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I have a Cat Problem (RWBY Comedy)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by JBukharin, Dec 18, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Get out of my flat!
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 1: Get out of my flat!


    My life was a simple one. One where things were dictated by common logic, a sense of peacefulness and… order.


    That was before the strangest anomaly decided to come and storm everything with its mere presence. Such an oddity… that even now I couldn’t help but snort at the unpredictability of fate itself.


    Vale wasn’t close to the Kingdom of Atlas in terms of technological benefits, but it still offered the chance of having the most satisfying experience of life. The kind of life that only those who faced the hardships of the Civilian life in a world that favored huntsmen before anyone else.


    It wasn’t much of an issue considering that Hunters weren’t there to just strut around and get easy benefits. They were the protectors of today and tomorrow, the heroes of our time… and beyond.


    I never had any issues with the neighbors. I actually enjoyed the little interactions I had with the elder couple that lived by the flat across mine. A little less about the numerous but still young family occupying the apartment in the front and providing with no little noise-related issues.


    The little kids, especially the toddlers, tended to turn in minor annoyance past dinnertime.


    Still, despite this negligible problem, I was glad about the home I got out from working hard and determinedly.


    My job was one of the few ones that just offered a graceful balance of safety and income. The small establishment that was ‘alive’ by early morning had been searching some waitress back when I moved here in Vale. I remember getting hired mostly thanks to the references provided by my former teachers.


    Years spent at school to try and get hold of the basics of what a normal life away from the dangerous workplace that were the Academies resulted in an impressive paper detailing my capacities as a waiter, chef, shop-keeper, and much more. I was an all-around worker. One that many would’ve paid gold to have around… but I just settled for this very activity.


    The pay was decent, if not quite generous for the limited labor behind the daily tasks. Plus it went to modestly cover for the various expenditures of my peaceful life, rent included.


    My flat was fairly spacious, but I knew that it was mostly because this was the kind of building that had been built with the purpose of housing large families families rather than single occupants like me. And this opportunity gave me the chance to have enough space to enjoy having my good hobbies there too.


    My little garden was filled with various pots. A small line of proper wet dirt was used to keep the flowers and plants that I was trying to grow there there. Some were from my collection that I taken from my home in Mistral, while others had been planted a little after I had the rest of my equipment set for a small, but efficient farming operation.


    With the dutiful caring and proper ministrations applied to the plants, I was guaranteed a slow but steady production of delicious fruits that I could either eat or offer around to anyone that wanted. In the end, this hobby also worked to reduce some of the expenses related to fruits that would come from trips at the local stores. It wasn’t much, but it was honest work.


    I was glad of what I had achieved in so little time spent away from my family’s home. I was happy of the seemingly lonely but satisfying life that I got now. No longer was I going to be dreading to be attacked by any bandits or thugs that were known to live on the territories near the old manor.


    I wasn’t poor, but neither I was rich enough to avoid dealing with the violence from the criminal issue troubling Mistral. Mom and Dad had long decided to settle by the capital once we were out of the old house. Their new place had plenty of security that was provided by the quite-flamboyant council ruling over the country.


    I wasn’t savvy about politics, but I could recognize full-fledged idiocy when I saw it. Especially when in one instance a good majority of the year’s budget was burned in artistic renovations of some cathedrals rather than improve the already lacking military budget for the Militia Departments.


    This is why, compared to Mistral, living here in Vale had left me at ease over the simplicity of things and the general lack of murderous gangs. The loneliness that comes with that lifestyle could easily be considered a terrible thing to praise, yet there was a proper reason why I didn’t care much about it.


    I hated being in large crowds.


    Mistral’s Transportation Network was (and possibly still is even now) the most obsolete in Remnant. Vacuo didn’t count since there wasn’t a genuine regulated system, nor a railway to begin with, that helped around the desert-based Kingdom.


    With just a handful of rail-networks and with slow and small trains, people were hardly pleased with the means to reach their destinations. Large crowds were forced to get squeezed together and… some were certainly prone to sweat a lot either for agoraphobia or for something a little less complex, like obesity.


    The Regency Council of the Kingdom of Mistral, despite having shown impressive liberal ideas in the last few years considering their easing over some rules, was still formed by a group of nobles that would eventually leave their seats as inheritance to their own children. Essential reforms were nowadays ditched for the sake of reviving old arts… or expensive tournaments.


    I could still remember watching my first and, hopefully, last competition.


    I was partially irritated by how dull some fighters had looked to be. After years spent training with dad… that just didn’t sit well for me. Too easy, too flashy. It was all a farce… except for the final match. It couldn’t exactly be considered a fair one.


    The ‘popular choice’ was a flashy joke with hardly some serious experience in his bones. It would be a lie to say that I hadn’t cheered for his opponent, at the time unknown Pyrrha Nikos, in putting an end to that nonsense.


    The serious-paced speed and the timed reactions were just on point, delivering a ‘brilliant’ victory for the young redhead.


    But while the fight had easily won me over the fact that the girl was meant to go far, I didn’t bother watching any of the following seasons from that one onward.


    After what had happened there and… after hearing brief details about the girl easily getting a second victory out of the next tournament, I felt my interest over that kind of stuff dwindle away for more ‘honest’ stuff.


    Invincible Girl? She was mediocre, something my father had been keen to drill when he took me to see her fight for the first time. Very nervous, her footing missing essential steps and her last victory wasn’t even that sensational to the old man.


    A retired Huntsman that had seen far too much in his past job to be impressed by a young girl being able to get some ‘important’ win because of the circumstances rather with her ‘invincibility’.


    Dad wasn’t certainly a pushover, never lost his touch since he retired as proved when he went to teach temporarily at Haven Academy. Several students were forced to work even harder than previously to just pass his class, some giving up mid-way because of the peer pressure the veteran was keen to display when bored or annoyed.


    Both my parents had been supportive of my decision to move out, saddened by the fact I was a Kingdom away from them, but glad that I had settled well in the better-defended nation.


    But I think I’m digressing a little too much. Let me explain why… I lost my balance and found myself dealing with the greatest issue I had to ever face in my entire life. With a pleasant surprise by the very end of it all.


    It all started when I finished my shift at the bar, just an hour or two after lunch. I had managed to eat something during my break and thus I didn’t feel the need to wander around before going back home. I was tired, and I didn’t have a reason to stay away from a few hours of rest.


    Work was simple, but also tiring because of how long the shifts tended to be, especially when those ended up taking longer turns than usual when certain seasons were turning in, like the Vytal Festival. I wasn’t by any mean unnerved by this as the extra hours were paid extra, thus giving me the proper incentive to give my best with my assignments.


    There were still some men and women walking around the streets, and the sun was still high in the sky. The blue was starting to give away to a lighter-orange, it was getting late. Vendors had their shops still open and continuing to help the various clients browsing their products. The peacefulness of these scenes were more than enough to bring me a sense of easiness that Mistral would have never been able to give to me.


    I bit down a yawn, my lips twitching to suppress the tiny noise. I was feeling quite tired from the draining day at the job I had just concluded.


    Starting fairly early in the morning, I was expected to wake at some unholy hour… thus I had to go to sleep even earlier than I used to back when I frequented college.


    Was I annoyed by this? Just a little bit. I wasn’t a morning person, but I knew that it wasn’t a labor without rewards as the pay was worth it.


    My walk back to the flat was uneventful and lacking any major crowds obstructing the strees. Even the hallway leading to the front door was deserted much to my immense relief.


    I was ready to go for a brief nap of an hour (or who knows, maybe two) before focusing on tending the small garden I had set up in there.


    Being that it was still before afternoon, I had my own plans about it and I knew how I was going to spend the rest of the day. Or at least until it was dinnertime.


    My tomato plants needed some nutrients to recover from some parasites that had almost killed it. The pesky bugs had managed to enter through a small opening by the nearby window, prompting me to invest in something to solve this very issue.


    Humming quietly, the key to the entrance door slipped correctly inside the lock’s mechanism and then clicked a single time to dignify the opening of the final barrier between me and my house.


    I blinked in minor surprise as I was greeted by some darkness. I eased as I remembered that I had forgotten to lift up the windows’ curtains earlier this morning.


    I went ahead to slowly pace around the place, calmly pulling the fabrics aside and letting the light shine and making all corners and objects in my desolate living room clear and-


    Just as I turned around to greet the sofa and the small couches by its side, my eyes found themselves fixing upon something- no, someone sleeping on that very sofa.


    I was tense, unwilling to move and cause the figure in there to stir awake from their slumber. My eyes were wide open as I silently studied the display given, and I was able to discern quickly that… it was a young woman.


    And someone I knew nothing about.


    Quietly snoring with her head resting by one of the small pillows of the comfy furniture, I could see that the girl had quite the fair-skin. It was rather pale, and it presented itself as an interesting contrast to her long, dark hair. Her locks reached right down to where her lower back began.


    She was wearing a white, sleeveless shirt and some same-colored shorts. Her legs were warmed by stockings that had a gradation of black to purple.


    I noticed that an unfamiliar black vest, presumably hers, was currently folded on one of the couches, and there was a pair of black low-heeled boots that had been set right by the floor beneath the couch.


    My attention moved back up to her face and… hair. A twitch above her fringe caught my attention and I locked my eyes onto the pair of relaxed cat ears perfectly visible from there. Twitching once in a while, the feline appendages offered some insight over her current state of self.


    The half-attentive tension in those just made it clear that she was still sleeping, but that my previous actions might have stirred her a little bit from her rest.


    It was a few moments later that I finally lessened the tension within my body as I knew that she was still unconscious.


    My eyes were still wide open as my mind was failing to grasp how this Cat Faunus had managed to sneak inside my apartment when I had my windows and door closed…


    And why did she invade my house?


    A burglar? Quite a dumb one if she decided to take a nap on the sofa of the poor moron she was trying to steal from. Usually one would take the stuff and leave rather than just settle down by the couch.


    A murderer? I couldn’t see any weapons and, just like the previous guess, it would’ve been a dumb murderer if she literally decided to sleep in her victim’s couch… before killing said victim.


    Do I even know her? I was certain the girl wasn’t someone I had met before, nor I think I’ve ever seen her before today. A complete strange. And she was sleeping by my couch.


    What the fuck!?


    I slowly tip-toed my stunned self away from the living room, reaching for the kitchen where I knew I had left my house’s phone. A simple cordless device that was a decade or two old but still worked efficiently and well for my daily needs while I was at home.


    My brain was riddled with prayers and hopes of managing to get a distress call out. Maybe even leave the girl slumbering until the authorities arrived here to deal with this, but I sure failed to realize that I was doing a terrible mistake by stepping so quietly by the floor.


    A few days ago I had found a weakened spot between the hallways and the doorstep that led to the kitchen. The cause of the instability supposedly related a tiny infiltration of water that had lessened the cement around the section and made it easy to break if applied some pressure against it. Too much weight and the thing would just collapse under anyone’s feet.


    I had already planned to call some professional to fix it as I really didn’t need to have any guests trip and die because of it. Aura or not, that wasn’t something I really wished to keep this issue around forever.


