Only Skin Deep

BY : Webdog177
Category: +M through R > RWBY
Dragon prints: 3169
Disclaimer: I do not own RWBY, or its' characters. I do not own money from this.

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Only Skin Deep

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It was the little things I noticed first. It's always the little things, isn't it?

Short, fleeting looks. Small touches of the hand paired with a bashful grin. Walking a little closer than one would normally walk to another. How, from our first meeting, she would greet me happily every day no matter how catty I had been to her, offering to walk with me to and from class to the cafeteria or our dorm room. How she would turn every time I walked into a room and smile at me a little wider than others.

It was funny how I noticed, but it never really occurred to me why she did these things until much later.

The semester progressed, and slowly but surely her touches, her smiles, and her looks became more infrequent. She would still greet me, and quite happily at that, and would still touch my hand when she talked to me. But the times she would do so, and our walks together, would become rarer and rarer. Eventually, by the end of the year, she had all but stopped touching me—the times she did would surprised me greatly—and her smiles she gave me matched the ones she gave everyone else.

The end of the term came and went, and the next semester was much the same as the first. We still had all the same classes, and had all the same friends. I was still Weiss Schnee and she was still Ruby Rose, my partner and leader of team RWBY. That was fine; we still had the odd mishap with our classmates, or the random dust shipment heist from Torchwick and the White Fang. Eventually we might have to worry about bigger problems, but that would be an issue for a later time.

I was slowly becoming used to how things were, and as a result had acclimatized to Ruby’s way of doing things; her tempo of life. Blake and Yang were another matter entirely. They were my teammates, just as Ruby was, but for some reason they never really clicked with me like Ruby had. I was getting out and meeting more people, doing more things. I was busier than I ever had been back at Atlas – I had more friends and actually enjoyed myself. And Ruby was right there along with me all the way in that regard.

But still, I couldn't help but notice that our team dynamic had changed slightly from the previous months. Things were still great between us; apparently we were best friends from what Ruby always said and to my own chagrin. But as everyone says, hindsight is twenty-twenty, and I only noticed that she had changed after the fact.

She had stopped touching me completely. Only the accidental bump – which she would mutter an apology for – counted as such now. And her smiles were just that; no longer did she grin shyly at me as we spoke. We walked to and from class together only when we happened to be doing so around the same time. She no longer waited for me if I didn't ask her to. But still, things were good enough between us that I never really noticed.

The trip off campus to the city was, while not a surprise since we visited all the time, a pleasant distraction from the everyday humdrum life at Beacon Academy. We went often, but for only half-day or day trips. This time we had the entire weekend free, and decided to rent a couple of rooms in a hotel at Yang’s behest.

“We have the entire weekend!” She had crowed, pumping her fist in the air. “Let’s make the most of it and hit up the city for the weekend!”

With Ruby hopping up and down and clapping in excitement, and even Blake rolling her eyes in acceptance, who was I to argue?

However, Ruby and I, being partners, would be spending most of the weekend together. Apparently Blake and Yang had made plans to do things by themselves for the most part. Again, I wasn’t surprised. That was fine. Ruby and I were best friends, so I was pleased enough.

So, when she looked slightly hesitant at the suggestion of us sharing a hotel room together, I was surprised. She agreed to the idea readily enough after a moment, but her initial reaction really got to me. Did she not want to room with me? I had thought we were better friends than that.

I should have called her out on her reaction, but I took the high road, simply shrugging and continued on with the planning for the weekend.

If she really didn't want to room with me, she would have told me so.

We arrived at the airfield disgustingly early in the morning on Saturday. We found a few of our classmates milling around, acting much the same as a group of zombies without any brains to eat, even Yang was slightly more subdued that usual – she never was much of a morning person.

Only Ruby seemed to be even the least bit energetic. It was probably because she has slept like a baby the night before, completely crashed out from a mix of last-minute training and a bed time snack of milk and cookies. Her head had dropped on the pillow even before she finished her milk, her snoring matching Yang’s in a symphony of the most epic proportions and effectively keeping me awake for most of the night. I simply shared a commiserating shrug with Blake, who was also used to the sisters’ sleeping habits, and deigned to suffer through it.

We met up with our other classmates going into the city easily enough, and were exchanging pleasantries when we heard a voice, "You four! Look over here!”

We looked, of course. Who wouldn't at that prompt?

It was, perhaps unsurprisingly, Nora and the rest of Team JNPR. She had an actual camera held up, ready to try and catch us off guard as we blinked blearily up at her. I felt like getting miffed at the girl, but really it was my own fault for looking. Where had she gotten one of those anyway? At least I had the foresight to put on a little makeup before leaving the dorm. Always be prepared, my mother had told me.

"How about another, this time make it a good one!" Nora grinned, waving at us safely from behind the lens. Yang, Blake, Ruby and I exchanged a tired, if a little resigned, look and posed for the photo. Yang snickered and looped an arm around Blake and Ruby’s shoulders. Apparently, she was already three steps ahead of my in the ‘energetic’ department. Once that was done Nora glanced up, her grin widening. "Now for Ruby and Weiss!"

Ruby tilted her head questioningly. "Why?"

Yes. Why indeed, Nora Valkyrie?

"Because you two are partners, duh! Come on, show me a smile!" The girl quipped, her fingers curling around her device like a weapon. For all the her skill wielding blunt objects, it may as well have been. "I’m taking pictures of all my friends to send back home, so get used to it!"

Sighing lightly, Ruby stepped away from Yang and up to my side, careful not to touch me, as usual.

Apparently, that wasn't enough for Nora, who groaned, "Oh come on, Ruby! Get in there!" Huffing slightly, Ruby inched closer to me but still refrained from even brushing against my arm. "Ruby…" Groaned Nora, lowering her camera to her chest.

Okay. This was getting ridiculous.

And for the first time I could ever remember since first meeting her, I reached out and linked my arm through Ruby’s, pulling her up against me. Ignoring her sudden squeak I shot a smirk at Nora, who returned it with a wolfish smile of her own, quickly snapping off a pair of shots with her camera.

Ruby quickly got over the shock of being grabbed and pulled her arm free, her face red as her cloak. Her lips were thinned and she looked away from me, her arms crossed over her chest protectively.

Okay, really? What the hell, Ruby? Am I really that repulsive?

"Thank you, girls!" Nora cackled, waving to us as she walked away. "That one is going in the album!"

I stared at Ruby for a long moment after Team JNPR ambled away, surprised at her vehement reaction to my touching her. Did she really not like it that much? Earlier in the year she would regularly touch my hand and arm, almost all the time. Sure, she didn't do that very often anymore… well… not at all actually… but still, what had happened to cause such a drastic change in just a matter of months? And why hadn't I noticed it had gotten to this point before now?

If Blake and Yang noticed the suddenly awkward atmosphere between Ruby and I they chose not to comment on it, instead bringing us into a conversation about the weekend and the journey we had to look forward to. I indulged my friends, as did Ruby, but couldn't help but notice how she wouldn't look at me until we were boarding the airship.

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By the time we reached the hotel, I was absolutely knackered. Not being able to sleep on a airship, and having not really slept very well the night before, it was all I could do to stumble through the afternoon of window shopping with an exuberant Ruby and Yang – with Blake in tow – and crawl up to our floor and find our designated room.

I stayed with it long enough to asked whether Ruby cared I take the bed closest to the door before collapsing down, sighing with relief as the cool blankets erupted around me as a sank down into the mattress. I hadn't even bothered to remove my clothes. I knew I would have to eventually, as it would wrinkle otherwise. But for now, I relished the opportunity to rest.

I drifted somewhere between being asleep and being awake for a bit, simply listening to the quiet hum that always seemed to be prevalent in a hotel room. Was it the ambient noise from the city surround it? Or the neighboring rooms with their occupants? Or maybe hotels purposefully installed white noise emitters to helm calm their clients. I heard some hotels did that.

I distantly heard Ruby every now and again, louder than the background noise but quiet enough not to disturb me. Her clothes rustled quietly as she changed into her pajamas. Metal clinking… probably change from her pocket she had used earlier that day to buy a bag of sweets at a shop on a side street two blocks down from the hotel. Soft footsteps as she padded around my chosen bed as she explored; likely to find the toilet. The soft click of a door proved my theory correct.

I must have nodded off for a few minutes, because the sound of a toilet flushing jostled me partially awake.

"Weiss." I heard a moment— or ten minutes — later.

"Mmm." I mumbled against the blankets.

A slight sigh. "Alright – I’ll give you a few minutes." And the voice drifted away.

I drifted in and out between sleep and being awake for a while, listening as I heard water running from the bathroom; apparently Ruby was taking a shower. A shower did sound lovely, but then again, so did sleep. So instead I just imagined myself taking a shower, living vicariously through Ruby as she washed away the sweat and fatigue from the day.

Mmm… that was nice. It was nice to imagine things.

Eventually, the sound of the door opening caught my attention, as did her voice, "Weiss, I'm coming out. Wake up."

I grunted what I thought about that idea.

"Are you going to take a shower? If not, I'll turn off the water."

No thanks. I already took one the same time you did. It was lovely. In fact, I was still a bit warm from it.

"I'm not going in right now." I answered aloud. I was a little surprised I got that out, actually.

"Okay. You'll go in later, then?"

