon whispered softly as Ruby just smiled at her.


Chapter Text


Chapter 22:

Feeling herself being picked up and pinned to the wall, Ruby felt a squeal of joy slip past her lips as she felt the Faunus' tongue furiously wrestling with her own. Just the thought of what else the clearly talented muscle would be capable of. The only issue that Ruby had was she had wished that she had maintained some sort of landscaping as they broke for air.

Just the feeling of Neon quickly diving for her neck. Feeling the countless pecks against her skin that felt like fire being extinguished before it would be ignited in another place. She knew that while her hands probably should have stayed idle as she felt one of the Faunus' hands slide up her leg and under her skirt, Ruby just happily started to free a hand to start to grope the larger breasts with one hand as she used the other one to hold the woman's head firmly in place.

Moaning as she could feel the distinct feeling of teeth starting to dig firmly into her neck in a possessive manner. She could feel the dampening feeling of her panties start to increase as Ruby just let out a louder moan as she could feel a hand sliding into her panties cupping her bare ass. Just the feeling of the fingers sinking in to the soft flesh was making the situation start to set in.

"Neon... we shouldn't... we just met." Ruby said as she began to remove the head on her neck as she could see an almost feral look in the woman's eyes that just made Ruby beyond thankful for the woman bracing her against the wall. "I've never done this before with a woman I just met." Ruby whimpered softly as she didn't making any further move to stop it. Just the feeling of the hand already flexing its hold onto her.

"But you have done it before haven't you?" Neon asked in a husky tone as directly into Ruby's ear. "Hell your hand is already seeming at place on my tits." Neon continued as Ruby let out an excited sigh.

"Yes I have... just never so soon from meeting someone." Ruby said as she could feel the breath just going heavily against her ear.

"Then just let your body do what it wants to do. And judging by the wetness on my leg... and even touching my fingers meaning you are soaking like you have the sea in there..." Neon continued as Ruby gulped audibly to her own ears meaning that Neon must have heard it. "You just need to say you don't want to do it Ruby... and we can happily go outside again... enjoy the music... have some drinks and talk. And I'm sure if you know how Faunus like me have really really good hearing... and even smell..." Neon said as she shifted her head to gently place a kiss onto Ruby's lips before separating. "And I can smell how sweet you are... I'm already wondering if you'd like to see if the other stereotypes are true about cat Faunus."

"Please..." Came Ruby's almost feeble response as she felt the woman leaning in once again with a smirk as she began to start the war of the tongues all over again as she felt Neon's other hand quickly pull her top down to quickly free her breasts in as quick a manner as possible before Ruby felt the hand being placed onto her breasts.

The feeling of another woman's hands on her body in such a manner, after so long, it was an almost indescribable joy to Ruby. She didn't know how to describe the longing she didn't even know she had really. All she knew was feeling of the coil that was her climax was tightening the more and more this woman had been playing with her body.

Wincing a little as she felt the balled up bar towel being pressed into her shoulder, Reese just took a deep breath as she could just feel the concerned coming from Pyrrha as she held it tightly to the injury.

"The bleeding doesn't look like it has stopped much. Now do you mind telling me why she bit you?" Pyrrha asked as she could see Yang grabbing another towel filled with what they knew was ice.

"Personally I thought you and Ruby where lying about her biting people... and it looked deep." Yang said in a soft tone as she could see Pyrrha removing the blood soaked white fabric being replaced by the chilly one that Yang had formed. "Seriously... what the hell? Why does she do that?"

"Nobody knows really Ruby claims she does it when she likes something... And in my experience it will be fine in a bit. I just hope Emerald or Ruby can get her to calm down a bit because she is actually tripping a bit hard." Reese said with a slightly pained tone as the pressure was reapplied five or six fold. "Relax Pyr! Neo is like one of the last people I'd sleep with. I'd seriously would rather sleep with my Mother. And I'm not even into that kind of thing. Seriously Neo is such a bitch that always draws blood from me."

Hearing a small sigh, Reese glanced over to see Emerald cracking her neck as she gestured across the bar. "Where is the vampire? And did she sharpen her teeth since the last time?" Reese asked calmly as Emerald just took the phone offered to her.

"Neo locked herself in the female bathroom, and I can't find Ruby... so you best hope that Cinder is caught in a pleasant mood." Emerald said coldly as Reese began to cough as she could see Yang pale.

"Calm down. There is a chance she is outside... or locked in the bathroom with Neo. You know she doesn't really do loud music and dancing." Reese said as could see Emerald rolling her eyes.

"I mean what is so bad about this woman?" Pyrrha asked softly as she could hear the two bartenders laughing softly.

"You really are new. A lot of things are bad about it. But the bathroom thing isn't far off. Ruby has been drinking Green Russians and looked like she went in with a Faunus woman a while back. Do you think she got or is getting some?" Milt said with smile as Reese and Emerald just chuckled softly.

"Ruby is the wine and dine type. Not drinking Green Russians and going into the bathroom of a place like this to get some." Emerald said as Reese nodded along. Pressing the phone to her ear Emerald took a deep breath knowing that this was probably going to end one of a handful of ways. Most of which being bad. "Boss. Neo is getting hit hard and locked herself in the bathroom... and we've lost sight of Ruby. The twins said last time they saw her, she was leading someone into the bathroom."

Hearing a gulp as Emerald held the phone out towards the bartenders who shared a look as they clenched a hand and began to shake them before a sigh coming from the white dressed member of the duo as she placed the phone to her ear.

"Seriously what is so bad about this Cinder woman?" Pyrrha asked softly into Reese's ear as she lifted the towel to check just smiling at the lack of blood flowing.

"Pyr, trust me. It is super complicated. Just so you know... she is the reason you don't need to worry about me and Ruby because I wasn't joking about the fifty gallon drum thing. And I doubt it would be investigated properly."

"No Cinder Ma'am. I swear it didn't look fishy and my sister and I prepared every drink ourselves and we've been following orders to keep our eyes on her as well as the security hasn't reported her walking out of the front door or even one of the other ones." Melanie said with a sort of manner that none of the group but her sister and Emerald had seen before. "Yes... I'm aware what will happen if something befalls her... yes... we will get the keys to check the bathrooms and notify Junior that Ruby is missing. Yes the building will be placed on lock down." She continued as she elbowed her sister in the ribs.

As if she got the hint the twin that had mocked Pyrrha had quickly ran off as the one remained on the phone. "No need to come down yourself... yes... if we don't find her we will notify you and as workers for Junior are fine paying the price for failure. Even if that means death." Melanie continued as she could see her sister quickly returning. "Yes Emerald is right here. I'll put her on as I go and inform the security..." She continued as she held the phone out towards Emerald who accepted it.

"She must be a bit crazy if she can do something like make them seem terrified. What does she do assuming that she is Ruby's mother." Pyrrha asked softly as she dropped the towel onto the bar. As she could see Reese just smiling softly s she began to shift her shoulder a bit for comfort.

"Yeah that would be Ashes. And just trust me Pyr, that is a large rabbit hole you do not want to stumble down. You have no idea. Just trust me when I say that if Ashes comes down here there will be a lot of bodies. And I don't mean people playing dead. I mean actual corpses... and if it is about Ruby the odds of her waiting to ask with a gun pointed towards them as she counts them down are slim. She will straight up murder people until Ruby is found. And even then the only person kind of guaranteed are the people directly close to Ruby."

"No Boss. Mercury is still in the area as well as I think Roman who can get some of the people mobilised. Okay I'll go get Mercury, and then I'll come back and call you again. Yes I know Neo is far more expendable than Ruby." Emerald said with a chilling tone to the group as she just smiled calmly. "Okay Boss. Yes she is right here next to me. No the twins are the only ones to my knowledge that didn't take their eyes off her. I know. I'll make sure they are alive for you to talk to them if we don't find her... talk to you in a few." Emerald said as she lowered the phone down onto the receiver.

Looking towards the blonde next to her, Emerald just smirked a little. "Long shot, did you see if Ruby came out of the bathroom? Or do I need to remind you what Cinder can do when she thinks Ruby is harmed in any way..." Emerald said as Yang began to blanch a little.

"No... and I'm aware about what will happen if she catches me lying." Yang said gulping like she had just heard some bad news. "So shouldn't you go find her? You know prevent countless innocent deaths? Or would your punishment not be as bad?"

"Em's would be worse and she knows it. She was meant to not only watch Neo but also Ruby... it is why she is like always the secondary Mommy of Ruby's when Ashes isn't around." Reese said with a chuckle as she could see Yang breathe a sigh of relief. "Now frankly if I'm not going to be surprise bitten again... I want to go and enjoy the rave."

"Shouldn't you go to the hospital? That bite looks deep and you should probably get some shots." Pyrrha said concerned just hoping to get away from this woman who had clearly powerful influence if it was enough to bring so many people to near tears.

"She has bitten me at least five dozen times in the last year. And twice have had every shot updated. And if the bleeding is stopped it isn't that deep."

"Or the ice did its job and closed the blood vessels to stem bleeding." Pyrrha said catching Reese before she ran off. "Look I have no idea why you have a phobia of going to the hospital, but it does look deep and you probably should make sure your shots are up to date." Pyrrha continued as she could feel her blood almost boil as Reese had rolled her eyes.

"It isn't a phobia of hospitals. Just needles. And trust me, Neo has given me enough stitches from biting me that I know how deep it needs to feel. And again I know for a fact I'm up to date on all my shots. Including rabies. Which I didn't even know you had to get those for people bites until the first one that broke the skin. But turns out yup." Reese said with a calm tone as she could see her girlfriend just trying her hardest to not smack the teal haired woman before dragging her out. "Pyr, seriously. It might look deep but all dragging me to the hospital will do is get us forced to sit in a waiting room for hours as I try and say how I was bitten by the same woman and my shots are all up to date because I got them this year. So let's just enjoy the time that remains before Cinder might come down and you'll see why people fear Ruby's Mom first hand."


Groaning as she could hear the door slamming shut followed by the sound of a panicked breath. Quickly pushing Neon away, much to her dismay from how close she had gotten to her second near mind shattering orgasm, she could just see Neon frowning as she looked up with a slightly saddened look in her eyes as she just started to play gently with her fingers against Ruby's thigh.

"What? Is it because someone just came in? I personally find it hot." Neon began planting a kiss on Ruby's thigh, ever closer to where Ruby felt like she needed it. "You just need to stop moaning so loud." Neon continued with a chuckle as she moved a bit closer as Ruby just began to push her a bit more away from herself.

Ruby had to admit she was feeling stupider and stupider from how she had wanted another orgasm from this woman... but she still knew from experience that she couldn't keep her voice down and didn't want to be known in this area as the one who had sex with a relative stranger while she could feel a larger sense of euphoria from the drug she had taken starting to take effect.

As if sensing what Ruby had wanted, Neon just sighed as she stood up, dragging the back of her hand across her lips and chin that still had started to dribble down with an almost saddened by the lack of it.

"I promise Neon... we can do more... just we need to wait... or until the person leaves." Ruby whispered softly as she could see a gleam develop in the Faunus' eyes as she tossed the door open and just stopped mid stride to throw the woman out of the room.

"The woman is making out with her reflection." Neon said as Ruby began to stand up, fixing her outfit carefully as she moved Neon to the side to try and see what was being talked about as she just sighed vocally at the sight before her. "Is she bleeding or something? Or is she just really really bad at putting on makeup?"

"Knowing her, neither." Ruby hissed as she looked at the multicoloured hair woman quickly spin around clutching a hand to her chest with one hand as the other produced a knife that caused Neon to jump and try and push Ruby back as she just rolled her eyes at the gesture. Pushing past her Ruby crossed her arms as she stared at her.

"Get back! I swear you damn Nymph if you try to steal her! She is mine! I saw her first!" Neo yelled as Ruby just stared at her.

"And it seems like she is just getting hit hard by whatever she took right before we came here." Ruby said as she could hear the lock to the bathroom being clicked as the door flew open to reveal the twins barging in causing Ruby to just groan vocally. "And there goes that beaver dam. What the fuck!" Ruby yelled as she could see them just breathing a sigh of relief as they looked towards the panicking Neo. "Get her the fuck out of here! I want to get back to what I was doing!"

"You need come out though. There is serious talk about Cinder coming down and is only slightly being held back. And really really could use you talking to her otherwise bad things are going to happen." Mel said breathing out a sigh of relief just that the thought that she wasn't going to run the risk of Cinder's ire from something befalling Ruby.

Groaning again Ruby mumbled a simple 'fine' as she turned to see a smirking Neon behind her. Quickly walking up to her Ruby gave her a deep kiss. One that caused a snickering that she could hear behind her but she didn't seem to care. Nor did she really mind the taste of herself that was on Neon's lips. It had been a taste she knew all too well with how long she had dated Reese and she had to admit that it was one that she often forgot how much she missed it on another woman's lips.

Leaning up to her ear, Ruby just smiled faintly. "I'll go deal with that then how about we head back to my dorm room which is nearby? Then we can be as noisy as you want me to be. Because I want you to be screaming for me to let you rest and go some time without cumming." Ruby said as she leaned back and just smiled as she could see the woman gulping with a gleam in her eyes.

"You wish you could get that to happen... but I think I should test you either way." Neon said with a chuckle as Ruby just smiled at her.

"One way to find out..." Ruby said as she quickly parted from the woman and left the room. Squealing internally at the fact that she had been brought to the rave if just because she got to meet Neon... she just knew that she would need to give her mother the normal slip which will hopefully end the night for her there on a happy note to just return with Neon to her dorm room and apologise to Yang tomorrow for taking the room all night.

Chapter Text


Chapter 23:

Storming up to the phone, Ruby glared lightly at Emerald as she snatched the device out of her hand as she said a quick sorry before placing it to her ear. "See Mom? I'm fine. I was just in the little girl's room."

"People were saying you just took a random girl in there. I don't want harm to happen to you." Cinder said as Ruby groaned shooting a glare towards the slightly panting breath of the twins standing behind the bar.

"The twins are just being a bitch. And so what if I was with a woman. I'm an adult Mom." Ruby said as she began to giggle lightly at the feeling of the tail wrapping around her leg as she could feel a head resting on her shoulder. "But because I'm not going to risk myself being stabbed and Neo is tripping hard in the bathroom and already bit Reese and was making out with her reflection... I'm heading back to my dorm and I won't need a ride." Ruby said with a chuckle as she could feel Neon starting to kiss her neck.

"I'd feel a lot lot better if you had a ride Ruby. Just call Mercury. It would take minutes extra but would save time in the long run." Cinder said in what many would perceive as a threatening tone, but Ruby knew better. It was one she always used when she was terrified of Ruby doing something on her own which could be seen as dangerous and knew that it was pointless talking her out of it but would still try. "Or even Roman. He should be in the area soon because of those food trucks he has."

"I'll get a taxi Mom. I'll talk to you tomorrow." Ruby said handing the phone back to Emerald as she spun around in the arms where she began to gently kiss Neon in a chaste manner.

Not even waiting for Emerald to say something Ruby and Neon quickly walked towards the exit. A small giggle slipping past Ruby's demeanour as she felt Neon's tail brushing her naked core.

"She is leaving boss with a girl. Feline Faunus. Doesn't look fishy and certainly doesn't look like she is a member of the White Fang. Even if she was I doubt Sienna would try anything knowingly on Ruby knowing what would happen and how little of the Fang would remain." Emerald said calmly as she could hear a small crack coming from what she knew the plastic phone in Cinder's hand creaking from her anger.

"Emerald, I want you to check on her when you get back. And call me. And have a chat with this woman in private. Make sure she isn't part of the Fang. And if she just happens to be a normal person... give her a chance for an out and let her know what happens to people who let information like that get back to Ruby."

"Okay boss. Want me to grab Neo and head back now?"

"No. Ruby will be mad, and Neo will be high for a while and dangerous. And I value you more than her. You tend to not get Ruby into trouble. Plus didn't Ruby's roommate come with you guys. I suppose it would serve her as a reminder about our chat with Ruby not being around."

"Will do boss."

Slumping in the dorm hallway, Yang just groaned softly as she gently batted the tie that had been hanging up on the door handle. It had been after one of the worst car rides ever that she had to come home to this.

Seeing the door open, Yang looked towards it to see the green haired woman sticking her head out of the door just groaning softly. "Are you just going to stay out here all night? Don't you have a key? Or a boyfriend or whatever you can crash at?" Emerald asked stepping out of the room, closing the door as she took a few steps out just crossing her arms to stare at the sitting blonde.

"I left mine thinking Ruby would stay to the end and I saw her grab her's. And I'm single as fuck. If I know Ruby left I would have gone home with some guy." Yang mumbled as she took a deep breath. "Don't even want to know where she got a tie from... but the drunk room opens up soon. So I planned on going there."

"Drunk room? What?" Emerald asked as Yang just chuckled softly.

"Yeah the one with all the books where it is like the best place to relax when you are hung the fuck over." Yang said as Emerald continued to look at her in confusion. "Library. I'm talking about the library. I just never go there to study or check out the books. I'm telling you that is the best place to sleep through a hangover because not only is it always hot in there... but the teachers or professors see it as a bonus and grade you easier in my experience because it seems like you are trying. And if you get a silence room... you might even get a beanbag one so it isn't like comfort or solitude is an issue."

"When did you develop a spine to be talking to me like this?" Emerald asked calmly as Yang began to push herself up.

"One on one you and that Mercury and I'd assume Neo aren't all that terrifying. In a group I'm afraid that I'm going to get stabbed... or shot... maybe set on fire. I can never tell what the threat with Neo is besides biting which I only really learned how bad it is tonight." Yang said calmly as Looked at Emerald carefully "What are you doing up though? We've been back for a few hours."

Chuckling softly, Emerald stretched a little. "Neo, you are more likely to be stabbed. She only bites when she likes something. A trait she has always had. And when your boss is Cinder and she tells you she wants an update you wait until you can give her that."

"Sounds right... I'm going to go to the Drunk Room."

Groaning vocally, Emerald cleared her throat as she looked at Yang. "I'm obligated to offer you a place to sleep because Cinder has told us to make sure you are looked after because you are important to Ruby. If we were similar sizes I'd even offer you a change of clothes." Emerald said resting against the wall. "So would you rather take my bed? Neo is out cold and will be out for hours and I'm going to be up for a few more hours making sure I fulfil Cinder's orders so I'm going to be awake for however long."

"I'd rather not... but a hoodie... or some pants if we are the right size would be nice. Just because they always judge when you show up like this." Yang said gesturing towards herself as Emerald rolled her eyes walking into her room before coming out with two items of clothing which she tossed towards her.

"Wash and dry them before you hand them back. And again you shouldn't worry about me or Neo... or even Cinder as long as Ruby wants you around. And apparently Neo has something against blondes."

"Why do I keep getting offended by Ruby and her friends like that? First Reese has something against blondes... Ruby only really likes boring cuddling by the fire... and now I'm not the crazy chick's type of girl? Don't tell me I'm not yours either." Yang said as Emerald just stared at her.

"Most people would take that as a compliment. And you aren't. Not because you are blonde or even not because you aren't a cuddler. I just have specific tastes which include aggressive tops who may or may not be a mother. Who also has a bit of a choking fetish and other dangerous tendencies. And you seem like the type that would bitch out the second I ask to be stabbed with needles as I'm getting strangled." Emerald said as Yang just looked at her carefully. The look in the red eyes clearly meant that she wasn't pulling her leg, but something was just making her worried.

"Sounds like you are describing Ruby's mom..."

"Hey Yang, do you know how long it takes to die from a gut shot? I'll give you a hint it takes a long time which will be spent in agony. And I am packing and I don't mind an angry Ruby and Cinder would trust me if I said I thought you were someone breaking into Ruby's room. So you want to continue that thought?" Emerald asked as she could see Yang raising her hands up in her defence. "So go to the library if you want."


Humming softly as she could feel the strong arm around her waist as she felt the gently brushing of hair along her leg which caused Ruby to just ease further into the embrace. Smiling as she could feel a kiss being placed on the back of her neck. Rolling around in the comfortable arm, Ruby just smiled as she could see Neon just smiling at her as she leaned into plant a chaste kiss on Ruby's lips.

"That was a fun time last night. And I'm shocked that someone has better skills with their tongue than me." Neon said with a small smile as Ruby just smiled reaching up to brush some of the hair out of the woman's face. "And our eyes are really pretty in the morning." Neon said as Ruby began to blushed as she tried to hide her face between the woman's breasts.

"No... I look hideous in the morning. And you being pretty is distracting me again just as much as the tail that has a mind of its own." Ruby said as she felt one of the deft hands slowly rubbing up and down her spine with a smile on her face.

"I call my tail Cherry when it gets like this. And you are pretty. So pretty I wouldn't mind seeing you again and again and again. Preferably with less interruptions. Say over coffee?" Neon asked with a smile as Ruby just chuckled softly.

Looking up as she felt Neon roll onto her back dragging her with her. "Like a date... because I wouldn't say no. I would however say no to anything weird you'd have planned. At least when people are around. I don't do exhibition." Ruby said with a smile as she began to sit up just smiling as she stared down at Neon. "And this might sound racist... I don't mean it to be... are you comfortable? I mean with the tail I picture it can get sore from laying like this." Ruby said with a small bashful look as Neon just giggled softly.

"Ruby, if anything last night proved you aren't racist. And it is fine. If I get sore... I know this cutie sitting in my lap that can kiss my owie better." Neon chuckled softly as she began to latch her hands onto Ruby's hips. Just smiling as she could see some mirth in Ruby's eyes.

A mirth that was robbed at the sound of a pounding on the door. "RUBY GET UP! I NEED MY PHONE CHARGER!" Ruby heard being yelled as she just frowned.

Sighing as she leaned down and kissed Neon for what felt like would be the last time, Ruby began to separate from the Faunus as she jumped off her and snatched the lighter blanket at the far end of the bed. "Don't get your panties in a knot Yang." Ruby said as she covered herself with the blanket and quickly opened the door to see Yang holding a tie on her outstretched finger.

Snatching the item from her hands as Ruby just started to eye her up. "Sorry about last night... and can you hurry up? As you can see I still have company." Ruby said as Yang just rolled her eyes walking over towards the outlet.

"Not even going to ask me why I'm wearing Emerald's clothes?"

Gesturing towards the Faunus in the bed, Ruby could see her blonde roommate eyeing the woman in the bed up. "Normally I would Yang, but as you can see by the total hottie in the bed... bit preoccupied. So come on hurry up and leave..." Ruby pleaded with the blonde as she simply shrugged her shoulders as she plucked up her charger. As she walked towards the door. "Hurry up Yang. I don't get action like this a lot. So go!" Ruby said as she secured the tie to the door handle.

"Fine... I'll go talk with the others at the cafe... wonder if that Blake girl would be there. Maybe I'm her type." Yang said as Ruby just looked at her lopsidedly.

"Doubtful... most women aren't happy with muffin tops." Neon said as she could see Yang turning around to glare at her.

Not giving Yang a chance to be in the room longer ruining more of what she was wanted Ruby gave her a gentle shove and closed the door. Spinning around and letting the blanket fall Ruby made a leap back onto her bed where she could see Neon just laughing softly as she rolled around placing Ruby on her back with her legs wrapping around Neon's hips.

Smiling faintly as she felt the small arms wrap around her neck pulling her down, Neon just flashed her a toothy smile as she began to kiss Ruby with a feverish hunger that seemingly couldn't be satiated.

Pulling back, Neon just smiled at Ruby who had seemed to have the same look in her eyes that Neon adored the second she saw it in the club the previous night. They seemed to contain the same feeling of freedom she had constantly chased after.

"You do know I'm going to want you to apologise to Yang. And she doesn't muffin top. Her boobs are just big and she seemingly doesn't believe in bras. And I can't speak for every woman... but I know I'm not shallow enough to not be attracted to someone just because they are heavier than normal." Ruby said as Neon just looked at her with hurt expression. "Of course Yang isn't my type regardless. She doesn't seem like a cuddler, she more so seems like she is more so a fan of dining and dashing." Ruby said pulling Neon down once more to place a kiss on her lips.

Pulling back with a smirk on her face, Neon just stared at Ruby. "And I seem like a cuddler and not someone who just likes sex? I mean I told you in the cab ride I'm not the type for dating one person. Or even monogamy." Neon said as Ruby just laughed softly at her.

"Yeah. The fact you were up before me and still here is proof... plus you wanting to go on a date with me. So clearly you are a big liar about that kind of thing. But I'll forgive you. Because you are not only hot but pretty and cute and just seemingly perfect in like every way." Ruby said as she could just feel Neon smiling as she began to sit up pulling Ruby up along with her.

Brushing some strands of hair out from Ruby's face, Neon just smiled at her. "If I'm hot and pretty and cute then you are like Venus bestowing me with the greatest honour of having you in my lap." Neon said as Ruby began to blush as she tried to hide her face in the Faunus' neck.

"You already got into my pants. No need to lie so hard." Ruby said as Neon just chuckled softly.

"I'm not lying. I mean I'm going against my rule of not dating people... which is proof I'm really not lying. You're seemingly the best example for how I want our children to look like... just you know with a touch of Faunus in them." Neon said as she could see the red just encompassing Ruby's features from her feet to the top of her head. Just the sight of which was enough to make Neon smile. "I may just be going overboard planning but I mean I'm an English major. We tend to plan things out well in advance."

It took seemingly forever for her to regain control over the blood flooding her face, but Ruby was happy that she could "Let's start with coffee and see where we go from there. You know let's not plan future children when we aren't even technically dating. I mean for all you know I could be a super racist that is just luring you to your doom."

Smirking softly as she felt Ruby's hands brush her hair out from her eyes. "Doubtful. You are like Mercedes from Monte Cristo. Which if you know the story means you are not only pretty. But clearly smart." Neon said as she started to lift her up the best she could. "So speaking of coffee... how about we go to my dorm room... so I can get changed and we can go get a cup."

"I don't have a cousin to marry... but coffee does sound good." Ruby said as she climbed up, just smiling as she gestured towards Neon to be helped up. "And you know... maybe something to eat because I haven't eaten anything since lunch yesterday and took whatever that pill was and Green Russians leads to a hungry me." Ruby said as she rubbed her stomach lightly as Neon just smiled as she stood up stretching a little.

"It was ecstasy. And yeah you probably should get something to eat... and maybe water. Lots of water. Because when your down hits, it is going to hit hard. I just hope you are ready right for that. First timers always get hit pretty hard."

"It isn't my first time getting hit with a hangover or even coming down from a high. Just my first time coming down from ecstasy." Ruby said as she felt a slight chill coming from the room but she was just happy as she felt Neon plant a kiss on her lips. "And if it means I get more of those kisses... it is totally worth anything bad that happens to me."

"If you say so."

Chapter Text


Chapter 24:

Smiling as she felt her hand being snatched followed by her being pulled back towards the woman who had it, Ruby just smiled as Neon leaned down to kiss her. Pulling back as she laughed softly, Ruby just looked into the cat Faunus' eyes in which all she could read was want.

Want specifically for her and Ruby to go to place secluded for them to repeat what Ruby had to admit was one of the best nights ever. At least since she was made single when her and Reese broke up.

"We won't get anywhere if every five steps you keep pulling me into those kisses... besides of course me wanting to drag you back to bed where we won't leave for days until we starve to death." Ruby said as she could see a sly smirk start to devolve. "Trust me... with my family they would not take it nicely. So let's just get something to eat right now... and then we can go back to the bedroom." Ruby said calmly as Neon just smiled faintly.

"I don't know Ruby. I'm not that easy." Neon said as Ruby let out an 'eep' as she brushed the tail away from under her hoodie that had started to slide up her bare back.

"Neon, seriously... I kind of really really want to get something to eat. I haven't eaten since lunch yesterday." Ruby said pouting as Neon just smiled at her.

"I wouldn't have stopped you. I just need to constantly be reminded that I'm no longer high and the pretty girl does actually want me for something more than a notch on the bedpost like most people do with Faunus. Especially humans." Neon said in a defeated tone as Ruby just hugged her tightly.

Gently, but firmly holding the woman into a hug, Ruby just smiled faintly. "I assure you, even if we do end up being a couple and breaking up I'd still remember you more than just a few time fling you in the last twelve hours we've done it at least half a dozen times. I'm still great friends with my last and only other ex. And I have to much respect for people especially Faunus for thinking anything else. I mean one of my uncles is even one... my grandmother was kind of big on adopting children she claims society didn't want which my Mom took to heart and adopted me. My Mom is also fine with any Faunus but that one uncle but he always tries to push her buttons."

"Who in society wouldn't want you? Your hot, smart, and actually is more concerned sounding racist that it comes off as a bit racist but the refreshing kind I don't think I've ever heard anyone ever has been." Neon asked as Ruby just chuckled.

"My birth parents... my Mom found me abandoned in a factory soaking in water in the dead of winter. Plus the fact since I was a child I've kind have always been an open lesbian and refused to be just a woman in the kitchen for anyone and would rather be building rockets... most people don't like that." Ruby said softly as she could see Neon just looking at her with doubt. "Seriously. People tend to still be kind of mad about lesbians as a whole. And frankly my Mom doesn't really care what I do in life. Just so long as I'm safe." Ruby continued as she could see Neon just smiling at her.

"So those text books on your desk... those are really your college text books?" Neon said as Ruby just smiled softly at the comment. "Right. Stupid question. No one would buy them for shits and giggles. Unless you were super stoned and get a jolly out of plunging yourself further and further into debt." Neon mumbled as they began to walk towards the building.

"Hm... finance talk. No faster way to ruin your chances of ever getting me in bed again. you'd be lucky if you get a good night handshake." Ruby said with a laugh as she opened the door as Neon just chuckled behind her. "I'm not joking. No faster way to make me just want to stand far far away from you."

Stopping as she could hear some distinct chuckling. "The hell are you guys still doing here!" Ruby yelled as she looked towards the table where her friends had been sitting where she could see Reese just chuckling at her.

"We thought you were still getting some. Even talked to Ashes. She says I'm now her favourite person in existence. Is the hot girl next to you who you ran off with last night? Yang just described her as a rude bitch." Reese chuckled out as she lowered her head onto the redhead's shoulder next to her.

Blushing Ruby just glared at her. "Neon... let's go to the other side of the room." Ruby whispered as she could hear a soft chuckle from behind her as she felt hands wrap around her waist.

"I take it that is either your ex or a long time friend... I can see you have a type... but I'll go wherever you want. And even if it seems stereotypical... this place has fish... and I really do like fish. I just hope it isn't something old and slimy... like octopus or calamari. I don't like that. Just the texture gets to me. Especially when most people cook it. Always turns out like rubber." Neon said as she took a sniff. "But it does smell like salmon."

As Neon spoke Ruby could feel her breath hitch as Ruby could see the large man behind the counter that had been working when she had the small talk with Cinder. "Holy shit... that really is him." Neon added as she quickly separated from Ruby and walked up to the counter. "You're Ghira Belladonna. Founder of the White Fang and fighter for our rights." Neon continued as she could see the man just jumping slightly from the sudden appearance of the teenager.

"Ugh... yeah. That was me. Now days I more so like to make food and drinks for people." The man spoke as Ruby walked up behind Neon. "And thankfully only a handful of humans recognise me. So only need to worry about Faunus recognising me." Ghira said softly as he looked towards Ruby and just froze slightly. He couldn't help but remember the last time he saw her with one of the single most fear inducing people to ever exist.

"I don't see why. You are a living legend. You have done so much for Faunus and human kind." Neon continued as Ruby just gently slid one of her hands into Neon's as if to just try and remind her that there were other people there.

"Not anymore. Now days I'm just a happy cafe owner." Ghira said with a smile as Neon just smiled faintly nodding her head as if she hadn't been able to figure it out.

"Neon... that was a hint. He seems a bit uncomfortable." Ruby whispered happily as Neon just nodded her head. As the thoughts seemed to catch up caused Neon to blush out of embarrassment as she took a deep breath.

"Sorry. It is just... me and my parents like countless others have had so much done for us because of you." Neon said in a calm tone as she could see him just smiling. "But if you just want to get this going um... can I have a bagel with lots of salmon? And some water?" Neon said softly as she looked towards Ruby.

"Just a scone, water and a white coffee." Ruby said as the man just smiled and gestured for them towards some tables. Smiling as she began to drag Neon gently towards the table.

Taking a seat across from the Faunus, Ruby just smiled as she took a deep breath. "So... you are a big fan of the White Fang?" Ruby asked just trying to gauge the woman as Neon just smiled bracing her head on the elbow resting on the table.

"In general now days? No. I'm not big on the whole humans deserve to be tortured because they did it to us. But under Ghira... it was something else. All Faunus wanted to grow up to be just like him or his wife. Strong but willing to turn the other cheek as to not strike fear. Not giving people reason to fear us more than anyone else." Neon said with a smile as she could hear the hissing coming from the coffee machine. "And you probably shouldn't have gotten coffee... it makes you pee and you really can't afford to lose more water." Neon continued as Ruby just smiled at her.

"I know what being dehydrated from coming down feels like Neon. Don't worry. I'm a big girl and know how to take care of myself. Even if I didn't know my suddenly becoming favourite cafe is ran by the founder of one of the most important social movements in our time which turned into a pretty scary organisation... whose leader doesn't respect beautiful muscle cars." Ruby said adding the last line in a near silent manner as she could see Neon just smiling at her.

"I'm sure your uncle understands. Most humans aren't like you... or even close to being like you. I mean just back to my grandparents time... life was pretty bad." Neon said softly leaning back as she could see the man carrying a tray that was seemingly dwarfed by his size.

Smiling as she could see the items being placed down, Ruby continued to smile as she could see Neon's face lighting up at the sight of the pink flesh on the bagel. She just smiled brighter as Ruby reached into her pocket to grab the extra card that had just made her smile as he produced the machine.

"Nah, Ruby it is fine. I'll pay." Neon said as Ruby just rolled her eyes.

"It's fine Neon. You can get the next one." Ruby said as she quickly slipped the card into the machine when she punched the code into it. "And to answer your comment... my uncle never really had problems with humans... at least when he didn't cause shit. He tends to like to get under everyone's skin. Except my grandmother and most of the time me. Same deal with the Faunus towards him. No idea why he just likes angering people." Ruby said calmly as she was handed the card back as she could see the man walking off.

"That is weird..." Neon said as she picked up one of the pieces of the fish with a smile as she plopped it into her mouth. "But what type is he? He isn't a monkey is he? They tend to be a bit mischievous." Neon continued as Ruby just smiled at her.

"He is a scorpion Faunus." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Neon just eyeing her up carefully as if to see if she was joking. Chuckling at the gesture, Ruby just took a deep breath as she cracked open the water bottle. "Yeah everyone has that reaction. But that is what he says. Even seen his tail including the poison that is in it. He likes to show it off and does use it for his pest control business. I think it is just down to him making the best out of what he has." Ruby continued as Neon just nodded her head.

"Sounds like that is an approach. But I don't think I could do something like that... fishing maybe. But not anything else. Already need to deal with stereotyping with people always assuming I want to eat mice... or birds... or fish." Neon said as Ruby just laughed softly. "This proves nothing. I just haven't had any good salmon in seemingly forever."

Shaking her head gently, Ruby just smiled as she picked up the knife to separate her breakfast. "I don't care. Do what makes you happy. I can't stress it enough that I don't actually have only respect for Faunus and know that they have gone through shit."

"Which does make you seem a tiny bit racist but I don't mind. Again it is refreshing."

Groaning a little Yang was jolted awake as she felt the table be jostled by the feeling of someone slamming a hand on it. Blinking a little as she started to rub her eyes. Just continuing to groan as she looked over towards the teal haired woman who had a slightly sympathetic look on her face.

"So besides of course the lack of sleep... the fuck is up with you?" Reese asked as Yang just grumbled lowering her head. "Yang, Neo is sober now and I don't mind pulling the pin on that bomb."

Rolling her eyes gently, Yang just took a deep breath as she debated if she could get some sleep out of this. "I went to the drunk room to try and sleep... and this super bitchy woman had decided to take up the seat across from me and just continued to scoff about some shit or another. Frankly if I ever see that white haired bitch again... I'm tempted to sock her one in the throat... then I go into mine and Ruby's dorm room to find the both her and this equally bitchy woman with the room smelling like they've never even heard the phrase 'opening the damn window before we have sex'... so can you just let me sleep?"

"Yeah Ruby can go on for a long long time. Especially when she has been held up for more than a few days. No doubt that they went at it the entire time. Hell a few times I've been practically mute because of muscle strain in my jaw. Frankly if we didn't get interrupted and toys weren't a thing we'd never be done." Reese said as she rubbed her neck gently. "And if it was that fairly hot Faunus she walked in here with who judging by her clothes likes to party... so frankly props to Ruby. But it does kind of prove she has a type. So Neo I'd watch out if I were you." Reese continued as the smaller woman just laughed chuckled softly as Yang sat up and looked towards Ruby and just shrugged her shoulders.

"Yeah, you think Cinder was bad with you? She'd be so much worse with me. Mind you she'd be a lot better from the day to day... but the one time I kissed Ruby because she was taunting me about the ice cream she ate I could have sworn I was going to be killed."

"We were six and made out with her and this was before she had 'the talk' with Cinder and thought it made you two a couple." Emerald corrected as Neo just laughed softly as the group looked at the duo. "And that is the girl she was with last night in the bathroom... just something seemed off about Ruby last night... she had no issues talking to Cinder as that Faunus was all but dry humping her, and if anything it seemed to be making Ruby even happier... possibly hornier. Which doesn't seem like her."

"I'll say. Ruby is like majorly anti exhibition. But she is also kind of majorly a bottom... so can be pushed to try things she might have written off." Reese said with a chuckle as she felt a gentle jab to her ribs by the elbow. "Relax Pyr. I'm not going to do anything. I'm just supporting Emerald's theory. Seriously... I keep telling you I'll be literally killed if I ever go back to Ruby." Reese continued as she looked towards Emerald once again. "And ask the twins about what she was drinking. That would have the answer."

"Green Russians according to the twins. And she had a few... but I've been around Ruby drunk enough to know what she is like then. Just something felt different. Like she took a party drug but everyone knows Cinder would not be pleasant if that happened. Hell I have no doubts she would go back to the times we've all only heard about before Ruby came into the picture... and before she took over fully." Emerald said calmly as Reese and Yang just looked at her with a look of doubt. "There was a time. You don't garner a reputation like she has by playing as nicely as she has for so long."

"She held a gun to my head and threatened to pull the trigger... and your telling me that she has been worse in her past?"

Not even listening to Yang, Pyrrha cleared her throat just to get Emerald's attention. "Seriously... what is Ruby's mom's job that she can do that kind of thing? Or is there some underground thing in Vale I'm not aware of because I'm from Mistral." Pyrrha asked as Emerald just smiled at her.

"Your well aware of just a branch of what Ruby's Mom can do. The only difference is wherever Cinder is located it is far less underground. And it was a lot less underground under Cinder's mother. To the point everyone knows of the group and rightfully fears us." Emerald said as Reese just rolled her eyes seeing Pyrrha trying to piece what was said together.

"Ruby's Mom is the current leader of Grimm... and I can't stress this enough, don't tell Ruby. She is actually innocent of everything and is disgusted about things Grimm does. And she really really is innocent. Hell I've seen her take care of insects that people have tried to kill. Including the hate filled bastards that are yellow jackets." Reese said as she could see Pyrrha coughing loudly. "Don't get me wrong... I do love pissing off her mother still... but that is because Ruby has my back. And I can guarantee even I'm not crazy enough to push her far enough, nor am I crazy enough to push Ruby's grandmother at all. Hell I wouldn't even want to be in the same room if she has a splinter." Reese said as Pyrrha just looked at her.

"You dated and are still close friends with... the daughter of a fairly crazy woman?"

"Relax. Ashes isn't that crazy. Protective of Ruby, hell yeah. To the point that it can get scary talking to her. But don't worry. Nothing bad is going to happen to you... also hate to say this don't go to the cops with that piece of information. No telling how many cops are dirty and even then worse case, you have the daughter of a hero cop that wasn't crocked sitting next to you who has been given almost free range of the police station. So again your safe unless you do that." Reese said softly as she took a deep breath. "Well anyways, I'm feeling like one more cup of coffee... then Pyr wanted to get back to studying... Yang wants sleep... and I feel like you two need to report back in slash study as well."

"Yeah. Sounds like a plan... except I'm not drinking any more coffee... I'm ready to just pass out." Yang began as she pulled her phone out causing her to roll her eyes as she dropped it on the table. "That way I have a decent excuse not to answer my Mom's call asking for more money or the location for shit she can pawn."

"Fine, Yang is excused. Should probably go and get some sleep before Ruby and her girl leave. Oh and when you get the chance, ask your dad where he gets his red bean paste? I've been looking everywhere for it and I can't find any." Reese said as Yang just smiled nodding her head as she left. "Right, Neo... as a way to repay me for biting my shoulder again can buy this round."

"Fine. Even though I don't remember anything of the sort... I do remember a really hot girl and me making out though." Neo said as she began to slide under the table a smile on her face as Reese rolled her eyes just smiling about her attitude towards this. Reese just knew that everything was going to be fun and that Ruby was probably going to be safe knowing in her experience how Ruby's nightmares always seemed to fade once she had a girlfriend near her when they were still in this early stage. It was just a matter of time before Ruby relaxed enough and fell back into her old ways that Reese had really wanted to see just to absolve her of the terrible feeling she had since Yang had called her asking her about the nearly famous nightmare to her and Ruby.

Chapter Text


Chapter 25:

Giggling softly, Ruby just smiled as she held the Faunus' hands in the both of hers. Ruby had to admit that she was starting to be more and more happy that she was convinced to go to the rave just because she was able to meet a wonderful person.

"I had a great time Neon..." Ruby said as she could just stare into the woman's eyes for all eternity it would seem. She had already started to get lost in the forest that she could see in them. Just the thought that she could possibly be able to get lost in them longer was making the next part harder and harder on her. "And I'd love to invite you into the room... but I have to study and not to mention talk to my Mom and I guarantee if I don't she'll come in threatening countless people to find you... and it is just so much easier if I just call her and calm her down now." Ruby continued as she just smiled at the slight confusion. "I would really like to go on another one. Just not next weekend. My uncles and Grandmother are going to be in town and I really really don't want to miss them."

"I'm not afraid of anyone. Your mother or not." Neon said as Ruby just laughed. "What?" Neon said as she tried to bend down to see into Ruby's eyes just so she could find out what had set the girl off.

"The brave thing while normally hot... trust me when I say my Mom has plenty of skeletons in her closet... possibly literally... I could never tell if she was joking... point is she has no issues adding another. And I just don't want that addition to be you." Ruby said softly as she just leaned up and planted a kiss on her lips. "But today and last night was great. And seriously... I do want to do this with you again. Maybe not a rave. Because I tend to not go alone to those and my friends when sober and in Neo's case not making out with mirrors do tend to be frightening to most people." Ruby said as Neon just matched her gaze. "Just trust me. Don't try and stand your ground with them. I have no doubts that Neo would have stabbed one or both of us last night and wouldn't live long enough to regret it in the morning."

Sighing softly The feline Faunus bent down and kissed Ruby chastely. "Fine then... but I'm going to need your number if you want me to make any sort of plans outside of randomly stopping by to see if you want to go on some long walk... or come back to my place and get high again. This time with weed because ecstasy is pricey."

Smiling as she let go, Ruby simply reached behind her. "I like mystery in my life... but tell you what, I'll bring some really nice weed since you let me try ecstasy." Ruby said with a smile as she could see the Faunus look at her with doubt in her eyes. "My latest class for any day of the week is five. Just if you come don't come towards the practical area. It gets loud and even with ear protection it tends to hurt my ears. I'd only imagine it would be murder for you." Ruby said with her concern being genuine as she looked at Neon who just smiled at her with a sly smile. "Seriously Neon... I don't want you to be hurt."

Chuckling softly Neon just rolled her eyes gently. "You like mystery, I like danger. Just so long as you kiss my owies better."

Smiling as she stepped back into the room. "I promise I'd do more than just kiss your owies better. But seriously I need to go." Ruby said just smiling as she could see Neon walking away with a reluctant look in her eyes. Sighing herself, Ruby was about to close the door as she could see Neon quickly running back towards her.

Feeling her confusion grow, it was quickly replaced with the blush of embarrassment as Neon planted a passionate kiss on her lips. Feeling a small gasp slip past, Ruby could feel her blush intensifying as Neon and her own tongue performing a dance that Ruby could just fall in love with it all over again.

Giggling softly as she pulled back, Neon started to quickly walk out of Ruby's line of sight. "I'm going to get you back next time." Ruby said in just above her normal speaking tone that she knew from experience a Faunus on the stairs would have no issues hearing.

Sighing a happy sigh, Ruby closed the door as she spun around jumping slightly as she could see Yang just looking at her with a sly smirk on her face. "Do you just blush whenever someone kisses you? Because that is seeming a bit strange for someone so open." Yang asked as Ruby just glared lightly at her as she walked over towards her desk.

Plopping down into her chair, Ruby just took a deep breath. "She surprised me. Plus she is a really really good kisser." Ruby said softly as she could see Yang shaking her head. "I mean, I get that you have no issues with her being that hot, but she really really is seemingly out of my league."

"She is a bitch. And I'm not fat. How is she your type? Or are you just one of those people that have a Faunus fetish?" Yang asked as Ruby plugged her phone into the loose usb cord she had as she just chuckled softly at Yang's comment.

"She is a great cuddler and we talked for a long while after you left this morning about classic books. And if I did have a Faunus fetish, why the hell would I have dated Reese? She is human and there was this really cute rabbit Faunus girl a few years ahead of me in school. Great photographer."

"I don't know. Was she into you?" Yang asked as she closed the book she had been reading. "And from my experience Reese is crazy... so maybe you just have a crazy fetish."

"Oh she was. She even invited me to a dance while I was dating Reese who was fine with it... kind of had to let her down because I'm nothing if not faithful. She still took pictures of me and said that if I was ever single and she was single she'd love to take me on a date. And if I had a crazy fetish why am I not dating Neo? Although that is a different type of crazy. Would possibly get my mother to accept a girl I like though. Although Emerald is a lot hotter and totally my type in every regard except not being like my sister." Ruby continued as she picked up her phone gently to just check the charge.

Frowning as she lowered her phone Ruby grabbed one of her books that she dragged towards her. "So how did you spend last night slash this morning? I only ask because I didn't intentionally mean to lock you out all night. And I do feel a little bad." Ruby said as she grabbed the note pad that had been inside of it.

"Drunk room. Got bitched at by this one girl. I swear I've seen her before, but I can't put where. Why are all the hot girls just bitchy? That is why I prefer men most of the time." Yang said as Ruby just chuckled grabbing the highlighter that as near her stack of books.

"Preaching to the choir. But in my experience women are better at spotting bullshit being spewed by another woman. As for where you've seen her... I can't tell you. You are the extrovert out of the two of us and always have your nose in a magazine. Maybe she is a model." Ruby said idly as she dragged the highlighter across the short sentence.

Just the sight of which was enough to make Yang roll her eyes. The way Ruby had been able to just jump into studying over something that, to Yang had seemed so boring the handful of times Ruby had said something out loud.

A knock on the door caused Yang to look up. "That would probably be Emerald on the phone with my Mom. Can you open it for her? I don't want to lose my place." Ruby said softly as Yang just sighed walking towards the door. As she opened it she just jumped slightly at the heterochromatic shorter girl with a phone pressed to her ear.

Not even waiting for any sort of response, Neo pushed past Yang as Ruby reached across her chest to hold her free hand out. "Hi Mom. I know I promised to call in the morning but I was a bit preoccupied and slept till about noon. And my phone has been dead all day." Ruby said as she lowered a finger down to mark her place as she looked at Neo a little shocked at the appearance.

"Emerald is busy trying to figure out something stupid." Neo said as she skipped around Ruby to jump down onto her bed. "And how do we have the same bed but yours is always more comfortable?"

Rolling her eyes gently Ruby just sighed gently. "And that sigh isn't towards you Mom. Neo is being Neo."

"I would have preferred if you charged your phone and called me as soon as you could Ruby. Especially now that two of your uncles are here. And I heard you met a girl last night. She didn't try anything you didn't want to happen did she Ruby?" Cinder said as Ruby just smiled softly at her mother's concern.

"No Mom. She never did. I was the instigator last night. All she did was a surprise kiss she gave me when I saw her off at my door which I liked. She is very pretty though. I think she is angering Reese though." Ruby half lied as she could just see her mother already liking the woman for that one thing alone. "And I'm just studying now as I talk occasionally with Yang."

"Are you eating right? Or far more preferable, willing to take a week off because your uncles are already on my last nerve." Cinder asked as Ruby just smiled gently because she knew that question was going to come up anyways. She just figured it wouldn't be as up front as that.

"Mom, I have two tests this week. One in math and another in physics. If I didn't you know I would have already started to drive back. New girl or not. Especially because Grandma Salem is going to be coming and I really want to show her some of the new models I've built... plus you promised we could work on some of the cars." Ruby said as she pinched the phone between her ear and shoulder as she uncapped the highlighter to cover another section in the bright yellow liquid. "By the way, can you talk to Marcus about him hitting Mercury? I'm starting to worry and he may go too far one day. I mean it looked like he had bad neck damage when he drove us to Junior's."

"Ruby, I can't control what happens behind closed doors for the people that work for me. All I can do is talk to him. Knowing Mercury he probably already has a plan that you are just going to need to trust." Cinder said in a soft scolding manner that Ruby knew was just from her feeling slightly useless to fulfil a request of Ruby's.

"I know Mom. I'm just worried about Mercury. He is too proud to admit he needs help even if it is to mask the visible bruises with makeup. And I fear he may be planning something that he can't come back from that will destroy his soul."

"Okay Ruby, I'll talk to the both of them. If I don't talk to you before you have those tests good luck on them, and remember to eat properly. I don't want you to be in the hospital from anemia again." Cinder said calmly as she could see looked across the broken table to see the beaten friend of her daughter.

"You know I will. And worst case scenario I'm back on supplements." Ruby said softly as Cinder laughed softly. "I've got to go Mom unless you can explain to me 'Stefan's Law'. I love you Mom and I'll see you Wednesday."

"I love you too Ruby." Cinder said calmly as she could hear some sororal mocking from Neo that Ruby had snapped at as Cinder just smiled hanging up her phone as she looked towards the twenty one year old who had been gently trying to stop the bleeding on the dusty floor.

Chuckling softly as she tossed the phone to Roman who had been eyeing the corpse behind Mercury. A gentle kick towards the ribs as he just sighed softly raising up to the top of his head to remove his hat.

"Such a shame. He owed me ten bucks." Roman said softly as Cinder just dryly chuckled as he quickly shook his head as he replaced the bowler cap onto his head as he walked towards the child reaching into his inner coat pocket and produced a silver flask and handed it to the man. "Trust me kid, if she is in a bad mood, at least you can go chasing after that man pain free." Roman spoke as Mercury just shoved the flask back.

Raising the gun that had been used up, Cinder gestured for the standing man to back away as she could see Mercury shaking as Cinder squeezed the trigger in rapid fire until all the rounds had been spent into the corpse.

"I'm not mad. Marcus was living on borrowed time anyways. Tell me Mercury do you remember what I told you that I hate when I brought you into the fold?" Cinder said calmly as she tossed the gun towards the corpse.

"Letting Ruby know what it is we do, sloppiness and being a rat." Mercury spoke quickly knowing that just because the gun wasn't in her hands doesn't mean he wasn't as good as dead. There was no real way to know until long after this meeting had happened.

"Partially right. If someone was dumb enough to tell Ruby that the big bad gang she worries we'd be dealing with is us they won't live long enough to finish that thought. If you get sloppy or think becoming a rat is a smart idea you are on borrowed time." Cinder said calmly as she could see Mercury just wondering what she had been getting at. "Marcus, in the last ten years has gotten very sloppy, and had on several occasions had nearly told Ruby. I was planning on having him driven out to the desert where I'd have him buried up to his neck, his face smeared in honey and ants released on his face. My point is I'm not mad at you... for doing away with him like he was a rabid dog."

At that clarification Mercury could feel what blood was left inside of him draining. "I am mad that you made Ruby worry so much as she made it a point to try and stop you from doing this. So here is what is going to happen." Cinder said standing up lightly dusting herself off. "You are going to take a sudden vacation to Vacuo under the pretence that I have business I want taken care of there. You are going to stay there until you are fully healed. By then I expect Marcus to be dismembered, flesh stripped and dissolved and his bones turned into bone meal and being used to fertilise my peppers and tomatoes. If Ruby asks, what do we tell her about your father?"

Taking a deep breath Mercury just closed his eyes as he tried his hardest to think of something that wouldn't invoke the woman's ire when a bad performance review often lead to people being killed. "After we talked to you, we all felt it was best if he took up early retirement deep in the mountains of Atlas." Mercury said as Cinder placed a hand on his slightly injured shoulder.

"Good. Now I expect you to be in Vacuo by tomorrow night. Inform Emerald and Neo about what happen if you want but make sure they know this falls in line with the rest of Grimm stuff. If any three of you tell her about the passing of this dog, well, I'll make sure all three of you take very early retirement and I won't let any of you be useful like Marcus will be. And go to a vet not a doctor. They'll report the injuries to authorities which will lead to us to having another chat which will result in you hoping I was mad right now. Am I clear?" Cinder said coldly as the silver haired man nodded his head. "Good. I think the one on sixth still owes us. If not, Consult Adam Taurus. He owes us big time for breaking him out of maximum security. If he refuses notify Sienna, and go to the doc's house as a last resort. Got it?"

"Yes Boss." Mercury said softly as he could see Cinder gently resting a hand on top of his head.

"Good. Roman, I want that corpse and gun disposed of yesterday. And I want a parcel of bone meal in my hands by week's end. If you don't mind, I need to prepare my house for Salem coming to town in six days and have real pains in my ass to deal with now." Cinder said as she could see Roman pulling out an older phone to type away a few messages.

"And the crime scene?" Roman asked in general as Mercury just chuckled dryly.

"Burn the house for all I care. Just take the pictures of my mother out first. After that I don't care. He has a safe under his bed the combination is four zeros." Mercury said curtly as Cinder smiled.