    In that very moment where I needed the utmost silence from the world around me, and I had completely forgotten about that very problem, my right foot ended up pressing down right on the middle of the frail bit of floor.


    The part gave away, the ground cracking and creating a small hole in which my foot ended up unwittingly pushed into. And I was stuck in there with a horrified look look plastered on my now pale face.


    There was a noise at that development, and it was loud enough to make me pause and panic as I heard footsteps coming from the living room.


    I stared down in shock and, biting down a not-so-kind word, I ditched my shoe to save my foot. I didn’t sneak anymore as I knew my trouble was now awake and in alert. Fear was a good motivation and I was soon bolting across the room and reach for the phone.


    I grabbed it, my fingers frantically pressing the numbers that would compose the emergency phone number of the VPD and-


    SHLINK!


    My jaws dropped when a dark-gray blade proceeded to cut the receiver in half before I had the chance of bringing it close to my ear. I tumbled, a moderate kick pushing me away and causing me to fall on the floor with a pained look.


    I snapped my eyes open at the woman, now wielding what looked to be a short sword and… a ribbon folded around its hilt?


    “L-Look, I don’t wish to hurt you,” The Faunus said with a calm but nervous voice, her amber eyes locked onto my frame as I stilled at her words. “I just need a place where to sta-!!”


    Before the girl could manage to finish whatever explanation she had planned to dispense about her current illegal stay at my flat, her eyes went wide in sudden shock as she found herself tripping… on the shoe I had abandoned mere moments ago.


    It was an opportunity to reverse the hostage situation she had created as she started to slowly fall towards me. I pounced right as I saw her falling toward the floor, both of my hands swiftly going for her weapon and carefully slipping it off from her hold.


    She was just too surprised by the fall to notice what I just did, trying to halt her fall only for me to roll away with her blade and… aiming it at her.


    Intrigue but also annoyance were now displayed by her feline eyes, but I could care any less about her reaction as I quickly discovered that, much like the majority of the new generations of blades, this one was provided with a gun.


    A… machine gun? I wasn’t savvy about it so I merely switched to it and prayed it wasn’t a single-shot handgun. Now that would be a sad development for me.


    “I ask you to return to the living room and not move as I call-”


    “You are not going to hurt me,” The dark-haired lady stated calmly. “Knowing about your lack of weapons in the house, I know that you are just lucky to know how to hold-”


    Bang


    She tensed quickly as the warning bullet slammed on the floor just a few centimeters away from her. Eyes now once more wide, the girl stared at my growing smirk.


    “Dad was a Huntsman,” I explained curtly. “And he taught me a thing or two how those things work.” I shook her weapon to dignify my point and… she sighed.


    Moments of quiet passed and I was tempted to go for another warning shot, but then the girl slowly stood up and started to walk back to the living room, hands up and visible for me as she went back to sit by the couch.


    There was silence and, while I continued to hold the gun aimed at her with one of my hands, the other one slowly trailed back to my pants’ left pocket as I went to get my Scroll. T


    he reason why I hadn’t used it to call the cops rather than mess up my attempt with the now-gone phone in the kitchen was actually a fairly embarrassing one.


    During one of my duties as a waiter at the nearby bar, one of the patrons’ children had spilled their drink on my pants and… drenched the then recently-acquired device.


    The last gift from mom so that I could have called her without having to resort to the CCTV’s system and make senseless walks around the large capital.


    So while the small thing managed to send and receive calls, its receptors weren’t fully-operational and sometimes words ended up failing to register to the device. The issues created by this phenomenon led to no little problems with various contacts saved in there.


    Mom was confused when I said some ‘foul words’ back to her, but she calmed a little bit when I explained that it was just an issue with the damaged phone.


    I still tried, the number composed and… I waited patiently for someone to take up the call.


    Just four seconds passed before someone actually picked up the distress call.


    VPD Emergency Line, how can we help you?


    “Y-Yes, I call from 745 Torrent Street, Flat 45, Floor 2.” I started quickly, a little stutter slipping through much to my chagrin. “There is a burglar that invaded my home. It’s a young woman, dark-hair, Faunus and-”


    Sir,” The woman on the other side scoffed in annoyance and I frowned. “I can assure you this is a serious Emergency line and I can’t keep up with this call.


    My frown deepened without hesitation at that sudden comeback.


    “Say what?!”


    The Emergency Line is for special cases of distress and need,” The operator replied with a somewhat angry tone. “We can live without your depiction of the foreplay you have with your Faunus girlfriend, sir. Good day to you.


    The call ended and my jaw dropped at what I ended up hearing.


    Some red was spreading on my cheeks and, from what I could see by the couch, the girl was blushing herself, sharing the same mortification I was enduring at that unexpected quip from the operator.


    I blinked at the device and… the dark-haired lady spoke once more.


    “I understand that I might have caused you incredible distress-”


    “And damage.” I interjected flatly, her ears twitching still as she flinched.


    “And damage,” She admitted to that higher fault. “But I can assure you that I didn’t mean to cause you any harm and-”


    “You cut my phone and then pointed your blade at me,” I pointed out with a stern voice. “And I reckon you were possibly going to ‘cause me harm’ just to keep me quiet.”


    My accusation was legitimized by the fact she had been advancing on me before tripping on the shoe.


    The Faunus didn’t dare to contest that very point, preferring to silently look away and play the naive one. But seriously, I wasn’t in the mood for that.


    “Look, how about you just get out of my house,” I pointed at the door behind me. “And you never return?”


    There was more silence, this time her bright eyes were on me once again. Surprise and confusion at my sudden ‘defeat’, yet she didn’t budge from her seat.


    “What?” Her voice trailed the very confusion I could see in her face.


    I sighed, I really didn’t need this madness. As much as I wanted to haul her ass off to jail for that stunt she pulled on me, I really didn’t need this.


    I was too tired to think straight as of now.


    “Look, I know you aren’t here to steal from me and the cops aren’t going to help me with removing you from my home,” I said with a tired tone. I just wanted to nap, nothing more. “Just get out and we forget this even happened-”


    “I-I can’t.” She interrupted unexpectedly, causing me to double-back at that.


    “What? I’m giving you the chance to-”


    “I really need a place where to spend some time away from… some people,” The Faunus admitted. “And I had planned to spend this time here so-”


    “No,” I shot back with an angry tone. “Also, how the heck did you get inside my flat?!


    She flinched again and… her eyes briefly staring up at the ceiling and I followed her stare right onto the newly-created hole in there.


    I breathed calmly, but I could feel anger rising from my chest. “You destroyed the ceiling-”


    “There was a small opening and… I just increased it?” Her attempt to lessen the fact she had damaged my roof was enough to cause a scowl to appear on my lips.


    “Get out of my house-”


    “Look, I know that-”


    “Out!”


    “There is no need to-”


    “I will yell as much as I want!” I rebuked furiously. “Get the fuck out of my home!” I screamed back at her.


    There was silence from the brunette, amber eyes once wide were now narrowed at me in silent anger.


    “It’s because I’m a Faunus,” She started with a soft tone, making my own fury simmer down just a little to let my surprise known to her. “It’s that, isn’t it?”


    The Cat-girl had to literally go there.


    I was a middle-class Mistralian-born young man that studied with, befriended and proudly had some relationships with some Faunus back home. And to hear this incredibly slanderous lie was enough to make my blood boil to the maximum.


    “How dare you!” I shrieked back, the girl flinching at the sudden outburst while also looking fairly surprised by it. “Out, now!”


    This time I aimed the gun with more decision and she tensed.


    While I was sure that she had Aura, a bullet was still a painful thing to be hit with. Thus, silently and defeatedly, the girl stood up from the sofa, slowly walked from the furniture and towards me.


    She wanted her weapon back, but like hell I would have given it back before I had her out of the apartment. I turned around, ready to lead her out of the flat when I felt the blade yanked away from my hold as the girl quickly jumped through the hole in the ceiling and… left.


    I stood just a handful of moments to stare at the roof, expecting her to resurface just to mock me or something like that but…


    Nothing. She was gone.


    ...Hallelujah!


    I sighed in relief, my mind slowly drifting away from that surreal encounter as I started to write down in my mental ‘to-do’ list that I had to call some carpenter to fix the damage on the roof and… get someone to fix the phone by the kitchen.


    I yawned, but I didn’t want to nap. Not yet at least.


    After what just transpired, I didn’t feel safe enough to close my eyes just a moment before having that hole fixed.


    I decided to message someone nearby that I knew was a professional in fixing roofs and… he ended up applying something that looked like a large tape, but it was meant to be a preventive measure.


    The job itself would take a full afternoon and the man was busy for the day, giving me some availability by tomorrow.


    I gladly accepted the offer and felt a little safer with the fact I had that ‘tiny cover-up’ to deter anyone trying to pull the same stunt as the Cat Faunus.


    I didn’t need to deal with crazy hobos because of that bizarre encounter, and I really didn’t want to make a redo of what happened with my disrupted call at the cops.


    Yawning again, I had just enough time to fix myself a quick bath, make a delicious dinner and then I was off for some dreamless sleep.


    The day had been indeed the weirdest I had ever since I had arrived in Vale, and part of me labeled it as just a unique deviation from normality.


    It wouldn’t change anything from now on and I had nothing to truly worry about, I thought soundly as I fell asleep with my head snuggling on my pillow.


    Yet that little hope I had until the next morning was dashed when, after waking up from that good sleep and walking in the living room, I found the same Cat Faunus sleeping on the very sofa I saw her occupying the day before.


    Without hesitation and with much of my renewed energy, I let out two words that would end up becoming a constant in the relationship I had with the girl, the one I would learn much later was Blake Belladonna.


    “GET OUT!”


    -------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d-------


    AN


    From the contorted mine of this very Author, here is a light-hearted but terribly crass fun story about the one and only Blake Belladonna.


    It’s sudden, me knows, but I’ve been having this pending idea for a while. An idea I’ve thought well about, altered, butchered and then reformed in this very plan of mine.


    What is this? A comedy with some hints of an altered main plot.


    Altered main plot? Cinder has been reworked a little. She is patient and will not go ham at Vale itself for the Maiden. And yes, this means that any horrid derails from Vol3 is now… erased, or Thanos-snapped.


    Timeline? It happens the same day as the ‘Black and White’ episode, but instead of Blake regrouping and apologizing for running away the first time… she decides that running is her thing now and bolt away from the docks before speaking with her team.


    Why the MC’s house? Something that will be explained next chapter. Leaving you on your tip-toes, you lovely fellows!


    Lastly, I know this is sudden but… if there are errors, I will be more than happy to have proof-readers. That is if those that volunteer willingly are actually willing about this and not joking around, ‘cause I ain’t a super-dummy! (LeHmph!)
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
  2. NuclearBirb

    NuclearBirb A mysterious birb.

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    I'm. Not generally my cup of tea, but will written. I won't be sticking with thi, but I hope you enjoy writing it!
     
    RomaniInfernius and Desdiv_Eight like this.
  3. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    Tchah, you think you have a cat problem? Last night I went to sleep and woke up with a cat on my pillow licking my face. I don't own a fucking cat. The neighbours own a cat.
     
  4. TheGrog

    TheGrog In the number mines

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    And the cat came back the very next day!
     