"'We’ll see." was my response.

"Alright..." Ruby's voice grew louder; she had apparently walked from the bathroom towards my bed. "Look, take off your clothes if you're going to sleep, at least."

I groan in response and roll over, trying to find a cooler position on the blankets. I was still pretty warm from my imaginary bath.

"Hey…" Ruby suddenly said, her voice closer now. "Weiss?"

"Mmm?" The suddenly serious tone of her voice cause my eye to crack blearily open. She hovered over me, at least a foot above my face, her expression a study in concentration.

"Do you... have a fever, or something?" She asked.

Now that she mentioned it, I did feel little warm. "Who knows? Probably." I admitted softly.

Ruby hesitated before reaching out and lightly pressing the palm of her hand to my forehead. It didn't feel cold or anything, so maybe I wasn't all that bad off. I told her so and she withdrew her hand almost immediately. "But I just got out of the shower and am really warm! So that means you are, too. I’m gonna go get Yang and Blake."

That woke me up.

"Don't!" I said, perhaps harsher than was necessary. To make things worse, I had reached out, grasping onto Ruby’s forearm, holding her tightly in place. At the wide-eyed expression on my friend's face I cleared my throat, saying in a softer tone "Please don't. I'll be fine."

Her eyes flicked down to my hand on her arm and, perhaps slower than I felt I should have, I released her.

"But…" Ruby said, sitting down on the edge of my bed.

"I’ll be fine, I’m just tired." I explained, embarrassed at my sudden weakness. "If I just lay down for a while I’ll be alright in no time.”

Ruby seemed hesitant. "Weiss."

"Please. Just trust me.”

Finally, after what seemed like the longest minute of my life, Ruby nodded decisively. "You swear you’ll be fine if you lay down for a bit?

"Y-yea." I said, relief flooding through my chest as her expression. The prickling of tears made themselves known behind my eyes, and I sniffled in response. God, did I really have to sound so juvenile? Maybe being as tired as I felt did things to my mood.

"I understand. Then let's do that." Ruby declared, getting up to her feet and making her way to the bathroom. After a moment she came back, apparently shutting off the lights, and squatted down beside my bag. "I'll get out your pajamas. Change into them when you can, okay?"

I nodded, and she stood up to make her way back to the bathroom. "You want a cool towel or something?"

"No, I’ll be alright.” I said, slightly pleased at my partner’s uncharacteristic charity.

Ruby blinked, but nodded, returning to my bag to pull out my nightgown.

"You know, I never really noticed it before… but this is pretty old." She remarked, turning the sheer, pale gown over in her hands. I knew for a fact it was. The color was faded and it had a few tears in it where the fabric had come unraveled. But it was special to me, regardless.

"Mmm." I hummed. "It was my mother’s, actually. I found it in her closet when I was little and used it as a blanket. When I got older, I found that I still couldn’t sleep without it."

Ruby smiled softly in understanding and sat beside me on the bed.

"You want some water, or something?”

"No, it’s okay." I replied, slightly surprised that she didn’t go to her own bed. Was she not going to sleep right away?

At my expression, she shrugged. "I'm not quite tired yet. So I'll watch you for a bit. Don't worry."

Nodding, I settled down into my bed and eyed my friend. After a moment, I felt the need to explain. "When I was younger I sometimes got fatigued and it made me sick. But it doesn’t happen often anymore."

Ruby nodded in understanding. "Mmm."

"I'm sorry." I continued apologetically. "If the Blake and Yang found out, they would probably make an effort to cater to me. I couldn't stand being a burden to everyone."

"Really?" Ruby asked, settling back into her chair, her grin sliding across her face. "So instead, you’re fine just being a burden to me?"

I sniffed, “Naturally. What other use is there for my partner?”

Ruby giggled softly and rolled her eyes in mock-exasperation. “Well, your majesty, is there anything else I can do to help?”

Her face, the one flushed an angry red after I had touched her that morning in Beacon... and just now, when she had placed her hand to my forehead to check my temperature, only to pull it away just as quickly, and then again, when I had grabbed onto her arm to stop her from leaving. All three times flashed in my memory. Had we really fallen that far apart and I never noticed— that we couldn't even touch anymore? It was time to start fixing that.

"Hold my hand?" I tried, reaching out to my best friend.

Ruby’s expression stiffened predictably, and I hoped my face didn't betray my disappointment. I held my arm up towards her, my weak smile keeping my nervousness at bay. Would she do it?

Finally, sighing slightly, Ruby reached out to grip my hand in hers. It was warm, and soft. I smiled, stronger this time, and let my arm fall back onto the bed, her hand clasped in mine.

We stayed like that for a long time, simply enjoying the dim hum of the hotel room late at night. Ruby kept her hand loose in mine, and I accepted that readily. It was late, perhaps later than I remember staying up for a very long time. I couldn’t think of anything relevant to talk about; the trip itself had all but worn itself out during the day, and I didn’t have any recent gossip to share with her about our friends or classmates.

So instead, I chose a topic that had been bothering me all day long. Something that I had been noticing more and more often as time went on. Something that, I felt, was vitally important between the two of us.

"Why don't you touch me anymore?"

If there was one thing everyone knew about Ruby Rose, it was that she always showed her mood on her sleeve. Her eyes, wide and expressive, always shifted through dozens of expressions faster than one could keep up with. It would have bene impressive it was on purpose. As it was, she would make the worst candidate for espionage or subterfuge missions later. Being her partner for the past year, I was inclined to agree with that. And right then, from the shocked, almost frightened expression that crept across her face, I knew I had pretty much hit the nail on the head.

Ruby looked from my face to our clasped hands, blinking rapidly. "W-what are you talking about?"

Swallowing, I suddenly felt as though this was something I shouldn't have brought up. Oh well, too late now.

"You don't touch me anymore. You used to all the time."

Ruby's eyes narrowed slightly. "I don't know what you mean."

Oh. That sounded believable.

"Come on, Ruby. All last year you would touch my hands. Or my arms. There were a few times you even touched my leg." I sent my friend a flat, expectant stare.

Ruby raised her chin, a defiant look in her eyes. For a long, frightening moment, I was afraid she would rebuke me and this whole thing… whatever it was… would blow up in my face. But, slowly, Ruby deflated and let out a dejected sigh. "I thought you never noticed." She said quietly, still holding my hand in hers.

Something about her tone, defeated, soft and meek, sent a tremor through my heart.

"I noticed… Sort of." At Ruby's questioned glance, I felt the need to elaborate. "I mean, I noticed— but it never really occurred to me that it… meant anything." I admitted.

Slowly, gears started shifting in my head, picking apart my words even as I spoke them. At the time, the touches and looks she sent me didn't really mean much. We were new friends, and despite the rough start to our relationship, I believed we got on well together. She was new to the Beacon, as I was, and two years my junior. I helped her out where I could, and I had assumed that she was grateful, and simply a rather touchy person.

But, as I said before, hindsight is twenty-twenty. Had I ever seen her act the same way to anybody else? Aside from Yang, Ruby never smiled that brilliantly, never reached out to touch, and never went out of her way for anyone else.

Only me.

"It didn't… mean anything… did it?" I voiced softly, staring at my friend. She was still looking resolutely down at our clasped hands as if the harder the stared, the faster this whole thing would be over with. I leaned forward, my heart thumping in my chest.

"Ruby, tell me— what did all of that mean?" I pleaded, my voice gaining strength.

As I leaned up away from the bed, the suddenness of my movement seemed enough to shake Ruby from her silence. Gripping my hand once more in hers, she let go and reached out to my arms, pushing me gently back down on my back. I complied, mainly because I was shocked at the fact that she was touching me again, and on her own volition.

I lay back down on the pillow and she gave me a tight smile as she patted the sleeves of my shirt to smooth out any wrinkles.

"Rest, Weiss." Ruby said quietly. "It'll be bad if you don't get well in time for tomorrow. Who knows what Yang will do if you aren’t up to more shopping."

"Not like they care," I replied sullenly, looking away from her and pursing my lips in an uncharacteristic pout. “They are going to spend most of the weekend on their own anyway.”

"Still, I know her; better safe than sorry. Once you feel up to it, change into your pajamas. I'll set the alarm for seven; that's when we are meeting them for breakfast."

"Wait—" I said, reaching out to grasp Ruby’s arm again as she made to get to her feet. Again, her eyes flicked down to my hand on her arm, and the tight, nervous expression made an appearance. I ignored it. "Please, Ruby. Tell me I didn't misunderstand anything before."

She sighed, "Weiss…"

"Tell me!" I said, my voice rising desperately. "Is that the reason you never touch me anymore? Is that the reason you never smile at me that way anymore? Is that why you— you—" I floundered, not sure what I am trying to say. I was probably pushing it with her by speaking so loudly, so forcefully. I rarely acted this way, and I really wasn't sure what was wrong with me. All I knew was this—whatever this was— it was important. To me. To Ruby. To our relationship; past, present and future.

Ruby looked down at my hand on her arm, her lips a flat line on her face. She sat back down in her chair, and took a long, shaky breath.

"I… guess I sort of… liked you." She said, looking away towards to corner of the room.

Wait… what?

"Huh?" I said stupidly.

Shrugging, Ruby repeated herself. "I said I liked you… I guess. So I touched you, and tried to spend more time with you."

