Maximum Ride Fanfiction Wiki
This story's rating is: K +.
This means that it contains some older material that may be inappropriate for younger readers.

The author (Slimshady2015) has given the story this rating due to: thematic humor, subject mater, and action.

If you disagree with this rating, please contact either Slimshady2015 or a local admin. Happy reading!


This fanfiction is a RWBY and Maximum Ride crossover.


This fanfiction's genres are Adventure and Fantasy.


The author has written this fanfiction from beginning to end. Enjoy!

Angel and Maximum Ride join our favorite huntresses across Vale to battle Grimm and the mysterious Salem. A retelling of the awesome series with a touch of Max.

Rating K+: There is no blood in this. When a creature of Grimm is destroyed, it disappears into a cloud of rose petals. We are trying to keep the rating K+ or lower, but if it exceeds this, please contact Jimmy or Shadow.


In the beginning, there was Dust, and from that dust came man. Now, man was tough, wise, and resourceful.

Eventually, creatures came to try and end man's short existence. These creatures were called Grimm. Because of man's resourceful nature, we were able to create a weapon against these creatures. This weapon was appropriately named Dust, and with Dust, came the power to fight back against these creatures. In their absence, came a spark of hope, and even a spark is enough to ignite a blaze. From that hope came light, and from that light came civilization, but no matter how much hope there is, all lights eventually flicker and fade.

Watch opening

♫ They see you as small and helpless;
They see you as just a child.
Surprise when they find out that a warrior will soon run wild.

Prepare for your greatest moments;
Prepare for your finest hour.
The dream that you've always dreamed is suddenly about to flower.

We are lightning,
Straying from the thunder,
Miracles of ancient wonder.

This will be the day we've waited for.
This will be the day we open up the door.
I don't wanna hear your absolution;
Hope you're ready for a revolution.

Welcome to a world of new solutions.
Welcome to a world of bloody evolution.
In time, your heart will open minds,
A story will be told,
And victory is in a simple soul. ♫

Part One: Welcome to Beacon[]

Dust Till Dawn[]

Ruby. Ruby Rose. She was named after the color red, so you could guess what type of person she was.

Ruby was shopping at Dust Till Dawn. Normal day. Nothing was really happening, other than Ruby was really bored. Why can't anything cool happen to me? she wondered idly. She went to the repair counter, picked up her scythe, Crescent Rose, and got in line to pay. It had a curved red blade and a black and red handle about as long as she was tall. She tested the new leather grip. It was better than the old one.

This is boring, Ruby thought, though she was curious why she was so hung up on this idea of being bored.

Another person entered the shop, and he seemed more interesting than the purple and green floor tiles, so Ruby decided to pay attention to him. Maybe he'll talk to me, and I won't be so bored out of my mind, Ruby thought. She fingered Crescent Rose absently.

The man took some red dust off the shelf and stuffed it into a suitcase. He walked to the end of the aisle and took almost all of the blue dust crystals off the shelf and stuffed the shiny translucent shapes into a box in his suitcase.

Ruby narrowed her eyes at him. "Um, dude, what are you doing?"

The man stared intently at Ruby and pointed his cane shaped gun at her. "You would love to know, wouldn't you, little girl?"

He took a vial of red dust, put it into his gun, and shot at her, creating an explosion that allowed him to go outside and run for the exit.

"NO!" Ruby shouted, jumping onto the man and missing, only grabbing his leg.

"Get off me, you child," he said, pushing her off. He poked her really hard in the arm and Ruby squeaked, letting go.

"Stop, both of you rascals," a woman said. Ruby and the thief looked up. "What in the world are you doing?"

"A ... a huntress?" Ruby stuttered, nonplussed. "Can I have your autograph?"

The huntress looked at her annoyed. "Now is not the time!" The woman wore a Beacon Academy uniform.

"Bye, bye, suckers," the man said as he got up and attempted to run. Ruby loaded some white dust into Crescent Rose.

Ruby ran up and swept the man's legs out from under him with her ever "adorable" scythe. The man jumped back up and gave Ruby a boot to the face and she stumbled backward. He ran towards a ladder and shimmied up it, Ruby doing the same.

Ruby followed the man to the rooftop and he jumped off into oblivion. Ruby looked around, confused. Why did he go to the trouble of robbing a dust store only to commit suicide? Ruby wondered, but her question was quickly answered. A helicopter ascended with the man in it.

The huntress appeared, using a wand like device to make clouds gather above the helicopter, and crystals of pure dust started pelting the ship.

The man walked to the front of the helicopter. "Cinder, we got a huntress," he said.

The huntress got up and started shooting fire at the helicopter. Beams of flame danced around the copter, but just as it seemed the huntress had won, a strange woman appeared from inside. Cinder.

Cinder, without anything other than her hands, dissipated and destroyed the flame beams. The huntress and the strange woman were locked in a deadly battle of swirling dust.

Suddenly, Cinder shot a burst of flame at the huntress. Ruby jumped and pushed her out of the way.

The helicopter used this moment to escape. The strange man and Cinder had gotten away, for now.

"How did she doing that without dust?" Ruby asked, mostly to herself.

"I have no clue," the huntress responded. "We have been trying to catch these two for over two years now. What you did was reckless and stupid, but if you had not acted, they would have likely robbed that store blind."

"Now what?" Ruby asked.

The huntress sighed. "Now, I'm bringing you to Beacon. There is someone I want you to meet," she said. "Also, I didn't catch you name."

"R-ruby," she replied. "Ruby Rose."

"Come here, Ruby Rose," the huntress said. "What were you THINKING!" the huntress scolded. Ruby looked down at her feet. "What if someone had gotten hurt? How would you have felt if you were responsible for an innocent civilian getting hurt?"

Ruby's face burned, shame seeping into every muscle in her body. I'm either bored out of my mind, or I'm involved in a huge fight, Ruby though. Way to go, me.

A gray haired man walked into the room in the middle of Ruby's scolding. "Hello, do you mind telling me where you learned to fight like this?" the gray haired man asked.

"I learned it at combat school," Ruby whispered. "I figured if I kept my grades up and stayed out of trouble, I'd be able to go to Beacon Academy."

"Some good you'd do to us like this-" the huntress snorted before she was interrupted by the man. He motioned for Ruby to continue.

"Um, you see, I used to be complete garbage in battle. Well, that was until my Uncle Qrow taught me. Now I'm all like-" Ruby started to say.

"You have silver eyes," the man interrupted. "Now, can you tell me your name? I still haven't caught it."

Ruby looked him straight in the eye. "Ruby. My name is Ruby Rose."

"Good. And do you know who I am?" he asked.

Ruby nodded. "You're professor Ozpin, head of Beacon Academy."

"Yes, girl," the professor said. "Now, why are you so darn nervous?"

"I have to admit I am kind of nervous talking to someone of your magnitude," Ruby replied, shrugging.

"You want to go to my school, do you?" Professor Ozpin asked.

"Yes, more than anything on this Earth," Ruby said, taking in a deep breath.

"Well, alright then very well then," Professor Ozpin said. And with that simple phrase Ruby's face went from somewhat depressed to complete joy.

Little did she know that Ozpin not only had his own motives, but also knew more about Ruby than she knew about herself.

Encounter with Grimm[]

Angel. Angel Ride. The most innocent looking girl that's absolutly not innocent. Got to love her.

Well, she was walking through the woods, enjoying the night's cloak and the cool wind in her wings. She couldn't sleep, and Max would never know she was out. This was important, so Max couldn't stop her anyway. She crossed a creek when she heard something.

"Who's there?" Angel asked in a commanding voice. Nothing answered. Suddenly, a Beowulf jumped out of the bushes, growling menacingly.

"Hey! AHHHH!" Angel screamed. The Beowulf raced towards her. "Somebody, please help!"

The Beowulf jumped on top of Angel, and just as sudden as the beast appeared, the creature disappeared in a flurry of rose petals and black mist. A girl dressed in black, carrying what appeared to be a cross between a chain mace, an ax, and two semi automatic pistols, stood over Angel.

"Are you okay?" the strange girl asked.

"Who are you," Angel asked. "Why did you help me?"

The girl extended her hand and helped Angel up. "I am Blake, Blake Belladonna, and us Faunues need to stick together," the girl said. "Why were you out here in the woods? It's not safe to be out in the forest alone, let alone at night."

"I am trying to find one who killed my father," Angel explained. "I must exact my revenge."

Blake gave Angel a critical look, twitching the bow on the top of her head. She must hide her ears under that, Angel thought. "Seriously? You couldn't even kill a single Beowulf," Blake said critically. "How do you ever expect to get revenge? I bet you don't even have any dust on you. Do you?"

"What do you want?" Angel suddenly screamed, surprised even at herself. She looked down at her feet and shook her head, feeling something wet on her face. They were tears.

Blake wiped her tears. Angel looked up at the piercing yellow eyes, reflecting the light of the fragmented moon. "If you join us at the White Fang, we can help you learn to fight," she offered. Angel looked up with interest. "We at the White Fang are the voice of those who have none. What do you say?"

Angel only needed to contemplate this for a second. "I'm in."

"Good. We need new recruits," Blake smiled. "Say, I didn't catch your name."

"Angel, Angel Ride. I am four years old," Angel replied.

Blake nods. "Welcome to the team, Angel."

Present Day

Angel sat inside her cozy cabin in the woods, Fang in a rocking chair next to her. Max was trying to cook dinner. Emphasis on the trying.

Angel grabbed Fang's pant leg and tugged. "Fang? I hear something outside. What is going on?"

Fang got up and walked out the door. "Angel, get me my sword. I need God Eater." Angel quickly ran to the wall and grabbed his sword. "Thanks kiddo. Keep this up and I might fix cookies for dinner."

Angel smiled and nodded.

Angel glanced out the window to see a Beowulf behind Fang. "Fang, LOOK OUT!" Angel screamed, jumping out the open window. She landed between Fang and the beast.

The beast hit Angel hard in the chest, but instead of flying across the yard, Angel caught its paw.

"Don't you EVER hurt my FAMILY ever AGAIN!!!" Angel said, throwing it across the yard. It landed on a rock.

The horrible creature got up, only for Angel to fly at it, soaring in the sky, landing a punch in the white and black monster's stomach. The thing exploded into a brilliant shower of tiny red rose petals. The sight of victory.

Angel collapsed on the ground, the exhaustion hitting her all at once. Her vision swam, black dots dancing in her eyes. Just before she blacked out, she saw Fang lean over her with a look of awe.

"I never knew my sweet Angel would have such a high concentration of Aura," he said, mostly to himself. "I have quite a bit myself, but even I couldn't take on a full grown Beowulf with nothing but my hands."

Angel's vision grew dim and she blacked out.

Fang carried her inside and set her on her bed. Max looked at Angel worriedly. "Is she okay? When's she going to wake up?" Max asked.

"Using that much of her Aura without training could have easily killed her, so this damage is actually quite minimal," Fang said. "But I think she's ready for Beacon."

"I don't care if it's minimal. She needs someone to watch over her," Max said. "Look, I know you want to, but you can't, because you're going back to work clearing Grimm soon, so that leaves me."

Fang nods in agreement. "I'll miss both of you."

When Angel finally woke up, it was dark outside. Fang was sitting by her bed. "Angel, I think you are ready to go to Beacon. I think it will be good for you."

Angel looked at him with a mixture of excitement and confusion. "But if people find out that I am a Faunus, they'll discriminate against me. They'll find out I fly." Fang held up tickets.

"Is Max okay with this?" Angel asked, breathing excitement.

"Actually, I already talked to her about it and she agreed under one condition," Fang said.

"Okay, I will shoot. What's the condition?" Angel asked.

"She wants to come with you. Beacon's initiation is quite dangerous. Last year, two people were eaten by Ursa."

"Last year was a fluke," Angel said, knowing it was a weak argument. "They should've known to make less noise."

Fang looks her in the eye. "If you don't feel it is necessary, then at least, for my sake, just cooperate and let Max come. It will make both of us feel better," Fang said. "You are very strong, but you are a little girl who is still unable to summon her semblance."

"But-" Angel tried to say, but Fang continued.

"Without being able to use a semblance, the only thing between you and the creatures of Grimm once your Aura is depleted is some armor and whatever resolve you can muster."

Angel looks at her feet in defeat. "Okay, if you insist."

Unlikely Friends[]

"Oh my God, it's my first day at Beacon. I'm so nervous!" Ruby said. She turned to her big sister, Yang. "But I don't need to worry about making friends, do I? I've got you, Yang."

Yang laughs uncomfortably. "Actually, I got my my own friends. Love you, sis. Good luck. Bye!!!" she said quickly. She ran off with her friends.

The abruptness of what happened put Ruby off balance. "Wait, what's going on? Where are the dorms? Do we have dorms?" Ruby said. She sighed. "I don't even know what I'm doing here."

She fell over, landing on top of someone's luggage cart.

"What are you doing here?" a girl with white hair dressed in complete white, save the collar, said. "Do you have any idea what kind of damage you could have caused?" The dust that had spilled out of the bag flew everywhere.

Ruby tried to help pick it up. "I am really sorry! Please forgive me," she said.

Weiss continued her lecture. "You dolt! What are you even doing here?" Weiss demanded. "Aren't you a little young to be going to Beacon?"