"You heard the orphan. The currency, wire it through our normal channels and get it back to Mercury who can handle it however he wants. Any documents that Marcus had pertaining to Mercury hand them to him upon his return. Everything else I want either on my desk, or used to set this shack on fire."

"Got it boss." Roman said softly. "And I'll make sure he is on a plane tonight once he is patched up."

"No. I want this done thoroughly. Marcus knew too much. Mercury isn't dumb enough like his father." Cinder said in a far colder tone as Roman nodded his head.

"Then this place is going to be dust in a few hours. I'll have the boys block off the quick routes for firefighters and police, what is left they won't be able to prove, and the earth will be salted." Roman said calmly as Cinder just smiled at him. "Any other requirements you want?"

"Get the boys in Vacuo to make cover for Mercury and get the brainiacs to ghost Mercury on an earlier flight two weeks ago. Once that is all done I want a report." Cinder said walking towards the door. "And don't botch this up as badly as you did Emerald's parents."

Chapter Text


Chapter 26:

Dragging the file into the piece of metal, Ruby just let out a huff to blow the metal dust away as she felt a finger tap her shoulder. Spinning around, Ruby nearly jumped as she could see Emerald and Neon looking at her. The latter of whom had her fingers in her ears as she tried her hardest to not rush out of the room. Rolling her eyes, Ruby pulled her ear plugs out as she just sighed.

"I told you it isn't wise to come here Neon." Ruby said in a huff of a tone as she looked towards Emerald. "And why do you look so angry? You should probably get some rest Em." Ruby continued in a soft tone as she could see the dusky skinned woman rolling her eyes harshly.

"Neo has been doing a two day sex binge in the room... and I can't sleep with all the freaking moaning. Didn't even know where she found the couple who are into her weird things... but she did. And the dude keeps bitching about Neo's toys. Added to all that this course is kicking my ass right now. I am getting the hang of it so hopefully in a few days I can get out from under this crap." Emerald said softly as Ruby just smiled as she plucked the ear buds resting around her neck as she handed them to the Faunus.

"They aren't the right kind of ones for Faunus Neon, but it will at least help." Ruby said as Neon quickly snatched the item as she plugged her ears. "And if you need a bed, you can take mine. Just knock on the door and tell Yang I said it was okay. Just don't do anything scary. I actually like Yang. Or now that I think about it don't you and Mercury have a place around here? That you are still paying high amounts for? I mean I'm sure Mercury won't mind if you went back to sleep."

"Merc was sent to Vacuo. And it is a three hour round trip back if not more because I don't have a car, and the only other thing in the world Cinder cares about besides you is her cars. So much so she fired a person for a tiny scratch from him sitting on the hood. I'll walk unless you are in the car with me." Emerald said holding her hands up as she took a deep breath. She knew that she couldn't tell Ruby, that what her mother did was literally set the man on fire, but she did know that she wasn't going to take the risk even sitting in the car without Ruby being there. Hell she didn't even want to imagine what would happen if she accidentally dented the door or worse crashed it and lived.

Not even waiting for Emerald to leave, Neon walked up to Ruby and wrapped her arms around her as she just smiled at the feeling of one of Ruby's arms wrapping around her possessively. "I'll call Mercury tomorrow then wondering why he wouldn't tell me about that. But then go to my room if you won't take the car." Ruby spoke as she tried to ignore the feeling of Neon peppering her neck with kisses. "Em, seriously. You look like you need at least a few hours. Or did you forget that I know what sleep deprivation looks and feels like. I'll gladly sleep on the floor, or stay at Neon's. Or worst case we share a bed like we did when we were children again." Ruby said with a small chuckle as she could see Neon pulling back to glare at her. "Relax, nothing fishy would be going on. You can take the earplugs out if you want. The machines are off."

Seeing Neon shaking her head, Ruby just smiled faintly as she could see Emerald rubbing her eyes gently. "Fine. But as soon as you are back wake me up." Emerald said as Ruby just smiled faintly.

"By the way Emerald, do you have any you know?" Ruby asked softly as to not cause attention as she could see Emerald crossing her arms as she looked at them.

"Who is asking for it Ruby? Because I know you haven't asked Cinder and if it is the Faunus she can fork over fifty and I can have some dropped off for her." Emerald deadpanned as she stared into the silver eyes. "Seriously either call Cinder, or get her to pay me." Emerald said as Ruby rolled her eyes.

"I don't have my phone on me. I'll ask Mom later. Just this once. I promise it isn't going to get back to her." Ruby said in a calm tone as she could see Emerald just maintaining her stance. She had no idea why this was the one thing that Emerald would place her foot firmly down compared to all kinds of things Ruby has done in the past. With or without Neo. "Fine, I'll call Mom. You'll need to stay up a bit longer because I need to clean up my area." Ruby said as she separated from Neon as she just smiled softly at the sight of Neon frowning which Ruby just knew was from a combination of sounds getting through the ear plugs that Ruby knew were only rated for human ears and the fact that Ruby was moving away from the contact which would have been supplying some comfort for her.

"Go wait for me outside the room Neon. I need to clean up and smack Yuma. Right in the damn ribs for snickering back there thinking I can't hear it above the sound of files, saws and machines." Ruby said looking back to throw a glare towards her. "That's right. I heard it. Just be glad my girlfriend is here otherwise I'd kick your ass. Wouldn't even feel bad about it." Ruby said as she could see the man jumping slightly from Ruby glaring at him.

Rubbing her eyes gently, Cinder took a deep breath. "Hazel... I swear if it wouldn't piss Salem off, I'd kill Tyrian." Cinder said in an exhausted tone as she stared at the man waiting patiently by the door. As if nothing had seemed to have bothered him about this.

"I'll watch him. And you know he won't do anything that will screw with Salem's visit. He even still calls her Mother. And you should probably answer that phone. It could be Ruby. Which I know would drive you crazy if she needs help and you couldn't give it to her." The large man known as Hazel said calmly as he crossed his arms as Cinder just sighed softly picking the phone up.

"She has Emerald and Neo watching her." Cinder said as she placed the phone to her ear. "Hello?" Cinder asked softly as she was just glad that she could get over this. She knew that there was bound to be something she could find eventually that would allow her to kill the man that had annoyed her constantly since they were children.

"Mom, do you mind if I smoke with some friends? Emerald is being a buzzkill and demanding I call you first." Ruby's voice said coming over the other end as Cinder just sighed gently. At least it offered a way out of this conversation for her.

"Ruby, will you be safe? I'd rather you not do it if you won't be." Cinder said as she pinched the phone between her shoulder and head as she opened a drawer and produced a different phone. "Especially because Mercury isn't in Vale."

"Yeah, about that, why the hell was I not told about him going to Vacuo? Anyways that is a talk for a different time. I just got done my math test and I have most of this practical done and I just want to relax. I promise I'll be safe." Ruby pleaded as Cinder just sighed.

"I hate how much I'm a pushover when it comes to you. I'll let Emerald know. Call me as soon as you get back to your room. I want to make sure you are safe." Cinder said as she quickly started to type a message into the new phone before she hit send. "Now Ruby, do you mind telling me how well your test went?" Cinder asked as she closed her eyes and dropped the phone onto her desk.

"It went fine Mom. I don't mean to toot my own horn but I think I aced it. The physics one is the one I'm worried about but that isn't until Thursday and afterwards I'm heading straight home for a long weekend." Ruby said puffing her chest out in just what Cinder knew was her being proud of her accomplishment. Hearing a kiss on the other end. Just the sound of which was making Cinder loath the fact that she couldn't kill this woman.

"I hope that girl isn't the reason you want to get high Ruby. And you know you can call me for other things as well." Cinder said hearing a small cough on the other end like Ruby was caught red handed. "Seriously Ruby if that girl is, you know I can't be held responsible." Cinder said in a calm tone as she picked her phone back up as she just started to type away another message to just get Emerald to check.

"Mom, she isn't. I promise. This is just the first time we've seen each other all day and she hurt her ears ignoring my warnings about my practical rooms being loud. Look, we have Glynda tomorrow. I promise if anything happens, I'll tell you tomorrow if something comes up. I promise. I heard there is a nice southern place that opened up. I'll get a reservation for us after my meeting with Glynda." Ruby said as Cinder just rolled her eyes gently.

"Okay then Ruby. Be safe and remember to call me after you get home." Cinder said in a calm tone as she could see Hazel just smiling a sly smile at her. "I love you Ruby." Cinder said as she glared at the man.

"I love you too Mom. Say hi to uncle Hazel who I just know is in the room trying to calm you down." Ruby said as Cinder just smiled faintly as she said her final goodbye to Ruby as she hung up her phone as she just looked at the man.

Taking a deep breath, Cinder began to rub her eyes gently. "Say anything Hazel, and I'll risk Salem getting pissed off at me. I've already done it once before and she has grown to love and cherish that person." Cinder hissed as Hazel just smiled at her. "And I know Ruby isn't a fair comparison, but I'll still gladly kill you, and then that son of a bitch out there who has been snickering thinking I can't hear it!" Cinder yelled as she threw the paper weight that had been resting on her desk at the door. "Honestly, I'm the feared leader of the single largest group in the underworld, and I can't even get some damned respect in my own home."

As the door pushed open, Cinder could feel a vein develop in her forehead. "Well dearest sister, that is because you are the least terrifying person here. If we go by number of people killed I have that honour. Size, well there is, five eleven you in your tallest heels... then there is our large seven foot ten inch, three hundred and fifteen pound brother… he has that covered. Not to mention, out of all of us, you are the only person with something to lose."

"And the only person with something to protect besides my pride. Something that Salem holds close to her heart. Want to try me? Because I won't be a coward like you and poison someone. Or would you like to see why Salem chose me to replace her. Because I guarantee I'm not going to be a coward like you if you want to try and drag my daughter into this as a human shield." Cinder said as she could see the man holding his hands up in defence.

"I'd never harm that delicate flower. It would displease mother. And I do not displease mother. That is why I haven't tried anything with you." Tyrian said in a calm measured tone as Cinder just glared.

"You'd best get out of my office before you find out how skilled I am at making a corpse thereby upsetting her." Cinder hissed as she could see the man that had quickly become the bane of her existence stepping out of the room. Snickering the entire time making Cinder just loathe him more and more as she picked up the phone she had been texting Emerald on. "Keep him under watch. Apparently the Fang might be trying something with Ruby. Emerald recognised one of the foot men eyeing Ruby up."

"Don't do something brash Cinder. Salem is powerful, enough to make Sienna and any other group shake with fear. But she'd agree with Tyrian. When it comes to Ruby you get blinded. From that blinded point you can weaken Grimm. Her love for Ruby is beyond anything we can imagine... but we both know she wouldn't strike down the White Fang over something as small as one thing like that." Hazel said in a calm tone as Cinder just smirked.

"I never said I was going to strike them down for it. I just want to remind Sienna about the agreement we have."

Laughing softly Ruby placed her head on the nearly barren lap of the Faunus who just joined in. Something that just made Ruby laugh harder as she could see the duo sitting across from them with a smile on the teal haired woman as the red head just seemed slightly uncomfortable.

"Pyrrha, you need to relax. I guarantee that the worst thing that is going to happen is you'll learn I don't want Reese back. I have this super hot girlfriend." Ruby chuckled softly as she began to sit up accepting the glass vessel from Reese. "I mean, have you not seen this incredibly hot girl? Frankly if you two weren't here I'd be busy eating her out and getting eaten out. Maybe use a few of the toys that were out in the open here when we got here."

"Shut up. I get lonely. And seventy five percent of this room has already seen you naked and at least half have seen your orgasm face." Neon said as she began to wrap her arms around Ruby kissing her neck as Ruby began to cough hard waving her hands in front of her face.

Spinning her head slightly, Ruby placed a kiss on Neon's lips. "Nah, three of the four have. Reese and I have video taped some things for private use which I have a copy of. I'm still not an exhibitionist. And short of the entire room being in both categories, we aren't going to do anything like that. No matter how hot and dumb you are." Ruby chuckled separating as she held the items that had been in her hands towards the Faunus woman.

"I'm not dumb... and that shit is super strong. How can you take multiple hits?" Neon said as Ruby just rolled her eyes handing the items across the room.

"You think I'm pretty. That is pretty dumb. And that is actually pretty weak compared to what I normally do. Told you I do some strong and pure shit." Ruby said as she felt the tail wrapping around her. Just a feeling that Ruby had nothing but to chuckle at. "But frankly, I can show you how happy I am that you are dumb the second we are alone." Ruby whispered softly as she climbed onto Neon's lap, wrapping her arms around the girl's neck, Ruby just smiled as she heard some chuckling behind her.

"You see Neon, Ruby has some serious self confidence issues. And I can guarantee that if Ruby has some weed you'll see me. Seriously, it knocks people on their asses. It also tends to make her horny. So you know, if you want to try anything kinky, you can run it by her. Just don't expect her to dirty talk or spank your ass. She is totally all for it on her." Reese chuckled out as she began to stand up placing the items down. "We should leave you alone though. Because I'm starting to get turned on myself. Just a heads up, calling her a bad person fastest way to settle her down. But it will also leave you beaver damned." Reese said happily as she began to pull the possessive redhead up.

"You said that seriously though. And you know I'm sensitive to a lot of things. And you don't see me telling Pyrrha that you like playing the catholic schoolgirl and wants to talk to a strict teacher to get your grades up. Or the idea of a prison warden and an unruly prisoner." Ruby said with a chuckle as she leaned back as Reese just laughed. "And damn it that was your plan all along." Ruby continued leaning backwards as she could see glared at the couple walking out of the room.

"You know me so well Ruru. Probably shouldn't stay here tonight. You know how Ashes gets." Reese chuckled as Ruby tossed a pillow at her. Just smiling as she could see the door close.

Smiling faintly, Ruby just smiled as she returned to looking at Neon with a smile on her face. "Now that the buzzkills are gone... where were we? Because if I recall right, we were going to get freaky." Ruby chuckled softly leaning into plant kiss onto Neon's lips as she laughed softly as Neon spun around planting her on her back.

"Let's pull the breaks. Getting you high gets you horny?" Neon asked as she smiled down at Ruby.

"From what I've done, yeah except eating edibles. Why you getting some naughty idea?"

"You can say that."

Chapter Text


Chapter 27:

Groaning a little, Emerald gently shoved Ruby's shoulder jostling her awake as she could see her jolting upright to quickly look around. "Why are your hands under my shirt? This is why I don't like sharing a bed with you Ruby." Emerald began as Ruby just started to grumble rubbing her eyes. "What was the dream about that caused you to freak out by the way? You scratched my abs and boobs up something fierce." Emerald said as Ruby just fell onto the floor as she continued to rub her eyes.

"Sorry about that. All of that." Ruby said gently as Emerald tossed the blanket to cover her. "And that explains why there is a chill." Ruby continued standing up as she wrapped the light blanket around her as she could see Emerald lifting her shirt as she let out a loud groan as she fell backwards. Gasping, Ruby covered her mouth gently as she could see the trails of red staining Emerald's shirt. "I'm so very sorry Em. I was just having a bad dream of the eyes and I took the crap Glynda had prescribed... do you want me to go get you some peroxide? Or some antibiotic cream?" Ruby said as Emerald just laughed softly sitting up.

"I'm fine Ruby. It just stings a little, and they are finger nail scratches. It is going to be fine in like an hour. Your concern is noted though. But I am glad that I could get some sleep. Even if I got woken up by someone clawing my tits." Emerald hissed softly rubbing her chest as Yang began to stir.

"Why don't you wear a better fitting shirt to bed?" Ruby asked as she walked over towards the wardrobe to start pulling out some clothes for her to wear for the day. "Seriously, I've seen what you get paid. And taking out a portion for your place and other things... you still have more than enough to get better clothes to sleep in." Ruby said as she looked towards Yang who had a quizzical look on her face as she began to pull the earbuds out of her ears.

"I like loose shirts to sleep in. And I know for a fact you still have a few of Hazel's shirts you like to sleep in. You know Hazel, the freaking mountain of man." Emerald said as Yang just looked towards her. "Her uncle is one of the tallest men to ever exist at like ten feet tall." Emerald said as Yang began to cough.

"He isn't ten feet tall. He is like seven ten. Why does everyone inflate that number? And he is a freaking teddy bear. People just assume the worst seeing him."

"I've got a question... and it could be because I'm still sleepy so I don't have much of a filter right now... why is everyone in your family freaking terrifying? Your mom is a bit psycho when it comes to you... you have a nearly eight foot uncle... your grandmother hates everyone. And by my count you still have two uncles left to tell me anything about." Yang said as she began to sit up in her bed. "Also the hell is Emerald doing in here? I was told she was meant to be woken up when you got back and she'd be on her way." Yang continued as she looked at the green haired woman. "No offense. Frankly out of all of Ruby's friends I know you, Reese and Mercury seem the least dangerous. If it was Neo in here I wouldn't be surprised if I woke up with her holding a knife to my throat."

"I was meant to wake her up... but I came back really stoned and tired and frankly I'm still a little bit sore from how hard I was being pounded." Ruby said as she tossed the blanket back onto her bed as she quickly cinched her belt tighter as she turned to face her room mate. "And my other two uncles, one is a biomedical engineer that tours cities offering help in hospitals who is also a medical doctor, and my other one is a scorpion Faunus who runs some really successful exterminating businesses where he uses a poison unique to him that kills things quickly and humanely. And he claims that he could change it through a diet change but he doesn't want to do it." Ruby continued brushing herself down. "Now if you don't mind, I need to go for a run, grab some breakfast, text Neon... head to my therapy session, have a meal with Mom who probably needs some sort of escape because she never really got along all that well to my knowledge with my uncles... then study for a test tomorrow that I feel a little unsure about." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Emerald just taking a deep breath.

"I should probably go make sure that Neo hasn't fucked anything else up in my room. And get ready for a nightmare of a day where I need to catch up on one class I slept through... but it is ballistic studies and I'm actually good at that." Emerald said with a frown pushing herself up. She just knew that she was going to have a fun time already trying her hardest to explain the damage to the room after this to get the security deposit back that she was surprised she still had hoped for despite the fact she knew that she was going to be sharing it with Neo.

"Probably has to do with the fact you have a gun which I'm positive is breaking some law." Yang mumbled as she walked over to the fridge.

"I'm an adult, with a conceal and carry license, and the school doesn't care if I carry it provided it is for self defence which it is and I declared it to them. Which I have. I do almost everything above board Blondie." Emerald said standing up as she began to crack her back.

Groaning softly, Ruby grabbed her bag as she took a deep breath slinging it over her shoulder. "Both of you behave... I'm not going to be here for most of the day. So just behave. I don't want to be called and told one of you are in a hospital room... or both." Ruby said with a smile as she walked out of the room quickly not even waiting for some sort of response to come from them.

Seeing Ruby walk out of the room, Yang just took a deep breath as she cracked open the can in her hands and took a long drink. Shaking her head, Yang sighed as she looked at Emerald who quickly had stood up and was already lacing her boots.

"So what is the real deal with Ruby's uncles... and you seriously do everything above board?" Yang asked with a raised eyebrow as she could see Emerald just rolled her eyes as she cracked her back.

"Cinder felt like it would be a bad thing if Ruby's only friends from childhood got arrested over something that could have been prevented. I even pay taxes and vote." Emerald said walking over to Ruby's desk where she picked up the items she had left on it before she went to sleep. "As for her uncles, it is as she said. Watts got her interested in engineering as a whole but is also known as an angel of death because of how he deals with people in hospitals. Tyrian does run a few exterminating companies which I doubt the poison he uses is very humane he likes to play with more fire than Reese does and is as sane as Neo." Emerald continued as came to a stop in front of the door. "Hazel... I've got to give Ruby that one. He actually isn't that bad of a person. Just his size is intimidating, but don't be confused, he has killed more people than me, and when he wants to be he can be just as cruel as Cinder... just he never has been." Emerald spoke as she opened the door and just smiled faintly as she could see the door to her room opening up as Neo walked out with a relieved look on her face.

"Room is free. I wouldn't really be on your bed. I can't guarantee that there wasn't some various fluids spraying across the room. I'll clean it up when I get back. Need to show up for class." Neo said skipping out of the hallway as Emerald just took a deep breath as if she could feel her anger raising a little.

"Right... that is all kinds of nasty. What did you say they were doing?" Yang asked as Emerald just sighed rubbing her eyes.

"A kinky threesome where I saw knives, absurdly large toys, food and lots of rope. It is best not to question it... I just hope whatever happened it doesn't stain. I can't believe I forgot how bad of a roommate she is and how much I miss sharing a place with Mercury."

"Sounds right."

Sitting in the office, Ruby just frowned as she could hear her phone going off. "Ruby, do I need to remind you of my no phones being on rule?" Glynda asked as Ruby just frowned taking her phone out to quickly type away a message.

"I'm sorry Glynda. It is this girl I'm kind of seeing. I told her I would be busy at this time." Ruby said with a dark blush taking over her features as she quickly locked her phone making a mental note to give a lecture to Neon about when she could and couldn't send her half naked photos.

Tapping lightly on the notepad as she watched Ruby switch her phone hopefully onto silent as she placed her phone on the table between them. A look of minor shock being present on her face that Glynda had just had to admire in how the teenager was seemingly a clash of several polar opposites.

"Is it a serious relationship?" Glynda asked as Ruby just smiled faintly.

"I don't know. I mean we've done things together yeah. But we haven't really talked at length. I consider her my girlfriend... I've even called her it. And she hasn't really corrected me." Ruby spoke leaning back with a smile. "She is pretty fun to be around as well. She is kind of like Reese in that regard. Frankly if I didn't have this, I would have been with her until my only class and then once that is done just go straight into studying until like right before a test I have tomorrow." Ruby continued as Glynda just nodded her head as she began to write something down.

"And how has the dreams been going? I only ask because I haven't received any more calls? Not that you shouldn't call me if you think your medication is causing some sort of adverse effect." Glynda said as Ruby just nodded her head in understanding.

"I haven't really taken them... not that I haven't had any... I've had some really really bad ones. But I would rather them over the one of the eyes. Hell I had one last night... and kind of accidentally scratched Emerald up pretty bad last night because we had to share a bed because Neo was being... Neo and Emerald was getting sleep deprived." Ruby said sitting up frowning. "I didn't mean to... and I apologised to her instantly when she woke me up... and it looked bad. But she said it wasn't that bad." Ruby continued softly looking at her lap as she took some deep breaths.

"I'm sure if Emerald was mad, she'd actually have let you know. Provided your hands are clean which I know they almost always are, and she would just really need to clean the injuries which takes seconds really. So you shouldn't beat yourself up about that." Glynda spoke in a soft tone as she could see Ruby grumbling softly crossing her arms.

The sight of which just made Glynda smile a little bit more as Ruby just took a deep breath. "I know that look Ruby. We've been working together for years now. And while I don't know much of Emerald, the few times I have talked to her, I can tell that if she was bothered by something she would gladly speak her mind." Glynda spoke as Ruby just frowned deeper as she slouched further into her chair.

"Doesn't mean I don't feel bad. I mean it just makes me wonder what it would be like if I was normal and wasn't plagued by nightmares." Ruby pouted as she could see Glynda just looking at her with a saddened expression strewn on her face. "Like I feel really really bad about it... and when I offered to get things to help her she just flat out refused. Which actually makes it hurt a bit more. I don't even know why." Ruby continued in her sulking manner as Glynda just wrote something else on the paper.

"At least the one night I spent with Neon I didn't have any." Ruby said with a smile just hoping whatever was being written down wasn't going to be something that would ultimately lead to her being given more things to take that she didn't want with the only tool she had at her disposal really. She just wished that it wasn't convincing the psychiatrist that she wasn't in much need of more medication.

"Do you not feel safe with Emerald?" Glynda asked as Ruby looked up at her with a look of question being present. "It is a simple question Ruby."

"She is like my sister. As far back as she can remember we've been friends. She even practically grew up in my home. She was even with me when I accidentally broke my arm on this old tire swing at my grandma's house and even helped me make a splint before we walked back up which was thankfully good enough for the long trip to the hospital." Ruby said in a soft tone as she just began to look around the room, anywhere so she didn't need to stare into those questioning eyes. "I guess in a long about way I do feel safe with her... about as much as a sister can make you feel safe."

Nodding her head gently, Glynda just took a deep breath. "I suggest you should evaluate what you said. To me it doesn't sound like you really believe it. You know she won't get you into harm's way and if you manage to get into it, she'll help you get out... but compare it to Reese or in a much easier way your Mother. Two women who you've claimed when you sleep close to them, you don't have nightmares. People you felt safe enough subconsciously that you don't have those dreams. So come next week we can talk about it. But our time today is up." Glynda said as she could see Ruby just looking at her with some minor confusion.

Knowing that there was no budging Glynda when the meeting had ended, Ruby just sighed softly standing up as she began to just mumble softly to herself. "Can you just give me something to help me sleep though Glynda? I don't want to risk a really bad one and risk actually harming someone if I have to share with the likes of Emerald." Ruby pleaded as Glynda looked at her with a saddened expression.

"I'll give you a small prescription of what you were on. And I don't want you to take them freely. You'll only have six for the month unless I deem otherwise." Glynda said as she quickly walked towards her desk where she dropped the notepad as she reached into the desk and pulled out a prescription pad.

Smiling as she could see the sheet being torn and placed into her hands, Ruby could just feel her joy mount higher and higher at the fact that she knew that she was going to be in the clear really in regards to this. As she accepted it, Ruby began to walk towards the door, just hoping that she wouldn't need to really use the medication, but at the same time she knew that with the recent deluge of nightmares, she knew that her hands were going to be tied and she was going to need to use them.

As the door opened, Ruby just felt her smile redouble as she could see her mother standing up with a relieved look on her face as if she was happy that she could see and make sure that Ruby was in fact alright.

Quickly hugging her mother Ruby just smiled as she could feel the relief of her mother seeping through at that simple contact. "How was the meeting Ruby?" Cinder asked as Glynda held the phone Ruby had forgotten out. "Ruby, your phone." Cinder said as Ruby pulled back with a shocked expression as to how she forgot what was nearly essential in her life.

Pulling back Ruby accepted the phone, as she just looked at her. "Okay Glynda... and I'll think about that question you posed. And we'll talk next week." Ruby said as the blonde doctor just smiled at her as she walked back into the room closing the door. "Even if it doesn't make sense..." Ruby added softly as Cinder just looked at her daughter with a curious look.

"I shared my bed with Emerald last night and I accidentally clawed her up... and she asked if I don't feel as safe with Emerald as I do with you or when I'm dating someone." Ruby explained as she and Cinder had started to walk out of the office. "But we didn't really get a chance to talk before Glynda welcomed me into the office. How are you handling Tyrian and Hazel?"

"I haven't wanted to murder them in the last hour."

"So about as long as you've been with me?"

"I stand by my statement."

Chapter Text


Chapter 28:

Smiling as she grabbed the glass of water, Ruby took a small sup as she could see her mother scanning the room. Ruby just had to smile at, as she looked down at the menu. "I'm serious Mom. I bet Uncle Tyrian just wants to get under your skin... the easiest way I've been told to deal with that kind of thing is act like it doesn't bother you." Ruby said as she picked up. "Oh and look, they have enchiladas... you love those. With several levels of spices... what is the point of eating something that is meant to be spicy without the spice?"

"That doesn't work for your uncles. Trust me Ruby, I've tried everything within my power." Cinder spoke leaning back in her chair as she took a deep breath. "And I don't know. Some people are weird. But I don't want to talk about your uncles. You'll have plenty of time this weekend to catch up with them and what is left over we can have some mother daughter time working on the cars. I want to talk about you. It feels like it has been so long since we've last seen each other face to face."

Smiling at her mother's comment, Ruby just looked up at her. "We last saw each other last week Mom. And all that has changed is I've been seeing a girl. Who is really cute, and funny, and reads a lot, and I only haven't told you much about her because she is a Faunus. And while I know you don't judge people like that I do know you instantly jump onto the 'chances are she could be a supremacist' train and she isn't." Ruby spoke as Cinder just stared half heartedly at her daughter.

Cinder was just reminded of all the times she had seen Ruby when she was a child trying to make a claim about how she really really needed something and she would totally not get bored of it after a few minutes. That was why she supposed she hasn't demanded to see this Faunus. She knew that Ruby was going to get bored a whole lot sooner than when Ruby and Reese were dating.

Just the thought that Ruby would date someone equally annoying, was enough to get Cinder all kinds of angry that would probably result in a war as the other gangs would try and form together to over through Grimm despite Ruby's claims the woman wasn't a member of the White Fang. She wouldn't risk that chance. Especially with how her talks with Sienna yesterday went.

"I just want to make sure we have something serious before I introduce her to you. Because you always get weirdly over protective of me when I date, at least if Reese is anything to go by. I'm not saying I won't introduce you to her." Ruby said softly as she reached for her glass again. "Plus no offense intended mom, but you kind of terrify all my friends. Including Emerald and Neo. So I'd rather let this relationship crash and burn naturally than if you sped it up."

"If you are dating another Reese, I swear I'm going to destroy the relationship Ruby. That woman just constantly gets under my skin to the same level as your uncles if not more. And the only reason I haven't done something bad for her is because you still like her as a friend and she knows that I wouldn't do anything to harm you in any form of the word." Cinder spoke softly as Ruby just shook her head gently from side to side.

"Mom, seriously. Don't go full mama bear. I promise I'm not going to get hurt. And if I do you can ask Emerald about her. And Reese only bothers you because she is more scared of Grandma Salem." Ruby said with a smile as Cinder just chuckled softly.

"You are the only person to never be terrified of her. She still scares me. I don't even know how she does it." Cinder half lied as she could see Ruby just smiling softly at her. "I'm sorry, you are right. She scares you when you do something self destructive or stupid for someone who is as smart as you. Like when you try to take cookies from the cookie jar and get caught. Or if you make special brownies." Cinder said as Ruby just chuckled as she closed the menu. "So do you know what you are going to get?"

"The unlimited super spicy chili verde. I want something spicy. And I love chili." Ruby said with a smile ignoring the look on her mother's face of fear. "Mom, it isn't green from herbs. And even if it was, what are the odds they'd use the rare one I'm allergic to in a sauce that is just really peppers and tomatillos... and occasionally cilantro. None of the above is epazote. And even if it is, I'll just get bad stomach pains... and headaches. You know unless I shove down a quarter of a pound of it. But the odds of that are slim to none. So just relax." Ruby continued as she could see Cinder with doubt in her eyes.

"Just last time you had it in a restaurant it did, and you spent the night in hospital. And you have that test tomorrow." Cinder reasoned as she could see Ruby just frowning at her concern.

"My test is like the afternoon. And if the worst does happen, I'll ask the professor if I can have an extension because I'd be in the hospital, and if I don't get it I would take it to the head of the department and if that all fails I'm still not going to lose much. This test is only worth like ten percent of my overall grade... I'd still be getting an A if I ace everything else." Ruby said with a smile as Cinder just shook her head.

"You were on bed rest for a week last time Ruby." Cinder countered as Ruby just continued to smile at her. As if there was no worry about anything in the given setting. Even though Cinder knew her worry was as clear as it possibly could be. "Seriously Ruby... like normally I'm all for you trying weird things when it comes to food, and the fact you'd be with me for a while. But again you have that test." Cinder complained as Ruby simply rolled her eyes at the concern as if Cinder had done nothing but strengthen her resolve.

"Mom, if it does have it and again the worst does happen, I promise nothing bad will happen. And it means I'll be home sooner. You know after some bad times in a hospital as I wish for my tummy to just stop hurting and for my head to stop aching." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Cinder relenting with a sigh. "I'll make sure you know if I do feel bad Mom. Besides of course I can guarantee that Emerald and Neo both will let you know." Ruby said with a smile as Cinder just relented much to her chagrin.

"Fine. Just don't forget. I'm going to be panicking the entire time." Cinder said as Ruby just smiled at her, happy that she had won this small feud. Even if she did know that she was gambling with her immediate future where she could very easily be in pain.

"I'll be fine Mom. Why do you always jump to the worst case scenario? Honestly I'm becoming an engineer and I don't even do that all that often compared to you."

"I only do that when it comes to you. For others I really couldn't care less about them. Your friends included. Unless they are with you. Then they get lucky for as long as you are with them." Cinder said with a calm tone as Ruby just chuckled at her. "It is a mother thing Ruby. I seriously can't constantly not think about what I'd do if something dreadful happens to you. I mean just the thought of you being harmed or in discomfort is enough to make my blood run cold most of the time."

"Going to be in suspended animation when I figure out how to colonise other planets and am on a mission to colonise another one." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Cinder just chuckling as she shook her head gently. "I know, you'd want to be with me at the time..."

"Or dead for a few years. And those are literally the only ways I'll accept you leaving the planet. I don't care how crucial you are to any project. Either make sure I've been dead for a few years or you take me with you." Cinder deadpanned as she could see Ruby just chuckling softly.

"Okay Mom. It is a deal. I'll be the only engineer that has her mother with her." Ruby quipped as she could see her mother just smiling at her softly as she chuckled at the comment.

Smiling as she rubbed her face, Yang began to yawn as she opened her dorm door as she could see Ruby sitting at her desk that Yang just knew was something that was becoming more and more common when she had been in the room.

Walking over towards the fridge, Yang tossed the small towel that had been resting on the back of her neck as she grabbed the bottle of water that had been resting on her own desk. "So, how was your day? I ask because you looked a bit freaked out earlier when you ran." Yang said as Ruby just rested her head down onto the table.

"It has been fine. Starting to think I need to tell my Mom she was right." Ruby said as she lowered a hand to just clutch her stomach.

"What's wrong? You don't look all that hot." Yang asked as Ruby made a quick lurch towards the plastic trash can by her desk as she began to get sick into it. Just the sound of which was something that caused Yang to make a face. "I'll take that as a no. You want me to make you some tea? Or is this just stress?" Yang asked softly as Ruby began to slouch over onto her side.

"Yeah... may want to get Emerald... or call my Mommy... I regret everything." Ruby sobbed gently as she began to clutch her stomach. "Anyone really. Preferably someone that can kill me." Ruby sobbed as Yang began to walk softly towards the door. As she opened it, she jumped slightly at the sight of Reese standing there.

"Where you off to? I was going to see if you wanted to chill for a bit..."

Hearing that comment, Ruby felt some relief knowing Yang was going to take a while to convince Emerald. "Reese. I regret everything. My tummy is killing me. I shouldn't have eaten so much." Ruby cried gently out as Reese began to open the door more to see Ruby curled up into a ball. "It totally had that stupid herb and now my tummy is killing me." Ruby continued as she heard a deep sigh.

"You know you shouldn't risk shit like that Ruby. Yang, try and get Ruby up... I'll get Em and by extension Ashes." Reese said as she walked gently tapped Yang's shoulder as she walked towards the door that was Emerald's that Yang didn't even know she knew they were there.

Turning back towards Ruby, Yang just sighed gently as she began to scoop Ruby up as gently as she could. "You want to fill me in exactly what is going on here?" Yang asked lowering Ruby down onto her bed.

Shivering gently, Ruby simply took a deep breath. "No... too much pain. My Mom was right... that place is a dick..." Ruby hissed as Yang could hear a pounding on her door.

Not even bothering to question Ruby, Yang walked towards the door as she nearly jumped out of the way at the sight of Reese walking in with Emerald who was on the phone. "See... looks like she ate too many cookies again." Reese said as Ruby just began to grumble.

"No cookies... stupid herb." Ruby spat as she clutched her sides tighter. Just the sound of that was enough for the pieces to connect for Emerald and Reese.

"Yeah boss. I can call an ambulance if you would rath-" Emerald started but was cut off by something as she nodded. "Okay. I'll get Neo and I'll drive her." Emerald said as she hung up her phone as she looked towards Ruby. "She gave me permission to drive the charger... so Blondie or Reese, pick her up the other one get Neo."

Before Yang could even make a case Reese was already trying her hardest to pick Ruby up, just loathing the strain she was putting herself under but it was a lot better than dealing with Neo. "Go on Yang. Have fun dealing with the vampire. Ruru, where are the keys."

"Come on you are struggling to carry her. What do you think Cinder would do to you if you dropped her with Ruby in pain and not nearly in a mood to defend you. Just woman up and go get Neo." Emerald complained as Reese nodded her head as she quickly handed Ruby over to Yang as she quickly walked out of the room.

"Desk... and get me a bucket I'm going to hurl again." Ruby complained as Yang just rolled her eyes gently at the sight of Emerald picking up the car keys as Yang walked towards the door as Ruby just started to curl up into a tighter ball leaving her blonde roommate further confused just from how was she meant to hold anything to get sick into if she was just going to curl up into a smaller and smaller ball.

"So does anyone mind filling me in? It seemed like you and Reese knew exactly what the hell was going on." Yang asked out of curiosity as she could see Emerald just smiling as she tossed the keys up before snatching them from the air as they walked out of the dorm room.

"She is allergic to a few things... it just isn't really the whole face and throat swelling unless it is shellfish but that would have been an instant thing. With the likes of herbs it tends to be hours later." Emerald said as she walked towards the car she quickly walked to the door and unlocked it. "It actually for the longest time got confused with an intolerance because of her digest tract pain... but if she wasn't wearing a hoodie you'd see her skin being blotchy which always happens first and low blood pressure is super common in like an hour or two after she starts showing signs. So it is best to be preemptive here."

"Em, I swear... if I live... I'm killing you." Ruby complained as she was placed into the back seat as Ruby began to clutch harder as Yang looked towards Emerald who gently shoved her further into the back of the car sending a signal to her that she was going to be going as well.

Begrudgingly climbing in, Yang sighed as she rested Ruby's head on her lap. "Just drive Em. Screw Neo." Ruby let out a bark of complaint as Reese jumped in next to Yang as Neo followed suit up front closing the door as Emerald twisted the key. As she just smiled as she held onto the steering wheel.

"God this feels so good. I can see why you and Cinder love these kinds of things..." Emerald said as Ruby just groaned as she could hear Emerald shifting gears as so she could just drive away.

"Em, I swear. Going to kill you. Not the time to get turned on by the car." Ruby winced as Yang just looked down at her with a slightly panicked look that Reese seemed to have gathered as gently shoved Yang's shoulder.

"Relax. Ruby is going to be fine. Just as long as she didn't eat shellfish. And even if she did, you wouldn't have seen her after this morning. But if you want to see something gross, lift her shirt up a bit." Reese chuckled as Ruby tried to glare at her to silence her.

"I swear Reese, I'll tell my Mom it is okay to talk to you in private with nothing holding her back." Ruby spoke as Reese just chuckled at the awful attempt at a threat. It wasn't that Reese wasn't terrified about Cinder being given that type of permission, it would always end in one place. Namely Reese's death. But she did know that Cinder wouldn't take Ruby serious.

Chuckling as she placed a hand on Ruby's head, Reese just took a deep breath. "You are in pain Ruby, so I'll forgive that. But we both know Ashes wouldn't take that comment seriously. So just calm down. Let Em get her lady boner... these cars are sweet and we are going as fast as we possibly can but traffic is still a thing." Reese spoke as Ruby just groaned louder.

Seeing Ruby in anguish, Yang just took a deep breath. She had to admit that she could very easily draw comparisons to her own step mother the few times she had seen her eat strange things while on something that her dad had later told her she was allergic to. But just the fact that she could believe that Ruby had just accidentally eaten something and regret it just made it feel so much different.

Namely that Yang actually did feel bad for Ruby. Just the fact that she had accidentally consumed something that would give her this kind of pain, enough to where she had actually snapped at people. Something that had shocked Yang for the simple fact that she didn't even think it was possible for this woman to have a single bad thought.

"Your going to be fine Ruby. Just in pain." Yang spoke as Ruby began to curl into a smaller ball.

"No duh."

Chapter Text


Chapter 29:

Jumping slightly as the blonde could see her dorm mate sitting in bed with the hospital gown covering a large part of her body but it did show off a lot of the exposed skin which meant that Yang could see exactly what the people had kept saying about her allergies. The sight of which did just bring up the few times Yang tried to get her step mother to leave her and her dad alone forever.

"One comment Yang... and I swear I'll kill you." Ruby said as she lay on her side still clutching her stomach.

"I don't care about that Ruby. I've dealt with my step mother who gets like that." Yang said softly as she felt her phone vibrating. Smiling as she grabbed it from her pocket as she just frowned. "Um, I hate to do this to you... especially because you kicked the others out for joking about the skin thing... but I just got a text from an old friend's sister... he is the hospital... do you mind if I go call her?"

"Don't mention my skin..." Ruby said as Yang just nodded her head gently placing a hand on top of Ruby's arm.

Walking towards the door, Yang nearly jumped out of her skin as she could see a tall man bending down to climb through the door that just caused Yang to pale further and further. As she took a few steps back she wasn't sure how the man was even standing given his stature.

"Ruru? How are you feeling?" The man asked as Yang just gulped once more.

"Bad Hazel... my tummy is killing me. Where is Mom?" Ruby said causing Yang's brain to catch up with the talk she had that morning about Ruby's mountain of an uncle. Just the sight of him caused Yang to suddenly understand why he was so terrifying. Hell Yang had no doubts that the man could probably crush people's heads with a single hand.

"She is out at the nurse's station with Arthur." The man said taking a step to the side causing Yang to just gulp once more at the sight of a much more lithe man that caused Yang to remember the talk about Ruby's Faunus uncle. Just the sight of him was enough to invoke a tiny bit more of fear.

Looking towards Ruby she had wondered if it really was safe to leave her with these people but she had to constantly remind herself of the fact that these were her uncles and very likely didn't mean her ill. "Ruby... I'll be going now... and I'll probably toss the garbage can out of our room. Just worry about feeling better." Yang said in a soft whimper of a voice that she didn't even know her body could really do. But she supposed the more she learned about Ruby's family the more and more she was discovering.

"Bye Yang." Ruby said as she began to roll onto her back as she just took a deep breath hoping to relieve some of the stress on her organs. Nodding her head, Yang quickly and all but sprinted out of the room. Just so she didn't need to deal with any of Ruby's uncles. The look of them was more than enough to worry her what they would do if anyone thought she harmed Ruby if what Cinder did when they first met was anything to go off of.

As she walked out of the room, Yang all but gulped at the look on Cinder's face as she could see another man standing next to her that she could just tell was Ruby's last uncle just from the way he seemed not bothered by Cinder or Emerald and Neo just behind them. The casualness of him brushing off the anger and fury from everyone around him was enough to get Yang equally terrified of the man.

Gulping as she just walked past the group, Yang walked towards the waiting room. Just so she knew that her call wasn't going to interfere with everything. Jumping slightly as she could see the blonde woman she was about to call in the elevator as the doors opened.

"Saphron? I was just about to call you." Yang said walking into the elevator. She could just tell by the look of worry etched into her face that the report Emerald had shown her was true. Jaune really was taken by Ruby's mother. "What is wrong?" Yang asked as the worried sister who just sighed as she pressed a button.

"Jaune got hurt... really bad." The woman said softly with a slight tremor in her voice. "It took us a lot of time to get into Jaune's phone to get your number... and I don't know how to feel." Saphron said as Yang looked at her.

"Feel about what? Your brother is hurt... I mean if the person the newspaper showed was him... he seems like he is in a bad shape." Yang said as she could see the woman just sighing as she looked towards her.

"It was true though... him and this Cardin person..." Saphron began as Yang walked up to her and began to hug the woman who for the longest time was like an older sister to her. Yang had wanted to say that she had been the person to lead the psychotic woman towards Jaune and that Yang was such a coward that she just wanted to protect herself and that the woman who did it was on the floor Yang got on at. "How could he do something like that? And I can't even ask him because he has been in a coma since he was founded..."

Gulping, Yang just felt the woman squeeze her tighter as she was left confused. "Was... was it really a Grimm retaliatory thing?" Yang asked as she felt the woman nod her head. "There had to be a reason that he was left alive than. Not to mention... I don't think that he would actually do anything to a woman like that though."

Gently pulling back, Saphron sobbed gently as she rubbed her eyes, taking a long almost painfully so deep breath as she spoke up. "But it is true... the police said the only reason they could see that he was spared was because he never actually touched the woman they didn't even have a name for... Yang... I had to listen to my brother... the one I even changed the diapers of when my parents were busy... him being a coward and just letting a woman go through what has to be hell."

Yang bit the inside of her cheek knowing that if the woman had heard the full details that Yang had pieced together after she had been given information that Jaune had helped with it towards a normally extremely nice woman who didn't even have much in the way of memories of it. At least what didn't come in the form of nightmares.

Not to mention Yang knew that if she told Saphron that it was a woman who wouldn't even think of being with a man in general would destroy the woman's care for her brother a lot more. But what she did know was that she couldn't let that happen. Especially because Yang knew that the woman would kill her for sending the crazy crime lord after her brother... no matter how true Yang's assumption turned out to be.

"I'm just happy his original planned failed... it was you... he wanted to do that to you." Saphron sobbed as Yang had to admit that she was agreeing with Reese. She was a little happy that it had happened to Ruby because now Jaune won't do anything of the sort and Cardin would never do it again despite the fact he must have done it before. So at least justice was served even if it was a cruel form. "It was why I was trying to find your number..."

"You know me Saph. If he did that to me, I'd beat the ever loving shit out of him and then hunt down Cardin to do the same..." Yang began with a small but clearly insincere smile. "How do the doctors say he is?" Yang spoke as she could see Saphron rubbing her eyes again.

"He has countless broken bones, he might not have use of his right leg... third degree burns over twenty percent of his body... four fingers were taken... a lot of brands being seared into his chest... he was down to half of his blood when he was found... and has severe swelling of the brain." The woman began as she dried her eyes the best she could. "Terra wouldn't even come which I'm a little thankful for... because that means Adrian won't see his uncle like that. And Mom is in the same boat... and as a mother... I can see why."

"Hey Saph... don't think about that. Just remember Jaune right now as the boy who gets motion sickness... and is so embarrassed around women that he has vomited into his shoes every time. Wait for him to wake up and ask him." Yang said as she could see the woman just chuckle softly in a dry manner that made Yang worry a lot, but knew there was nothing she could do that was going to allow her to stop it.

"If you saw him Yang... you'd know how impossible that is. Hell I'm the only one of seven that has even been to see him since we found out our brother is a coward of a man."

"While I'm here... do you mind if I do go and see him? I just had to drop my roommate off because she was having a pretty bad allergic reaction to something. And I passed her mother on the way to the elevator."

Drying her eyes for seemingly the thousandth time since she got in the elevator, she just looked towards Yang. "Sure... just I hope you have a strong stomach..."

Gently squeezing her hand, Cinder just frowned as she looked down at the sight of her daughter who had thankfully been able to hopefully relax the pain she had been in to stop curling up. She could see Ruby just happily pushing herself up as she cracked her neck.

"I don't want to hear you say it Mom... even if you were. But I stand by my statement... it is never usually used." Ruby said softly as she could see Cinder rolling her eyes gently as she leaned in to hug the smaller woman. She knew that she should have expected that, but she didn't really mind. "And those pills they gave me actually do make me feel great... just from how I don't feel like a red hot poker is being jammed through my digestive system."

"You know I wouldn't say anything bad Ruby. And those were strong opiates. So I hope they would stop any pain you were in." Cinder said with a chuckle as she could see Ruby just smiling at her. "Watts should be back soon with a laptop so you can message your professors about this. And thankfully no Tyrian." Cinder continued as Ruby just smiled softly.

Looking towards her mother, Ruby just couldn't help but see the worry in her eyes. "What did Tyrian do? You are mad at him more than normal..." Ruby asked as Cinder just smiled shaking her head gently at her.

"Nothing that concerns you Ruby. He has just been pushing my buttons more than normal." Cinder said calmly as she could began to began to pull her hand free to lean back in her chair. "And your grandmother heard about this and is going to be here tomorrow... so at least there is that. You did the impossible and moved her ahead of her schedule." Cinder said as Ruby just chuckled softly.

"Told you Grandma Salem is a big softie. She just doesn't like to be reminded of it. Or at least it being pointed out to her in front of people."

"No. That is just for you. If it was one of us, she wouldn't have given us a second's further thought as we should have known better." The voice of a man broke the small silence between mother and daughter. Walking towards Ruby, he lowered the item tucked under his arm down onto the moveable table as he just smiled at his niece. "And was that a strandbeest in your room amongst the other models?"

"Yeah. Neo got me a working model one and I just put it together a while back. I haven't been able to give it a decent test because we don't have a fan in the house... and I don't really have that great of lung capacity try and do myself." Ruby said with a calm tone as she could see Arthur just smiling as Ruby opened the laptop up. "It should work just fine... did get me thinking about some non-destructive modifications that could theoretically make it even better... just the added weight seems like it would destroy what makes it so great. You know unless there was a strong gust."

"If you are thinking about darkening a side, it doesn't work too well. Trust me. The math proves it gets far too heavy to the point that it won't work. In theory it would work yes." Watts said softly as Ruby started to type away at her computer. Just smiling as she shifted her head from one side to the other.

"If it was electroplated it could. But I suppose at that point it wouldn't really have the right effect..." Ruby began as she smiled at Cinder. "And you both should probably go home... they said they were going to look after me tonight and I'll be discharged come morning. I'm just going to send off this email to my professors tomorrow asking for the time to retake the test due to medical emergency." Ruby said with a smile as she clicked the send button as she just sighed leaning back.

Looking towards her mother, Ruby just smiled as she could see the concern in her eyes. "Mom... seriously. I'll be fine. The skin irritation is going down, I don't have low blood pressure and what pains I was in earlier are gone because of the drugs they gave me. Just be glad it wasn't shell fish. I don't think I could look uglier. As it is I'm going to need to message my girlfriend and hope she doesn't want to see me for a few days while my stupid skin heals. Can't even break down a stupid herb that tastes disgusting anyways." Ruby mumbled angrily as Cinder just chuckled as she gently tapped Ruby's hand.

"I'll wait until the last minute. I don't want you to worry. Watts can leave though." Cinder hissed at the man who shrugged his shoulders with not a care about the situation as he just walked out of the room. Shaking her head as she looked at the screen as Ruby just smiled at the sight.

"And the test is rescheduled for next week. I just need a doctor to give me a note explaining it really is an allergy reason I'm here and not me trying to put off the test. So can you get Emerald to swing by before I'm discharged?" Ruby said softly as she just smiled faintly at her mother. "I don't trust Neo to actually deliver it on time. Or without making some shitty joke and blab to the entire school about my stupid skin... and then everyone will know about how my stupid ugly skin gets stupider and uglier." Ruby sulked crossing her arms as Cinder just laughed softly as she kissed the top of her head.

She knew that no matter how hard she tried to convince Ruby otherwise, but she always never listened. It was at the point where if Ruby's therapist the last dozen of times when she could get some information from Glynda that Ruby actually wasn't just fishing for a compliment. Something that when Cinder had been told she felt foolish for even thinking about in the first place.

"You aren't stupid or ugly Ruby. When your uncle was here I didn't even understand most of what you were talking about, but apparently it made sense. And you are very pretty." Cinder spoke as she could see Ruby crossing her arms in protest as she was about to respond, Cinder beat her to it. "I can't believe I need to say this, but don't make me repeat it because I think she is like Beetlejuice. Reese doesn't think of you as anything but pretty. So it is not just because I'm your Mom. I mean what does this new girl say? Because if she hurts you, you know I won't be held responsible for what happens to her."

Smiling as she laughed softly, Ruby just shook her head. "Reese is kind of stupid... plus again her new girlfriend is so hot. And Neon does think I'm pretty... I just think she is blind. And Neon is fine Mom. She won't harm me. Just relax Mom. I'm a big girl."

"Not big enough to not eat something that can very easily cause you to end up in hospital after eating something like five bowls." Cinder laughed as Ruby just glared light-heartedly at her.

"It was three... and it is almost never used." Ruby grumbled as there was a knock on the door causing her to look towards it. "Come in." Ruby said in a slightly elevated tone as she could see her blonde roommate walking in. "Oh Yang... I thought you left... how is your friend?"

"He is in a bad state... he was the guy in the newspaper. The one that raped the daughter of Grimm." Yang said softly as she could see Cinder just looking carefully towards Ruby as she looked at Yang. "But most of his family is keeping their distance because the police just told them everything he did... and his eldest sister thought he was a coward of a man." Yang continued as Cinder just looked towards her calmly like she hadn't been the one to do it.

"That is because he is if the newspaper is right." Cinder said as Ruby just gently swatted at her mother. "I mean Ruby think about it, if he was spared, it was because he probably didn't do it himself and just watched and could have stopped it and didn't. That makes him a coward." Cinder continued as Ruby just looked at her.

"Or Grimm are just evil and would rather make someone suffer." Ruby mumbled as she looked towards Yang. "Anyways, how are you getting back to the dorm?" Ruby asked concerned as she looked towards Cinder as if silently asking about what was to happen next.

"Jaune's Dad is picking me and his sister up and dropping me off at the dorm..." Yang said as Ruby just smiled faintly at her.

"Okay Yang... I'll see you Monday... just be safe getting back."

"Will do Ruby."

Chapter Text


Chapter 30:

"See Jauney boy? We've got nothing to worry about. She'll either wake up and find her way back, or she'll die. Nothing bad will happen. Because there is nothing to connect us, except she is leaking jizz and there is nothing they can use to tie that to us." Ruby could hear from her spot down the hill. She could feel cold. But she knew that she couldn't let the cold take over her being.

Ruby knew that her mother would be distraught if she was to just let the sickly feeling win to allow her to slip into unconsciousness, and very likely death. Not to mention she knew that Reese and her other friends would be hurt just as badly. She couldn't let the unconscious feeling win out.

"I just have a really bad feeling Cardin." The other person said as Ruby could hear a sniff coming from the first one. Tossing an item towards the man, Jaune could feel his face paling. "The hell Cardin?"

"Kill her if you want. Then there is even less danger to us. The nearest place to us right now is a couple miles away. Why do you think I had you drive us out to Patch? The population is like fifty total."

"This is a gun. You are asking me to murder another person. Where did you even get a gun? They can trace these things."

"Relax. The number is filed off. I know a guy that sold me it. So either use it or get back in the car and drive me home. And bring the gun with you. It cost me a lot." The man stated coldly as Ruby could hear a car door open and close loudly.