    Desdiv_Eight likes this.
  5. High Lord Rokland

    High Lord Rokland Know what you're doing yet?

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    And that kids is how I met your mother.
     
  6. Threadmarks: I don't want to!
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 2: I don’t want to!

    The battle at the port has been… quite a close call for Blake.

    There wasn’t another way to properly describe the mix of external dangers and internal struggles that had characterized that specific night.

    The black-haired girl couldn’t still make her mind over what she had seen there, what she had been forced to do just for the sake of survival. The White Fang, men and women from the Vale Branch that the young Belladonna had once known on a friendly basis, had been ruthless and lacking any of the hesitation freezing her at first when they engaged for the fight.

    With the odds of two Hunters-in-training against a large contingent of militia-level armed people, Sun had been quite correct to swear foully at how things had gone to hell so quickly. It had been his words, when he had almost begged her to not jump out of their cover and not to blow up their surprise element.

    Yet she had gone up to mess things up by trying to force answers out of Torchwick, the Criminal Boss gleefully asserting his crass command over the grunts dispatched on the first wave. People that were clearly irritated by the attitude taken by their supposed leader, deciding to stray away from the very essence that even Adam had been keen to abide to.

    Do not trust criminals, nor try to even be on friendly terms with the scum.

    It had been a golden rule during her father’s leadership and Sienna had been more than happy to respect it, quite adamant in denying the chances of seeking out alliances with shady groups, fearful that one of those senseless thugs would have easily besmirched their reputation for the sake of avoiding too many years in jail.

    The policy was logical and, knowing Adam’s declination of the Fang’s purity, Blake could hardly make head of what had happened on that very night before this blatant unity between the two distinct parties.

    Torchwick in particular wasn’t someone that could be trusted, many of their groups having been slaughtered by the man’s men and… his assassin. Not many knew the identity of the close guard of the ‘classy’ scumbag, but the fact none had survived to tell the tale, people that weren’t certainly pushovers by all means, was enough to deter the leadership to fish more info about the ‘slayer’.

    Her mind shifted back to the numerous questions regarding the Fang’s current alliance with the criminal boss, baffled by the fact this was actually an official mission from the leaders of the branch. Maybe it had been a rebellious branch, someone that had grown disgruntled of Sienna’s rule and went to offer their services to lesser associations in Vale.

    It was a possibility, her vivid imagination agreed wholeheartedly, but what if something a little worse had happened after her unexpected departure?

    Dark thoughts reigned for most of the fight, even diluting the surprise rising from the sudden appearance of her team and other familiar students.

    What if… he had died? Something that made her skip her beat just for a moment, shock grasping in quite the unforgiving manner at her chest, inner whispers calling her a cause of problem, the reason why the White Fang had fallen so low.

    The man had shown interest in her, pointing out in a half-subtle manner that she represented the light from not falling in the madness of emotions. Adam wasn’t a monster, no matter how much people depicted him as such, but he wasn’t never going to be a saint for her.

    Blood stained both his hands and his blade, some were from self-defense while others were easily caused by the active role he had in the missions. Death was forgivable only when extreme resistance was met during their tasks, only when they were attacked with lethal force first.

    The Bull Faunus’ concept of self-defense was a loose thing in his mind already, the fact that Sienna had been so foolish to give him so much political power within the hierarchy had been more than enough to increase the stress perceived by the man.

    Adam was strong, always coming on top of any trouble or challenge, but he was also mortal. No matter how much he trained, how much he said that he would have got control over his raging thoughts, Blake knew it would have been a matter of time before he did something too much stupid and… perished in action.

    But no, her logical side had corrected with a cold but incredibly relaxing certainty, if Adam had been killed recently, something of a procession would have been planned for the occasion. He was one of the ‘valiant heroes’ of the Fang and there was no way in Hell that Sienna would have passed the opportunity to milk the moral high ground from the ‘martyrdom’ itself.

    The girl’s focus was quickly restored to the battlefield, a little confidence reasserting more energy in her actions and then… she realized that things were far from peachy even with the fight seemingly won.

    The Fang was close to retreat from the sound beating they were receiving, Torchwick had ditched the group for a safe evacuation, and her team was slowly starting to have time to reach out for her.

    Sun’s words drilled deep in her consciousness, drawing guilt and hesitation in avoiding the group she had lied to until now, yet her thoughts about what had just happened to the Fang was more than enough to create a stalemate.

    Weiss was looking particularly angry, the heiress not even sparing a glance at her and the Belladonna didn’t need anyone to tell her that it was a bad omen. Their discussion still fresh in her mind, the hurtful words repeating in a sickening pattern as the dust started to settle in the now ‘conquered’ port.

    She saw her team approaching, Sun was quite near to where she was and… her mind was instantly planning out her escape.

    Nervousness and general unwillingness to resume what had been quite an aching development for her new cover drove her to move away from hoping for some redemption at her lies, to actually buy some time out of the golden opportunity presented by the current lack of enemies.

    The Monkey Faunus let out a quick ‘eep’ as her shadow clone slammed into him and made him trip backwards before disappearing in thin air, disabling temporarily the closest concern. Ruby was the furthest of the bunch and she looked quite winded by the previous fight, the chances of her using the semblance to catch up to her rather slim.

    The rest of the people weren’t as fast as she was… if she didn’t hold anything back for the chase.

    The Cat Faunus breathed in and then out. Her eyes settling for a small alley that led right out of the district and back to the main road.

    Blake bolted with all the strength left in her body without hesitation, ignoring the girls calling her name, her attention and legs giving more importance to the need of getting out from some unwanted encounter.

    The girl managed to get inside the alley without any issue and she also managed to reach the roofs while retreating several buildings away from the docks and back to the industrial district of Vale. She could feel her breathing itching and then… her pacing slowed down to a full stop.

    Both pair of ears were twitching attentively as she waited for some telling noise that there was still an ongoing chase, that the pursuit was still persisting or not, and she carefully turned around to find nobody behind her.

    Relief washed over the Faunus’ mind as her sore body was hit by the cool breeze of the nightly wind. Eyes narrowing tiredly, the girl realized in that exact moment that, despite having indeed dodged the bullet with that run, she also remained homeless and without any shelters to make use of.

    She had nowhere to rest and recover from the fight, her Aura running a little low and her body was aching for some rest. It was late, her attention span had quickly reached the lowest degree possible after the eventful day and then... her nose picked a familiar but intriguing smell.

    Her body tensed up and her eyes shot wide open as she felt a new purpose renewing her strengths. The scent was strong, terribly strong and also terribly familiar.

    Blake could still remember perfectly the first time she actually discovered catnip and… the dangers about it. It had been back at fifth grade, she had been very surprised to learn that the teacher was going to teach a lesson about the ‘drug-like’ plant for Cat Faunus, but from there she learned about why this was borderline addictive.

    The plant itself caused little issue, it was the pheromones released from it that caused some unfunny effects on feline-kind of Faunus. Nothing dangerous to the body, nothing that would actually cause any damage to it, yet it was frowned upon for… the effects caused on the mind of those around it.

    A single sniff would deprive the Feline Faunus of any perception of pain, tiredness and put them in a euphoric state that could lead to some accidents or… worse.

    The Belladonna didn’t have the luxury of having her mind fully there as her senses were invaded by the ‘fragrance’ and she found herself driven to pursue the origin of this delightful scent. It was… beneath her?

    There were balconies and thus the girl slowly studied every single one of them, being careful to not cause any noise and… she found the right flat. A small opening gave the Faunus a chance to enter… yet it was small and her frame unable to pass through during her first attempts.

    If she had been conscious of the situation, she would have planned it a little better, but the desire of finding the intriguing smell was stronger than her already-tiny common sense. Gambol Shroud tore a larger gap on the roof and… she passed through.

    Glee filled her mind as she entered inside what looked to be a dark living room and, as she recovered from the quick fall to enter the room, she noticed much to her grand dismay the smell was gone. Shock surged, her eyes widening as she was deprived of this primal task and… returned to her tired self.

    There was no sound, nor noise that could have hinted to anyone being around and…

    Her eyes fixed with little focus at the couch.

    Mind screaming to not go through with this stupid idea, Blake succumbed to her body’s cravings for the long-deserved rest for the night and, after removing her boots and her vest, she slumped on the attractive sofa.

    Her reaction to the soft texture, to the extremely comfy pillow and the overall warmth coming off from it was… to close her eyes in relief at the good luck of having found possibly the best furniture to sleep on.

    If only she had known how things would have turned the next morning…

    -------------d-d-dd------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------

    I was sitting by the couch while I continued to listen the ‘explanation’ afforded by this girl, Blake Belladonna, with an emotionless look plastered on my face as my attention failed to properly understand some of the context missing.

    Why running away from her team? And Weiss Schnee? She was in the same group as the daughter of the richest man in Remnant?

    Knowing that she wasn’t going anywhere, I was able to quickly go through my bathroom morning routine before truly tackling the issue at hand, part of me begging the Gods to make this something not as infuriating as the one that had happened just the day before.

    The Faunus stopped her tale with a nervous look, her eyes hardly able to stay for too long on my face before moving away in embarrassment. She was fidgeting a little, her hands playing with the edges of her vest when I sighed and thought about what I just heard.

    There was so much to think about the complicated case, about the fact her narration explained why she entered uninvited in my home and used the couch without permission the first time (because the motivation couldn’t certainly extend to why she returned once again), about the fact I was running late for work with this nonsense and… about the wind coming from the newly open roof of my flat.

    There was nothing positive with her stubborn presence, the damage caused to my poor apartment still fresh on my mind and visible at the moment. I didn’t feel angry at first as I felt… determinedly sure of a simple thing about my state of mind.

    I blinked with some perplexity, as I felt so calm in the fact there was no mercy in my mind and body about this situation.

    “And you returned here. Why?” I asked with a frown, the girl blinking once before nodding.

    “I… I wanted to repay you for the kindness-” She tried to appear apologetic, yet there was no promise of economic repairs for the damage caused by her mere presence.

    “Yet you are here.” I interrupted without thinking twice about it, causing her to flinch for a moment and sigh.

    “I know that it was wrong of me to enter your house, turn your sofa in my bed for a rest and then drink some of milk by the fridge, but it was all in the name of distress and-” She tried to appear appeasing, and maybe she expected to sugarcoat the costs I will have to spend to pay up the reparations, but as she mentioned the milk I had bought the day before, I felt a chill go down my spine.

    It was something I had bought for the sake of preparing a cake. The elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Paars, were soon going to celebrate their 35th anniversary of marriage and I had offered to help them by bringing something to eat for the feast.

    And now, the opportunity was once again lost because of Blake.

    Goddammit.

    “Wait, the milk-” I felt anger bubbling again. “You mean to tell me that you also stole food-”

    “Beverage-”

    “YOU STILL STOLE FROM ME!” I yelled back, causing her interjection to die on the spot at the volume I used against her. Her eyes widened, a little surprised by the outburst and… I wasn’t done with her. “You came back, WHY?!” I repeated with a strained voice, I was starting to regret having not called Beacon at this point.