"Well ... I ... uh-" Ruby started to respond, but Weiss interrupted again.

"Do you even know what this is? It's pure refined Dust mined from the Schnee Dust quarry!" The Dust in the air aggravated Ruby's sinus. Ruby couldn't contain the urge to sneeze, enveloping them in a huge fireball.

"I'm sooo sorry. It was an accident. Please don't yell at me again!" Ruby begged.

"You miserable wench!" Weiss screamed, and procceeded to continue to berate her.

After about ten minutes of this, even Ruby, with all her patience, was starting to get annoyed. "Look princess! I said I was sorry!" she screamed.

Blake walked up to the angry duet. "It's heiress, actually. Weiss Schnee, heir to the the Schnee Dust company."

Weiss smiled. "At least someone-" she said before Blake interrupted.

"The same company renowned for it's shady labor laws and dishonest business tactics," Blake finished.

"Hey!" Weiss screamed, throwing her hands up. With that, Weiss stormed off. Ruby turned to thank the mysterious girl with the bow, but Blake already walked away.

Ruby fell to her knees, depressed. "Welcome to Beacon," she whispered to herself. "Way to go. Try to be apologize, and you blow a freaking crater in front of the school. I'm hopeless."

Just then, a guy walked up to Ruby and offered her a hand. "Need help?" he asked. Ruby nodded, grabbing his hand.

"You're the guy who threw upon the ship," Ruby remembered.

He looked self conscious. "Air sickness is a much more common problem then people let on," he explained.

Ruby smiled apologetically. "Sorry, vomit boy was the first thing that came to mind."

"Oh yeah?" he said. "What if I called you crater face?"

Ruby looked at him indignantly. "That was an accident!" she argued.

"Well, the name is Jaune Arc," he said. "Short, sweet, rolls off the tongue. Ladies love it."

"Do they?" Ruby teased, eyeing him suspiciously. She started walking, following him.

"They will! Or, at least I hope they will," Jaune said.

Ruby laughed in a friendly manner, pulling out Crescent Rose to show off. "Well, I got this," she said.

"Is that a scythe?" Jaune asked in awe.

"Yeah," Ruby beamed proudly. "It's also a high impact sniper rifle."

"A what?" Jaune asked, looking confused. He took a right around a big crowd of kids.

"It's also a gun," Ruby clarified.

Jaune self-consciously pulled out his meager little sword and shield. Ruby tried to look impressed and failed miserably.

"Well, I like it," she offered. "Not too many people have an appreciation for the classics. I mean, I kind of went a little overboard designing Crescent Rose."

"Wait, you made that?" Jaune asked in awe.

Ruby looked at him, confused. "Of course I made it! Everyone at Signal Academy was assigned to make their own weapons. Didn't you make yours?"

"Actually it was my grand father's, then my father's," Jaune said, looking at his feet, embarrassed.

"Sounds more like a family heirloom to me," Ruby, being socially awkward, said with a nervous laugh.

Ruby looked around, the path empty of people or landmarks. "Um ... where are we?" she asked.

Shrugging his shoulders. "I don't know, I was following you."

"Don't you hate when that happens?" Ruby asked, walking up to the sign displaying the campus map.

"So, do you know exactly what we will have to do for initiation?" Jaune asked.

"No idea," Ruby admitted. "I am just as much in the dark as you."

"Why didn't we get class schedules?" Jaune asked.

Ruby grinned. "Because, if you don't make it past initiation, you won't need to worry about that," Ruby said. Jaune still looked confused. "Why?"

"Because you will no longer be attending this academy."

"Oh," Jaune said, a look of realization crossing his features. "Let's hope we pass."

After an hour of wandering around the school, Ruby and Jaune made it to the assembly hall.

"RUBY! Over here! I saved you a spot!" shouted Yang.

"I'm sorry," Ruby said to Jaune. "I'll see you in a little bit." She turned towards Yang's direction. "I'M COMING, YANG!"

"Oh, I'll have to find another quirky, socially awkward girl to talk to," Jaune sighed. He walked away, a girl dressed in pink and gold staring after him.

"Sooo, how is your first day going?" Yang asked, smiling.

Ruby frowned. "AWFUL! First, you me leave me, your little sister, alone. Next, I fall on some bratty girl's luggage, and she yells at me. I tried to apologize, but I sneezed and blew a crater in front of the school. Then she yelled at me again!"

Yang smiled "Are you being sarcastic?"

Ruby scowled at her, which was an unusual thing for Ruby to do, but she was unusually annoyed. "I wish!" she exclaimed.

Weiss, who had sneaked behind Ruby that whole time screamed, "You!"

Ruby jumped into Yang's arms. "It's happening again!" Ruby cried.

"Wait, you were serious?" Yang asked in a much more serious tone. She glared at Weiss. "What is your problem with my sister?"

Weiss sneered. "What do I have against her?" she asked sarcastically. "She is a danger to my health!"

Ruby shrank behind Yang, absolutely hating all conflict.

"Look, I see you two got off to a bad start," Yang said. "Why don't you just try to start over?"

Ruby peaked out from behind Yang. She liked the idea. "I think I'll try that, Yang." She turned to look at Weiss. "Hello Weiss. I'm Ruby. You want to, like, hang out some time?"

"Like totally. And we could go to the mall, paint each other's nails and talk about cute boys like, tall, blond, and scraggly over there," Weiss said with mock enthusiasm.

Jaune looked hopeful. Ruby smiles. "Really?" Ruby asked.

Weiss frowned. "No. In fact, I never want you to talk to me again."

Ruby shrank back behind Yang and started to tear up.

Ozpin came on stage. "Testing, testing. Attention everyone," he demanded.

Without a fuss, the noise died down, and Ozpin continued. "Welcome to Beacon! I know all of you studied and worked very hard to get here, but when I look at you, all I see is wasted energy," he said, looking around, clearing his throat. "While knowledge is important, it can only take you so far. Here at this school, you will have to learn that that there is no real substitute for experience."

There was a slight surprised his that spread through the room, but it quickly ended with a glare from Ozpin.

"Now, we only want those who are capable of learning this, so tomorrow after initiation, we will decide who will get the privilege of continuing to go to this school, and who will go home with their tail between there legs, sometimes literally," he said, pausing to let that sink in. "You may also be aware that we are the only academy in all of Remnent to accept Faunus in our school. One last thing before I let Professor Glynda Goodwitch show you around the school. Good luck."

Unfortunate Start[]

After listening to that somewhat depressing, somewhat boring speech, Angel wandered into the corridor excited and nervous. Not a good combination, but Angel didn't care. She was too excited to be there and too nervous about trying not to fail the initiation.

Angel started to fantasize in her head about what life would be like when she graduated Beacon. She fingered her luggage, thinking of how happy she'd be when she went back home to see Fang. Oh, she missed him already.

Suddenly, Ruby accidentally stumbled into her knocking over her luggage. She looked at Angel apologetically.

"I am so sorry I knocked into you," Ruby said as she tries to help her pick up her books. "Please don't yell at me? It's been happening all day."

"Who in this world do you think you are," Angel asked, snatching her green notebook from Ruby's hands. It was an impressive sight, a six year old standing up to a 15 year old and winning.

"I said I'm sorry," Ruby said. "Do you need any help?"

"You humans," Angel grumbled, stuffing the rest of her stuff back into her bag. "Always so clumsy, don't even look when there's a Faunus in the way."

"You're a Faunus?" Ruby blurted.

"Yeah, you dim wit," Angel said. "I have wings, in case you were blind."

Ruby starred intently at the white wings on Angel's back. Maybe she didn't notice them earlier.

"Well, I've got to get to lunch, loser," Angel said. "Bye."

"Wait," Ruby said quickly. "I've just been abandoned by my sister, yelled at by some heiress, and then was yelled at by that again. Please sit at me at lunch."

"Hey Ruby," Jaune said, walking up.

"Looks like there's a loser who'll sit with you," Angel commented.

"Who's this jerk?" Jaune asked.

"Let's go," Ruby said, sounding hurt. "Just another Weiss."

"Wait, you talked to Weiss?" Angel asked. "And she was mean to you?"

"I sort of ran into her," Ruby admitted.

"Oh, no wonder," Angel whistled. "Stop being so clumsy, moron."

"Hey, it was an accident," Ruby said. Typical human.

"Yeah, if I wasn't a Faunus, you wouldn't have been so 'clumsy,'" Angel growled. "You stupid, specieist-"

"Hey, not all humans are like that," Jaune said, cutting her off. "Some of us don't care about that stuff."

"Yeah," Ruby added. "You have very nice wings. I wish I had wings."

Pain flared in Angel's mind. All of her fear of losing Max and Fang flooded back into her mind. Then she remembered Blake, and felt strong. "You don't wish you had wings," Angel said.

"Why not?" Ruby asked innocently. "They're beautiful." She was either completely clueless or completely clueless.

"Bye bye, losers," Angel said, walking away. "Have lunch by your selves."

"Wait," Ruby called.

"Let her go," Jaune said. "She obviously doesn't want to sit with us."

They walked away in silence. Angel shrugged and waked to the lunchroom alone.

Ruby stood in line for lunch, Jaune behind her. "You think there'll be something good for lunch," Jaune asked.

"Hope so," Ruby said. "I'd like to be staying here for longer than today, so I hope there's something good to eat."

They both got the lasagna, although Ruby sneaked a few cookies. They sat down and started eating.

"I never figured you to be a rule breaker," Jaune commented, seeing the cookies.

"But, it's cookies," Ruby said in a rough tone, a guilty look in her eyes. "Besides, I had a rough day." She gave Jaune with puppy dog eyes.

Jaune gave her a look. "Okay, I'll put them back."

"Hey, it's just cookies," Ruby said. "I love cookies. They're just about the only think I'd break the rules for anyway."

"So then it's okay?" Jaune asked.

"Um, no, not really," Ruby said uncomfortably. "Hey, I'll come with you."

"What do you think they'll make us fight tomorrow?" Ruby asked after she returned the cookie, though came back with a single one. The person in charge of selling them gave it to her just cause she liked her.

"Don't want to think about it," Jaune replied. "It'll make me sick. Again."

Ruby snickered. "Okay then. So, what doesn't make you sick?"

Jaune shrugged. "Hey, this lasagna's pretty good," eh said. "Maybe this place won't be so bad."

"What are you talking about?" Ruby scoffed. "It's already awesome."


Later that night, everyone was camping out in the main hall. Ruby just started writing her second letter when Yang plopped down on a mat beside her. "So sis, what're you doing?" Yang asked.

Ruby yawned in the most adorable way possible. "I'm writing to my friends back at Signal," she said. "I promised I would tell them all about Beacon."

"Aw... My little sis misses her friends," Yang teased.

Ruby threw a pillow at Yang. "SHUT UP! It's weird not knowing anyone here. Unlike you, I didn't get to take my friends with me."

Yang thought for a second. "Well," she said. "What about Jaune? He seams pretty nice. There you go, plus one friend. That is a one hundred percent increase!"

"Pretty sure Weiss counts for a negative friend," Ruby sighed sadly. "Back to zero"

Yang looks a little uncomfortable. "There is no such thing as a negative friend," she claimed. "You just made one friend and one enemy."

Ruby threw her other pillow at her. "Shut up!" she demanded. Suddenly, she spotted Blake across the room. "Wait, I know that girl."

"You two friends?" Yang asked.

Ruby shook her head. "Not really," she said. "I don't know much about her, but she saw what happened in the courtyard."

Yang got up and pulled Ruby with a grin. "Then why don't go introduce yourself?" she asked. Yang looked over at Blake and yelled, "Hello! You remember my sister from the courtyard?" She promptly dragged Ruby in front of the sleek bowed girl reading in the corner.

Blake looked over at Ruby. "Aren't you the girl who exploded in the courtyard?" she asked in a detached tone.

Ruby looked extremely nervous, not too fond of breaking out of her shell. "Yeah, my name is Ruby, but you can just call me crater- actually, you can just call me Ruby!"

Blake looks back down at her book. "Uh huh," she said in a bored tone.

"What are you doing?" Yang whispered to Ruby.

"I don't know. Help me!" Ruby whispered back. She smiled sweetly at Yang

"I like your bow," Yang said. "It goes great with your ... pajamas."

Blake doesn't even look up from her book. "Uh-huh," she said again in a bored tone.

Yang scratched her head. "Are you enjoying the book?" she asked nervously.

Blake looked up. "Yes, I am, and I will continue to," she answered, hoping they would take the hint.

They didn't, so she continued. "As soon as you leave."

"She's a lost cause," Yang whispered to Ruby.

Ruby ignored her sister. "What's it about?"

Blake looked a little shocked. "Well, it's about a man with two souls, each fighting for control of his body."

"I love books," Ruby responded. "Yang used to read to me when I was little. She'd read stories of knights and dragons. I always wanted to be like the heroes in those stories. You know, standing up for what is right! Those books are the reason I want to be a huntress."

"That is pretty ambitious as a child," Blake said, a small smile escaping her lips. "Unfortunately, the real world isn't like a fairy tale. There are no happy endings in this world." Blake's expression turned dark.

"That's why we're here," Ruby said, upbeat and oblivious. "To make the world a better place."