"But… you—" I started to say, but stopped as I tried to wrap my mind around this. It didn't work, and I was left speechless.

"I just… liked touching you, okay?" Ruby said, still looking at not-me. "But then you never really said anything about it… and never really seemed to notice. So I stopped, and worked on just being your friend."

Oh… wait… huh?

My expression must have been pretty weird, because when Ruby chanced a glance at me, she did a double-take, blinking rapidly. "W-what? What's that look for?"

My mouth opened, but all that spilled forth was a resounding "Uh…"

Sighing, Ruby released my hand and stood up, quickly taking a step out of reach in case I decided to grab her again. "I knew I shouldn't have told you that." She sounded bitter. "Now you're going to be weird."

Weird? Me? No way.

"Look," she said, her voice turning brittle; a far cry from her usual tone. Most of the time Ruby Rose was pretty lively and colorful. But now it felt as though a strong wind could blow in and shatter everything that was her. "You're my friend. I told you I liked you before because you wouldn't drop it. The reason I never told you was because you'd be like this if I had. Now that you know, we can move on." She took a deep breath, held it, and released it. "Look, I'm tired. It's been a really long day, and we have another big day in just a few hours. I'm going to bed."

And then, giving me a long, lingering look, she turned away and climbed into her bed, facing away from me.

I sat the in my bed, staring at Ruby’s covered form for a long time, trying to process what I had heard. She had liked me—liked me like that. That's why she had touched me, why she had looked at me like that, why she had spent so much time around me! It all made so much sense now, now that I was actually aware of it. I wondered how it had taken me so long to realize it, and how on Remnant I hadn't noticed before now.

Winter always said I was kind of slow on the uptake sometimes.

Arrg! Not helping! Shut up, Winter!

Okay, I was slow sometimes. I could admit that. But I knew one thing though… I definitely wouldn't be able to go to sleep now.

After sitting in my bed, almost motionless for what must have been a solid ten minutes, I decided that even I was done playing the shocked recipient of a belayed confession… which, in effect I sort of had just happen to me. I took a slow, quiet breath, as though if I breathed too loudly it would disturb Ruby, and sat up. She had said many things tonight, but the fact that I needed to change into my pajamas was definitely true.

I pulled off my shirt and jacket, carefully laying it out on the bed, and stepped out of my skirt. I fumbled with my nightgown and felt the familiar feeling the soft material on my skin, and then I carried my clothes to a chair and lay them across the back. After a moments consideration I deferred from using the toilet until the morning. I didn't have to go that badly, and I had other things on my mind to take care of first.

I slowed my approach back to the beds and, clicking off the bedside lamp, padded over to the bed occupied by my best friend.

"Ruby?" I called out softly. There was no reply. Sighing, I sat down on the edge of the bed as she had done for me earlier, and licked my lips. "I'm… I'm so sorry."

It was the only thing I could think to say. Crappy though it was.

And it clearly was the wrong thing to say, because the lump that was my best friend shrunk, the girl under the blankets apparently curling into a ball. A small sound floated up from the mass; one that sounded suspiciously like a sob.

Somewhere, deep inside my chest, I felt a light, fluttering sensation.

"Ruby." I breathed, reaching out to her. My hand got as far as brushing up against the bundle of blankets when I heard her voice, quiet and shaky.

"Go away, Weiss. Go to sleep."

Her voice, so meek and quiet, sounded so different from how she normally was. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I realized that I had never, ever heard her sound like this. And it nearly broke my heart.

"Come on, don't be like that." I muttered, ashamed at how my voice warbled just like my friend's. But just the thought of Ruby – bright, vibrant Ruby Rose— so upset like this was just too much to bear. "You're my best friend, I want to help."

Again, the ball of blankets grew small. "You can't help. Just go to sleep, Weiss."

"Oh." I couldn't help. That was a slap in the face.

"N-not that you aren't my friend." Her voice floated up from the bed again, a little stronger that before. "Just… I don't think you can help me… now."

"Oh." I say again, confused. Now she didn't think I could help. The girl was certainly giving off mixed signals, wasn't she?

A sob, larger and more pronounce than before, bubbled up from Ruby as her form lurched from under the blankets. "I don't know!" She whispered harshly.

Spurred on by her cry, I leaned forward and gently placed my hand above the blanket, shushing her gently. It didn't help, as it only seemed to make her sob harder, her entire frame shuddering from her cocoon of blankets. Desperate to alleviate my friend's clear pain, I leaned down to lay beside her, wrapping my arm around her curled, blanket-wrapped form, and pressed my face into the bedding.

A sudden wetness on the blankets, right at the spot where I had put my face, made me realize that I was crying as well.

"Ruby," I breathed, holding the ball of blankets as tightly as I could with one arm wrapped around it. "Please don't cry. Look, your making me cry now." I smiled wetly as my friend shifted in her shelter, turning around so that I could barely make out a tuft of dark hair and pale skin in the dim light of the hotel room.

"Why are you crying?" She asked. I craned my head to barely make out one silver eye before it disappeared beneath the covers.

"I don't know." I admitted. "My best friend is upset, and I can't do anything to help her. And I want to." I sniffed, rubbing at my face with my free hand. "I just find out that I messed up big time for months, and my friend was hurt because of it. How can I not be upset by that?"

"I'm fine." Ruby said. I would have maybe believed it, if her breath hadn't hitched halfway through, making way for another choked sob.

"Oh yea. Your fine. We're both fine. Damn it, why am I such an idiot?!" I hissed. Ruby’s eye made another appeared, wide in shock from my outburst.

Hey, what's that look for? I can swear, too, you know?

"Sorry," I mumbled, slightly embarrassed the curse came out anyway. "I'm just… confused."


I nodded. "Yea, and more than a little embarrassed. I mean, I am so stupid sometimes. It's no wonder it never occurred to me that you liked me… you know… last year."

Ruby made a small noise of understanding, or another muffled sob, and I rested my head down on the bed. I would have been more comfortable with a pillow, or even in my own bed, but what can you do? I wasn't about to leave my friend's side when she, and by extension myself, was so keyed up like this.

I sniffled quietly from my place on the bed, one arm wrapped around her bundle of blankets for lack of anything useful to do. Seriously, just why did I have to open my big, fat mouth?

Ruby’s eye watched me unblinkingly for a long time. Eventually, the girl shifted under her blankets and, much to my surprise, lifted up the covers towards me. I could see Ruby, clad in her rose-motif pajamas pants and tank top, her face a mask in neutrality as she regarded me, holding up the blankets with one hand and beckoning with the with other.

"Well, don't just lay there." She said stiffly as I gawked at her. "Are you coming in or not? It's cold."

"I… y-yea." I mumbled, shuffling towards her. Once in the vicinity of the blankets, but still not close enough to tough her, Ruby dropped the covers over the both of us and pulled her arm back, likely to her side. I could only see part of her face, what with the light bleeding in from the window of the hotel room, but I could piece together how my friend must have looked in my mind's eye.

Her feet, bare, curled slightly away from me. Her legs, pressed tightly together, bent at the knees as to take up as little room as possible while still being comfortable. Her arms wrapped around her stomach in an effort to keep from nudging me, the interloper into her bed as I was. And her face, eyes shining and wet from her tears, boring into my face from her space on the far side of the pillow.

Another tremor made itself known to me, this time fluttering through my chest down to my stomach.

"H-hi." I said stupidly.

"Mmm." She responded. She shuffled away from me, barely noticeably if I hadn't been paying attention. But I had.

"You can come closer, you know." I whispered.

Ruby sucked in a breath, shaking her head slowly. "No… I shouldn't."

"Why?" I asked, legitimately curious.

She reached up with her hand to paw at her eyes in attempt to dry them. She sniffed, hiccupping softly. "Nevermind." She murmured.

"Don’t be a dolt." I remarked, my lips curling. "Why won't you touch me anymore? Don't think I haven't noticed. You haven't touched me in months, except by accident. And today, when I touched you, you acted as though I was crawling with some kind of… communicable disease. Like leprosy or something. Am I a leper, Ruby?"

Despite the situation, she choked a laugh, shaking her head.

"Right. So, what, am I super ugly or something?"

Again, she shook her head.

Okay, as long were getting somewhere.

"So what is it?" I pressed her. "Why won't you touch me like you used to? Why won't you smile at me like you have some sort of secret that you share with me? Why won't you…" I gesture lamely with my hand. "Blah blah!"

Another wet laugh. "Blah blah?"

"Sure. Blah blah." I smiled weakly. "What happened to the blah blah Ruby Rose I used to know? The one who always used to hold my hand when she talked to me. The one who used to walk just a little closer to me than other girls. The one who… liked me?"

She lowered her eyes, breaking her gaze with me. "I… just… you never picked up on it, you know? After a while I just… gave up and tried to be your friend instead. You didn’t seem to notice so I thought it would be best. And since you were my partner it seemed… not such a good idea to touch you anymore."

My head bobbed in understanding. That did sort of sound like what had happened. "And… what, uh, what about now?"

Ruby blinked. "Now? What about now?"

"I mean…" I swallowed, by heart pounding in my chest. "How, um… how do you feel about me… like, now? Recently?"