Ruby could feel the gun just pointing in her direction. She began to curse her luck softly knowing that if the person fired, she wouldn't be seeing her mother again. Just the thought of never seeing the woman who gave her so much had started to cause the tears to spill from her eyes. It was at the point where Ruby really just wanted her mother's arms holding onto her. Maybe that would end this feeling forever.

"I can't... I'm sorry about what happened..." Ruby heard as she heard the sound of the car door open and close once more before she heard the engine starting up before it began to drive off quickly.

Jolting up, Ruby began to take some deep breaths as she scanned the room she was in. It was a hospital room. The one she was in last night. But she couldn't seem to put a stop to this feeling in her stomach as she could see her mother walking into the room looking excited.

Not even bothering to wait for her mother to be in the room fully, Ruby jumped out of the bed and ran up to hug her tightly. She didn't even care if her hospital gown was undone in the rapid movement of her's. All that mattered was that her mother was there.

"Woah... what's the matter Little Gem?" Cinder asked softly as Ruby just held her tighter. "Was it a nightmare?" Cinder asked figuring that there was something wrong and that was the only thing that ever got Ruby like this. Feeling a nod from the smaller woman while she still held on tightly caused Cinder to just sigh as she gently returned the hug. "It wasn't the one with the eyes was it?" Cinder asked already knowing that if that was the case she would have been called last night by one of the nurses she had paid to keep any extra attention they had on Ruby and knew that if it was that nightmare and if she wasn't called she would have to kill some nurses.

Shaking her head, Ruby really just wanted to be with her mother at this point. She didn't care how she got that time. She just had to have it. "It was a different one... two guys... they did things to me... and then one was going to shoot me..." Ruby said in between sobs Cinder had gently started to lead them back to the bed.

Cinder could feel her blood boil at the mere thought of that ever being a possibility. Just the thought of someone even thinking about doing that to Ruby was a terrifying thought to her. But Cinder knew that Ruby wasn't. It was something that Cinder was actually thankful for it being from a nightmare only. It meant that there was no walking corpses that Cinder would need to put down.

Seeing Ruby separate from her, Cinder frowned deeply as she could see Ruby just drying her eyes with the back of her hand. "Hey, Ruby... look at me." Cinder said calmly as Ruby looked at her mother as she took some panicked breaths. "Everything is fine now. Look where we are. You are in the hospital from an allergic reaction. You are going to get discharged then we head home." Cinder said calmly just hoping her tone would be enough to calm her down like it had so many times in the past. That was what she wanted at this point if nothing else.

Just the fact that Ruby would calm down was more than its own reward. One that she really really wanted. It would make the way she was feeling so much better.

"Are you feeling better?" Cinder asked softly after a few minutes of Ruby just regulating her breathing.

Nodding gently Ruby, just took a deep breath. As she began to redevelop her sense of whereabouts. "Yeah... I think so." Ruby croaked out gently as she began to just smile gently as she could feel her tears just stopping. "I kind of hate the fact I had to have stupid nightmares. I just wish my brain wasn't stupid like that." Ruby mumbled as Cinder just smiled as she planted a kiss on top of her head. Just hoping that she could get Ruby to relax further.

"Okay? Everything is going to be fine. I talked to Emerald, she gave your professor the doctor's note, so once you sign the discharge paperwork, we can leave. We can head back home and you can relax watching something on the television... or we can bake... or even work on the cars like you always want." Cinder said with a happy tone as she could see Ruby just taking a deep breath as she relaxed a little at the thought of just getting to spend time with her mom.

"Can we stop by my college first? I want to get the pills Glynda gave me yesterday. And it wouldn't really hurt the charger to be checked as well." Ruby said as she began to move back towards the centre of the bed where she just took a number of deep breaths. She wasn't sure how she was going to be able to not freak out this weekend if she didn't have something that stopped nightmares. Especially with the security her mother has.

"We can stop by, but I'm not going to let you drive. I can replace the cars. Even the super rare ones. I can't replace you. I'll get Emerald to drive it up Sunday. Just leave the key on your desk or preferably with her. I don't know if your roommate is stupid or not." Cinder said in a light jesting tone as Ruby just smiled and chuckled softly.

"Yang is terrified of being in it for long because it doesn't have air bags despite the fact those came around later. You don't need to worry about her taking the car. And fine... if you want to be a fuddy-duddy about things."

"Oh yeah. I'm sorry I want my daughter to be safe. You are right. I'm in the wrong. So let's go start attaching knives everywhere so when you break they'll pierce your body causing you to bleed to death slowly." Cinder sarcastically said as Ruby just sighed looking at her. "Thought so."

Groaning softly as she began to walk down the hallway, Ruby quickly walked up to her door, pressing the keycard against the sensor, she gently tossed the door open as she jumped a little at the sight of Yang wearing a skimpy outfit.

"The hell Ruby! Get out! I'm expecting a guy." Yang yelled as Ruby groaned rolling her eyes.

"Gross! Tie on the door knob Yang. Seriously you knew I was being discharged today. Be glad I'm just getting me meds and leaving my car key. And there best not be anything funny going on near my stuff." Ruby said ignoring her friend as she dropped the key onto her desk as she grabbed the bottle and small box as she took her back and the text book that she would have had a test in. "Seriously nothing... and when Em comes by just give her the key. And if you need a tie, take the one hanging on my dresser. That simple." Ruby mumbled as she quickly gave a look around her room before she just sighed vocally and walked out closing the door.

Ruby just sighed shaking her head as she started to walk down the stairs before she began to pale a little at the sight of Neon walking up to the glass doors. Quickly looking around, Ruby could just feel dread starting to sink into the pit of her stomach as she couldn't find any place to hide. Quickly pulling her hood up, to try and obscure her face the best she could Ruby began to walk towards the door. Feeling the tail wrapping around her leg, Ruby began to groan as she felt the strong arms wrapping around her.

"I was just coming to look for you... madam unibomber... want to spend some time?" Neon asked softly as Ruby began to curse her luck that she had a caring girlfriend like that.

"I'd love to Neon... but I can't. My skin looks hidious because of a stupid allergic reaction and my Mom is just outside because my family is getting together." Ruby said as she raised her hand to just obscure her face more. "Just please don't look at me. I still have a slight rash that makes my face look worse." Ruby mumbled as Neon just took a deep breath as she begun to spun Ruby around.

Smiling as she reached into the hood, Neon began to brush some of the strands of hair from Ruby's face as she just chuckled. "You should know by now Ruby, I don't care about that kind of thing. You are perfect in every way. Just text me when you can." Neon said as she leaned down and placed a chaste kiss on Ruby's lips as she could feel herself just smiling a genuine smile as she just looked at the slightly taller woman. "Here, I'll walk you towards your Mom... there is a creepy dude walking around as if he is looking for something. And I want you to be safe." Neon said as Ruby just groaned softly as she looked into her eyes.

"Why do you have to be so stupid... but you are also so sweet... just don't try any kissing in front of my Mom... she might get mad and I have no idea what she would do... just trust me that she can be very capable of harming people and it actually worries me just thinking what she'd do if pushed." Ruby said with a calm measured tone as Neon just smiled at her and planted another kiss on her lips.

"Okay... but don't forget to text me Ruby... I'll just do the essay that is due next week about Pride and Prejudice." Neon said softly as Ruby just smiled as she slipped her hand into the Faunus' as they walked out of the building. "Seriously... the book is boring. I need a distraction. Hence why I was calling for you because I know your test is over."

"Yeah I had to postpone the test... just because again I was in the hospital after having a bad allergic reaction. And I just didn't want you to see me when I was uglier." Ruby mumbled softly as she started to walk out with her girlfriend. Ruby just had to smile brightly as she could see her mother sitting in the car her head resting on the back of the chair as she just smiled at the sight of Neon looking around for what Ruby knew was her mother as well.

"Neon... she in the charcoal black sixty eight GTO." Ruby said as Neon quickly looked towards her with confusion. "What can I say? I'm a lesbian stereotype. I like cars and working on them. Something my Mom actually encouraged because she likes it as well but she isn't a lesbian." Ruby continued with a smile as she could see Neon just nodding her head a bit skeptically. "It is always smart to have a fall back. And because of my Mom's love of classic muscle cars from that era, I can disassemble and reassemble just about every make, model and year." Ruby smiled as she began to lead the way as she quickly walked up to the passenger side of the car.

Smiling as she felt Neon pull her into a kiss, Ruby just blushed gently as she let go of her hand, as Ruby just raised her arms to wrap them around Neon's neck. Enjoying the fierceness from the tongue battle, Ruby just groaned as she heard the horn blaring causing her to jump and break the contact.

Blushing, Ruby coughed gently as she separated fully from Neon. "I'll text you later." Ruby said as Neon began to take some steps backwards as she raised a hand to gently rub her ears. Smiling as she shook her head Ruby bent down to lightly glare at her mother as she opened the door.

"So, is that your girlfriend, or are you just making out with random women now making me stress and cutting my years short." Cinder asked as she twisted the key. Ignoring the glaring coming from Ruby who flicked her hood down.

"You just deafened my girlfriend Mom! She is a Faunus... and that horn hurt my ears." Ruby said as she lightly batted at her mother's arms as she just chuckled shifting the gear. "Don't laugh. I'm serious. I like her." Ruby said ignoring the sight of her mother fixing the mirror.

"She isn't going to be deaf. The ringing in her ears will go in a few minutes. I did that to your uncle all the time when he was screwing around with my cars when I was younger." Cinder said taking her eyes off the road for a few seconds before she fixed her gaze back onto the road. "And do you have a type? Specifically of women that piss me off without even meeting them properly?" Cinder asked as Ruby just began to pout as she leaned back into her seat.

"No. I just like cuddlers. And apparently stupid people who think I still look pretty despite the fact I still have rash and some hives from yesterday which won't leave for a few more days. I just hope Grandma Salem isn't going to mind." Ruby mumbled more so out of anger at the entire situation than anything else.

Chuckling gently, Cinder reached across and just gently pulled Ruby closer to her. "See? It is more than just me being your mother that thinks you are beautiful no matter what. And I bet Emerald or Neo would be the cuddling type if you let them." Cinder said gently extricating her arm from around Ruby to just shift the gears once more. "And your grandmother isn't going to care Ruby. Honestly, I'd love to know where your body issues come from. Maybe that should be the next thing you and Glynda talk about." Cinder said as she heard a groan coming from Ruby.

"That isn't how therapy works Mom... and it could be because every single woman in my life is a bombshell. Except Yang... it isn't that she is ugly. Just she is wildly beyond my type so I feel mostly nothing." Ruby said as she looked out the window just to see the scenery passing by. "And Emerald and Neo for like the millionth time are like my sisters. And Neo is not a cuddler. She is the type of person that would put you in a vacuum bed and just lay on top of it just screwing with you and not in the fun way." Ruby said as Cinder just looked towards her with confusion before shaking her head and focusing again on the road.

As they drifted around a corner, Ruby just took a deep breath enjoying the time and already planning her time of what to do. "So what is a 'vacuum bed'? And is it something I should be worried about? You aren't doing drugs are you?" Cinder said calmly before her stoic mask broke due to laughter as Ruby just joined in.

"I'd never do drugs mom." Ruby sarcastically said gently shaking her head. "And it is a kink thing. It is like choking, but safer... kind of... and don't worry I'm not into that kind of thing. Neo is though according to Emerald... I dislike the feeling of suffocating but I do enjoy the feeling of choking and intimacy. And after Neo's recent escapades death could have been a very real possibility."

"What escapades? Why do you always talk like you are from your grandmother's generation when it comes to that? I know you have sex... you know I've had sex. We've walked in on each other a few times. I just don't get the mechanics of when you are with a woman. That is it." Cinder said a bit confused as Ruby just shook her head gently.

"I just think it sounds vulgar... and I'm not going to explain it to you again. I can only do that once... any more is going to need me to be drunk or stoned. And definitely not going to ever be able to do it with Grandma Salem around."

"That's fair."

Chapter Text


Chapter 31:

Wincing a little as Ruby pulled her hand back as she began to gently lift the cloth off her mother's oil soaked hand. "I told you to just let the snips fall. I told you to wash your hands. I told you watch out for the metal that wasn't sanded down after the last time... and what do you do? None of the above." Ruby argued as she could see her mother rolling her eyes. "Don't do that Mom. I'm worried." Ruby continued as she smacked her mother's shoulder. "And it stopped bleeding. But we should start getting your hands cleaned.

"I'm not used to getting lectured by my daughter about health and safety... the same daughter who has burnt her hands by my count sixty seven times since she could reach the counter top." Cinder said as she took her hand back and tossed the towel onto the hood of the car.

"That oven is a temptress!" Ruby yelled in her defence as she walked over towards the first aid box they kept in the room that Ruby was thankful for. "And it is only like sixty six times. Now come over to the sink... I don't want your hand to get infected." Ruby scolded as she could see Cinder rolling her eyes once more walking over towards the sink.

"Three times is too much. And again, I'm not used to being scolded by my daughter who twice now has willingly consumed something she is allergic to on the grounds that it isn't normally used in the dish." Cinder scolded as she took the tweezers from Ruby's hands and quickly pulled the small piece of metal from her palm. "And it won't get infected. And I don't have nearly as dainty hands like yours to fish pair of snips out. So just relax. Even Salem doesn't worry about me like that." Cinder said calmly as she pulled the sliver of metal out as Ruby reached across her mother to turn the hot water on.

"Grandma Salem cares. She just doesn't like to show how much she cares. Like you when it comes to me in front of others." Ruby began as Cinder started to wash her hands. Watching the tainted water flow down the drain, Ruby just couldn't help but smile at how her mother wasn't placing herself into some sort of risk. "See Mom? The water is changing to black. If that got into your blood, it would get infected. Then what? I'd be an orphan." Ruby scolded as Cinder chuckled.

Smiling as she accepted the towel Ruby had in her hands. "If an infection took me out there would be a lot of happy people. But everything I have is left to you. The gang is left to your uncles provided they still care and protect you... but trust me Ruby, a bit of oil on my hands and some scratches won't do anything. The splinter being left untreated in the open air would cause a minor one. But the cars are super clean so nothing really to worry about there. Seriously the oil is changed every two months even when they aren't driven. Don't fret over me." Cinder said laughing softly at Ruby snatching her hand and pulling it towards her to apply the cream to clean the area. "Seriously... it is only adorable when it is like if I have a coat and I'm out. Leave the worrying about death to me."

"I would if you actually cared about your's and not just mine. I live remarkably healthy. Excluding all the burns because the oven is not only a temptress but a liar... and the fact I like cookies. And the weed with occasional drinking. But healthy." Ruby scolded as she dropped the tube and grabbed some of the bandaids to apply. "Seriously Mom... if I didn't have you, I just know that I'd break down entirely without someone there to help me like you do."

Gently rubbing her head, Cinder just laughed gently. "I do think about my death Ruby. I've just lived long enough doing dangerous things to know that I'm not going to be here forever. I'm not like your grandmother who I'm positive is so filled with hate that even a world ending nuclear bomb won't kill her." Cinder said with a slight chuckle as she wrapped Ruby in a gentle hug. "Now go get a shower, your grandmother should be here within the hour. I'll close the car up. Don't forget about that ointment the doctor prescribed to help with the itching you always get. Don't think I didn't notice you scraping your body against any sharp surface."

"Not my fault! My body is stupid and thinks it is under attack by a bunch of things. Plus that stuff never works. It is mind over matter... I just wish I could get to my back." Ruby mumbled as she took a few steps backwards.

"Ruby, it is for the best. I mean you are seconds away from going full bear. If it is just a placebo effect at least it is stopping you from mauling a door." Cinder said as Ruby just glared light heartedly at her as she began to shift her body against the door frame. "Ruby, put some on. Don't make me do it to you like you were a baby again. Or like last time. You know how serious I am." Cinder threatened as Ruby's glare harshened. "I'm not joking Ruby. I'll sit on you and rub that stuff into your body. And we both know I don't care about any marks from girlfriends."

Groaning gently, Ruby just took a deep breath. "Fine... I'll put some on. I don't need Emerald thinking about gross things again... should have seen her face last time when I mentioned it slightly miffed. She was blushing and sputtering and Neo made a rude comment and laughed as Emerald blushed harder. Reese just mumbled that she would have rather been the one applying it. I don't think she would say the same now."

"Distracting me with anger won't work Ruby. Just go and put the stuff on." Cinder scolded in a gentle tone as she could see her daughter just rolling her eyes in the same calm expression as Ruby grumbled walking out of the garage.

Happy that she had won, Cinder walked towards the car with a small smile on her face. She knew that she was going to be happy for what was to come if just because it was a meal with Ruby. Cinder had always loved those, and she didn't care about who was going to be with them. She would have rathered if everyone else wasn't present, but she was fine accepting that if it meant that she got to be with Ruby. Knocking the stand down as she picked up the towel, Cinder began to lower the hood as she could hear footsteps walking towards the door.

"Ruby, go. Everything is fine." Cinder said with a calm tone not turning around already knowing that it was bound to be Ruby trying to think of some new argument as to why she shouldn't have the medicated cream being spread on her.

"I'm not her and we need to talk... apparently someone got sloppy and left a witness alive." An almost cloyingly sweet voice spoke out. One that Cinder knew all too well.

"Salem." Cinder said turning around to match the woman's gaze. "I've only left two people alive, and one is Ruby's friend the other is barely alive as is... and is too much a coward to talk to people." Cinder spoke defending her stance as she could see the older woman walking further into the room. "And I don't like to talk business with Ruby nearby. You know that. If that is why you came early it can wait until after Ruby goes to sleep tonight."

Sitting on her bed, Ruby just grumbled as she tossed the damp towel into the laundry basket as she just took a deep breath. Looking towards the wireless charger that held her phone causing her to smile with a small chuckle as she began to walk towards it. Swiping her unlock screen, Ruby just smiled brighter as she could see a message from Neon.

Typing away, Ruby just had to smile as she ignored the knocking coming from her door. She was just happy that Neon had been dreading the work, and would have rathered if Ruby was there but was fine with her spending time with her family.

Opening the door, Ruby could feel like she was going to jump out of her skin as she heard a soft tone carry through her room. "I wish my granddaughter would answer when I knock on her door... how else am I meant to know if she is decently clothed. And after she nearly gave me a heart attack from being in the hospital yesterday."

Regaining her senses Ruby jumped towards the elderly woman and just smiled brightly. "I'm sorry Grandma Salem." Ruby began, just knowing that her voice was being muffled but that didn't matter to her nearly as much as just the happiness she was feeling from the gentle arms being wrapped around her. "I was just in pain yesterday and I was just texting my girlfriend." Ruby said with a smile as she could feel her grandmother chuckling gently.

"How is Reese doing? I haven't seen her in a long time." Salem asked as Ruby felt her mood shift as she took a deep breath knowing that her grandmother didn't mean anything by it. "What did she do? You know I'd kill her if she broke your heart Ruby."

Shaking her head as she held her grandmother tighter, Ruby just took a sharp inhale as she tried her hardest to ignore her urge to groan softly. "Nothing like that happened. We just decided we are better friends than girlfriends. If anything I'm the one that broke her heart because I was the one that did the talking during that... but she bounced back quickly and is already in another relationship with this really pretty woman. And I've been dating this really cute girl for a bit now." Ruby said as Salem just looked down at her.

Already knowing what her grandmother was thinking, Ruby just took a deep breath. "I let Reese down gently. Don't worry... I didn't want to hurt her like you got hurt... but if we continued to go out we'd just end up hurting each other." Ruby said calmly as she separated just smiling up at the white haired woman. "But let's not talk about that... you are here."

"Okay Ruby." Salem said happily as she separated from the embrace and gestured for Ruby to walk out of the room. She was smiling as she could see Ruby walking out and quickly towards the stairs. "So how has college been going for you?" Salem asked following Ruby down the stairs. With each step, Ruby just had to smile at.

"It has been fine. It has just been tests and practicals. Which I don't mind. I personally can't wait for it to get hard. That way the fat will be trimmed from people dropping out when they realise the course isn't nearly as easy as they thought it would be." Ruby said hopping off the stairs as she turned around to just smile up at her grandmother. "But besides that I am sadly the only girl on my course. I do really like the classes though. But how was your trip here? I hope it wasn't that bad. I'll give out to whoever made you have a bad trip. No exceptions." Ruby quipped as Salem just shook her head gently.

"I had a fine trip. If it was a bit rushed... but when I get called saying my granddaughter is in the hospital from an allergic reaction, I was worried. And even thought that my granddaughter was going to be gone forever." Salem said in a playful scolding manner as Ruby just began to pout looking at her.

"Not my fault. They never use that stupid herb normally. Besides... I didn't get the low blood pressure like I normally do. At least not with it to a dangerous point."

"I'm a grandmother... we worry over everything when we have only one grandchild. And when someone says that grandchild is in the hospital... you also can only think about how you aren't sure if you've told that grandchild you love them enough."

"I know you love me, just like how I know Mom loves me. I'm just happy you are here because it means Mom will spend some more time with me even though I should be studying." Ruby said happily as she began to skip towards the living room. "I'll make you some tea Grandma Salem... Mom just got this really nice tea. It is from this plant in Atlas... I think it is called 'Apple Mint with some Water Mint'... it is a nice and tasty and it seems like it would be something that you would like."

"Okay, I'll be sitting with your Mom talking about things." Salem said happily as Ruby nodded her head as she continued to skip down the hallway.

Slamming the door shut, Salem floated into the room filled with the four children she had adopted seeing Cinder stand up from behind the desk taking a few steps to the side as Salem happily took her place at the helm.

"Where is Marcus? I always did enjoy him. He had a certain zeal about him. But I suppose it is a good thing Roman is outside right now. And that he still remembers how to bow before me." Salem said leaning back in the chair.

"Marcus got killed. He got drunk and got into a fight with Mercury who is his son. After I already had him marked for a dead man because he has been getting sloppy and leaving connections which thankfully Mercury and Roman had been able to clean up." Cinder said as she could see her mother just smiling as she opened the drawer by the side as she smiled at the item inside.

Pulling it out, Salem smiled at the silver coloured handgun. One that Salem had known Cinder had used to carve out a name in many circles before she found Ruby. "I suppose zeal doesn't excuse slop. So why should the infamous Fall Maiden be excused." Salem said raising the gun towards Cinder who just matched her mother's gaze knowing that even with Ruby being here she wasn't safe, but she did know how Salem never liked it when people coward away from her. "Leaving people who have seen you and know your connection being left alive." Salem continued pulling the hammer back.

"From my stance, there are more people you've left alive when you lead Grimm that had seen your face. I left a coward of a boy who partook in the raping of my daughter, a girl who is my daughter's room mate and close friend. And then there is Reese." Cinder said taking a step forward as Salem uncocked the gun. "And I'm positive we'd all like to kill her. But none of us can for the same reason. Ruby doesn't want anything to do with this life and she shouldn't be forced into it." Cinder continued as Salem just smiled an almost cruel smile. It was one that Cinder had seen countless times before from different angles, but it never brought nearly as much fear as when it was directed at her.

Chuckling softly, Salem just stared at her. "I never left a person alive that angered me. Being a mother has made you weak." Salem began as she stood up from the chair and began to crack her body. "I'm fine with you not bringing Ruby into the fold, if it is a bit of a childish want. But leaving loose ends like that..." Salem continued as Cinder just took a step forward again.

"That is why I spend so much time and energy getting corrupt people from politicians to cops and I even openly am collecting any skeletons in the closets of morally good people. Hell Roman's late wife was one of those cops and she never pieced together a damn thing. But Neo is just as happy to watch all cops go to hell as you are. Her only complaint is that she can't be the one doing it because her priority is making sure Ruby is safe and not behind bars." Cinder said in a calm tone as Salem just turned her attention to the room's other occupants.

"Where do you three stand on covers? Or do I need to start funeral preparations?" Salem asked calmly as the trio of men just seemed to tense up under the scrutiny as Cinder relaxed. Cinder knew that the spot light wouldn't turn back onto her for a while. Really for another few hours.

"Everything is fine on my end. People only see me as the happy freelance doctor." Watts spoke looking towards the other occupants as Salem just smiled nodding at him. A simple signal that all had understood from years of being in her presence.

"What little I can do undetected, I do. And I have some bad news." Hazel spoke causing the entire room to stare at him. As if he had just armed a bomb with intentions of using it on everyone. "Oz has made a resurface again." Hazel spoke as the trio of his siblings looked at him with a look of apology just because they all knew that was the fastest way to get the woman who truly was terrifying to a point far beyond thought impossible.

Taking a deep breath, Salem pointed the weapon towards the tallest of the quartet with anger in her eyes. Raising his hands up as he took a step back, Hazel took a deep breath. "I couldn't find anything else out without going to make him go back into hiding. If I knew more I'd tell you." Hazel stated as the door to the room quickly opened as Salem squeezed the trigger at the guard who ducked quickly out of instinct.

"I want every damn lead. Watts, get Leo to play ball. I don't give a fuck how. And get that guard out of my sight quickly because if he is going to petrified from me not wanting to hit him he doesn't deserve my presence." Salem snapped as the man held his hands up.

"Ruby had the dream again." The guard said loudly as he quickly left causing Cinder to walk towards the door.

"Where do you think you're going?" Salem barked as Cinder took a deep breath.

"Kill me if you want. As soon as Ruby is gone, I'll corner him. But right now, Ruby needs me."

Chapter Text


Chapter 32:

Smiling a faint smile as she walked into the room, Cinder began to sit down onto the bed, Cinder just gently hugged Ruby as she planted a chaste kiss on top of her head. She just smiled internally at the feeling of Ruby holding tightly onto her. The trembling of her hands, as she tried her hardest to calm herself, but Cinder knew that Ruby couldn't. Not that she would scold Ruby if she couldn't. She just knew that Ruby would be brutal to herself if she didn't at least try.

"Ruby... just take some deep breaths." Cinder said calmly as Ruby just nodded her head as she pressed her face into her mother's side. As the time progressed, slowly, almost painstakingly slow, Cinder just took a deep breath herself. The feeling of anger and confusion just leaving slightly from Ruby just needing to her.

That was all that mattered to Cinder at this point. All of her worries from how she knew that she was going to need to hunt down a man to kill that no matter how many times everyone had tried he had just vanished to not pop up for a few dozen years. It was a feat that was constantly all kinds of impressive in just how angry it got Salem.

None of that mattered though. Not to Cinder at least. Not until she got Ruby to feel better. She did know that Salem wasn't going to do anything towards her. At least not after everything. She would wait until Oz was caught and brought before her.

For now though, Cinder could focus on Ruby. And talking her out of what she always considered the worst part of being her. Something that Cinder tended to agree with just from how frequent her nightmares tended to be.

"You feeling better Little Gem? It is just us." Cinder said as she could feel Ruby nodding her head against her. She didn't even care that the silence had filled the room. All that she cared about was the fact that Ruby was in fact feeling better. That was what mattered to Cinder. "You want to talk about the nightmare?" Cinder asked already knowing the answer wasn't going to change from how it always was.

"It wasn't the eyes one." Ruby sobbed as Cinder just held onto her tighter. She knew that it had to have been a really bad nightmare if it was able to shake her up to the point that she was this bad. It was even to the point the security had thought it was that one. "I dreamt... that some men were... they did... that I was..." Ruby sobbed gently as Cinder just held tightly onto her.

Ruby didn't need to say anything else for Cinder to understand what she meant. She knew that what she was going to say which just made Cinder furious that she had only tortured that duo for such a short time for doing this to Ruby. She just wanted to harm them for so much longer but knew that her child had needed her and that had always taken priority.

"It's fine Ruby. I'm here. Nothing is going to harm you." Cinder said as she felt Ruby just hold onto her tighter.

"Stay with me." Ruby sobbed as Cinder just looked down at the hair matted with sweat. Just causing her to smile internally at Ruby's desire to be with her.

"I'll stay Ruby." Cinder said as she lowered them down. "Nothing would take me away from you until morning. I promise." Cinder continued in a soft tone as she began to drag Ruby into a laying position. "Everyone else can find their own way out. I don't care where they go. Salem can find her own room." Cinder spoke as Ruby just clutched tightly onto her.

"I forgot about them." Ruby whispered as Cinder just chuckled dryly at it.

"They don't matter Ruby. You do. You matter more than anything else to me. I'd let every one of my cars be destroyed if you needed me." Cinder whispered as Ruby just smiled at her as she held her tighter.

"I'm sorry I dragged you away either way." Ruby whispered as she pulled the blanket tighter around her as Cinder just gently rubbed her shoulder.

Smiling as she took a deep breath, Ruby just gently snuggled closer to her mother. "They know where my priorities lay Ruby. You will always be at the top of that list. No matter what." Cinder said in a calm tone as she bent down to plant a kiss on the top of her head. "Just try and get some sleep Little Gem. I'll worry about everything else. Okay?" Cinder asked rhetorically as she felt the teen nod her head as her breathing started to even out in a much deeper manner. So much so that Cinder was just thankful because it meant that Ruby had very likely taken some of her medication before Cinder had even gotten up the stairs.

"I love you Mom." Ruby whispered in a groggy manner as Cinder just stared at the ceiling just idly rubbing Ruby's side.

"I love you too Ruby. More than you can ever imagine." Cinder whispered softly knowing that the chances are Ruby hadn't heard it, but she did know that Ruby knew deep down that she was loved by Cinder.

Feeling comfort as the room was darkened, Cinder looked up to see Salem walking into the room. "She is trying to sleep." Cinder said as Salem shook her head gently as she took the desk chair in the room.

"Once she is back in school... I need the Fall Maiden to return. I want that man to be caught... and brought before me. I want him alive and with all his limbs attached. I don't care how. I don't care if you need to trudge up the men and women we have in the trenches. Do I make myself clear? Otherwise I would gladly take you up on the offer to put two in your head."


Pounding on the door, Emerald just groaned internally as she could hear some soft shifting from the other side. It had sounded like the person on the other side was trying their hardest to stay awake long enough to get to the door, but Emerald was at the point that she didn't care.

Salem herself had ordered Yang to come with her when she dropped the car off. And so Emerald would without a doubt would bring Yang even if she had to hold a gun to her head in broad daylight. If just because Emerald didn't value Yang's life and well being nearly as much as her own. The only solace that Emerald had was that Cinder was fine with this minor insubordination. She had even confirmed that it was what they both wanted.

She just wished that it didn't feel this wrong because she knew that it could go bad if Salem was calling the shots like that. She had heard enough horror stories about what Grimm had done under her reign, and Emerald didn't want to test the woman's famous ironic deaths if she could help it. The fact remained if she showed up at Cinder's without the blonde, it was very possible that she would be the recipient of one of those.

As the door opened to reveal a male face Emerald rolled her eyes and shoved the man out of the way as she could Yang still fast asleep. "Get dressed and get out." Emerald said turning around to just stare at the man. She could see him just looking at her unsure of what to do. It actually made Emerald a little amused. "Did I stutter? Next time I ask, you'll be picking your clothes up from the sidewalk along with your teeth." Emerald said she took a step closer to him causing him to take a step back.

Jumping at the feeling of something pointy being placed against his back he spared a glance back and stared at the shorter girl. "Neo?"

"Hey Yatsu. Didn't recognise you. Best listen to cranky pants though. We need to drag Yang with us. Don't worry. I'll make sure she calls you and that you didn't leave under your own desires. You know you can trust me." Neo said with a smile as she could see the large man just smiling back at her from the sight of her pushing the lock of the blade back before she folded it over. "And if you ever want to have some real fun... you can always message me. I will say I'm a lot more fun than Yang. So fun that you wouldn't be walking for days later." Neo said with a chuckle as the man nodded his head with a smile.

Stepping around the man, Neo came to a stop next to Emerald who had the same exhausted look she often had when it came to Neo being present. "What? I'm a woman with needs. And we weren't told when exactly we had to be there... besides it is good to know that everything is proportionate." Neo said smiling as Emerald just sighed vocally. "Pfft... if you stopped holding out for Cinder you'd be surprised at who you could find. I bet you could totally get with Ruby. Girlfriend or not. And Reese seems like the type that would be all for threesomes... but then your likely to be liable to get stabbed by me. I want to be the first one out of the two of us that gets to her first."

"I swear before the day is over, I might just shoot you. Wouldn't even feel all that bad about it. you'd have it coming." Emerald mumbled softly as the could see the large man pulling his clothes on.

"Bye Yatsu. I'll see you in class Monday. I promise I'll be wearing something cute for you." Neo said happily as she could see the man walking out of the room closing the door. Looking back towards the green haired woman who had a curious look on her face. "What? He is pretty hot... seems like he'd be a bitch if you ask him to choke you a bit, but I'm the one that is normally doing the choking. So I can excuse that." Neo said as she skipped over to Yang's bed before plopping down onto it jolting the woman awake.

"I swear Neo... the more I learn about you the more questions get raised and none of which I want the answer really to. Would explain why I've heard Mercury cry when you'd come over." Emerald said as she tossed the clothes on the floor at the panicking blonde woman. "And you, get dressed. We are under orders from Salem to take you. The guy got forced to leave. Not going isn't an option either. I don't care how conscious you are, I'm not risking my life for you."

"What?" Yang asked panicked as she looked around focusing solely on the shorter girl laying down next to her.

"You are going to see why Reese isn't all that terrified of Cinder... but by the sounds of it... Cinder is actually shielding you because something royally pissed off the founder of Grimm. And she just like Cinder wants Ruby protected... which is probably why she wants to meet you. Trust us though... don't bitch out and you do not want to mince words with her. Keeping her waiting also is a way to anger her... but she is already mad but Ruby is up showing her some of the models she has so the whole keeping her waiting is negligible." Neo said as she looked up at the ceiling with a smile. "And I gotta know, is Yatsu a bitch when it comes to doing anything rough? Or more importantly having rough things done to him?"

"Let's not skip over the 'what' question here." Yang said holding the blanket around her chest as Emerald rolled her eyes.

"It's simple. Get dressed. Now. You are coming with us." Emerald deadpanned as she could see Yang just looking quickly between them. "I'm not leaving this room without you and figure you'd rather be dressed. So I'm doing this nice once more. Get dressed." Emerald continued as she sat on Ruby's bed. "Neo get off her bed and get over here."

Groaning as she slumped over across the room and plopped down on the bed across Emerald's lap. As if the simple exertion was enough to exhaust her causing Emerald all kinds of anger from her attitude towards this. She just knew that it was because she wouldn't be punished nearly as severely as Emerald would be just because of how Neo could still get free access to the police station and still was doing the bare minimum to get her job done. It was the type of attitude that emerald often envied but knew that she was better off.

"What has you so cranky? Seriously if you weren't skittish around choking and some harsh whipping and spanking... I'd do you. I'd even wear a mask that looks like Cinder. And Reese I'd only do like five or six times... maybe a few dozen. Point is I'd get bored of her. And while Ruby is an interesting example of everything I'd want in a sub... could you imagine what Cinder would do to me if she caught me dripping wax onto her? I have." Neo said as Emerald shoved the small girl off her lap.

Seeing Yang standing up, Neo just smiled up at her. "You know, blondie, I'm not one for blondes... but from this angle you look pretty hot. If you ever want to experiment, let me know. You know provided you aren't like Em and a massive bitch from just a simple six inch thick toy going in your ass dry."

"Knowing that if I say this I run the risk of being stabbed... I'd rather make out with a tail pipe. It seems like I'd run less risk of being accidentally murdered." Yang said carefully keeping an eye on the woman laying on the ground. "Even though come at me with anything nearly that thick and I'm going to start swinging at you. That is like twice the thickness of most soda cans. So I'd seriously risk being killed. I don't even know a single person who could take something like that let alone with nothing to aide it."

"Ruby and Reese both have. Have you not seen some of their toys? Even Cinder has seen them and wanted to know where they were going and how they could fit it... it was the funniest thing watching Cinder just drop a box of things in various sizes and styles and wanted Ruby to explain." Neo chuckled out as Yang reached into the small set of drawers she had to pull out a clean shirt. "Now hurry up. Emerald promised ice cream... And I really need some. I haven't had any in like two days. If this continues I'm going to literally die." Neo gasped out covering her eyes with her forearm as Emerald simply rolled her eyes delivering a kick to her body.

Laughing softly as she rolled over, Neo just began to spare a glance towards her. "I get it, you are wound up because you are the mature one. I keep telling you though. Set a few fires, mail a few dozen mongooses to politicians... and you never have to worry about being mature." Neo chuckled gently out as Emerald just took a deep breath.

Rubbing her eyes as she took some deep breaths, Emerald looked towards Yang who had seemed like she was exhausted already. "Neo, if I did do any of that, I'd still be the more mature one out of the two of us because you'd find a way to make yourself seem even less mature. So just get up and go wait by the car. I swear if you aren't there I'm going to flip out and let everyone know that you had abandoned it and you really will have Salem furious at you and just remember how much you've tried Cinder in the past. You know where you stand with her."

"I know. You don't need to remind me every damn time we get called. Seriously break into someone's liqueur cabinet like five times and it marks you for life. Like yeah we did drink a few hundred dollar bottles but still. Ruby is the one that suggested it. Even taught us how to pick the lock. And we never got that drunk."

"You set fire to parts of her house... and tried to weld her adored collection of classic muscle cars to the floor. If Roman and I weren't able to pull you away from the shit." Emerald stated as the smaller woman just held her hands up above her head as she grumbled walking out of the room. A smile began to drift onto Emerald's face as she could feel all her worry fade as she looked at Yang who plopped down onto a chair to slide socks onto her feet.

Walking over towards the only pair of shoes that were in the room, that Emerald didn't recognise, she picked the pair up before plopping them down by Yang. "Don't worry about Salem, don't be sarcastic, and she does actually prefer people who aren't Ruby to be terrified of her. Even Cinder. Which is why Reese got along so well with her."

"Reese acts like she if she sneezes wrong around the woman she is going to wind up dismembered and spread across the world." Yang said as Emerald just chuckled softly.

"Exactly. Salem liked Reese. Ask anyone above the age of twenty five about what Grimm was like back up until about fifteen to two decades ago. I guarantee that they won't have very many nice things to say. And you met the main arms of the force in the hospital... Salem was the one that kept them all in line and made every small gang or terrorist cell terrified to look at someone the wrong way. And you are going to meet her. So you just need to relax and remember, you won't be killed around Ruby and that she is going to protect you inadvertently. Just don't overstep."


Chapter Text


Chapter 33:

Taking a step out of the car, Yang took a deep breath as she began to look around and just took a deep gulp. Looking towards Emerald who had bent the seat forward to allow Neo to climb out. "Um... what is with..." Yang asked as she quickly looked around the group of various large men who have guns pointing towards the vehicle.

"When there are this many members and someone on the caliber of Salem, you up security. No matter the fact that no one is dumb enough to try anything." Emerald said as she locked the car as if she hadn't given a care about the guns towards her. "And I swear, put the fucking guns down. Cinder is the one that okayed this. I'm not nearly dumb enough to try anything with the cars. And the blonde is here because Salem wants it. So who wants to be the person that tells her that they are the reason she doesn't have the person she wants present." Emerald said spinning around to just match the eyes of the various guards.

At the mention of the name, all the guards quickly lowered the weapons and stepped aside. A look of fear on their faces was something that just caused Yang to develop a small amount of fear. If the mere mention of someone needing to be the messenger to this woman was enough to get them all to drop their weapons and quickly return to walking around.

Smiling at that notion, Emerald gestured for Yang to follow her up the stairs. Climbing up them, Emerald quickly looked down them as she groaned. "Neo, come on. Leave the car alone." Emerald yelled down as she could see Neo just looking up with a frown.

"I left my shoes in there..." Neo said softly as Emerald began to eye Neo up before just sighing as she walked down the stairs once more. Coming to a stop, she quickly unlocked it as Neo dove in to grab the items.

"Why did you even take them off? And not only that forget to put them back on?" Emerald asked exhausted as Neo slipped back out of the car. "You know what... I'm sure it is something that makes sense only to you. So let's not explore that and just go and hand the blonde to Salem." Emerald said slightly exhausted as she could see Neo quickly sliding her shoes on as she jumped up to stand next to the green haired woman.

"My feet were sore. I'm not that crazy. And even if I was, everything I do there is a sense of logic to it. You just need to make some minor leaps. Other than that everything is super easy to follow." Neo chirped out softly as she began to take long steps next to Emerald as she just locked the car. "I wish you'd stop making me seem so fucking crazy to other people... I want them to be lured into a false sense of security." Neo chirped in a calm tone as they quickly walked towards Yang.

"You are going about it the wrong way. You seem full on crazy to just about everyone who has a pair of eyes and ears... even to some people who don't have them can still tell you're crazy. And I'm not talking about your constant ranting and raving about some method for people to not trust you, making everyone weep for whoever decides to take you up on that making you feel like you need to one up them..."

"I don't know what you are talking about. You show me someone who is willing to mail politicians boxes of live animals as protest for... something. I don't remember what I was mad about... and I can show you someone that is also willing enough to be placed on a watch list." Neo smiled as Emerald reached towards the door and began to open it. "Remember hot stuff be afraid but not pissing yourself levels. Trust me... it is a fine line that is hard to tread. Even for people who have harmed and killed people before." Neo said softly as Yang could feel just a gust of cold air. She wasn't sure exactly how someone could cause it, but she did know compared to the previous times she had been there it had felt a lot warmer.

"Wait here." Emerald said as Neo closed the door behind them. "I need to go find them. Neo... go upstairs and check Ruby's room." Emerald demanded as they heard some footsteps walking around the upper floor.

"UNCLE HAZEL! IS THAT YOU WHO JUST CAME IN! CAN YOU COME HELP ME MOVE MY ROCKET!?" A chipper but distinctive voice yelled down the stairs as Emerald and Neo both just smiled faintly at.

"It wasn't him Ruby. It was just me, Neo and Yang." Emerald said calmly as she could see Ruby walking to the top of the stairs.

"Doesn't work as well, but I do need someone taller and stronger. No offence." Ruby said taking a few steps down. "Say Yang... out of curiosity... could you just help me get it down? Not that I'm not a little curious as to why you are here, and I am happy about it. It is just the thing is really heavy and really fragile. I've already had to repair it a few times from when Emerald, Neo and me tried to lift it." Ruby said plopping down a few stairs.

Gently holding her hand in front of the blonde, Emerald just sighed gently. "Salem wants to make sure she is a good influence on you. And you know how bad she can get when she is kept waiting." Emerald reasoned as Ruby just groaned.

"Fine. Can you send Hazel up if you find him? I think everyone is outside walking around Mom's small vegetable garden." Ruby asked as she came to a stop at the base of the stairs. "Or Arthur... preferably Hazel though. He could probably lift a building. And Arthur might get hurt."

"Okay Ruby." Emerald said with a smile as she gestured for them to continue down the hallway. As they began to walk down a corridor, Yang just took a deep breath as they walked down the hallway. "Well, that is a good sign." Emerald whispered as she began to walk towards a set of large glass doors that Yang had seen a few times.

"The terrifying woman keeps a vegetable garden." Yang asked as Neo just chuckled softly coming to a stop by the doors to open them ahead of Emerald and Yang.

"Yeah. Her and Ruby a few years back started doing it because the nuns back in elementary school thought it would be better for Ruby than mechanic stuff. So they built it because they thought it would be a wise investment to have delicious seasonal veggies." Neo said as they looked around and just smiled. "I'll go tell Hazel..." Neo said as she quickly made a b line for the small bar like area leaving Yang and Emerald to walk across the manicured lawns to get to Cinder and Salem.

Just the sight of the woman that caused Yang so much fear being almost deathly silent in front of the woman, was enough to make Yang wonder if what Reese said about the woman was true. Or if she was actually underselling the woman. The more Yang found out about Ruby's family the more she personally learned that there had been just constant underselling about the extent they'd go to. All of which was reinforced when she saw Jaune once more.

"Salem... boss... I brought Yang Xiao Long like you both requested." Emerald said bowing her head a bit as she swung the back of her hand towards Yang to just have her understand what she was meant to do. Grunting a bit from the discomfort, Yang quickly gathered was was intended making her bend her head down a little.

"Don't you find it funny that so many plants we enjoy and eat, all come from one family... a notoriously deadly family." Salem said, not even turning around to look at Emerald or the person that she had wanted to talk to.

Glancing towards the duo, Cinder just smiled faintly and gestured for Emerald to leave. Not needing to be told twice Emerald began to walk away as Yang just felt the ground beneath her being slowly but surely stripped away from her. Just the thought of that was enough to make Yang fear more and more.

Taking a worried breath as the pale haired woman reached into the bush to gently grab one of the items Yang had no idea what it really was. "Fun fact for you, bonemeal, is a great thing for plants. And it is remarkably easy to make some. All you need is the bones and some place where you could heat them up before grinding them into a fine dust." The woman that Yang knew now as Salem continued with a smile. "And this is where Mercury's dad's final resting place is Cinder?" Salem asked calmly.

"Here and the tomatoes. But those are out of season right now. So right now we only have the peppers." Cinder said as the woman just smiled as Salem spun around looking at the blonde woman. "And this is the person who is Ruby's room mate." Cinder spoke as she looked up to see a lack of Hazel and Ruby which meant that they were probably getting another thing down for her to show in front of Salem who Cinder knew would be looking at it with a sense of confusion just looking for some sort of answer.

"You already know what I am... tell me how?" Salem asked in a slightly chilling tone as Yang just gulped vocally.

"Um... a friend was... um..." Yang said as the woman took a step closer towards her.

"Spit it out girl. I don't have all day." Salem spat out as Yang just gulped once more as Cinder just had to smile at how she knew that it was going to take a while just from the presence Salem had around her. It was actually a funny thing to her that Yang at least had the sense to not be mocking Salem by trying to hide her stomach.

"Reese." Yang spat out as she could feel her blood drain slightly as she could see the woman just chuckling as she lightly tapped Yang's face with her other palm.

"You remind me a lot of someone that I once knew. You are just as smart as her. You know on an instinctual level not to be stupid around me. Now I'm sure you know what is going to happen if you harm my granddaughter." Salem began as she tossed the pepper behind her for Cinder to catch. "But so you know... going to the police is enough to harm her... and I'm sure you can ask Reese where she sits with me... just be glad you are a step above her but are still drastically below insects to me. And I won't lose sleep over another corpse I've created." Salem continued as she gently brushed some of the strands of the blonde hair behind her Yang's ear. "Lovely hair... would be a shame if someone set it on fire. Natural oils in hair cause it to spark up so quickly."

Chuckling as she patted Yang's cheek as she looked up to see Ruby and Neo holding the doors open as Hazel gingerly carried a large item. "What is this one Ruby!? You know I don't know much about these things." Salem asked loudly as she turned towards Yang. "Remember, breathing is needed for humans to live... and you will wind up like one of my favourite lackies if you die thereby hurting my granddaughter. Probably not in as useful a role... something more vain... like flowers. You seem like you would be the type of person that would be like that." Salem said walking past Yang who finally remembered to take a deep breath.

"Yang! Come on up! You've got to see this too. It is a working scale model of an Improved Orion rocket." Ruby yelled down as Yang just gulped as she turned around to see Ruby directing the intimidating large man walking down to the grass. "I used a normal high end model that I just finished to look like the Improved Orion rocket..." Ruby said with a smile as she could the device was placed down. "Mom... I can't guarantee that we aren't going to destroy the potatoes... but it is a sheer accident if that happens, and my math would have failed me." Ruby said bending down to attach some wires.

"Want me to check the numbers for you Ruby? And I also hate to be that guy, but we don't want the police showing up so I have to know did you get your licensing done and notify the proper channels?" A well dressed man that Yang didn't recognise asked taking a few steps down as the pale skinned woman lightly batted at his chest with the back of her hand.

"I've double and triple checked it, the notebook is on the table by the pool if you want to be sure. I actually got my licence for this particular type of model last year... and Mom owns the space above the house... so it is fine... but I did get the all clear for it anyways." Ruby said with a chuckle as she took a few steps out. "I'm actually glad you are here for this Yang. It is always super fun to watch these things going off. It is a personal favourite of mine." Ruby said happily as she began to start to check the stand the on rocket had been on. "Plus you get to see why the degree I'm getting is so much better than sports management..." Ruby said with a gleam in her eyes as she began to skip backwards.

Smiling faintly as they came up to the top of the stairs onto the stone work that made up a deck. "Ruby are you sure we are a safe distance... this fuel formula seems off." The man that seemed the most concerned spoke as Yang began to look towards Ruby who smiled as she uncoiled the wire that had been around her her wrist.

"It's fine. It is a sharper angle. If it was at the normal eighty five, I'd say we should totally be out front. With this it should be fine. If not... I'll give up my cookies." Ruby said as she looked towards her mother and grandmother who had smiles on their faces. "This is going to be fun. Yang... you may want to take a few steps back." Ruby said as she could see the blonde just looking at her with minor confusion as she took a few more steps backwards.

Seeing that small movement, Ruby simply pressed the button down. Seeing a ball of flames burst from underneath the large device Ruby just felt her smile increase as she could see the rocket quickly leaving the holder. As it began to fly high, Ruby could just feel her smile increase as she tilted her head backwards.

"Um Ruby... There is nothing in here about the added weight for a recovery system." Arthur said placing the notebook into Ruby's hands as he quickly walked backwards.

"It has a parachute... and is only a one stage burning rocket. Worst case, it falls into the surrounding woods after the parachute goes off course and I'm forced to spend another three months rebuilding it and patching parts and wishing I could have seen it coming. But there is also a small gps thing connected to my laptop. And once it has landed, it sends a notification to it so I can go and get it." Ruby said happily as she walked back towards the launch pad. "Yang can you help me carry this back in? Just so we can talk."

"Sure." Yang said as Salem cleared her throat gently.

"Ruby, you should let your uncle carry it. I don't want the nice blonde to hurt herself and that seems heavy. She can help me over to my seat. We didn't get much time to talk." Salem spoke in a soft tone as she Ruby just frowned looking up at the pale woman.

Ruby could see a very clear gleam in her grandmother's features that it meant there was no budging on the topic. "Fine... but Yang can help lift it into Hazel's arms. I don't want him hurting his back." Ruby pleaded as she could see Salem just smiling as she gently placed a hand on top of Yang's shoulder.

"Fine Ruby." Salem began as she turned towards Yang. "Now be safe Yang. Remember don't lift with your back... go with the knees. It looks heavy. But you seem strong... Cinder what was the one black haired woman who would often help with heavy lifting for us when your brothers were out doing some things for me."

As Salem spoke she gently patted Yang's shoulder slightly harder than Yang had thought possible with how old this woman had to have been. She was just glad that she could get out of the way for a bit longer. Just the fact that it would give her some reprieve.

"There were a few... but she does look a bit like Raven." Cinder said as Yang began to cough violently into her elbow as she fell over herself. Seeing the woman nearly collapse down the stairs as she barely had time to catch herself. "Pity what happened to her... I heard she mistook her head for a turkey."

"Mom! Suicide jokes aren't funny!" Ruby yelled as she looked quickly towards her roommate. "You okay Yang?" Ruby asked dropping the wires as she walked towards the blonde who shook her head gently.

"Yeah. Just misstepped. Don't worry about me Ruby. Let's just get this thing up." As Yang was about to take a step forward, Ruby gently caught Yang's arm. "I'm fine. If I wasn't I have nothing to gain from lying to you."

"Okay... if you say so."

Chapter Text


Chapter 34:

Being tossed into the seat, Yang took a deep but panicked breath as she stared across the table. Yang had to ignore the snickering coming from the side of her. Something that was incredibly easy for Yang. Just because she had very little doubt that she would be killed if she tried to do what she would normally do with this rough handling of her. She wasn't even sure if she had that strength mentally and emotionally to try and fight these people.

She wasn't even sure if she could get a swing in on some of these people without putting her father at risk. Especially if they knew who her real mother was. Someone that it took years for Yang to figure out anything about her. More than just her name at least. Yang had only in the last few years learned about what really happened to her and why her Dad was trying so hard to make it work with Summer.

"So... the rumours were true. Raven Branwen had a child." Salem spoke softly rubbing her chin as she leaned back and just smirked gently. As she could see Yang just taking a big gulp. She didn't even know that they had caught onto her reaction, but she knew that now, now they did know and she doubted that she would be able to get out easily. All she did know was that there was going to be nothing that she could say that would be able to hide that fact. "Cinder... how did she die again?"

"She killed herself, purely from postpartum depression... six months after I was born." Yang said cutting off Ruby's mother before she could probably say exactly what happened as if she was there herself. But Yang knew that it couldn't have been. No one knew until her father had found her. And even then, Yang knew that unless she got her father at the right time he wouldn't even answer anything Yang wanted on her. "It was natural gas poisoning from an oven... and that is about it from what I know about my real Mom... meanwhile if you want anything on my Step Mom... I don't care about her."

"Where is the filial love?" Cinder chuckled leaning back as Yang just looked at her. "No? Nothing? Shame." Cinder said in a calm tone as she looked towards Salem. "But what she said is true. At least from what we could gather through cursory tabs."

Smiling softly, Salem nodded her head as Yang just took a deep breath. "I don't care about my step mother... that drug addict bitch killed my sister while we were both infants. Frankly if you wanted to kill her, I wouldn't shed a tear." Yang mumbled softly as she took a deep breath as Salem and Cinder just chuckled softly.

"Careful with what you say. Strange things can happen... but only if you keep Ruby happy. If you don't well... I can cause some really bad things to happen to you. Even if I don't actually have the seat any more. And I want you to remember that. That is where your importance to me ends." Salem said as she could see Tyrian nodding his head gently in a way that would go overlooked, but to Salem it spoke volumes. "Now I suggest laughing and pretending like I won't personally kill you that would make you wish you died through peaceful means like your mother. I will make you pray that your step mother did the same thing to you. But if you treat Ruby correctly... I can have the right screws applied to your step mother which will get her into an agony situation. Am I clear?"

"Crystal." Yang said with a calm expression as Ruby came skipping through the door.

"Right well... that is going to take a while... but other than that, someone broke into the house and the cookie jar..." Ruby said gently brushing her hoodie as she could see Salem just looking at her lazily. "Okay. It was me... but you made fresh cookies. You know they are my ultimate weakness. Them and strawberries." Ruby said happily as she reached into her pockets to pull out some more cookies as she quickly handed Yang one of them. "You've got to try one Yang... like Mom makes some great ones but Grandma can make them so much better."