I don't normally like humans, but she seams so innocent, Blake thought. That, I kind of envy in her.

Suddenly, Yang came up from behind Ruby and hugged her sister and started messing up her hair. "Oh, my little sis has a friend. I'm so proud of you," she said.

"Can't breath!" Ruby said, jabbing Yang in the stomach. The two sister fight, the way siblings often do.

"Could you two keep it down?" Weiss said, walking up from further down the hallway. "Some of us are trying to sleep!"

"Oh, wait, she's right," Ruby cut in. "People are trying to sleep."

"Oh, now your on my side!" Weiss said.

"I was always on your side," Ruby said, looking hurt.

"Yeah, why do you keep being mean to my sister?" Yang demanded.

Blake blew out the candle. "I'm thinking of getting some eye-shut before tomorrow, too," she said.

Eventually, everyone calmed down enough and Ruby fell asleep.

The Emerald Forest[]

The next morning, Ruby got out of bed, walked to her locker, and grabbed Crescent Rose. Something she'd hope would be a routine instead of a one-day thing. That was, if she passed the initiation.

"So, are you nervous about initiation?" Yang asked.

"Nope, no boring small talk or social awkwardness," Ruby said confidently. "Today. I get to let my sweetheart do the talking." She started to literally coddle her weapon

Yang gave her a look. "You know we have to work in teams, right?"

"That's no big deal," Ruby said. "I'll just pair up with you."

"Well," Yang said uncomfortably. "Actually, I was thinking-"

Ruby interrupted her with a stern look. "Yang Xiao Long, my big sister," she said. "Are you insinuating that you do not wish to be on the same team as me?"

"No," Yang said. "I just think it would be a good idea to meet new people, you know? Break out of you shell?"

"What the-? I don't ever want to break out of my shell!" Ruby said.

"Meeting new people will help you grow up," Yang tried. It was something new.

"I don't need people to help me grow up," Ruby argued. "I drink milk!"

Yang decided to give up on arguing. It was impossible to reason with her when she got like this.

Jaune walked by. "No way I put my stuff in locker 625," he moaned. "I would have remembered having to count that high."

"So, Pyrrha," he overheard Weiss saying. He did have a mild crush on her. "Do you want to join my team?"

"Sure, why not?" Pyrrha smiled. "It sounds fun."

Jaune walks up to Weiss. "You know who else is fun?" he asked. "Me. Now, I'm not supposed to do this, but I think I could pull a few strings, talk to some people. What do you say, Ice Princess?"

Weiss glared at him. "As if."

"I'll team up with you if you want," Pyrrha suggested.

Jaune immediately, and almost comically, changed from talking to Weiss to talking to Pyrrha. "You don't say?" Jaune smiled.

"I think they allow teams of four," Pyrrha said.

"Spots are filling up quick," Jaune said to Weiss. "Now, I'm not supposed to do this, but maybe I can get you in."

"Do you have any idea who you were talking to?" Weiss asked, her glare blistering.

"Not a clue," Jaune replied, blissfully unaware.

"This is Pyrrha Nikos, she graduated top of her class at Atlas," Weiss said, angry.

"Where?" Jaune asked.

Weiss tried again. "She is ranked number one in sparing, One time, she won three championship medals in a row."

"The what?" Jaune asked, confused.

Weiss lost her nerve. "She is on EVERY box of Crunchy Marshmallow Fun Puffs Cereal!" Weiss screamed at the top of her lungs.

Finally, Jaune recognized her. "Oh! That's you?! They only reserve there boxes for world class athletes and comic book heroes!" Jaune became a total fan boy.

Pyrrha looked amused. "Yes I am," she said smugly. "But that the cereal is not good for you, though."

Weiss leans close to Jaune. "Do you really think you have a chance with her?" she asked.

"No," he said, disappointed. "I guess not."

"I would love to be on a team with you," Pyrrha suddenly said to him. Weiss looked utterly horrified.

"That's great. Weiss, want to join our team?" Jaune asked.

All Weiss said was, "Pyrrha help!"

Pyrrha threw a spear at Jaune, leaving him hanging with his hood impaled on the wall. Ruby walked up to Jaune.

"What did I do wrong?" Jaune sputtered. "My dad always told me all women look for is confidence."

Ruby smiled, tearing the spear out of the wall. "Maybe Ice Princess wasn't the best line," she giggled.

After breakfast and a quick break, everyone arrived at the cliff just outside the Emerald Forest. Ruby looked over at Yang "So, what do you think our mission is?" she asked.

Yang smiles. "Well, I don't know, but it will be fun," she said. "Also, try to make some friends, my milk drinking sister. Besides, this is better."

At the sound of that said out loud, Ruby blushed a brighter red than her hood, if possible.

Deceptively Easy[]

The grass just beyond the Emerald Forest looked greener than possible. The students gathered before a stage set up at the foot of the cliff leading to the forest.

Ozpin walked onto stage up to the podium. "Hello, and welcome," he said into the microphone. "Today is initiation. Now, there are a few things I am legally obligated to warn you about. First off, yes, two people did die last year. The forest is infested with grimm, so do not hesitate to destroy everything in your path or you will die." Ozpin grinned. "Now, Professor Goodwitch has something to say to you all."

Professor Goodwitch stood up, traded places with Ozpin, and took the microphone. "There have been rumors floating around about the forming of teams, so allow me to put an end to your confusion. We will assign you with teams. You will have to work together with this person for the rest of you time at Beacon."

Ruby looked absolutely horrified. Four rows over, Angel simply rolled her eyes.

Glynda continued. "That said, the first person you make eye contact with after landing will be your partner for the next four years, so choose carefully and be sure it is someone with whom you can work well."

By this point, all the pressure visibly shattered Ruby's hope. "WHAT!" Ruby exclaimed. She was shaking from fear.

"That is all we have to say," Ozpin said. "Any questions?"

Jaune raised his hand. "Sir, I have a question-" he started.

"Good," Ozpin said, ignoring him. The gathered students erupted into nervous murmuring.

Suddenly, Nora launched off the cliff using the piece of metal she was standing on. She laughed as she flew through the air.

"Um, how exactly are we going to get down there?" Jaune asked, staring down the cliff face. "Will you be dropping us off or something?"

Ren was launched. "No, you will be falling," Ozpin replied in a detached tone. Next was Yang's turn to put on some aviator sunglasses and she launched like a BA.

"Um, did you happen to pass out parachutes beforehand?" Jaune asked nervously.

"No," Ozpin replied. "You will be employing your own landing strategy." Ruby launched.

"This landing strategy you're talking about, what is it exact-" Jaune said just before he was launched."

Ozpin just stood there, drinking his coffee. "This will be entertaining." he commented.

Weiss launched next.

Ruby used Crescent Rose's bullets to slow her fall, and she eventually caught the curved blade on a tree. She flipped over landed.

Got to find Yang, Ruby thought nervously. "Got to find Yang, got to find Yang.

Ruby ran for a few more minutes not seeing another human or faunus the whole time. Though Jaune would not be so bad, she realized. He is nice, funny, but probably not too good in a fight. Well, then there is Blake, so cool, so mysterious, though I don't think I would be able to hold a conversation.

After all that, she finally decided, As long as I don't get that mean girl who yelled at me in the courtyard, I should be fine.

Two seconds later, Ruby came across a clearing in the brush. The first person Ruby maked eye contact with was, of all people, Weiss.

Weiss stared at Ruby in horror, then walks off without a word.

"Weiss, come back!" Ruby said, tears streaming down her face. She lightly kicked a pebble, sending it into a tree trunk. "We are supposed to be teammates."

They run across Jaune. "Can someone please get me down from here?" Jaune said, Pyhrra's spear sticking through his hood.

Weiss turned around, deciding that Ruby was the lesser evil of the two and started to drag Ruby by the hood. Ruby threw her hands up. "You came back!" she happily exclaimed in the cutest way possible.

"By no means does this make us friends," Weiss growled.

Peace between them lasted all of about ten minutes of walking before Weiss starting complaining. "I know we are partners, but I swear, if I get a bad grade because you can't keep up I'll-" Weiss said.

Ruby, who was a good twenty feet behind, suddenly appear in front of Weiss. "I'm not slow, see?" Ruby smiled. She stood in a position a lot like a puppy begging.

"But, how did you-?" Weiss stammered.

A slightly arrogant grin spread on Ruby's face. "Just because I am awkward socially does not mean that I am completely incompetent on the battlefield," she

Ruby puts her arm on Weiss's shoulder and says with a grand gesture "You are about to see a whole new side of me today, Weiss. You will be all like, 'WOW! That Ruby is really really cool, and I wanna be your friend.' "

Ruby disappeared, leaving behind only rose petals. "You know, for someone who moves so fast, you sure do excel at wasting time!" Weiss screamed.

A rustling sound came from the bushes. Weiss stared suspiciously at it. "Ruby? is that you?" she asked.

Suddenly, a pair of red eyes appeared. A giant Beowolf jumped out of the bushes, followed by an Ursa, and before Weiss knew it, she was surrounded.

Okay, stay calm, remember your training,Weiss thought. Shoulders back, head up, foot forward, not that far. She took a deep breath and charged at at the Beowolf. Halfway through her attack, Ruby appeared out of nowhere and jumped in front of Weiss. Swiftly, Ruby killed the Beowolf. Unable to stop the attack, Weiss hit the tree and caught it on fire.

"What was that?" Weiss screamed angrily. "I had it. I could have killed you!"

"Well, you'll have to try harder next time!" Ruby snarled back.

Weiss looked at Ruby in shock. "I can't believe that someone who talks so much would communicate so little in an encounter!"

The fire spread. Ruby got ready to fight, but Weiss grabbed Ruby by the hood and dragged her away. They leave the general area the forest as flames engulf the forest.

"What is wrong with you?! I could have easily taken them!" Ruby screamed.

"What did I do?" Weiss asked. "Perhaps if you had shown the tiniest bit of restraint and communicated better I wouldn't have set the forest on fire!"

Ruby stormed off, pulling out her scythe and cutting down a two hundred year old oak tree in anger.


Angel walked around alone. There was a rustle in the forest.

"Max? is that you?" Angel asked. She looked in the bushes, finding nothing. "NOPE."

An ursa jumped out and hit her, sending her flying into a tree.

Angel slid down the tree and landed on the ground. She attempted to get up, pain shooting into her leg. She decided to sit back down.

"I think I broke it," Angel said to herself. "I am sorry Max, I promised I would not get myself killed and I failed."

Hot tears started streaming down her face. The Ursa walked up on her and Angel's life flashed before her eyes. I'm going to die, she thought, and was scared by how much that really scared her. No Max, I'm sorry, Max. I'm going to die on my first day.

Angel stared down the face of the Ursa, accepting death. She had a childish thought, but she was going to die anyway. Stupid thing, please kill yourself and allow me to get out of this alive

The Ursa ran into a river and drowned itself. Angel looked at her hands. "Did I do that?" she whispered.

Max walked into the clearing. "ANGEL? Are you okay?" she screamed. "What happened?"

"I think my semblance is telepathy!" Angel exclaimed. In a rush of excitement, she tried to get up, only to collapse from the pain in her leg. "Also, I think I broke my leg."

Max walked over and picked Angel up, giving her sufficient boost to get her flying. "You have worked too hard not to finish," she said, taking Angel's hand. "Now, you got hurt while trying to get in. There is no way I am going to let you flunk from initiation."

"Thanks, Max," Angel said, settling just above Max's head.

They walked, well, for Angel, flew through the forest until they came across a broken temple with chess pieces standing on the broken pillars.

"You think these are the relics?" Angel asked.

"Yep. Think so," Max said. "Should we grab one?"

Angel flew towards the black and gold pieces. A few were already missing. "Yeah, let's get the gold knights."

Max marched over to the relic just as the caw of a Nevermore filled the clearing.

"What was that?" Gabi Pariah whimpered.

"It might be that crow-looking thing," Luke Ricketts answered.

Max turned around, seeing the size of the Grimm. The Nevermore screeched again, nearly knocking Angel off Max's shoulders.

"That's a Nevermore all right!" Angel screamed, clinging onto Max's head as Max turned and ran straight into Luke.

"Oh, hi winged girl!" Luke shouted.

"Hey, the name's Max," Max said, glaring.

"And I'm Angel," Angel growled. Her eyes burned with piercing hate. "Get it right."

Luke suddenly became really interested in his shoes. "Sorry," he whispered.

Suddenly, a girl with a gigantic red scythe falls out of the sky. "Um, Angel," Max said, looking up. "Is the girl who bumped into you falling out of the sky?"

Angel flew higher to get a closer look. "Yes I believe it is. I think her name is Ruby."

Suddenly, Juane flew through the air, collided into Ruby, and clipped Angel's wing, knocking all of them into a tree.

"ANGEL!" Max screamed. She jumped into the air, wings out. "Hang in there! Wait, where are they?"

In the tree, Ruby sat on a large branch and looked around, dazed. "Why yes, daddy I would love another cookie," Ruby muttered, shaking her head, trying to get her thoughts together.

"JUANE! Are you okay?" Ruby screamed the first thing that came to her mind.

"Okay, actually," Jaune said. "How're you?"

Ruby blushed, embarrassed. "I'm fine, actually this kind of thing happens more often than you would think," she admitted.