My words bring a sobering effect to Ruby, whose eyes widened slightly. She opened her mouth to speak, but snapped it shut just a quickly. Her lips trembled as she considered the question, and she took a deep breath.

"I don't know." She whispered quietly.


Biting her lip, she elaborated. "I mean… I'm confused. I liked you for a long time. But then you never responded so I just… sort of gave up on you. You're my best friend. I know that. You know that. And that's how it's been for a while. I… thought we were okay like that."

"We are." I assured her, not really sure what else to say. I didn't want to say 'No, we aren't okay.' and have the whole thing blow up in my face any more than it already had. And more than anything, I didn't want to lose her as a friend. I would sooner die than have that happen. "We are partners. Best friends." Desperately, as if not to lose her, I reach out with my hand towards her.

She noticed my hand, and after a moment's hesitation, reached out with her own, grabbing onto it tightly.

"Best friends." She agreed softly. I don't know why, but the way she said that made my eyes water more, and a soft sob broke through my lips. Alarmed at my sudden outburst, Ruby scooted closer, keeping my hand clasped in hers. "Weiss." She said soothingly.

"Ah?" I manage while pressing my hand against my mouth to stem the pitiful noises that threatened to burst my lips through like a cracked dam. Since when did I become so… so… weak? And whiny. Was I really affected by Ruby so much?

Again, I cried. And again, Ruby shifted closer to me, until I felt the warmth of her skin on my forehead. Blinking, I looked up to see her face only a few inches away; she had brought her forehead to rest against mine.

"Why are you crying?" She whispered softly. I felt her breath ghost across my lips, and it sent a shiver down my spine.

I shook my head minutely, not wanting to jostle her away. "I don't know. Maybe I am confused, now too."

"Confused about what?"

"You." I admitted bluntly. Ruby sucked in a breath in surprise, and I shrugged lopsidedly. "I don't know. I never noticed it before. But now that I do, and you told me so, I feel confused. And I don't know what to think."

"I'm sorry." She said. "I shouldn't have said anything. I should have gone to—"

"No!" I whispered fiercely, but without heat. "I am happy you told me. Really. I just… am so angry at myself. Because I am such an idiot for not noticing, and hurting you."

"You didn't hurt me, Weiss." She murmured assuredly. Gently, she pulled back her head and let it rest a few inches away from me. "Don't worry about it. I was… I'm fine."

The sheer fact that she would put up such a false front, even though I knew for a fact that she was crying about it just minutes ago, made me cry even harder. I tucked my head in towards my chest, crying at quietly as I could, gripping my friend's hand tightly in my own as she soothed me by rubbing her hand against my shoulder.

"I'm sorry," I breathed as I sobbed. "I'm so sorry for being an idiot."

"Shh…" Ruby murmured, moving her hand from my back to my head, running her fingers through my hair. I absently noted that it was still tied in the back, and hoped I would remember to at least undo the ponytail before I fell asleep. Whenever that would be.

"You aren't an idiot." She continued softly. "Well, not really, anyway."

I hiccupped a laugh at the backhanded compliment, and my entire frame shuddered with a mix of laughter and sobs. It was an uncomfortable and confusing feeling.

"You dolt. Don't make me laugh." I choke out forcefully, but there was no anger in it.

"Okay, okay." She giggled, still weaving her fingers through my hair. "Sorry."

We lay there for a few minutes; me getting my tears under control, and Ruby gently petting my head while every few moments kneading my knuckles with her fingers. It was the most she had ever touched me in months and I loved every second of it.

"Hey, um…" I said after my sobs finally died down.


"Can you help me with my hair? If I don’t comb it tonight, it will be absolutely horrendous in the morning."

Chuckling, Ruby nodded. "Sure."

We sat up together, the blanket falling down to our legs, and I turned around at her gesture. The window was closed, but light spilled in through the curtains, giving the whole room a light blue glow. It would have been eerie if it wasn't so peaceful. As I sat there, I started to feel light tugs at my hair as Ruby pulled on the scrunchy that held my hair back.

"Do you have a brush?" I heard her ask. I told her I did, and she left the bed to rummage through my bag for a moment, returning with my silver hairbrush. I sighed softly as I felt its soft bristled work at keeping any knots out of my long hair.

"What's that sigh for?" Ruby asked quietly. Her voice was only a few inches away from my ear, and I fought against the shiver that crept of my spine at the sound.

"Nothing." I whispered, swallowing. To anybody else, a girl brushing another girl's hair wouldn't give cause to even bat an eye. But now, with Ruby running her hands tough my hair, the brush gently tugging and flicking out the ends of my snowy white follicles, there was electricity there. My heart thumped in my chest, and my spine tingled. My breathing came shallow, and my stomach churned.

Just what on Remnant was happening with me? Was I still feeling ill?

"There." She said, leaning over to toss the brush in my opened bag on the carpeted floor. "All straight and soft and pretty."

Nodding, I smiled and turned around to face my friend. She sat across from me on the bed, a familiar expression on her face. It could have been considered a smile, if one wanted to call it that. Her eyes flicked up to mine, lingering on my left and then right, and then traveled over my face to my lips, then back up towards my nose, and then returned to my eyes, her lips tugging upward in a small grin.

My eyes widened in response, and I couldn't stop myself from blushing at the look she sent me. It was one I hadn't seen in at least a year, and it was only then that I realized how much I had missed it.

Suddenly, Ruby’s eyes narrowed ever so slightly, her focus on something around my eyes. Her face fell, and her grin disappeared, in its place a concerned frown. I blinked, lifting my hand towards where her gaze was leveled, and felt a jolt in my chest as I realized that her silver eyes had locked directly on my scar.

The ugly, bright pink scar that traveled straight down from my forehead to my cheekbone, cutting through the corner of my left eye.

Instinctively, I brushed at my cheek with my fingertips in the way that had become instinctual. There was the occasional phantom itch from the wound and the pain was all in my head, but the superfluous action still helped.  To my shock however, Ruby reached out to grab my hands lightly with her own. I looked up to see her, her expression serious and determined.

"Can I… see it?" She asked softly.

"What?" I breathed, even if I already knew what she meant.

"You're… your scar." Ruby whispered, her eyes flicking up to meet mine. "Can I see it?"

My bottom lip trembled, even as I found myself nodding. What?! What was I doing? I didn't let anyone see my scar! I mean, it was right there, plain as day, on my face, but I still carried on as if it wasn’t even there, and expected others to do the same. There was the occasional remark about it, but after all-but ignoring the thing’s existence, everyone did me the service of doing the same. Eventually, everyone simply seemed to either get used to it, or forget it was even there. I was fine with that.

And here I was letting Ruby, my best friend – maybe something else? – see it? Surely I had gone insane from lack of sleep!

My hands released Ruby's of their own accord, and fell to the bed lifelessly. I swallowed, and gave my friend another nod, stronger this time. "Okay."

I received a bashful, reassuring smile in return, and her attention fell back to my eye. She lifted her hands and gently brushed my cheek with her fingertips, gently tracing the edge of my face along my jawline to my ear, and up to my scalp. I sucked in a sharp breath, half from the sudden feeling of Ruby's nails on my skin, and half from the realization that she was very clearly avoiding my scar.

Before I could call her out on it though –and, let’s face it, I wasn’t in any shape to complain about her attentions to me— she flicked her eyes toward mine and smiled, sliding her hand across my face to trace the raised skin of the edges of my scar. I stiffened, realizing at that moment that this was perhaps the first time anyone besides me had touched my face since I had left the hospital after the accident, and I felt decidedly more vulnerable then than I had in a very long time.

"What, does it hurt?" I heard through the haze of my sudden dizziness. Her hands had stopped moving, probably afraid I was in pain.

I shook my head. "N-no." I breathed heavily, my hands trembling on the bedspread. "Don't worry about me."

Ruby’s questing digits resumed after a few tense moments, and she scooted forward one the bed to get a closer look. She reached around my head and threaded her fingers in my hair, gently nudging my face this way and that, tracing her fingernail up my scar slowly, causing me to shiver in response. Her finger dropped down to my cheek and then jaw, lingering at the bottom of my face, and was still for a long moment. Then—

"Can I…?" Ruby asked, a slight waver to her voice.

"What?" I murmured in response.

"Can I… see more?" She tried again. I looked down at her, my expression incredulous. She could already see my scar – I only had the one! What more could she possibly want to-

Oh. Oh…

Her eyes, suddenly intense and dark, stared up at me. He lips traced a thin line across her face, and her expression was studious and serious; as though she was preparing for an especially difficult exam. It was a strange look on her, but under the circumstances, a nice enough look on her otherwise attractive face.

There were hundreds of reasons to decline her. She was my friend. My best friend. We were classmates, and members of Team RWBY. We were both girls – though, if you were to believe some of the rumors around Beacon, such a thing didn't really matter to most people. But even as more than enough valid excuses flitted through my mind for me to pull myself to my feet and return to my own bed, I found myself staring into Ruby’s eyes; her bright, yet somehow dark, silver eyes. The eyes of my best friend, who told me she had liked me at one point— maybe even still did.

And I found myself nodding.

"I… Okay." I whispered, my lips dry and my lips trembling. "Go ahead."

0 – 0 – 0

Part 2

"I… Okay." I mumbled. Ruby nodded her understanding and the tip of her tongue flicked out to lick her lips.