"You are going to ruin your dinner Ruby. And after I spent so long hoping that everything was right. But I suppose the secret is making them with love Ruby. And having years of experience making them." Salem said with a smile as she looked towards the blonde. "Go on Yang. Now that it is out of the jar it is going to go bad..." Salem said with a smile as Ruby raised another one to her lips so she could gently nibble on it.

"I'm going to eat all my dinner... I swear. It smells really really good. And Mom has mostly been on a take out binge recently at least while I'm not home. And she only eats healthy when I do so I'm incentivised to eat it all. Especially when you made it." Ruby said happily as Yang took a bite from the golden brown disk.

Yang wasn't sure how to feel about the gift. But what she did know was the fact that if Ruby was eating them there wasn't going to be anything wrong with them. At the very least she knew that it was going to be a good sign that she could get out. Hopefully with all her body parts attached to where they were.

At the very least she knew that she was going to be just fine from this point on. Or at least as long as Ruby was here. "Right... well... Yang, let's go to the media room. Neo and Emerald are setting up the current movie binge I have planned until I get the notification for the rocket."

"Ruby, don't eat any more cookies. Otherwise you'll be going over my knee. And you know I don't care if you have friends around." Salem said sternly as Ruby began to sulk slightly. "Don't give me that look Ruby." Salem scolded as Ruby just took a deep breath.

"Fine... I won't eat any more of your delicious cookies." Ruby mumbled in a defeated tone as she could see Salem just smiling at her.

"Now come over here and give me a hug to show there are no hard feelings between us. And then you can go with your friends." Salem said holding her arms out in a beaconing gesture. Smiling, Ruby started to walk around the table and nearly jumped into her grandmother to just hug her tightly. Tugging Ruby closer, Salem just smiled as she rubbed Ruby's back. "I'm stern because I care for you Ruby. And I know that my cookies don't have all the nutrients you need." Salem whispered in such a manner that Ruby had to strain her hearing to understand but she knew that it was simply because she didn't want the rest of the group to know what Ruby did.

Namely that Salem really was a big softie and only seemed like she was a super stern and mean person. It was a guise that never made much sense to Ruby, but she did know that if she wanted to keep it up, that Ruby would be daft if she tried to make something public out of it. She knew and that was all that mattered.

"I know. And I care about you too..." Ruby whispered in a similar manner to the one that Salem did for her. Just so Salem knew that Ruby really did matter that much to her and that she wasn't going to spoil the mask Salem liked to have around people. Tilting her head and kissed Salem's cheek. "Love you Grandma. I'm going to go steal Yang from this stuffy talk." She continued in a much louder tone as she knew that it would seem fishy if neither said something loud enough to be heard.

"Okay Ruby. Do you know if your friend will be staying for dinner?" Salem asked in a soft tone just gently capturing Ruby's fingers just to keep her focused on the conversation at hand instead of letting her mind wander like she had a penchant to doing. "I ask because I made so much food, and it would be a tragedy to just let it go to waste." Salem asked as Ruby looked towards Yang.

"You want to stay Yang? It is vegetarian because Tyrian and Watts are, but it is still delicious." Ruby said happily as Yang could feel her breath catching in her throat as she looked around the table.

The thought that she would be sentenced to sit around the people for longer than she had to, but she knew from the look in Cinder's and Salem's eyes that her answer was already predetermined. All she had to do really was vocalise what they wanted. Even if it wasn't anything close to what Yang wanted.

"Yeah sure... I'd need to wait until I have a way down anyways." Yang said with a smile as Ruby nodded her head with a wide smile.

"Okay, then after dinner I'll drop you off at college or your place. But come on." Ruby said slipping her hands free from Salem as she began to quickly walk towards the door as she just smiled at the sight of Yang climbing up off her seat.

As they met at the door, Ruby just smiled closing it after Yang. "I'm sorry if they did their normal intimidation thing Yang. They all mean well. My Grandma is just super worried I'm going to do something stupid and or harm myself from the friends I keep. I swear they aren't really bad. Just concerned." Ruby said softly as she began to lead Yang towards the deepest part of the house. "It is actually a little suffocating, but it is something that my family will do because everyone is adopted and my Mom and uncles lived for a long time on the streets. So they want to protect me from that kind of life because they got to me when I was a baby." Ruby said opening a door gesturing for Yang to climb down the few steps.

"I get that... and your family are super terrifying. I nearly crapped my pants when your Grandmother mentioned Reese." Yang said as Ruby quickly turned around with a slightly worried expression. "I didn't talk much about her... but it was just that me and her had talked about some things." Yang said as Ruby nodded her head gently.

"Okay... please don't talk about Reese much. She rubs my family the wrong way. Largely because she has no filter around anyone except my grandmother ever since she met her. Just... don't worry. Nothing bad is going to happen." Ruby said as she jumped over the back of the couch as she patted gestured for Yang to have a seat. Looking around, Ruby just smiled as she could see Neo and Emerald in the small mock kitchen that Yang began to look into and just felt her eyebrows raise.

"How big is your place? Because that is the third kitchen I can see. And you have an entire room dedicated to media."

"Ugh... I think we have five kitchens... seven bedrooms... I have no idea on the actual size. I know Mom has had the house expanded a few times and the property line expanded because she didn't want it to be sold to some industrial park or residential place... it is only like a half of a mile in any which direction. With this house being the centre..." Ruby said seeing Emerald and Neo walking out of the small kitchen. "Besides, that is the small kitchen that is literally only a fridge, some cupboard space... and a microwave."

"There are something closer to nine bedrooms, five of which were en-suites, several studies and about a few dozen more bathrooms." Neo said with a happy tone as she plopped onto the seat next to Ruby as she held a large bowl filled with popcorn. "And it isn't like we are in the theatre room... but there is only one couch there. Point is you can kind of get lost and never find your way off the property." Neo chuckled as Ruby just rolled her eyes gently as she moved the bowl onto her lap.

"Don't scare her Neo. Nothing bad will happen. Go turn on the movie." Ruby said gently shoving Neo's shoulder. She just knew that it would make Yang relax a bit more as Emerald walked into the room holding a tray of various cans. "Do you have any preference as to what you like?" Ruby asked as she grabbed one of the cans from the tray.

"If you don't see anything you like, you can always go and check the fridge. I just know Ruby prefers blue raspberry soda, Neo likes black cherry soda... and I don't care what I drink." Emerald said as Yang just looked through the selection and picked up an orange can. Seeing that, Emerald just shook her head as she reached into the bowl. "So how did meeting Salem go? Shit bricks?"

"EM! Don't scare Yang. And Grandma Salem is a nice old lady. Will everyone stop pretending that she is some terrifying person?" Ruby scolded as Neo plopped back down into her seat as she handed Ruby a remote. "Seriously? Is it so hard to believe my grandmother isn't a bad person?"

"Fine Ruby. Even though Salem really is that bad." Emerald said in a soft tone as Ruby tossed some of the popcorn at her. "It is true Ruby. She scares literally everyone but you. So sorry that all I did was warn her Salem is a very terrifying person." Emerald continued as she picked up some of the yellow pieces up off her top before placing it into her mouth. "Now just play the movie. Otherwise I'm going to go back to college to study."

"Fine. You don't need to be a buzz kill. It isn't like we're missing out on much. Plus Mercury's car isn't here..." Ruby mumbled softly pressing play as she leaned back getting comfortable as she heard her phone going off.

Groaning as she reached into her pocket wondering what it could be because if everything did go right then she shouldn't be receiving anything about her model. And even if she was confident that she could repair most damages she really didn't want to. Unlocking her phone Ruby began to blush a dark shade as she quickly placed her phone down.

The snickering Ruby knew that she could just ignore, unless it got more persistent. Something which she knew from past experience that was impossible. "Well all three of you just stop it!? I just got taken off guard."

"Seems to happen a lot with this girl." Yang chuckled as Ruby shot a look towards her with a slight look of malice in her eyes that Yang just could tell by this point that it was a farce. It always was when it came to Ruby. She had only seen Ruby lash out at people when she was in pain. But she had never seen her actually mean malice to anyone.

"Who can be on guard when the woman sends you really hot topless pics with a tail being the only thing keeping her decency?" Ruby countered as she began to hold her phone down as she knew that if Emerald and Neo wanted to they could get into her phone with ease to see that message along with the many more Neon had sent since she had last seen her at college. "Plus she knows she is hot and that she is super distracting... especially with the tail." Ruby continued as she could hear some constant laughing next to her.

"Look, Ruby, seeing as you got me away from the terrifying thing that is your family, I'll tell you what you should do. You should go into the nearest bathroom, and respond in kind. Or you one up her. Point is picture for picture." Yang said clapping Ruby on the back as her phone rang again. "I wouldn't look at that picture right now if I were you? Unless you want to continue blushing. Because if I know that woman well enough... and I think I do besides the fact she is as smart as a sack of rocks... she totally sent something with a lot less decency."

"I don't know... she has already sent me videos that really make me want to ditch my family and go back to see her." Ruby mumbled as she began to sink further into her seat as to avoid the prying eyes as she unlocked her phone. "And yep... there is another reason to go back. Why do all the hot women need to constantly tease me? First there was Reese... then Velvet... then Reese again for the longest time and now Neon." Ruby said as Neo and Emerald looked at her with confusion. "It was before Reese and I got serious. Although her teasing wasn't pictures of her body... but of baked goodies... and she mentioned how she wanted me to go over to the public kitchen just so we could cuddle, study and eat cookies. But I couldn't because me and Reese were already doing two out of three and I didn't even notice her trying to put the moves on me."

"How clueless are you?" Yang asked as Ruby just looked at her. "Like I mean no offence to you but seriously, with what I know about Reese, landmines are less subtle. And cause less damage to people." Yang asked as Ruby rolled her eyes.

"She was a lot more clueless when we started dating. We both were. Now let's start the movie." Ruby said just begging for the conversation to change as she pressed the play button just glad that she could get over this now.

Chapter Text

Chapter 35:

Smiling as she pulled the key out, Ruby just began to yawn as she stretched looking over towards Yang who had started to wake up which just caused Ruby to chuckle about. She knew that there had to be something amusing for her, but she couldn't bring herself to do anything as Yang began to blink herself awake.

"Where are we and why the hell is it so dark?" Yang said yawning into her hand as Ruby just chuckled softly. She knew that it was solely from Yang's sleepy brain being unable to catch up with her but it would slowly will catch up.

Smiling as she just took a deep breath, Ruby looked towards Yang. "It is your house... I told you I would drive you here before you feel asleep." Ruby said as she could see Yang just nodding her head as the simple gesture was enough to jump start Yang's sleep deprived brain. "Place looks actually kind of pretty at night." Ruby continued as Yang began to climb out of the car.

"Yeah. It really is." Yang said rubbing her eyes as she could see Ruby just smiling as she started to lean back in the chair. "Are you sure you don't want to come in? It is super late." Yang said walking around to gently rest on Ruby's open window.

"Yeah. My Mom and Grandma said I was fine going back to college, Em and Neo already are driving Merc's car to the college as to prevent her needing to drive one of Mom's cars again." Ruby said with a smile as she slipped the key into the car. "Plus, I plan to spend the night with Neon... wink wink nudge nudge." Ruby said with a smile as Yang shook her head.

"Fine. I'll drive back on my motorcycle. But drive safely. These roads are pretty bad when it is this dark out. And there are a lot of nocturnal animals in the surrounding woods and fields. And given the lack of seatbelts and airbags... I'd be worried." Yang said tapping the roof as Ruby just smiled as she shook her head.

"I'll text you if I remember it. And if Neon gives me a chance to. But it looks like someone is at the front door there." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Yang just quickly looking around and smiling. "I'll let you get back to what you want. Just stay safe Yang." Ruby said as she watched Yang turning around.

Happy that she was a safe distance away Yang spun around to see Ruby driving off as she just shook her head gently. Climbing up the stairs, Yang shoved past the woman in the door as she walked towards the coat rack. "Try anything Summer, and I don't mind getting into a fight with you." Yang stated dryly as she began to take off her heavy jacket as she quickly walked towards the kitchen, ignoring the sound of the front door closing. "Where is Dad?" Yang yelled back as she opened the fridge and grabbed one of the bottles of water that had been in there.

"I'm here..." Tai spoke as he began to walk in through the back door as Yang just smiled. "What do you want firecracker? I wasn't expecting you home for another week or more... not that I don't enjoy you coming back." Tai spoke dropping the logs he had in his arms on the ground by the wood stove.

"My roommate invited me to her house. And things came up... that I kind of want to talk to you about." Yang said as she could see her step mother walking back over to the couch where she had clearly created the nest that she liked to have as she came down. Something that Yang knew more than well to know by the look of it, she wasn't going to be here that much longer.

"You know I can always make time for that Yang... what do you want to talk about?" Tai asked softly as he walked towards the sink to start scrubbing his hands from the sap that had been on his hands.

"It is about Mom... and I don't mean the pitiful excuse of a woman on the couch. I mean my real Mom." Yang said as she could see her dad freeze slightly as he just smiled as he turned around to stare at Yang.

"Why do you want to talk about her? You've never really have cared or wanted to talk about her since middle school." Tai said calmly as Yang just sighed crossing her arms before gesturing her head sharply towards Summer. "Fine. I'll be up in a few seconds. I just need to stoke the fire a bit." Tai said with a relaxed smile as Yang just smiled and began to walk up the stairs.

She had a smile on her face as she opened her door, walking over towards her bed, as she stood on the heels of her boots as she plopped down just staring up at the ceiling. Just enjoying the fact that she could possibly at least prove that what they knew about her mother wasn't true. It couldn't have been.

Hearing a knock on the door, Yang began to sit up as she just smiled. "Come in Dad." Yang said with a smile as Tai opened the door and began to walk in. Gesturing towards the chair Yang often liked to sit in, she just smiled as she could see him sitting on the significantly smaller chair as she just giggled faintly at the almost comical sight.

"What do you want to talk about Yang?" Tai asked softly as Yang just took a deep breath just to calm herself as she knew what was going to happen before everything that went on.

"Tell me about Mom... like what did she do... where did you meet her... how did she die... everything."

Seeing her dad stand up as he began to rub his face out of exhaustion, Tai stared at his daughter. "You know all that Yang. And you know I don't tend to like talking about how she died." Tai said as Yang crossed her arms to just stare at him. Hoping her displeasure for the situation was going to get through to him as he just stopped his frantic pacing as he just took a deep breath. "What brought this up?"

"My roommate's family do... less than legal things, and they knew more about Mom than I do. That is beyond messed up!" Yang yelled as she could see Tai just stopping to stare at Yang. "My roommate doesn't do anything illegal and is squeaky clean. But do you have any idea what it is like to know nothing about your own mother? And worse still your roommate's family know more about her than you do?" Yang said letting her hurt shine through as Tai stopped his pacing as he took a seat next to Yang on the bed simply pulling her into a small hug.

"Raven never did anything illegal Yang. I know that for a fact. She simply just did a lot of manual labour and landscaping before you came about. After you came about there were several months of happiness around... and then I walked in on her with you crying in my arms... because you were outside on the porch." Tai said as Yang just held onto him with a tight grip. "Raven never shied away from doing something illegal, but it was never anything bad. Worst thing I've seen her do was steal some convenience store crap when we were in highschool and she didn't have any qualms with underage drinking... but she didn't do anything bad Yang besides take the coward's way out instead of getting help."

Smiling as he could see Yang just relaxing at that conformation. It spoke a lot to him about how he could actually get her to relax in the same manner as he always had been able to. Just softly talking to her. Just the fact that it did make him feel at least competent. Something that he had always needed since Yang got older and older.

Seeing the look on his daughter's face, Tai just smiled at her. Glancing up Tai just shook his head gently as he looked at the pictures that had stayed on the ceiling. "And it seems you still have the same kind of love for Raven as you did for Ruby." Tai said with a smile as Yang just chuckled a little at.

"One is my late mother and the other is my late sister..." Yang said with a calm tone as she could see her dad separating from her as he began to stand up. "Hell... everything is looking like it is going to get better. Summer may overdose... and I can feel like something good is going to happen. I mean my roommate even has the same name as Rubes." Yang said with a smile as Tai just chuckled gently.

"That is a good omen... but you should get changed. I'll bring up some cocoa for you to drink. Just... promise me if your roommate does start doing things illegally... you'll call the cops on her." Tai said as Yang just smiled.

"Yeah dad. But I tell you she is the nicest and most innocent girl you could ever see. She spent hours today blushing from someone commenting on her math as she launched a large model rocket." Yang half lied as Tai just smiled at her.

"That's good to hear."

Smiling as she flipped her keys around her fingers, Ruby just smiled as she knocked on the door hearing a soft groan coming from the other side. Taking the time to pull her phone out, Ruby quickly sent a message to Yang letting her know that she got there safely as she could see the door open followed by her letting out an 'eep' as she felt Neon quickly tilt her head up to smash her lips to her own.

Not sure if the message had sent, but that thought had long since evaporated from Ruby's mind as she just slide the phone into her pocket as she wrapped her arms around Neon's neck. Enjoying the feeling of Neon continuing the feud as she started to pull Ruby into the room.

Kicking the door close with her foot, Ruby just smiled brightly as she pulled back and just smiled up at the woman. "Okay... that was a nice surprise... texting me hot pictures while I'm with my family... not so much." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Neon rolling her eyes as Ruby leaned back and gently tossed her keys onto the near barren desk as she jumped up, just happy that she could feel the Faunus catching her with ease as they walked over towards the bed.

"Well Ruby... I'm curious did you like them?" Neon asked as Ruby just blushed as she leaned in and planted a chaste kiss onto her lips. "I'll take that as a yes... so I've got to know... mostly because I just took some... but do you want to party tonight? My normal guy is out of town... but I do still have some ecstasy... and I was just going to stare at the ceiling, listen to music and have a few drinks... but now that you are here... you really are aren't you?"

As Neon spoke, Ruby just smiled as she pinched Neon's upper arm laughing softly as she gasped in pain. "So yes I'm real. But also you got any pills on you now? Or do I need to play find the narcotic? Because I feel like my mouth could be put to better use..." Ruby whispered softly as she leaned into a kiss as she could feel Neon just shifting her down so her back was pressed against the bed. Gently pushing Neon up, Ruby just smiled at her. "Your roommate isn't going to come back are they?"

"The one that hasn't shown up at all? Not even to move in? Nope." Neon said happily as she began to sit up, a smile as she reached over towards the nightstand where she opened it and smiled popping the seal on the bag as she produced a small pill. "And you might want to open that mouth... so we can play... or we can just play. Up to you." Neon said with a smile as Ruby leaned up and slipped Neon's fingers into her mouth pill and all.

Letting go of the small object, Ruby just smiled as Neon slipped her fingers free as she could see Ruby gulping down vocally. Smiling as she popped up kissing Neon once more, Ruby just smiled as she pulled back. "I want tonight to be fun. And after the hospital trip and everything it has sucked to be me." Ruby said as Neon just smiled gently poking Ruby's nose.

"That can't possibly be true. If I spent a day like you I'd be happy. But I suppose we can just settle on me spending the night with you... I can even show you a new toy I bought recently... that is if you don't mind bouncing on it... in it's faux barbed glory." Neon said with a chuckle as Ruby just stared at her confused. "Just saying... I know I did... and the straps were an additional thing I got with my last few dozen one night stands. Does that answer that question?" Neon asked kissing along Ruby's jawline as she could hear the woman groan, the Faunus just had to enjoy the sound.

"It does... and to answer yours I don't mind bouncing... I actually prefer it. I just would like you to be a bit rougher... last time you babied me and I really don't like that." Ruby said as she began to shift Neon a little onto her haunches. "Just don't call me a bad person... and go easy on the choking. I don't want to explain choke bruises to my friends. Because it will lead to you being harmed and I don't want that. Spanking I'm all for."

Pulling back to lick Ruby's ear, Neon just giggled gently. "I wish you would have told me sooner... I would have gotten something like handcuffs... or a paddle." Neon said with a chuckle as she could feel Ruby grinding against her lap. As if she was trying her hardest to reach her peak. "Guess that just means there needs to be a next time."

"Depends how well you do this time..." Ruby said happily as she tilted her head to give Neon more access to what she was doing. Just the feeling of those lips where what Ruby had wanted to feel more and more of. It was just magic to her.

The way they would just dance along Ruby's skin setting a fire in their wake before the breeze from the room would extinguish it. It was everything that she could want from a situation and more. Just the feeling of her being pushed back down caused Ruby to smile internally knowign that she was going to enjoy the night.

Jolting upwards with a scream, Ruby took a panicked breath as she looked around. She could feel her heart rushing as she could see Neon waking up as she rubbed her ears. That sight had seemed to have just added to the pain that Ruby was feeling for the situation. She knew that there was without a doubt one additional thing to make her feel bad. But she just wished that there wasn't the nightmare that had appeared.

Clenching her eyes a little, Neon began to sit up rubbing her eyes gently. "No need to yell. My hearing is like a hundred times more sensitive... what happened?" Neon asked as she could see Ruby just quickly latching onto her. Chuckling gently, Neon started to rub the terrified woman's back as she could hear Ruby just taking a deep breath.

"No... your going to laugh." Ruby said as Neon just sighed herself.

"Ruby, I'm going to be pissed otherwise. You have no idea how painful it is for a Faunus to have someone scream into their ears... and I don't envy those with two sets." Neon said as she continued to rub Ruby's back. "And I won't laugh... unless it is something stupid like you saw a spider. Because again you have no idea how much that hurts and the fact that we have no poisonous spiders or aggressive spiders so chances are it would stay far away from you and if it got close it wouldn't harm you. So I'll also be super pissed" Neon said as Ruby just took a deep breath looking up at her.

"I had a nightmare where I was being raped and tossed down an embankment left for dead and barely conscious..." Ruby said as she could feel Neon holding her tighter. "Which being left for dead while being barely conscious has happened a number of times for me." Ruby said as she took a shaky breath as Neon just sighed gently.

"I won't let something like that happen to you Ruby. You are too special to me." Neon said in a soft tone as she could feel Ruby just sobbed gently as Neon just gently extricated an arm to tilt Ruby's head up a little. "And why did you think I'd laugh at that?" Neon knew her hurt was coming through, but it was important to her. She didn't know which was hurting more. The ringing in her ears or the fact Ruby would think so little of her.

Looking into her eyes, Ruby began to chew her lip gently in thought. "I'm prone to some really bad nightmares. That friends I've had since I was a little girl laughed at them... and even my last girlfriend did from how once they were set off, they tend to get bad... and I always wake up screaming." Ruby said in a sad tone as Neon just took a deep breath and held her tighter.

"I promise I won't laugh at some nightmare Ruby. However... waking me up by screaming I will get pissed if it is something objectively stupid. Hell any assault on the senses will piss me off unless I'm pre-warned." Neon said as Ruby just took a deep breath. "But other than that... I won't mind." As Neon spoke Ruby began to shift herself a little never taking her head off of Neon's chest. "And I can hear your heart beating over the ringing in my ears. What do you want me to do to allow you to relax?"

"Just hold me... that has always been what keeps my nightmares gone... just someone holding onto me... or a very specific medical drug that I could only get a tiny prescription of." Ruby said as Neon just smiled breathing softly.

"Okay... and if you let me know the name, I'll see if my guy can get some for you." Neon said pulling Ruby tighter to her as the tail began to wrap itself around Ruby's waist.

"Thank you Neon."

Chapter Text


Chapter 36:

Rubbing her eyes, Ruby took a deep breath as she pushed herself off her desk. The only thing that made her feel at least a little bit better was the fact that Ruby knew that once she was done, she'd be able to just enjoy a day with Neon. That was what was pushing her through this test at least. That and the fact she was promised that she'd be given some coffee and the plan to smoke was one that Ruby really did want to get behind.

However right now, she had to wait the five minutes that was left on her make up test. Even if she had finished already she did know how it would come off if she turned it in early. But she also knew that something may hit her in the last four minutes now that would make all of this worth her time to remember and thereby making it vital for her to stay.

Although she did doubt it. It never happened in the history of any other test she had ever taken, but she supposed there could always be a chance. Glancing towards the clock, Ruby just smiled as she quickly started to look at the sheet with the questions on it. She didn't want to leave anything on the table that could have given her some extra marks.

Smiling as she had timed it just right, Ruby closed over the test booklet as she slid it between the questions as she clicked her pen and dropped it onto the desk as she began to walk down the stairs to where she could see the professor looking up.

"Time is up... I hope you remember my rule, ten points will be docked, and if I find out you talked to others about the test it is an instant fail." The professor said as he quickly pulled out Ruby's answer sheet and began to quickly run his eyes over it.

"I've spent time in the hospital secluded from everyone, at my family's home recovering and just got back here last night. I'll gladly turn over all my phone records... as for the ten point docking... that is fine. Don't make any exceptions for me. You do whatever you see fit." Ruby said happily as the professor picked up the pen resting on the desk and quickly made a note on Ruby's paper.

"Okay. You are free now. Expect your results by the end of the week. Next week we will go over the answers just to make sure everyone gets it... it is the only time I will go over the test so try to avoid anything that can set off an allergic reaction."

"Already planned on it. Have a good day though." Ruby said walking back up towards her desk. Grabbing the pen and her bag Ruby quickly slung it on her shoulder as she walked out of the room ignoring the loud screeching sound coming from the door. Just smiling as she could see Neon gently rubbing her ear as she caught Ruby in a one armed hug. "Are you seriously alright after this morning?"

Looking towards Ruby as she stopped, Neon just chuckled softly. "What? Yeah. That ringing ended like hours ago. My ears are just sore from all the loud crap going on. And that door could totally use oil on the hinges. Pretty sure that boarders on torture." Neon said gently as she began to fix her hair that had gotten dislodged from its place when she was rubbing her ears. "Anyways I need something calming, almost soothing because this day has been murder on my ears... and my eyes are still killing me because you popped me in your sleep after you fell back asleep. Or we did it while we were a little high both are possible."

Smiling as she pushed the door in front of them open Ruby just took a deep breath as she looked at the Faunus girl. "I wouldn't be saying that out loud... I know a few current White Fang members in my classes alone and again people would tell my family about that kind of thing and it isn't bravery trying to go against them... it is out right stupidity. At least if you believe Sienna Khan's reaction around my mother." Ruby whispered softly as she quickly looked around just happy at the lack of people that she could recognise.

Looking into the Faunus' sceptical eyes, Ruby just had to chuckle a little at. "Yeah... really... that Sienna Khan. One of the reasons I keep trying to not come off as racist. I can't tell you the amount of times I've had Sienna come to my house and her lackies get pawned off to keep me distracted. Adam Taurus isn't the worst. Yeah he is a bit creepy and gives me a bad feeling, but I just dislike Corsac and Fennec. They constantly treat me like I'm a baby. And Yuma I swear he is just as bad as my uncle the few times he has been there as well. Constant snickering."

"Wait wait. Go back..." Neon said rubbing her eyes gently as if to just relax her mind a bit before she continued. "Since when are Corsac and Fennec White Fang? I suppose we could be talking about two different duos, but the ones I know are brothers and actually are advisors for Menagerie and since when does the Fang deal with Humans?"

"We might be talking about different people there. But I couldn't tell you when they started working with humans. They've just always seemed to have dealt with my family. At least as far back as they've been the crazy terrorist group." Ruby said gently pulling Neon along. "Regardless, let's change the subject."

"Okay... is Sienna as hot as all the rumours say?" Neon asked as Ruby began to cough as she quickly looked towards Neon who had a real sense of curiosity in her eyes as Ruby just groaned.

"Appearance wise, yeah. If you like an aggressive woman at least. But I can't stand her taste in cars."

"Is that seriously a deal breaker to you?" Neon asked as Ruby just took a deep breath.

"Only when a woman will destroy a really really really pretty and rare muscle car. And this isn't the change in conversation I was hoping for. I was hoping for something more like are there any cool movies you want to watch later or eventually, or read any good books..."

Nodding her head in understanding, Neon just took a deep breath as she looked into the silver eyes. "So do you just have a thing for feline Faunus in general? Not that I particularly care... and I know looking behind the curtain is always a bad thing, but you know how curious cats get." Neon asked as Ruby just sighed slumping her shoulders.

"No. It just so happens most female Faunus I know are some type of cat... and there was this really sweet rabbit one that I went to highschool with that had the biggest crush on me and she practically made me demand that if I was ever single during the time she was that I'd call her. But I'd also need to be the top in that relationship and frankly that is the only downside I can think of. But she'd also let me blow stuff up and work on cars then feed me cookies." Ruby complained as they came up to a crosswalk.

"I'll let you do all of that, except I can't make cookies. So let's substitute that with reading followed by me tying you to the bed and going wild on you. You know after we get a little bit high."

Smiling at the woman, Ruby just felt a sense of joy grow as she had to admit that that did sound a lot better to her. "Best promise we can do that once we get back, of course we can only really get baked. And actually get rougher. I swear I'm not a piece of porcelain, I want to not be able to walk for a day afterwards. Every single girlfriend I've had always does the same thing. When I say rough, I really mean rough."

"With the shit you can get, it might as well be the same thing. But I am all for that. As for being rougher. I just don't want to go over the line." Neon said opening the door to the cafe as Ruby just smiled at the sight of the large man and the much younger barista that Ruby had to still admit looked cute as behind the counter as if it was nothing more than a changing of shifts.

"Trust me Neon, it takes a lot to cross my line. Really attacking my character and doing things in the open are the only things that cross it. Oh and people bringing up my mother. That just takes me out of it. And dudes... that does it too. Other than that I have no boundaries and really like it getting rough."

Chuckling at the comment, Neon began to walk up to the counter as Ruby just groaned mentally as she hoped that Neon would get the hint a lot quicker this time about what Ghira was and wasn't comfortable talking about.

"Right Blake, take care of these customers then go to class." Ghira stated as the bow wearing woman just groaned softly as she looked towards Ruby and Neon. "And remember what I told you. I will fire you if you try anything."

Smiling as she separated her hand from Neon's hand as she walked towards the display cabinet to view the various delicious treats. "Hey Blake... I'll be sure to be quick so you can get to class on time. Can I have one of those chocolate chip cookies... and a large flat white please to go. Neon?" Ruby asked as she tilted her head looking at the tail swishing Faunus.

"Just a black coffee... I'll share some of Ruby's cookie." Neon said as the dark haired woman just groaned softly as she spun around pressing a button to start the grinding of beans. As the sound started to get loud, Neon began to cover her ear closest to the machine as she winced causing Ruby to just frown a little. "Seriously... today is murder on my ears..."

Gently pulling Neon closer to her, Ruby gently cupped her hands over her girlfriend's ears as she could see Blake gently rubbing her's as she turned the machine off. "Sorry about that. I would have given you some ear plugs if I knew what type of Faunus you were." Blake said as she grabbed the remaining piece for her to make the coffee.

"The senses change that much?" Ruby asked knowing her ignorance was shining but that didn't really matter nearly as much as making sure Neon was alright.

"Yeah it really really does. I doubt your uncle knows how bad it can get because he is a scorpion Faunus, but I doubt I could understand his sense of touch. But my hearing is about three times more than yours at the higher range and that bat guy's sense is an even larger range of hearing." Neon said as she looked at Blake behind the bar grumbling. "Don't give me that... Ghira's daughter or not. Ruby isn't a bad human." Neon snapped as Blake quickly spun around to glare as Ruby looked at her a little taken aback.

"How. Dare. You." Blake seethed as Ruby was thankful for an older woman walking in and just holding onto Blake, as Ruby just started to stand in front of Neon to try her hardest to keep her from getting into a fight with Blake.

"What is going on out here?" The older woman asked as Blake started to fight the woman's arms. Happy as she could see Blake calming down and Neon relaxing, she just let out a small sigh.

"She started it. Putting the grinder on next to my ears, started being angry towards Ruby just because she had a genuine question about Faunus biology." Neon spat as the woman looked towards Blake and just sighed.

It was as if she didn't expect anything else. "Blake, go into the locker room and cool off. I'll handle the rest of this." The woman scolded as she practically shoved the woman into the room, as Ruby spun around and gestured away from the counter. The sight of her leaving was a little bit of a weight off of Ruby's shoulders but from what she knew that Blake and Neon could continue to snide remarks that she couldn't hear.

Happy that they were away from each other, Ruby just took a deep breath as she turned around to look at the older woman. "That was entirely Neon's fault at the end... she just said Blake was a Faunus which she clearly wants to keep hidden for whatever reason." Ruby said as the older woman just chuckled. "Ghira wouldn't really fire Blake would he? I didn't know he was her father but now I'm actually worried she might be."

"He wouldn't and she knows it. He just says it to look like he is serious. And it isn't entirely that girl's fault... the stereotype of cat Faunus not getting along with each other when we are young is kind of true. And if it is over one person the fights tend to get really really bad. But this was a first for me. Normally Blake is really level headed and avoids making snide remarks out loud... and she would never harm another Faunus by using noise. But I wouldn't put it past her if she wanted to be petty." The older woman said as she began to walk towards the cash register to look at what the order was. "It is a large flat white, black coffee and a cookie to go?"

"Yeah." Ruby said as she watched the woman quickly get underway finishing what Blake had started. "Can you actually let Blake know that I won't tell anyone? I know if she didn't reveal that she had a reason and I'm not going to treat her any differently. Besides just trying to not be too loud."

Smiling as she picked up the hand towel which she wrapped around steam valve to clean it. "She can easily hear you. The walls aren't that thick... and when any Faunus is out here working we tend to wear ear plugs because the sounds do get loud and it does get bad. But I'll be sure to tell her." The woman spoke as she turned the steam off as she picked up the metal cup. "Just might not want to have that Neon woman here with Blake being behind the counter... Ghira should have known better."

"Thank you... I'm Ruby by the way. Ruby Fall." Ruby said in a calm tone as she could see the woman smiling over her shoulder at her.

"I'm Kali. Kali Belladonna. And even if my daughter won't say it allow me to say it for her. I'm sorry she got petty and mad. I'll be sure to talk to her later."

"It is okay." Ruby said in a soft tone as both of the cups were placed down in front of her as she began to spin her back around to quickly pull out her card as she looked at the mother walking towards the display case as she bent down to quickly produce one of the items which Ruby had to admit were looking better and better as time had started to go on. "I'll talk to Neon about this..." Ruby said as she handed the card over towards the new Faunus barista.

Swiping the card in the machine as she handed the keypad towards her, Kali just smiled as Ruby began to punch her code in. "Can you also let Blake know that if I said anything that came off as racist that I didn't mean it? I can't help but think that I might have accidentally caused them to be mad at each other."

"I doubt you did anything. You seem like a very nice woman, and I know something about bad people." Kali said handing Ruby her card as she looked towards the grumbling Faunus with her arms crossed. "And besides... both of them might as well still be kittens. Constantly trying to prove their point by fighting others for no reason... or worse over a person." Kali said with a smile as Ruby slid the piece of plastic back into her bag as she just smiled at her.

Picking up one of the cups Ruby just smiled as she chuckled gently. "Doubt it is them fighting over a person in any sense but my girlfriend being a bit pig headed." Ruby said as she could see the older woman just laughing softly. "Have a good day and thank you for helping me stop a fight before it got out of hand." Ruby said as she picked up the cookie and placed it into her mouth as she used her now free hand to grab the other cup.

"Your welcome." Kali spoke as Ruby just smiled and nodded her head as she spun around seeing Neon holding the door open for them.

Stepping out, Ruby smiled as she began to look between the two cups as she tried to decipher which one was which. Biting the figurative bullet, Ruby held one out towards the woman who rolled her eyes and accepted the cup which she gave a small sniff before handing it back to Ruby as she accepted the other on.

"I'm not sorry for snapping at her." Neon mumbled softly as Ruby rolled her eyes as she grabbed the cookie from her mouth. "She had it coming... you aren't a typical human and I was just letting you know something that most people wouldn't care enough about to ask."

Grabbing the baked item from her mouth Ruby just looked towards Neon as she sighed. "It still wasn't your place to blab that she was a Faunus Neon. Even I know some would rather that not be widely known." Ruby said as she could see Neon just lightly glaring at her.

"She shouldn't be working with her father than... a man who is without a doubt one of the greatest influences to Faunus kind."

"That doesn't change anything Neon. You actually did a very bad thing. Two wrongs don't make a right. Everyone is taught that... especially if you are taught by stupid nuns." Ruby mumbled before she shook her head and took a deep breath. "You owe her an apology no matter who was right and who was wrong originally."

"Fine. As long as she isn't being a bitch next time I see her."

"Good enough."

Chapter Text


Chapter 37:

Groaning softly as the blonde came to a stop at her door recognising a tie resting on the door handle. Tensing her hand, Yang began to bring it down on the door. She just really wanted to go in and get a nap in just because of how hard it was for her at this point.

She wished that this was just some sick joke on Ruby's end. Just because it was only four in the afternoon and Yang knew that there had to have been nothing serious going on. Hearing some shuffling followed by the distinct look of the ginger Faunus' head sticking out through the door.

"We're busy... um. You might want to come back in like an hour... two tops." The woman spoke and was about the close the door when Yang's hand quickly shot up to catch the door to prevent its closure.

"Ruby! Everything good in there?" Yang asked as she could hear a small muffled response causing Yang to just glare at the Faunus.

"She has a gag... relax. I'm not some crazy rapist... now seriously." Neon said as she tried to shove the door close as Yang held solid.

"Take the gag out then. Otherwise, I'm busting this door down. I already have a lot on my conscience involving trusting Ruby with other people... and frankly, while I wouldn't care about you at first..." Yang said in what she knew was a thinly veiled threat, but she didn't care. She had no idea how Cinder would react to finding out that Yang had let Ruby be violated a second time.

Rolling her eyes as she took a step away from the door, Yang took a deep breath as she could hear a small gasp. "I'm fine Yang! Neon needs to learn how to choke anyways... I'd get up and cover myself so you could grab whatever you want... but I'm kind of tied up. And also super naked... do you need anything? I think Neo is in her's and Emerald's room. Emerald is just in class if you want a place to stay"

"I was going to take a nap. Just text me when you are done and open the window to let the stink out. I'll go to the drunk room. I don't trust Neo to not sell my skin for a Klondike Bar."

"Okay, for the record though skin is the most valuable organ according to Watts. So she might just take a toe for that. Now if you don't mind can you close the door? I'll get Neon to open a window."

"Fine. Just remember safety words are a thing that is important. Especially if you are doing choking things... and that I hope you have concealer on hand..." Yang said closing the door once she heard a grunt coming from Ruby which she just knew was from the previous device being replaced.

Shaking her head, Yang just prayed that she could figure out how she was going to explain the sight of bruises around her neck to the likes of Emerald, or Ruby's family. Hell she didn't even know how Ruby explained anything to them with the same casual attitude she had over everything. It was beyond shocking.

The only reason that Yang could really come to was the fact that Ruby was ignorant of what her family has done and will probably continue to do. Smiling softly as she pushed through the door to the main building on the campus. At the very least she knew that she was going to get a peaceful amount of sleep. Even if she did run into anyone that was in a complaining mood. She still got a nap out of it and was able to irk another person who in her opinion needed to relax. Just the fact that she could spread that joy in anyway she could. Even if they got super angry about it. If anything that was an added win.

Walking into the library, Yang just took a deep breath at the familiar, comforting smell. Not that she had ever read in one of these places, but she did still remember fondly fleeing to the nearest one when Summer got bad and Tai had tried to relax her. Just the rage that would always cause Yang as he tried constantly to save her.

Coming to a stop in the aisle that Yang knew at least had some books related even slightly to what she did. It didn't really matter what context she was grabbing the book for. It just made her look like she was studying and that she wasn't just using it as a warm place to sleep. Because then she knew that everything was going to be fine.

Flicking the book open, Yang took a seat as she dropped her bag by her feet. Propping the book up, Yang began to stretch as she slumped down onto the desk. The normal act was far more time consuming for the fact she just wanted a few extra minutes.

The feeling of her warm breath on the back of her hands just caused her to be lulled towards that sweet moment of serendipity where sleep would over take her. She didn't even know how long it had been. And it didn't really matter to her.

That was until she heard a loud thud causing her head to shoot up and look around frantically looking for the cause before her eyes settled on the white haired woman who had become more and more of Yang's favourite to anger just because of how constantly up tight she had seemed.

"Princess... seriously now... go fuck yourself. Let me sleep." Yang spat as she began to lower her head down. Once more, she could feel the scoffing coming from next to her.

"That is what bedrooms are for you brute. I suggest going back to your own." The woman hissed in a whisper as Yang just took a deep breath much to the newcomer's annoyance. "And I'm not a princess."

"I suggest standing up so that stick can easily slide out Princess. It must be uncomfortable sitting down with it lodged up there. Who knows what kind of damage you could receive from it?" Yang mumbled softly as she could hear a gasp. "Let me guess... going to report me but literally no one but you cares. So just cut that step out and just get back to reading your stupid book on bears or vikings or whatever."

"I should have you expelled."

"More time to sleep in here." Yang said as she began to rub her face into her arm. "Seriously Weiss... rules can be broken. I'm not hurting anyone. Besides your feelings. So just grow up and accept the fact the sun doesn't come out of your ass and the world does not revolve around you. You know unless you can disprove what's his face... Galileo."

"You intentionally are quoting the wrong person just to anger me."

Yawning to just signify a hope that this conversation would end, Yang just began to drift off a bit as she spoke up. "Nope... if that is the wrong person I guess it is a happy benefit I angered you. Because shockingly it doesn't really change my stance, I'm not the type of person that cares about you or frankly anyone else that isn't me or hasn't caused a gun pointed to my head. That is literally it for my care. Well that and whoever I'm dating. But that field is currently empty. So back to the previous two." Yang continued to mumble as she could hear a huff from next to her. "Nice talking to you Weiss. Maybe we should continue this one of these days at a cafe or something. Maybe a cocktail of sorts. But we need to wait for that stick to dislodge. Until then I'm going to sleep." Yang said in a near whisper as she could feel herself drift off again.

Hearing a knock at the door, Neon just groaned as she looked at Ruby hoping that she would know what she was meant to do. Sighing as she knew what was implied in Ruby's eyes, the Faunus gently reached behind her head to unbuckle the bright red ball gag holding her mouth open.

Rolling her jaw a little, Ruby began to crack her neck. "Open the door carefully... use the light blanket at the end of my bed to cover yourself and toss the other blanket over me. It could be another one of my friends. Just hope that it is Reese. She'll understand that we want privacy. After making a few crude comments." Ruby said as she could see Neon just rolling her eyes as she tossed the blanket the best she could over her. "Also... you really do know how to tie knots. I'm actually a little curious where you got all the rope from, but let's not look into that shall we? Now the door." Ruby scolded as she could see Neon just rolling her eyes as she jumped off the bed and walked towards the door.

As she opened it, Ruby began to tilt her head up feeling the length of rope tightening making her all kinds of turned on as Neon winced at the door just being shoved open causing Ruby to just groan at the sight of her teal haired ex girlfriend walking into the room with her current girlfriend with a look of embarrassment.

"Reese! Get out! We are busy and don't have the room for all night." Ruby hissed as Reese simply rolled her eyes as she walked up towards Ruby and slipped the plastic ball into her mouth.

"Right now that is done, I need to vent... and the fact you are doing choke stuff just helps me prove my point of how unlikely we are ever going to bang again." Reese said with a smile as she plopped down onto Yang's bed as she gestured for Pyrrha to join suit.

"Ugh Reese... I'm pretty sure it can wait. But you did just prove my point. Shoving whatever that was into her mouth. How does that not mean you want to sleep with her again." Pyrrha said crossing her arms as Reese simply rolled her eyes and pulled her down.

Smiling as she could see the redhead getting slightly angry. "It is a gag. It is because she would have continued yelling causing Emerald or worse Neo. It was literally for that. And Ruby is covered. Neon is covering herself now." Reese said with her same normal easy demeanor as she just maintained Pyrrha's focus and kept her from focusing on Ruby fighting the bindings she had on trying to get the gag out. Seeing the Faunus walking past them to gently just pop the item out of her mouth turning towards Reese with a look of slight anger.

"Reese. Get out... I don't want to bang you. I was in the middle of banging Neon. Come on. I don't interrupt your time with Pyrrha." Ruby complained as she began to worm a little. "Frankly if I had my hands free I'd throw you out myself... also would probably stop Neon who is getting a little mad. She nearly got into a fist fight earlier."

"I'm not scared of her. I've literally dealt with Ashes... and your equally as spooky uncles. Not to mention Salem. Dear whichever god you want... Salem. So the like hundred pound cat who looks like she has never been in a mosh pit doesn't scare me." Reese said as she could see Neon just glaring at her. "Look, I'll distract Yang for another hour. I just need some concrete proof we won't ever bang again. And I figured if you weren't here I'd get Yang but seeing our old highschool tie, knew it had to be you in here getting it on so wins all around for me." Reese continued as Pyrrha leaned back to glare at her as harshly as she could. "It is proof. I didn't need to drag you out, the fact Ruby is naked, tied up, ready to punch me... and is currently turning a bit blue because she is into choking is proof. This could have easily been a threesome until Ruby got mad. What more proof do you want? Do you want me to take Ruby's phone, call up Ashes and get her to tell you what would happen? Because the fact I'd use Ruby's phone is enough to get her mad at me. Which normally I'm all for, but with Ruby's uncles being here recently it might just be enough."

Groaning vocally, Ruby just felt Neon's fingers sliding between the rope and her neck to loosen it up a bit as she spared a glance over towards Reese with a slight glare being present. She just knew that this was going to be a more and more annoying thing that she was being dragged to do with her. But she did know that at least she was going to get her time with Ruby regardless.

"I don't know. I keep telling you that. I've heard just about everything. And the fact you are close friends with your ex... it just makes me worry." Pyrrha said softly as she looked at the sight of Ruby being carefully lifted up into a sitting position with the blanket still covering her. "Not to mention when your ex-girlfriend is really adorable. And without a doubt a nine if not a ten." Pyrrha said as Ruby began to chuckle a little.

"I'm if anything a four Pyrrha. And I promise you myself. I won't sleep with Reese. Ever again. We are just friends because we've been friends since like the end of elementary school and then we dated for a few years... that is it. Nothing is going to happen." Ruby said with a soft frowning a little as she could see Pyrrha just looking at her shocked that it had been said to her. "Seriously... I can't handle mentally the constant game of 'what will she say that might push over my family this time' trust me. That isn't a fun game to play because there are no winners... and Reese likes playing with fire figuratively, and has on several occasions literally. Once she literally wanted to do it on my Mom's work desk. I was actually able to talk her down to doing it in my room. I can't handle that kind of thing."

"Would have been hot anyways... but those times are long passed. Come on Pyr. Ruby has a thing with someone. I have you. I'm not the type of woman that strings a woman along either. If I was going to go to someone else, I would be honest with you. Stop worrying. I promise nothing is going to happen between me and Ruby. Even if you say it is fine and want to drag Ruby into a threeway. I wouldn't touch that. But if you and her and her and Neon fails... I won't stop you. I simply would like to be in the room. Because I know Ruby like everyone thinks you are at least a ten."

"Reese! Don't tell her that! Now can you leave!? I want to get back with Neon in private. Yang is in the library. Go keep her busy if she isn't asleep. Otherwise I'm going to scream and Neo is the only one in her room. And last I knew Neo has been having an argument with Roman and you know that makes her extra cranky and stabby." Ruby griped as Reese rolled her eyes. "I will go nuclear so help me Reese. My Grandmother is still in town and only a single phone call away. And you know I don't have many cares about explaining to my family about my kinks."

Looking towards the redhead Reese just quickly jumped up grabbing her hand and dragged her out. "No need to bring her into this Ruby. We're leaving. Um, seriously... don't call Salem." Reese said quickly opening the door as Ruby just smiled at the sight of the door closing.

"How the... what about your grandmother make everyone crap their pants? When you say grandmother you do mean sweet old lady right?" Neon asked as she began to slide behind Ruby who began to fight her undoing the binds. "And stay still. I want to get this off."

Smiling softly as she looked behind her. "And I want to get off. So let's get back to what we were doing. As for my grandmother, she is a sweet old lady. Everyone just thinks she is evil and would grind people up into meat, make them into chilli and feed them to their next of kin. Now tie the noose back on... if I get beaver dammed so help me Neon I'll... I don't know... water down your coffee."

Sighing in a slightly exhausted tone, Neon leaned over Ruby's shoulder as she just calmed down wrapping her arms around Ruby's body. "I'm just not sure how I feel about all this stuff. Like it is hot. But I really really don't want to hurt you. And I just know I might with the way I tied you. I mean what happens if there is a fire?"

"You wrap me in a sheet and we go out. But there is also a pair of medical clothes sheers in the top drawer of my desk. It will cut through the bindings on my arms in no time. And if you are worried about me choking myself out... and don't want to rush to get Neo or Emerald who for whatever reason are trained in CPR... don't put the gag in. If I feel like I'm running out I'll say I don't know... 'Puma'."

"The hell is a puma? You can't make up words Ruby. This is serious. Why can't we just use something like 'Warthog'? You know a real word instead of making one up."

"Fine then I don't want to get into another fight with a woman about Puma's being a large cat found in mountains... I just want to have sex with the adorable Faunus behind me."

"Fine. But after this you need to show me proof these 'Pumas' exist. Until then we are going with 'warthog'."


Chapter Text


Chapter 38:

Rubbing her neck gently, Ruby just smiled as she took a seat at the canteen where she could see her blonde roommate walking into the canteen. Rubbing her neck slightly harder to try and soothe the bruise which she knew was already going to be there. She was actually a little mad that she didn't have any makeup to cover it up, but she was just glad that Yang was the first one to see her. At least that would mean she could possibly get something to cover up the mark.

Coming to a stop, Yang glanced down as she took a deep breath rubbing her eyes. "The hell happened? You look like you just got your head out of a noose." Yang asked as she took a seat across from her.

"Well, Neon tried to use her hands but it doesn't really turn me on all that well. She is a bit weak for that. So we did the next best thing. And I thought I had something to cover it up but I don't. Also did Reese find you? Because I swear if she ruins my alone time to deal with her insecure incredibly hot and slight dumb girlfriend again... I'm going to be mad." Ruby said as she could see Yang just looking at her a little exhaustedly. "By the way... before Emerald and Neo get here, do you have something I can use to cover my neck? Because trust me they will freak out and tell my Mom. Which will lead to Neon probably being strung up by her ankles over some bridge."

"That probably wouldn't be a bad thing." Yang said as she dropped her bag onto the table as she reached up to tug the scarf from around her neck before tossing it towards Ruby. "And Reese did find me. Didn't have her girlfriend with her. And Pyrrha does seem pretty smart." Yang said as Ruby accepted the item and began to wrap it around her. "And that does not go well. It is going to look fishy."

"Neo won't notice and Emerald won't really care as long as she knows I'm living. They are aware I do like choking. Just it took Reese a long time to develop the hand strength and they view ropes as too dangerous." Ruby said happily as she picked up her fork. "And frankly, Pyrrha is pretty dumb. She thinks I'm a nine on a bad day. Ergo dumb."

Stopping to eye Ruby up, Yang just let out a hum of approval. "I can see that. In an adorable little sister kind of way. Although... the choking and gags do make me worry I'll come into the room one day and see your face is blue and your heart isn't beating." Yang said sitting down as she plucked a fry from Ruby's plate and quickly ate it as Ruby simply rolled her eyes. "Let me guess, you think I'm dumb as well."

"Pretty dumb. Plus I make it a point that to keep medical sheers on hand and tend to take my girlfriends once we are serious enough to first aid. Until then I kind of wait until I know someone that does know it is nearby. Today it was Neo. Because when I told my Mom I like to be choked she made Neo and Emerald learn CPR and other first aid things." Ruby said with a smile as Yang just looked at her with a small look of curiosity. "There is a lot more to a kinky relationship than just finding someone who can tie knots and knows how to be aggressive slash domineering." Ruby began as she quickly smacked Yang's hand causing her to pull it back. "And if you are hungry go buy your own food. This is literally the only thing I've eaten today besides a cookie after I had to stop a fight from Neon and Blake from breaking out. Met Blake's mom today though. She is really nice."

"I'm a bit broke. Not everyone's parents are super wealthy and can afford miles upon miles for one house. My family just has a single acre. So it is either coffee a few times a week or a hot meal here." Yang said as Ruby leaned to her side to grab a handful of notes and handed Yang one of them. "What's that? I can grab a ramen cup in the room."

"Consider it payment for letting me borrow your scarf... and stealing the room for a few hours. Don't worry Yang. Take it. I'm not going to bust your kneecaps. I just want to keep my fries. And avoid the cafe for a few days. Blake was super mad. And I kid you not... seconds away from killing Neon. Like if Blake's mom wasn't on the other side I would have been caught between them... which is all kinds of hot but the bloodbath being other people I don't like. If it was me I'd have to think about it." Ruby said carefully as Yang took the note and just shook her head.

"I'll pay you back Ruby. Don't worry."

"It is ten bucks Yang. I don't care if I ever saw it again. I've literally seen my Grandmother light cigars with notes that size. Just accept it as a gift for helping me keep my girlfriend alive." Ruby complained as she could see Yang walking off. As she noticed that, she just smiled faintly at the sight of Emerald walking in holding a book. "And there goes my serene moment of not needing to lie to people." Ruby mumbled as Emerald plopped down next to her and dropped the book on the table.

"Can you please go over mitochondrial DNA again? It makes literally no sense to me. And every time I think I have it turns out I don't which pisses me off." Emerald complained as Ruby just took a deep breath as she grabbed half the sandwich on her plate. "Specifically... how the hell can that be used to track a mother's history?"

"It only comes from the mother. Literally only the mother. And so you can use it to go back through the mothers unchanged bar for the occasional mutation which you can predict. But the father's DNA doesn't even enter that." Ruby said as she quickly took a bite from the sandwich as she used her other hand to quickly swat at Emerald's hand. "And get your own food. I know how much you get paid. You can afford it."