Ruby let out an awkward cough. She looked at Angel at the base of the tree, laying there in pain and hopped down to run to her aid.

"Are you okay?" Ruby asked.

Angel looked at Ruby with an odd expression that can only be described as confused. "Why would you help me? I was such a jerk to you earlier. Why?"

"Well, I wanted to make it up to you for how I ran into you before," Ruby said, holding her hand out. Angel smiled and took her hand.

Nora, out in the field, rode on the back of an Ursa. No, literally riding it like a flipping horse.

"What the?" Max said. "Angel, where are-"

"THAT IS SO AWESOME!!!" Ruby screamed.

Suddenly the Ursa roared painfully and dropped dead. It immediately began disintegrating.

"AW... It broke," Nora said, disappointed.

Ren eventually eventually caught up, holding his sides, exhausted from the long run. "Nora, please never do that again?"

Ren looks over to find Nora, but she wasn't there anymore.

Nora hopped to the temple and grabbed the white rook chess peace. "I'm queen of the castle," she sang. "I'm queen of the castle-"

"NORA!" Ren interrupted, running over to meet her.

Yang and Blake wander to the temple and Yang grabbed the white Knight. "How about a cute little pony?"

Blake rolled her eyes. "Sure, whatever." She smiled slightly.

At the edge of the clearing, Pyhrra ran out of the woods with a giant Death-Stalker on her tail. Well, not literally, 'cause she's not a Faunus.

Yang looked up. "Is Weiss about to fall?"

"She will be fine," Ruby replied.

Way up in the air, Weiss is holding onto the talon of a Nevermore. "WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME UP HERE?" Weiss screamed.

"I TOLD YOU TO JUMP!" Ruby replied.

"She's going to fall," Ren said.

"She's going to be fine," Nora said.

"She's falling," Ren commented.

Juane looked up to see Weiss falling. He jumped out of the tree to catch her, smoothly sliding below her and holding her in an almost cartoon way. "Just dropping in?" Jaune said, smoothly.

Juane eventually realized that there was a such thing known as gravity. "Oh no," he said.

They fall to the ground, Juane flat on his face, Weiss landing on his back.

"My hero," Weiss said in a bored tone. In the background, the Death-Stalker is still chasing Pyrrha. Weiss and Jaune stumble over to the temple. Suddenly, Pyrrha is thrown by the Death-Stalker and lands at Yang's feet.

"Great, the gang's all here. Now we can die together," Yang said sarcastically.

"Not if I can help it," Ruby screamed, running towards the scorpion-like beast.

"Hey, DON'T KILL YOURSELF!" Angel screamed, running after her.

Fight to the Death[]

Ruby's first hit was bad at best. She bounced off like a harmless, scythe? Yeah, like Crescent Rose could be harmless.

The Nevermore swooped down and shot a torrent of arrow-like feathers, pinning Ruby's cape to the ground.

Yang ran forward. "Ruby, get out of there!" Yang screamed.

"I know, I'm trying," Ruby said, tugging helplessly at her cape.

"Hey, stop!" Angel screamed. Suddenly, a ripple spread Angel, hitting everyone's mind with a strangely compelling surge. Everyone froze in place, including the scorpion Grimm.

"DIE!" Angel screamed. Everyone snapped out of their faze, continuing their places.

Angel flew towards Ruby, hovering in front of Ruby, taking out her twin short swords, Mortensis. Angel pointed one of her swords at the Death-Stalker like a wand, the way Glynda did. She concentrated, sending a beam of energy at the scorpion. Stand STILL! Angel thought, staring into the beast's beady eyes.

This time, the force only stopped the Grimm. Angel turned around, flying to Ruby's side.

"Look, I know it does not excuse it," Angel said, offering her hand to Ruby. "But for what it is worth, I would like to apologize for how I treated you earlier."

Ruby smiled. "What are you talking about? I was the clumsy idiot who bumped into you. Besides, don't feel bad, it's not your fault. Your parents probably just forgot to teach you how to deal with people. I'm certainly not good at that."

Angel scowled. "My parents are dead," she whispered. Angel started to cry and Ruby leaped up and hugged her. She wiped Angel's tears and started tearing up.

"I'm sorry. I understand what it feels like," Ruby explained. "My mother died when I was young. She went out to clear some Ursa one day and just never came back. Dad doesn't like to talk about it much, but from I heard about her, she was a good wife and an awesome mother." Ruby took a deep breath. "I still miss her."

Angel looked at Ruby's tear streaked face, realizing that they have more in common than she thought. Angel sniffled.

The Death-Stalker broke free from Angel's hold and came running full speed at Angel. Ruby shoved Angel out of the way, staring down the face of the scorpion.

Suddenly, a blast of ice encases the Death-Stalker's tail, stopping it in it's tracks.

Weiss, holding her rapier Myrtenaster, walked over, triumphant, yet a bit guilty for judging Ruby before she got to know her.

Weiss sighed. "You are so reckless, and clumsy, and arrogant, and don't even get me started on your fighting style."

Ruby looked up. "Weiss?" she asked.

Weiss continued with hesitation. "And I suppose that at times I can be a bit... Difficult. But, if we are going to be on the same team, then we to work together. And if you promise to stop showing off, then I will be less bossy."

Ruby smiled a little. "I'm not showing off," she defended. "I am just trying to prove that I'm not some helpless little kid on the battlefield."

"So, what are we going to do about that Giant Nevermore?" Weiss asked, watching as the beast struggled against the ice.

Ruby grinned. "Our objective is right in front of us," Ruby said, gesturing to the chess pieces. "We don't have to fight these creatures. We just have to return to the cliff."

"I like it," Jaune said. "Run and live. That is a plan I can get behind."

Ruby grabbed a white knight piece and they make a run for it. The Nevermore cawed again, swooping lower. They hid behind the broken pillars of the temple.

The Nevermore landed right in front of the cliff, blocking their route.

"What are we going to do?" Angel asked.

Death-Stalker broke free and started charging at them.

Ruby looked around nervously. "I have a plan!" Ruby shouted just as the the Nevermore flew towards them.

Yang, Blake, Nora, and Jaune attack the Nevermore, focusing on weakening it, while the others attacked the Death-Stalker.

Nora looked at the crow-Grimm, strangely happy. "LET'S BREAK IT'S LEGS!"

"Um, it's huge!" Jaune said. "How're we going to do that?"

"Watch," Yang said, walking forward with Blake on her tail.

True Teamwork[]

Ruby stared at Yang and Blake slicing and dicing the Nevermore with no effect. Something more had to be done.

"Do you think you you could like, make this thing jump over the cliff?" Ruby asked Angel.

Angel shook her head, putting away Mortensis, tears in her clear blue eyes. "I am completely drained from my first assault," Angel explained, ashamed.

"Oh," Ruby said, holding up Crescent Rose.

"I am sorry. I'm no help to you, anymore, but right now..." Angel said, taking in a shuddering breath. "I'm just a helpless child. With no aura, I'm just a liability. I know this is a selfish request, but please don't let me die!" Angel begged, tears streaking her face.

Ruby smiled lightly inspite of herself. "Don't worry," she said. "I'd never let a friend of mine get killed. Just stay back. Looks like it is up to the rest of us."

We are soo screwed, Ruby thought.

Nora smashed the Death-Stalker's head with her lovely pink hammer.

"Hey guys, we can't possible fight all of them at the same time," Ruby said. "Let's team up and fight one at a time."

"You hungry?" Yang screamed, hopping into the Nevermore's mouth, shooting at it.

Pyhrra shot the stinger of the Death-Stalker, slowly loosening it. Jaune stood by her, watching intently.

"Pyhrra, now!" Jaune shouted. Pyhrra nodded, throwing her shield at the Death-Stalker's stinger, dropping it on its own head.

Nora jumped into the air quickly bringing her hammer down on the Death-Stalker's head, killing it instantly.

"Great idea, Jaune!" Ruby shouts.

"Thanks?" Jaune said. "It was really a team effort."

"Yang, Blake, Weiss, over here," Ruby said. She whispered her plan to get rid of the Nevermore.

"Okay, good one, sis," Yang said.

"Not bad," Weiss said.

Blake threw one end of her weapon at a pillar, running around it to get airborne. She grabbed Yang, throwing her at the Nevermore.

Yang landed on the edge of the crow's mouth, shooting the inside of its mouth. The beast fell to the ground. Weiss quickly froze its tail to the cliff.

Ruby stood on one of Weiss's glyphs. "Are you sure you can make the shot?" Ruby asked.

"Can I?" Weiss asked confidently.

Ruby didn't get it. "Can you?"

"Of course I can!" Weiss screamed angrily.

"Oh, okay," Ruby said.

Weiss launched Ruby towards the Nevermore. As Ruby flew through the air, she fired behind her, using the recoil to increase momentum.

Weiss summoned her glyphs on the side of cliff. Ruby caught the Nevermore by the neck and ran up the side of the cliff with the Nevermore's throat in Crescent Rose's blade.

As she crested over the edge of the cliff, Ruby fired Crescent Rose's gun, shearing the head of the Nevermore shoulders, showering Ruby in a flurry of rose petals as the head disintegrated.

Ruby landed at the top of the cliff, grinning to those below.

Part Two: Stronger as a Whole[]


Later that day, they were gathered back in the grand hall. It was time to assign teams.

"Angel Ride, Maximum Ride, Gabi Piarah, and Luke Ricketts will make up team AMGL (Angel) led by Angel Ride," Ozpin announced.

Max gives Angel a look like that's so cute!

Ozpin continued. "Ruby Rose, Yang Xiao Long, Blake Belladonna, and Weiss Schnee make up team RWBY (Ruby), led by Ruby Rose," he said.

Ruby stopped picking her nose and smiles as her sister Yang tackled her in a hug. "Oh, I'm so proud of my little sis!"

Weiss glared at Ruby. Blake grinned slightly.

Then the last team. "Juane Arc, Nora Valkyrie, Pyhrra Nikos, and Lie Ren together make up team JNPR (Juniper), led by Juane Arc," Opzin finished.

"What?" Jaune asked, suddenly paying attention.

Pyrrha playfully punched him in the arm and he fell to the ground, Pyrrha laughing.

"To everyone who I called, congratulations on making it into our prestigious academy," Opzin said. "You all worked hard to get here, and I expect only the very best from you. You are now dismissed."

"This is SO cool!" Max said, handing Angel her crutches.

"It would be a lot better if I hadn't broken down," Angel scoffed. "Why did Opzin make a useless crybaby the leader anyway?"

"Because you're not useless," Gabi said, catching up to them. "You're awesome! Right, Luke?"

"What? Oh, yeah," Luke said, staring at Weiss's, um, sword.

"Luke, get a life," Gabi joked, lightly punching him in the shoulder.

Later on in the dorm, Angel gathered her team for team planning. "So, first order of business. I would like to say how honored I am to be your leader," Angel said. "I don't know everything, so if anyone has an idea that's better than mine, please share. I can't be expected to solve every problem by myself."

Gabi and Luke smiled, as if they already had some ideas.

Meanwhile with team RWBY, Ruby was not exactly taking her job seriously. "Okay guys, now first thing we need to unpack."

Que unpacking montage with catchy 80's tunes and gags being played.

After unpacking, the team realized, kind of all at once, that the beds were a mess.

"Maybe we should try ditching some of our stuff," Blake suggested.

Ruby smiled. "Or, we could ditch the beds in favor of AWESOME new bunk beds!" Ruby squealed.

Yang smiled. "AWESOME idea, sis!"

"Well, bunk beds are efficient," Blake added casually.

Weiss looked indignant. "That seams dangerous," she said. "I for one think we should put it to a vote!"

Blake looked over at Weiss. "I'm pretty sure we just did."

Ruby smiled. "It's decided then!"

In an almost cartoonish way, they got to work, and after a few minutes, Ruby grinned confidently. "That looks AWESOME!!!"

"That does not look safe," Weiss sneered.

Ruby brushed that comment off like it was nothing. "It'll be fine!" she insisted. "Don't worry."

Back with team AMGL, Angel's leadership skills were under attack. Again. "Guys, I said I was sorry."

Gabi glared at Angel. "Oh yeah? Why don't you tell that to this priceless family heirloom you just destroyed?!"

Angel felt ashamed. One mistake and they want to lynch me, Angel thought. Now I understand what Max was always complaining about.

Then Max stepped in. "Well, what exactly were you doing, bringing a priceless family heirloom with you to Beacon?"

Gabi scowls at Max and walked up to Luke. "Why are we the ones being questioned?!"

Luke looked at his best friend, annoyed. "You need to chill, hothead. You always did have anger problems."

"You shouldn't even be the leader!" Gabi screamed in a last ditch effort. "why should I follow someone who a couple of years ago still wore diapers?!"

Angel looked down at her shoes. That was one of her most embarrassing secrets. Angel actually did wear diapers until she turned five, and she had always been self conscious about that. Angel could handle insults, but that one was a bit below the belt.

Why did I them that in the first place? Angel wondered. I mean, I just met these people, and I told them just cause we are technically on the same team now? Man, I screwed up.

Max walked up to Gabi and grabbed her shoulders. Hard. "It's not Angel's fault," Max said in a deadly calm voice, each word dripping with venom. "She simply had some minor issues as a small child, and if you EVER tease her about it again, I swear I will kick your scrawny white butt from here to the middle of the next century. Do you hear me?"