Oh geez, this was happening.

Slowly, she reached out to the top of my nightgown, eyes meeting mine to gauge my reaction. When there was none, she gently touched my collarbone with her fingertips, brushing them along my skin and sliding the shoulder of my gown to the side, revealing more of my pale skin to her.

The very top of my chest became visible as the shirt pulled away, but Ruby paid no heed. She traced her fingers along my shoulder and collarbone, moving over to my other side, pulling and tugging slightly at my gown. She was careful not to damage the material – to which I was grateful – but even I could tell she wanted to see more. And surprisingly, I was willing to indulge her.

“It’s… it’s easier to pull up from the bottom.” I whispered, watching as Ruby’s eyes snapped up to mine, her lips parting in a small ‘o’ of surprise. It lasted only a moment, though, before she nodded and abandoned her place at my shoulders, skimming the side of the gown to the bottom, where it pooled around my thighs on the bed.

Ruby observed me carefully, watching as she moved her hands over my hips and down to the bed. Her fingers stopped there, loosely tracing patterns on my skin through the thin fabric of my gown, and I shivered again.

I took a deep breath, hoping that my rapidly pounding heart wouldn’t take a turn for the worse and bit my lip, giving my friend a slight nod. Taking my affirmation, slipped her hands underneath the bottom of my gown and touched my legs. Her fingers felt their way up to my thighs, lingering for a moment on the edge of my underwear before continuing their journey up my hips to my waist, the fabric gathering at the back of her wrists as she lifted it up. As it reached my chest I swallowed, for the barest moment unsure of myself as I contemplated taking the next step with Ruby here, now, in this hotel room.

It wasn’t that I was unsure of my feelings – I was nervous and confused and excited all rolled into one incredible feeling, but I knew that sometimes in life you needed a little confusion. It made things interesting and new; gave some spice to the way of life most people never even knew. And when I turned my gaze up to see Ruby’s shining smile directed solely at me, I knew for once in my life that this was one thing I would never regret.

I lifted my arms, allowing Ruby to pull my gown over my head in a breathless whisper of silk on skin.

I knew, from my own observation of my body, that I was nothing special. I would even go so far as to say I was unattractive. At least, to my own eyes I was. I was too thin, my chest was flat – as opposed to Winter, who had a much better figure than I had, despite working out regularly and training to be a Huntress you could see in indentation of my ribs, and my nipples were slightly darker than I cared for. And of course the bright pink scar that stretched down the side of my face was just icing on the whole cake that was Weiss Schnee. But when Ruby looked at me, her eyes travelling over every inch of my skin, a dark flush visible even in the dim light from the window, her tongue darting out again to wet her dry lips, and her chin quivering with excitement, all the years of doubt at my-self-image flew out the window.

"Do you… do you like it?" I breathed, my voice shy and meek. The words sounded odd to my ears, but really, what else could I say in this situation?

To my relief, Ruby nodded, transfixed on my chest. "Y-yea." She murmured.

"My…" I started to say, faltered, but forced myself to continue through the embarrassment of being this exposed. "I'm really flat." Damn, that really hurt to say aloud. "And my… my scar is really ugly. And—"

"You're beautiful." She said flatly, fixing her gaze back on my face.

Those words, ones I have never once heard except from my own mother, caused my breath to hitch in my throat. She… thought I was beautiful. Even if it wasn't true, which of course I had my doubts, just the fact that she said them caused a shiver of excitement to crawl from my head down to my toes.

"Really?" I asked, just because I wanted to hear it again. Go ahead, call me shameless.

Bobbing her head, Ruby grinned her shy little grin and leaned forward. "Yea. You are. You are beautiful."

Then, as if to prove her point, she dipped her face down towards my cheek, and hovered just above the marred flesh of my scar. I held my breath, unsure of what she was going to do or why. "This doesn't make you ugly. It just makes you, you." Then, as gentle as a feather, she pressed her lips against my scar, kissing it softly.

My throat constricted and I held perfectly still. Another jolt of shock licked down my spine through my whole body, and I couldn't stop the shiver that assaulted me.

"Sorry," Ruby said, pulling back slightly to look up at me. "I shouldn't have done that." The guilty expression on her face was almost too much, and I shook my head numbly.

"N-no… It okay." I managed to choke out. "I-I, um…" I shifted on the bed, tucking one leg underneath my hips. "It just surprised me. You can… do more. If you like."

Oh, God… what did I just say?!

Ruby, obviously unaware of my inner shock, grinned and leaned forward again, pressing her mouth against my scar in another gentle kiss. She brushed her lips from the top of the tissue to the bottom, and then back up again, causing an almost violent shiver to assault me as I sat there, eyes wide, my eyes finding nothing but her dark tresses and pale skin.

Again and again she kissed my scar, nuzzling her nose against the marred, pink flesh. Again and again I stiffened under the contact, unsure of if I should keep allowing this, or to surrender to the intense sensations flooding into me, causing my fingers to curl against the blankets covering the bed.

When I felt Ruby’s hands wrap around to grasp my sides, fingering the noticeable indentation of my ribs I flinched, but not in pain. She pulled away a few inches, just enough to catch my warm blush through her dark eyelashes, before pressing her cheek against my scar, this time brushing her lips across the soft, unblemished skin of my jaw. I fidgeted again at the contact against my more sensitive skin, rather than the muddled bundle of nerves of my scar, and bit my bottom lip as my tried my best to make sense of what I was feeling.

"Ruby," I breathed, and hated how my voice warbled. It was almost as bad, if not worse, then when I was sobbing uncontrollably not minutes ago.

"Mmm?" She replied wordlessly, rubbing her rose against the shell of my ear.

"What…" I paused, taking a deep, shuddering breath. "What are we doing?" I said 'we' because I damn well know I could have stopped her if I wanted to. But to my embarrassment and consternation, I really didn't want to.

"I don't know." came the immediate reply, breathy and soft. She moved her head to the side, brushing her lips across my neck. I flinched and shivered violently. "Should I stop?"

"No." I whispered, perhaps a bit more forcefully that I otherwise would have. "Don't."

Ruby hummed her approval and continued her gentle kisses. With my permission given she seemed to get bolder, as with each kiss, each nudge with her nose or cheek, she ventured closer and closer to my lips. My breathing became heavier and more erratic the more she teased me, skimming her lips across my skin as she were just sipping, rather than guzzling a glass of milk.

"Nnn…" I parted my lips and gritted my teeth as Ruby’s hands brushed up my sides to the underside of my breast, far too close to my already hardened nipple, only to divert at the last second and return to my side, her fingers grasping and prodding softly. "Ruby."

"Yes, Weiss?" She breathed. I exhaled as her breath tickled across my face, sending another shiver down my spine.

"You're… teasing me." I accused, trying to insert vitriol into my tone. It didn't work; my voice was barely above a whisper.


I clenched my teeth in irritation, but couldn't really fault the girl. If our roles were reversed, I would probably be doing the same thing. But even with that in mind, the whole situation was maddening. Narrowing my eyes at the head of hair just below my chin, I decided enough was enough.

The next time Ruby made to press her lips against my chin I nudged my face down so that the corner of her mouth made contact with my lips. I wasn't prepared for the shock to my system I received when I felt her soft lips brush against me. It shot through me, down my spine and made my toes curl. I gasped loudly, jerking away from Ruby as she did the same, backing up to hold herself up on her hands, her eyes wide and her lips parted.

"I…" She muttered, her blush apparent even in the dim light. Her eyes lowered to my chest, roaming across from one breast and up to my face, passing by my scar, and landed on my mouth. She licked her lips, as if she couldn't quite believe where they had just been a moment ago, and finally looked back up at me, unsure; uncertain. "W-Weiss."

I arched my back in offering my not-so-modest breasts to the girl before me. I swallowed past a dry throat, a fire in my chest and my arms and legs tingling in excitement. "More." I breathed, a heady rush making my voice husky and wispy at the same time, like the air was being squeezed out of me. Ruby's eyes flashed at the sound and she nodded, quickly diving back in, this time going straight for my breasts instead of beating around the bush.

Her lips closed around my nipple, and I let out a strangled groan. The feeling of Ruby’s mouth directly on me, gently sucking and puckering around the sensitive flesh of my breast was almost too much. I fidgeted instinctually, shifting my hips and legs underneath me, my hands clenched on the bedspread, and I bit my lip. But I couldn't take my eyes off of her; her silky smooth lips molding and sliding on me, kissing me and making my skin wet with her saliva.

"R-Ruby." I breathed, unsure of why I was even murmuring her name.

"Yes?" She whispered back between kisses and gentle sucks. She sounded as breathless as I did.

"What… are we doing?" I had already said as such, but I felt like saying it again, if not just to hear more of Ruby’s voice.

"I don't know." She repeated her earlier answer, punctuating her admission with a firm suckle on my breast and a flick of her finger on my ribs. "But I don't want to stop."

"Me neither." I said, groaning when she abandoned my painfully hard nipple in search of the other, lavishing the same attention she had paid to the first onto it. "I want more."

"Mmm." She hummed agreeably, running her nails up and down my sides, causing more shivers to trickle up my spine. "I do, too. I want to do more with you."