Rolling her eyes as she rubbed her hand, Emerald just glared a little at her. "How about I tell Cinder about the clear choke bruise? Because I know if you had hickeys you wouldn't care or try to hide them." Emerald said as Ruby rolled her eyes.

"Try it. I'll deny and you don't have proof. Besides you know Mom already knows I like to be choked. So there. Finally I put it forward that you can have my help in school or a few fries. And I mean a few. I worked up an appetite not eating properly for the day." Ruby said as she could see Emerald rolling her eyes.

"Lucky that you know Cinder would murder me if you end up in hospital again. Especially if I caused it. But so you know, I am bound to inform her that you and this Neon girl are getting serious enough for her to be choking you with her hands." Emerald said calmly as Ruby just chuckled. Knowing what that meant, Emerald groaned softly as she began to stand up.

"Wait Emerald... before you go. And I want you to promise me on your parents grave that this won't get back to Mom. But I have a question." Ruby spoke as Emerald spun around to cross her arms to just look at her.

Carefully looking into her eyes, Emerald tried to figure out what it was before she just sighed. "I promise unless it is something immediately serious. You constantly underestimate what Cinder would do to people if you are in harm's way and gods forbid if they harmed you themselves." Emerald said as Ruby just rolled her eyes.

"Can you get me some ecstasy and not tell my Mom? I want to try some." Ruby whispered as Emerald just began to laugh.

"That isn't going to happen. Ever. I'm not joking Ruby. That stuff can literally kill you. And not only that, but you want me not to tell your mother... the woman who I have no doubt would start countless gang wars with everyone to find out who gave you some of those pills and then would drag them by their tongue across town. Be glad I don't tell her you are looking for some. Because that is going to be the best you are going to get from me." Emerald chided as Ruby just frowned a little and looked at her. "I'm not joking Ruby. If I gave you some... or if anyone gave you some. You would be having them sign their death certificate. No matter who it was. You might have even made me sign my own for not telling Cinder this."

Groaning softly Ruby just matched her friend's gaze. "Is the girl the one wanting this? Because Ruby... I'll tell you now. Cut her loose before Cinder finds out. Trust me that will end horribly for everyone. Yourself included." Emerald said sternly as Ruby just rolled her eyes at her.

"She isn't Em. I promise this is just my curiosity. One dose. That's it. I promise Mom won't hear about me getting it from you unless you tell her. And if you tell her... I think we'd both be in super trouble."

"No Ruby. You are underselling your mother. She will without a doubt and I'm being serious here kill me. You meanwhile will probably get grounded and put into detox. Your girlfriend... choking Cinder can overlook if you are living and really wanted it. But things harder than weed and drink... will and I'm being serious here, end in graves. Ones Cinder will happily put on her conscience. But can you add that to yours?"

Sighing as she looked down at the plate Ruby just knew that she had to at least try some that didn't end up with her mixing it with sex right away. "If you won't Em... can you at least put me into contact with someone that wouldn't mind selling me some? Or I can go find Yuma who will happily give me some but chances are that isn't pure which will lead me to the hospital. Or worse... I'll find someone in Grimm to sell me some."

"So the options your giving me is knowingly start a violent and bloody gang war... send someone to their death which will be traced back to me making me die... or making me die if something went wrong? Think about that Ruby. And I'm not joking. If that Faunus is the reason... she very likely would be killed." Emerald said placing a hand down onto her friend's shoulder. "Because I'm not joking Ruby. You are the single person Cinder doesn't fuck around about. And one of two Salem and your uncles don't. So people would be lucky with a painful death."

"Em, I'm not asking for a bunch of pills. I'm asking for one... maybe two. And I know that my family don't screw around with my safety hence why I went to you and am asking because I know you could get me fairly pure stuff that will minimize my risk of needing to go to the hospital."

Groaning as she rubbed her face to try and ease her mind, Emerald just looked at Ruby. "A single pill. I will get you one, and I will tell Cinder you are wanting to experiment with stronger things. I'm not going to label specific drugs. I'll just tell her you were asking if I could get you something stronger than weed. If she calls you and you want to lie to her that is on you. But my hands will be clean by that point."

"Fine. If that is the only way. And I'm telling you Em. This has nothing to do with Neon. I really just want to try something different. And I don't have anything important going on. So seriously don't get that idea into Mom's head. You know how once she has an idea in her head that there is no getting it out."

"Fine. I promise not to tell your overprotective mom your sudden interest behind you wanting to do a lot stronger stuff has nothing to do with your new and current girlfriend. Not to say she won't connect the dots herself. She isn't as dense as you think and can figure out a lot just doesn't like letting on that she has already pieced together what you tell her." Emerald said as she quickly started to walk out of the room.

She already knew that this wasn't going to be something Cinder would take lightly. Hell she knew that if she didn't tell Cinder anything that she would be lucky if she just got tortured. She knew first hand what Cinder could do, and she knew how few issues Cinder had killing a Sustari. That was made clear on her tenth birthday where Cinder had told her as much if she had hurt Ruby or worse had made the same mistake as her parents just towards Ruby.

Cinder sat staring at her phone. She must have read that message half a dozen times in the last minute. But all she knew was that she best have an answer that gave her a satisfactory answer. "Kill him. He gave us all we can get." Cinder said coldly as she could see the bound man freaking out as Roman stood behind him before he dug a gun into the back of the bound man's head and squeezed the trigger.

As the weapon began to fly upwards from the recoil, Roman quickly righted it again before he squeezed the trigger once again to make sure the person stayed dead. Dropping the gun into the dead person's lap, Roman began to pull one of the gloves from his hand as he watched Cinder place the phone to her ear.

"Tell me her exact words Emerald. Otherwise you'll be the tenth corpse I've made today, and only the first one that I'd do with actual malice towards the person instead of just trying to figure out how to find the one person who wronged Salem." Cinder said in a stern tone that chilled Roman himself. The man who had seen and dealt with the infamous Fall Maiden herself long before she calmed down once Ruby came into the picture. Even then he had seen her do dreadful things in order to get vengeance for Ruby.

"She said she wanted to just try something harder and that if I wouldn't give her any she would go straight to Fang members or Grimm members. I still didn't tell her and she actually wanted me to not even tell you that much. I just told her that I would tell you and answer any of your questions because I know what will happen if I gave her anything. But it seems like she is being serious about wanting to do something." Roman could hear the woman on the other end as if she was pleading for her life. Something that if what he could gather might actually be happening.

"Did she name any particular?" As the words left Cinder's mouth a loud and audible gulp could be heard. The single sign almost universally in every circle Cinder ran that gave away a lot more than people give it credit. It was either that or that Cinder had perfected translating that single instinctual gesture beyond what was previously thought possible. "What did she name?"

"Ecstasy. Cocaine. Speed. Poppers. She even mentioned she might want to try hallucinogens." Emerald said quickly as Cinder took a deep breath. "I told her I wouldn't budge on the matter and that I wouldn't get any for her. And that if she went to anyone she would trigger a potentially massive and deadly gang war. But that didn't seem to stop her."

"No to all that. If she was in a safe environment I'd get her some weak shrooms. Everything else will result in your death if I find out you gave in. Everyone under me knows how deadly I'll be if they sell Ruby anything of the sort. Sienna knows that if any of her men gave Ruby anything but weed that Salem will come crashing down and wiping them from existence. This hunt for Ozpin being put aside long enough to literally burn and salt the earth where Sienna dies to make sure nothing will ever grow there. Something I'll gladly remind her about and inform Salem about this to make sure I have her backing." Cinder said in a cold tone as she looked towards the corpse. "Now if you don't mind, I need to go be a mother and threaten to rip Ruby's head off as I prepare to make a grave ready for a special someone."

Smiling coldly, Cinder hung up as she took a deep breath. Glancing towards the corpse as she chuckled in a soft tone. "I hope the boys are ready to dig an extra grave to go along with the others we made today." Cinder said as Roman just took a deep breath at the sight of Cinder raising the phone to her ear after hitting a few buttons. "Ruby. I just got a distressing message from Emerald." Cinder spoke as if all her anger towards people had faded.

"I can explain the choke bruises Mom. Besides I wanted her to choke me." Ruby said as Cinder began to cough a little as if Ruby just knew that wasn't the one. "Oh... Emerald didn't mention that. You must mean the other thing. I can explain Mom."

"Please do Ruby. This best not be your girlfriend's doing. I swear if it is Ruby. You'll actually make me and your grandmother disappointed. I raised you to have more self respect and can stare down peer pressure." Cinder bemoaned as Ruby just groaned on the other end.

"Neon has nothing to do with it. Why does everyone jump to that? I'm just curious. Besides Mom if I don't get it from you... I will get some some way. And I know Sienna has some deal with you to stop me... but I now I can get some. I just need to go out looking."

"There isn't a dealer in the city that will sell to you. So try Ruby. But you'll find that I will stop it at every corner. Maybe next time we are home alone I'll let you try something on the weaker end of things but still stronger than what you normally use. But I won't budge here Ruby."

"Fine. I'm still going to try. College is about experimenting after all." Ruby chirped as she hung up the phone as Cinder just took a deep breath as she felt the phone in her hands starting to creak and groan coming from it.

"Let everyone know that if they sell Ruby a single thing, I'm wiping their family from existence and making them watch as I do it myself."

"Got it."

Chapter Text


Chapter 39:

Accepting the pill from Emerald, Ruby just smiled as she slipped it into her mouth as she took a deep gulp. She just smiled brightly as she looked at her. "See? I'm not trying to score some for Neon. I really just wanted to try it. And Mom won't hear about it unless you tell her." Ruby said with a smile as her green haired friend just kept a straight face.

"Stay hydrated, if I hear anything I will pull the trigger on letting Cinder know, except I'll sell your girlfriend up the river in a heartbeat to save my skin." Emerald said coldly knowing that this was going to be the one action that would bite her in the ass if any of her actions did. She just hoped that she would live long enough to actually regret it. "And I'm not joking. Stay hydrated. I'll come back in an hour with a few litres of water. The high should last a maximum of six hours. Do not; and I need to emphasis this, do not mix anything else with it."

"Fine I won't Em. Relax. Just go and do some studying. If something goes bad, you know where I'll be." Ruby said with a smile turning from the door and plopping down onto her bed with all the grace she could muster which Emerald knew was none. "Close the door on your way out. I want to just ride this high as long as I can." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Emerald sighing as she walked out of the room.

Taking a deep inhale, Ruby could feel herself relaxing as she looked towards her ceiling. She knew that there was going to be something that had to be amusing about this whole thing. But if she knew her friend as well as she thought she did then she knew that she was probably given nothing more than a sugar pill. But she would find out soon enough.

Hearing her door gently open, Ruby just smiled as she looked up to see Yang walking into the room with Neon close behind her. "Hey Yang." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Neon pouncing across her and onto her lap. "You going to stay Yang? Nothing funny is going to happen. At least I don't plan anything to happen." Ruby asked in a concerned tone as she could hear some gentle purring coming from Neon who held onto her as tightly as she could.

"No thanks. I'm heading to go see Jaune and talk with his sister. I'll call you when we are leaving the hospital. Just no more choking stuff. Not while I'm not on campus. I don't want you dying and your mother killing me." Yang said as she walked over towards her bag which she picked up. Turning around Yang simply groaned loudly as she could see the two women in a fierce tongue battle. "And it looks like I'm going to vomit yet today. Congratulations Ruby. Made me vomit."

Pulling back Ruby just chuckled, "Thanks Yang."

"I don't care who you need to tell Sienna. If I find out Ruby got any from one of your men, I will come down with all the force of Grimm. I even already have Salem's approval to divert her hunt for Ozpin to you if we find out that Ruby got some genuinely life damaging stuff." Cinder spat as she could see the tiger Faunus tensing up slightly from the threat.

"We shouldn't need to do anything that drastic." The woman said as she took a deep breath as she struck the gong that was beside her throne as she began to bound down the stairs as Cinder gently kicked Hazel to get him to stand.

Within seconds, the door to the side of the room burst open and a group of masked guards started to file in, before they quickly redoubled as they recognised the quartet that was present meaning there was nothing that took more priority.

"If anything does come up, I want you to turn over the person or people that sell her anything. If you don't, you'll truly see the wrath we can bring when someone crawls into our den and harm our only cub." Cinder hissed as for once she was glad that Tyrian and Watts were present. If just because she knew that no one was dumb enough to try and strike one down, but if all four were to be injured then it would bring about the worst time of Salem that none had truly seen or experienced in a long long time.

"I say we should kill a few now to remind them about that time they stepped into our territory when they started to go terrorist while Ghira was still the head." Tyrian chuckled as Cinder turned to lightly glare at him. Not that she wouldn't gladly do it. She just knew that if she didn't have Salem's support than nothing was going to be getting done of the sort.

"That won't be necessary." Sienna said as she took a deep calming breath as she didn't want to instigate anything with what had happened in the past. She still remembered the last time Salem had snapped at them to remind them where they stand. It was the first Sienna had ever seen a human wish death upon Faunus and not care about the fact they were a Faunus, just cared that they had entered into her territory to do something that she already was. "ADAM! GET IN HERE!" Sienna screamed as she could see the man walking in holding a file.

"I got all the names. Both currently and past members like you requested Ma'am." The bull Faunus stated handing it to her as she quickly opened the file before scanning it and handing it to Cinder.

"That is every member past and present that would have contact with Ruby. If she gets it from any one of my men, it will be one of those." Sienna spoke in the same timid tone that everyone in the room knew was her normal one when things concerned Salem.

One that no one would fault her for. She would gladly sell her men up the river if it meant that it protected everyone else in the organisation.

"Good. Inform them that they won't have your support if they do something involving Ruby, and I don't take prisoners when it comes to her." Cinder said as she glanced behind her to see Watts simply stroking his moustache with an air of being relaxed by the situation.

"For once I agree with Tyrian on the matter. It seems like most of your men are too young to remember the last time Salem put you back in place. Back when Ghira was still the current leader. How many Fang members were killed again Hazel? You tend to keep track of those numbers. Because I remember the casualties Grimm suffered. Zero. Not even a runny nose. All for something a lot more minor in Salem's and our eyes."

"Her support was cut in half in the span of a single night. Salem even made a personal appearance to create that three foot scar along her chest she hides with the warning about what happens to people who venture too close to her territory." Hazel spoke standing up as he scanned the room. "But I agree... this is beyond just stepping into our territory. We wouldn't even leave one standing and you would actually pray for the Schnees to get their hands on you again. Because you would poke a dragon that should have been left sleeping and we won't be talking about the Fall Maiden either." Hazel spoke seeing everyone just tensing up at the comment.

Seeing and hearing that, Cinder just took a deep breath. "We'll keep this file on hand. And don't be surprised if they turn up dead. And Adam, next time you are present, drop your attitude with me when it is something of this nature. Because I will take your other eye. And I won't be as nice as the Schnee mine supervisors. Because you were but a simple foot soldier at the time you got spared. This time you won't be so lucky. And no matter how much you sleep with one eye open, you won't be able to hear when one of us really want you dead?"

"Oh and you'd wish it would be me. Although I'd make it such a cruel poison. But my dear sister and mother... they are particularly cruel when it comes to our dear niece. So much so I don't think I could ever be that cruel." Tyrian chuckled softly as Cinder just sighed gently at the group. "Now we should leave... I can already smell their fear. It has been so long since we got to do this together."

"Let's go then. Salem is expecting a report" Hazel said in a stern tone as he walked past the group of clearly new men. Just glad that for once they didn't have a discussion that ended in any blood shed. Not that this wouldn't be one of the times that he would have supported the decision for that to happen.

Smiling as she took a deep breath, Ruby just giggled gently as she felt Neon peppering her neck with kisses. It was just a pure euphoria that she was glad to have. Or at least she figured that was where the feeling was coming from. It was either that or the pill she took working.

"Are you feeling alright Ruby?" Neon asked as she lowered a hand to just cover Ruby's forehead.

The worry had been clear as Ruby gently grabbed the offending limb and lowered it down to her lips to place a gentle kiss upon her fingers. She would be lying if she said that she wasn't happy that Neon was here, even if she would have preferred to be alone. It would have made her feel a lot better about taking some, especially with all the hoops she had to jump through when normally she didn't need to jump through besides just saying she wanted some. It was actually a little bit of a nice feeling that she wasn't handed something with such a simple demand.

"I'm feeling fine. Better than fine really. Why?"

"Your heart rate just jumped. And is getting pretty erratic? And your face is pretty red. You didn't eat something you were allergic to right?" Neon asked as she lowered her head down to just rest her forehead against Ruby's. "And I don't mean in the same way of it getting erratic when we kiss. It actually is a bit worrisome for me." Neon said as she pushed Ruby's chin down to prevent her from moving her head up to capture her lips which would just distract Neon from her deeply ingrained worry.

"It's fine. I just took some ecstasy. I wanted to see what it feels like without you distracting me... and Em just gave me a pretty pure one I take it." Ruby said with a small chuckle as she quickly rolled them so Neon was on her back just looking up at her with her worried expression.

"That explains a lot. But seriously, it sounds like your heart is going to explode out of your chest." Neon said as Ruby rolled her eyes gently as she leaned down to kiss the Faunus on the lips. Pushing Ruby up, Neon couldn't believe how she had been able to keep her priorities this straight.

The only thing that she could chalk it down to was the fact that Ruby hadn't used her tongue. She didn't know if she would have the strength to turn it down then. It was beyond a perplexing thing to her but she had to remain firm on the topic.

"Ruby it would be one thing if we both were getting high. At this point I'd be taking advantage of you. Just ride the high out and then we can possibly do something."

Sighing softly, Ruby just smiled as she held Neon close to her. "I wouldn't mind if you wanted to fool around a bit. You always... are so much fun to be around and do actually make me feel comfortable to be honest with."

"But I would mind Ruby." Neon said as she just hoped that her slight jab about the situation was just going to stay being an off colour joke. "But it is nice to hear that. I do like that you tell me things and that you feel so strongly about me." Neon said softly as she started to stroke her hair just to try and calm her down a little. If just for her own piece of mind.

Hearing the machines, Yang just sighed gently as she looked towards Saphron who seemed to have relaxed considerably because she was there. It was the type of sentiment that she was more than familiar with every time she had been here.

"Hey Yang... can I ask you a question?" The woman asked as she let go of her brother's hand to stare back into the lilac eyes of Yang.

"Sure. You should know as long as it doesn't concern Summer I don't care. Ask away." Yang said as she began to relax slightly as she could see her friend's sister just sighing softly.

"Why would you come here? You know what he wanted to do... I think if anyone deserves to not be here it is you." Saphron asked gently as she started to dry her eyes.

Smiling gently as she looked towards Jaune, Yang knew that this was a tough and difficult thing to really answer without giving everything away. But she knew that she had to at least tell her something.

"I can't exactly smack a dead person." Yang joked gently, a little glad she could see the woman just relaxing enough to laugh. "But in all seriousness... I know that wouldn't have been something Vomit boy would want to do himself. Something your family knows too. Just you have to admit that it is a lot to digest. I just feel a little bad about him. Like I could have done something and he might not have gone and angered Grimm accidentally."

"In a twisted way... I actually would have rathered if it was you... but at the same time I don't. Just because I don't think that Cardin would have stopped. I just hope that the girl they did it to is alright right now." Saphron said as there was a knock at the door.

Looking towards Yang, Saphron smiled faintly at the sight of her standing up and walking towards the door. Opening it Yang nearly jumped slightly at the sight of Reese standing there with Pyrrha next to her.

"Yang?" Reese asked turning towards Pyrrha. "You sure we are in the right place? Yang doesn't have any siblings." Reese said with a smile as she began to just stare into the room.

"Saphron. I'm glad that you called." Pyrrha asked pushing past Yang making sure to question her later about why she was there.

Seeing the body, Reese just took a deep breath as she turned to Yang as if asking the question Pyrrha wanted to. "He is an old friend. And the one I told you about. And Saphron is one of his sisters." Yang said with a frown as Reese looked over and just shook her head gently.

"I'll choose my words carefully then... but as you can imagine I'm not crazy about this now." Reese spoke as she gently moved past Yang. She just knew that this was going to be a long day but if she was being honest Reese was one of the few people she wouldn't mind being a bit heartless towards him. She only knew him in the capacity of what had happened to Ruby.

Walking up to Pyrrha, Reese just slung an arm gently around her as she rested her head on top of Pyrrha's shoulder. "This kind of puts a damper on me proving my point. About you can trust your girlfriend to go visit her ex." Reese said softly as she could see the other blonde woman looking towards them in minor confusion.

"It is a long story Saphron." Pyrrha said softly as Yang just chuckled a little.

"Wait, Vomit boy dated you? I don't ever recall him being that lucky." Yang said with a smile as Pyrrha just sighed.

"I did for all of half a year before he went back to his ex." Pyrrha said softly as Saphron just looked at her with a sorry look. "It is okay Saphron." Pyrrha said softly as she looked back towards the beaten man.

"I actually didn't even know he broke up with you. I feel bad for calling you now." Saphron spoke as she began to dry her eyes properly. "I also didn't know you were attracted to women. I just hope that isn't my brother's doing. But as for your girlfriend, I don't think it is normal for people to be friends with their ex's." Saphron said softly as Reese just smiled at her.

"Correction. That is my doing entirely. I have that way about me." Reese began as she just took a deep breath. "And Ruby is different. Not even because I'm positive that it could be life or death for me. Ruby is without a doubt one of the nicest people you will meet. You can even ask Yang. She is her roommate."

"The one that had that allergic reaction?" Saphron asked as Yang just nodded her head gently. "Is she doing better now?"

"Lots. Last I saw her girlfriend shoved me out of the way to spend some alone time with her again. I swear she has spent more time being in there than me."

"Ruby is a freak in bed, and super fun. And I hear cat Faunus naturally are freaks in beds. So you get two freaks in my experience leads to borderline dehydration." Reese said with a smile as she glanced over Cinder's handiwork and just knew that he had gotten off a lot easier just because Cinder was the one that found out.

"Well, I just hope she is going to be safe."

"She'll be fine. She has like bodyguards twenty four seven not even two rooms down." Yang sighed standing up. "Here Reese and I will go get some coffee for the room."

"Thanks Yang."

Chapter Text

Chapter 40:

"You won't get sympathy from me Yang... neither will that girl. Don't get me wrong the facts probably came out from someone on Ashes' payroll. But if it was anyone else, they could have held a gun to my head like Emerald, Mercury, Neo... hell Ashes even. But not someone who hurt Ruby in any way." Reese's stern and serious tone was a first for Yang. So much so that it actually caused Yang to pay full attention to her. "Even if Ruby and I aren't a couple, and if I even think about going back to her Salem will without a doubt kill me with a smile on her face. But I do still hold Ruby in a special place. She has done a lot for me..."

"Why do you keep acting like Ruby isn't fine? I mean I get that you don't know Jaune... but he isn't the type to actually rape anyone. He vomits when he talks to any girl that isn't in his family. Everything was done by Cardin except handing me the drink that I then gave to Ruby." Yang said as Reese just chuckled a little dryly as she reached up to tap Yang's cheek.

"Without Ruby, I might be very well still in the closet, and the exact same timid girl who worries about what people are thinking about. Hell she is even the reason why I'm fighting Pyrrha so hard that Ruby is nothing more than a close friend. Confidence and trust once broken is a hard thing to recover... and yet Ruby can do it so easily." Reese began as the doors opened. "Plus the memories aren't gone. And when they resurface I hate to say it... but it might just be enough for the cracks Ruby has to start showing. And I can't stand that thought. Ruby is too important to a lot of people" Reese continued as she took a few steps out.

"I know that it is a ticking time bomb... but people can live with repressed memories for the remainder of their life. Never remembering anything about it. And after meeting Salem, I do hope that Ruby is in that category."

"Knowing her... she isn't. She still has memories she is confident are real of her birth mother trying to kill her. The only solace anyone has in that situation is the fact that all she can remember are the eyes which are the same as her's... and trust me if Ashes or Salem ever did find the woman if she is alive... well let's just hope she isn't." Reese started as she took a few steps out. "And just hope that I don't find her either... because I will tell Ashes as long as I get to get some good swings in myself... and that is something I never want to do to literally anyone but that woman, and this Jaune guy... but seeing as he is on death's door it seems, I won't."

"Reese. Jaune isn't like that. I know it looks bad. Especially with everything that has come out and that you've been told. But I know Jaune. I'd have more fear that Ruby's girlfriend would do something malicious to her than Jaune."

"Then I'll cave her skull in as well when it happens. The difference is though Yang, Jaune did do something bad to her. Get bad feelings all you want, but once the chips are down is all that matters. And we know now, your friend for whatever reason did the one thing that can destroy someone arguably more than a murder. It doesn't matter if he stuck his dick somewhere or just watched under duress. He could have stood up. He could have done anything else... and that is probably why he was left alive." Reese said taking a breath as she gently tapped Yang's shoulder. "And we should end this conversation before it really gets into the territory you won't like. Because we are heading that way. And heading that way fast."


Chuckling softly as she felt Neon lowering her forehead to just place it against her own, Ruby just took a deep breath as she rolled them over before placing a kiss on her lips. A smile being ever present as she just began to melt into the embrace. Ignoring the knocking that was coming loud and hard.

So much so that it was actually starting to hurt Neon's ears more than the soft laughter coming from Ruby. It was the type of laughter that she had so commonly associated with someone of being cruel and grabbing her tail to give it a pull. But she knew that even this far gone that Ruby wasn't going to do something like that. At least with everything they have experienced up until now.

Gently picking Ruby up, Neon groaned softly as she felt Ruby latch onto her as if a ship's mast during a hurricane and she was lost at sea. The only thing that Neon could pray for was that they scent of sweat was her own because added with the frantic knocking she figured that she might get blamed for Ruby's current state.

Opening the door, Neon nearly jumped at the sight of the small multi coloured hair girl walking in and slamming the door shut. Taking some time to eye up the duo carefully. "What is up with her?" The small woman said calmly as Ruby chuckled swinging her head backwards as she just smiled brightly.

"Oh hi Neo... that's right." Ruby said swinging her head quickly back to just stare into Neon's eyes. "The last time you saw her she was making out with her reflection holding a knife out towards us. Don't worry. Neo's bark is worse than her bite ninety nine percent of the time." Ruby said as she gently rested her head down and began to rub her cheek against the exposed shoulder.

"Ruby... seriously. You feeling okay? Em just told me to come make sure you drank some water and now I'm worried."

"I strong armed Em into giving me some things... I told her I'd go through her or Sienna." Ruby said with a smile as Neo gestured the Faunus to drop Ruby. Neon carried her over towards the bed where she unceremoniously dropped her down onto it. She knew that Ruby was going to be sore, but it was a lot better than the alternative.

Walking up to Ruby, Neo gently opened the laughing girl's eyelids and stared into them. "Yeah... she is high. And that explains the demands." Neo muttered softly as she took a deep breath. "What did Em give you? So I know if I'm on water duty that you aren't going to overdose." Neo asked as Neon just rolled her eyes knowing that it was directed at her.

"Nah it really was Em. Don't tell Mom though it was Molly. Neon came well after I took the pill." Ruby spoke as Neo began to chuckle. "Seriously... don't tell Mom. I don't think Em would be left standing."

"It couldn't have been Emerald Ruby. This is something so stupid and self destructive even I wouldn't do it. She actually handed you a pill of pure ex?" Neo asked as she gently lowered two fingers onto Ruby's neck to just check her pulse. "And your heart is going crazy. I hope you know what will happen to Em and now me if something bad happens to you because you took a bad pill, or you start to die from an overdose because of you taking too much for someone of your body size? We'd be lucky with only death." Neo said as Ruby just laughed softly.

"Relax. Mom won't find out. Just relax. I have a cutie who is refusing to do anything fun. She instead is in a nursing mood and is trying to make sure my heart doesn't just explode."

"Good for her. She isn't angering someone that has single handedly made Sienna Kahn tremble. But if things turn south that won't save her." Neo said as she grabbed the water bottle Emerald had left as she began to help Ruby into a sitting position. Opening it she handed it to Ruby as she just took a deep breath. "Drink all of that now." Neo demanded as she could see Ruby just giggling a little as she took a large gulp from the bottle before lowering it down. "God is this how Emerald feels all the time? Being the mature person? It feels weird but better than what happens if I let Cinder know about this."

"What is so bad about her mother that makes a wanted terrorist fearful." Neon asked as Neo turned to eye her up carefully trying her hardest if she could remember seeing her at any Fang gathering she had been to, under orders to help Sienna cut some rats in her ranks.

"Lots of reasons. And if I mentioned them, I'd wish I told her that I gave her only daughter ecstasy and enough to overdose her. My death would be a lot quicker and a lot less painful. For now, if anything goes sour you need to instantly come across to us. Across the hall and a door down on the right. I don't care about how south it gets. The second it starts you pound on that door until we come. Got it? Otherwise Em and me will have no issues saying that you are the one to supply it and you weren't working for the Fang."

Seeing the woman pale as Ruby just laughed. "Do that and I'll tell Mom that it was your idea."

"If you remember. Now just finish that water Ruby. You focus on that first. I'll focus on everything else for now." Neo said as Ruby nodded her head gently taking another mouthful of water before she handed the bottle back as she fell down to laugh as if nothing serious had been talked about. "Ruby, you need to stay hydrated. This shit hits harder than weed. By a lot. I don't even touch the stuff and I do purple passion."

"That sounds great. Do you think I could try some of that?" Ruby smiled out as she sat up as Neo just stared at her. "Don't give me that whole 'gang wars would be started' speech. Em already did... you both know I can be very resourceful when I want to be and once I put my mind to something." Ruby laughed out as Neo rolled her eyes and began to help her into a sitting position.

"Yeah, again not happening. I'm not a bleeding heart like Em and you just know she would have told Cinder something. And you know that Sienna would be the first person she would bring to her knees with the backing of Salem and your uncles. So there is no way that you could get some from them." Neo started as she braced Ruby as she began to hand her the bottle again just trying to coax the woman into drinking some more of the water. "And how are you more relaxed while on a party drug? Why couldn't this be Em's job? She is meant to be the substitute mother. Not me. I'm meant to be the person who does something stupid you are meant to learn from." Neo hissed gently as Ruby just laughed.

"Like that time in school when we hot wired one of the tractors and drove it straight into the pool? Those days were fun." Ruby said shaking her head as she accepted another mouthful of water. Spitting the clear liquid out Ruby took a deep breath as she looked at Neo. "We should totally go try that again. This time I'll drive because you haven't grown much since ninth grade."

Taking a sharp inhale, Neo quickly shot a glare towards the Faunus who had been snickering causing her to stop in her tracks before she turned to Ruby. "Because your my friend and high, I'll overlook the short jokes."

"I didn't make a short joke... it was an observation. You are tiny... but also the fun one of my friends. Emerald is so much a fuddy duddy that I actually worry that one of these days she is going to turn into Mom's lap dog... or gimp. And Reese while fun is like the middle ground between you and Em." Ruby said with a smile as Neo just began to add to the giggles that filled the room as she seemed happy with the amount of water that Ruby had drank.

"If that ever does happen, I assure you we'd never hear the end of it. Mostly from you screaming... but would get Em to relax a lot. Now are you feeling alright?" Neo asked as she gently pressed her fingers onto the same pulse point. Just glad that it had started to slow down at least. "I ask because it looks like your high is ending and the crash is going to be dreadful for you. Especially because the stuff is going to be mostly pure." Neo said softly as she felt Ruby just laughing as she fell back onto the bed.

"I feel great. And I'll be fine. Just you go back and do whatever it was you were doing beforehand. I've got my pretty girlfriend." Ruby said as Neo just sighed softly.

Looking over towards the Faunus, Neo gently threw her head towards Ruby as she started to walk towards the door. Holding a finger out towards her sending a stern warning before she walked out of the room closing the door.

Pushing her own door open, Neo walked in seeing her green haired roommate still sitting at her desk. "I should fucking kill you! You intentionally sent me in there so my hands wouldn't be clean!" Neo yelled as Emerald just rolled her eyes. "Seriously, you know Cinder has that understanding with Fang about selling to Ruby. An understanding that will literally have the heads of every Fang member rolling if they break it. And there isn't a single dealer in the city dumb enough to give Ruby a penny let alone hard drugs."

"It was either give her some, or she claimed she was going to find the head of Grimm... so either gang war that ends in my death, the possibility that this one and only time that I made her swear it was going to be ends with nothing bad happening, or she finds out the bogeyman she has been so scared of hurting her mother is her mother. Tell me which option should I have taken." Emerald said closing her book to turn and talk to her friend who sighed softly rubbing her face. "What I thought. How is she?"

"Coming down. Her girlfriend is with her. And she doesn't look like Fang material. Looks more like Reese did once Ruby started to get her out of her shell. Hopefully she doesn't have the same quickly evolving drug tastes that drags Ruby in."

"I actually hope for that. It means we have an out that will get Cinder off our backs if it comes out. Simply say that she is lying and that she got the drugs from her new girlfriend. And is trying to protect her from Cinder. Something that is beyond believable given how the last time Ruby asked to try some drugs and that it was Reese's idea." Emerald said with a calm tone as she could see Neo just nodding her head in agreement. "Even set the groundwork for that eventuality... we just need to hope she is fine and that we don't need to pull that trigger."

Smiling softly as she leaned back into her bed as she picked up her phone and the headphones. I would if I were you. Because if she does come down and knows what we are planning...then she will head us off at the pass and we will wish that we had done so earlier. Ruby never makes the same mistake twice." Neo said softly as she leaned back fully to just stare at the ceiling. "Especially considering that this isn't something harmless like weed. That stuff is going to be super strong and I just hope her girlfriend understands enough about drugs to know that the downs are almost always worse than the ups." Neo continued in a soft tone as she could see Emerald just smiling a little.

"Judging by the looks of her, she does and probably just doesn't understand it from this end. And if not, we aren't far away. Just keep a headphone out of your ear. Just in case. Because I don't want to be the one to tell Cinder that we had to give Ruby CPR." Emerald said standing up as she began to pop her shoulders. "But we hopefully won't need to. Would make selling her girlfriend up the river moot. Because she wasn't there when I handed Ruby the pill. She was alone. And I did check."

"Well she is certainly there now. Almost made me break the big no no. Which personally made me wish I had injected Ruby with pure black tar. I feel like that would be a much less painful death and a lot quicker." Neo said softly as she took a deep breath and just stared at the ceiling. "On a lighter note, do you mind giving me the room for like an hour, two tops. I have a guest coming over."

"I have a test coming up I need sleep. Take your guest elsewhere." Emerald said plopping onto her bed just so she could stare at the door. "And we both know it would be a much less painful death. Because if you told Ruby would have tried to go for the figurative throat even if she was high. And you know that if you harmed her you'd be back to hoping you said you gave her heroin. Might even get off with light torture before death. You don't earn her reputation from going light on people."

"Tell me about it."


Chapter Text


Chapter 41:

Blinking awake, Ruby just smiled as she felt Neon's tail just curling tightly around her as if it was just trying to prevent her from budging very far, with a purring sound from above her trying to send her into a relaxing state. It was actually amusing to Ruby. Glancing upwards, Ruby just smiled faintly as she could see her girlfriend's eyes opening to look at her.

"Glad to see you finally came down. And are awake." Neon said softly as Ruby just let out a small groan as she lowered her head down again. The feeling Ruby had was one of disgust at herself. If just because she didn't know how she was meant to feel.

"What time is it?" Ruby said with a soft tone as she began to rub her cheek into the Faunus' chest. She just couldn't help but feel some joy at the fact that she knew that she had to get up at some point. It didn't really matter when. But she didn't really care about that. She knew what classes she missed that she could make up pretty easily just because of how early into the semester it was. "And why is your shirt off?"

"It is only like six in the morning. And you literally ripped my shirt off while high trying to get me to have sex with you. Which for the record nothing happened. It is against my very idea of a person to have sex with a drunk or high girl unless you are in a similar state." Neon whispered as Ruby just began to blink her eyes as she let out a small huff. "By the way I actually met the small girl who held a knife out to us at the rave last night... what the hell is up with her?"

Sighing as she just stared across the room, Ruby actually just smiled at the sight of her friend laying in bed with an eye mask and ear plugs in. Something that Ruby knew that Neon had to have seen if she could see it, but it still was enough to make her chuckle a little internally.

"Neo? She is largely harmless. I always found her bark was worse than her bite. But she does bite people. Always has when she likes something or someone she bites them. Like constantly. I still get occasionally bitten. And so does Reese. But still harmless. If she doesn't like you she is very up front about it." Ruby began letting out a contented sigh. "And you could have done stuff with me. I wouldn't mind. You are my ever pretty girlfriend that has nearly clawed another girl's eyes out over me."

"She was bad mouthing you. Saying that it sucks you are like other humans because she thought you were cute... and not an amazing person who is far from the normal humans we need to deal with. Makes me furious we are in similar classes. The only bonus is the fact that we aren't near each other because I will kill her if she talks about you like that again."

"Kali is starting to sound like she really knows what she is talking about. But I don't know what Blake's trait is... it isn't retractable claws is it? I don't think I've ever met a Faunus with retractable claws being the trait... would be pretty cool. Especially if you got into a fight."

"I hope Kali knows what she is talking about... she is Ghira's wife and is a much older cat Faunus than me. As for Blake's trait... I don't know. Ears? Eyes? She might even have claws. I don't know. It isn't a tail. She likes to hide her trait... and speaking from experience you can't hide a tail all that well. You know unless you want a crooked tail which trust me you don't. I've heard some horror stories about that." Neon said as she just enjoyed the feeling of Ruby melting into contact with her. "When is your first class? I ask because you seem like you'd have all of them early. And then work with super loud and ear splitting noises."

Laughing gently, Ruby just sighed softly as she leaned up to kiss Neon gently on the lips before falling down into her comfortable spot once more. "It is what... Tuesday? I don't have anything until noon. And I told you not to go into the practical section because of that exact reason. If you are going to make it a regular occurrence I will strongly suggest getting some proper ear protection." Ruby started with a small smile as she closed her eyes to just enjoying the moment. "I'd get you some but I do know that Faunus have a wide range and if I got you the wrong one I could do more harm to you."

"It's fine. I'm fine hearing a drill going in one ear and another drill going into another and them meeting in the middle. But if you want to buy me something... a new shirt would be nice. Because I wasn't joking. You really did shred the one I was wearing yesterday. And I liked that one. Female cut. Preferably small. I like the tight feeling. But if you want to get me a shirt that is actually in my size... medium." Neon said leaning down to kiss Ruby a bit more. "And if you aren't in for a while... want to have some breakfast in bed? You know if you can stay quiet long enough... your roommate didn't get in until like one after getting into an argument with someone."

Chuckling a little, Ruby just took a deep breath. "If memory serves me... you are the loud moaner. I'm too busy with my face being buried to make much noise..." Ruby said kissing Neon before pulling back. "And no. She is meant to getting up soon. I'll talk to her later about what she was fighting about."

Sighing as she slumped into her chair, Cinder just took a deep breath as she could see the bowler hat wearing man walking into the room. "Roman... right now my tolerance for bullshit is low. Ruby isn't answering my calls, Emerald and Neo say she is just in her room studying and dodging the important question of why she is asking about what she is. And I have Salem breathing down my neck about getting Ozpin for what I'm positive is just to get even for what he did to her." Cinder spoke as she just took a deep inhale as she looked up. "So you best have either good news or no news and don't sugar coat anything right now."

"Mercury is on his way back, and none of the boys sold Ruby anything. And it seems like there is a chance you might be able to be close to Ruby and figure out where Ozpin is." Roman said seeing Cinder quickly looking up with some curiousness being obvious.

"It seems the Schnee family are in town and are throwing a party looking for their main investors and new ones. And have apparently invited you specifically." Roman said holding an open card out for her. Letting the card be snatched from his hands, Roman just smiled a little. "Where there are the Schnees doing anything to show their wealth, there is always that blow hard five star General, General Ironwood is sure to be nearby. And if anyone knows where he is, it is that man."

"Capturing a few foot soldiers is easy. Capturing a teacher and torturing them is easy. This is a five star general. You don't reach that rank without being cagey about everything. And he already knows I'm not just an average investor and knows I have some ties to the underworld. And they want Ruby there as well." Cinder spoke softly as she just took a deep breath. "I'll need to think about this. Come back to me in a few days. We've got a month to decide. Any other news?"

"I talked to Neo like you asked. Nothing apparently happened. Ruby's phone was dead and that she put it onto charge last time Neo talked to her and she then was planning to go to sleep." Roman started as he took the seat across from Cinder. "And Emerald has been keeping an eye on the door in case someone did deliver something for her. So you'd have a person. So if she gets any, it has to be from someone handing it to that is a friend. Which is a limited pool. Two know that they won't get just a pink slip if they did, everyone seems to know Reese and she isn't anything more than a pot head so they'd know something is up the second she asks for anything else. That leaves her girlfriend and her roommate. The latter of which is so much a square it would set off so many flags if she asked and they'd assume she is an undercover cop."

"That leaves a certain Faunus who isn't a Fang member and never has been. Say what you want about Sienna, but with the threat of Salem getting angry at her she gets very in depth detail. Including traits and what type of Faunus everyone is. And there isn't a single cat Faunus whose trait is a tail. Closest is the Belladonnas and as far as Ruby is aware last I knew she didn't know they were Faunus."

"Doesn't mean she isn't a user herself. Even a responsible one that can hide it from the likes of you, might have a stash. Once Mercury is back if you want I can have him toss her room to try and find it, if it exists."

"No. I need Mercury to do something else. Once he is back tell him to come to my office. I just need to trust that Ruby is smart enough to not touch the stuff and knows that I know what I'm talking about." Cinder began as she just sighed. "I just wish that there was a way I could easily remove this bad feeling."

"It is one of the problems with being a parent. No matter how many times people tell you. That feeling of worry never going away about your own daughter."

"Except I'm the leader of the largest criminal syndicate in existence. A power that baffles police and politicians to the point most are positive that we are the bogeyman. I can cut her off at so many passes. And yet for some reason I just feel that gut twisting feeling like my super intelligent daughter could find a way around every single roadblock I create." Cinder said softly as she simply caught her chin in her hand in deep thought just because she wanted to figure out how her daughter would bypass everything she did to protect her.

"Ruby is smart, and she knows when you set a hard line it is always for a valid reason and for her safety. Largely because you don't set hard lines very often. Why would this time be different?" Roman asked as Cinder leaned back to just stare at him.

"Because this is the first real one that is immovable. I grew to accept her messing with mains power and microwaves to make those welders, I moved the line to let her build that foundry made of a trash can, I even let her smoke weed when I said I never wanted her to do any drugs besides alcohol. Not to mention when she gambles she ends up winning the pot with ease. Always with a royal flush or a straight flush. Much to everyone's amazement... and this is the one thing I can never bring myself to letting Ruby ever try. I hope her curiosity isn't that much because otherwise I have the most dangerous thing in existence to me. A smart daughter with a curiosity driving her."

"She'll be fine. We know where to look if that ever changes."

Opening the door, Ruby just smiled as she dropped her bag onto her bed as she could see Yang's head bolting up from her desk as she quickly looked around before seeing Ruby and began to nod her head as she started to lower it down again.

"Your bed is like two feet away Yang. You would sleep better in it." Ruby said softly as she could see her room mate just sighing. "Was whatever you and whoever fighting about really that hard?"

"It was Reese and it was about my friend who got attacked and is in the hospital. And I have to go back to the hospital." Yang said as Ruby quickly walked across the room to just look at her blonde roommate. "It is a difference in opinions. She can't feel sorry for Jaune for standing by letting someone being raped... but I maintain he had to have been forced. I don't think the same boy who vomits when he talks to girls he likes could do something like that." Yang continued with a soft sigh as she began to blink her eyes to just try and relax a little.

"Want me to talk to Reese? She tends to get hot headed and stubborn over things she is passionate about. Or when she thinks that someone does something bad towards another person. I mean if you say he didn't intentionally do it I believe you." Ruby said as Yang just sighed gently as she pushed herself off her desk before looking at her phone.

"It's fine. She is probably in the hospital with Pyrrha because Vomit Boy was one of her exes stupid enough to dump that bombshell for some ex." Yang said as Ruby just smiled at her.

"I don't mind. I mean if he is a friend of yours he is bound to be a nice person... so do you want a lift to the hospital? Just so I can talk to Reese. If she is causing this, I'd like her to apologise to you. I don't like my friends fighting over things like that. No matter how they personally feel about things. I mean I don't support rapists... but this is the guy that got attacked by Grimm isn't it? Whatever he did, he paid for it in full."

Seeing Ruby say that determined Yang just sighed softly as she rubbed her eyes. "Its fine. I wouldn't be getting back until late and don't you have important stuff to do tomorrow?"

"Just have one thing I can't blow off but that is therapy and my shrink is actually very relaxed about everything because I tend to do what she asks and without an issue and I don't tend to bottle things up when they bother me." Ruby started as she hopped up onto the desk. "Plus, I've got no homework. And my only main class I have tomorrow isn't till well after my therapy session and time with my Mom."

"If you go Ruby you will get bored. It is just one of Vomit Boy's sisters really there."

"Yang, it is a break from me forcing myself to learn the impulse based derivation of Tsiolkovsky rocket equation. The one derivation I can never seem to grasp." Ruby spoke as she could see Yang just staring at her. "Tsiolkovsky rocket equation is basically how fast something can go when it expels its own weight in the form of fuel. It is needed to figure out if something can actually make it into space. And the impulse based derivation is an alternate formula as to the integral acceleration. Point is it is one formula that I hate that I can't remember." Ruby said lightly swinging her feet as Yang began to blink her eyes.

"Are you sure you aren't a robot or something? Because that makes literally no sense." Yang said as Ruby just began to laugh. "But fine, just don't try and explain the thing to me further. If you do I might just forget my gym locker combination or where I live. That is one of the things about rockets I didn't ever know existed and now I don't want to know more."

"I don't blame you... It isn't fun. But I just need to let Emerald and Neo where I'm going. My Mom has been freaking out something fierce so it means that they are going to be super up in my business to try and calm her down." Ruby spoke hopping off the desk as she could see Yang just eyeing her carefully. "It is the problem with having a curious mind about things, an overbearing mother and friends who are employed by your mother to keep an eye on you and make sure you don't do something life shattering. All I wanted was to try some harder drugs."

"Ruby, I wouldn't. Speaking from experience hard drugs really fuck people up and seeing as you remind me a lot of my step mother before she started doing hard drugs I'd start to worry about you."

"I'll be fine Yang. Addiction doesn't run in my family. At least I assume so because I've been on powerful things in the past ranging from antidepressants to sleeping pills." Ruby said happily as she could see Yang just frowning a little. "Don't worry. If I start to, I can guarantee that Emerald and Neo would freak out first. Mostly because literally the only thing they need to do is make sure I don't do stuff like that and my family are super protective of me."

"I've noticed. But seriously... just trust me as someone who has a step parent that does drugs heavily... don't tempt that fate. Everyone can slide down that path. People with addiction running in the family just find it easier to trip down it." Yang said with a concerned tone as Ruby just smiled at her.

"Relax Yang. I'm going to be fine. It was a one time thing. I promise you." Ruby half lied to her friend just to avoid the inevitable end point the conversation had.


Chapter Text


Chapter 42:

Frowning as she began to just rest her head against the elevator, Yang sighed as she could see Ruby just looking around with a smile as the doors just parted to let them out. A smile just increased as they began to walk out of the box. She had just enjoyed as she gently skipped ahead as Yang just sighed.

"Ruby, seriously... I know you like making friends but keep in mind this guy is in a coma and did some messed up shit to earn the beating of a lifetime... and his sister is going through a loop. So you need to just take a chill pill. Maybe remove some of that pip from your step because he isn't even up yet." Yang said as Ruby rolled her eyes gently.

"Fine. Remember I'm only here to give you a ride and to yell at Reese to apologise." Ruby said as Yang just sighed and gestured for her to follow her down a hallway lined with various pictures. Smiling a solemn smile as they entered a room.

The heads turning towards the newcomers, Ruby just felt her gaze fixated on the man in the bed. She could hear some talking but it just seemed to become near static as she quickly developed a headache.

"Ruru... you alright?" Reese asked standing up from the chair and walked over towards Ruby who gently just raised a hand and began to rub her face. "You are looking paler than normal... you should sit down." Reese continued as she just ignored the look of the people in the room as she just felt her stomach twist as she tried to figure out why this man had looked so familiar. "You didn't eat anything you are allergic to right? Still eating healthy?"

Shaking her head as she batted Reese away just taking a deep breath. "Yeah. Just haven't had much water today and just drank a lot of coffee I guess." Ruby said as she just took a deep breath as she just pawed at the corner of her head. "Just got hit with a headache because of that." Ruby said taking a deep breath as she looked at the concern blonde woman staring at her. "I'm Ruby by the way. I'm Yang's roommate and her ride."

Letting out a gasp of recognition, Saphron bowed her head gently. "The one who had that bad allergic reaction?" Saphron asked as Ruby just frowned and shot Yang a glare. One that seemed to deliver a message across to the new blonde woman. "She didn't actually tell me much. Just that you had an allergic reaction to something. And I'm sorry we couldn't meet under better circumstances." Saphron corrected as Ruby just took a deep breath and began to rub her head. "Reese while you are up can you get Ruby some water? She is starting to seem pretty bad."

Rolling her eyes gently as she walked towards the water jug and poured a small glass as she handed it to brunette who just took a deep breath and thanked Reese as she accepted the glass. "I actually want to talk to you Reese about what you and Yang talked about yesterday." Ruby said as she sighed at Reese shooting Yang a glare.

"Thought we agreed to disagree Nark. What would Tai say about selling someone up the river for having a differing opinion?" Reese muttered before turning towards Ruby. "And Ruru, I can assure you, you weren't told everything. There are a lot of larger things that you'd need to be privy to to understand. Something that Ashes and Scary Pants that is your grandmother would freak out at and very likely kill me about." Reese said as Saphron just took a deep breath.

"Is that the ex that Pyrrha is worried about." Saphron asked as Ruby and Reese both just sighed looking towards her.

"Yes we dated for years. But I don't have any intentions of getting back together with Reese. I've lived through that nightmare before. The constantly wanting to die from embarrassment from her being alone with my family, and the heart attack of being introduced to her slightly religious parents who don't understand how two women do things and unlike my mother who would ask flat out they just asked in vague questions."

"Yeah no child should be fine talking about that with their parents. I'd die if I had to explain that to mine or Terra's." Saphron said as Reese just chuckled.

"Ashes and Ruru have a really strange relationship."

"And the mocking of my Mother... that is a nightmare to itself. So yeah no intentions of going back to that." Ruby muttered turning to face Reese. "And seriously. You owe Yang an apology."

Taking a deep breath, Reese just stared into Ruby's silver eyes as she knew that there wasn't going to be a way to budge Ruby from the topic but at the same time she knew that she was caught in a bad situation.

"I'm not going to budge Ruru. Again, there are things you don't know and frankly can't possibly imagine. You know I don't mind playing a game of pulling the pin on hand grenades with Cinder... and even a very casual game with Salem. But that is a pin no one wants to pull and explain to you the finer details of why Yang and I exchanged slightly heatedly differing opinions. But we still stayed civil." Reese said before turning towards Yang. "And I refuse to change my opinion, because you still don't understand the finer things of my point and you have no idea how hard of a place you put me in that I'd gladly take you down with me if I wanted to be vindictive. Which I am far from and am closer to a live and let live attitude to life."

Sighing as she crossed her arms, Yang just matched Reese's gaze. "For the record, I never said I wanted an apology. That is all Ruby's doing."

"That is because people shouldn't fight. Especially if they are my friends. You should apologise too Yang, but I know Reese is too pig headed and that she would require a lot more convincing to do something as simple as that. Would even try an insincere one a few dozen times despite how often she'd be called out because she really doesn't like being put on the spot."

"And yet you always put me on the spot and in public. I'd never do that for anyone. I mean how about I go and do that with you and Ashes" Reese mumbled with anger being ever present as Ruby, Pyrrha and Yang let out a bark of laughter. "What?"

"Reese, I've never even dated you. But all you ever do is put people on the spot and in public." Yang said as Ruby gestured towards her. "And I don't think you'd have the confidence to do that to Cinder."

"Why do you think I needed to explain to my Mom about lesbian sex? And then what pearl diving is. Because she walked in at that point because someone told her I was in a crack house and I can't tell you how embarrassing that is." Ruby mumbled crossing her arms. "Although not nearly as bad as when she found my toys cleaning out one of the cars. Because that was in front of Neo, Emerald, Mercury and Roman. Just dropped them all in front of us and wanted to know what did what. You don't know embarrassment until you had to explain to your mother what a strap on is and why you would prefer it on a woman to a man's real one." Ruby mumbled as Reese began to chuckle. "And yes it is the one you are thinking about... the one shaped like a cat one that you named 'Gargantu Juan the woman breaker' and seriously... imagine how hard it was to explain to my Mom that with Neo cackling with Roman and Mercury looking confused and ashamed." Ruby said as Reese simply began to laugh as she sat down on Pyrrha's lap.

"I'd die if either of my parents found one of my toys... but if it is a named toy... and one that is big enough to be named something like 'the woman breaker' I'd definitely die. I'd rather my two year old son find that kind of thing. At least I know then he isn't going to remember it or question too far once he is told that is something his Mommies like to use when alone." Saphron said with a soft tone as Ruby just sighed gently.

"Trust me, it is so much worse... because Gargantu Juan is a freaking monster of a toy. I mean like the size of Tai's fist and is barbed all over and at least a good foot in length." Reese said as she could see the blonde duo contorting their faces before turning to Ruby with a raised eyebrow.

"No idea who Tai is... but the toy is really big and cost a lot of money. Not sure about sizes. All I know is I could take it all by the end of Reese and me dating. After months and months of trying. And thankfully my Mom didn't question too far into the size, shape and everything of that sort. Once she knew it was for sex. Did ask how could it fit in places and hoped I wasn't dumb and hurt myself."

Taking a deep breath, Reese just looked towards Ruby. "We had to have been broken up at that point but dear gods would I love to have been there to listen to that conversation. Even if it would have ended with me being strangled. Just because of how you'll explain in great detail to her things as to avoid further questions from her."

