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Small Gods

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Small Gods

Weiss closed her eyes as she concentrated. A glyph sprung into existence, revolving on the paved ground. A quiet courtyard surrounds her, with tall oak trees throwing patches of shade on to the cobblestones. Isolated and serene. The perfect place for practising the more difficult aspects of her semblance.

With a swish of Myrtenaster, Weiss plunged the tip of her rapier into ground and kneeled in one graceful motion. Her eyebrows knitted together and her mouth formed a thin, narrow line as she doubled her mental efforts. The glyph resonated with an ethereal whine, brightening as the spinning accelerated.

Fallen foes flash through her mind as she called upon their memories. The Boarbatusk slain in Professor Port's class, packs of Beowolves taken down in the ruins of Mountain Glenn, the colossal Arma Gigas animated by a vicious Geist. Each fight replayed over and over as she reached out to make a connection between her and the glyph.

An image of a enormous Nevermore dragged up a vertical cliff by a streak of red encroached into her thoughts. Weiss smiled as the scene played out, ending with her team leader standing triumphant at the cliff's edge, rose petals dancing with motes of shadow in the wind. A soft thud and squeak of surprise broke her concentration. Weiss opened her eyes then sighed.

“Ruby, do you mind? I'm trying to practice.”

Laying in the middle of the now stationary glyph, Ruby struggled to untangle herself from her red cape. Pulling the hood from her eyes, she looked up at Weiss.

“Oh. Hi, Weiss. Fancy meeting you here.” Ruby said, rubbing the back of her head sheepishly.

Weiss rolled her eyes. “How did you even find me?”

“Not by choice.” Ruby muttered.

Standing up and dusting her knees off, Weiss went to dismiss her glyph, frowning when it resisted.

“Can you move? You're really in the way here.” She said.

“Um, sure. That is something I should be able to do.” Ruby replied.

Ruby stood and took a hesitant step forward only for her face to bounce off an invisible boundary. Rubbing her nose, Ruby reached out with her free hand. Blue light flared against fingertips as they glided over a barrier emitted by Weiss' glyph.

“Um, little help, Weiss?” Ruby asked.

“I don't have time for your games, Ruby.” Weiss said, pinching the bridge of her nose.

“No games, you need to release me.”

“It's a glyph, not a prison. You've used them hundreds of times.”

“Well yes, and no. I mean it's kind of different this time, since you sort of summoned me.” Ruby said, avoiding eye contact.

Weiss blinked. “I summoned you.”

“In a way, yes.”

“Ruby, this is ridiculous I can't– wait, what are you wearing?” Weiss said, looking a fidgeting Ruby over.

The usual corset and combat skirt combo Ruby wore was exchanged with a red, knee length dress pinched at the waist by a white pinafore with a large pocket. The bodice was laced and sleeves rolled up to the elbows. Soft leather shoes replaced sturdy boots. She looked like a peasant from a period drama. A dusting of white on Ruby's shoes caught her attention.

“Is that... flour?” She asked.

Ruby glanced down. “...Yes. I was... baking. And I put on these old clothes, so I didn't get my huntress outfit dirty.”

“Old clothes? From two hundred years ago?”

“Would you believe family heirlooms?” Ruby asked with a hopeful smile.

Weiss folded her arms. “Ruby, tell me what's going on?”

“I really shouldn't...”

“Ruby!” Weiss shouted. The glyph pulsed with her outburst and Ruby winced, throwing her hands up in surrender.

“Okay! Okay! Calm down!”

Taken aback, Weiss' anger slipped away and the glyph dimmed. Her prisoner's shoulders slumped with relief.

“That is really not pleasant.” Ruby said, shuddering.

“Sorry, I'm new to... whatever this is.” Weiss apologised.

“Summoning circle, you must have been thinking of me when you were using it.”

A faint blush crept up Weiss' cheeks. “O-only of how much of a dolt you are.”

Ruby grinned. “Sure, princess.”

Anyway, I can't summon people. Only vanquished Grimm or...” Weiss trailed off as an old memory resurfaced of her younger self sitting by a roaring fire, her Grandfather telling her stories and old legends.

“Gods.” Ruby finished.

“Gods.” Weiss repeated.

“Yep.”

“That's... that's absurd! What would you even be the God of?!” Weiss spluttered.

“Well, it's obvious when you think about it.” Ruby said, leaning forward eagerly.

Weiss felt dread rising as she considered her partner. The scythe. The hood. Ruby dancing over the battlefield as she effortlessly reaped Grimm.

“You don't mean...”

“You got it! Cookies!”

Weiss paused. “Cookies?”

“Yeppers, Goddess of cookies.” Ruby said, rocking back and forth on her heels. “Oh, and sometimes death.”

“Not unexpect– Death?!” Weiss screeched.

“They always focus on the death part.” Ruby grumbled.