    She blinked and… stared at the floor with some embarrassment. “I might have… seen some of my team-members patrolling the district and… I hid in your roof,” A blink dignified a momentary pause. “Then I decided to… return inside to not be caught by them.” She admitted with a tight tone, expecting the umpteenth outburst out of me.

    A legitimate expectation, but one I didn’t go through as I merely stared at her in silence. My eyes burning in fury at the fact that not only did she decide to ‘hide’ in my flat once again, but I was also thinking of the expenses that I would have to pay for her current presence.

    I wasn’t doubting that the more I was around Blake, the more I would have to pay for the damage she was committing in my own house. I was angry, but I was also smart enough to know how to solve this situation easily and without any issue.

    I stood up from my couch with a somewhat calm and ‘defeated’ expression. “Fine.”



    “W-What?” The Faunus asked with a soft and terribly confused tone, her eyes highlighting how much she had lost me with that sudden change of mood.

    I truly didn’t want to waste anymore time, thus I went for a quick one.

    I smiled. “Do whatever you want,” I said lightly. “Do you need to use the bathroom? Use it. Need to rest a little more? You may use the bed. Are you hungry? Mi fridge es tu fridge.” I finished with a bright smirk.

    The girl blinked, hopes being lifted to an unexpected degree. She looked like a child that just received a gift ten times greater than the one she asked. What kind of monster would ruin her mood?!

    “D-Do you mean it? Can I… Can I stay?” Her childish wonder was dripping in each of the words she used and I felt lifted by the lovely moment. Oh my, the hum- I mean, the Faunus-kind!

    I sighed and, still smiling, pointed my finger at the door, waiting for her to turn at it with a half-confused frown.

    “Get out of my fucking flat!” I replied in a jolly tone while sternly looking at her, making her tense up at the crud demand. I blinked and kept quiet for a while, waiting for a response for her. “So? Are you leaving?” I pressed on her and the girl seemed to be ready to concede but…

    “N-No.” She shook her head. My irritation increasing at her resilience at my rightful demands. “I know it sounds childish and stupid but-”

    “There is no but, Blake, you have been childish and stupid right now,” I pointed at the door again, my face hardening again. “Get out, stop harassing me this much and-”

    “I-I want to help,” She blurted with a convinced tone, cat ears twitching with her voice. “I-I did some damage, I know that you said that you don’t want me to- but I can offer you help with your work- maybe do some house-chores or-”

    “I don’t need that from you,” I said calmly but trembling in utter anger, my face was red now. “I thought that you had understood yesterday that I don’t want any of that and yet-” I huffed. “Get out of my home or I will call the cops-”

    “And commit yourself to the same embarrassing scene of yesterday?” The Faunus shot back with some heat. “I bet you will end up getting yourself ridiculed like back then and obtain nothing from it.”

    I was fuming, it’s been years since I had this much anger for someone,

    “Out.” That was my limit. I wasn’t joking, I wasn’t amused by her tenacious attempt to latch like a leech at my sofa and I didn’t need her to linger any further.

    “I wasn’t fi-”

    “I said out, Blake!” I repeated angrily, my hand closed in a twichy fist. I wasn’t going to hit her, I wouldn’t hit a woman before she tried to hit me first, something of a gentleman rule. “You need to fucking leave my house, do you understand?!” I yelled one last time and… it seemed to truly work.

    Once again silence but this time the girl nodded at my request much to my surprise. She stood up from the couch and slowly made her way to the door while I followed her behind and prepared myself for any trickery she might have planned for that occasion.

    No strange tricks, nothing that could hint to any sudden reappearances any time soon and I hoped for the carpenter to start to work earnestly in the afternoon to see that hole completely fixed.

    I closed the door behind, finalizing the end of that maddening situation that spanned from yesterday until now and… I sighed as I felt my fury simmering to a calm, my mind feeling fairly drained as was my body.

    It wasn’t healthy to have this kind of messes so early in the day and I certainly wasn’t going to put more weight on it with the fact I had yet to even go out for work. I nodded to myself, calmly going through some quick check-up of the rest of the rooms, looking for anything that might have been taken, or ruined, yet I found none much to my growing relief.

    I spared a few moments to notice the state of the sofa, surprised by the fabric having been moved harshly around in what looked to be a proper battlefield of sheets and covers. It was a sign of some agitated sleep, of someone that had some troublesome nightmares that-

    No. I’m not going to show any kindness to Blake.

    She could have asked if it had been a true emergency instead of sneaking inside without permission. It was deceitful and dishonest, something born from thought rather than true emotion and that was more than enough for me to silence any positive attempt to pardon what had just happened.

    Feeling prepared for another day at the bar, I left my apartment with a guarded but mostly relaxed pace, looking all around in case the girl had decided to tag along… without my consent.

    Paranoia, I tried to give it a logical name, yet the sensation of being watched and followed persisted for most of my walk. I stopped numerous times to look around for the Faunus, ready to get her to stop stalking me around and…

    There was no sign of her. I blinked, feeling that I was actually giving weight to the matter even though I had planned to not do that. I was just a little tired and… I felt a smile forming on my face as I spotted the bar.

    Without hesitation, I stepped inside and found myself greeting the owner of the establishment. Marcus Cobalt was a man in his early forties, already balding with his red-brown hair while proudly sporting a jolly beard and ‘stache. His frame showed some beer-belly but he was the healthiest possible.

    “Good morning, sir,” I said with a relaxed tone, some of my stress dripping off my words and it was quickly caught by the man.

    “Good morning, boy,” He nodded back with a concerned look. “By the way, something got you tired already? Is the shift too hard on you?” He asked kindly and I shook my head negatively.

    “Some unexpected issues and nothing to worry about. All solved,” I waved back with a small smile.

    “I see,” The owner nodded before turning away from me and… smiling. “Good morning, young lady. Are you perhaps friends with Sid or-”

    “An acquaintance,” Blake muttered quietly, avoiding my face as I turned around to stare at her in shock. She had somehow followed me back to this place, even though I made sure of not being followed and… I grimaced.

    When did she get inside? And why didn’t I hear her!?

    “Yet you seem to be quite interested on him- and he seemed interest too.” Mustache winked at the mistaken situation, eyes teasingly darting from her to me before returning back to the girl. “Please, do take a seat as Sid prepares to help around.” Marcus gestured me to go and put on my uniform and… I sighed, unwilling to grace any further glances at Blake as I felt one step from truly exploding at the inanity of things.

    The Faunus by the time I ventured inside the locker room, good enough for me as I started to prepare for what looked to be a very long day at work. A shift where I was going to hopefully endure the presence and possibly the damage this girl will cause around herself.

    May it be some objects being cut or broken, or may it be my reputation being obliterated by innuendos or misunderstandings.

    Yep, this was going to be the day…

    Seriously, I don’t want to sounds racist or anything like that-

    But did I just get some bad luck from a dark-haired Cat Faunus or what?!

    ---------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-dd----------d-d-dd----------d-d-d-d-------d-d-dd--------d-d-dd--

    AN

    Just to clarify something quick before the mob stab my butt, the MC will have something the usual MCs in my stories don’t have.

    And that is anger issues. (It’s something about the family, btw… and yes, it is an important detail).

    While he is good in being polite and neat, precise and calculative, he is bestowed with some easy-to-come fury when the situations… doesn’t need it.

    The perspective is purposely shown from the point of view of the MC and by any mean Blake is that bad. His point of view is flawed and that… makes the other perspectives more important than in my usual stories. So prepare for some hatred in a nutshell and Blake pulling an interesting action on… Sid.

    Why Sid? It’s from a fairy tale, one that has been explored in RWBY. The connection will be… shocking!
     
  7. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Excuse me, but why the attached link?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2020
    The Night Owl and Bagrat like this.
  8. Threadmarks: Stop following me at work!
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 3: Stop following me at work!

    If I have to be honest, I hadn’t expected things to escalate to that very awkward and terribly itching point.

    I had planned to spend some hours at work to avoid having to deal with the newfound bane of my simple life, the Cat Faunus that was Blake Belladonna having proved that she wasn’t certainly going to give up with her attempts of leeching off from my current lack of means to contact the authorities.

    The black-haired girl had been incredibly sneaky in following silently and undetected me right to the fine establishment I used to spend my time working by, something that gave me even more confirmation that she was indeed a huntress-in-training.

    I mean, it wasn’t difficult to see her weapon and proclivity to action to understand that she was one, but the actual idea that she gave chase without me knowing was enough to have me accept this fact a little more than before.

    I wasn’t a huntsman, nor I did consider my senses to be above what many civilians had, but I had been given some ‘self-defense’ training by both my parents, my Aura was unlocked and I knew about my Semblance. My special ability was, of course, useless about most of my daily life, but it was good to know what it truly was.

    The ‘Morning Sip’ bar was a blossoming activity that had been opened two years ago by the jovial man that was Marcus Cobalt as an attempt to broaden his chances of giving his life a proper improvement.

    A family man with two children, both sons, approaching the late stage of teenagehood, he was very attentive to make sure his investment continued to produce enough green to keep up with the growing expenses and the need of preparing some money to leave to his children.

    A man that was also playful and understanding with his workers and that was proven right as I started to work for him. The man should have by all means refused the Curriculum I had presented, my grades at Civilian School were mediocre at best and I knew that I was just an inch below the required grade for the job.

    It had been desperation, it had been hopefulness, my mind wasn’t truly sure of which one had dominated prior to the hiring, but I was certain of one silly thing. I had been overjoyed to learn about the fact I had finally gotten my first job and, much to my glee, the burden it presented were easy to manage in every situation.

    I was glad that I had been given the opportunity to have a stable income while living away from Mistral, the final cornerstone that made my independence from home ever so sweet to obtain after years of trying and failing to do so in the Kingdom I came from. Despite being compared to Vale, Mistral was still a struggling nation with what little good jobs were given to the children of those rich and powerful.

    And sure, I could have called my parents to obtain some more money to further search for some more job opportunities, but I felt it would have been like borrowing from them without a proper date set and, knowing them, it would have never had one.

    It was one of the reasons the man had decided to hire me for his new economic adventure, knowing the perils of leaving the familial home and the struggle of settling down alone and without proper directions.

    He had been a farmer, a diligent hard-worker that ended up selling his property to move inside the capital of the Kingdom, away from the dangerous threat the Grimm posed to the people living outside the safe walls of the large settlements.

    With a growing family on his back and with me giving a good show of genuine interest at making a good job if taken in, I was accepted in the fold of his establishment and made into something similar to an apprentice to the bearded man.

    Time passed, several months going by as I had this job mastered and rendered permanent part of my daily life, and I was turned out to become quite professional at the simple duty of waiter at the bar.

    Being the lone worker at the particularly humongous place, my job wasn’t actually the easiest out there as speedy reactions were a must for the sake of keeping the service quality the highest possible, but it had possibly the best pay compared to other similar activities.

    With Marcus not exploiting his manpower and rewarded hard-work with the right money, making the interest to make some quality work during the various tasks subtly expected and needed, but not truly mandatory to force people to do so.

    Truth be told, I appreciated that single line of sternness from him as a proper establishment did require some strong-handed action here and there and I found his capacity with planning the future improvements to be… refreshing and inspiring.