"Only with Mom. I'd without a doubt lie through my teeth and then probably kill myself if it was my grandmother... or my uncles that found that stuff and wanted explanations." Ruby said as she snapped her fingers as if she had just remembered something. "My Grandma said she missed talking to you Reese and would love to see you next time." Ruby began before lulling her head towards Yang. "And she also said you should bring her some of those red bean buns you talked about with her."

"You met the crap in your pants woman?" Reese asked as Yang just nodded quickly. "And Ruby, next time she is in Vale, I plan to be in Atlas. Because I swear you are literally the only person who thinks she is perfectly fine and sweet like apple pie. Even Ashes is a little scared of what she'd do if pushed even slightly."

Squeezing the hand of her brother Saphron just took a deep breath as she looked towards the group of teen women. "Don't worry about it Saphron. If you met the woman, you'd understand Reese isn't underselling her. But she is really underselling the scariness that is Ruby's mother." Yang said as she couldn't help but wince at the sight of Jaune. She and Reese both knew truly how terrifying Cinder could be with the threat of harming someone, but there was someone she actually harmed for actually doing something life shattering to Ruby if she remembered.

Reaching up to just grab her head, Ruby took a deep breath as she felt her face contort a bit more as she stared at the man. "Sorry I need to cut this short. I need some fresh air." Ruby said standing up as she just started to rub her head gently.

"I'll go down with you. Yang just got here and I don't think Reese could support you if you do fall over because you are looking a bit green around the gills." Pyrrha said as she began to lift Reese a little as so she could stand up seeing Ruby just smile a little as she began to rub her head a bit more.

"Pyr, trust me. Some grenades shouldn't have the pin pulled on them. They all won't be duds. And some times when they blow up, a lot of people get hurt." Reese said as Ruby's face just started to contort once more in great pain as she just took a deep breath and pained breath. "And if that is a sign... you should probably go and get some more water because in my experience Ruby is prone to accidental dehydration." Reese continued as Pyrrha just sighed a little as they looked towards her new charge.

"Shut it Reese. I'm in too much pain right now." Ruby said as she began to walk out of the room with a sense of purpose as Pyrrha was quick to follow after her. Not that it really mattered to her. She was just glad that if she did fall then there was going to be someone willing to catch her and notify people to help.

Seeing them leave, Reese just took a deep breath as she looked towards Yang. "I refuse to apologise to you Yang. I know Ruby wants us to be buddy buddy about everything, but this isn't something I'm budging on. I told you yesterday... if Ashes decided to kill me, sure I probably had it coming. I tend to push her far. But Jaune could have stopped the raping of Ruby." Reese said earning Saphron's attention. "You said yesterday you wanted to know if the woman Jaune left abandoned in a ditch was alright, you just met her and thankfully this is one of many things she doesn't remember."

"So... Jaune wasn't attacked because of a gang thing?" Saphron pleaded just so she'd have something to give the police so they'd actually do something, and she could point them towards a person even.

"No it is..." Yang said softly as she just took a deep breath and looked towards her friend's sister. "And I'm sorry Saphron... but she literally held a gun to my head and wanted to know who gave me the spiked drink..." Yang said with a soft sob as she could see the blonde woman almost wanting to sob once again. A feat that was actually a little impressive.

"What Yang means is it really was a Grimm thing, and your brother got off easy because it was Ashes. If Salem found out... you wouldn't have a chance to see your brother alive again. And chances are the old Grimm that spread terror would have been back, and chances are the next time you would have seen him would have been on a breaking news story of his body being strung up in front of the police station and his body would have been set on fire. And Ruby is completely ignorant of all of that and believe me when I say, it is best for you and your family to keep it that way. Because chances are she knows everything about your family and already knows how to make you wish for death." Reese said sternly as she stood up. "Don't blame Yang she didn't know this would happen and Ashes would have literally held a very big gun to her head. Blame your brother and that noodle dick that actually did it, and count your blessings that she didn't really want to make Jaune suffer. Because she would have gone for you, your sisters, your son and parents and made him watch as she tortured you all."

As the words left Reese's mouth Pyrrha re-entered the room with a worried expression. "What gives? Where is Ruby?" Reese asked as Pyrrha just took a deep breath.

"She just said she was feeling sick and wanted to just get back to her dorm building to question Emerald and Neo... and that if Yang needs a ride back she is sorry but would need to get it elsewhere." Pyrrha said softly as she looked around the room sensing a big shift from when she had left it a couple of minutes ago. It actually was enough of a thing that had just caused her to worry a little.

"That doesn't sound that good. Like... at all. It never is when she questions those two. Last time it literally ended up with them nearly spilling the big pot of beans that should never be spilt." Reese said as she quickly walked up to Pyrrha and just hugged her quickly before pulling back. "Now if you don't mind I need to go and potentially get myself killed because I might have some bad messages to deliver. So sorry but you need to be in the boat with Yang." Reese said as she quickly looked at Saphron who was confused. "And I can't believe I need to warn this... don't go to the cops. Because I wasn't joking. Ashes has no qualms with killing men, women and children, but if it means protecting Ruby's image of her and connects that image to Grimm... it will make what she did to your brother seem like a nice day. Including your son."

Not even waiting for the response that the woman understood how serious this was, Reese quickly ran out of the room. Just the sight of that was enough to cause everyone to just take a panicked breath being unsure what she had meant. Turning towards Yang, Pyrrha had just hoped that she would be filled in. But the sight of tears being present in Saphron's eyes as she had her mouth hanging open as if she wanted to ask another question that clearly neither Pyrrha or Yang could answer.

"Saph... trust me. I don't know what Ruby's family would do... but I do know that they don't have an issue doing whatever they need to do. Especially to protect Ruby and if it comes to it avenge any wrong that has happened to her. Just stay caring for your brother and family. That is really the best thing that can be done."

Chapter Text


Chapter 43:

Slamming her fist into the door, Ruby couldn't believe her own mind. It had to have been wrong. If she was in a situation like that she knew that her friends would have told her. They had told her so many things that didn't involve anything nearly as bad.

Seeing the door crack open a little and Emerald's worried expression relaxing at the sight of her, Ruby could feel some minor anger building. A thing that she just felt like it had gone full circle by the time Emerald started to speak.

"Ruby, this isn't a good time. Neo decided it was boring so she took some magic mushrooms and is tripping a bit hard." Emerald said as Ruby just shoved her shoulder against the door forcing it open. She didn't care about that. Neo was always largely harmless when she was doing drugs. No matter how often she pulled something on Ruby. She never had a fear that Neo would do something to actually harm her.

"I don't give a fuck!" Ruby screamed as she could see Neo's eyes developing a distant look to them as she could see her staring through Ruby. Not that she cared. She was more concerned by the fact that something was being withheld from her. That was what mattered to her and was making her feel a little bit better. She didn't even know what she could do. "What happened!?" Ruby yelled as she looked between her friends hoping to find something if anything that could tell her something about what she was missing. There had to be a reason they suddenly took an interest in this specific college.

There had to be some other reason. They went from wanting nothing to do with a further education to suddenly wanting one. Normally Ruby would have just brushed it off as her friends wanting to better themselves but after seeing some of her nightmares take a very real form during the day, she wasn't sure if she could trust anything.

"Relax. I'll patch the damage up once Neo comes down. I can't repair anything while she is this high. It will end with her getting hold of something that would result in more damage or me needing to go to the hospital." Emerald said as Neo just began to laugh rolling out of the bed. "Seriously pallet knives aren't that sharp but Neo is fast and can make even a parasol into a deadly thing, I don't want to imagine what she could do with something with more of an edge."

"Not that!" Ruby yelled as she bent down to just pry the limp body of her friend up before dropping her onto the bed. "I mean what the fuck happened to me!? Why are you guys here? Because shit is coming up and things are starting to get bad. And Mom would lie through her teeth to me or just not tell me." Ruby said as Emerald stared at her with her confusion becoming more and more clear.

"TELL ME!" Ruby shrieked out causing Emerald and Neo to just jump a little as they quickly shared a look before looking back to Ruby. "I know that look! Just tell me!" Ruby yelled as she could see Emerald taking a step closer towards Ruby.

"Ruby, you need to calm down. I don't know what you are talking about. I'd love to be able to tell you it in full, but I can't unless you calm way down." Emerald said calmly as she held a hand out to try and get her friend to calm down. At least enough to explain how much she knew.

"Don't tell me to calm down! Just tell me what the fuck I want to know!"

"I don't know what you want me to say Ruby. I've been up front with everything for you once I know something solid." Emerald said with a concerned tone as she could see Ruby wanting to just start swinging at them and Emerald knew that in this state Neo would retaliate which would lead to some very bad things. "Your Mom got worried, assumed the worst had happened so she ordered me and Neo to come here and just to keep an eye on you." Emerald said with a calm tone coming to a stop in front of her.

"You know what!? Fuck you Em! I know when you are lying!" Ruby screamed as she spun around and started to storm out of the room.

Seeing it, Emerald just took a deep breath knowing that she had dodged at least one risk of death. "Is it just me... or can Ruby and Cinder when mad can really rob a girl's high? Or did I just hallucinate them?" Neo chuckled out as she fell down onto the bed.

"You are partially right. Ruby was here and she was less mad and more afraid. And I think she might have just remembered something bad." Emerald said as she could hear Neo laughing beside her as she closed the door and quickly walked over towards her phone. Hoping for once it wasn't going to result in the messenger not being threatened like the tendency had been.

"Well, in good news. The ceiling is still melting. So I'm good."

"Whatever Neo. While you are lucid put the handcuffs on so I don't need to do so when the trip gets bad." Emerald said as she quickly started to dial Cinder's emergency phone. The one that she knew would be answered just because of how the inner circle knew it was dedicated to immediate and bad news when it came to Ruby.

"How about you bite me? It's okay, I'll be just as mean and violent towards you. I'll even spurn your affection like they were that of a school girl. So it isn't weird for you. Or wear Mercury's Cinder outfit that he has... or his sock puppet he has designed to look like Cinder. Back when she had that mid thigh dress."

"Go fuck yourself Neo." Emerald said as she began to cough gently at the sound of a deep and aggravated sigh.

"If you called me on this number for some petty dispute, I'm blowing the both of your brains out." Cinder's cold voice rang from the phone as Neo quickly sat up and clicked the restraint on her wrist as she just looked towards Emerald with worry.

"No. I've got that covered. Ruby remembered something about her being drugged and raped and is prying for something more. I don't know what triggered it but she basically cursed my out when I wouldn't tell her and she ran out before I could answer something to a satisfactory degree. Which will I fear result in her discovering the big secret."

"Where is she right this second?"

"I don't know. She just stormed out and her roommate isn't here. But she didn't go into her room. So my only guess would be her girlfriend's room or the house. And given the fact, I can see the car out front still it makes me think her girlfriend's dorm room. And sadly I can't say where that is because she intentionally has kept me in the dark about that fearing it would get back to you." Emerald said with a soft tone as she could see Neo just nodding her head in what Emerald knew was an attempt to make it seem like she could help.

"Find out, I'll call her and try to talk to her. If anything comes up from that time direct her instantly to me. Got it!?"

"Yes Boss. Neo is contained and shouldn't be an issue with anything. If it helps I think the woman does use some hard things recreationally. So if you want to risk someone getting caught."

"I'll get Mercury to do some rounds there. He'll be happy to just be behind his wheels again. Especially after his arrival back in Vale where he had to walk to me. Stay there though and try and dig out anything. To make this easier on him."

"Got it boss. I'll try and dig something solid up." Emerald said with a cold unfeeling tone because she knew that there wasn't anything that took more priority when it came to what she was always meant to do. It was always Ruby's well being.

"For your sake Emerald, nothing better happen to my baby girl."

Gulping Emerald glanced back towards Neo who just had a smile strewn across her face as she bent down to jangle the handcuffs as if debating how it happened and if she should start figuring a way out of them. "I understand."

"Good. Now go." Cinder spoke hanging the phone up as Emerald took a deep breath and began to rub her eyes. She hated to say she actually was tempted to take up Neo's advice and become the least trusted person for this job. But knew that she'd be putting Ruby in unneeded risk.

"Be a good girl and stay attached to the bed Neo."

Wrapping the Faunus woman into a hug, Ruby just took a deep breath as she felt worried hands holding onto her. She didn't care about how wrong it would seem to others. She just wanted to feel some comfort from someone who hadn't lied to her or even was close to the person in case she was wrong.

Ruby didn't want to hurt someone if she was wrong. She just started to cry as Neon just rubbed her back gently. She couldn't help but feel like something god awful had happened, but at the very least Neon knew that Ruby needed her. That was all that mattered.

Gently purring to Ruby as she began to sway from side to side as she rubbed her back and let her tail wrap around the smaller woman. She knew that it was going to raise some questions, but she was just happy that it seemed to have stopped Ruby from crying.

After some time passing, Ruby seemed to have regained some of her control as she just took a deep breath. "I'm sorry about just barging in and hugging you like this." Ruby said in a soft tone as she just took a deep breath and just swayed with Neon leading the speed. "Just... just... have you ever had a bad memory come charging to the forefront of your mind? Like a really really bad one?"

Taking a deep breath, Neon just frowned a bit as she just stopped swaying a bit to reverse the direction. "No. I have a pretty good memory and nothing really bad happens to me. At least not when it is within my control." Neon said with a small tone as she could feel Ruby just holding tighter onto her. "Why? What happened?"

"I was trying to brush some fight over between my roommate and ex girlfriend because it was why she was because they were fighting about a guy who had been in a coma from being beaten into a bad state because he had helped doing something really really bad." Ruby began as Neon just carefully eyed Ruby.

"That is pretty noble of you. I don't think I'd ever stand up for anyone that did something really really bad. What did he do? Stab someone in the chest?" Neon asked as Ruby just took a deep breath and stared up into Neon's eyes. "Push someone you knew in front of a bus?"

"I think he helped in drugging and raping me." Ruby's voice was enough to break the silence like there had been some explosive going off. Seeing Neon panicking as she took some deep breaths just staring into Ruby's eyes. "I've been dreaming about him and this other guy... and I blacked out after someone handed me a drink at a frat party and woke up miles away naked and nothing of the previous night and all that came flooding back when I was sitting in his hospital room and no one will tell me anything."

As Ruby sobbed out Neon just held her tighter and began to debate if she should find out whoever that was, and just make sure he stayed down because he had enough of a lack of conscience to do something like that to Ruby. And the simple fact was that if he could do that, there was no telling what he could be able to do.

"Just hold me Neon." Ruby said as she felt Neon just hold onto her with a smile just because Ruby had clearly needed her. "I just want this day to be over. I want the day to be over and for those thoughts to go back to being repressed. I just want all of them gone or people to start telling me the truth." Ruby said with a soft tone as they both just sat down on the bed.

"I can give you something to help you forget about your day." Neon said with a soft tone as Ruby nodded her head quickly. She didn't care what it was. She just wanted to get out of this day any means necessary.

Gently separating from Ruby, Neon walked over towards the nightstand where she pulled out a baggie where she frowned softly. "I thought I had more than one pill." Neon said frowning a little as she sat on the bed as she broke the seal as she knocked the item onto her hand. "I'd need to contact my dealer Ruby. I don't want you to be tripping hard on your own." Neon said as she slipped the pill back into the bag.

"How long is that going to take?" Ruby asked as Neon just took a deep breath as she tossed the item onto her nightstand.

"I don't know. I don't even know if he is back in Vale. He got into some shit and had to lay low. But I'll call him now and find out." Neon began as she grabbed her phone and quickly scrolled through the contacts.

"Unicorn dealership?" Ruby asked as her and Neon began to lay down.

Chuckling as she hit the call button and held the phone up to her ear. "Got to make up something in case the phone gets taken by the police." Neon said with a smile as she began to twirl her tail gently. "If you are curious about your name in my contacts, it is 'Olive Juice'." Neon said as Ruby just smiled holding onto Neon tighter.

"Olive juice you too." Ruby said with a chuckle as Neon just smiled at her.

"Who is this?" A voice that caused Ruby's eyebrows knit together as she tried to figure out where she had heard it before.

"It's me Merc. Neon. I need some more of the girls. Molly and Mary Jane are really fun but I haven't seen them in a long time." Neon said as Ruby began to perk her head up at the name. It was a distinct one that always stuck into Ruby's mind because she had been the one to give the person whose voice that was that shorter name. "I'm in college right now if that makes it easier." Neon continued as she looked at Ruby making a mental note to ask her about that afterwards.

"Twenty minutes, silver parking. I'm not waiting."

"Okay. Thanks Merc." Neon said frowning a little as she heard the dial tone. Looking towards Ruby she just sighed gently. "He is actually a lot nicer than he seems. His boss is probably just mad about something. So what is with that face?"

"If it is who I think it is... I can say his boss is mad because I'm pissed and want to throat punch someone... I'll explain when we get there."

Sighing as he hung the phone up, Mercury just looked at Emerald a bit exasperated. "So you've got me nothing. Besides she is one of fifty odd, cat Faunus whose trait is a tail on this campus. That does me nothing. I can't go and start cracking skulls." Mercury said as he batted Neo's hand away from unbuttoning his shirt. "And the hell is up with Neo? She isn't this handsy normally."

"She took shrooms. And it looks like it just started to hit her. As for the handsy thing, that could be because I haven't let her drag some unfortunate person back here." Emerald said as she stared at the silver haired man. "And you forget how my hands are constantly full. I need to look after a drug fiend because she has the tendency to drag Ruby into her antics, I need to keep Ruby from intentionally doing something that is life destroying, I need to make sure Ruby's room mate isn't going to be a dumbass, all with a thousand plus other things. I'd love to do something so much simpler like you got."

"And I'd like it if my Dad got killed without me needing to do it. Nearly caved my skull in before I was able to shoot him. Point is, not everyone is as lucky as you." Mercury said with a sigh as he batted Neo's hand away from him once more before standing up and taking a few steps away. "And I have to meet one in a few minutes to sell some things. So come with me for that." Mercury knew that the glare coming from Emerald was from an anger point but had just brushed it off. "By the way, she can lock pick and in my experience when she is on shrooms, would totally chew through her hand to get free if it becomes a bad trip. Like a wolf in a trap."

"I know. This isn't the first time I've dealt with her on shrooms. Which is why I have her fuzzy crap near her and food. She'll be fine. Just let's start tearing the place up. You know where Cinder's priority is... and given the fact Salem talked to me while you were gallivanting... I'm not going to risk angering her."

"Makes sense. Let's go then."

Chapter Text


Chapter 44:

Groaning a little as she was tossed into a familiar chair, Reese just took a deep breath as the hood was ripped off her head as she could feel her dread wash over her as she could see the pale skinned woman staring back at her.

"Reese. To what do I owe the pleasure? Or have you finally come to accept that your life is meaningless and you want me to put you out of your misery?" Salem asked as she could see Reese just taking a deep breath.

"No Salem Ma'am. I was actually looking for Cinder. I fear Ruby has started to remember things and might be going to try something incredibly stupid." Reese began as she started to shrink away in her seat. "Not that Ruby is dumb. I just know she is prone to doing many dangerous things when she is emotional and Emerald has the tendency to be afraid to really stop it because Ruby does tend to manipulate Cinder when she wants something." Reese clarified hoping that nothing was going to cause the anger of this family to be taken out on her for inadvertently insulting Ruby.

Hearing the clicking of heels that was synonymous to her. She knew that without a doubt that there was going to be some sort of hell if the woman they belonged to heard what she said. Reese had seen what these people would do without Ruby around. And she feared that there really would be something bad to happen to her.

"She doesn't manipulate me. Nowhere near as much as she thinks at least." Cinder's voice broke the room as Salem just took a deep breath leaning back. "And you are about five minutes too late. She stormed out of Emerald's room wanting to know if she was raped." Cinder spoke tossing the knife in her hands onto the desk Salem was sitting behind. "So unless you know something that we don't..."

"I know a lot actually." Reese spoke before clamping her hands over her mouth as she could see the room quickly looking at her with slight anger in their eyes. "That came out wrong I swear." Reese started holding her hands up to try in some vein attempt to protect herself. "If Ruby doesn't come to you, she is going to her girlfriend's. Which I can not only tell you where, but I'm like ninety percent sure who her dealer is and it is one of your men... like knows your face level. Which is a source I fear you haven't closed off if Ruby wants to try harder things like she has talked about in passing to her roommate." Reese clarified so fine she was positive that she could have heard a pin drop in the absence.

The only issue she could see is she might not be able to get everything out in time if the glare in Cinder's eyes was anything to go by. "I'm pretty sure her girlfriend's dealer is Merc. She lives on campus near the Belladonna cafe in Redwood building. Room number two sixteen. Alone. Her roommate according to her never showed up... and according to Ruby she isn't really welcomed in the Belladonna cafe. She came to blows with one of the staff over her complaining about Ruby's refreshing racism towards Faunus."

"ROMAN! GET IN HERE!" Salem yelled as Cinder was left trying to catch up with her. She clearly wasn't in the mood to even continue playing her normal coy act around Reese. She just wanted to get that roadblock out of the way so she could get Cinder back out searching for Ozpin. But at the same time she was also worried about Ruby. She knew that Ruby could do a lot and get away with a lot. Especially when she wanted to. "If he did anything to her Cinder... I'm going to wipe what remains of the family out of existence."

"I wouldn't stop you. But he knows I would bring down a world of agony he never thought possible if he was to give Ruby anything of the sort."

Flicking her hood up, Ruby started to quickly look around and just frowned internally as she walked behind one of the cars parked there. "Neon... psst." Ruby said as she could see Neon about to turn when Ruby beat her to it. "Don't look. That is who I think it is, and if he thinks this is for me he might do something bad to you."

"Relax Ruby. This guy is cool. Trust me. I've been buying from him for years." Neon said calmly as Ruby rolled her eyes.

"Neon. Trust me. I swear my family and friends aren't even close to sane when it comes to me. That guy... Merc... I'm the one that gave him the name. He has literally pulled guns on my ex in front of me over her taking the last Hawaiian pizza roll." Ruby continued as Neon just gently waved her off.

"I hate it when people misuse that word. But I'll be fine Ruby. I've bought from him countless times in the past. He is cool. And for the record, I'd do the same thing if someone stole one of my Hawaiian pizza rolls besides you." Neon said as she started walking down the path towards the car. She knew that Ruby was just freaking out, and that she couldn't push her. She was just going to need to accept that this is what had to be done by normal people.

Skipping lightly towards the car, Neon just smiled as she could see the door open up before she could see the all too familiar silver haired man rubbing the back of his neck as he walked towards the trunk.

"Let's make this quick Neon. Get in the trunk." Mercury said as Neon just looked at him before she could ask what he meant her ears flick as she could see Ruby trying to run despite the fact, a familiar green haired woman held onto her wrist.

"Ruby! You need to calm down!"

"Let go of me Em! And Merc! Leave Neon alone!" Ruby yelled as Emerald just begrudgingly grabbed higher up on Ruby's arm and gave her a sharp tug knowing that it was going to be bruised but Cinder did tell her that she had to bring Ruby in.

Sighing, Mercury reached behind him and gestured with his head towards the car. "Whoa whoa. What is going on? Come on Merc... we go long back. You've been my dealer for years." Neon said holding her hands up as she took some deep breaths to try and calm herself down when in reality she was freaking out. Something she knew that everyone there could seem to understand.

"That is why I'm going to ask you this once more nicely. Get in the trunk. As far as I'm aware, this is going to be a nice chat. If this continues, I'm going to actually need to harm you. So it is in your best interest to just listen to me and get in the car." Mercury started as he spared a glance towards Ruby. "Ruby! Get in the car! Cinder and Salem both are demanding to speak to you. And I'm bringing you there by any means. Even if I need to ziptie your hands!" Mercury yelled as Ruby just groaned as she continued to pull on Emerald's grip.

"I don't want to talk to them! Ever think about that!? They just will lie to me!" Ruby complained as she regretted the fact that Emerald was a lot stronger than her. She also knew that the odds of her screams being answered. Especially with where they were.

"Ruby, you are being immature. Just get in the car! That easy!" Emerald yelled as she could see Mercury pulling a gun on Neon which just caused her to breathe a sigh of relief that she would have a much easier time getting Ruby over there and even in the car. "Ruby if you don't go I'm going to get Mercury to fire a few rounds into your girlfriend's legs." As the words left Emerald's mouth she was glad that Mercury heard it as he lowered the gun.

Almost instantly, the fighting Ruby had been doing had died down as she started to walk reluctantly towards the vehicle she had often gladly gotten into. But now it was seeming like a very bad thing. Daunting almost. But she also didn't want harm to come to Neon. Especially over her simply not wanting to talk to her mother and grandmother.

Placing Ruby into the back seat, Emerald made sure that the child lock was on before closing the door. Turning around to see the Faunus woman's worry seemingly increasing ten fold. "Trunk now" Emerald yelled shoving the woman who barely started to regain her stance. "I don't have nearly as much tolerance towards you as Merc does. And I have even less care about the condition you are in. The order was you need to be alive. Didn't say anything about how well your kneecaps are attached."

"I'll get in! Just tell me that Ruby is going to be fine." Neon said as she took a deep breath as Mercury just chuckled.

"She is going to be fine. And is literally the only person that can scream at mine and Emerald's boss as if it is nothing." Mercury said as Neon began to reluctantly crawl into the car. Happy that everything was where it needed to be, Mercury slammed the lid down submerging Neon in the darkness that it had been the last sight many others had seen as well. "If you want anything resembling your security deposit or whatever back, you might need to go back to your room now. Because I'm telling you, you have no idea what she can do when she is high, and angry."

"Believe me. I do. I'm actually missing you as a roommate. At least when you wanted to do something private I didn't run the risk of needing a priest to bless my bed."

"Probably should get that done anyway. Neo tends to go a bit crazy in things like that." Mercury said softly as Emerald just shook her head.

"I heard. I also heard you still have the sock puppet. You know if she catches you with that she will burn you and it alive, and Neo is like the worst person to trust with things that need to be kept secret when it can't backfire on her."

Shaking his head, Mercury just took a deep breath. "I don't intend to bring it out in front of Cinder... just something that helps at times. And you'd think I'd learn to not let Neo see that stuff... and yet it seems we are here seemingly every month."

"Get going. Salem has a shorter fuse than normal. I'll worry about Neo. This actually made my job a lot easier."

"I don't believe that... but okay."

Crossing her arms in protest, Ruby took a deep breath as she stared at the back of the man's head. A lot of anger just seeming to bubble away as they continued to drive. Seeing Mercury shift the mirror, Ruby just glared at it knowing that Mercury stared at it.

"I can't believe I'm saying this but... I hope your Dad smacks you. Neon is a perfectly nice lady who doesn't deserve this treatment." Ruby mumbled as Mercury just chuckled a little dryly.

"What are you high? You are never this aggressive. Not to mention he is gone forever right now." Mercury began as he eyed Ruby up a bit more just to see if he could see any sort of sign. "You are, aren't you?"

Quickly looking away, Ruby just hugged herself a little. "No I'm not. And you need to leave Neon alone. She is a fine person that isn't that bad of a person. She is literally the only person right now that hasn't lied to me inadvertently." Ruby spoke sulking as Mercury just took a deep breath and continued to drive past the gates.

"I've never intentionally lied to you Ruby. Even inadvertently. Neither does Emerald and as for Neo, I don't think anyone can tell you what she does and doesn't know including what she tells people." Mercury said as he came to a stop at the front doors. "Are you going to come in willingly? Because the harder you make this, the harder they are going to be on your girlfriend." Mercury started as he twisted the key before pulling it out of the ignition.

"How about you bite me?" Ruby sulked as Mercury just lulled his head forward as he took a deep breath and started to rub his face.

"Ruby, don't be adversarial. I'm just trying to help you out. Your actions will affect your girlfriend." Mercury said in a calm tone as he started to climb out of the car. "I'm saying this so you don't risk your girlfriend's life. Which is very possible if you are high like you clearly are. Because it had to have come from Neon, and I know I only normally sell ecstasy to her. Which leads me to think you are high on something a lot harder than weed. Something that your mother and grandmother will be able to tell." Mercury said sticking his head back into the car.

Crossing her arms as she looked out the other window, Ruby just took a deep breath. "I'm not high. I'm just mad at you and Em." Ruby mumbled as Mercury just took a deep breath.

"Fine. Stay in here and sulk. I'm bringing your girlfriend in, and I will let Cinder and Salem know about where you are and why I think you are out here instead of going in and trying to enter a screaming match with them like you did with Reese... and what you claim it is." Mercury said pulling his head free as he closed the door. Walking towards the trunk, Mercury quickly slipped the key into the trunk before he opened it a little. "Don't go swinging Neon. I will fire and there are enough guns nearby that aren't just for show. Do I make myself clear." Mercury said as he could hear a meek, but very tangible 'okay'.

It was an all important sign to him that he knew he wasn't going to need to explain why he had a corpse instead of the person they wanted to talk to. A part that was easily the most important thing to him for all he cared. He knew that Ruby would come out of the car quickly once she saw Neon disappearing into the house. All he had to do was open the car door for her.

Helping Neon out of the car, Mercury quickly brushed her tail back before he slammed the trunk shut grabbing the keys as he quickly walked up holding Neon's arm. Pocketing the keys to free his hand as he opened the door. "Ruby, you coming in is your girlfriend's best case. Because as it stands, this isn't going to be a nice conversation otherwise. I want that to be clear to you on that front." Mercury said with a slightly cold tone as he started to walk up the steps with a worried woman standing next to him being unsure what to say or do. "Nothing personal Neon. But if you weren't the person I was requested to bring in with Ruby, I would have sold you the shit. But this is something a whole lot bigger than you. And trust me, if you gave her anything you might have done the single dumbest things ever." Mercury said as the doors opened to reveal some of the guards lowering their weapons at the sight of him.

"Leave Ruby to decide to come out if she wants. Worst case scenario we need the big guns." Mercury spoke pushing past them as he could hear some running followed by stomping behind him. A simple sign to him that the real charge was out as well. "Hope you closed the door." Mercury said as Ruby quickly pushed ahead of him and tossed the doors open.

"THIS IS BULLSHIT! I WENT TO HER BECAUSE NEON WON'T LIE TO ME!" Ruby yelled alerting the room as Mercury nudged her out of the way gently. A small gleam of recognition in Cinder's eyes as if she did recognised the woman from seeing her in the past.

"Mercury, leave us." Salem said breaking the silence as Ruby shifted her glare from her mother to her grandmother.

Gently cupping Ruby's head, Cinder just sighed gently as she stared into Ruby's eyes. "You know I'd tell you anything Ruby." Cinder began carefully as she gently caught the hand being swung at her. "What did you take?" She demanded as Ruby wrenched her hand and head free.

"Nothing! And you always lie to me! We both just would rather the lie, but I don't want the lie! I want the truth! Was I drugged and raped!?" Ruby screamed as the three other men in the room quickly looked towards Cinder as if they had just heard that for the first time.

"I've lied to you on exactly three things Ruby. The first two it is as you say, something we both would rather you believe the lie on. One of which is literally the amount of people I have killed. We'd both rather you believe that is zero. The other is what gang I lead. The final thing is literally how my life was before you came into it and that is because you've never asked what I did. But I can tell what the pulse rate of someone who takes ecstasy feels like along with someone's dilated pupils." Cinder said in a chilled tone as Ruby just matched her gaze.

"Was I raped mom? That isn't a hard question to answer. I don't care about the rest. I know the truth that I'm not on anything and just have a bunch of adrenalin pumping in my body. And I'm mad at being lied to."

"Yes. I'm confident you were. Does that make you feel better Ruby? But I can't say for certain that you were or weren't. That is why I didn't tell you. Now if you want to continue to talk this can wait for you to come down."

"I'M NOT HIGH!" Ruby said as she stormed towards the door. "YOU'RE NOT MY MOTHER! STOP ACTING LIKE ONE NOW!" Ruby screamed as she slammed the door and started to run up the nearest set of stairs.

Taking a deep breath, Cinder looked towards the panicking Faunus woman. "You are going to regret so much of this."

Chapter Text


Chapter 45:

Fighting the arms holding onto her, Cinder just wanted to be let go so she could take swings at the woman. She just wanted to scream and see how many blows the Faunus woman could take.

"Hazel! Let me go! She has this coming! She poisoned Ruby's mind!" Cinder yelled as she swung her head back and just frowned as she hit nothing but his upper chest. She wanted to just be put down so she could destroy this woman in every way possible. Even if it would only give her more headaches in the future. It would certainly make her feel a lot better.

"Hold onto her." Salem said standing up as she could see the Faunus shrink further into the seat. In a feat that Salem was more than familiar with. Pulling the weapon from the drawer as she stood up, Salem casually walked around the desk with a smile as she carefully extracted the magazine from it to just examine how many bullets were in it before sliding back into it's home. "Now, normally we would have just talked and I'd let you know exactly how important my granddaughter is and what would happen. But it seems like you accidentally became the stupidest person in existence. But I'm a forgiving person."

As Salem finished her comment she gently placed the barrel of the gun onto the Faunus woman's left most pinky finger. "I'm going to give you a chance to save every one of your fingers and your life. You just need to start talking and figuring out how you plan to end this relationship with Ruby. And with someone who is meant to be smart like my granddaughter says you are, you should figure out how to do that without hurting her." Salem said with a smile as she pulled the slide back fully before letting it go. "I don't need to tell you what happens if you hurt her do I?"

Gulping as she took a deep breath Neon quickly looked around. She wasn't sure what was the reason or even how they could so casually threaten her. As far as they knew she could have been a member of the White Fang. Which would lead to retaliation on some grand scale. She had heard stories of them tearing down businesses for just letting a Faunus worker scratch themselves against a wall... so it would stand to reason they would react a lot worse if one of their own were harmed.

That was when she remembered how Ruby knew personally the leader of the White Fang. It was no telling what these people could do to her if that really was the case. "Speak up girl. Otherwise I'm going to skip the fun steps of you floundering trying to figure out what to say and just go straight to killing you." Salem snapped as she could see out of the corner of her eye Cinder being furious with her which she just knew was because Salem would gladly steal that joy from her.

"You'll kill me?" Neon responded meekly. She could finally see why Ruby was so adamant to stop her from ever meeting these people. Just this one meeting was enough to make her worried that something was going to go drastically wrong and this woman was going to kill her.

"First smart thing you've said since you've been here." Salem said as she looked at Cinder seemingly stopping her feud to go and murder the person sitting terrified in the chair. "Now continue to say smart things about how you plan to break up with Ruby. I'll leave you with my children." Salem began as she looked towards Hazel. "Let Cinder go. I'm going to go talk to Ruby." Salem said as Hazel lowered Cinder down onto the ground. "And Tyrian, I'd stow away that tail... because if this woman winds up dead by your hands, I'm going to cut that thing off myself."

At that one comment, Neon began to panic from the simple fact she could feel something quickly leave the back of her neck. She didn't even know how close she was to death, but that simple thing made her feel like at any second she was at risk.

Gesturing Cinder over, Salem handed her the weapon as she just sighed leaning up to Cinder's ear. In a faint whisper, one that Cinder knew was nothing but a way to make sure her message was clear and that the Faunus in the room wouldn't hear it. "Don't kill her if you want to keep the charade with Ruby up. Stow your anger. Use it more creatively. Especially if you want the relationship to end. Don't be afraid to let Ruby hurt because of it. She is a strong girl and will move on eventually."

Looking around the room as she casually walked towards the door, Salem quickly snapped her fingers as if she remembered something. "Get someone to dig the freezer Reese is in back up. I think she has had enough time to cool off and should be left to go on her merry way. After all, we only wanted to scare her. She is still of use to us after all. She knows when Ruby is about to do something dangerous."

The casual tone with which the woman had used, shocked Neon. It was the same tone with which she would assume the woman would talk about the weather or if someone had seen the most recent sporting event. Just the thought of that woman being judge, jury and executioner. If she would bury someone that to Neon seemed like a great and nice woman... what would she do to her? A woman who had given Ruby countless drugs in the past?

What would she do to her?

"I suggest Tyrian. He seems to be wanting to try Cinder's temper." Hazel said as Salem just smiled faintly at him.

"Okay, Tyrian, Watts, go grab some shovels. I'm sure if she panicked it would be best for someone who is a doctor. Couldn't hurt."

"As you wish mother." The quartet spoke as Salem just nodded her head with a smile.

"Good. Remember, if she tries to kick up a fuss and claims the Fang will help her, remind her that Sienna is terrified of me having another chat with her because the next one will cause the Fang to be without a leader." Salem said with a smile as she could see the woman just pale to such a white shade she would have given the white masks she thought her savours wore a shameful smudge.

Seeing that she had done the job of driving the final nail that was needed into the coffin, Salem spun around and walked out the door. She knew how the rest of that conversation was going to go. Same way it always went with the exception of Reese. Which at least Salem was glad she was talked away from killing that woman now.

Reese had proven to be a very valuable person to have looking out for Ruby. Just because Ruby would include her in things before Emerald and Neo. It was an avenue that she was shocked that she didn't see before. Unfortunately she knew that this Neon wasn't going to be able to do the same thing if she would give Ruby something like ecstasy. Which she just knew would be a pity, as would the heart break Ruby would feel. But it would be fine in the end. She knew how strong Ruby really was.

Humming softly as she heard a loud thud of something hitting a wall, Salem just had to bend her head down and shake it at it being clearly Ruby being angry and trying to take that anger out on something that didn't feel. It was a tactic that she was glad that Ruby had been taught. Just because she knew anything Ruby broke as long as it made her feel better it could be replaced.

Not even bothering to knock, Salem just took a deep breath as she opened the door, shaking her head calmly as she could see the shards of plastic which just caused her to sigh sadly. She knew where they came from, and knew that Ruby had normally held the models in high regard. She knew there had been something really angering her if she was going to do this.

"Ruby... you need to calm down." Salem said in a gentle tone, not even flinching at the sight of Ruby throwing something near her head. It was nothing she hadn't seen before. "You know we are just concerned about you." Salem continued not missing a beat as she took another step and just caught the balled up hand as it was getting ready to swing towards her.

"I DON'T CARE! DID YOU KNOW AS WELL!" Ruby screamed into the woman's face as Salem just continued to stare into her silver eyes as if she was trying to show how serious she was. Just the way the eyes locked seemed to stop Ruby's flailing. "YOU DID DIDN'T YOU! YOU'RE NOT MY GRANDMOTHER STOP TRYING TO BE!" Ruby yelled after a few minutes as she tried to rip her hand free just so she could get away.

"You can't hurt me like you can Cinder." Salem said in a cold tone. A tone so cold that Ruby had never heard and in one instant she could feel all the fear people had in the past attributed towards her.

Taking a few minutes to just calm herself down, Salem just smiled at Ruby as she continued her point "And I didn't know. Not until you came into that room high as a kite from some unknown thing that Faunus gave you screaming about it." She knew that it was a lie. But she at least knew that Ruby didn't know that. It was a type of comfort that she was actually very glad to have. Just because Ruby's ignorance on this topic was vast and she knew that there was a lot she could hide.

"Neon didn't give me anything!"

"Then you took something from her. Or I need to talk to your friends." Salem spoke in the same stern tone but she just enjoyed the sight of Ruby looking down at the ground.

"It is just one pill. And I've done it before. Just without the rest knowing." Ruby whispered softly as Salem just took a deep breath and gently pulled Ruby into a hug. Fighting the comfort Ruby separated from Salem as she just stared at her. "Wait! The person that did it to me got attacked by Grim!" Ruby said as if that piece of information had just finally came back to her.

"Ruby, in the family's line of work, it is easier to pin something on them." Salem had continued to lie as she could see Ruby relenting as she looked down once more. "Think about it Ruby, Cinder blabs everything to you. I can't even make a surprise visit to you unless it is one to her as well." Salem continued as she just wrapped Ruby into a gentle hug once more. "Trust me Ruby. Your mother isn't a part of those evil grand cogs. And if she was, she'd tell you. But you should probably try and sleep this high off. Because you and Cinder won't be able to talk normally while you are still high." Salem scolded as she could see Ruby just pulling back as she started to rub her face.

Seeing her granddaughter feeling unsure, Salem just smiled as she gently lead Ruby towards the bed. "Trust me Ruby. Everything is going to be fine. Once you come down you can talk to Cinder. I'll make sure Neon gets back to the college. You can trust me... can't you?" Salem asked softly as she sat Ruby down onto it. "You just need to sleep right now."

"I can trust you... you seem like the only person I can trust. I'm sorry for screaming at you and saying you aren't my grandmother."

"That's okay Ruby... I didn't take it to heart. I know you are just hurting and you want others to feel the same hurt you are. A hurt that I'll gladly take if it makes you feel better. You just mean that much to me." Salem said softly as she just took a deep breath. "Although, you really do need to dig a lot deeper to hurt me than you would for your mother. The only thing you could do to hurt me is put your life in unnecessary danger."

"Do you really think I hurt Mom that bad? I'm just so mad at her... and you. I can make my own decisions in life." Ruby said as if had made some grand case for them to stop what they normally do when it comes to her.

Smiling a faint smile, Salem just took a deep breath as she knelt down to stare into Ruby's eyes. "You know that if Cinder could have, she would have loved to give birth to you herself but sometimes life just seems to grace us with who we need when the time is right." Salem said with a calm tone as she leaned up and placed a kiss on top of Ruby's head. "Now this isn't you going to sleep to try and come down. That takes priority." Salem said with a calm tone as she gently watched Ruby lay down.

"Still doesn't explain why you all think you need to protect me."

"There is a lot of bad things in the world Ruby. Most of which we'd rather keep you in the dark about. Because the world does want to hurt everyone, but I'll be damned to an eternity of hell fire if I let you get hurt from something I could have stopped." Salem said in a soft tone as she began to brush Ruby's hair out of her face. "I'm going to go down stairs now."


Sighing gently as he opened the trunk, Mercury just took a deep breath as he could see the Faunus woman nearly falling out of the trunk as she began to cough a small amount of blood. "Right Neon. This is where I part ways with you. Be glad they only stopped at ripping a few teeth out and broke two fingers." Mercury said as he began to help the woman out of the car. "I'd take you to the door, but I need my hands clean of this." Mercury continued as Neon began to fall over. "And word to the wise, when word gets to Ruby, it is a lot better to just ghost her. Because if you tell her about Grimm doing this, or going to the Fang about this... or worse, the cops. You'll find out exactly how powerful my boss is. And how terrified Sienna is of the big boss, and how much you royally fucked up if you got the attention of Salem and her children."

"And what if I refuse to break up with Ruby?"

"Then the next chat won't end so nicely and you become nothing more than another statistic." Mercury said gently dusting her shoulders off. "Now when you go in, ask for a Doctor Weinberg. Tell her you got caught in a revolving door. The Doc won't ask anything else and will take care of you for free. And most importantly won't ask more questions. Because trust me, if you tell people things the next time you are getting out of my car it is to dig your own grave if you are that lucky." Mercury said with a calm expression. "Now who are you meant to ask to see you?"

"Doctor Weinberg. Say I got caught in a revolving door." Neon said with a slight cough as Mercury smiled at her. "Look after Ruby."

"I intend to. That has always been my prerogative. I'm Ruby's friend first, meant to look at her second and finally a member of Grimm. That is the list of my orders since the day Ruby was brought home." Mercury said calmly as Neon just stared at him in deep shock. "Yeah, again, leave it and it is best to ghost Ruby. Because you've just got a brief once over by the leaders and have confessed to giving the only thing all five of those people hold dear something that has the very real possibility to kill her. Be glad they didn't take a few things like they so very easily could have. Including your life."

Seeing the woman nod, Mercury just smiled as he slammed the trunk shut as he pointed towards the doors in which she would need to walk through. "I suggest you start walking because you missing a few teeth and broken fingers may be enough to get you into a state of shock. Which would lead to you once again becoming a statistic. So... do yourself a favour just so you can let your parents know you aren't dead. You have no idea how few people get that right when they deal with those people. I wasn't even guaranteed that. No one is." Mercury said as he walked towards the driver side door. "Or don't. I don't care which. I dropped you off to get patched up. That is where my obligations to you ended. Didn't even need to help you out as nicely as I did."

"Fine..." Neon spat as she began to limp gently in the direction where Mercury had pointed.

Pulling his phone out, as he climbed into his car, he took a deep breath. He knew that he was about to possibly poke a dragon, but he also did know that he should be fine. So long as Ruby had been able to see reason and that she really does need to apologise to Cinder. Otherwise she might just destroy things for everyone by just causing Cinder to spiral into a larger and larger angry fit that might just cause her to go full angry at.

"It's done. She knows we'll be watching." Mercury spoke as he could hear the other end being picked up.

"Good. Now get back here." Cinder spat in the same tone she used when it left him feeling confused if he was in trouble or not. Deciding to just air on the side that he wasn't, he started to twist his key once he heard the call disconnecting.

Chapter Text

Chapter 46:

"You lost your calm with that woman." Hazel said softly as he placed a cup down in front of Cinder who took some deep breaths. "Unless she is dumb she will stay away and Ruby's friends will keep her away." Hazel continued taking a few steps back as Cinder just took a deep breath rubbing her eyes.

"Best case scenario she inadvertently gave Ruby ecstasy. She drove Ruby to tears. And worst of all, she caused Ruby to say something to me that normally I would have set the person's family on fire as I rip their nails out slowly and once they are begging for death I'd then would start to break every single bone slowly starting from their toes avoiding anything that would kill them quickly... she was lucky you were here." Cinder said as she took a sip from the mug being handed to her. She could see the question about to speak up and say the one sentence that angered Cinder more than anything else. She just had to stop him.

"Hazel, I swear I will risk angering Salem. I know you are going to say 'she doesn't mean it' the fact is she said it. I don't expect a childless person understand how much that thing hurts. Yeah I didn't birth her, but I'm still the person that stays up late worrying about her. I'm the one that was with her any time she broke something. I'm the one that is always there when I can be when she has a nightmare." Cinder spat as she could hear a faint knock at the door. "Just tell whoever is at the door I'm in no mood." Cinder seethed out as she could hear the large man walking towards it.

As he opened it, Hazel just sighed gently. "Can I talk to Mom alone?" Ruby's meek voice asked as Hazel quickly looked towards the shocked woman who quickly nodded her head.

Opening the door fully and gestured for the teen to walk in, Hazel just smiled as he walked out of the room. He knew Ruby well enough to know that this was without a doubt going to be her apologising to Cinder. Something that would do the both of them good really. At least with how they tend to get angry and lash out when they fight which would be enough to make many of the people under Cinder wish for death. And would make Ruby far more emotional which would lead to bigger fights if this one wasn't patched up.

Seeing the door closed, Ruby just frowned as she walked up to the front of her mother's desk. "I'm sorry for saying you aren't my Mom." Ruby whispered knowing that to Cinder it was going to sound like a bomb going off. It wouldn't heal the wounds Ruby had caused. But it would certainly start that process.

"I was just mad... and you hid something terrifying that I'm positive happened to me... that you kept secret from me." Ruby whispered as Cinder took a deep breath and gestured her to come over towards her.

Sighing Ruby walked towards her mother before she freaked a little at Cinder just holding her tightly in a hug. "Ruby... I didn't tell you about it for a reason." Cinder said as Ruby pulled back to look at her. "You seemed to have repressed it... which is a kindness. You already have many bad memories that I'd love to be able to take away for you. All dragging them up to question you would be me dragging those memories up. I don't like seeing you in pain. In any type of pain. And I especially hate it when someone is dumb enough to cause you pain." Cinder said as she pulled Ruby to sit on her lap like she had always done when she had been feeling pain and just wanted to be comforted by Cinder.

"But you killed someone... and there is no proof that he..." Ruby said as Cinder just chuckled softly and held her close.

"Ruby. Remember what I told you when you were nine and demanded to know what I did because I certainly wasn't an investor? Don't ask something you don't really want the answer to. And that includes what I'd do to anyone that harms you. Because I know how far I'd go... do you really think you can handle that knowledge?" Cinder cautioned as Ruby just took a deep breath as she just hugged her mother.

"No. And I'm sorry Mom." Ruby said as Cinder just sighed at the feeling of her heart seemingly hurting at Ruby's apology. It wasn't that she didn't feel like she needed one, but something about when Ruby always apologised to her that just made it feel so much worse. Even when Ruby was in the wrong.

"I know you didn't mean it Ruby. But I'd also be lying if I said that it didn't hurt me." Cinder said as Ruby just started to separate herself from her. It was as if this had been something that Ruby had felt as well. It actually made Cinder a little glad that Ruby understood the pain that she had caused if just because it would make Ruby ascension to the head of Grimm an impossibility which was what she always wanted.

Seeing Ruby frown, Cinder just had to sigh gently at her. "I do forgive you for that Ruby. I don't forgive the lying that you didn't take any ecstasy." Cinder said as Ruby just stared into her eyes.

"She didn't give me any. She had some and I took it when her back was turned." Ruby said as Cinder just sighed gently at her. "I'm not some drug addict Mom. It just made me feel better... and Grandma Salem already yelled at me for it." Ruby said as Cinder just began to rub her face out of irritation.

"Ruby, no matter how sure you are those pills are safe, they never are. Each one you run the risk of killing yourself."

"I don't care about that Mom."

"But I do. I've told you Ruby, I don't care about my life, or the life of your friends. But I do care about yours. And if I lost everything, I would still sleep easy as long as you are alive and doing what you want." Cinder countered in a raised tone knowing that this could very easily spawn into another fight, but that didn't matter to her. As long as Ruby understood that.

"Mom, I'm not going to argue this. You can't baby me all the time." Ruby bit as Cinder just stared at her. "I know that look. Mom. This isn't another time you need to invite over my friend and their family. Bad enough you've already made Yang crap bricks around me and pretend I'm a delicate flower. That is why I like Neon."

"That is the way it should be. And it is just to make sure that you aren't going to do something like ecstasy again Ruby. I'd seriously would rather you do magic mushrooms. At least that you aren't getting anywhere near death and can give you a decent high but most importantly I can at least make sure that is safe." Cinder stated as he could see Ruby just sulking. Something that was actually a little relieving to her. It had meant that Ruby understood that there was no budging.

"We can talk about the rest in the morning Ruby. I can see that you are tired. As am I. But I need to get some stuff done for your grandmother." Cinder spoke as Ruby just nodded her head. "I'll make you some hot milk. That always helped you." Cinder said standing up as Ruby just nodded her head.

"Thank you Mom. It makes me feel a lot better that you've forgiven me that much."

"I can never stay mad at you Ruby. If anything I should be thanking you for accepting the olive branch." Cinder said as Ruby quickly dove in to hug her tightly. Wincing a little from the gesture, Cinder just smiled as she quickly returned the hug.

"I don't deserve such a nice Mom like you." Ruby said as Cinder just felt her heart skip a beat at that comment from how to her she knew that Ruby shouldn't feel anything of the sort.

"I don't deserve such a nice daughter like you Ruby. So I guess it evens out."

"Are... are... you sure your fine?" Saphron asked as Reese began to crack her neck. "Seriously how often have you dealt with this woman that you are fine with that."

"Being buried alive? This would be a first. Frankly as far as things go... I think I got off light. Because I assure you Ruby's grandmother is a lot lot worse." Reese spoke as she felt Pyrrha quickly dragged her into a hug. "Relax. They won't kill me. At least I don't think so. They've all been wanting to for a long time. Pretty sure they keep me alive because Ruru still likes being around me and I'm positive Salem likes me in her own way because I can actually talk back to her children and I make Ruru happy."

Hearing that the trioin the room just glanced towards her with deep concern on their features. "Look, good news is, they don't plan to harm Jaune any more. And I want this to be clear... I did this to look after Ruby because she has the nasty habit of leaping before she looks when it is less emotionally charged. And for Saphron. Not because I like or even come close to trust your brother."

"You were buried alive. How the hell do you keep acting like that is normal?" Yang asked as Reese just chuckled as she could see Pyrrha quickly looking over her.

"It was only like a foot of dirt and I was in something to protect me. You forget Ashes really isn't all that terrifying once you've met and dealt with Salem... even a handful of times."

"I've only met her once and I can say that anymore and I would end up crapping my pants at the thought of someone else being that bad. And you should have seen how Ruby has them wrapped around her finger." Yang said as she could see Saphron just looking a bit lost.

"Oh trust me. She doesn't have as much of a firm grasp on them. They are nothing but actors around her. All except Ashes. And maybe Salem. Regardless all would gladly keep Ruby in the dark about everything they do."

Before anyone could respond, Yang groaned at the sound of her phone going off. Sliding it out of her pocket, Yang just frowned at the name that one the screen before sliding the her finger across ignoring the call.

"Summer?" Saphron asked as if it wasn't an obvious thing to her.

"Only woman that makes me wish murder was temporarily legal. Just as long as I was nearby with a knife. Or a tire iron. Or if I was being particularly hands on and we were near a river." Yang mumbled as she could see Saphron just frowning as if she was going to speak up. "If my dad can forgive one murderer, he can forgive someone who kills someone else who rightfully deserves to die." Yang continued as she took a deep breath as she could see her phone lighting up again.

Groaning at the name, Yang quickly swiped for the ignore function. "And she normally knows I don't ever intend to answer the phone when it is her number." Yang spat as Reese just frowned a little at her.

"It might have something to do with Tai. I get that you don't have a great relationship with her. But if something happened to Tai you seem like you'd panic as would she and she would want you to know." Reese said as Yang just took a deep breath.

"My uncle has all next of kin rights and I'm the secondary point of call. And he knows I refuse any and all calls from Summer."

"I assume that is your mother's name?" Pyrrha spoke as Yang just looked at her. "I only ask, because I don't imagine I could ever refuse a call from my own mother."

"It is step mother, and she is literally killed my baby sister. And instead of telling my father instantly when she regained some of her senses waited nine days as winter set in. Meaning there was no chance to save her. And worst of all... while we were panicking about her she was out getting high. So respect and care for Summer isn't something I can bring myself to do." Yang began as she could see her father's name pop up. "And that is either Summer using my dad's phone or they finally wised up. I'll be back in a few minutes."

"Okay Yang." Saphron said as she looked back towards her brother just sparing a look towards Reese. "Seriously do you mind explaining how you can so casually insult someone who did this to someone? And just a few hours ago buried you alive." Saphron asked as she could see Reese just sighing.