That little idea should have given me pause. A dozen thoughts ran through my head, most of which were not entirely decent. And a handful actually made me want to hide my face from my friend in shame. Now, I wasn't really a prude, but there was still propriety to consider. But here, with Ruby, my best friend who told me she had liked me at one point, perhaps still did, I suddenly didn't really care anymore. Propriety be damned.

"I want to do more with you, too." I said, reaching up with one of my hands to wind my fingers in her hair, pulling gently. She moaned quietly when I did, making the heat grow in my belly so that it was almost impossible to ignore. "I want you to touch me more."

"Where?" Ruby asked breathlessly.

"You know where." I murmured, tugging her hair again so her face tilted up to look at me. I caught a flash of surprised, silver eyes in the dim light from the window before pulling her face up to meet mine in a kiss.

Her lips, soft as they were, were every bit as perfect as they had felt moment ago wrapped about my nipples. They clumsily molded to mine, shifting and sliding, opening as Ruby pushed herself up on her knees to get closer to me, murmuring meaningless sounds into my mouth as she did so. I clambered to my knees as well in order to match her height. She was only centimeters taller than me, but we adjusted to the difference easily enough. Additionally, neither of us apparently had any experience kissing before, and it showed. At least in my opinion. But if she was bothered at all, she didn't show it.

My hands wrapped around her, one burying itself in the nest of hair at the back of her neck, and the other pulling her closer at the small of her back. She seemed to agree with that, as she molded herself against me as tightly as she could, her own hands trailing up and down my sides, drawing patterns of fire along my ribcage down to my hips. When I felt them trace along the curve of my hips to my abdomen, sliding just barely above the waistband of my panties, I flinched with a sharp gasp.

"What – did that hurt? Am I going to fast?" Ruby asked quickly, her words coming out breathless, but alarmed.

I shook my head, breathing heavily into the crook of my friend's neck. "No…" I whispered, kissing the skin just below her ear hungrily. "It felt good. Do it again."

A moment later I felt her fingers ghost across the top of my underwear again, tracing some unknown pattern on my skin, causing my muscles to twitch in response. I gasped appropriately, and brushed my lips over Ruby’s neck.

"Ruby." I whispered heatedly, unsure of what I even wanted to say. She seemed to understand, as she sighed into my ear nonetheless. I clutched at the back of her head with my hand, though it was a chore to keep myself from pulling her hair too hard. Her fingers skimmed my panties again and I twitched, shifting my legs underneath me as I tried to find a comfortable position. It was a little difficult with both of us trying to keep our balance kneeling on the bed. "Can we lay down?"

"Okay." She replied, pulling away just enough to exchange a heated, meaningful glance with me. After a few moments I picked up on it and, smiling shakily, I allowed myself to be gently maneuvered so that my back was on the bed, and I looked up at my friend, who hovered above me propped up on her hands.

She stared at me for a long moment, her expression unreadable. Which was weird in and of itself, as most days Ruby’s face was pretty damn easy to decipher. I shifted underneath her, my thighs rubbing together in frustration. I was already wet with arousal and it was getting a little uncomfortable to not be doing anything about it.

"What?" I whispered, reaching up to her face. "Is something… wrong?" I was suddenly afraid that, contrary to what she had said a few moments ago, I had gone to fast and she was getting overwhelmed. Would she want to back out? To decide that this – whatever this was— needed to stop where it was and that we needed to stay just regular friends? I sincerely hoped she would continue, because damn it if I wasn't interested in her now. But, on the other hand, if she wanted to quit I would respect that. I would be disappointed, sure, but she was above all else my best friend. And I didn't want to hurt her any more than I had.

But if she did decide to stop, I would have to disappear to the bathroom for a bit. No doubt I would have to have a bit of a cry in private, and to… um… well, relieve myself. You get the idea.

"No." Ruby said, shaking her head slightly, her grin reappearing. "I just thought about this for so long, I just needed a second."

"Are you sure?" I asked, even though on the inside I was screaming, 'Say yes! Yes you are sure!'

Instead of answering vocally, she grinned her shy little grin that I loved to see and quickly slipped her fingers just underneath the waistband of my panties. The shock from the sudden touch caught me totally of guard, and I gasped sharply as my stomach muscles clenched almost painfully. The intrusion didn't last long, as she pulled her fingers back just as quickly, choosing instead to trail them across the top of my underwear, dipping underneath the elastic every few seconds, prompting a shuddering gasp from my throat every time she did.

"Do you like it when I do this?" She whispered, a very Yang-like smirk on her lips. God, she was being coy!

I hissed when she dipped her fingers down again, and shifted my hips underneath her, trying to make it clear what I wanted. "Stop teasing me, Ruby." My voice was an interesting mix of husky and breathy, but I managed to sound pretty demanding all the same. "If you want to go for it, just do it."

In response, she leaned close to me to press her lips to mine in a hungry kiss. I accepted it readily, sighing into her mouth, my hands coming up to wrap around her neck to hold her against me. I wound my fingers in her hair, both at the back of her neck and her head, and twitched when I felt the pinch of her teeth nibble on my bottom lip. It wasn't painful, but certainly a surprise coming from Ruby.

I sensed more than felt it coming; her hand snaking inside my panties, burying her fingers in my sparse pubic hair. My sigh turned into a groan and she caressed me, my wetness making it difficult for her fingers to find purchase as they explored my depths. I pulled away from my friend's mouth with a shuddering sigh, rolling my head back on the pillow.


"Yes, Weiss?" She replied against my ear. I shivered, my hands clenching in her hair and my toes curling.

"Don't stop." I whispered loudly, my breaths coming out in staccato pants.

"Okay." She agreed. "Tell me what feels good."

I nodded frantically, a whimper escaping me as her fingers slipped between my lower lips, causing a lick of flame to sear up the back of my spine, only to return back down to my belly, consuming me from inside out. Not all of her touches were perfect. They were, for the most part, unpracticed and erratic. It was very different from the few times I had done this to myself. But somehow, with Ruby above me, her breath in my ear and her hand in my underwear, touching my most sensitive place, I couldn't help but feel that this beat out every single time I had masturbated by myself, alone in my bedroom.

It was fucking fantastic.

Soon Ruby found a rhythm she was comfortable with – or that her hand could handle – and her fingers slid in my crevice faster and faster, her palm cupping my mound and sending sparks of pleasure coursing through me. I gasped, jerked, and groaned underneath her as she worked, every few seconds opening my eyes a crack to look up at her, as if I was afraid she would suddenly disappear, and this had only been in a dream, brought about by some bought of insanity.

But every time I did, she was there, sighing and cooing into my ear, whispering meaningless sounds as she worked her magic on me.

"Ruby," I mewled, hissing when she dipped into the wet heat of my center with her finger. I drew it deep inside me and I tensed as I felt myself reach my peak. "I-I'm—"

"It's okay." She whispered into my ear, her breath hot and comforting against my ear. She reached down with her free hand to slip it under me, holding me close to her. "Relax, Weiss. I've got you."

Her words, and the sincerity behind them, were the final push I needed, and I came undone in her arms. I cried out, my legs jerking and my hands tightening in Ruby's hair. I clenched my teeth and my eyes shut, unable to keep the stars from exploding from behind my eyelids. My chest heaved, my fingers and toes tingled, and muscles around my thighs and abdomen twitched deliciously.

After a few long, delirious moments, I fell back on the bed, breathing heavily and my vision blurry. My heart hammered, but not painfully. I felt Ruby collapse next to me, her breaths coming out steady and hot against my neck, and I hummed in appreciation as she smothered my throat with kisses. The numbness in my limbs started to abate, and I sluggishly lifted up my arms to turn over and wrap them around my friend, when she sat up.

Blinking in confusion, I watched as Ruby pushed herself up on her arms, throw one leg over mine so that she straddled me, and leaned forward, kissing me hungrily. I was momentarily surprised when I felt her tongue slip in between my lips, but I opened my mouth to accept it nonetheless. Her hands roamed around until they found mine, and we took a moment to lace our fingers together before I felt her gently tug on them, pulling me closer. I let her guide my hands as I rose to a sitting position, and wondered for a moment what she had planned.

My silent question was answered when she rolled backwards off her legs onto her rear, pulling me up so I rose to my knees. I took a moment to find my balance on the bed, and then watched as she let go of my hands. She watched me for a moment and then silently reached down to grasp at the hem of her tank top. I gaped, my lips parting, as I watched Ruby pull her shirt up, above her stomach, her breasts, and then her head, and tossed it aside. I distantly noted that is landed on the floor somewhere off to the side.

My eyes roamed hungrily over my best friend's pale skin, tinged a slight pale blue in the light bleeding in through the window. I noted her stomach, flat and smooth, and her breasts, noticeably larger than mine; probably at least an A-cup – not the biggest, but certainly bigger than me, damn it! Her nipples, pink and perky; already hard with arousal. Her neck and collarbone, creamy and delicious-looking. Her face, slightly rounded and cheeks flushed.

And finally her eyes, gazing at me with a hungry gleam, a fascinating mixture of steal and silver.

"Come here." She whispered. She bent her legs at the knees and spread them, propping herself up on her hands behind her. "Show me what you can do." Her tone left no room for argument.

I swallowed.

Well, I certainly couldn't refuse that, could I?