    I had yet to meet the man’s wife, but if from his lovely comments regarding her, I sure expected to find a lady as kind as the owner was. She had to deal with the house’s duties, the woman being strong enough to perfectly balance the daily chores with the responsibility of being a mother of two young teen.

    And knowing how hard it had been for mom to deal with me and my two other siblings, it sure was easy to understand and praise the lady for her efforts.

    Of course, I wasn’t certainly as mature and responsible as back as a few years old. I could still remember the issues I would cause in these specific moments and…

    I think I digressed again! Curses!

    It’s been happening for a while now, my mind wandering far too many times away from the current problem, escaping from what looked to be a perfectly worrying issue to deal about in a normal situation. And this wasn’t even a normal situation.

    Returning my attention back at my current situation I couldn’t help but appear quite distracted as I went through my usual tasks. Passing the plates with slices of the various available cakes, preparing steamy and warm coffee, and making sure that everyone was happy and satisfied with their services.

    I was attentive enough to make sure to have all the clients I was helping around and taking orders from were content with my hard-work, but I still decided to keep a mindful watch over a certain trouble-causing girl that was now donning the female version of the uniform as she continued to go through the difficult pace of her temporary work without any breaks.

    A long-sleeved white shirt with a little black tie, black pants that reached to a pair of dark brown shoes. There was also a black bow partially covering her cat ears.

    Why was she hiding her Faunus’ features?

    Marcus had been giddy to ‘introduce’ his new ‘part-timer’, saying that Blake’s interest in ‘repaying me for the kindness and the understanding way I had about her’ had conquered his attention and urged him to help her.

    Of course, I knew it was because of the Cat Ears. Why would anyone hate them?

    It had been a shocker when I left the locker room to find out that Blake had indeed decided to ‘pay back her debt’ by asking for a part-time work at the ‘Morning Sip’ and I was surprised to realize that she had decided to keep quiet over what had happened back to my house, either out of embarrassment or simply accepting the fact it wouldn’t have painted her in a good light to the kind owner of the bar.

    Still, I found myself having to deal with the fact I had to keep a mindful eye over what she was doing as a responsibility I had as a senior worker at the establishment. Which was technically extra work for me to go through.

    She was completely inexperienced, going quite slow and somewhat shaky with her interactions with the clients, nothing that truly ruined things but it was certainly getting some confused looks from some of the long-standing people that were keen to frequently visit the establishment at that hour.

    No mistakes were made for the orders, something that put me at an eased stance regarding my worries of having to deal with an eventual fallout if even the smallest mistake was committed. I went through my own duties without any issue, yet I was given some curious questions from the group I had to serve.

    I had imagined some intrigue at the newest ‘waitress’, yet I was surprised when the inquires were mostly directed at the bow she was wearing. Sure, there were people that were asking about her name and why she was here, the last one being replied with the fact the girl was desperately in need of money (which was true, but didn’t bring out any issue related to ‘why’ she needed it).

    Soon my eyes caught something interesting happening to the Faunus as tips started to appear by her hands. Tips weren’t a major surprise, but those weren’t much common for me to receive… but the girl was easily gaining several hundreds of Liens from her rookie-ish and shy mannerism.

    It was enough to put me in some irritated mood, but not enough to warrant a true reaction out of me, knowing full well that there was some kind of ‘affection’ Vale had for independent female workers.

    Nothing specifically explained, but something that certainly had to do with the whole ‘young woman trying to make a future from little’ picture gaining the interest and the pity of those interested in the stories.

    Hours passed and the only pause for the shift began. People weren’t around and the building was mostly empty at that point as Marcus had gone to check some documents back in his office and leaving me to face Blake in that thirty-minutes long break.

    The Cat Faunus silently took a seat right beside mine as we patiently waited by one of the tables. I blinked, my lips sealed close as I decided that I didn’t have anything to say to her and thus I had no reason to begin any conversation.

    I wasn’t angry, but I was tired and annoyed at her subtle action. I wasn’t completely influenced by the recent development of having her work here too, but I was still stomaching the very idea that Marcus had deemed it to be a good idea hiring her too.

    Even though it was a student they were talking about. A fugitive one too.

    “I’m sorry.”

    The words happen to sound more like a bell ringing, my eyes glancing momentarily at the Cat Faunus. The young Belladonna had her stare directed at the table itself, unwilling to deign a stare back at me out of nervousness.

    “I know that I did force this decision- and that maybe I could have just… waited there rather than do anything about it,” She admitted with a gulp, amber eyes glancing up at me for a moment, forced away as the girl found my blank stare a little too much to bear. “But I know for a thing that I can’t certainly ‘let go’ of what had happened.”

    A sigh, then I stood up and started to walk towards the front door. The girl blinked in surprise at the sudden action and her lips parted.

    “W-Where are you going?” She asked with a quiet tone.

    I shrugged as I prepared to walk outside. “Going for a walk,” I curtly replied, eyes not bothering to glance at her in that moment. “Feel the need to think about stuff.”

    I didn’t deign her further comments as I decided to wander a little in the medium-sized plaza where the bar faced to. People were mostly filling it with their happy appearances, children and young teens enjoying the early hours of the day and chatting all over the place.

    It was a mess of noises that surprisingly didn’t annoy nor irritate those that were going all over the streets to reach for their workplaces. The square was a good reminder that sometime loud sounds did also help in the search for clarity and inspiration.

    I wasn’t certainly going to debate to myself whenever or not Blake’s decision had been a good one, but I was keen to give some weight over the fact she had indeed accepted to work at the bar for the sake of ‘repaying me’, which was certainly something I had told her to ‘not consider, nor do’ back when she had offered.

    A silly development, but one that further cemented a very irritation escalation after we were done with this shift. After this first day at work, I was quite sure that the Cat Faunus was planning to go back to my flat and use it as her temporary shelter until the storm she had created with her messy luck.

    Which also meant that she was going to leech off from what I had around and force me to once again hide the catnip pot I had to protect the day before. Seriously, what is wrong with that girl?

    Faunus followed some of their animalistic traits to a fair degree, but they never ‘strayed’ too much about those. There was a ‘human’ limit to their needs as to detach them from their animal counterparts.

    Blake was seemingly lacking about most of those, appearing and acting more as a troublesome black cat than a normal young woman. Why, even the fact she literally hand-picked my house and ‘deemed’ it a good place to return after some yells was enough to point out her cat-like attitude.

    I sighed as I took refuge in one of the benches set right by the side of the road, my legs feeling sore and needing some rest after the intense pacing of walking around the bar to provide the orders to the clients and… then I heard them.

    “Do you think Blake is fine?” A young voice called out by the nearby alley, causing my eyes to widen up and turn at the origin of the question. I had to tilt a little to stare at the two girls talking to each other.

    One had black-hair with red-tips, she was wearing what looked to be a red cape, a black long-sleeved dress that ended in a black skirt with red trim around and in the front. She was also wearing black stockings and black boots.

    The other had white-silver hair and light-blue eyes. She was wearing a strapless dress with a gradation from white to pale blue at the hem that ended right by her thighs, layers of tulle under the skirt. A white bell-sleeved bolero was over the dress, a strangely familiar emblem painted on its back.

    Were they the ‘angry’ teammates that Blake had described in her story? From what I could see in the youngest of the two, they hardly seemed to be that much furious about what the Faunus had done.

    Maybe, just maybe, if I went to talk to them, I could have the girls ‘apologize to each other’ and get her out of my life and flat. Yes, that would certainly work and-

    “She surely is, Ruby,” The pale-skinned girl snorted her eyes filtering some annoyance. “She still has to explain why she is still running if she is truly that much of a good person.”

    I blinked at the harsh tone the girl had adopted, making me pause in my attempt to approach the two.

    “I-It’s not that bad. Sun did say that-”

    “If she truly means well, then she shouldn’t have run away after what happened at the docks,” The regal-looking lady scoffed, her stare hardening at the uneasy-looking brunette. “As much as we are aware about, she might as well have lied to Sun for the sake of covering the fact that she was part of the White Fang.”

    There was a pause and then… red-cape spoke once again.

    “There is sure an explanation,” Ruby pressed back with some nervousness. “Sun said that she ‘was’ part of the Fang and… she is no longer with them.”

    The silver-haired lady huffed and shook her head. “Ruby, I think we can agree that she did run away rather than talk to us,” The girl said with an irritated tone. “I know the kind of Faunus she is and I’m sure that she will not be the one to speak to us.”

    ...What did she just say? ‘The kind of Faunus she is’?

    I felt my stomach churning at what I just heard and I felt like this wasn’t certainly something to be ‘interested about’. If these girls were truly Blake’s teammates… then I think I will make sure of having not heard anything about that.

    Actually, I wasn’t even aware of their current presence. Nope.

    I sighed as I zoned out from the following words, feeling like I had heard more than enough to pass on some judgment on their manners and rejecting the chances of having some peaceful approach to happen anytime soon.

    Blinking, I realized that it was about time for the break to come to an end and went back inside the bar without saying anything to what I had just heard.

    My stare went for a brief moment at the Cat Faunus, Blake having started to use the broom to clean some dust trails by the corner of the large room and unaware of my return.

    Another blink, I felt my lips twitching in a little scowl as I felt uncertain of what to do about what I just heard. I was still angry about what she had done at my poor flat and phone, but I did feel that I was also understanding some more about her reluctance to go back to her ‘friends’.

    Marcus returned from his office and a few seconds later we were back to deal with the final two hours of the shift, people flocking at the now-reopen ‘Morning Sip’ and already asking for some snack and beverages.

    But what was I supposed to do with the girl?

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    The noises coming from the clients was enough to bring Blake’s mind back to the tasks at hand.

    Working as waitress in this warm bar had been an idea blurted without any major thinking put behind and she had almost back-tracked from it as she had seen the man that was Marcus Cobalt, the owner of the ‘Morning Sip’, humming about this offer.

    It had been spontaneous, her mind still reminding her guilty consciousness that she had to do something about the damage inflicted to the apartment she had for ‘good reasons’ infiltrated in the last two days.

    The yells, the panicked actions committed for the sake of ‘survival’ and the sheer panic at having to avoid certain streets of Vale to not encounter any of her teammates was enough to prompt her mind out from her usual composure. There wasn’t much to recover from the two wacky days that saw her entangled to someone that, by all means, was as average as one could be nowadays.

    Sid was angry, the black-haired girl didn’t require any loud vocal proof of such thing as his face told her more than enough about the young man’s current ill mood. She was certain that she was doing a somewhat decent job for her first day at ‘work’, but the constant staring the girl was subject to prior to the pause had been enough to put her in a somewhat tense guard around the object of her ‘damaging’.

    The Faunus wasn’t technically afraid of him in an abusive or harmful manner, knowing full well that when he had the opportunity to truly hurt her, he had decided to still use words rather than physical pain to direct his point.

    Said words growing crasser the more he would get angrier, but that was something that she could see herself do when an object under her possession was damaged or even destroyed by some stranger.