That unnerved Gabi so much that she just stood there gawking like a dodo bird. She was a dodo bird for teasing Angel, anyway.

A Strong Leader[]

The next morning Ruby, up to mischief, snuck up on Weiss while she was sleeping and blew a whistle. Weiss bolted awake.

"Goood morning, sleepyhead!!!" Ruby screamed.

Weiss glared at Ruby. "Why, you little-" she screamed.

Ruby gave her the sweetest, most innocent look. "We are a team now, and as leader, I declare that this will be the most FUN four years of our lives!!!" she interrupted.

"BANZAI!!!" Ruby, Blake, and Yang screamed at once, and it was enough to get a small, subtle grin out of Weiss.

"Okay, now first on today's to do list!" Ruby said with a more serious tone. Her face lit up excitedly only for the joy to drain out of her voice at the next word. "Classes. Okay, at nine o'clock, we have Grimm hunting 101 at-"

"Nine o'clock?" Weiss interrupted. "It's eight fifty-five, you dunce!!!"

"Okay, to class!" Ruby said about ten seconds later, running. In a panic, team RWBY rushed out of the room.

The commotion caused both team JNPR and team AMGL to wake up and run after team RWBY, 'cause of course they were running late, too.

They made it to class, just in a nick of time. Professor Port was just about ready to begin his lecture.

"Now we begin a story about a handsome young man," Port said. "Me."

Ruby rolled her eyes, bored out of her mind. Angel, sitting just behind, watched intently, looking for a weakness in the professor's stupid story. Only Pyrrha seemed to actually be paying attention.

Chuckling, Ruby started drawing a picture of Port, mostly highlighting his, unsettling weight.

"Hey guys," Ruby said, showing her team her drawing.

Only Weiss didn't laugh. Typical.

Just then, Professor Port glared at Ruby. Hard.

Ruby glanced down, feeling a kind of bad about it. The professor continued his speech. Boring.

"A leader must be smart, a leader must be vigilant, and above all a leader has to work well with others," he said grandly.

Weiss shot Ruby a look, but she was too busy goofing off to notice.

Weiss glared at her, and Ruby started to pick her nose. You couldn't blame her. By that point in Professor Port's speech, only Weiss could be interested.

"Now, who among us thinks that they poss these qualities?" Port asked. Before Weiss could raise her hand, Angel did. Despite her injury, she came down to the front when called, ready to face whatever Port had in store.

Cardin snickered. "Look, the Faunus thinks she can fight as well as a human." Angel looked hurt by the blatant racism.

"Hey!" Pyrrha yelled. "That's not nice."

People snickered, but the Professor didn't say anything.

Angel advanced forward, changing into her battle uniform. A short pink combat skirt with a lacy blue and pink shirt, complete with her twin swords. Despite what Cardin said earlier, Angel looked very intimidating.

Angel stood in front of a large black cage, tensing up. She knew she was still injured, but from the moment she raised her hand, she knew she had to prove she could do it. To herself. To Max. To everyone.

Taking out his axe, Professor Port cut the lock off the cage. The door rattled a bit, then a Boarbatusk leapt out of the cage.

Huntress in Training[]

The last thing Angel was expecting was a live Grimm in the classroom. But there was no time to lose. Angel had to kill the vile thing.

Angel leaped up, snapping her white wings open. She usually wasn't comfortable with showing so many people the one thing that made her different, but she had no choice. It was fight, or die. And Angel was not dying today.

The Boarbatusk pounced up, trying to nip at Angel's feet. It was quite hilarious, watching the stout Grimm bouncing on its short hind lets, but she knew she had to show Professor Port and the class what she was made of.

Remember what Fang told you, Angel thought. Feel for the beast's breathing, wait for it to show a weakness.

Cardin loudly whispered something. Angel tried to focus, sensing a moment of hesitation from the Boaratusk. Attack.

Angel folded her wings, diving in and stabbing the Grimm in the back. Mortensis's first hit bounced off, but that only set up Angel's second strike. She quickly rose and glided across the room, transforming Mortensis into gun mode and firing dust rounds from her twin pistols. Angel landed, staring down the beast across the room.

"Go, ANGEL!" Yang shouted.

"Go for it's belly," Ruby yelled. "It doesn't have armor there!"

"Shut up, Ruby," Weiss shouted. "You're distracting her."

The Boaratusk rolled into itself and charged. Just as the Grimm reached her, Angel unfurled her wings quickly, looking almost like she teleported five feet above the Grimm. Practice makes perfect.

Angel twirled Mortensis's right half, turning it into a rocket launcher. She shot right under the Grimm's feet, circling around the Boaratusk as it pounced at her. A shell exploded just as the boar-Grimm jumped, flipping the creature over.

Angel dove in, plunging Mortensis's left half into the Boaratusk's underbelly. The creature squealed once, then started dissolving. Angel stepped back, flipping Mortensis back into twin blades.

"I think we are in the presence of a true huntress in training," Professor Port said. "Class dismissed."

The Best Teammate[]

After class Ruby ran up to Angel and hugged her hard. "YOU DID IT!!!" Ruby exclaimed.

Angel looked down at her feet. "Could you please let me go?" Angel asked, using all her patience. She didn't have very much of it left. It came out as a yell.

In shock, Ruby let go immediately, dropping Angel. Of course, she landed on her bad leg, yelping in pain. Frantically, Ruby started to apologize.

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, you just scared me for a second, that's all..." Ruby said.

"It's okay, I shouldn't have snapped," Angel said, testing her weight on her leg. "Besides, I kind of asked for it."

Weiss walked by, and Ruby, oblivious to the fact that Weiss was mere seconds from snapping, friendly screamed, "WEISS!!! How are you?"

Weiss gave Ruby the hardest, coldest stare humanly possible. "How am I? How am I? I am doing just FINE!!! Unlike my CHILDISH leader!"

Ruby gasped, shocked of Weiss's outburst. Apparently, I am everyone's emotional punching bag today, she thought glumly.

"Weiss, where is this coming from?" Ruby ventured.

Weiss glared at Ruby in utter contempt. " How can you be LEADER when you take NOTHING seriously?" Weiss spat. "I should have been made leader, you have done absolutely NOTHING to earn your position!"

Ruby's face burned, genuinely hurt by this statement "Weiss... But, Ozpin-" Ruby began, but Weiss interrupted.

"Ozpin made a mistake!" Weiss fumed, hate dripping venomously from every word. "And so you know, I would NEVER be friends with such a petulant child such as yourself!" As if Ruby hadn't felt bad enough, adding insult to injury.

Just before Weiss could stomp off, Ruby spoke up. "But what happened to to all that talk about working together?" Ruby whispered. "I thought you believed in working as a team."

Weiss's look of utter hatred grew deadlier. "Not a team led by you."

Ruby's face grew almost depressed.

"Don't let her words bother you too much," Angel said, getting up. "She is just blowing off steam."

Angel walked off and Ozpin came up behind Ruby

"Is something on your mind?" Ozpin asked in genuine concern.

"Was Wiess right?" Ruby asked dejectedly. "Did you make a mistake?"

Ozpin almost cracked a grin. "I have made more more mistakes than any man, woman, and child on the planet, but as of now, I do not feel that my decision to make you leader was one of them. Do you think I made a mistake?"

Ruby looked Ozpin in the eyes, her silver ones glistening with recently shed tears. "Weiss was right. I haven't been taking my job seriously."

Ozpin sets a sympathetic hand on her shoulder, sending her a reassuring smile. "It's only been a day," he reminded. "Just remember this: you are a leader now, and your team always comes before personal feelings."

Ruby nodded, taking what Ozpin said to her heart. With that, Ruby was off with a whole new confidence.

About the same time that Ruby was having this conversation with Ozpin, Weiss walked up to Professor Port. The professor, noticed something was troubling Weiss. "Come girl," he said in a joking tone usually reserved for his stories. "Confess to me your strife!"

Weiss looked the professor in the eye. "I think I should have been the leader of team RWBY."

At this remark, Professor Port just smirked like she was crazy. "Why that's preposterous!"

"Now why is that?" Weiss asked, indignant.

"I trust Professor Ozpin with my life!" Port replied. "He sees exactly what is in your heart, and knows your motivations, and while yes you are an exceptional fighter, you still lack basic humility. A leader must be humble, for if the leader is not humble then the team will collapse."

Weiss just stared at Port. When she didn't interject, Port continued. "I look at you and I see a girl who has gone her whole life and always gotten exactly what she wanted."

"That's not even remotely true!" Weiss insisted, her pride hurt. She slowly started to think about that statement, and came to a startling realization. "Well, maybe a little."

Professor Port, sensing a learning opportunity decided to jump for it. "Do you honestly think that acting in such a immature fashion would cause those in power to reconsider in your favor?"

Weiss lowered her head, realizing exactly what was being said and why. "No sir, it would only make them even more sure."

Professor Port grinned slightly as he noticed that his lesson was sinking in. "So, Ms. Schnee, instead of causing trouble, trying to be the best leader you can be, try focussing on being the person you can be. Do that, and you and everyone around you will be all the better for it."

Weiss nodded "Yes sir, from now on I will strive to be the best person I can be."

First I have to apologize to Ruby for my outburst, and make it up to her, Weiss decided.

Later that night, Weiss walked into the dorm after studying in the library to find Ruby passed out from exhaustion, Obviously, she had been working hard studying. The sight of how far she was willing to go in order set a good example made Weiss feel another pang of guilt on how she had talked to her earlier.

Weiss gently poked Ruby's arm, and the red hooded girl immediately sprung up so hard Ruby hit her head on the ceiling. She rubbed her head and started to apologize again.

"I'm so sorry, you see, I was up studying, and I got tired and was only going to close my eyes for a few sec-" she started to ramble. Weiss cut her off.

"How do you take your coffee?" Weiss asked.

Ruby was so caught off guard by this question that she started to stutter, unable to find words, the words of the English language bouncing in her brain like gumballs.

After about ten seconds of this Weiss said in a slightly harsher voice, which for her is showing restraint. "Answer the question!"

Ruby snapped out of it and blurted gracelessly "Cream and four sugars!"

"One sec," Weiss sighed, kneeling down by the coffee maker in the room, returning with a nice hot mug.

Ruby looked at Weiss gratefully. "Thank you, Weiss."

"I'm sorry for how I treated you back in the courtyard," Weiss said, "but just know that from now on, I will be the best teammate you have ever had."

With that, Weiss started climbing into bed, but decided to say one last thing. "That one's wrong, by the way."

Ruby started at the offending problem, kind of half sighing, half yawning.

True Friendship[]

Blake tossed and turned in bed, unsure of the concept of sleep. She glanced at Weiss and Ruby, wishing that they'd shut up so Blake could attempt sleep. Since the night of the train robbery, Blake hadn't stopped to think about Adam, but the day's events made her think again.

Blake turned and faced the wall, not wanting to look at her new "friends." Surely they wouldn't become monsters. Surely, they wouldn't become heartless, soulless killers. Blake shook her head. Thinking about this was bad.

Behind her, Weiss pointed out a mistake to Ruby. Just shut up! Blake thought. She sighed, adjusting her bow, and fell asleep.

There was no comfort in sleep. Adam's face appeared above Blake's.

"Hey girl, do you want to join me?" The young bull Fanus asked.

"Sure," Blake answered, taking the boy's hand.

Blake saw herself joining Adam in his adventures, little by little, seeing him change from the revolutionary fighter to the killer she had left, and for good reason.

Blake continued to toss and turn until eventually exhaustion overcame her and she gave into the sickly sweet comatose of sleep.

As her eyes became wary, the world began to fade to black, and in its place was a memory of a time she has always simply wished would be forgotten. Yes, these were the memories of Blake and her history with the White Fang.

Blake briefly glanced over her right shoulder and saw Adam, only he was just standing there eyeing her expectantly.

Blake remembered exactly what had happened that day, after all this was not the first time she has had this recurring nightmare, nor would it be the last she was certain.

After just a moment of silence that felt like an eternity Adam finally spoke up. "It is time," Adam spoke in a flat, almost monotonous tone, a tone that made Blake shudder.

Despite her unease Blake returned a mischievous grin. This is merely a dream after all, she told herself.

"Okay," Blake said, running off into the distance, Adam following closely behind.

Eventually they found what they were looking for, the train fast approaching, she jumped onto it, using her blades to keep her from falling off.

Once on her feet Blake looked at Adam and with a subtle almost imperceptible nod Adam opened up the roof hatch and jumped in.

Blake smiled with false sincerity. I am cursed to relive the day of my betrayal for the rest of my my life, Blake thought to herself.

With only a moment's hesitation, she jumped inside the car, landing on her knees. She got up and looked around.

"Looks like we'll be doing this the hard way," Adam said.

"Don't be so dramatic," Blake said.

The Atlesian Knights powered on. As Blake looked around, she saw something that really disturbed her. Not just disturbed her, but rocked her to her very core, shattering all boundaries she had built up. At a second glance, the Atlesian Knight were no longer faceless, soulless heaps of metal. They were her friends.