"Because I haven't raped or watched Ruby being raped. And her entire family know I'd kill someone trying it if I was nearby. I actually got into minor legal trouble for cracking a guy in the skull for kissing Ruby aggressively while we were at a pep rally with the all boys school. And that was how Ruby and I started to date officially. You know after Ashes got me out of trouble. With probably a little help from Salem."

"Are you sure that nice woman's mother and family are leading members of Grimm?"

"As the nuns would say, 'as sure as the god of light made big ducks he made little ducks.' I've actually seen the current leader of the White Fang cower to Ruby and play a game of table tennis. Ruby however... she seriously doesn't have a bad bone in her body and that is because Ashes doesn't want Ruby to become a member of Grimm. And she goes to great lengths to make sure Ruby doesn't know." Reese spoke as she stood up and began to crack her body. "Thankfully, Neon and Ruby were brought in though and Salem was nice enough to have Ruby's doctor uncle come and help me get out and give me a quick once over to make sure I'm not in any danger."

"One of her uncles is a doctor? I thought they do background checks for that kind of thing."

"One of our friends who constantly and literally bites me, is the daughter of a cop war hero who dined feet away from the head of Grimm and was married to her left hand man." Reese said as she could see Pyrrha looking confused. "Yeah Neo has a weird life. And Roman, is her left hand man. The one that holds the dagger as he described it. Marcus... or Mercury as I now understand is her right hand. The one that beckons people closer. You can't really trust either. But personally, I'd rather trust Merc... and that is because I know him. I've gotten baked with him repeatedly. And word has is a crier in bed... but he does sleep with Neo. So frankly, it would be a miracle if he didn't."

"The woman who bit you to the point of bleeding? And made out with a mirror... and is truly insane? That woman? Who in their right mind would want to sleep with her?" Pyrrha asked as Reese just chuckled.

"I can think of a few people. Mostly crazy men who just see her as a former gymnast." Reese said with a smile as she could see Yang walking into the room looking paler than when she left. "I know that expression. Your Dad found your naughty magazines didn't he?" Reese asked loudly as Yang just shook her head.

"What? No. Apparently Cinder invited my entire family over for dinner." Yang said softly as she could see Jaune starting to shake his head a bit. "And should we be getting the nurses... or a doctor for that?" Yang said causing Saphron looking towards her brother with a smile. "I'll take that as a yes."

Groaning as softly as she could Ruby started to walk out of her room. A little mad that she was going to be reliant on Emerald to pick her up for college but she knew that there was no other way because Neo would possibly wreck the car. All Ruby could do right now was hope that she could be in a comfortable position as she waits for her friend to come and get her.

Seeing her grandmother standing by the stove, Ruby just felt a smile as she could smell a distinct smell of pancakes cooking. It actually made Ruby feel a little giddy. "Grandma? Where is Mom?" Ruby asked as she could see her grandmother turning around to look at her. "Not that I don't enjoy spending time with you... it is just she promised we could talk last night."

"I had to have her go out and do something for me. But she also told Emerald she would drive you to therapy so I assume she'll be back in time for that." Salem began as she flicked her wrist to flip the disk on the pan. "Did you apologise to her? Or do I need to make some plain pancakes?"

"I assume you are making chocolate chip pancakes then." Ruby said as she could see her grandmother nodded her head. "Yeah I did... and we did have a moment. I think I interrupted a conversation she was having with Hazel." Ruby said softly as she could see one of the fluffy discs being placed onto a plate.

"I'm sure it wasn't anything important. But here, eat up. You have a long day ahead of you." Salem said with a small smile as Ruby just seemed to glow.

"Thank you... I was just going to have some cereal. But this is a lot better."

"Don't mention it Ruby. I'm happy to make sure you are well fed right now."

Chapter Text


Chapter 47:

Hearing the ticking sound of the clock, Ruby could feel the tension in her just increasing as she could see her doctor just smiling at her as she gently tapped the notepad on her lap. It was something that caused her normally all kinds of anger, but after last night, she had no idea how she was meant to talk about this kind of thing.

She knew that Glynda wasn't exactly going to push her, but she also knew that Glynda wouldn't really know. At least not know entirely. She was positive that Cinder would have told some of it even if it was just over a phone call because of how far from the normal it was for Ruby to scream that at her mother. Even if she did apologise a few hours later.

It was made worse by the fact that Ruby also didn't want to waste Glynda's time or even her mother's and even her mother's money. Especially seeing as this was all for her benefit. How was she meant to even look at her mother if she didn't at least take this seriously. The car ride was already tense enough there. Just the silence was something that she hated a little.

"I remembered something awful yesterday... and I took it out on my mother for not telling me about it." Ruby began softly as she looked at her lap. She knew that it was the first words they had exchanged since she had gotten into the room. "I remembered the segment of time that had happened at the party that I blacked out from that caused Mom to send me back to you. Or at least I'm ninety nine percent sure I know what happened. And... I screamed at my friends... I threatened my girlfriend inadvertently... I don't even know if she even wants to still be my girlfriend because I intentionally tried to hurt Mom as deeply as I could before I stormed out while she was in a chair, in a room with my entire family. All because I was trying my hardest to mend a fight between my roommate and Reese."

As Ruby spoke Glynda was taken aback by the comments. She knew that there had to be something extreme to cause Ruby to actually try and cause Cinder pain. But that just caused her to wonder what had happened even more.

"What did your mother do that caused you two to fight?" Glynda asked as she tried to figure out what would be the extent that would fracture their relationship. Unless her guess as to what happened to Ruby that night had been true.

"I met one of the people who I had been having nightmares about where he took part in me being raped by not stopping it and the reason he has been in the hospital is because of my Mom... and while she knew, she never told me." Ruby whispered softly as she just took a deep breath. "That still doesn't excuse the fact I said the thing I know would hurt her the most. I told her to stop worrying about me because she isn't my mother."

"Why did you say that?" Glynda said as she just took a deep breath as she began to just look at Ruby. "I mean besides to just hurt her."

"I don't know why. And that is why it is hurting me a little still. I kind of always knew that that was the one way to hurt her in a way that no one can ever really heal. But I was just so mad at her. She lied to me about me being raped... she lied to me about something that important. And I guess all I wanted to do was to hurt her like she hurt me. Even though I never really want to hurt her or anyone really. But before I really knew what I said I had already stormed out and into my room and if my grandmother hadn't scared the crap out of me for hurting her for just the sake of hurting her... I don't think I would have apologised to her for it. Even though I didn't really mean it." Ruby continued as Glynda started to write something down. "Just... I don't know what it was. Something just set me off. The fact my girlfriend and me were dragged there, the fact I admit I was actually under the influence... me finding out my mother who had promised me that if something bad did happen she would have told me... and something just snapped and I said the one thing I knew would hurt her just as bad if not worse."

"So you think just because she hurt you, you had the right to hurt her back, and not only that you've admitted that if your grandmother hadn't shown you the reality you wouldn't have done the very basic first step? Just so I'm getting the gist of what you are saying... is that what you mean?" The psychiatrist asked as Ruby just pulled her sleeves down and took a deep breath.

"Yes... no... I don't know. I think that is what scares me. I just don't know. I know that it is the single sorest topic for Mom. Even though she never let on... and even though I did apologise just everything has been tense between us since then. And I know she was just trying to do what was best for me... just..." Ruby said softly as she pulled her feet up to the couch and wrapped her arms around them just so she could bury her face into them.

Nodding along gently, Glynda took a deep breath as she tried to figure out how she was going to phrase the next part. "What would you have done if the roles were reversed. If your mother was in a similar situation you found yourself, and you knew without a shadow of a doubt what happened... what would you have done to those men and would you tell your mother?"

"I'd probably do the same. But... I'd probably cave after a few minutes being with her and tell her." Ruby said softly as Glynda just took a deep breath.

"So you think your mother doesn't love you so you just want to hurt her in a precautionary manner." Glynda said as Ruby was taken aback at that comment. Her aghast features seemed to just speak to Glynda. "I'm just parroting back what you mean Ruby. You forget one of the benefits of doing this is that I've gotten to know you really well. I know you are going to claim you know your mother loves you and most of the time trusts you, but what you are saying is you are starting to doubt that love and that if she trusts you at all." Glynda continued as Ruby just frowned as she stared at the ground.

"That does actually sound right..." Ruby whispered softly as Glynda just nodded her head. "You know that and feeling betrayed." Ruby continued as she took a deep breath as she just looked up at the shrink.

"Well, I've got an idea that would at least help mend that trust and thought of love... but you'd need to be honest with your mother. You need to let her know that your thought of her love and trust is shaken. Once she knows that and only then can she start to earn that back and you can start to feel loved by her again."

"But then won't she then feel more hurt?" Ruby whispered as Glynda just took a deep breath as she stared at Ruby's features.

She knew that Ruby was trying her hardest to rationalise not doing it, not from a place of malice, but from a place of just fearing that she could cause her mother more hurt and pain. It was something that was so simple that she knew that she shouldn't fear, but at the same time she did know what it would take to convince Ruby that this was the best time to be honest with her.

"Would you rather her going on the way she is further eroding your trust and feeling less and less loved causing you to lash out more and more at everyone thereby hurting everyone. Or would you rather this small amount of hurt now thereby giving you plenty of time with her where you both can work to get back to that state of blind trust and love? Because there is no way out of this without the both of you hurting more." Glynda said as Ruby just took a deep breath as she stared at the ground where she just took a deep breath and frowned slightly.

"I'd rather if I didn't hurt Mom at all. She already does so much and while I never like some of the things, I do at least understand where she is coming from." Ruby said just taking a deep breath as she started to weigh the pros and cons of doing this. "I suppose I'd much rather hurt her a little in the short term than in the long run."

Nodding her head in understanding, Glynda stood up and placed the notepad down as she walked over towards the door. As she opened it, she could see the woman jump a little as if she wasn't expecting it to open.

"Cinder can you come in for a bit. Ruby and I think you can be of help for her and it is best we patch things up." Glynda said as she could hear Ruby jumping now from the change in what she had expected. A feat that Glynda was a little happy about because she knew that Ruby was just realising she had locked herself into this option. Even if she genuinely believed that it was going to be the best option for the both of them.

"I don't know what I could do." Cinder said as she walked into the room and took the seat next to Ruby as both watched Glynda closing the door and walking back to her chair.

"As you know I can't reveal to you what Ruby has told me in confidence, and I just want you to know that, that same policy extends to you. I will not say what is said inside this room." Glynda started as she could see Cinder glancing towards her before looking towards Ruby. "Now Ruby I think that it is best you tell your mother what you've been telling me. Trust is after all a two way street." Glynda said as Ruby just took a deep breath.

Looking at her mother, Ruby could feel her resolve die but she knew that she had to. She really had to tell her mother if she was just meant to get this feeling in the pit of her stomach. She wasn't even sure how this was meant to work, but she did know that Glynda hadn't been wrong in the past, and she knew that she would gladly admit when she was.

"We were talking about what I screamed at you last night. And why that was were I went to..." Ruby started as she just had to take a deep breath because she knew that this next part was going to be the hardest part she had to get through and would hurt her mother more. "It is because I feel like you don't trust me and that you don't love me and I said it to try and protect myself." Ruby said as she could see Cinder being taken aback.

"Ruby I do love you. You mean literally everything to me." Cinder said knowing that her hurt was coming through more but Ruby just stared into her mother's eyes. "And as for trust, you literally admitted to me that you stole ecstasy and took it before you went to go buy more drugs with your girlfriend from Mercury." Cinder said as Glynda finally knew she had to step in.

"Cinder, if you don't mind, allow me to explain what Ruby means." Glynda said as she could see Cinder snapping towards her and wondering about her. "I admit, at points you shouldn't have blind trust in Ruby. But she isn't doubting the love. She knows you do in fact love her. In fact she was taken aback the second that thought even entered her mind. But this all stems from the how Ruby feels betrayed by you not trusting her and the fact she is an adult."

"She stole drugs, and denied that she even took them to my face. Besides, we talked about this last night and we apologised to each other." Cinder interrupted as she Glynda just stared at her.

"I'm not saying you are wrong, or that Ruby is wrong to feel the way she is. What I am saying is this isn't something that can just be patched over from an apology. And you aren't that far gone to where I'd suggest super basic trust falls. When was the last time you two did something together. And I mean without anyone being nearby."

"We were working on Mom's cars a week or there abouts ago." Ruby said softly as Cinder just nodded.

"That is something your both good at. I mean something that only one of you even have an interest in. It doesn't matter if it is something Cinder is good at and enjoys or Ruby is good at and enjoys. And then the most important thing you two need to swap. It doesn't matter what it is as long as one of you needs to place blind trust in the other to be safe." Glynda said as Ruby and Cinder both looked at each other before looking at Glynda once again.

Ruby was the first to speak, "But we both share just about every interest. The only exception I can think of is my interest in model rockets... but she loves watching them launch which is the dangerous part. And I don't know if Mom does really have any other interests besides cars." Ruby knew that it was going to be something that Glynda would find hard to believe.

"There is bound to be something. You two just need to think about it." Glynda started as she glanced up at the clock. "Sadly though that is all the time. But I do want you both to genuinely try. That exercise works to solve both of the fears and issues Ruby thinks she has. It would build the trust both of you feel like you need, and it would show to both of you, that you both do still love each other." Glynda said standing up as she just smiled at the way Cinder and Ruby both stood up and just walked sullenly towards the door.

"What if we can't think of one?" Ruby asked as she could see Cinder groaning internally at the comment.

"Look up a bunch on the internet with each other and pick one you like that your mother doesn't and do it in reverse. Just don't go over the edge and do something crazy like kamikaze skydiving."

"Okay... thanks Glynda."

Sitting at the table, Ruby just took a deep breath as her and her mother had fallen into the silence. She wasn't sure which one of them should be the one to break it, but all she did know was at least she had to admit that she was feeling better.

"Hey Mom... can you just say something? I'd take almost anything really. You know I love you and I know you love me... just... I can't help but feel betrayed that you wouldn't even tell me about them. I mean I tell you everything." Ruby pleaded as Cinder just stared into her eyes. "Okay... I tell you almost everything. Like I've done ecstasy a lot... and actually enjoy it. That is about it that I haven't told you... the rest is because I actually fear what you would do to people." Ruby continued hoping that her mother was going to be able to at least relax a little bit more.

"I told you my reason as to why I didn't tell you Ruby. I don't care what you think you would do. I know you wouldn't harm anyone." Cinder began as she leaned forward in her chair to just look at Ruby who had seemed like she had at least been relaxing. "And in the spirit of you telling me something... I'll say this much. I talked with your roommate's father and invited them for dinner the weekend next week. And I don't intend to change that."

"Why? I asked you not to. Yang while a square and is so anti drug it is a little funny to me, she is fine. Her parents are fine. I'm not even dating her like I was with Reese last time you invited a friend and her family over for dinner." Ruby complained as Cinder just matched her gaze.

"I'm not taking chances Ruby. Your uncles and grandmother won't be there. And just be glad I didn't kill your girlfriend last night. Like I really really wanted to. And you can thank Hazel for that. Because after you screamed at me, I was very tempted to do it right then and there." Cinder said as Ruby was just taken aback. "I admit, I lost my cool and got emotional when you screamed that at me."

"You should just trust I'm not going to pick anyone bad to date Mom. I'm not a little kid that needs to be protected like that anymore. I know how to spot a bad girlfriend. I mean despite how much you hate Reese, we did have a lot of fun together and time spent together. Something I wouldn't change for the world... despite how much you think she was a bad influence on me... it was actually the other way around."

"I find that hard to believe. You are someone that hates it when someone curses at someone."

"Trust me Mom... you can be a deviant and still have manners."

"No Ruby. You really can't."

Chapter Text


Chapter 48:

Sitting in the library, Ruby took a deep breath as she looked at her phone. She wasn't sure why she had just wanted to hear a response from Neon. She knew that she would probably be in the hospital... but she also just wanted some sort of contact from her.

Hearing a throat clear, Ruby looked up to see the white haired woman just smiling at her. "It has been a long time Ruby. What has you so down? I ask because I was actually expecting to see the annoying blonde woman who makes me want to rip out my hair."

"Hey Weiss. It really has been a long time. Just a lot of family shit right now, and my... once girlfriend... not sure anymore met my entire extended family. And if you are talking about the blonde I think you are, that is my roommate, and she has equally nice words to say about you." Ruby muttered as she slumped into her seat as she just took a deep breath and just gently flicked the page she had been looking at. "Not to mention right now me and my Mom got into a massive screaming match where I screamed at her that she wasn't my mother while said girlfriend at the time was in the room before I stormed out."

"Oh my god." Weiss began as she covered her mouth. "Is Reese alright? I don't know what your mother would do to someone after that. I mean that is the one thing that seems like it would actually tip her over the emotional edge." Weiss continued as she see Ruby just looking at her slightly confused.

That was until realisation dawned onto Ruby. "Yeah she is fine last I knew. Me and her broke up months and months ago. She even has this bombshell of a girlfriend that has legs for days. This was a new girl for me. And I'm still waiting for a message from her... I've sent her like three dozen ones. I'm just glad at the time my Grandmother was with me making me feel like a terrified child... but there has been no contact from her. And I'm worried about her... even if she just broke it off. I'd be happy with that at least." Ruby continued as she just took a deep breath. "And this is starting to make my mind spiral and I'm not on any meds right now. So if you don't mind can we just change the topic? Just because I know if I stay on it, I'm going to go back to scream at my Mom once again and it is just going to be a screaming match all over again."

"Okay... and I doubt it is your roommate is the blonde I'm talking about. This one is super annoying and any time she is here she is sleeping because her roommate is having sex or something and just refers to this as her drunk room." Weiss said as Ruby just started to laugh softly as she closed the book she was reading.

"Yeah that is Yang. And in her defence, when me and Neon were together it got heated and awesome. Only downside is the same one I found with Reese. They just can't choke me properly and at least at the start with Reese just couldn't go as rough as I like." Ruby said with a laugh as she could Weiss looking confused. "Yeah, Yang had the same reaction when she figured out I have a kink and I do enjoy having sex, because whoever said lesbians don't have it is beyond stupid." Ruby said with a chuckle as Weiss just groaned and rubbed her eyes. "That's right, you are pretty prudish."

"I'm not prudish. You are just beyond open with everything." Weiss muttered as she just took a deep breath. "And wait, what kind of things does your roommate say about me? I've been as civil as I can with her. She just keeps making my blood boil whenever I look at her." Weiss continued as Ruby just chuckled softly.

"Sounds like you two just need to hate bang. For all kinds of reasons. Like yeah, you claim you are only curious... but so does Yang. And frankly, it would solve so many of your problems. Just you don't need to go with choke stuff. Just in general bang. That is what you really really need." Ruby said as Weiss groaned as she hit Ruby's shoulder.

"Crap, knowing you, you got turned on didn't you?" Weiss joked as Ruby just shook her head.

"Not really. I like a cuddler. Plus while you probably know more knots, probably have like no hand strength. Nice to see you can still joke. If you believe Yang you could sweep the floor when you walk." Ruby said laughing as she could see Weiss just shaking her head. "Listen you want to go get some coffee? Because I feel like we need to catch up... and I can't exactly look at my roommate right now, for a bunch of reasons partially the reason I screamed at my Mom... and I'm frankly just waiting for my maybe girlfriend to text me." Ruby asked as Weiss just eyed her up carefully. "Weiss, seriously. You aren't my type. I wasn't joking there. I like a woman who can cuddle and be specifically a big spoon. You seem like you'd want to be the little spoon and I can't be the big spoon. Although if you were like nothing but a big spoon, I'd give you a chance... also if I wasn't maybe possibly dating someone." Ruby continued as Weiss just took a deep breath.

"Yeah sure. I have some late studying I need to do and it does feel like it has been a while. I figured I wouldn't get to see you again until that stupid party my Father is throwing soon. Which I'm sure your mother already got the invite."

"Maybe. I don't know. Our last conversation was about us trying to figure out some sort of thing we could bond together over that isn't us working on her cars. Again lots of heated emotional things happened. And the thought of parties and commitments isn't something that really entered her mind." Ruby said as Weiss just smiled faintly at her.

"Well something really bad must have happened if it caused that fight." Weiss said softly as she just took a deep breath. "Do you know a good place for coffee? I haven't had any decent coffee for a while."

"I know one... and I just feel like bringing you there would be like the worst possible thing. Mostly because it is ran by Ghira Belladonna... you know, the original leader of the White Fang... your father being and I mean no offence to you, but your dad is a massive dick and frankly, I'm just glad my uncle Tyrian hasn't ran into him because I honestly don't know if he wouldn't risk it to stab your father and become a hero to literally every Faunus ever." As Ruby spoke she could see Weiss just looking at Ruby lazily. "And I know, you aren't your father. But last time I brought someone there who was a Faunus was literally seconds away from creating a blood bath with Kali thankfully helping me." Ruby continued as Weiss just took a deep breath.

As she stood up, Weiss just smiled at Ruby who seemed to be worried. "It's fine Ruby. You can go in and order if they do get mad at me but my money is as good there, as anywhere. But I wish you wouldn't have told me that because now I'm going to be caught in a terrible situation of do I tip super large to show I care or would that insult them and instead should I just tip an appropriate amount but wouldn't that come across as me being cheap." Weiss said as Ruby just smiled at her shaking her head.

"Just calm down... Ghira and Kali from me talking to them seem pretty calm and chill. Their daughter while super hot and the reason my girlfriend nearly got into a big fight and seems a bit more crazy and on edge, and mostly petty... but she does tend to be partially reasonable." Ruby said with a small chuckle as Weiss just stared at her. "Seriously. It will be fine." Ruby said with a small smile as she just hoped she was telling Weiss the truth.

Placing the book into her bag, Ruby just smiled as she slung her bag over her shoulder and walked with Weiss out of the building. "Hey Weiss... out of curiosity, why did you choose to come here? You always said you hated the party atmosphere of colleges in Vale."

"It gets me far far away from my Father and Whitley already is heading to Mistral... and Win went to Atlas... and the course in Vacuo I wanted to do was just god awful. So I was left with Vale." Weiss said happily as Ruby just nodded her head in understanding. "I take it you are still going to do something with rockets..."

"Oh yeah. They are awesome and I don't care what you say." Ruby said in defiance that just caused Weiss to chuckle.

"I realised why I missed talking to you... and also why I didn't reach out that much to find you. Because without a doubt it is fun to be with you it is also something I can't do for extended periods of time because I fear you'll convince me somehow to set fires and launching things into sub orbit. Thankfully Neo isn't here... she was really crazy." Weiss said as Ruby just started to chuckle. "Please tell me she isn't here... like I haven't seen any news of someone waking up in the endangered animals section of the zoo covered in ice cream..."

Nodding her head, Ruby just took a deep breath as she started to bound down the stairs with Weiss. "That nearly happened once with Neo when me and her were in highschool. Which trust me, you should be glad we weren't at the same highschool. You would have had some real nightmares. But yeah she is here. So is Emerald though so she isn't that bad." Ruby spoke as she just sighed a little as Weiss started to walk with her towards the cafe. "Hell now that I think about it, I'm going to need to kind of apologise to Emerald for yesterday... but I'm not wrong in what I said. Just I was pretty rude with what I said." Ruby continued as Weiss just looked at her slightly confused. "Again... lots of shit happened yesterday. Which while I don't regret anything I said, I do regret how I said it."

"That is the difference between you and I. If I said something that I meant, I wouldn't care how I said it. Especially if it was towards my family. But I suppose your relationship with your mother is vastly better than mine and both of my parents. As for you and Emerald... I couldn't really say what your relationship with her is like. You've only ever said she is a friend."

"That is because we've been friends since we were in diapers. But it has gotten to the point where she looks after me and Neo so much it is closer to you and Win for me and Emerald." Ruby said softly as she could see Weiss simply nodding her head as she understood. "So yeah, I really really need to apologise to her, but in my defence she constantly lies to me when she thinks I can't handle the truth or she gets forced to do it by my Mom which again was one of many topics... I can't stress how much I had to have hurt them, but I spoke the truth that anyone who has knowledge of how much it takes to push me over the edge understands."

"Yeah, that sounds about right. I know from previous experiences not even my Dad's snide comments about lesbians didn't set you off but it looked like your uncle Watts and Cinder were minutes away from killing someone if you weren't catching them. But I'm pretty sure that is just their resting face."

Chuckling a little as Ruby reached towards the traffic lights and pressed the button. "I've learned Weiss that with my family there is nothing they won't do and it really is best for everyone if no one looks too far into that. I've seen my normally stoney face uncle Hazel who has like some genetic disease where he can't feel anything physically being hit by shrapnel from me accidentally making a fiberglass pipe bomb because I was in danger and he could shield me. So frankly where the line is to what they'd do for me or someone was trying to offend me, is blurry at best." Ruby muttered as they walked towards the cafe that Ruby looked into and just breathed a sigh of relief at Ghira and Kali talking about something and Blake not being there. "And Weiss, seriously, can you just relax about them? They are pretty cool."

As Ruby spoke she opened the door as she could see Kali's ear flicking as her and Ghira quickly looked towards them. The slight glare being present in their eyes before they relaxed and took some deep breaths.

"If you would like me to leave I will. I just want to say that I'm far from my Father and frankly I'd gladly see him burn. But I do sympathise with the plight of Faunus, and have tried to memorise the name of every Faunus death in the various industries they are employed at by my family." Weiss said softly just hoping that it would be enough to show them that she really meant no harm to them.

Seeing Kali taking some deep breaths, Ghira just took one himself before he spoke. "No. It is fine. We'd be no better than humans that mean us harm if we asked that of you. And no one person should need to remember all those deaths. Especially not a child of the person who has caused them." Ghira said as he took a deep breath as Ruby walked towards the counter. "You seem to keep very strange company. First Cinder Fall, now Weiss Schnee." Ghira said towards Ruby who had been staring at the glass container.

"My Mom isn't that bad. And I actually just ran into Weiss today. But we've been friends for a long while." Ruby said as she could before she righted herself. "And in your defence, her dad is a massive douche and Weiss would be one of the first people to admit that." Ruby said with a smile as she walked up towards Kali. "How is Blake?"

"She is doing fine. And I'm sorry. Just... there is a lot of bad feelings attached to her father." Kali said softly as she just took a deep breath. "Anyways how is your girlfriend?" Kali asked to be polite as Ruby just took a deep breath.

"There was some bad stuff that went on and I'm waiting to hear back from her. One of the reasons I even ran into Weiss... at least partially." Ruby began as she just shook her head a little. "Anyways let's just change the topic. Can I have a hot chocolate and half a dozen chocolate chip cookies? I'll let Weiss order what she wants. She is more than able to pay for her own, and I'm not in the mood to share the cookies, I just want comfort food." Ruby asked as she could see Kali frowning a little. "Again, bunch of stuff... that I'm not really in the mood to talk about. Just want to eat cookies, catch up with Weiss and pray Neon texts me anything." Ruby said as Kali just sighed gently.

It was one that Ruby did know well enough from dealing with many people who knew that the person wanted to say something about what Ruby was going to do but also didn't want to tell her anything. Something that Ruby actually didn't want right now. She didn't want the normal speech about how it is unhealthy. She just wanted to do it so she could feel better in the short term. Something that she wouldn't regret in the long run unless for whatever reason the cookies out of nowhere had one of the things she was allergic to.

Handing a note over to Kali, Ruby just walked over towards a table and just took a seat as Weiss had started to scan the items on display. One that Ruby knew Weiss was going to see something she was interested in given what she normally enjoyed eating, and her taste in coffees always making her sweettooth come out.

"Don't worry Ruby. Neon is going to be fine... she isn't dead. That was at least the one thing Mom said in the last twentyfour hours that you know to be true." Ruby muttered gently as she could see Weiss walking up to the counter to pay for her selection as Ruby simply slid her phone out to look at the screen and lack of a message. "That doesn't explain why she isn't responding at all though... Not even an 'I'm alive' text." Ruby mumbled sullenly as she could see Weiss walking over to take a seat across from her.

"Still nothing? I mean how long have you two been going out?" Weiss asked as Ruby just frowned dropping her phone onto the table.

"The length doesn't matter Weiss. What matters is I abandoned her when I flung shit at the fan and I just want to know if she is okay... I wouldn't even care if we broke up because I kind of deserve it... as long as I know she is okay." Ruby mumbled as Weiss just frowned and looked at her. "I'm nothing if not brutally honest with myself Weiss. But here is the stuff... so let's just put a pin in this." Ruby said as Kali just smiled as she placed the items down.

"I'm sure she'll contact you. You don't get into a fight like that without actually really caring for someone." Kali said softly as she just looked at Ruby.

"Sorry... forgot about the hearing..." Ruby mumbled as she took a deep breath. "But I hope so..."

Chapter Text

Chapter 49:

Taking a deep breath, Ruby could feel her brow furrowing as she just dropped her phone onto the table. She knew that she was probably overreacting, but that wasn't going to mean she wasn't actually very angry and hurt.

"What happened?" Weiss asked as Ruby just began to grumble as she took a deep breath to calm herself.

"A text!?" Ruby yelled as she resisted the urge to throw her phone hard against the nearest wall. "She broke up with me through a fucking text!" Ruby hissed just as she took a deep breath knowing that she was going to be minutes away from getting kicked out of the library.

Not that it really was going to matter to Ruby. She just wanted to scream and possibly go storming down to Neon's room and pound on her door until she got an answer.

"I thought you were going to be fine if she broke up with you?" Weiss asked as Ruby just took a deep breath and began to rub her face.

"I meant face to face, or a call if she couldn't be woman enough to see me. She broke up with me through a fucking text!" Ruby screamed again as she could see the librarian walking over to shush her. "Sorry..." Ruby said as she just took another deep breath to just calm her nerves.

A remedy which seemed to fail as she could see Yang walking into the library which meant that she was most likely going to lose Weiss' support. No matter how flimsy it was. It was at least better than her going to try and apologise to Emerald and looking for support there.

"This day is just destroying what little mental healthy I have." Ruby said softly as she began to rub her temples as she could see Weiss looking unsure what she meant until she felt a hand clap against her back.

"WHO THE FUCK DARES!?" Weiss screamed as she turned her head to see the snickering blonde taking a seat next to her. "I should have you thrown in jail for assault."

"It was a clap on the back princess. And Ruby... how you been? You just stormed out on me yesterday in the hospital... and Emerald said you looked really messed up yesterday and I hadn't seen you at all today. Don't tell me you are hitting on princess. I don't think she swings that way, and if I'm not a cuddler, I refuse to believe that she is." Yang said as Ruby just groaned and rubbed her eyes.

"I'm far more of a cuddler than you are you brute. And Ruby and I've been friends for a long time. So why are you here? You aren't going to get interrupted and can sleep in your own room." Weiss hissed as Ruby just groaned once more as she took a deep breath and looked up.

"Both of you need to fuck." Ruby said as she looked towards Yang. "And I've had the worst twenty four hours culminating in Neon breaking up with me over a fucking text, and starting with that... I can't even finish that thought because the Nuns taught me better than to speak ill of the infirm... and last night ended with me getting into a screaming match with my Mom and grandmother and actually hurting my Mom and then therapy was going to shit and then some more shit... just seriously... a text. Not even a 'we had fun' type of text literally all it says is..." Ruby began as she picked her phone back up knowing that she was gambling if she had enough strength mentally to just put it down afterwards. "It instead says 'Were through. I'm in my room fine. This is goodbye. By the time you read this I'll have your number blocked.' and now this librarian is getting up in my business because I understandably am very pissed." Ruby said as she just took a deep breath as she dropped her phone slightly more aggressively onto the table.

"That bitch." Yang said as Ruby gestured towards her as Weiss just nodded her head in acceptance. "Like... did she seriously block your number?"

"I'm not picking up my phone to check, because the only decent way would be to call her and I'd probably toss my phone and probably break it. Which will lead to so many more headaches I don't need to have today." Ruby said as she just groaned a little internally at Yang just looking a little offended for her.

"Want to go over to her room to just swing at her a few times? Because I can't think of a worse way to break up with someone. Like at least have the decency to say it over a call." Yang said defeated as Ruby just happily accepted that comment as she took a deep breath and began to rub her eyes once more.

"I do... but I don't. I'd literally just get into another screaming match and I don't want two in as many days. I'm at the point where I just want her to have a happy and full life. And to get bent a little bit." Ruby said as she started to slide down the seat. "It is at the point where if I went to her place the only reason would be to pretend like me and you are dating. But that is just a bit mean." Ruby mumbled as Yang just chuckled a little.

"We totally could. Mostly because it would stick it to her from the constant mocking me... calling me fat. Although I thought I wasn't your type." Yang said with a smile as Weiss looked towards her and began to look at her.

"You are anything but fat. Pretty muscular. Seem like you would provide ample stimulation." Weiss said as Ruby just chuckled a little dryly.

"Again you two should just fuck and get it over with. And with my day has been going I'd gladly join in. But you both aren't my type... but I need someone to choke me."

"With your mother? Yeah, I don't plan to ever choke you if we did do something. Spanking maybe." Yang said before she shook her head a bit. "And I'm not even sure if I swing the way. Like yeah there is the occasional woman that sways my gaze, and frankly I can't stress this enough, princess is super prudish and your mother is freaking terrifying." Yang continued as Ruby just chuckled at the face of Weiss getting angry.

"Weiss, Yang does have a point. You can be prudish. I mean at least Winter doesn't hide her eyeing people up. And for the record, she is totally my type. Seems like she wouldn't be afraid to choke someone but at the same time like she'd cuddle afterwards and wouldn't stop until she had no choice but to leave. Frankly, the only downside is, she is without a doubt straight." Ruby said as she could see Weiss frowning as Yang had started to snicker. "Don't get high and mighty. Don't think I didn't notice you looking at Weiss." Ruby continued as she could see Yang paling as Weiss started to chuckle.

"I haven't been looking at her. She infuriates me. And I wish you had a brother... or sister so I could make you feel as uncomfortable. As you just made me feel." Weiss said sulking as Ruby just smiled at her and simply stuck her tongue out at her. "God, if I didn't need you so badly at that stupid party, I'd kill you one of these days." Weiss said as Ruby just chuckled a little at her.

"Anyways back onto the topic at hand, what are you going to do about Neon?" Yang said as she could see Ruby just tossing her a glare. "Not focusing on what she did isn't going to make it just disappear. It happened. What matters now is, what you are going to do about it." Yang said as Ruby blew her a single raspberry.

Rolling her eyes at the gesture, Yang just took a deep breath as she spoke up again. "Seriously Ruby. You can't dodge your feelings. If you want to go pound on her door, I'll help. If you want to go and just piss her off, we can do that too. But the point is you need to express your emotions."

"You are almost as bad as my therapist. Who at least is someone that gets paid to tell me crap like that... except she occasionally prescribes me things. Which you can't do and even if you could you wouldn't." Ruby said as she started to stand up. With a smile being etched onto her face. "Right... I should probably make at least an appearance in class at some point today. If you two want to make out go ahead... if you want to fuck, Yang just remember the tie rule... and if you want me to join in, leave a second tie on the doorknob as well." Ruby said as she grabbed her phone and just forced it into her pocket.

"Yeah again, with your mother and how weird your taste is in sex... I'm not going to risk you dying. Seriously who gets off on being choked? Does the threat of death not ward you off of that?" Yang said as Ruby just chuckled a little as she began to stretch.

"Nah, that makes it better. And seriously, don't knock it until you try it. Just don't try it unless someone in the group has experience with it and it helps if someone also knows CPR... like it helps a lot. Far more than you could even imagine. There has been a few times that I'd be dead if Reese didn't know that." Ruby chuckled as she could see Weiss blushing a little. "Oh come on Weiss. you've walked in a few times of Reese choking me at one of those stuffy parties. Besides Yang has walked in on me in much less of a presentable state with a noose around my neck where if I fought the restraints it would just get tighter. Which was just awesome." Ruby continued before she just took a deep breath and shook her head. "Right this isn't getting me to class. Stay safe Yang and remember, newbies always underestimate the importance of aftercare, and don't you dare touch my toys... those would break Weiss in half like a twig."

As Ruby said that and walked off, Yang and Weiss just stared daggers at her. "I swear if I wouldn't wind up in a fifty gallon drum... and if she wasn't rudely dumped, I'd slug her." Yang hissed as she turned towards Weiss. "She is right though. From all I've been told, her collection would probably break you. And I'm not saying that because you are tiny and like fifty pounds wet. I'm saying that because she has these huge ones that I've seen and I'm positive that I'd be broken." Yang said softly as she could see Weiss groaning.

"I can't believe that someone is actually making me want to go find Neo and try and piss her off. At least she would make sense." Weiss said as she stared at Yang. "Besides, Cinder is perfectly fine. Bit overbearing when it comes to Ruby, but is perfectly fine. And speaking from experience she is a lot better of a parent than either of mine. She just needs to take a chill pill when it comes to what Ruby can and will do. Let's just say that she has done a lot of crazy things and dragged me into it. Pretty sure we might have broken a few laws. Did you know she knows how to hotwire and lockpick? I didn't until this nine year old started to critic my family's cars and showed how the engines were inferior. Makes me wonder what she could do if her or people around her were evil." Weiss continued as Yang laughed gently. Not being sure what Weiss did and didn't know and not wanting to ruin that.

"Yeah... given her love and knowledge of those terrifying cars her mother collects, I'm not surprised."

Pounding on the door, Ruby just took a deep breath as she knew that Neon had to answer if she wanted to stop the pounding which had to be ringing in her ears. "Neon! Open the door! I just want to talk!" Ruby screamed for the thousandth time in as many seconds it seemed. "At least have the courage to break up with me to my face!" Ruby screamed as she could hear one the creaky door of the floor opening followed by the sound of solid footfalls leading up the stairs.

Shaking her head to just get her attention back where it mattered, Ruby just balled her hand up again, getting ready to pound on the door again when she noticed the person leaning against the wall. "I wouldn't knock like that Ruby."

"The fuck do you want Merc?" Ruby spat before she just took a deep breath. "She broke up with me through a text and I want to at least hear it from her mouth. So I'm sorry for snapping." Ruby said as she just took a deep breath and was about to bring her hand down when Mercury simply caught her hand.

"I get it Ruby. It sucks. But I can assure you she is alive. I was the one to drop her off under your mother's orders. As for breaking up with you... some people are just cowards." Mercury said softly as Ruby just took a deep breath. "Some women don't want to fight your family and would rather preserve their own lives damning the costs." Mercury continued as he lowered Ruby's hands. "So riddle me this Ruby, wouldn't doing this just be the equivalent of torture? That is if she is doing this because she is a coward."

"I can stop my family. I did it with Reese didn't I?" Ruby asked as she just took a deep breath.

"Reese didn't give you a very deadly drug at any point. She meanwhile confessed to it. Not to mention Reese has actually started to wear down the hate of your entire family except your Mother. So they ended up tolerating her and your relationship." Mercury said as Ruby just started to deflate. "It doesn't matter who wanted it, or even requested it. All that matters is she gave you some." Mercury continued as he gently started to gesture Ruby to come with him. "Come on Ruby, let's go for some ice cream. That tends to calm you down. And frankly I just want to irk Neo a bit. She is always very kinky when she is mad and I'm in the mood for that. Just hope she isn't near a knife. I can't handle the idea of going to the hospital to have my body stitched shut." Mercury said as Ruby just took a deep breath and began to look up towards him.

"The fuck is wrong with me?" Ruby whispered as Mercury just took a deep breath and wrapped the woman in a hug.

"Nothing is wrong with you Ruby. One day you'll find the perfect woman for you. No matter how much said woman angers your family. Just it isn't Reese it seems, and it certainly isn't Neon." Mercury said in a soft tone as he began to just rub Ruby's back. "And one day I hope that I'm given the honor of being your maid of honour... at least pick me over Emerald. I may be missing some of my legs, but I can still rock a dress better than her." Mercury said as Ruby laughed gently. Something that she hadn't felt like she had let out a genuine one in so long.

"Neo called dibs when we were like four. And I'm pretty sure Emerald can wear a dress better. Besides you'd be wearing a suit." Ruby said softly as she just took a deep breath as she separated from him and began to rub her eyes. "Let's get some ice cream... you're buying first round... I'll buy the one afterwards for saying I wished your Dad hit you last night." Ruby continued as Mercury just chuckled shaking his head.

"I said I wanted to irk Neo a bit. Two rounds of ice cream will end up with her being pissed off." Mercury chuckled out as Ruby just looked at him. "Besides, I know you didn't mean it. I get that emotions were high yesterday. Especially with what had just hit you. So, all is forgiven. But if it will make you feel better, I'll let you buy me a thing of that weird ice cream you and Neo both love. I'll buy two rounds of ice cream." Mercury said as he started to lead them out of the building.

"Is she actually safe? Don't tell me what Mom wants you to say, or what you think I want you to say. Just tell me the truth." Ruby asked as Mercury held the door open.

"She is worse for wear, but she is breathing and is patched up. Given a few weeks she'll be fine again. Just with some minor paranoia. The best way to get back at her for dumping you through text I'd say is to just move on. Find another girl... maybe a bit less crazy. I'd say Neo but you constantly scream about wanting a cuddler and she is far from that. Maybe Em..." Mercury said as he slid his keys out of his pocket.

"She is like a sister to me... and Neo oddly enough has gotten more on the Reese idea. But I can't think of any other girl who is even remotely interested in me that the feeling is mutual. I'm not like you or Neo who don't seem to care about that." Ruby mumbled as Mercury opened the door for her to get in.

"Trust me Ruby, that is a major benefit. And I'm sure you'll find someone. There is plenty of fish in the sea after all."

"I'm no marine biologist... but finding that fish is going to be hard."

Chapter Text


Chapter 50:

"What are the chances you know about this guy that got attacked and is in a medical coma right now?" Ruby asked as she dug the spoon into the bowl as she could see her friend gently rubbing his thigh in what Ruby just knew was probably some sort of gesture from him to ease the tension in his leg.

"I've had to bring a lot of people to the hospital under your mother's orders. Frankly almost all since I could drive. You'll need to be a lot more specific if you want any sort of information from me Ruby. I mean just last night I also dropped off a certain cat Faunus at the hospital to have a finger splinted." Mercury said as he as he shrugged his shoulders and took a bite from the waffle cone he was glad that Ruby had talked him into and far away from the wafer. It tasted so much better.

"That blond guy... I don't remember his name... and I don't think Yang even told me. He is the guy that caused a lot of the screaming and my emotions to go rightfully wild. At least according to grandma Salem and my therapist." Ruby muttered softly as she could see the man's face contort a little as if he was trying to put a face to the vague description that Ruby had given him. "The guy who stood by when I was being raped..." Ruby whispered the last part as Mercury nodded his head as if he was happy with the thought.

"Yeah, I know him. Well... I at least know of him. Marcus handled him to my knowledge. I can get someone to check on him... why? What do you intend to do with the information I'd be able to get? I doubt you have it in you to get even by any means... but I don't think your mother would be happy if I took that chance and you wound up killing the man." Mercury said in a soft tone as he could see that Ruby just started to look into her bowl. "I ask Ruby, because out of all the friends I have, including the fake ones... you are the only one who deserves to have a guilt free conscience. I'm not saying that because of Cinder, I'm saying that because I honestly believe it. I've done many messed up things, as has Emerald and Neo. Hell I doubt even Reese is even clean in that regard. Not to the same degree as me, Em and Neo sure. That is a given. But she probably has done plenty of terrible things."

"Anything she has done chances are I have as well. You forget how much we did together when we dated. Including several cases of hot-wiring vehicles, joyriding and even countless amounts of destruction of private property." Ruby mumbled as Mercury just chuckled at her.

"Those are near enough victimless Ruby. And I can assure you, Reese has done some messed up things and never told you. And probably still does. But that is neither here nor there. None of this is really answering my question." Mercury said in a soft tone as Ruby just frowned gently as she reached for the spoon.

"I don't want to think that Reese could do something bad enough to warrant a guilty conscience in your eyes. But I don't actually mean him harm. I just want to at least reach out to the one sister that was there with him. She seemed really messed up and seemed to be the only one of his family that has actually decided to be there for him. At least for now." Ruby whispered softly as she picked up what remained of the ice cream and slipped it into her mouth as she just started to take some deep breaths.

Smiling gently at Ruby, Mercury spoke up. "That is why you don't deserve any form of a guilty conscience. You genuinely feel bad about things even if you are one of the victims in the chain. Most people wouldn't care and would just be out for blood. But you actually want to help them." Mercury explained his reasoning as he just took a deep breath. "I'll get someone to check up on him and I'll message you. But you need to promise me you'll cheer up, and even if you don't get back on the dating horse, you'll still try to find someone. I mean that cat Faunus sitting in the back corner there that she thinks I haven't noticed has been looking at you."

As Mercury spoke, Ruby quickly began to look around to just try and find the person he was referring to as if it was in some vain hope that it would be the one that Ruby had wanted to talk to. "It isn't Neon… although she does look familiar to me. Might be a Fang member. Neo would be able to tell you which one. She deals with them more often. At least out of all of your friends. I haven't really dealt with them besides Adam." Mercury continued as he simply leaned forward in his seat to slip what Ruby just knew was going to be a gun out of the waistband of his jeans. "And if she actually does mean you some ill will, then I can assure you that she'd quickly regret it and she seems to know that. At least with the way her ears have been flicking." Mercury continued as he simply and quietly as he could cocked the gun knowing that to a Faunus it would be loud in the quiet room, but too soft for Ruby to hear it.

"To you and Mom every Faunus ever looks like they are part of the White Fang. I'll have you know I talked to Ghira Belladonna today and even got advice given to me by Kali. It was a bit awkward but I don't want to explain why right now."

Snapping his fingers, Mercury just took a deep breath. "That is who it is. Blake Belladonna. And I'll have you know she was for the longest time a member of the Fang. And not just under her father. She was one under Sienna, but left cleanly just a few years ago." Mercury said as he spun around a little. "You can stop hiding like a schoolgirl and come over here like you've been wanting to since the moment you saw us sit down. You're not the stealthiest Faunus I've ever met. Don't feel insulted." Mercury said as he replaced the hammer before he slipped it into his waistband once again.

Looking back towards Ruby, Mercury just had to smile as he could see her blushing. "I think she even met your mother a few times while you, Em and Neo were all at highschool. She is still a lot less annoying than Adam. He was always about starting a war he never would have one and on several occasions Sienna even got your mother to agree that if something happened to her that we'd quickly kill Adam in as gruesome a manner as possible. Did it in front of him too. Probably the only thing keeping him from taking power by force." Mercury said as he could see the raven haired woman starting to slide out of the booth.

"How does everyone but me seem to know the inner workings of the White Fang? And Adam as far as I'm concerned isn't the worst person. I still prefer him over the twins and Corsac and Fennec. At least he never treated me like I was a bother. But he was the creepiest. So I guess you've just got to accept the good and the bad." Ruby mumbled as she could see Blake standing at the table just glaring at Mercury. Smiling up at her, Ruby was a little unsure of why she was like she had to defend Ruby. "Blake, meet Mercury. He is an old friend."

"He also has blood on his hands." Blake said as Mercury just chuckled and leaned back as Ruby just chuckled dryly.

"I kind of sort of already know that... but again, he is an old friend. And has never meant me specifically harm." Ruby spoke up as Mercury just started to laugh gently shaking his head.

Standing up, Mercury just took a deep breath as he brushed his pants gently. "I need to go make some calls Ruby. Order up the next round and don't forget you need to buy Neo that pint of... made up word. And props on the waffle cone. That is so much better." Mercury said with a smile as he walked past the worried woman. Just so he could at least be happy that Ruby wasn't going to be harmed. It was clear to her what would happen if she did try anything.

Seeing Mercury walk out of the building, Ruby just smiled as she gestured for Blake to sit down. "You don't seem like you are the type of person to be in a gang or terrorist group." Blake said as she took the seat offered. "Also surprised that bitch isn't here."

"Neon and I broke up... or more precisely, she broke up with me... through text. And I'm not in a gang or a terrorist group. My Mom is... and so is my grandmother... even my uncles... but they all refuse to let me in. They want me to be just an engineer like I kind of always wanted to be. But I do know Sienna on a personal level. Even played a few board games with her. She is super bad at go-fish. Pretty good at blackjack but I admit I kind of cheat because I counted the cards. In my defence though we were gambling cookies." Ruby said as she could see Blake relaxing a little. "I'm honest here... I really am not involved with that part. And frankly I don't even know the gang my family has ran and it has been made clear to me so many times that if I get told those that tell me will end up dead with their entire family. So long shot of me ever finding out... and I honestly don't want to know." Ruby continued as she gestured for the waiter behind the counter. "One more of the exact same order. You want anything Blake?"

"No thanks."

Seeing Blake's bow flexing a little, Ruby just had to smile a little. "Why do you cover your ears if you don't mind me asking? I imagine your ears are pretty cute. But I don't know many Faunus whose trait is more ears. Like Sienna is mostly cute. Just the fact she screws with really nice and rare cars it makes her seem a lot uglier to me." Ruby said in a soft tone as she knew that Blake would have heard as she could see her just sliding down a little in her seat.

"I do mind a little. Just humans largely aren't all that good with my kind of people. It is a personal thing. As is with almost every person. I mean do you want to explain the faint bruises around your neck?" Blake asked as Ruby just smiled a little at her.

"I like being choked in bed. Even though the last two girlfriends I've had can't really do it the way I like it. Like my first one did end up developing enough strength to do it, just it took a long while. And Neon instead used rope which was a nice addition in my opinion. I really liked that. Could have done less complaining about how it might have been too tight." Ruby said with a smile as she could see Blake being taken aback by the comment. "Yeah... I've always had a pretty open relationship with talking about sex... including with my mother and to a lesser extent my grandmother. And I've learned that once you don't get embarrassed by that nothing is going to make you embarrassed about sex."

"But talking about choke sex?"

"I've explained to my mother about the ins and outs of lesbian sex and had her buy me a fair number of sex toys... choke sex is nothing. She just wants me to be safe. And for the record, it is more than just choking. I also don't mind wax, humiliation just normal eating out... frankly anything as long as it doesn't involve a guy in any way and I get to cuddle afterwards. Just choking is my favourite." Ruby said as Blake just started to laugh gently. "Yeah most people have that reaction. It is as my mother always tells me. You can ask any question and you'll get the truth... but you need to ask yourself first, do you really want the truth."

"Pretty sure I'd die if my parents asked me questions like that. I still get embarrassed when they want me to explain some smut they found online to them, and only because they know I happen to read a fair bit of it." Blake laughed softly as Ruby just smiled at her. "But... again, my ears being hidden is purely because humans in the past have been known to pull and twist them. And once or twice attempted to put cattle tags on them. Thankfully I was able to get free." Blake said softly as Ruby just smiled at her.

Smiling as she accepted the bowl, Ruby just looked at Blake as she grabbed the cone carefully as the man started to walk off. "That sucks. Like a lot. Makes me hope my uncle didn't suffer much before my grandmother adopted him. But he does also have a habit of causing a lot of issues just because he wants to constantly just cause issues... just so he could have a laugh at people's expense. Well people besides me. My family is weirdly overprotective of me." Ruby said with a small tone as she could see Blake's bow just bending backwards as Ruby looked over to see Mercury walking into the establishment.

"He is awake right now Ruby. And your mother wants me to get going on some collections I need to make. Do you mind walking back to your dorm?" Mercury asked as he took a bite of the mounded on ball of ice cream.

"No. I'll bring Neo back the pint and tell her it is from you." Ruby said as the silver haired man just nodded his head as he walked over towards the counter to quickly pay before he quickly left the building. As he walked out, Ruby just smiled faintly as she looked towards Blake who had a relieved expression on her face.

"You have weird friends." Blake said as Ruby just started to laugh as she dropped the spoon into her bowl.

"Your dad said the exact same thing to me today. Except I wasn't with Mercury at the time." Ruby began as Blake started to shake her head.

"Weiss Schnee... my parents told me and then told me to avoid the cafe for a few hours because they know I'm very emotional and tend to fly off the handle with minor things... like with your ex. And that a Schnee is like the one thing most Faunus are very much so against that I would have been considered a hero by many if I had my way."

Sighing gently as she scooped up more of the ice cream before resting it on the mound. "Weiss isn't like her father... or even brother. But her and her sister are very nice and very against their father. Hell if they had their way they would have him flogged and then turfed over to the Fang." Ruby began as she slipped the food into her mouth and just smiled at the taste that she always enjoyed from this place.

"It is a long complicated issue Ruby. One that I still would gladly fight to rectify, but Sienna isn't the leader the Fang needs and neither is Adam. Faunus just think that Sienna is the way to go. In reality they really do need someone like my Father again. Violence got us nowhere but fear and fear isn't the same as respect. No matter how they try and convince you." Blake said as Ruby just nodded her head.

Swallowing the mouthful, Ruby just stared into the amber eyes. "It is an admirable cause. One that I fully support. It is just, you also have to realise it is more than the Schnees. A lot of companies and even governments will gladly forgo decency. Even the nuns when I was in highschool explained that and added that it was a stupid idea becasue we are all created in the God of Light's image and we shouldn't give in to the God of Darkness' desire to see his brother's work being destroyed." Ruby said as she dropped the spoon and groaned. "Brain freeze!" Ruby screamed as she started to rub her head.

Laughing as she covered her mouth, Blake spoke up "Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. That is the best way to fix that besides just waiting in agony."

Tossing caution into the wind, Ruby followed Blake's advice as she felt the figurative screws being tightened more and more. In a matter of seconds she could feel the tension starting to relax as she felt her eyes bulge outwards. "What witchcraft was that? Because it just opened so many possibilities that I've been up until now blind to."

"A brain freeze is caused by the blood vessels in your mouth contracting due to the cold. A penguin Faunus taught me that years and years ago and explained that the best way to counter it is to warm up that part of your mouth." Blake spoke as Ruby took a big bite as if to test the theory. One that came quickly from what Blake could tell from her face contorting in pain once again before drifting back to a more neutral expression.

"Neo's mind is going to flip once I tell her this." Ruby said as Blake just chuckled gently and took a deep breath as if she was wondering if she should say something.