I wanted to waste absolutely no time in granting Ruby’s request. With her sitting there, propped up with her hands behind her, her bare chest offered up to me like a sacrifice, it was all I could do to keep myself from crawling towards her on my hands and knees and taking her right then and there. She had taken her time with me, teasing me with small touches and kisses, before finally claiming me as thoroughly as she had. It was the lease I could do to make sure she was taken care of as adequately as I had been.

But it was difficult. Oh-so-difficult, to look into her bright-yet-somehow dark eyes, shaking under their blazing intensity and not dive right in. She wanted immediate relief, and as much as I wanted to grant her wish, I knew where things stood.

Keeping my eyes locked onto hers, I straightened up on the bed, doing my best to keep balance on my knees, and reached down, hooking my thumbs in in the waistbands of my panties. Her eyes broke their contact with mine to flick down, watching me as I slowly slid the small piece of clothing, which were uncomfortably damp anyway, down my thighs to my knees. I watched Ruby as her eyes widened slightly at the sight of me being exposed, but instead of being embarrassed by it, I was only emboldened.

It was slightly more difficult to shift myself on the bed so I could slip the sodden material past my knees and down my shins, kicking them off my feet, but once I succeeded I straightened again, naked as the day I was born, in front of my best friend. Perhaps I should have been a bit more demure, but at this point, and after the orgasm she just had given me, I really didn't care.

I fell forward on my hands and crawled towards her, watching in satisfaction as her eyelids lowered, and her lips parted in preparation for whatever I was going to do. I could only oblige as I finally reached her.

I snaked my arm around her middle as my face reached hers, pulling her flush against me as I pressed my mouth to hers in a hungry, forceful kiss. Her lips molded to mine easily, this time less clumsy and more familiar, and infinitely more enjoyable. Our bodies pressed together, and I shivered in response to the feeling of Ruby’s nipples rubbing against my own breasts. They felt wonderful against mine, but I wanted more. SO I pulled back a few inches, bringing my free hand up to gently palm one of her breasts.

Ruby broke away from our kiss, gasping as I kneaded her breast. I squeezed it, and she whimpered softly, shifting her hips underneath us. One of her hands abandoned its place on the bed to come up and try to slip between my legs, but I batted it away.

"No, Ruby," I said sternly as her mouth popped open in surprise. I leaned forward and flicked my tongue out, gliding it across her bottom lip. She twitched in response, her eyelids fluttering shut as she sighed. "It's your turn. Just relax and let me do the work."

"Weiss." She groaned, fidgeting underneath me. "I want you so bad."

Oh hoh! That was certainly pleasing to hear. I smirked at the thought myself having this kind of effect on my friend, and leaned down to trace my tongue along her lips. She accepted the gesture readily, even flicking her own tongue out to meet mine every few seconds.

After a few moments, my hand left Ruby’s breast, much to her disappointment if her forlorn-sounding whimper was any proof of that, and began its slow, tantalizing journey down her front. I ran down the skin of her stomach with my fingers, my nails, slightly longer than I would have normally left them if I hadn't been lax in their upkeep recently, gently skimmed the skin just below her bellybutton, causing the muscles down there to twitch noticeably. I smiled into her mouth, pleased that she had the same reaction I seemed to have with my belly.

"Oh, God." Ruby muttered, breaking away from my lips as she gasped. She hissed when I flicked my nails along the skin of her stomach, and I giggled.

This was fun when I wasn't the one being tortured.

"Weiss—!" My friend gasped, reaching up to paw at my shoulder with one hand. "I—"

"What is it, Ruby?" I asked, sweetly. She bared her teeth, glaring fully at me. But the effect was ruined by the heavy blush coloring her cheeks.

"Please." She whispered, shuddering as her nails dug into my shoulder. "I'm already so wet. I need you. Now."

I took a moment to blink at that. Never in a million years would I have expected to hear those words from Ruby Rose. But, then again, I would have never thought we would be in this kind of situation. So take that with a grain of salt. Regardless, even if I normally would have balked and the bluntness of my partner, at that moment, with her looking at me like that, her fingers clawing into my back and her breasts heaving with each breath, I had never been so turned on before in my life.

I nodded, leaning forward to press my lips to hers. She responded hungrily, and moaned when I pulled away after a short second.

"Okay." I murmured. My friend blinked a few times, as if processing what I had said, and then released a heavy breath, as if she had been holding it for hours. She wasted no time in shucking her pajama bottoms, lifting up her hips so I could help with sliding her pants down and kicking the offending article of clothing away.

"Ah!" I hissed slightly when her shin caught me in the side.

"S-sorry!" She whimpered, her limbs shaking in excitement – or nervousness, I didn't know. "Are you okay?"

"Yes. It’s nothing." I waved off her concern with a tight smile. I leaned forward to help remove her panties, which she was all-too happy to let happen. I pulled the small, rose-pink underwear down her thin legs, pausing as she helped by lifting her feet so I could remove them easily, and then tossed the thing over my shoulder.

And I swallowed again.

Ruby sat there, bare inches from me, completely naked. Her legs, long and smooth, bent at the knees, opened slightly – though not obscenely – as if beckoning to me. Her hips were narrow and perfect, highlighting her youth but also her budding feminine appeal. Her stomach was flat, but not as toned as mine was. Her arms, thin and trembling, were held down at her sides. Her hands shook, her fingers twitched, as if they couldn't decide what to do or where to go. Her breast, small, but easily larger than mine and still perky with youth, heaved, her nipples erect with want. And her face, completely focused on me, her eyes burning into mine.

My best friend had never been so beautiful to me before right at this moment.

After a few long, lingering moments, Ruby huffed, shifting her hips on the bed. "Weiss…" She whimpered, her fingers clenching on the bedspread. "Please."

I nodded again, licking my lips. I hesitated for a briefest moment, before inwardly shrugging. It shouldn't be that hard, right? It wouldn't be all that much different from touching myself, after all. And if Ruby could do it for me, then by God, I could do it for her!

Alright. I could do this.

I leaned forward, grinning when Ruby reached out to my shoulder and pulled me close, kissing me fiercely. I reciprocated her kiss, placing my hands on either side of her waist. She shifted in response, her hips moving around on the bed as if trying to get comfortable. I knew from my own experience that it was a difficult process. But, hopefully, I could help with that.

As we kissed my hands slowly moved down, pausing by her abdomen to skim along the smooth, sensitive skin there. Ruby twitched almost violently at the touch, and gripped my shoulder tightly.

"Yes." She groaned into my mouth, biting my bottom lip. I continued, my hands ghosting over her skin, teasing just under her bellybutton, occasionally dipping further down to feel the barest hint of hair, receiving a shudder as reward. "More…" She murmured, her voice barely above a whisper.

Again I touched her, my nails trailing along like a figure skater on her skin, occasionally daring to close the distance to my true goal, only to turn around and return to her abdomen. Ruby groaned, whimpered and gasped with every touch, and it made me feel powerful; in control. Her nails dug into my shoulder, but never painfully. She kissed me, nibbled my lips, and stroked my tongue with hers, and I could feel her breath in me, rushing through me, making me feel, for the first time in so very long… alive.

"Ruby…" I murmured as my hands caressed her. She hummed in response, kissing me softly as I worked. "I want you so bad."

She nodded, breaking her kiss to put her forehead in the crook of my neck. "Me too. Please, make me feel good."

It was all the permission I needed. I couldn't wait anymore, just as she probably couldn't. I wanted to feel her; to touch her as she touched me. To hear her voice as I caressed her, made her writhe with pleasure. To watch her face as she came, as I had.

I needed it all.

Pulling back a little, just enough to watch Ruby’s face, I slid my hand down past her abdomen, burying it in her pubic hair, and felt her for the first time. I watched as her eyes widened and she opened her mouth, the air rushing out of her body in a silent groan. She stared back at me, her gaze unblinking as she struggled to breathe for a moment, and then her entire body shuddered as she sucked in a deep, but shaky breath. A moment or two passed as she situated herself, and then she swallowed, nodding jerkily.

I settled myself on my knees, moved my free hand around to the small of her back, and then began to move. My hand slid against her easily, as she was easily as wet as I had been, if not more so, and it didn't take me long to get used to the odd feeling of touching Ruby… well… down there. She sighed and groaned as my hand moved, and she brought her other hand up so that she could hold onto my shoulders with both hands, her nails digging into my skin for purchase. Under most circumstances it probably would have hurt. But in this situation, it only served to turn me on further.

There really was very little difference, physically speaking, between Ruby and I. I mean, everything should have been in the pretty much the same place where it counted, so taking that in to account, it didn't take me long to fall into a steady rhythm of caressing, touching and rubbing with my fingers to elicit the proper responses from my friend. She gasped, twitching, after I had flicked my nail against her, but then hummed happily after I did it a second time, kissing my neck affectionately. So pleased was I at her reaction to my every little touch, that after a couple minutes I began to move my hand faster.

"Ah-!" Ruby gasped at the change in pace, stiffening beneath me. She acclimated to the change easily enough, and cooed into my ear, nibbling on it softly as I moved. "Weiss." She whimpered as I touched her.

"Mmm?" I hummed, tilting my head so I could hear her whisper into my ear.

"It feels so good." She whined softly, her breath hot against my neck.