Blake looked utterly destroyed at the sight of Ruby, smiling her innocent smile, Weiss looking proudly ahead, Yang looking geared up, and Angel, unsure of herself as ever.

All this truly disturbed her, but it was nothing compared to what happened next.

"They are the enemy, my love. If we are to have peace and equality, then end them!" Adam said in a very harsh tone. "They are a disease that has infected Remnant, and we are the cure. You are either with us or against us. You cannot run. You must make a choice." Adam smiled in a way he only did near the end. "Will you spare these vermin, or will you help create our perfect world?" Adam laughed maniacally. "This is one choice you cannot run from, my love."

Blake wanted to side with her friends at any cost, but what came out of her mouth shocked her. "As you wish, my love."

With Blake's mind still reeling from what she just said, she stepped forward, walked up to Ruby, her best friend. I'm so sorry, Blake thought.

Blake stabbed Ruby in the chest. Blake swallowed the bile rising up from her throat, watching in horror as her friend dropped to the ground, a look of utter betrayal in her eyes, with tears of sorrow flowing down Blake's cheeks as Ruby breathed her last breath.

With a simple flick of the wrist, Blake finished Weiss. Still unable to control her body, Blake killed Yang with a single shot.

When she got to Angel it was different, however. Not only did she have control of her body again, but Angel actually attacked her. Blake just stood there as Angel struck her with Mortensis. Blake gasped, feeling a sharp pain in her chest. She tried to scream, only to find her words unable to come out. She coughed, tasting a metallic taste in her mouth. She watched Angel's look of regret through a lens of tears as everything faded to white.

Blake woke up with a start. She glanced around the room to be sure her friends were still alive. Finding her precious team still sleeping in their beds, she let out a heavy shuddering sigh.

Blake walked up to Ruby, happy to see she was not just unharmed but also having sweet dreams. "Yes, Mom, I would love another cookie," Ruby muttered through a haze of sleep. Blake smiled slightly in an almost motherly way and gave Ruby a light kiss on the forehead. Ironically enough, this small act of compassion elicited a single tear to roll down her chubby childish cheek and resting ever so softly upon her pillow.

Blake thought back to her dream for a moment. I think I understand what my subconscious was trying to tell me. In order to protect the ones I care for they must never know, Blake decided. I will NEVER put them in danger by dragging them into my painful past. It was my decision to betray the one I once loved. It is my own burden to bear. I acknowledge it was inevitable. He had changed too much. His core beliefs shattered and warped beyond recognition, warped by jealousy and hate.

After pushing her thoughts of guilt to back of her mind, Blake gently nudged Ruby awake. Time to put on my mask, Blake thought as Ruby shifted for moment before realizing that it was time to get up. She bolted upright and looked at the time. The clock said 7:45 am. They still had time left before class.

Ruby stretched out her arms, yawning in the most adorable, innocent way possible. She absently started wiping the sleep from her eyes. Ruby glanced around the room, her eyes eventually and lazily falling upon Blake, who smiled slightly, warming Ruby's heart.

After a quick shower, Ruby and her team went downstairs to the cafeteria. Blake looked at Ruby, admiring how the light reflected off her glistening wet red-black hair. The color of Ruby's hair briefly made Blake think of Adam.

Blake shuddered at the thought. There is no way Ruby would turn into the monster Adam became, Blake thought for a moment, before deciding, I would rather kill her if it came to it then let her become the monster he became, but I hope I never have to. I do not know what it is about her, but I sort of pity her. I know that all the silliness and the jokes, while sincere are there to hide inner turmoil. I see the slight pain in her eye, ever so subtle, so subtle in fact that a normal person would not notice. She looks like someone who has suffered a great loss.

Ruby, despite her social awkwardness, noticed Blake staring at her. "Um... Blake? What are you doing?"

At that remark Blake snapped out of her trance like state. "Ruby, have you ever lost someone close to you?" Blake asked.

Ruby's smile slowly faded away. "My mom," she replied, almost whispering. "I never really knew her. Dad always said she was nice though." Ruby stopped to wipe the tears that had started forming on her eyes. "One day she left and just never came back. They never even found a body."

Blake looked at Ruby with sympathy. "How do you stay so happy all the time when you had to deal with loss so young?"

Ruby gave Blake a sweet, sad smile. "Dad always said Mom was a very happy person, so I decided to honor her memory by always looking for the brightside in any situation," Ruby forced a smiled. "I refuse to let my loss control my life, even though I miss her every day. Even now, certain things will remind me of what I lost and a stray tear will escape." Ruby paused, wiping her nose on her sleeve, "I have taught myself to be grateful for what I do have and not to fret over what I don't."

Blake walked over to Ruby and wiped the tear from her eye. "You are not alone," Blake soothed. "We are your family now."

Angel walked up behind Ruby. "Hey, I lost both my parents. If you ever need anyone to talk with, just ask, okay?" Angel offered with a smile.

Weiss, who usually did not do anything other than berate Ruby, was even coming to offer support to their "fearless" leader. With all this emotion, even Weiss had started to feel even a pang of guilt about how she had been treating Ruby these past few days.

Field Trip[]

After the most emotional breakfast ever, Blake headed to her first class. She watched Ruby with keen interest. I don't know what it is about her, but I just want to hug her and squeeze her and never let her go! Blake thought to herself.

"Miss Belladonna! Perhaps you would like to stop daydreaming and participate in class?" Professor Port said in irritation at how his student was so blatantly ignoring him.

Blake snapped out of her haze at once. "Yes sir!" she said. Even Ruby, who was usually more interested in what color the contents of her nose were than what the professor was saying, was looking at her embarrassed.

After class, Team RWBY went back to their room.

"ALRIGHT! Team RWBY, today we are going on a field trip! We are going to Forever Fall forest! I hear it is beautiful this time of year!" Ruby stammered excitedly.

Blake took on a serious tone. "Are we not supposed to be learning to defend Vale?" she pointed out. "This seems like a waste of time."

Ruby gave Blake a disarming smile. "Lighten up, my dark emo friend. Live a little."

Blake gave Ruby strange, confused look. "All I am saying is that we should not be wasting time."

Ruby smirked at that remark, and not just any smirk, but the dorkiest smirk in the history of smirks. "It is not a waste of time, it is a type of survival skill. Collecting syrup," Ruby announced. "What if you are out in the field and have no food? This field trip might very well save your life someday."

Blake thought about it for a second, and then realizing the merit in Ruby's surprisingly mature statement. For a moment Blake stared off and thought, Our leader really has grown, I think she is starting to realize what it means to be a leader.


After that liberating speech about the grandeur of the Forever Fall forest, Ruby walked over to team JNPR.

"Hi Juane, how are you doing as a leader?" Ruby asked. "Your team treating you well?"

Jaune smiles slightly. "Could be better, could be worse," Jaune said with a shrug.

Ruby smiled at Jaune. "Sometimes, I get the feeling that my team does not take me too seriously," she admitted. "Sometimes, when I talk, I think they are thinking, 'Oh, that is so cute, Ruby playing leader.' I don't know how to make them take me seriously."

"Try acting more serious than," Jaune said. "If you act more serious then you will be taken more seriously." It was such a simple answer that Ruby almost fell over by the simplicity of the answer.

"Well, thanks, see you around," Ruby managed after she some-what recovered.

After that little talk with Jaune, Ruby walked back to her team. "Okay team, we are running late, so uh... TO CLASS!" Ruby said, then ran out the door.

I really need to keep better track of time, especially if I want my team to take me seriously, Ruby thought. I need to show how serious I can be while in the forest.

Team RWBY arrived just in time to head out with their class. "So you finally decide to join us, Miss Rose?" Glynda said with a deadly tone.

Ruby immediately took an interest in staring at her leather combat boots, her face blushed with embarrassment. I am not off to a good start, Ruby thought.

As if to add insult to injury, Yang started trying to defend her, which in any other situation, would have been a good thing.

"Hey, go easy on her," Yang insisted. "She is still inexperienced at this. Give her a break!" Ruby blushed an even deeper crimson.

She might as well be vouching for free juice boxes and nap times, Ruby grumbled. Why am I being treated like a kid? I mean, I may be two years younger than everyone, apart from Angel, who's like six, but I am more than capable of handling myself.

Ruby looked around, seeing even Angel was smirking slightly. She sighed. Even Angel gets taken more seriously by her team. I need start acting more serious- Ruby stopped mid thought, then rethought where she was coming from. Feeling guilty about her obvious jealousy, she decided, I need to stop worrying about how much better everyone else has things and start worrying about myself, and what I already have. I need to be thankful for what I have, and what I have is a loving sister, good friends, and teachers who go out of there way to help me succeed.

After a moment, Ruby walked up to Glynda. "I am terribly sorry about arriving at the last minute. I promise I will try my hardest not to let it happen again. I beg your forgiveness," Ruby said humbly, even projecting herself as a sign of deep respect towards the teacher.

Glynda stared in shock that a student was actually listening to her reproof, so shocking that it took her a second to respond. "Well, just be more aware next time. Because next time we won't wait, we clear?"

"Crystal clear," Ruby humbly replied.

Seemingly satisfied with this response, Glynda walked off.

Angel walked up to Ruby and patted her on the back. "I think you made the best move."

Ruby smiled slightly. "Thank you Angel," Ruby said gratefully. "I am glad you are my friend."

Angel sauntered off and Ruby headed back towards her team. Weiss looked over at Ruby, shocked by how easily she was able to humble herself.

Define Human[]

Penny woke up to bright lights. She, however, was not normal. In fact, she was not even human. You see, Penny was the first artificial life form capable of generating an Aura.

"Who are you?" Penny asked. It was a fair question to ask, considering she had just woke up for the first time. This world, along with her own sentience, was a completely alien experience.

"I am your father," a man with white hair said. "I along with the Atlas military are responsible for your creation."

"Who am I?" was Penny's next question.

Her father looked amused. "You, my darling, are my beloved daughter Penny Polendina."

Penny looked a little confused about the whole concept of being beloved, and what a daughter was. So, naturally, she asked. "What is a daughter?"

Her father looked at her and smiled. "It means that I am in charge of keeping you safe and taking care of you."

Just then, General Ironwood stepped forward. "Once you get your bearings on things, you will be vital to keeping Remnant safe," he said in a stiff tone. "If you work as well as we expect you to, then we will be able to remove humans from the battlefield altogether. We will have an army of artificial beings such as yourself keeping the four kingdoms safe."

Penny just gave the general an odd look. "Define human."

The nature of the question caught the General off guard. "We in Remnant define a human as any sentient being able to produce an Aura, showing more intelligence higher than that of standard animals."

You could almost see General Ironwood pat himself on the back for what was no doubt in his mind a brilliant response. However, Penny, being largely mechanical, took this information and came to the most logical decision that by this definition she was human.

"You said you would be taking humans off the battlefield," Penny pointed out. "If that is true, then I would be unable to go because of one fundamental problem, by your own definition I am human. I am aware of my existence, I produce an Aura, and I am intelligent."

Ironwood quickly went from proud to almost embarrassed. "Well, you were created by humans to serve humanity, and you see-" Ironwood started to say.

"But, what about what I want?" Penny asked. "Do my feelings even matter in the slightest to you? Yes, I am grateful that you brought me to life, but you are not even asking, you are telling me what I am to do."

Ironwood Looked down at his shoes. "I understand where you are coming from, but we need you. Do you not want to help?"

Penny thought this over for a second. "Make it my choice. If you want a cooperative soldier then, give me some time to think and get to know this world. After that, then I will decide."

General Ironwood stood in shock for a full two minutes. When he eventually spoke, he found that giving her the choice was the best option if he wanted a cooperative soldier. "Okay, You have two choices, either join us, or try your luck at surviving on your own."

General Ironwood smiled, obviously pleased with his response.

"Let me think on it," Penny nodded. "After all, I need to get to know the people whom I am protecting."

General Ironwood tried hard to hide his shock, but to no avail. "First, let's head over to the research center. There are a few things we'd like to teach you before you go stumbling into the world."

Penny shrugged. "As long as I get to look around."

"Then it's arranged," Ironwood decided. "I'll take you out tomorrow."

Best of Friends[]

That next day Penny went out exploring Atlas and all its wonders. She'd never seen such a vast world before, or any world, in fact.

"That is one big tower!" Penny said in amazement.

"You like it?" General Ironwood said with a smirk, waiting for Penny to respond. When she didn't he continued. "We call it the CCT or Cross Continental Transmit tower. This tower is how we stay in touch with the rest of the world. If any of the four towers should fall then they all fall."

"How poetic," Penny said, remembering what Ironwood said about the human mind. "Either everyone has a voice, or no one does, no voice is louder than the other."

"Number one priority is always protecting the CCT, even if most of humanity is killed," Ironwood said in a more serious tone. "As long as the CCT stands, there is hope for humanity. The CCT is so well protected that the odds of it falling are astronomically low."

They walked around the city, Ironwood talking about different buildings, covering just about the same things he covered in his lecture the day before.

Bored out of her mind, Penny eventually snuck away from General Ironwood. Ducking into the airport, she sighed with relief. "Finally ditched him!" Looking around, she saw a sign for a flight to Vale. Remembering the lecture about the other kingdoms, Penny decided it would be cool to visit somewhere a bit further than her hometown. She headed for the ticket counter, bought a ticket, and smiled to herself.