“And what do you mean by sometimes? The actual God of death likes to take vacations and needs a stand in?”

Ruby nodded. “Something like that, yeah.” She said.

Weiss stared at Ruby's encouraging grin. Amusement bubbled up in her suddenly and the courtyard echoed with peals of laughter.

“Goddess of cookies and death!” Weiss gasped.

Sometimes death.” Ruby corrected.

Weiss wiped a tear away as her giggles subsided. “Death and cookies, only you could come up with something so ridiculous, Ruby Rose. Honestly, cookies?”

Ruby smiled. “I like cookies, and they weren't taken as a domain since they're kind of new. So I snatched them up.”

“You can stop now,” Weiss said smiling, glancing around the courtyard. “And call the others out.”

“What others?” Ruby said, looking confused.

“Don't tell me you planned this prank without an audience?”

“It's not a prank,” Ruby huffed. “I am a Goddess.”

“Please, and I'm the Queen of Atlas.” Weiss said, flicking her ponytail.

“You are?” Ruby asked, eyes narrowing.

Weiss chuckled. “I'm almost impressed, I wish you would put this much effort in your school work.”

Ruby didn't respond. Instead, she waved a hand and a cookie appeared.

Weiss raised an eyebrow. “Slight of hand? You're really committed to this, aren't you?”

Another wave, another cookie. Weiss scoffed, but her eyes grew wider as Ruby kept pulling cookies out of thin air, letting them fall to the ground. Her eyebrows pushed towards her hairline as the pile grew. Soon, it reached up to Ruby's knees.

“Ta-dah!” Ruby said, finishing with a flourish.

“T-that's impossible!” Weiss stammered.

“That's nothing, watch this!”

Weiss almost fainted when Ruby started to inhale the cookies, the pile melting away as her arms blurred.

“Ta-dah!” Ruby said with a spray of wet crumbs.

“Some of those were on the ground,” Weiss said weakly.

Ruby shrugged. “Three second rule.”

“That... was longer than three seconds.”

“Time works differently for Gods. Wanna see the death domain?” Ruby asked, a wicked looking scythe appearing in her hands.

“No!” Weiss yelped, waving her off. “I believe you!”

“That's good,” Ruby said, dismissing the scythe. “The screams are really annoying.”

Mind racing, Weiss watched the self-proclaimed Goddess dust crumbs off her dress accompanied by the occasional happy burp. A thousand questions popped up, she opened her mouth for the first one to tumble forth.

“Why are you here?” She blurted out.

Ruby tapped her chin. “Good question. Why are any of us here?”

“Don't you get philosophical on me, Ruby!” Weiss said, jabbing a finger at the Goddess, “I meant, why are you here, at Beacon? Pretending to be human?”

“Oh, well the whole immortality thing can get a little boring. So, we Gods like to change things up and live as a human for a while. Get born, grow old, die – the whole experience.” Ruby said brightly.

“We? There are other Gods doing this?”

“Well, sure. I got reborn this time because my sister–“ Ruby cut herself off by slapping a hand over her mouth.

“Sister?” Weiss said flatly, putting her hands on hips. “You mean Yang?”

Ruby shook her head, hand firmly clamped over her mouth. Weiss smiled.

“I guess I can try asking her.”

Ignoring Ruby's muffled protests, Weiss conjured other summoning glyph and closed her eyes. Forming a vivid image of Yang in her mind, she repeated the the ritual by plunging her rapier into the cobblestones. She was rewarded by a thump and pained cursing.

“What the shit? Where am I?”

Satisfied, Weiss opened her eyes and her face immediately flushed red as she took in a confused Yang picking herself up off the ground. Ruby's Goddess sister was wearing a golden toga, the gossamer fabric clinging to her curves. Dotted with flowers, her blonde locks fell into ringlets, shining in the late afternoon sun filtering through the leaves overhead.

“Yang?!” Weiss gasped, mortified.

“Weiss? What are you– Ow!” Yang's nose bounced off the glyph barrier containing her as she tried to walk forward. She raised an eyebrow at the invisible wall.

“What are you wearing?!” Weiss asked.

Yang looked down.

“Shit.”

Looking up, Yang found Ruby waving at her, still trapped within her summoning circle.

Yang frowned. “Shit. Ruby blabbed, didn't she?”

“I did not!” Ruby said, hand to her chest. “I was following the summoning rules. When mortals call we're supposed to answer.”

“But not truthfully!” Yang groaned, “You could have told her you took the form of someone familiar to keep her at ease!”

Ruby paused. “Dang it.”

“I can't believe it, you're both Goddesses?” Weiss said, throwing her arms out.

“Or the heat is getting to you?” Yang suggested. “You're pretty red there.”

“Yes, it is rather hot,” Weiss muttered, turning away. “What are you even the Goddess of? Immodesty?”

“Close. Would you believe chastity?” Yang asked.

Weiss stared. “You keep people chaste?”