"I know this is going to seem random and sudden but do you want to go on a date with me Ruby?" Blake asked as Ruby just took a deep breath and stared into her eyes. "I don't necessarily lose the chance to ask you out again by playing coy and the long game of us flirting for years but I don't want to take that chance."

"Not that I want to turn you down Blake... just I just broke up with Neon not even two hours ago. Ask again next week. I promise I'm not going to go out with anyone. Just I need time to mourn that relationship." Ruby said gently while on the inside she was beaming with joy. It was at the point that she wasn't even sure how stupid her mind can be that she was saying this. But she knew in her heart of hearts that she owed it to Neon that much.

Pulling her phone out, Blake just smiled as she looked at Ruby. "Be at the cafe next week at this time. Because I doubt we are going to run into each other outside it."

"Sounds like a plan to me Blake."

Chapter Text

Chapter 51:

Grumbling a little as she walked up to the stairs to her own dorm, Ruby jumped a little as she could see Neo bounding down the stairs like she was an excited dog wanting its owner to return from a day of work.

"Not going to lie Ruby... I thought Merc was lying to me when I saw that tie on your door knob. Was already planning to treat the leather for my cat o'nine tails. Because I do not take the thought of someone I sleep with on the side having my favourite food, and favourite flavour with my best friend and I'm not there." Neo said as Ruby just stared at her carefully. "Now gimme gimme gimme." Neo continued not even skipping a beat as Ruby held the plastic bag out to her which she happily snatched and opened it to just stare into it with a growing sense of great joy. One that caused Ruby some joy.

"There is a tie on my dorm room door knob?" Ruby asked as Neo began to deflate. "I have a spoon. Answer my question first and it is yours." Ruby continued as Neo just began to frown as she stared at her with a deflated look.

"Well, tie is a bit of an exaggeration... it looked like a white and blue handkerchief. Kinda seemed stuffy. But there was a lot of banging that I'm positive could be heard across the floor, so I just assumed you and Neon were going at it..." Neo said as Ruby reached towards her bag and produced a metal spoon.

"No. Neon broke up with me. Through freaking text. After I screamed at Mom last night and said she wasn't my mother... and I was high and Neon was in the room with her, and my uncles and Grandmother." Ruby said just taking some joy at the fact it was now Neo's turn to be taken aback.

"So I didn't just hallucinate that? Does explain why I woke up handcuffed to the bed this morning though." Neo began as she just took a deep breath. "And she is alive enough to text you? Damn she got really lucky." Neo said with a small smile as she looked at Ruby and then the bag before she sadly held it towards Ruby. "Here it cheers you up. I'd just like to say don't make it suffer." Neo said as Ruby just chuckled and held her hand up.

"I already had some Neo. That is all yours. I was just going to try and study some but given that Yang is getting some, I shouldn't interrupt that. Especially because chances were she had been getting some with Weiss. And that it is mostly just hate screwing but still." Ruby said taking a deep breath as she could see Neo just smiling brightly. "No Neo. Don't. Just let them." Ruby spoke as she could see the heterochromatic girl frowning a little.

"Fine. Want to come spend some time in my room? It is just me... and I figure that if anyone we know, you are the only person not to be skittish around my collection of whips and paddles. I'm also going to be taking stock of my candles. I really wish I didn't leave this all to the last minute." Neo said as Ruby just groaned.

"One no. I'm trying to avoid Em... I also said and screamed a lot of hateful things at her last night. And you really shouldn't leave it Neo. Candles, sure, but the rest don't." Ruby started as she reached into her pocket and smiled at the keys she felt. Knowing that she still did have one thing she could do that would probably give Yang plenty of time. "And I only stopped by to give you the ice cream, and to get the car. I need to go do some stuff."

Taking a deep breath as she held the items behind her back Neo just began to stare into Ruby's eyes. "Stuff I should be telling your mother about? Or should I go with you? You remember what you promised me when we were children. I'm your maid of honour. No exceptions."

Laughing gently, Ruby just stared into Neo's eyes to show her how serious she was about this topic. "Tell mom if you want. I'm just going to go visit someone in the hospital. Tell her if she wants specifics she should ask Merc. And I'd really don't want you there. I mean full offence when I say this, you have the worst bedside manner ever. So just go and enjoy your ice cream and don't hurt Merc too much." Ruby whispered as she could see Neo just groaning. "I'm not saying don't hurt him. Just don't end up sending him to the hospital from being too rough."

"Ruin the fun why don't you. Go enjoy whatever it is you are doing. And maybe don't call him for a few days after tonight. He is going to be looking worse for the wear."


She didn't know why it was taking her so much to just knock. But it was still something that seemed to catch her. Here she was in front of the door of one of her attackers. One of the people her mother had spared to just send a message to the rest of the world. Which begged many questions.

None of it really seemed to matter to her. She just had to push through the bubbling nausea that had started in the pit of her stomach.

"The door isn't going to vanish..." Ruby heard behind her causing her to jump and spin around to stare into the eyes of the dusky skinned woman holding a small child. "I'm sorry, are you a friend of Jaune? I don't know all of them... I'm just his sister in law." The woman continued to ask as Ruby just looked at the ground.

"It is a very... very... very complicated thing. But long story is I'm not a friend. Of him least."

"Ah... so one of his exes... he is doing much better. He actually woke up last night and that is one of the reasons I'm here. That and to see my wife and let her see our son." The woman continued as Ruby just took a deep breath.

"Again no. It is super complicated. But if your wife is the blonde woman that was there yesterday... chances are with Reese... she already knows why it is complicated which is why I'm even here." Ruby said as she took a deep breath.

"That means you are the girl..." The woman started as she just took a deep breath. "I wouldn't be here if i was in the same situation... frankly if my wife wasn't here I wouldn't be, and certainly wouldn't be with our son."

"For if you forgive those when the sin against you, then the heavenly fathers will also forgive you." Ruby said softly as she took a deep breath. "Sorry... I was taught by Nuns and they drove home that point. Even when people do awful things to you... even by extension... you should still forgive them. Just... there is a lot of conflicting emotions." Ruby continued as she took a deep breath. "It was so much easier when I didn't remember who he was... but go figure my stupid brain has to trudge up one of many terrible memories that I have."

Gently rubbing the child's back, the woman just took a deep breath as she tried to figure out what she should say. "If you want to talk to Saph, I can ask her to come out here. I'll stow away the disgust I have for my brother in law for that long... I was going to have to anyways."

"That doesn't solve my problems... at least not entirely. Forgiveness is something the person needs to know they have. Because if they don't then they enter a bad mind set. And... I'm just trying to will up the courage to actually talk to him. But... there is again a lot of conflicting emotions." Ruby continued as she crossed her arms over her chest. "I wish it was as easy as the nuns always made it seem. Especially with something like this. It just seems like it would be a lot easier and a lot more cathartic if I just hated him. But I also know that wouldn't do me any good and would create a terrible mind set for him that would increase as time goes on. And no one deserves to be given that."

"Again... if anyone has the right for that it is you. So I consider you even wanting to do this is pretty admirable. I don't think I ever could."

"This isn't getting us anywhere." Ruby said as she spun around and quickly delivered a satisfactory knock on the door. If just so she could get away from this conversation. So she could just hopefully get out of this situation. If just for her own sanity.

Hearing the knock resonating, Ruby could just feel herself wanting to vomit as she was left feeling confused as she just wanted to run for the hills but here she was, left feeling nothing but fear. But she knew that it was going to be something that she could overcome. She remembered what her Grandmother always told her, she could achieve anything as long as she just screwed her courage to the sticking place.

She still had no idea what she meant by that besides that she should accomplish what she wanted if she just faced what fear there was. Hell Ruby wasn't even sure if it really was English, or even from the same century. But she was at least a little glad that she could see her teal haired friend opening the door, being shocked at the sight of her.

"Ruru... wasn't expecting you to appear. Like at all..." Reese spoke as she looked behind Ruby and just smiled. "Terra, what's up?" Reese spoke before shaking her head as she looked at Ruby. "You feeling alright. Are you 'hydrated'? Because I was worrying a little." Reese continued as she could see Ruby just taking a deep breath and gently rubbing her arms.

"Yes... and I remembered a lot... screamed at Em and Mom... in front of people. Said some really mean things and am now single... and now I'm just trying to do what the Nuns taught us."

"If you are going to commit a crime, it is best to do it on a Nun and always, always, always wear gloves because if they can't find your fingerprints it is that much harder to press charges on you?" Reese spoke as she stepped out being careful to block the sight from the room.

"No. What they intentionally taught us during religion." Ruby said as she just took a deep breath. "Please tell me that you didn't know by the way." Ruby asked as Reese just looked at her.

"Should know me better Ruru. I can't keep any secrets from you besides what Ashes demands me to keep secret. I didn't know anything but the fact you blacked out. And talked with Tyrian and Watts yesterday after they dug me out because I insulted your Mom and your uncles accidentally yesterday after you stormed out of here. Did you know Watts designed a super compact EKG machine."

"That explains a lot of things." Ruby spoke softly as she just took a deep breath. "But as I said previously this isn't going to really address the reason I'm here. And if I get side tracked too far, we both know what is going to happen Reese. And oddly this seems to be the best looking thing to do on the list of things I need to do to stop this stupid gut churning feeling." Ruby continued as Reese just gently held an arm out to stop her.

"Ruru. You know I can't stop you. Even when we dated I couldn't stop you. But you won't find a woman who will look at you with scorn for not doing this."

"I would though." Ruby said as she gently nudged Reese's hand off of her before she quickly walked into the room. As she walked in, she could see the heart monitor started to pick up as she could see the Saphron and Pyrrha looking towards her. Walking to the end of the bed, Ruby just took a deep breath as she wondered what was causing her to have this kind of strength.

"Pyr... let's go get some coffee. Saph... I suggest you doing the same with Terra. Ruby isn't going to do anything bad. She isn't like that." Reese said as she could see Pyrrha just taking a deep breath. It was clear that she was unsure. "Just trust me."

"Okay Reese..." Pyrrha said softly as she could see Ruby just paling further and further. Not that she could really blame her. She didn't even know if she could confront someone like that. Even if at points she still didn't really trust Ruby being alone with Reese... or even Ruby's family now... but she had to admit that she could see why Reese felt so strongly about Ruby being an admirable person with how she could stand here with her memory of the moment that Jaune had contributed to.

"Saph... come on... I trust Reese. She seems like she really knows this girl." Terra spoke as the blonde woman looked towards her brother before she looked at Ruby. "Saph... come on."

"Well be back soon Jaune." Saphron said as she picked up the small remote and placed it into Jaune's hand. "And if she tries anything... press the help button." Saphron said softly as she started to walk out of the room.

Hearing the door close, Ruby just took a deep breath as she stared into the nearly fused shut blue eye, as the one uninjured one just looked at Ruby with a sense of sorrow in it but still trained specifically on her. As if the second Ruby moved he would be in danger.

It was a new feeling to Ruby. At least to feel this gaze on her of fear. Or at least it was a new feeling because she knew the cause for it this time and it was very clear. It just made her feel like for once someone was rightfully afraid of her.

"I'm sorry for what my Mother did. Especially because at the time I had no idea what had happened. And I still don't have much in the way of memories of that night. But what I do know is... you did try and stop it and even tried to get me help. But that one man forced you. You could have killed me... and instead you walked away." Ruby began as she just took a deep breath. "I don't blame you... or even wish you ill will. I know a lot of people are treating me like I'm someone brave and your worse than the dirt. But in reality... if anything it should be reversed. I didn't remember anything until last night... and you went through torture when you did what anyone would have in your situation."

Seeing the man begin to lower one of his thumbs to press a button to raise the back of the bed upwards. "Do you need some help?" Ruby asked as he gently shook his head.

"How much do you remember?" Jaune asked as he came to a stop as he just winced a little.

"I remembered a lot. From when you and Cardin... or whatever his name lead me out... to being tossed into that ditch and even felt the gun being pointed on me. And you didn't pull the trigger. Which frankly took a lot more strength. Especially because you didn't know if I wouldn't go to the cops... you would have willingly gone to prison. If it came to it. And didn't want to do it at all even before you knew what my Family would do." Ruby continued as she could see the man just taking a deep breath.

"Personally I don't remember much of what your mother did. There was just a lot of pain... but everyone is right. I could have prevented so much pain for the both of us if I just would have stood up to Cardin earlier. I don't care if I would have been forced to quit college." Jaune spoke softly as Ruby just took a deep breath shaking her head as she just took a single step closer. "It would have been a moment of shame instead of this. Where my own sisters and mother don't want anything to do with me."

"They'll change. The one sister I met seems to at least be understanding." Ruby said as she just started to rub her arms. "And it is largely because the idea of someone raping another woman... is just something women fear. No matter how distant they are. Something doubly so if the woman is a lesbian like me. And just the thought that someone wouldn't help..." Ruby said as she just gently smacked her face. "And I can't let myself go down that path. That will just muddy the waters of why I'm here. Namely that i want you to know that i don't blame you. I don't think I could ever really blame you. And you didn't kill me. That is what really matters to me. You gave me more time to spend with my family. That is what everyone ultimately wants. At least if they are honest." Ruby continued as she just sighed gently. "And even if you are in great pain and all kinds of anguish... at least my mother granted you the ability to still have that. And I just hope that eventually you will get through to your family. Family is a lot better to have. And although I don't know my biological family... I do know that they didn't want me. And it did show me how much my Mother does want and care about me."

"I think I'm also proof of that."

Laughing softly, Ruby just took a deep breath. "Yeah... I guess so. And frankly... under different circumstances, or even in a different life... I would have loved to call you a friend. Especially because Yang still does... but I don't think I can call you that now or ever really."


"I hope you do make a full recovery... and that you do forgive my mother and more importantly that you accept my forgiving you."

Chapter Text

Chapter 52:

Sighing gently as she rested her head against the steering wheel, Ruby just took a deep breath as she heard the door opening causing her to quickly look towards who it was and just frowned at the sight of Emerald taking a seat. The simple sight of which was enough to cause Ruby to just sigh. One that carried a lot of weight to the person in the other seat.

"You haven't been trying to avoid me in a long time Ruby. What gives?" Emerald asked as she turned and just stared into Ruby's Eyes.

"Last time I got a few days out of it though. Who told you where to find me?" Ruby asked just hoping to dodge the question as she could see Emerald chuckling and shaking her head.

"No one. I literally was just sitting outside because Neo kicked me out of the room, and I thought you were in your room because of the crap on your door handle. But shocker saw you pull in and just slam your head against the wheel. So I figured I find out why you've been dodging me and faking like you are in your room." Emerald continued as she reached over and took the key from Ruby's grasp. "Because again, it was years ago last time you did this, and I doubt you burnt down my kitchen again while I was in Atlas. Which caused a bunch of crazy shit to happen, namely jacked up my already high insurance because nobody trusts an emancipated sixteen year old." Emerald spoke as Ruby just sighed.

"I'm not faking like I'm in my room. That is Yang and who I assume is Weiss taking my advice to just hate bang." Ruby said as she rested her head on the steering wheel again. "And I said some super hurtful things to you last night."

"What? No you didn't. You just screamed at me and were rightfully angry and confused with everything. Hell I was confused about everything until Merc texted me this morning. Did you really scream at Cinder that she wasn't your mother and your girlfriend is alive?" Emerald asked as Ruby just sighed and rested her head on the steering wheel.

She was left feeling a little miffed that, that was already making its rounds amongst her friends. "Yes... and ex-girlfriend. She broke up with me through text today. And I'm actually all kinds of stupid because I turned down a date with the incredibly hot barista woman. The only solace would be that I told her to try again in a week and we kind of set something up for that..." Ruby spoke as she took a deep breath. "Then in therapy today, I confessed to Glynda about me screaming it at Mom and how she feels that we are drifting further and further apart and the best way to fix that is to start to do something which we can do together. And again, I'm very very sorry for saying hurtful things to you last night." Ruby continued as she just groaned gently at the sight of Emerald laughing.

"You seriously didn't say anything bad Ruby. Just screamed at me that you know when I'm lying which I maintain is bull." Emerald continued as Ruby just groaned and began to shake her head.

"When you lie, you always reach for your right ear with your left hand but catch yourself. When Neo lies she always swings her left hand behind her back and intentionally twists her body so it is harder to see. Merc rubs his left leg. You forget that we've spent nearly our entire lives together and only really drifted apart in like the last year." Ruby said as she could see Emerald just chuckling at her.

"Amazing. You notice that, and yet it took you how long to realise you were dating Reese? Three years?"

"Six months and shut it. At least I can say I haven't been pining for my best friend's mother." Ruby said as she could see Emerald just sighing as she could see Ruby sticking her tongue out. "Don't get me wrong that is all kinds of wrong and nasty and frankly if you ever tried anything I know you won't get far because Mom is super straight. I've walked in on her a few times from nightmares."

Sighing as she leaned back in the car to just sigh, Emerald tossed Ruby the keys. "A girl can dream can't she?" Emerald said as she spared a glance towards Ruby. "And frankly Neo and Mercury are still doing nasty hetero things that I'm positive is closer to borderline snuff, and I haven't seen Weiss or anyone else come down in the mean time. Want to go catch a movie? Hit up the arcade? Go hit up a bar? My mind is fried from keeping an eye on high Neo last night, and a super stupid test today... I just need to decompress and kicking your ass in pick a game."

"Shut up. You cheat. Who pulls their top off during a game in the middle of a public arcade knowing it would make me embarrassed and not being able to focus." Ruby complained as Emerald just seemed to laugh as she looked at her. "At least it isn't like Neo who would gladly just show her boobs and would intentionally grope me just to distract me." Ruby continued as Emerald just shook her head gently.

"I don't need to do that to beat your butt. You're reaction speeds leave much to be desired. I was just giving you an excuse to why you lost. Besides who can go and make out with someone in a broom closet or a bathroom stall... but gods forbid that you aren't wearing a top. Fight the power Ruby." Emerald said as Ruby just groaned and slipped the key into the ignition and gave it a turn.

"Sorry for having self respect? And shame?... and bathroom stalls and broom closets are different. There is still a sense of privacy in them."

"No. No they don't. Regardless. I want to blow off steam. I'm not lucky enough to have a course I'm actually super good at like you or Neo... and given the fact that it was what Cinder and Roman wanted, and given how next semester I actually have an easy road given what I've learned through more... hands on things... it is just this one semester with all the stupid science crap. Did teach me though if I want to dispose of a body... find a pig farm. Who knew they would eat anything?" Emerald asked rhetorically as Ruby just sighed and began to shift the car into reverse.

"I could have told you that. They can also be trained to find these super rare super expensive mushrooms. And they are actually really intelligent. Not as intelligent as members of the ape family, but pretty close. Can also act as a one for one of a human body. Which is kind of pretty cool. Which is literally the only reason I'd be curious what humans taste like... thankfully that is just one of the passing curiosities. Like what would happen if you shoved a bunch of firecrackers into a pumpkin and then microwave it... or superheat the flesh... both would cause an explosion, but which one would cause the better one?" Ruby asked as she leaned back and began to get comfortable as she started to drive away.

"Don't even know what 'superheated' means and honestly with the amount of crap I crammed into my head in the last few weeks. I can't fit any more in until a weekend of binge drinking and getting baked. Even if I'm under orders not to give you anything close to narcotics. Until Cinder does a bit of a spring cleaning. This time, it isn't really about getting people out that have mentioned something bad about you. It is something Salem is wanting done and it is super hush hush. No one but Cinder, your uncles and Roman seem to know it. And if I was being honest, I'd totally would say that Roman doesn't know and is just trying to act like he does for his own ego." Emerald said with a small smile as she could see Ruby just nodding her head. "What is on your mind?"

"I talked with Jaune today. You know... the guy who caused all of this... he woke up sometime last night and I talked to him to do what the Nuns always said we should do when someone wrongs us and forgive them. And is actually where I was coming back from. Just... where is the line of what Mom would do to someone if they harmed me? Where is that line for my Grandmother... where is that line for my family?" Ruby said as she as she gently flicked her wrist to turn on the indicator. "That is just what has been bugging me. You should have seen the man after what Mom did to him."

Looking back, Emerald just frowned as she pulled the parking break as she turned the key in the ignition. "What the hell Em? That is how you destroy the rear brakes. Plus we are in the middle of the road!" Ruby said as she reached for the break to have her hand smacked by Emerald.

"Because, you've got to get those thoughts from your mind. I know where your Mother's line is, and I can't tell you where your uncles' line is, but I do know your grandmother's line is about six hundred miles past Cinder's. So seriously just get those thoughts from your mind. Because if you think killing someone who raped you and a person who watched is now in the hospital is where Cinder's line is, that is beyond a kindness. So again, just get those thoughts from your mind. It doesn't matter how." Emerald said as she could see Ruby just groaning as she twisted the key as she reached for the parking brake. "Drive to a bar Ruby. I know you'll be thinking about it otherwise."

"Fine." Ruby said as she could see Emerald out of the corner of her eyes with a sense of curiosity to them.

"Seriously what is up with you today Ruby? You've never entertained these thoughts before. And you certainly wouldn't go to the hospital to talk with someone who got acquainted with your mother's wrath." Emerald questioned as Ruby just took a deep breath.

"Lots of things are with me today. And yesterday frankly. I mean I found out I was violated, I found out my Mother has killed at least one person and beat a guy so bad that it dislodged the optic nerve in one eye... caused several permanent life altering conditions in him... and destroyed a family in the process. And if that isn't where her line is... what would she have done to so many other people who mildly inconvenienced me?" Ruby whispered as Emerald just shook her head.

"Again Ruby. Don't dwell on it. All that is going to happen is you getting into a worse and worse state. So why would you want to dwell on it?" Emerald asked as she could see Ruby just taking a deep breath before sighing. "I will say that she wouldn't kill someone for inconveniencing you. And frankly short of someone actually doing something illegal towards you, she wouldn't do anything wrong towards them. Maybe inconvenience them in return, just to a slightly more extreme degree, but no death or even hospital trips. Maybe letting most of the air out of three tires. Maybe moving the car two feet closer to a double line. But again, no hospitalisation." Emerald spoke in a soft tone as she just looked at the road in front of them.

"You don't get how hard this is on me Em... I used to be able to put all this behind me thinking Mom would still be able to get into heaven and be waiting for me. But now I know that is impossible."

"I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. Getting to know the Gods." Emerald said in a calm tone as she could see Ruby just sighing in her seat. "The nuns were good for something once you got past being forced to learn all that stupid scripture, and equally stupid guilt they tried and placed onto people."

"Do not be deceived: The Gods cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." Ruby said in a soft tone as she could see Emerald just shaking her head. "Both the God of Light and the God of Darkness hate the sins but they love the sinner. And they'll damn a person if the person has sinned. Especially against them and their creations."

"Come on Ruby. Let's go get our drink on. We can have this spiritual debate while getting wasted. And I know how green Russians do that for you. Also gets you lit up like a Christmas tree. So it is wins all around. At least for me."

"I hope it is that easy Em. I really do. Plus to add onto that shit show, Mom did her normal thing and organised a dinner with Yang and her parents. And if it goes like Reese's it is going to be a nightmare. One that I can't just make out with the person to break the tension as our parents get close to killing each other." Ruby grumbled as Emerald just simply laughed at her. "Your right. I can do that, but let's face it, Yang seems like the type that is down for banging but it is less about enjoying the moments after and certainly no kissing. Just makes everything seem so impersonal. Like doing taxes... or going to the ice cream store."

"Since when do you do taxes? And what ice cream stores do you go to where they know you on a personal level?" Emerald laughed as Ruby just laughed and began to shift down gears. "And how can you make the car sound so calm but the few times I drove this it sounded more like trying to blend gravel."

"I help with Mom's. That way I learn about it. And because you forget how me and Neo spend a lot of our time." Ruby said with a chuckle. "And It doesn't sound like I'm trying to blend gravel because I don't drive like a jackass and me and Mom have built this car up from the bottom up practically. So I know what makes it tick. Including how it hates to shift from fifth gear down to second. And just be glad I don't tell Mom that because she would freak out. That is how you destroy a car."

"You forget, I only mostly drive an automatic. And I am thankful you haven't told Cinder about that. I'd probably wind up with my hands busted... and yet she'd still take me over Neo." Emerald muttered as Ruby just laughed gently. "Hell she'd take me over Neo for a lot."

"The fact Neo has had her licence stripped due to her attempted drag racing in Roman's food trucks have nothing to do with that? I think that has a large amount of things to do with it. But as for drivers, pretty sure Merc has you beat." Ruby said softly as she could hear the chuckle coming from her friend.

"Okay, now you've said something hurtful. Ow. He drives more like a jackass than anything else. Just not when you are in the car."

"Frankly that is all that really matters to Mom if someone was to drive me around."

"True. It really is."

"She can never know." Weiss said as she began to slip the buttons on her blouse back into place. "Because if she ever hears about what we just did, no matter how cathartic it was for me to smack you a bit... she will never ever let you or the far more important me for that matter live this down." Weiss continued as she grabbed her skirt and began to pull it up. "Because while you've only known her for so long, I can guarantee that she has an evil memory. She still sends me a quart of motor oil on my birthday without fail." Weiss began as she spun around and just groaned at the sight of the blonde woman holding her phone playing some game on it.

"Yeah, sure whatever." Yang said as she almost screamed as she saw a hand reaching over the device and tossing it towards the other bed. "The hell princess!? I was messaging my Dad."

"No you weren't. And I'm being serious here. You cannot tell Ruby. Besides that model is like five years old. So if I broke it, I'd gladly buy you one that cost the exact same." Weiss said as she walked over towards where her socks had fallen.

"Yeah and I said I wasn't going to. Nice to see that stick is still lodged up there. Seriously can you just get over yourself?" Yang said as she tossed the blanket off of her as she walked towards Ruby's bed to grab her phone. "Honestly, I figured tossing you a bone would dislodge it, but I guess not."

"You tossed me!? Like you could make me lower my standards. You aren't even that good looking! Honestly a table has a better chance." Weiss chuckled as Yang spun around and just glared at Weiss. "Between you... and..." Weiss continued as Yang took a few more steps hoping to just silence her.

Before either could register it, Weiss had jumped up wrapping her legs around Yang's waist as she slammed Weiss into the wall by the door as they mashed their lips together in what was far from a passionate kiss. It was closer to something that they both could feel the deep need for.

Pulling back to rip the shirt out from the skirt, Yang just smiled as she spun around and tossed Weiss onto the bed. "I'm going to make you regret that you barbarian."

"You can try."

Chapter Text

Chapter 53:

Smiling gently Ruby simply plopped down on her bed as she took a deep breath. She was just ready for the day to end, but she couldn't. At least she couldn't with all the moving coming from Yang's bed.

"Yang? You awake? Or Weiss? I don't care which. And don't pretend that you are alone... or trying to sleep. I just want someone to talk to because in one week I went from dating this incredibly hot girl who is all kinds of kinky and was also all for just cuddling and reading, to being single after getting into an argument with my mother to shooting down this incredibly cute girl to possibly going out tomorrow to see her but might be told that she found someone prettier." Ruby said as she could hear a cough coming from next to her.

Wincing a little before she spoke, Yang just looked towards Ruby, "What are you talking about Ruby? It is just me. And you are going to be fine. I mean aren't you meant to look for something for you and your mother to do?"

"Yang, you don't wear Faubourg perfume. Especially to just stay laying in bed at nine at night. That is fifteen hundred dollars an ounce. Meanwhile I know for a fact that that is Weiss' brand, and from what I've heard from Winter that is the exact brand Weiss wears when she is getting some pounding when she is getting all kinds of stressed. And Win is far more observant than me. I just don't know anyone dumb enough to shell out that kind of money for that stuff." Ruby stated her reasoning as she began to sit up properly. "And me and Mom agreed on metal sculptures so we are doing that tomorrow instead of me going to therapy under orders of my therapist. Largely because I've several homemade welders made from microwaves, and years of working on cars and dozens of model rockets, the shells of microwaves, a few awful examples of bribery... so we've plenty of scrap metal." Ruby continued as she could see Yang violently coughing.

A sight that just caused Ruby to chuckle softly. "That about realising Weiss is all kinds of stupid? The fact I've known about the relationship literally the entire time because you or Weiss were dumb enough to use one of her expensive handkerchiefs on the door knob. Or are you shocked that someone from a rich family would drop that kind of money on something stupid... but I suppose you could make the same argument about the kind of money I spend on my Mom's cars... or you and that motorcycle... although it is probably significantly cheaper for you." Ruby continued to speak as she just started to roll onto her side. "Plus, Weiss, it is a lot easier to pretend you aren't here if you don't leave your heels by our door. Because you wear a smaller shoe than me and I know for a fact I wear a significantly smaller size than Yang. Not to mention I own literally one pair of heels that I never even brought here and if I didn't need them for your stupid stuffy parties, I'd burn them."

"Okay first off, I only wear it because it is literally the cheapest bottle I have because Whitley still doesn't understand that my scent is Notorious by Lauren Ralph." Weiss said as she pulled her head out from under the blankets. "And second off how are you panicking? Especially with what you said about you and Reese. And finally, go ahead. You need new heels anyways. And thirdly how the hell can you spend as much money on those stupid cars... and since when did you drive a motorcycle?" Weiss asked Yang as she began to look around the room. "And the most important thing... can you just leave the room long enough for me to get dressed?"

"That is thirty five thousand and forty dollars a bottle. So yeah we get the right to mock. With all the cars my Mom has, we don't even spend close to one of those perfumes on oil. And no because that is just going to lead to more sex. Just enjoy cuddling. I know it is a new feeling for the both of you. Plus Reese was different. It took me a while to even realise we were dating. Mostly because you have no idea how common it was with Neo to be just kissed by surprise. And frankly if she wasn't like always the little spoon she'd totally be my type." Ruby complained as she could see Weiss just frowning.

"And since I could drive. Technically and legally couldn't properly drive one properly without my Dad being nearby on one as well until a few months ago. But frankly screw legality. I wouldn't be drinking since sixteen if I cared about that." Yang said with a relaxed tone as she could feel Weiss deflating a little. "And we won't if you just step out long enough for us to get clothes on. Or anything really." Yang said as Ruby simply chuckled a little.

"I know that song and dance. Especially after hate banging." Ruby said as she began to roll out of her bed to just stand up. "You both are just lucky that I'm meant to head back home and was just picking up some of my books... and just to remind the both of you, if you try anything kinky... avoid choking, and if you use candles, keep them away from anything that can go up. There is also a tube of burn cream in my nightstand. Oh and apply some of the antibiotic cream if there is any sort of skin breaking from it. Because you do not want to get an infection. Especially you Yang. That dinner is happening with or without our consent which we totally need to talk about when we get the chance. Because you have no idea how annoying this is going to be."

"Oh I can guess." Yang said as Ruby just chuckled shaking her head.

"Oh, I bet it is going to be lovely. Your mother is one of the best women I've ever met. And easily the second best chef and baker I've ever had the pleasure to eat the dishes of." Weiss said as Ruby just smiled faintly at.

"Yeah Mom is pretty great about that kind of thing. But not what I was talking about. Just both of you be safe when you try anything beyond normal stuff. Which is why safety words can be important in normal vanilla stuff as well. If it is just a far less fun thing to enjoy. At least in my experience." Ruby said with a smile as she walked over towards her desk and picked up a few of the books. "Also if you guys do do some rough things, Neo and Emerald are in and both do know basic first aid... personally, I'd go for Neo over Em. Neo is doing nursing." Ruby said with a smile as she pushed the items into the bag. "Or alternatively you can go with whoever else you know that knows first aid, or is in a course about it... just Neo and Em are a lot closer and again, they are versed in all of it and keep their qualifications up. Largely because my Mom wants them to especially with my tendency with choking."

"Gross..." Yang said as she just took a deep breath. "Get going Ruby. We can talk tomorrow... or Thursday."

"Make it Friday. I have some tests coming up and this is a great stress reliever that we've agreed to not let it go beyond that." Weiss said as Ruby just began to laugh. The type of laugh that made Weiss all kinds of angry because it was like she knew something that the rest of the world didn't.

"Sure sure... whatever. Catch you both later."

"Mom! I'm back! You home!" Ruby said as she slipped the keys onto the hook just inside the door leading from the garage into the house. She was actually hoping that her mother would be. Just so it would be much easier to test the welders

Walking towards her mother's office when she didn't hear a response, Ruby just sighed as she knocked on the door. Smiling a little as she could hear some faint talking as she heard some footsteps towards the door before it opened to reveal her uncles and mother.

"Mom, I'm back... do you want me to test the welders? Or would you rather we put that off until tomorrow? Because while I'm fine doing that... I haven't checked them in a while, and it does get really hot, and I'd much rather not having one of us ending up in the hospital from one crapping out... and we have a few that need to be checked." Ruby said as Cinder just took a deep breath. "And not that I don't trust Uncle Watts... but I doubt that he has experience working with high AC current... and that stuff can kill you at low voltages and even lower currents. And frankly I'd rather risk myself than any of you four being dead... largely because I do know and follow the safety procedures."

"I'll have you know that I do know how to work with electricity... although welders would be a new one. Since when did you get one?" Arthur stated as Ruby just laughed softly at the older man.

"I made it. Took the transformer out of a microwave, rewound the coil from DC to AC. And it can also be used technically if I wanted to, to melt steel, just, it takes a lot more electricity and will more than likely melt the coils first." Ruby said with a smile as she looked back towards her mother. "Are you guys talking about something I should know... or something that it is best I don't hear and go check the welders if not sleep?"

"I'd rather you sleep Ruby. And what is being talked about certainly won't make any of us seem better to you." Cinder said softly as she just took a deep breath. "But if you absolutely must check them tonight... use the proper equipment, and make sure you have something covering your eyes. And if you are, only go as far as the first working one. Okay?"

"Got it Mom. And... just... don't tell me any of the details. Okay?" Ruby whispered softly as Cinder just nodded her head in understanding. "And... I know it is a foolish request... but can you please not create new bodies Mom... or making people end up in hospital." Ruby whispered softer as she could see Cinder just taking a deep breath.

"I can't promise that Ruby. Just if my hand gets forced, remember that it is probably self defence." Cinder said as she gently pulled Ruby in a hug. "I promise though that I'm not going to need to leave the house for a few days. So there shouldn't be the need for you to fret like that. Just go test the welders like you want, and get some rest. Okay? Just do me that. And I'm serious about the proper protection. I even splurged and got the top of the line welding masks and I don't need the panic attack of you getting welders burn again." Cinder said in a soft tone as she could see Ruby just sighing.

"Okay Mom. And I should be fine either way. I don't intend to be dragged to the hospital today. And certainly don't intend to get that again... sunburn is so much better. Hell I'd take eating those stupid herbs." Ruby said as Cinder just smiled. "Just... if you do hear me screaming... bring Arthur with you. Even a non-practising doctor is better than nothing." Ruby said as Cinder just smiled and gently patted Ruby's cheek. "You know... better safe than sorry. Eye sunburns suck."

"Okay Ruby." Cinder said as she could see Ruby walking off towards the garage that just caused her to sigh. "And like that, I've got a really bad feeling..." Cinder whispered before she spun around. "Where were we?" Cinder asked as she could see Hazel relaxing a little.

"Any leads about Oz. Because if you want Ruby in ignorance you can't let Salem regain her seat at the head for very long." Arthur said as he looked towards the laugh Faunus. "And keep your ears peeled Tyrian. I heard a brief segment of what Ruby and Cinder were talking about and she is too stubborn to ask. But with our niece, chances are she is going to give herself photokeratitis which she supposedly already has suffered." Arthur continued as Cinder just took a deep breath and began to rub her eyes.

"I remember why I hate having you three in town." Cinder said in a soft tone as she as she rested against a wall. "But he has a great grandnephew. That is the last of his family alive at least. I just find it impossible to get a location. Oscar Pine is the name but Ozpin has been moving him around every few months, which is impressive because he does it without resurfacing. Which means our only ways to get to him are either through the five star general and leader of the entire army of Atlas, we continue to go after the small fish or we can try and find little Oscar's location."

"If you want to go after Ironwood, fine. You'll have me. Even the small fries. But I won't help torturing a teenage boy." Hazel stated coldly as Cinder simply held her hand up.

"I agree. But if it comes down to Ruby or him, I won't give it a second's thought. Besides that tactic is more to apply the screws enough for him to pop up and turn himself in. You know, since his daughters died in that shipwreck, forty five odd years ago." Cinder said as she just took a deep breath and began to rub her brow. "Which is why he hasn't let Oscar stay in the same place for more than half a year and the last nine times we've gotten close we were late by weeks. And there is no pattern to how he is moving him. Mostly because he knows Arthur can pick up on those like no tomorrow. Trusts no one because he knows I can get information out of a stone. Anyone that he does trust even temporarily will be intimidated either by Hazel immediately or if that fails, Tyrian injects them with a dreadfully slow acting poison and gives them false hope if they survive he'd give them the anti venom. And even if we all fail, it won't get past Salem." Cinder said calmly as she could see the group just nodding their heads in agreement.

"We should probably be wrapping this up. Just because the door is still open." Hazel said as Tyrian held a hand up to silence him.

"She just started screaming and it is a very painful sounding one." Tyrian barely got out as the quartet nearly sprinted from the room.

None of them seemed to care about the situation as Hazel threw his shoulder against the door, not caring about what was on the other side. If it was someone dumb enough to break into the house and harm Ruby, he just knew that the person was going to live a long and painful few days.

"MY FREAKING EYES!" Ruby screamed as Cinder just took a panicked breath as she shoved the taller man with ease out of the way as she came sprinting up to her daughter who had been twisting back and forth on the ground with her hands clamped tightly over her eyes.

Gently stilling Ruby, Cinder just took a deep breath as she looked around for the cause. "Ruby! What happened!?" Cinder screamed as Ruby just flailed her elbows a bit. Taking the sign, Cinder gently caught it and just took a deep breath as she could see Arthur grabbing the first aid box giving it a once over and just frowning.

"This is why you shouldn't mess with this stuff." Arthur scolded as he began to gently pry one of Ruby's hands away, much to Ruby's clear annoyance. "Tyrian, turn off the lights and go get my bag. Hazel, I need you to hold Ruby's hands back so I can at least get a grip on the situation." Arthur demanded as he looked towards Cinder. "And you, hold her head steady. I don't have anything on me to treat photokeratitis, or even anything that can numb the pain. All I can do is make sure she didn't cause anything permanent because she did get part of her hand as well. And if she did screw around with a transformer, chances are she could have also narrowly avoided death. She did burn part of her hands at least. I can feel the burnt flesh." Arthur said as Ruby began to take a deep breath.

"What happened Ruby?" Cinder asked as she gently just braced Ruby's head.

"I just thought the one thing I didn't want I really did!" Ruby screamed as she tried her hardest to feel some guilt but the fact was she was in too great of pain to feel that. "Sorry mom." Ruby said after a few seconds before she took a deep breath. "I just forgot the shield was still up when I went to test the second one and now my eyes are freaking killing me and I'm in a lot of freaking pain!" Ruby screamed again as Arthur accepted the item from Tyrian before he gestured towards Ruby. A signal that was understood. "Please tell me I'm going to be fine... I made a promise to go on a date tomorrow last week." Ruby complained as she felt one of her hands being moved as she felt something soft being placed over her eyes.

"It is doubtful Ruby. Besides... glad to see you and that one cat Faunus are a couple." Arthur said as he spared a glance towards Cinder who looked slightly angry at Ruby as if she was already planning revenge.

"It isn't Neon. We broke up. This is a cute barista. A Belladonna. Blake."

"So from a drug addict to a terrorist? Do you want me to go to an early grave?" Cinder scolded as Ruby just took a deep breath.

"Blake isn't a terrorist... at least not now. And this can all wait!" Ruby scolded back as she just took a deep breath as she felt something a little cold being applied to her hands.

"Well, it looks like the burns aren't even fully first degree... and your heart rate isn't that screwed up. But you are going to need to go to hospital. I'm going to call ahead to a friend in the city who happens to be one of the best ophthalmologists around and owes me a number of favours." Arthur said standing up. "As for the burns, a few days away from high unregulated voltages and currents, you'll heal up fine. As for your eyes, I can't say. But even without looking I'm positive you won't be making that date."


"This can all wait Ruby." Cinder said as she looked towards Hazel. "Get her in the car. I'm driving her down. Arthur, your coming with me... Tyrian, Hazel, call Salem and meet us there... after you dispose of all of Ruby's homemade welders."

"Got it." The trio of men said as Cinder begrudgingly let go of Ruby as she got up to grab some keys as Hazel began to lift Ruby.

'And she wonders why I don't trust her to do a lot of things.' Cinder thought as she ran towards the car, keys in hand just so she could let Ruby into the back seat. A sense of dread just seemed to fade as Ruby seemed to stop screaming and they were going to get the help that Ruby needed.

Chapter Text


Chapter 54:

"Mom... don't leave me. I'm freaking out a little." Ruby began taking a deep breath as she felt her mother's soft hand just holding onto her own. "And even if by some miracle I do convince Blake that I'm not lying... can you please not do your normal Mom things? If what Mercury told me, she already knows who you are because she was with Sienna a few times while I was in highschool, but even Neo says she is no longer in the Fang. And I'd like one girlfriend who you don't intimidate."

"Ruby, I will never not let any girlfriend of yours go without letting them know exactly how important you are to me besides, the eye doctor said you need to avoid bright lights for a day at least." Cinder started softly as she just took some stock of how Ruby seemed overly frail at that moment. "But if she did know and meet me with Sienna, then I thankfully just need to remind her. As well as several additional rules. Namely that if I ever find out that she is going to go back to the Fang it best be to become a cadaver. Because I don't care about supremacy of any description and you know I'm far from racist. But if you ever got into a relationship with someone it would lead to abuse and once again, I can't stress it enough Ruby, you mean so much to me."

"I get that Mom..." Ruby said as she began to use her free hand to reach forward to sway it around like she was looking for something. "Not that I'm trying to change topics... where is my chocolate milk? I swear if I knocked it over." Ruby said as Cinder just chuckled as she reached over and plucked the item up and placed it into Ruby's waiting hand. "Thanks... and she seemed pretty fine. Like she does hate the inequality... but she seems like she is leaning more so towards her Father's idea of a peaceful manner to achieve that end." Ruby said as she began to slump further in the seat.

"That isn't something that is easily solved by peaceful means Ruby. At least without a martyr. And it would need to be the leader to be one. And this can all wait. You need to be away from bright light unless you want to risk permanent blindness. Remember?" Cinder said as Ruby just took a long sip from the milk carton.

Pulling back to let out a lip smack followed by a happy noise, "But Mom... super pretty girl. I promise, I won't do anything major. I just need to let her know that I've got my eyes sunburnt. Which is actually starting to hurt again. Like a lot. Plus I need to go in anyways and let my professors know I'm going to be missing a few days due to just not being able to see." Ruby continued to spoke as she winced a little. "And the curtains aren't pulled fully... at least if that is the sun coming up. If it is anything else than a light is on, or whatever photophobia is besides a fear of light, is a lot more sensitive to light than people let on. Or again those eye drops are wearing off." Ruby said as she began to look around. "Did Grandma Salem look as bad as she sounded because she sounded really hurt?"

Smiling as she caught the milk carton before it was dropped just shy of the table. "As I keep telling you Ruby, you are important for a lot of people. Salem would legitimately end her vendetta against the man that broke her heart... if she had to choose between you and him. Hell that is the only reason she is still in Vale. He has started to taunt her it would seem."

"Well, I hope she catches him. He broke her heart and she swore off romance all together because of him. So she couldn't be happy until you and Arthur and Hazel and Tyrian came around and then later me. But I feel like she could have had a lot more happy years if he just didn't do that to her." Ruby mumbled as Cinder just chuckled gently at her. "I'm not joking... I'd say the same if someone ever hurt you that bad Mom... I honestly wouldn't even care how alive they were."

"You don't mean that Ruby. You've given me lectures of killing a deer and cooking it. And the only people who could hurt me are the people dumb enough to hurt you. And woe be to that person because that would hurt your uncles and grandmother as well."

"That was literally just after you showed me Bambi. And I couldn't help but think there was a tiny fawn without a Mom any more. And then I kind of empathised with it thinking what would I be like if some deer shot and killed you... and this is going to make me cry which I physically can't do right now. Why did you have to bring up that movie?" Ruby asked as Cinder just shook her head gently.

"I didn't. You did. Besides we should probably place a few more drops into your eyes anyways. It has been a number of hours... and you still do that groaning and chipmunk like thing whenever someone needs to put in eye drops. Which I can only imagine is going to be a whole lot harder now that your eyes are super sensitive to light. Because it certainly was a lot harder in the hospital." Cinder said as Ruby just groaned vocally. "Don't give me that Ruby. Your eyes are going to have issues producing tears. It needs to be done."

"But it hurts... and it hurts doubly so because I don't have tears and my eyes are burnt." Ruby complained as Cinder just shook her head gently. "I don't even need to have my eyes to know you did that 'you are being foolish but I still love you' head shake."

"That is because it is true." Cinder said as she just looked at Ruby. "I'm going to lay your head on my lap to make this at least a little easier. I need you to not fight me on this Ruby."

Letting out a huff, Ruby felt her head being gently lowered down. "Fine... but you are going to need to drive me to college Mom... so that way I can talk to my professors and Blake." Ruby said as she felt the cotton wrappings being moved slightly. "Seriously Mom. I'll wear sunglasses as well or something. But I need to do this. I can't tell you how much I don't want to lose this pretty girl if she thinks I'm lying just to avoid not going on a date with her. You have no idea how hard it is for me to find women who think I don't look ugly that aren't you or Grandma Salem. Or even someone that is technically employed by you and is a lifelong friend of mine." Ruby said as Cinder just took a deep breath as she twisted her body to force Ruby into the dark.

"Fine. But just hold still. I'm going to put the numbing ones in first and I'd rather give you too many drops of this one instead of too little."

"Those ones suck the worst... they don't work too fast. But it is better than nothing."

Hearing the chuckling, Ruby took a deep breath as she had to debate if it would be worth it to swing at whoever even if it meant she was risking that she'd actually harm whoever was doing it. "Did you seriously blind yourself again? Come on Ruru." Reese said with a chuckle as Ruby just groaned louder. "What caused it this time? It doesn't look like it was a sun bed." Reese continued as Ruby just lowered her head before shooting upwards.

"The hell did I just put my head in first?" Ruby asked as she heard a slightly angry groan followed by sitting next to where she assumed Reese was. "Okay, whoever just sat down... if I put my head in your food I'm sorry... but I'm actually blind right now. So if it was there chances are Reese put it there."

"I find it hard to believe you are blind. You could see just fine yesterday. And I was looking forward to that oatmeal." Ruby could hear the red headed woman's voice causing her to just sigh as she reached up to her head to just move the sunglasses out of the way to show the bandages.

"I got hit by welder's burn last night. This time actually being from one of the welders I made." Ruby said as she just took a deep breath. "So basically, my eyes got sunburnt, frankly if I didn't have the chance at a date that I need to explain why I can't go tonight... I shouldn't even be out of my house... and in as dark a room as possible."

"You still have those? I thought you would have destroyed them by now." Reese asked as she looked towards the blonde woman who had a slightly worried expression on her face as she took a seat.

"Had. The got destroyed last night while I was being rushed to the hospital because you've got no idea how much this actually hurts. Point is I'm blind for two days at the latest with the chance of just having my eyes super sensitive to light for a few weeks after." Ruby began as she looked around and gave the air a sniff. "Yang, you need to actually shower. Weiss' perfumes have a tendency to linger kind of like the scent of sex which you also reek of. Unless that is Weiss sitting next to me now... because I'm still very anti spending multiple hundreds per bottle and you need to shower after sex regardless."

"Holy shit blondie! You and Princess!? Damn. I always pegged her for being straight." Reese said with a smile as Ruby just started to laugh.

"Hate banging... and they tried to hide it from me without hiding heels of tiny feet..."

"Okay, back on topic. I just caught the tail end there... how did you blind yourself?" Yang said as she could see Reese reaching across the table holding a hand out as Yang rolled her eyes and grabbed one of the napkins and started to wipe the food from Ruby's head for her. "Because I swear if I still have to go to this dinner... and my only life line is literally blind, I'm going to be pissed."

"I forgot about putting the wielding shield back on properly and when I went to strike a bead of weld, my eyes got hit by that pure UV radiation which leads to super painful eyes, temporary blindness and again, pain. Lots of pain. I should be in the clear by the weekend. Just needing to be careful around lights. I'll know more come Friday afternoon." Ruby said sullenly as she just took a deep breath and began to feel around the table below her before she just lowered her head down again. "As I was mentioning though... I shouldn't even be in. But I don't want Blake to think I'm blowing her off and that I really am dumb enough to blind myself, and to let my professors know not to worry if I don't turn up for the rest of the week. I'm just a major rule breaker."

"Again. You blinded yourself again." Emerald deadpanned as she dropped the tray onto the table. "This is the second time from welding without proper protection, once from a tanning bed and a single time from messing with chemicals. And you wonder why I'm often paid extra for babysitting you and Neo." Emerald continued her point as she grabbed Ruby's hand and raised it towards the plate. "Got you toast. And Cinder gave me an exact time you need to be home at."

"I don't actually wonder why you get paid for babysitting me. I wonder why it is necessary for you to be paid for it at all. Especially because of how seldom I actually get hurt and you join in on the fun things. I mean you were the one that actually wanted to break into the church so we could swap the water for the communion wine with vodka. And the only reason we went with your blaming of Neo about it is because it was just after her mother died and she willingly went down because she got away with a lot of things and Mom was already tempted to pull me out because me and Reese started to date and we already started to smoke weed and she figured I was being influenced negatively around her."

"Wait. Go back. Ashes thought I was a bad influence on you? You were the person who got me started smoking weed... and frankly Ruru... you turned me into a lesbian deviant which has lead to many awkward moments with my folks who don't really appreciate the whole 'gay daughter' thing. In fact they just tolerate it in my experience." Reese said as Ruby took a bite from the toast as she just smiled at Reese as she started to laugh.

Swallowing the mouthful of toast, Ruby just took a deep breath before she spoke knowing that it was going to be some long winded explanation from her end. "You came out to them by sitting on my face and wouldn't stop loudly moaning my name... I still maintain they are just mad that you didn't have the decency to take it seriously and treat it with respect."

"I couldn't find a way to bring it up in conversation. Besides we were back for a long weekend, and I can't stress this enough no matter how far in the dog house it gets me... Ruby is super good with her tongue. Like I'd honestly wouldn't even be mad if you and Ruby wanted to do things. I'd be a bit pissed because she would steal you from me with how many times and how powerful your orgasms would be... and given how cuddling is awesome with you and how it should be illegal to look as hot as you do... Ruby would be all over you if you gave her the chance."

"I'm temporarily blind. Not temporarily deaf." Ruby coughed out as she felt Emerald gently patting her back. "Although... if it does fall through with Blake, and you were single Pyrrha... I'd totally take that chance." Ruby said as she winced a little. "And what time is it? I only have like a window for office hours of like an hour today unless I want to walk into class which I don't. It is a practical day and I can't stress it enough how any light is super painful even with crap in my eyes designed to numb them as is, even with the layers of bandages and cotton gauze and the sunglasses, my eyes feel like someone is grinding molten powder glass into them just from the stupid ceiling lights and the even stupider sun light."

"Now do you think it is stupid when I told you to put on proper eye protection when you went to go jogging at the beach? That is an actual danger." Reese told who Ruby just assumed it was towards Pyrrha. "And honestly, while it only lasts a few days... if the way Ruby has bitched about it the one time we were dating and she got hit by it... not to mention all the freaking literature I was then forced to read. And like the billion different causes. Including sand and snow during the day. Hell anything that really gives off UV radiation including a camp fire can do it."

"It is because it really freaking hurts. And it is a stupid flaw in evolution. We shouldn't have a part that gets hit like that and leads to days of mega pain. Now Emerald, answer the question. What time is it?"

"Eleven." Emerald said before she looked towards Ruby who just nodded her head as she placed the final piece of toast into her mouth and began to gesture like they had to go. "Where are we going?"

"F block. Fifth floor. Professor Oz Pine's office. He is the head of engineering and stops the need for me to go through each and every professor." Ruby said as Emerald blanched as she stood up and quickly pulled her phone out before gesturing towards the people that could see to stay silent. "And then we need to go to the Belladonna cafe for half two... do you think I could score a sympathy cookie from Kali?"

"I'd be cutting it close to the time your mother wants you back, but fine." Emerald said as she hit the send button before grabbing Ruby's arm gently and sliding her hand into the crook of her elbow just to make walking Ruby that much easier.

Gently reaching across, Emerald gave the hood a tug downwards as she just smiled at her. "Thanks for that." Ruby said holding the piece of toast in her other hand. "If this wasn't so time sensitive, I'd suggest we go back to my room so I could have some more of those eye drops... but it is a pretty time sensitive topic. After half twelve he is gone and then I need to go to each individual professor."

"It's fine Ruby, we can swing by that way after you talk to him. I'll just wait outside the room." Emerald said as Ruby nodded her head before resting her head against Emerald's shoulder. Just enjoying the gesture before she heard Emerald's phone started to ring.

"Whoever it is, tell them they can wait."

"It is your grandmother Ruby." Emerald said as Ruby just sighed.

"Fine... just tell her to leave the shop talk until I'm in the room." Ruby said as Emerald just took a deep breath and swiped her thumb across the screen.

"Salem... Ma'am... I'm with Ruby at this exact second. Can I ask that this wait?"

"How sure are you?" Salem's cold voice carried over as Emerald just took a deep breath knowing that there was no way out of this for her until she answered.

"I can't be one hundred percent sure. But I'm at least ninety five percent sure."

"Good enough for me to start acting on it."

"Okay... But for the rest of the conversation needs to wait until Ruby is in Oz Pine's office." Emerald said as she could hear an aggravated sigh. Like someone had told a man eating lion that it couldn't kill its prey just yet.

"Let me know the exact second she is out." Salem's voice carried over before Emerald could hear the dial tone followed by the world suddenly feeling a lot warmer.

"How is she? She sounded really hurt last night."

"Seemed to be in a slightly angry mood... probably from you convincing your mother to let you come in today."

"Sounds right for her."