"Come on, follow me," Penny whispered. "Don't be shy. I only have to pay for me. You guys get to come for free." Penny then winked to the readers with a sly smile on her face.

After a grueling eleven hour flight, Penny finally landed in Vale. She started walking down the street, looking at the sights. There were strange shops with glass windows and people just walking around. She'd seen all this in the seminar and walking around Atlas, but it still fascinated her, this concept of shopping, this concept of friends. Penny was lost in her own mind until she stumbled into a group of four girls she had never seen before, though it was true that there were very few people she'd ever seen before.

There was a red cloaked girl with a giant scythe who wore combat boots and a dress. Next to her was a girl with long sandy blonde haired, a leather aviator's jacket and a set of gold plated gauntlets on her wrists. On the red cloaked girl's other side was an ivory skinned girl with a white dress, a rapier at her side, and a piercing blue eyes. Next to the blond girl was black haired girl with yellow, almost feline eyes, and bow that was obviously hiding something...

The girl in red collided with her, they both fell like rocks. The girl in red started rubbing her head and got up. "I am so sorry. Are you okay?"

Penny continued to lay there. "Why, I am doing fabulously. Thank you for asking."

"Ruby, you dolt, offer to help her up!" the girl in white screamed at the girl in red.

"Sorry Weiss, you're right," Ruby responded. Ruby turned to Penny, extending a hand. "Would you like to get up?"

Penny, ignoring the helping hand, jumped to her feet. "Yes, thank you for asking!"

The four girls stepped back. "Um, hi I am Ruby and this is my team," Ruby said, pointing at each of the other girls. "Weiss, Blake, Yang, and me."

"SALUTATIONS!" Penny greeted.

To Ruby, Weiss whispered, "Are you sure she didn't bump her head when she fell?"

Ruby glared at Weiss. "That is VERY rude Weiss, and you were getting onto me for that!"

Ruby looked down at her watch and realized that her free period was almost over. "Oh, jeez! We are running late! Catch you later, friend!"

Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang started running away.

"She seemed a little strange," Ruby said. The words had barely left her mouth when she rounded a corner and almost knocked Penny over for the second time.

Penny walked up to Ruby, standing way too close for comfort. "What did you call me?" Penny asked, wide eyed.

Ruby panicked "I... Uh... I'm so sorry, I didn't know you were listen-"

"Did you call me friend?" Penny implored. "Am I really your friend?"

Ruby stuttered for a second, and after watching her teammates shake their heads furiously, she smiled. "Sure, why not?"

A look of absolute horror swept across the faces of her teammates. Penny looked ecstatic.

"SENSATIONAL!!! Oh, we can paint our nails and shop for school supplies, and talk about cute boys!"

Ruby then gave Penny a shy smile. "Look, I would love to hang around, but I got to get back to my team–" Ruby looked around, noticing that her team had left. "And they ditched me," she said, her face falling.

Penny, not having any sense of personal boundaries, surprised Ruby with a hug that was so hard that even with Ruby's full Aura, it still nearly cracked Ruby's ribs.

Ruby let out a muttered, "OOMPH!" as the breath was literally crushed out of her. "Penny, you're crushing me," Ruby said in more of a squeak than actual words, and with that Penny let go.

"I'm sorry. I did not mean to hurt you."

Ruby gave a sympathetic look. "Don't worry. It happens more often than you would think."

Penny looked like she felt better. "Ooh, we are going to be the best of friends!"

The Stray[]

Later that day, team RWBY was sitting around, watching the news on their scroll. Just a normal day, nothing out of the ordinary, until something extraordinary happened.

"...And today, yet another dust shop has been robbed. It is suspected that this string of dust robberies has been spearheaded by the White Fang. If you have any information regarding these robberies, please contact the Vale police department..."

Weiss crossed her arms. "I simply don't know how those Faunus violent extremists can get away with this!"

Blake scowled at her. "They are not extremists. They are just MISGUIDED!"

Weiss stopped, turning her whole body to face Blake. "Misguided? Do you know how much trouble the White Fang, this group of pure evil, have caused my family!" Weiss screamed. "Executives, Vice Presidents, people close to my family, murdered by this gang of unruly mutts! Misguided? I think not."

"No one is pure evil," Blake argued.

"Don't tell me you sympathize with those degenerates!" Weiss said.


Weiss's face went from angry to shocked, and then back to angry in the span of a couple of seconds. "What did you just say?"

Blake suddenly looked like a fish out of water. "I... Uh," Blake stuttered, looking desperate. Suddenly, she ran off. The rest of team RWBY just stared at the door.

Weiss seemed to build up anger, finally bursting out, "CAN YOU BELIEVE SHE WOULD HIDE SUCH A THING?!"

Ruby did not look mad, but looked more concerned. "I hope she is okay. Come on, we need to find her. We need to hear what she has to say."

Blake raced off into the distance, thoughts chaotically spinning through her head. I am such an IDIOT! Why did I have to make such a stupid mistake? Blake tired taking a breath, only finding her thoughts disobeying her command, flooding in like a flood. Adam's face flashed before her eyes. I try to keep my past a secret, but it sneaks up on me and the truth comes out.

"Hello beautiful," a man said.

Blake turned around and saw him standing there. He had blond hair, and an unbuttoned white button up shirt and blue jeans. Then, Blake noticed the tail.

"You're a Faunus?" he asked.

Blake nodded. "How did you know?"

The man winked at Blake and said, "The bow."

Blake looked at her feet, abashed. "My name is B-Blake"

The young man looked her in the eyes, smiling. "My name is Sun," he said, offering his hand. "Now, the question is, why are you running?"

Blake shook it and began to tell the monkey Faunus how she slipped up.

The next morning, Ruby woke from the worst night's sleep anyone in the history of Remnant had ever had. Ruby hadn't even wanted to go to sleep. She'd stressed herself out all night about Blake running away, and in part, felt responsible as leader. Ruby glanced over at Blake's empty bed, silently praying that she would be right there, the events of the previous night forgotten so life could go back to normal.

Unfortunately for poor worried Ruby, this was not the case. Ruby let out a ever so slight whimper as the gravity of this set in. Suddenly, Ruby felt the full crushing weight of the situation.

Ruby hopped out of bed and woke up Yang, who was still dressed in her clothes from the previous day. Ruby was not shocked. She too had neglected to change out of her day's clothes. Ruby briefly considered waking Weiss, then thought better of it. After all, it did seem that she was not on the side of reason on this issue.

Together, Yang and Ruby snuck out of the dorm room. They walked ever so quietly down the hall headed for the main doors in search of Blake.

Meanwhile, Blake was hanging out with Sun in a small rooftop café. "So, why hide who you are? I don't get that," Sun said.

Blake sighed. "Sun, have you ever heard of a group known as the White Fang?"

Sun gave Blake a look that said, no duh!

"Of course. I don't think there is a Faunus in all of Remnant who hasn't heard of them. They use force to get what they want. A bunch of scum, if you ask me!"

Blake swallowed her tea. "I used to be a member of the White Fang."

Sun spat out his tea in surprise, and then started coughing violently. Blake started patting him on the back. "You did WHAT!" Sun demanded.

Blake sighed. "I was a member for most of my life. Actually, I guess you could kind of say I was born into it." She took another shaky sip of tea. With a deep, shuddering breath she continued. "At first, I was at the front of every protest, I took part in every boycott, and I felt we were actually making a difference."

"What happened?" Sun interrupted. "I mean, they aren't exactly the peaceful protesters they used to be."

Blake's expression darkened. "Five years ago, our leader stepped down, and a new one stepped up. A new leader, with a new way of thinking. Suddenly our peaceful protests were turning into organized attacks. We were setting fire to businesses that refused to serve us and hijacking cargo from companies that used Faunus labor, and the worst part was, it was working. People were starting to treat us like equals, but not out of respect. Out of fear."

"So what did you do?" Sun asked.

"I left," Blake said simply. "I saw that I could no longer continue doing what we were doing, so I left. So here I am, a criminal hiding in plain sight, and all with the help of a little black bow." She twitched her bow slightly, almost like a secret gesture.

Sun then composed himself, thinking back to all the dust robberies that had been blamed on the White Fang. "But why would the need that much dust?"

Blake shook her head. "That's just it. They have never needed this much dust before. The only problem is, I have no way to prove it."

Just then Sun had an idea. "Well, the only way to prove that they didn't do it is to go to the place where they would be most likely to go if they were to do it, right?"

Blake half smiled. "Only one problem. I have no idea where that would be."

Sun smiled the goofiest smile this side of Goofville.

"While I was a stowaway on a ship on the way here, I overheard something about a massive shipment of dust at the docks tonight."

"How big?" Blake asked.

Sun made a emphasising motion with his arms. ""Big. Huge Schnee company freighter."

Blake nodded. "Let's see if the White Fang are behind this."

Black and White[]

After a bit of convincing on Ruby and Yang's side, team RWBY was out looking for Blake. They even got Weiss finally to stop complaining, though her mood wasn't improvable.

"Bla-ake! Where are you!" Ruby shouted, a hint of concern in her voice.

"Bla-ake!" Yang shouted, trying to help her sister find her teammate.

Weiss scowled. "Maybe we should try calling the police?"

Ruby scowled back at Weiss. "What?" Weiss said, defensive. "It was just an idea."

Ruby rolled her eyes. "Yeah. A bad one."

Weiss continued prattling. "I am just simply shocked that we had a terrorist hiding right under our noses!"

Ruby sighed. "I just hope she's okay."

Suddenly, Penny came around the corner and nearly knocked Ruby over. "What are you all doing on this fine day?" the overly excited girl asked.

Ruby sighed. "We are looking for our friend Blake. She kind of ran off last night without saying anything."

"Oh, you mean the Faunus girl!" Penny responded.

Ruby looked at her in surprise "Wait, how did you know she was a Faunus?"

Penny gave Ruby a no duh expression. "The CAT ears."

Yang looked confused. "But she wears a bow. Oh!"

Later that night, Blake and Sun were staking out by the docks. "You hungry?" Sun asked. "I stole you some food."

Blake scowled at Sun. "Do you always break the law without a second thought?"

Sun gave Blake a teasing look. "Hey, weren't you in a cult or something?" Blake gave him an ultimate consume excrement look. "Sorry, too soon?" Sun said, smiling weakly.

Suddenly, helicopters approached and landed. Roman stepped out of the biggest helicopter, waving his walking cane around. "Hurry up and attach the cables. If you hadn't noticed, we aren't exactly the most inconspicuous bunch of thugs around."

Blake was taken aback. "Wait, something is not right. The White Fang would never work with a human, especially a human like HIM." Blake jumped off the stack of shipping containers, untied her bow, and snuck up behind Roman. She grabbed him, putting her sword to his throat. "Brothers of the White Fang, why are you aiding this scum?"

Roman smiled. "Didn't you hear? The White Fang and I are going in on a joint business venture together."

Blake then tightened her grip, the razor sharp blade of her sword barely grazing his neck. Roman struggled, and a small trickle of blood dripped from his neck down the blade of her sword. "If you don't tell me what you're doing, I'm going to put an end to your little operation."

Roman smiled. "I wouldn't exactly call it a 'little' operation." Blake looked up and with that diversion, Roman pointed his cane gun at Blake's feet and fired.

On the other side of Vale on Main Street, Ruby was talking with Penny since her friends ditched her soon as they realized Penny was going to help in the search.

"So, is Blake your friend?" Penny asked.

"Yes, Penny," Ruby said, slightly annoyed.

"Are you mad at her?" Penny asked

Ruby sighed. "Yes, Pen-" Ruby said, then reconsidered. "Well, no. Actually, Weiss is."

"Is Weiss friends with Blake?" Penny asked.

"Well, that's kinda up in the air right now," Ruby said, throwing her hands up in the air.

"Why is that?"

"Well, you see, Blake might not be who we thought she was," Ruby responded.

Penny then jumped the proverbial gun. "Is she really a guy?"

Ruby jumped at the level of her assumption. "No, of course not-"

Suddenly, an explosion on the other side of town rocked the ground so hard that Ruby and Penny fell to their knees.

"Oh no. I have a bad feeling. LET'S GO!" Ruby shouted as she started running towards the source of the explosion, Penny close behind her.

Back at the shipyard, Blake stumbled from the shot. Roman attempted to tie up this 'loose end' only to be interrupted by a banana peel to the face.

"What the-" he exclaimed.

"Let me cut you off before we exceed the K+ rating," Sun smiled. "We are already barely getting away with it, anyway." Sun jumped into the fray of things.

"Stop monkeying around and get him!" Roman shouted, and in response several White Fang members mobbed Sun.

"How is this for Monkey business?" Sun asked, pulling out a staff and pole-vaulted over on top of one enemy and kicked him in the face, using the force from that kick to smack his staff across the face of another White Fang member while simultaneously kicking another in the face. He then pole-vaulted off the other Faunus's face and kicked another White Fang member in the knee cap, then roundhouse kicked him across the yard to Roman's feet.

Just then Roman shot at Sun, and too fast for the human eye to comprehend, Sun's staff knocked the bullets out of the air and transformed into two sets of Gun-Chucks. As soon as he had his Gun-Chucks, he immediately switched from a defensive strategy to an offensive one. He fired his weapons just as the barrel of each gun came eye level with Roman's face. In a two second period of time, he dropped at least fifty shells. Roman continued trying to hit Sun with a dust shell, and eventually, Roman's mediocre aim hit Sun in the gut, hard.