“...Yes,” Yang drawled. “I keep people chaste. That does sound like what a chastity Goddess would do...”

“I suppose you can prove your divinity as well?” Weiss challenged.

Yang glanced sideways at Ruby who was frantically waving her hands and shaking her head.

“Maybe later.”

Weiss snorted. “You sisters certainly picked the most useless domains.”

“Not much choice,” Yang said. “It was kinda slim pickings by the time we were spun out the ether.”

“Yeah,” Ruby chimed in. “We can't all have have great domains like Blake.”

“Ruby!”

Weiss fumed. Another glyph whirled as she pictured Blake. She opened her eyes after a thump heralded the arrival of her last team member.

While Yang's appearance made her blush, Blake's sent her spinning around, ears burning with embarrassment. The faunus was barefooted, a leather sash wrapped around her waist with a quiver attached and hanging from her hip. She had a bow strapped across her chest and... not much else.

Blake stood and stretched, eyes passing over her team mates as her feline ears flicked.

“Ruby babbled?” she asked.

“Why does everyone assume it's me?” Ruby muttered, folding her arms.

“Because it always is.” Yang shot back.

“Blake,” Weiss said, voice strained. “Can you cover up please?”

Glancing down, Blake shrugged before crossing her arms across her chest.

“I'm decent.” She said, her voice amused.

Weiss turned around, eyes fixed to the ears jutting out of Blake's tangled hair. She noted small braids – tied off with colourful beads – snaking through it.

Weiss felt a almost overwhelming presence swept over her, heavy and imposing. Dangerous. Her senses failed to comprehend as instinct told her that the lithe figure in front of her was much, much more vast then appearances suggested.

“W-what are you the Goddess of?” Weiss stuttered, mouth dry.

“The hunt.” Blake purred. She lifted one arm to trace a finger along the barrier holding her, leaving spidery cracks in the luminous wake. “It's been a long time since I've been summoned.”

“Blake's a pretty big deal,” Ruby gushed. “She's like the forth god ever.”

“Oh?” Weiss said, grasping onto Ruby's voice like a lifeline. “Who are the others?”

Ruby started ticking off fingers. “There's death of course. Then food or bounty, and then... well you know.” she said, cheeks flushing red.”

Yang rolled her eyes. “You're a Goddess, Ruby. You can say fu-”

“Yang!” Ruby squealed, blush deepening.

Grinning, Yang made a rude gesture and waggled her eyebrows at Weiss.

“What kind of chastity Goddess are you?” Weiss asked.

“The good kind.”

“This is fun and all, but what did you want, Weiss?” Blake said with a yawn.

“What?” Weiss said, puzzled at the question.

“When we're summoned it usually for a reason, like hunting down an enemy.” Blake said, eyes glinting.

Weiss swallowed hard.

“Or an endless supply of cookies!” Ruby piped up.

“I'm not much of a giver, per say,” Yang mused. “Happy to take any excess cha-”

Yang!”

“I don't want anything.” Weiss said carefully.

The three Goddesses stared at her.

“You're my friends,” Weiss continued. “I can't make any demands of you, since you've all given me what I want already.”

Fidgeting with Myrtenaster, Weiss watched as her divine team mates exchanged glances as if in silent debate. Then, as one, they smiled.

“This is a first.” Blake said.

The suffocating presence withdrew and Weiss found herself breathing easier.

“Kinda anti-climatic.” Yang said.

Ruby clapped her hands. “Yeah, nice Weiss!”

“So how do I free you?” Weiss asked.

“Allow me.”

Blake shrugged her bow off and smoothly nocked an arrow. Lining up a shot, she fired and the barriers surrounding the Goddesses shattered as the projectile punched through. The glyphs beneath their feet winked out, and their forms shimmered and reappeared dressed in their usual huntress attire.

“Thanks, Blake.” Yang said cheerfully, picking a stray flower from her hair.

Weiss gaped. “You could do that at any time?” she asked.

“Oh sure,” Blake said. “You were pretty spread out. Usually no one is dumb enough to summon more one God. Even one doesn't typically end well.”

“Oh.” Weiss said quietly.

Weiss rocked back as Ruby catapulted into her, hugging tightly.

“You weren't in any danger, you're our precious friend.” Ruby said.

Untangling herself from Ruby, Weiss patted her on the shoulder.

“I think I need to lie down for a bit.” She said, smiling wanly.

Ruby waved goodbye as her partner stumbled towards the dorms. When she passed out of sight, Yang hit Ruby upside the back of her head.

“Ow! Why?” Ruby whined.

“You know why,” Yang said. “We're lucky you didn't spill Jaune's identity, you little blabbermouth.”

“Weiss would have been foaming at the mouth if that happened.” Blake mused.

Yang peered sideways at her sister.

“What did you tell Weiss your domain was?” she asked.

“Cookies.” Ruby said simply.

“Ha!”