    And that was the very thing that plunged her mind in that guilt, the fact that she could identify herself with the reaction she got back from her ‘bad actions’. While there was a ‘genuinely good’ context behind it all, Blake was aware that some of the escalation could have been easily avoided.

    Prime example being the roof she had ‘opened’ twice, knowing from experience that reparation of a roof is more expensive than repairing a simple broken window. Her mind bringing up the very day her father had to pay some really high price to get the roof of their living room fixed after a fallen tree had crashed onto it.

    Her lips clicked silently as the second part of the shift began with… some curious difference from the stare she was receiving. No more as intense as before and certainly not as continuous. At first she had been surprised by the interesting change, her mind quickly picking up a trick in the making as it did sound rather similar to the one that had happened back to the flat.

    So the tension persisted for a full ten minutes before her confusion started to get a grip over her mind once more. There was no sign of planned trickery, nor any hint of foul play in the making and… that was giving her even more reasons to be paranoid around the young man.

    While she knew that Sid wasn’t planning anything dangerous, the sudden lack of attention was duly-noted as something of an anomaly in the waiter’s attitude. Something to be concerned about until the shift ended.

    In fact, time passed and nothing eventful happened at the establishment, the work-day ending with a calm tone that put even more uneasiness in Blake. Was he planning something for after the job? Maybe something about having her refused inside the flat?

    The Cat Faunus was nervous, rather ready to make a run back at the comfy couch and warm living room instead of letting this possible trap spring on her face. It was frustrating… but she had to keep her composure right now.

    Marcus smiled kindly as he handed her the surprisingly good pay-check for the five hours she spent there. The girl had thought that the wage was good enough to allow Sid to keep up with the flat’s rent, but that she would get this much of a good pay too?

    She blinked in awe at the amount she received, quickly putting the gained money in her little wallet without thinking too much about it. She would return the proper money once they had reached the apartment.

    If they happened to reach the apartment, if she wasn’t barred from entering inside and was ‘evicted’ by the young man. Her mind was a cacophony of nervousness, panic and unrest.

    She wanted answers, she craved for them, and yet Blake was aware that she wouldn’t get any in that exact moment. There was silence as they both walked outside the ‘Morning Sip’ and proceeded to make the trip back to the flat.

    The quiet calm was unnerving, enough to have her newly-freed cat ears twitch in irritation at that lack of clues for her future stay at the apartment. They continued to walk, the human hardly seeming to mind the fact she was walking beside him and that… lifted her hope just a little.

    But Blake was restrained about showing this, her mind reminding her of the chances of this being a trap, an ambush to have her removed from his normal life. He was attached to the idea, rightfully so as he enjoyed the quiet and loved the lack of troubles she was keen to bring around wherever she went.

    There was a sigh from him as his stare fell upon the nearby market shop. Was he thinking of buying some groceries? Should she offer now to pay with her newly-gained money?

    Maybe not, she confirmed to her anxious brain, reminding that giving out her money so easily could have been seen as a sign of lack of interest and genuine concern regarding the issue she had to repay. So she waited for his next step before planning to do anything.

    He didn’t say anything as he suddenly directed his steps away from the line of the street and right toward the little shop. There was just a small crowd of people, enough to bring some life to the normal-looking place.

    Sid nodded at one of the cashiers, the young man there smiling and nodding back before giving a glance at her. He blushed, possibly because of her interesting appearance.

    It was no secret that she had some beauty to herself thanks to training and careful eating. People in the White Fang had been prime people that had seen this and commented about it, mostly Adam and Ilia but their comments would always end one way or another about her…

    Butt.

    It was a strangely irritating topic as it had been brought up for an unfair amount of time by both close friends. Nothing that truly warranted a strong vocal response, but enough to put her in some instant nervousness around them.

    And while she contemplated about this, the young man beside her went to pick a box containing several milk bags and settling it… in a nearby shopping cart. Amber eyes blinked in surprise as she noticed just now that Sid had picked one before entering inside.

    It was something that reminded her that he had truly never minded about her appearance. Even the Faunus features had gotten any reaction out of him and that… left her quite pleased about it. It was nice from time to time to not be considered a good-looking thing to everyone sight and it did remind her of the time she wasn’t as developed as now.

    Happier times, she grimaced inwardly before being yanked away from her thoughts by someone poking at her shoulder. She blinked and glanced at… Sid.

    “Do you have to pick anything yourself?” He asked calmly, nothing there that reminded her of the enraged tone she had to deal with back at the flat. There wasn’t anything in his behavior that suggested at it.

    And that was worrying Blake to no end.

    “I-I think I will pass-”

    He sighed. “There isn’t no need to give me all the money,” His admittance got her floored for a moment. “We can do installments. I think that you should keep some of it and… you can use it.”

    There was a blink or two before the girl truly replied at that surreal instance.

    “Is this a trick?” She snapped quietly. “Are you trying to perhaps have me pay with ‘your money’ so-”

    “As if I would lower myself to that degree,” He said with a scoff, interrupting her and causing her eyes to widen up at the annoyance displayed by him. “I admit that I might have been a little harsher than the situation required, but I think you have to admit that the damage caused was all on you. I don’t need to exploit that, nor I wish to.”

    Another pause, more surprise drowning her mind and then, she hummed.

    “Do you m-mean it?” Blake stuttered much to her dismay. “Can I buy something without-”

    “Go ahead.” He said with another heavy sigh and with that positive note, the Cat Faunus found her attention directed at the products displayed by the shop.

    Some more time passed, her mind finally delving in the chance of getting some good food and proper hygiene products compared to the ones available in Beacon. While Yang’s shampoo was good to keep her hair shining, it did little to get them straight and easy-to-manage and Weiss’ own products were forbidden to even be glanced at by the girl’s high-standard.

    Remembering the Schnee’s very passionate speech about her pricey products was enough to leave a bitter taste at what was supposed to be a simple shopping trip for her. What a difficult subject to face, she reckoned with a simple and blank sigh.

    Finally, they went back to pay the bought products and soon they were back to the trip to the… flat. She was unsure how to define it now as the word ‘home’ hardly-fitted with how lacking their current situation was, but she was keen to say that whatever was planned for her stay there, it wouldn’t make her Sid’s roommate.

    Yet she shrugged as the building came to sight and Blake followed the young man inside. Once they had entered the place, Sid gave clear indication of her current stay. There was some minor sternness but also tension in his tone, possibly because the young man was still unsure about what he was trying to accomplish by helping her.

    His sudden change of heart still suspicious, but his lack of faux helpfulness giving her little to do about the strange behavior. So the Cat Faunus merely accepted it and was led to her newest ‘room’.

    Formerly ‘Guest’ room (more of an unused section that was meant to be some children’s room), it was given to her to use until their ‘situation was cleared’, subtly implying that the full repay of the costs of her damage was going to end her temporary stay to this flat.

    Something that somehow left her irritated, but also confused about such irritation. She tested the room provided, hand carefully pressing on the mattress of the bed and… Blake was sure of it.

    The couch would do fine for her.

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    AN

    I think I can hear people preparing the forks about ‘going too fast’. No, I’m just setting up the base for some more shenanigans. While Sid’s sudden change of attitude might seem too ‘good’ to be true, I plan for his sternness to be more than rather a tone of his voice.

    The installations are going to be salty ones and Blake’s usage of the flat’s services will be monitored (where morality allows it) and she will not be allowed to have a key to the door.

    Small precautions, but those will have major reasons to be when things will… scale up a notch.

    So, Weiss is still racist? I think we can all agree that if Blake had ran from the docks after the fight her already shaky trust would have collapsed all at once. The Schnee is hurt and she retaliate in such a manner.

    Does it sound strange? I’m working with a hypothetical scenario, so some attitudes will have to change.
     
  9. Threadmarks: I only wish for some order
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 4: I only wish for some order

    If there is something I truly despised as my worst flaw, it was how easily I would become a softie when I heard a solid sad story about someone going through hard times. It was a little something that had been there ever since my childhood, an event which I will not digress myself to explain caused this to become something of a terrible weakness of mine.

    I had been used back during my school years, I had been used during my brief time as a sport player and then I found myself dabbling at the realization that I hadn’t truly taken a ‘polite and functional being’ within my humble abode.

    Imagine waking up to prepare the breakfast, brain still failing to grasp the concept of ‘waking up’ as of yet and then… entering inside one of the messiest displays in which my poor living room could have been turned in a matter of a few hours spent by my unaware self in blissful and ignorant sleep.

    It took me some monumental effort to not outright drop the large plate holding two steamy cups of coffee I had just finished to prepare. There were some cookies too, but I think my mind was experiencing the divine mix of anger and horror as I found the entire place littered with Blake’s clothes.

    Well, mostly littered. The entirety of her clothes were all left in utter disorganization, scattered across couches and sofa while the ‘sleeping beauty’ enjoyed the lack of painful sunlight thanks to the curtained windows.

    I could see her face, the Cat Faunus sporting a satisfied smile as she snuggled her face onto the pillow I was sure came from ‘her’ room, the sheets covering her lower body originating from the same room and… I froze for a moment as I realized a very shocking detail about her current state of sleep.

    While the girl looked to be in heaven from the relaxed expression on her face, the sofa and the clothes she had decided to use as a sleeping wear proved that she had indeed gone through another terrible night cycle.

    What truly got me particularly embarrassed, morality being a cruel mistress, was ‘what’ kind of night-wear she was still using. At first, I thought of it as a functional and slightly-conservative night-gown, having seen some distractedly while going through numerous shopping sprees in my life because of my mother’s and sister’s interest in fashion once or twice in a while.

    Of course, that had been in the past and… I was proven that my first assumption was possibly the wrongest I could have ever guessed. In fact, I was stunned still as I realized that the ‘conservative pajama’ was none other than a revealing kimono that was partly unfolded to show… some curves.

    The curves were evident, the pale skin-color bringing them up to an interesting but somewhat degree. I turned away from the embarrassing sight with a full-blush, my attention returning to the now shaky plate I was holding and I was quick to urge my unnerved mind to redirect the focus to the nearby small table.

    I was slow, my pace a little stiffy as I settled the plate down and freeing myself of a limiting burden, one that had forbidden me until now to pick up a pillow in one of the couches and yeet it at the sleeping Faunus.

    It slammed softly but true on her unfortunately unaware face, the sudden ‘attack’ being more than enough to get her to jump out from her pseudo-comatose state to a fully-awake and hyperventilating one.

    Eyes wide open, darting from one side to another to try and see the cause of this unexpected disturbance, and finally she spotted me. Golden eyes bore onto my blue eyes and… she frowned in minor displeasure at the fact I was the sole possible responsible for this rough awakening.

    “Wha-” Her words dying before those could even start to make a coherent speech, her reaction ended by the fact I now had my arms crossing close to my chest as my eyes turned to the closest of the two couches and Blake followed my stare to the ridiculous situation that was caused by her disorder.

    Annoyance slowly simmered down at that new sight, in its stead a growing sense of cool realization washing over her sleepy body as she started to grasp the true reason behind her abrupt awakening. The Faunus looked nervous, possibly because she actually was a normally-ordered person compared to my first assessment and…

    I genuinely hoped that it wasn’t nothing else other than that new guess.