Blake got between them and used her semblance to lodge Roman's cane inside an ice shadow, which she promptly used to her advantage and kicked Roman across the yard into a shipping container.

Just then Ruby and Penny showed up on top of one of the stacks of containers. "Ruby, is that your friend?" Penny asked.

Roman turned his head towards the sound. Ruby looked at Penny worriedly. "Penny, get back!" Roman fired his cane gun at the distracted Ruby.

Ruby went flying and without a word Penny walked off to protect her friend. "Penny, don't, you might get hurt!" Ruby said, concern saturating her voice.

"Don't worry Ruby, I am combat ready!" Penny announced. She jumped down, swords emerging from her back. The swords levitated, hacking at anyone who came at her, even though she didn't touch a single sword. With a powerful hand gesture, Penny stabbed her swords into the side of a shipping container, picked it up, and threw it at a ship.

The ship exploded with many a Wilhelm scream. As one of the choppers tried to get away, Penny thrust her swords into its hull, and with another impressive hand move, she sent it flying into several shipping containers of dust, resulting in more explosions and yet more Wilhelm screams.

Another chopper tried to take off, but Penny gathered her swords into a circular configuration right in front of her, spinning them quickly. A laser gun formed in the space between the spinning sword circle and Penny used their combined power to split the ship in half mid-flight.

Ruby just stood there, lost in awe. "How is that even possible?" Ruby asked, mostly to herself.

In the ensuing chaos, Roman climbed into a chopper, making his escape. "Man, these kids just KEEP getting weirder!"

Stronger As A Whole[]

After a while, the Vale Police Department did show up, and with them, Weiss and Yang. Blake immediately stood up.

"I want you to know that I am no longer affiliated with the White Fang, I-" Blake started.

Weiss held up her hand in the universal shut-up sign. "UB-BUB-BUP! I don't want to hear it. Do you know how long we have been searching for you? Twelve hours! That means I have had twelve hours to think about this, and in those twelve hours, I decided..." Weiss paused, adding dramatic effect. "...I don't care. What you did in the past doesn't matter, as long as you promise you are no longer affiliated with them."

Blake was taken aback by this. "No, I haven't been for-" Blake tried to say.

"UH-BUB-BUP!" Weiss interrupted. "I don't want to hear it. All I want to hear you say is that next time something this big comes along, you will come to your team for help and not some-" she paused, restraining herself from saying what originally came to her mind. REALLY saying something for her. "-someone else." she said, looking at Sun fiercely.

Sun just stood there uncomfortably, rubbing the back of his head and and laughing in a similar manner.

"I'm still not quite sure how I feel about you!" Weiss said accusingly to Sun, restraining herself from being as racist as she usually acted towards Faunus.

Blake sighed in relief. Sun only shrugged.

Later that night, Professor Ozpin asked to speak with Blake.

"Sir, the student you requested to speak with is here," Glynda said.

Ozpin gestured over the holodeck. "Let her in," Ozpin instructed. The door opened. "Ah, Miss Belladonna, please do come in." Ozpin said, gesturing to an empty seat.

"You wanted to speak with me sir?" Blake asked, deadly calm.

"Why, yes. Actually, I wanted to ask you a few questions about what happened tonight."

Blake gave a plain look. "Ask away. I have nothing to hide."

Ozpin nodded. "Yes, but first I would like to let you know how proud I am that you made it to this school. Most people spend most of their lives at combat schools training for our rigorous entrance exams, while you are on of the few who did not, and you passed with flying colors."

Blake gave a slightly uncomfortable look, almost imperceivable to the untrained eye. "Well, I grew up outside the kingdom's walls. If you don't fight, you don't survive."

Ozpin grinned slightly. "Well, survive you most definitely have. So, what were you and your friends doing at the docks tonight?"

All the blood drained out of Blake's face. "We were just at the wrong place at the wrong time," Blake said simply, her hands shaking. "I happened to be wandering around and happened upon the operation."

Ozpin smiled a friendly, non-threatening smile, despite the fact that he knew exactly what happened and was fully aware of the fact that she was lying right to his face. He was not mad, however. Quite the contrary, in fact.

"I see," Ozpin said, quite impressed of how cautious she was. "Now just one more thing. Why do you wear that bow Blake? Why hide who you are?"

Blake glared slightly. "Because I want people to see me for who I am, not what I am."

Ozpin nodded. "Miss Belladonna, I am proud to be the headmaster of the first academy to accept students from all walks of life rich, poor, male, female, human, Faunus."

"With all do respect, you may be willing to accept me for who I am, but your Species is not," Blake argued.

Ozpin gaze a slightly disappointed look. "Yes. I am fully aware of that, but we are constantly making strides to lessen the divide."

"With all do respect sir, your species needs to start making some bigger strides," Blake glared.

Ozpin sighed. "Okay. That is all Miss Belladonna. You may go, unless there is something else you would like to tell me." Ozpin relaxed his expression. "Is something on your mind Blake?"

Blake swallowed the lump in her throat "No. There is nothing else to tell."

Ozpin eyed her with a mix of suspicion and amusement. "Are you sure?" he persisted.

Blake grew slightly irritated. "I am positive."

Ozpin sighed deeply. "Alright. You are free to go, but just a word of advice. If you are going to lie to me, at least work on your poker face," Professor Ozpin said, smiling. "I was able to read you like a book."

Blake shrugged, and with that, she left the room.

Part Three: This Will be the Day[]

Finals Week[]

"How could you not let us know?" Max screamed. She took another bite of her sandwich, staring at Ruby incredulously.

"Max, for one, we were studying, while they were trying to save the world," Angel said, probably for the fifth time. "Max, you know, you can't demand Ruby, Yang and them took us with them. It already happened, and all we can do is be ready for next time."

Max nodded, shrugging. The lunchroom was packed today, not full of students, but full of student's binders and notes. Finals week was imminent, and no one wanted to fail after one semester.

"I'm sorry Max, there just wasn't any time," Ruby said. "I do promise I'll let you know next time, like a responsible leader would."

"Don't worry," Gabi said, taking a sip of chocolate milk. "You're a great leader."

Ruby smiled. Gabi might have been hard on Angel, but somehow, she liked the red-haired girl. Gabi smiled back at Ruby. Angel just glared at Gabi, jealous that Gabi liked Ruby more.

"Don't worry about here," Max whispered. "You're a great leader, sweety."

"Max, I want people to like me," Angel said. "I can get into their minds, but that's not real. I want them to really like me, the way I used to do it."

"People love you, Angel. Don't worry about it," Max said. "If they don't, I'll beat them up. I promise." Angel shook her head. Max was trying her best, but that wasn't the type of "respect" Angel was looking for.

"So, I heard you are getting your cast off today. That's cool," Ruby said, deciding to change the topic to something a bit less, volatile. She smiled meaningfully at Angel.

Angel gave a friendly, if not entirely forced smile. "So, what are we going to do about finals? I mean, I kind of spent the last few weeks goofing off while Max was studying. What if I flunk out of Beacon?"

Ruby smiled at Angel. "Don't worry, you are a supporting character. You have a little something called plot armor, so you're probably good for finals," she explained. "Plot armor is the only reason I have not flunked."

Angel nodded. Did she forget to take her crazy pill this morning? she wondered.

"Hey Angel, you mind if I borrow a pencil?" Gabi asked. "I need to write a note."

Angel could not see the harm in that. "Sure. Why not?"

Gabi searched through Angel’s bag and found a little more than she was looking for. Stuck between a Grimm 101 textbook and a History of Remnant textbook, there was a diaper. Gabi could not help but giggle a little.

After Angel realized that it was taking Gabi longer than it should to find a pencil, she turned around to see Gabi holding something she never wanted anyone to see. The sight of the very thing in Gabi’s hand made Angel blush a shade of crimson one would not think possible from someone with ivory pale skin, even deeper crimson than Crescent Rose.

"Give me that!" Angel screamed, snatching it and throwing it straight into the garbage can. I just want to crawl into a hole and die, she thought, sinking out of her seat and under the table. For the rest of lunch, Angel sulked, an inconsolable mess of fear, embarrassment, and shame.

Ruby tried to make her deal better by patting her on the head, but that merely resulted in her snapping out her eight foot wings and flying off to the bathroom where she proceeded to lock herself in a stall and cry her eyes out.

"Why can't I be normal?" Angel said between hiccupping sobs. "Why can't I just be normal?"

After about two hours, Ruby became very concerned. She marched into the girl's bathroom and found the stall with the lacy pink shoes. "Angel, don't worry about people say about you," she soothed. "I know you are embarrassed, but just remember, things could always be worse."

Angel stopped her crying for a moment. "And how is that supposed to make me f-feel better?" Angel snapped back. "Hmm?"

"Angel, that's not what I meant," Ruby said. "Look at the bright side of things. There is-"

"What's so great about this? How can you spin something good out of this! All I wanted was for people to accept me!" Angel screamed, bursting into fresh tears.

Without a second thought, Ruby busted through the door of the stall and enveloped Angel in a sweet tender hug. "Everything will be fine," she whispered ever so softly into Angel's ear. "This will pass. People will forget."

Somehow, something about what Ruby said put Angel’s weary mind at ease. Angel wiped her nose on Ruby’s hood. "Thank you," she said. "Not just for this, but for everything."

Ruby didn't know what to say. She just held on to Angel in a soothing way, and Angel didn't mind. She needed it.

After the most emotional twenty minutes in all of the history of Remnant, Angel finally gained the courage to leave the bathroom and face her team. Angel let out a shuddering breath before Ruby walked with her to the table.

One thing Angel neglected to realize and appreciate before storming off was the fact that there was no way in heck Max was going to let Angel be bullied for this. Angel glanced around and her eyes eventually settled upon the crumpled, unconscious heap that resembled Cardin Winchester.

Angel glanced around and saw that people were now keeping their distance from Max. Angel gave Max a questioning look.

"What?" Max demanded. "He was being a real jerk, and you know I cannot just sit around when someone is mean to my family. You make fun of one of us, then you insulted all of us. People like us have to stick together." Max turned to Ruby. "You know what? I like this kid. Ruby, I already consider you part of my family. Thanks for being there for my little one."

Ruby responded with a sweet, friendly smile. "I would be honored."

A week had passed, things calmed down, and with Finals done, Angel could relax, right? Wrong. She failed the history of remnant portion of the test and has to retake it.

"Sorry," Ruby said sympathetically. "I guess the author did not find you needed plot armor, or perhaps wanted make me look crazy."

Angel looked at Ruby. "Look Ruby, I love you. I am glad you are my friend, but can you please stop acting crazy, just for today?"

"Um, have you met my sister?" Yang cut in. Ruby smiled.

Gabi, on the other hand, only stopped teasing Angel out of a fear of Max. "If our leader fails then the whole team did," Gabi said. "We need to make sure Angel passes her retake." Max nodded in agreement.

No matter how hard her team helped her study, thirty minutes before the retake, Angel’s nerves were frayed. The fact that Max and Ruby were there helped, but only a little.

"I hope you are right about being perfectly ready, because I only get one retake a year," Angel said nervously. "Meaning if I mess up now, that is it. Our team will be disbanded."

Max squeezed Angel's hand reassuringly. "Look, if you fail, at least I know two people who have a loving home to go back to."

The two hour final passed as if it was two minutes. Angel tried to answer every question the best she could, and tried to remember as much as she could of what Max had told her. Angel barely finished the last question when the bell rang. She shakily walked out of the room into Max's arms.

"Angel, are you up for lunch?" Ruby asked, peering into the bundle of clothes and feathers that was Angel.

"Yeah, good idea, Ruby. I'll treat!" Max said.

After the retest, Angel found she passed, but just barely. If the teacher was not nice and had rounded up Angel’s sixty-nine point nine, she would have failed. It was so close to failing that couldn't stop shaking.

"Angel, you did well," Ruby said. "Remember, always look at the bright side of things."

"Okay then. I guess it looks like I get to stay another semester at Beacon," Angel said, taking a deep breath.


In an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town, Roman Torchwick was busy mapping out his next heist. A White Fang member stepped in, pulling a crate. Roman motioned for him to open it.

Inside was huge quantity of dust. Roman proceeded to pay him two hundred Lien.

Cinder walked in. "Very disappointing, Roman," she said.

"Whoa, didn't expect to see you guys so soon," Roman said, backing up and closing the crate.

Cinder smiled. "We were expecting... More from you."

Roman nervously shrugged. "What can you expect, working with those stupid mutts from the White Fang?"

"And you will continue to do so," Cinder said, fire growing menacingly in her palm. "We have big plans for you. All we ask is a little cooperation." Two others walked in from behind Cinder, kids, by the look of them.

"So, what do you want?" Roman laughed nervously.

"I need to borrow Neo for a little bit.," Cinder said.

Roman hesitated. "Just remember our deal. If you harm a hair on Neo's poor mute head, I am out. Do you hear me?"

Cinder smiled an evil grin. "Of course. Our cause can't afford to lose such a valuable person."

To be continued... in Volume 2!


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