"You feel good, Ruby." I agreed, shifting slightly so I could kiss her as I moved. She returned my kiss heatedly, whimpering and gasping into my mouth.

As I settled over her, my hand clasped around at the small of her back, I felt one of her legs wrap around my rear, leading me closer to her. I complied, closing the remaining few inches there was with my friend on my knees. So surprised I was when she brought one of her hands down from my shoulder to my crotch, that I slowed my own hand.

When her hand reached its destination, it sent a jolt up my spine as I remembered her touch only minutes before. I was surprised, but pleased, to find that I was still just as wet as I was earlier.

"We can feel good together." Ruby murmured, sending a significant look up at me. I swallowed, taking a deep breath, and nodded.

"Yea. I want to feel good with you, Ruby." I replied, and with a shared look of understanding between best friends, our hands began moving.

It was a simple thing for me to build up the rhythm I had moments ago, which was likely appreciated. Likewise, it only took her a few moments of working between my legs to find the same spot she did before; the one that caused me to moan and hiss in pleasure.

"Oh my God, Weiss…" She groaned, breathing into my neck. "You're already so wet."

"I'm still wet, Ruby." I said, too turned on to be embarrassed by my words. "You made me this way."

Ruby exhaled heavily, and gently bit my neck just above my collarbone. "Good." She declared. "You feel so good." I whimpered in response, and hissed sharply when she slipped her finger inside me, my spine stiffening at the more than welcome intrusion.

"Ruby -!" I whined, momentarily overwhelmed by the feeling of her finger moving and curling around inside me.

"It's okay, Weiss," Ruby whispered. "It's okay to feel good."

I shuddered, either at her words or what she was doing to me, and clenched my teeth together. Determined to not let her be the one that makes only me feel this way, I held my breath to steady myself as I pushed my own ring finger deep inside her.

"Ah-!" She gasped sharply, her head rolling back on the bed. Her leg clenched around me, pulling me so close I almost lost my grip on her, and I felt her stiffen underneath me. For a moment I was afraid she would tell me it was too much, that we had to stop. But then, just as I was beginning to worry, she sucked in a deep breath and looked at me, her eyes wide and beautiful and silver and only for me.

"More." She murmured harshly.

I was all too happy to oblige.

The two of us began moving, our hands and fingers stroking and rubbing with ease. I listened as Ruby whimpered and whined as I worked, pleased that I could get her to make such sounds. I hoped that she liked mine, as well. I had always been embarrassed at the sounds I made when I was alone, but hearing her, humming and mewling underneath me as I slipped my finger inside her and palmed her with my hand, I realized that I craved more of them. I wanted every sound she could make, every high-pitched whine, every gravely moan, and every breathy sigh that came from her lips. I wanted to claim every one as mine. My own.

My Rose.

"Ah—" She whimpered, thrashing her head to the side, her eyes shut tightly and her nails digging into my shoulder. "W-Weiss, I'm so close." I was too, and I pressed my face into her neck and told her so. Or at least, I think I did. It may have come out as a wordless groan. She seemed to understand regardless, and cupped me with her hand, forcing her finger into the deepest part of me so that all could feel was her, and smell her, and taste her as I pressed my lips into her neck, crying out her name as I came.

Ruby cried out underneath me, and pulled me closer so that I flush against her. She thrust her hips up to meet mine and the back of our hands ground against each other, pressing our palms even harder against each other and our fingers even deeper.

"Ruby -!" I keened, breathing heavily into her neck. She smelled wonderful.

"Weiss!" She replied; nothing else needed to be said, really. Her voice in my ear was all needed before I came again in my friend's arms. Explosions erupted behind my eyes, and I heard myself mutter a curse; I was not entirely sure which one, but I'm pretty sure it was not entirely proper for me to say in most cases. My body shuddered, my arms and legs twitched and trashed, and I bit down on Ruby’s shoulder just because I could.

At the same time, she let out a high pitched whine, her other leg came up to join the other in wrapping around my waist, leaving her completely on her back, my arm still holding her close. She gave a great lurch and she pressed in close to me, her head burying itself in my neck as I bit her. Her hand abandoned its place on my shoulder and she dragged her nails roughly down my back. I'm sure I would likely have some sort of mark from that later. But right now, I couldn't get a shit.

If anything, the second time was even better than the first time. Maybe it was because I was expecting it now, or maybe it was because Ruby had a bit more practice. Or maybe, just maybe, it was because she was right there with me, feeling what I was feeling, as we came together, that made it so much more wonderful.

It took me a long minute to come down from the delirium of pleasure, and when I did I collapsed beside my friend, burying my face in her shoulder.

I wasn't sure what, if anything I should say at that moment. What did one say after having sex with their best friend and partner?

Thanks? Good job? You were great?

Were we even still friends?

The thought, unwelcome as though it was, brought with it feelings of uncertainty, and shame, crawling into my heart. Would this change everything? Would Ruby still be my friend? This wasn't the kind of things friends did together. This was the sort of thing people did… with people they liked.

She had liked me before. She had said as much. But then, she had told me she stopped liking me, because of my stupidity and inability to pay attention, and settled on being my best friend.

Again, this wasn't the sort of thing friends did together.

What did she feel about me? What did I feel about her?

So unsure of myself at that moment, that I jumped slightly when I felt Ruby’s arms wrap around my shoulders as she shifted on the bed, rolling around to face me.

"Think we should move? It's getting kind of cold." She said softly, a slightly tired, but chagrined, lilt to her voice. Blinking a few times as by brain caught up, I suddenly realized that we were lying on the foot of the bed.

Chuckling despite myself, I nodded. "Yea, might not be a bad idea."

It took a few moments for us to push ourselves up and maneuver across the bed. Ruby fixed the blankets, which had gotten a bit ruffled in the excitement, and pulled them back.

"What time is it, anyway?" I muttered, climbing in first. I wondered, for a spilt second, if I was being too forward by climbing into Ruby’s bed. But only after realizing that it would probably more awkward, if not a bit detrimental to our relationship – such as it was— to return to my own bed, I shook off the uncertainty, smiling softly when Ruby lay down beside me, pulling the blankets up to our shoulders.

"Late." She whispered. "Like, one in the morning, or something."

"Ugh." I remarked, pulling a face. Ruby giggled, and I felt the tightness in my chest that had been building dissipate a little. "That means so only have a few hours until breakfast. What time was that again?"

"Blake said about seven." Ruby said. I grunted at that, prompting another giggle from her. "You still have to shower in the morning, so you have to get up even—"

"Ugh, alright that's enough." I cut her off grumpily. Her shoulders shook with laughter and I smiled. We lay there beside each other for a long time, simply listening to the soft hum of the hotel, the sounds of Vale at night, and our breathing. After a few minutes I thought Ruby had fallen asleep, and was about to shut my eyes when I felt her move beside me, shifting so she could face me. I hesitated for the briefest moment before rolling over myself to meet her, face-to-face.

Her hand reached out, and I met it with mine, lacing our fingers together. "Weiss, what are we?" She asked quietly.

That was indeed the million lien question, wasn't it? Where we friends? Partners? Something more? Not friends at all anymore? I desperately wanted to know, and at the same time I didn't.

Ruby, maybe sensing my thoughts, pushed ahead. "Are we… still friends?"

I blinked. "Of course we are, you dolt. Best friends, right?" Because, if anything, I didn't want to lose that. She was my best friend, and even if this— whatever this was— didn't work out, I wanted to at least stay friends.

If that was at all possible at this point.

"What if… I don't want to be friends anymore?" Ruby whispered, giving my hand a squeeze. She may as well have squeezed my heart, with those words. She didn't want to be my friend anymore? I didn't think I could handle that, honestly. If there was no Ruby in my life, I wasn't sure I could cope anymore. Not after tonight.

"Why…?" I managed to get out. "Why don't you want to be friends?"

"How could I?" She muttered, her voice shaky as I felt, even after all of this. "How could I just want to be friends, now that I've had this? How am I supposed to go back to just being your friend, after you've given me this? After I now know what 'wonderful' feels like?" She squeezed my hand again, and tugged it close to her chest, so that it was pressed flush up against her breast. "Feel this?" She asked, and I nodded dumbly. "My heart is pounding, so hard, at even the thought of you leaving, of you just being 'my Friend’ after this. It's almost painful."

Her heart.


Her heart. Right.

"Ruby…" I murmured, licking my dry lips.

She scooted towards me, so that her lips were barely an inch away from mine. Her breath drifting sweetly across my mouth as she whispered, "Tell me, Weiss, how am I supposed to go back, knowing what happiness feels like?"


Whelp, I was sold.

Taking a slow, steadying breath, I closed the gap between the two of us, and softly kissed Ruby. I tried to give her all of my thoughts, all of my doubts and all of my desires to her, all in one long, blessed moment of perfection. Her hand squeezed mine tightly to her breast, and her leg came up to slip between mine, her toes trailing along my calf.

After a long moment, I pulled away, pausing only to plant a soft peck on her nose, before resting my head on the pillow. I reached out to clasp her other hand in mine, giving it a squeeze of my own, and tugged it towards my face, so that her fingers rested directly over my scar.

"Then don't." I murmured. "Don't go back."

She smiled.

I loved that smile.

It’s always the little things you notice first. It’s always the little things, isn’t it? After all, it’s the little things that matter the most.

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The End.

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