    She was silent for a while, her glance lingering longer through the ‘battlefield’ she had created and she sighed.

    “I will fix this,” Blake replied to the mounting group of inquiries coming from my stern staring, her cat ears flapping down in discomfort. I could almost hear her add ‘I promise’ to that curt answer, but she caught herself from sounding too apologetic.

    At least she had noticed how I dislike when people repeated apologies without meaning them. It was so unbecoming and annoying to have someone say ‘I am sorry’ and then go to make another mess after the one they made.

    Hopefully, today was going to be as tame as it had been yesterday.

    Facing another ‘Day One’ wasn’t certainly something I wanted to deal anytime soon, especially with how many expenses I still had to pay. The carpenter had gone to fix back the roof’s issue and I spent the time the man used to work on the damage to glare at the barely concealed girl.

    Blake had taken ‘refuge’ in the very sofa she had turned up to sleep onto yesterday, trying to appear as naively innocent as she could. An act that ‘sadly’ didn’t get any more freebies out of me as I did mention that I would still take some money from her wage.

    A solid 25% to be exact, the amount of the pay offered at the bar more than enough to have her survive even with that daunting drain for the problems she had caused in the last two days. It was almost impressive how someone could do so much of a grand issue as the one the Faunus had caused in the span of almost 48 hours.

    “Why are you not sleeping in your room?” I asked with a somewhat calm tone, some of my irritation still passing through much to my inner chiding and the girl’s flinch. The lack of caffeine was a serious debilitation to my capacity to compose my emotions with how I planned to speak and right now, my anger wasn’t certainly hiding away.

    I was just a little pissed, irked even at the fact I woke up to such a disgusting lack of capacity in keeping some orders. I wasn’t even mad that she had gone for the couch, with all due respect finding it unimportant compared to the state I found the living room mere moments ago.

    “The mattress is too stiff,” She commented slowly, almost like as if she was keeping track of her words before giving them out. She was thinking before blurting and that was good in my book.

    “You could have asked if there was another mattress,” I pointed out with a sigh, this time my stern posture breaking to allow me the chance of grasping the inviting cup of coffee. The first sip was enough to bring some more energy to my body. “I think I have two new ones lying around somewhere.”

    She nodded, head slightly tilted towards in shame. “I didn’t want to bother,” Blake admitted with a frail tone. “I thought that it would have sounded a little… demanding from my part.”

    I blinked, glancing at her in confusion as she averted her sight away from me. Now, that was actually a first.

    “Did you forget what I said yesterday?” I found myself asking numbly. “I admit I went overboard with words and manners, I think you can easily understand why I had to be harsh and-”

    I paused, flinching a little as she didn’t even bother turning her sight up to match with mine. I wasn’t expecting her to show defiance at my words, but I truly wanted to make it clear I didn’t truly hate her… completely. I was hating her for her recent actions, which had impacted severely on my daily life and put a temporary drain to my stable income.

    This was difficult to watch in silence and inactively, and terribly familiar for how similar it did look to a certain painful instance of my childhood. I hummed, ignoring the little crave for a second sip from my mug as my free hand wandered over the untouched cup as I slowly walked up to Blake with it.

    The Faunus didn’t react much at the fact I was approaching her, the only tale-telling sign being the way her cat-like ears were twitching. Attentive, cautious and somewhat curious about what I had planned for her to ‘endure’.

    I sighed again, this time bending a little to offer the cup at the student and… she huffed.

    “I don’t need it-”

    “Please,” I pressed on with a tense but soft tone, feeling my little irritation vanish in a moment of… hesitation. “I understand you are tired and need some strength.”

    She still looked a little reluctant at my offer, but now her attention was directed at the enticing mug waiting for her to be held and drunk from. A blink, then two and… still nothing. She was staring at it, with notable interest, but a general unwillingness to try and grasp it in her hands.

    I sighed one last time. “I will help you fix things up,” I promised in an attempt to push her in the right direction. “I suppose I can spare some time for-”

    “I-I don’t need your help,” Blake replied with a nervous note. “I… I know I did mistakes and- I’m glad that you are at least giving me a chance of paying back the issues I had caused.”

    There was an uneasy pause as she let her expression relax just an instant, flashing a tiny grateful smile before returning her focus at the cup. Instead of resuming the stare competition with the object, her hands tentatively went to wrap around the cup, slowly but momentarily touching my fingers as I slipped my hold of the object to her and… she nodded.

    “Thank you.”

    Two simple words that gave me some relief as she then proceeded to bring the cup close to her lips, the girl taking a quick sip before flinching and let out a soft cough. I blinked, a simple snort leaving mouth cut short at the sight.

    “I can bring some sugar if you want-”

    “I-It’s fine,” She let out another quick cough. “I like it… bitter.” Finally, a small smirk forming on her face. “Still, thank you for the offer.”

    It was all what I wanted to hear and, after that brief moment of genuine re-approach with each other, a finalization of the details that made our strange situation… strange, we proceeded to give a thorough clean-up of the living room.

    Her clothes were folded in a thinly-made stack by the sofa. Stockings, vest, shirt, pants, ribbon, arm-wears and…

    Underwear.

    I was the one that found out personally that the girl was indeed sleeping without anything beside that revealing kimono. It didn’t help that she then caught me freezing me a moment with her panties before me, face flushing a bright red as she mechanically took them away from my hands and turned away from my mortified expression.

    Now wasn’t that the proper awkward way to start this brand new day in Vale with someone as peculiar as was Blake Belladonna?

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    If someone had told Blake just a week or two ago that she would have ended up living together with a ‘mostly’ complete stranger, the Cat Faunus would have easily scoffed at them, turned around, and waltzed away from their sight with her own eyes drowning in her little books.

    It was certainly a sudden change that the girl had yet to stomach to the fullest, the fact that she was now forced to stay away from possibly the safest place in Vale. Beacon was homely but the reason that had driven her to seek out asylum there was because of the strong walls and good people ‘ruling’ over it.

    The Headmaster was enigmatic with his mysterious ways, yet Blake knew of his diplomatic and appeasing tones from her father’s past talks about him. A curious elder that wouldn’t indulge much in breaking his own rules for the sake of something interesting happening around him.

    Like a mature child with incredible political power and hold, Ozpin was still a trustworthy figure that certainly knew how to keep his own ‘fief’ well-protected and secured from any infiltration by external groups.

    She could remember the annoyance displayed by Sienna when numerous attempts of that kind had yielded nothing if not backfiring results against the organization, the man being far too cautious to allow large teams with ‘peculiar’ upbringings and thus foiling any situation of the kind.

    Yet Blake’s case had been particular and surely intriguing enough to catch the headmaster’s interest and subsequent intention of allowing her to enroll to the school. She could remember being captured after advancing the request for a secret meeting, panic surging when the officers sent to her temporary hideout said something about jail-time and a trial.

    It had been some of the most difficult moments and she would be lying if she didn’t say how it had been a tense night at the police department back then, but then the man had decided to give her some trust and the Faunus was accepted in the Huntsmen Academy with some categorical conditions to keep up with, which she had been more than glad to uphold for the sake of not getting kidnapped back by any of Adam’s henchmen and brought before him… to face a trial for her unexpected ‘betrayal’.

    Loyalists were everywhere nowadays, in the streets, in the docks, in the factories and in the farms, all ready to swear fealty to a ‘good cause’ like the one pushed by the White Fang. The lack of initiatives from the councils proving to be a good way to quickly recruit dissatisfied members of the numerous Faunus-led communities in their folds, increasing their ranks to a number three-times bigger than the amount present before Sienna had assumed the leadership.

    Yet, just like her tenure in the group had soured before the violence and aggressive tones adopted by Sienna’s authoritarian rule, the little peace the girl had gained by becoming a member of Team RWBY was shattered in a moment of emotional distress.

    As much as she had tried to keep things bottled up regarding her hidden features and her own origins, being around someone as pompous and racist as Weiss Schnee proved to be far more than the Faunus could have endured. It wasn’t just possible and her hopes of four to five years of minimal presence over the political landscape unfolding around Remnant were all crushed by the little faith ruined by the very cheeky moron she had allied with two days ago.

    Sun was somewhat… easygoing. Kind of like Yang, but terribly easy to push over with how he was crushing on her. It was flattering to a fair degree, the attention he was giving her being rather acceptable compared to the obsessive one promoted by Adam.

    Even in a topic of friendship, Sun felt more trustworthy and… less creepy than Ilia. The Chameleon Faunus was sweet and quite accepting of her different views, but she was still quite keen to give her some of the weirdest looks ever.

    Something that had been a major thorn to any major ‘closeness’ they could have developed, but not enough to bring it all to a painful end. Cutting down her connection with Adam had left her hurt, but the path he had taken had been more than enough to get her to accept the need to put at end to that failing diplomatic approach.

    But the fact that now Ilia could consider an enemy? The mere thought was enough to wager a large bit of her early-morning musings. Almost enough to even reduce the embarrassment of that rather unwanted discovery proclaimed by her ‘creditor’.

    She blamed tiredness, yet she wouldn’t be lying to herself. Even when Sid had asked about the reason behind the mess she had left on his wake while folding her vest in a calm but steady way, the girl had been hesitant to give out the real motivation.

    Nightmares had been a thing for a long time now, but not was much as they had been in the last few days. Her unconscious reaction was far stronger than the meek ones she would have back in her team’s room and the reasons behind such change was actually easy to point out from small details.

    With Yang’s easy-to-hear snores, Ruby dragging her homework up to late, and with Weiss giving some annoying-to-listen lectures to the young team leader, Blake had never experienced a state of complete sleep at Beacon, her senses keeping a state of partial awareness of what was around her.

    And that was until she had fallen onto that delightful sofa decorating the young man’s living room.

    If Sid snored or not, she wouldn’t be having trouble to deal with it as his roof was still far from the living room, far enough to allow her moments of silent rest to be wasted in… bad memories that didn’t leave her alone for just a moment.

    Vivid memories and altered scenes of her pasts that haunted her tired mind, keeping her from fully attaining a proper sleep in that perfect settlement she got in this ideally-good predicament. While she was indeed forced to work for some place in Vale, the lack of violence (human, Faunus and Grimm) was actually proving to be a decent change to her livelihood as her work was… easy.

    It wasn’t dull enough as the shift was perfectly halved to allow some time to not lose herself in the tasks provided and the pay was nothing to truly scoff at. It was proof that Marcus Cobalt wasn’t racist, or that at least he didn’t mind having a Faunus worker and giving them same rights as human ones.

    It was pleasant to be reminded that there were some good people in Vale, that the case provided by Cardin’s mere existence was actually an extremely-small minority compared to the large approval of equal rights with Faunus-kind. People were receptive for change, but there weren’t serious rules that established that.

    Blake was fine with this, but she couldn’t help but be a little miffed by the fact she wasn’t guaranteed in a legal way, that her position was offered out of kindness and good-will. Her musings cut brief as the walk through Vale to reach the ‘Morning Sip’ was as uneventful as the last two times.

    The owner greeted them both chirpily, Blake smiling at the older man while Sid merely granted him a quick ‘good-morning’ before they both went to the locker rooms. In a normal circumstance, the mixed area would have caused major problems because of their different sexes, yet the fact that the changing to the uniform required just a tiny bit skin exposure, made the experience bearable if not forgettable.

    The human finished first, the elements of his clothes as a waiter being less than the one the Faunus had to put on. The uniform itself had been a surprise, part of her expecting for her to be subjected to some ‘Neko-Maid’ situation rather than being given a professional look and… she was happy about what she got.

    It wasn’t the best work in Remnant, but she was happy to say that it was definitively better than boringly spending her days studying things she knew about in Beacon or being restricted by the limited air allowed by the White Fang.

    Here she was Blake Belladonna, simple waitress in a morning-only bar. She was deemed a young woman, not a student, nor a fodder to waste in the ‘long and shining path of the revolution.’ She wasn’t a pawn to some mastermind and she wasn’t truly forced to do anything.

    The girl chose this road and she was eager to responsibly go through this and… there was just a worry that had superseded anything she had been having nightmares about. A new concern that was as silly as rightfully proposed by her mind.

    What happens when she was done with her debt? Would she be allowed to stay?

    Naively, she had expected for Sid to bring up the topic either earlier in the morning or even before by yesterday’s dinner, but the young man had been mostly focused on the present rather than in the future.

    While his intentions were genuinely good (or at least, she hoped so), he didn’t have any reason to worry about the time the debt she had for him was exhausted by the installments planned. And even though such situation wouldn’t happen anytime soon as of how ‘little’ he was taking from her wage, she couldn’t help but wonder about what would come next.

    Would the Cat Faunus have her strained relationship with her team solved by the time? Would she have the means to ‘survive’ by the time this was all over?

    Will this ever be over, the peace and the calm she was so happily enjoying?

    She couldn’t help but appreciate the rather selfish need of preserving the new status quo, it was far too decent and acceptable, inspiring and endearing for someone as tired as Blake.

    The girl sighed as she left the locker room with some heavy thoughts to develop during her mindless working, her hands pressing the door behind her close as she shifted her attention back to the now-open activity, going back to the counter as she prepared with Sid to accommodate the first clients.

    She sported a tiny smile, her mind reminding her that she had to give a positive impression to those she was going to take orders from and… then her entire facade dropped in a shocked jaw-drop.

    Gone was her composure, gone was her little calm of mind as the very first individual to walk inside the building was someone she was familiar with and very keen to avoid for the time being because of how she had ‘took care’ of him back at the docks.

    Smiling eye-to-eye in a rather cheeky way, blue eyes exploring briefly all over the bar while he stretched his arms to the side and giving a full flex of his muscles, and abs freely exposed by his open shirt, Sun Wukong looked rather unaware of the incredibly (un)lucky predicament he had stumbled upon.

    Maybe it was karma, she should have been a little less rude to the energetic Monkey Faunus and then, if things couldn’t get any worse in that very horrible development, Sid decided to approach the still-unaware Haven student.

    “Good morning, sir,” The human said with a polite tone, catching the attention of the blond. “And welcome to ‘Morning Sip’.”

    The smile brightened a little more at the polite greeting. “Thanks man,” He replied mirthfully. “I just wanted to try out this place as I’ve heard good things from some friends of mine and… is it possible for me to browse a little from the menu before-”

    The paper containing the entire list of sweet snacks and other delicacies for that early hour was provided by Sid to the slightly-surprised Monkey Faunus. “It is actually how we prefer clients to pick,” The young man replied with his professional voice. “It’s best to know a little more about ingredients and the way some of the food is made for the sake of avoiding causing trouble to those with intolerance to any of the ingredients.”

    Blake was quick to exploit the opportunity to get herself away from sight, ducking behind the counter and… getting a curious glance from Marcus, the man noticing her action and casting a confused glance her way.

    The Faunus flinched and mouthed a ‘I will explain later’ at the owner, his eyebrow lifting in a curious fashion before he turned his attention back at the coming clients. Several were frequent ones but, instead of finding relief in the mass of people coming inside, the Belladonna felt herself paling as she spotted a familiar blonde cowlick standing uniquely among the other people and…

    Yes, her eyes weren’t deceiving her as a slightly-annoyed Yang Xiao-Long made her way towards Sun. The Monkey Faunus pausing the interaction with the waiter to wave at Blake’s girlfriend and… getting a snort back from the fellow blonde.

    “Morning, Goldi-”

    “Can it, Monkey-boy,” The Xiao Long shot back with a tired sigh. “It’s too early in the morning to be this cheerful and… I’m not in the mood for any fun dates right now.”

    There was a pause, the grin on the boy’s face widening at the comment. “C’mon, it’s not just a ‘date’-”

    “Before you thrown in your crappy ideas,” Yang interrupted the fellow student, turning her lilac eyes at Sid. “Could you please get me a cup of coffee? I need something strong enough to kick myself awake.”

    The young man nodded without much of a reply to the girl’s request, turning a moment to Sun. “I will take your order once hers is done.” He bowed a little as to apologize and accepting the quick nod from the Faunus before going back to the counter and… noticing what was going on with Blake.

    He blinked once, then twice. “What are you doing?” He whispered with some annoyance, her whole face cringing at how close the two familiar people were to her current cover right now. That wasn’t the best scenario. Not at all.

    They are ‘that’ friends I told you about.” She replied quickly but still whispering, afraid of getting the two hotheaded teens on her trail if she was too loud. Sid blinked again but this time gave her a slow nod before picking the prepared coffee mug and walking back to the table.

    The Cat Faunus had been distracted by the quiet discussion the two were having, Yang appearing rather deflated compared to her usual self, the cheeky tones and the easygoing attitude having disappeared from her current self. Quite surprising and… worth a quick flinch as her mind pointed out it had happened right as she had bolted away at the docks.

    Her fault? Possibly.

    Was it possible to mend the damage? She was unsure.

    The blonde thanked the waiter before taking a long sip from her mug, eyes almost closing in bliss as she took in the bitterness of the normal coffee, a little smile gracing her face as she commented happily about the ‘best coffee she had ever drunk’ which was… rather difficult to judge about as a compliment.

    Yang never took a cup of coffee in the last few weeks and her knowledge over her teammate was… incredibly limited. That’s why she just accepted it as a decent comment and ignored the detail altogether.

    Then Sid went to take Sun’s orders, returning to the counter and, while the order was being prepared, deigned her an inquisitive look. It wasn’t difficult to understand that he wanted some more answers about the predicament she was facing, possibly also names and descriptions of people she was currently avoiding.

    More work for Blake, but maybe it was about time for the girl some more details about her situation. The man had yet to show hints of serious disdain and his complaints were directed at legitimately damaging actions she had committed against him.

    It wouldn’t do well for her to continue with her lone wolf attitude, denying herself an ally in those trying times would be akin to shot herself in the foot with Gambol Shroud. Speaking of guns, she had to see if Sid would take her to the nearby Dust shop to buy some ammo.

    The girl was technically running on just a handful of magazines and she needed some munitions in case things turned… sour for everyone. Mostly for Sid, especially for Sid. He was an unharmed citizen that had been taken inside a storm in the making, one that she was possibly responsible for.

    And thus, blissfully distracted by her own thoughts about the helpful man, Blake was unaware of the fact that Yang had approached the counter to spare some words to the waiter and the owner.

    “Sir, I know that it sounds a little demanding, but can I ask you a few questions about a possible client you might have had?” The blonde started with a calm tone, drawing a curious look from Marcus, a kind smile on his face.

    “If it isn’t anything personal, then sure,” The man said with a jovial tone. “And I think that the reason behind this request isn’t anything light or to dismiss so soon.”

    The brawler nodded and took out her Scroll to show a picture of… Blake Belladonna.

    “She is my partner at Beacon Academy,” The girl explained with a serious edge. “She ran away two days ago during a skirmish that happened by-”

    “The docks?” Sid’s interruption was the one thing that took Blake out of her thoughts, eyes widening in shock as she noticed how close Yang was to her. This- This wasn’t happening!

    The owner blinked at the picture and seemed to be putting an effort to not glance down at where the Cat Faunus was hiding. Instead the waiter was flawlessly pulling a poker face at the picture and Yang’s reaction to his interjection.

    “There was a news report about it yesterday night, that means that you are one of the huntresses that went to deal with the theft led by Torchwick.” He twisted the topic, the flattering tone being enough to draw a smile on the blonde’s face.

    “We are still students… but yes, we were there for… reasons.” She admitted with some nervousness, still smiling at the compliments. “Still, I know that the photo offers little-”

    “Actually, it offers a lot… Miss?” He paused to ask, lilac eyes easing at the simple request.

    “Yang, Yang Xiao Long.”

    “Well, Ms. Xiao Long, the picture itself ‘says’ that you are searching a Cat Faunus with black hair, amber eyes and a skin-tone paler than many people here in Vale,” Sid pointed out with a polite smile. “I think that offers more than just a ‘little’.”

    The blonde’s face… seemed to gain a little more color at that reply. “Really? Then can you-”

    “Still, we would have noticed someone with those details and… I can assure you with utmost certainty that she never walked in this establishment,” Sid interrupted again, this time his smile being rather sad about it. “But if you want, we will keep an eye around for anyone like her.”

    The suggested offer was met with a quick nod. “That would be cool,” Yang said with some little irritation at not having any hints of her ‘close, but also not’ partner. “Also, can you tell me your name? Maybe exchange Scroll’s number or-”

    “Ms. Xiao Long, I didn’t… expect to be subjected to this kind of flirting,” The young man pointed out, causing the blonde to freeze a moment and snort, amusement playing for a moment as her face flushed a strong pink.

    “Funny guy too, ain’t ya?”

    He shrugged, but still spoke. “Still, I guess you are right.” He passed the number of his scroll and then- “By the way, I’m Sid, Sid Tremaine. Nice too meet you, Ms. Xiao Long-”

    “Hush with the ‘Ms.’ thing. Call me Yang and you allow me to the first name basis too? How about that?” She interrupted, bringing surprise to both the waiter and Blake herself.

    While the Cat Faunus had pinpointed the ‘forward and expressive’ attitude of the young man as an act, she had certainly felt unexpected how her partner had reacted. Yang flirted light-heartedly with everyone and, it was strange to see her being ‘this much’ forward with someone.

    Still, the young man nodded and soon the two students from different academies left the ‘Morning Sip’ without much of a warm greeting, leaving Blake to stand up and face the music she had set up on herself because of fate itself.

    “So,” Marcus finally spoke as Sid went to deal with the new wave of clients. “You are a student at Beacon Academy, Blake?” He asked slowly, trying to appear mindful of how strong such an inquiry could be.

    “I… am,” The Faunus admitted with a sigh. “It’s just… that things have happened. It’s a long story.”

    The man sighed at the mysterious curtness but smiled at the last bit.

    “Well, I think there is already plenty of time to chat, especially since I think Sid will not be minding taking some of your burden as we talk about it.” The owner mentioned, causing Blake’s eyes to turn at her ‘colleague’.

    While the young man had appeared collected and calm by the time the ‘trouble duo’ had been at the bar, after they had left his facade had dropped to show a rather flustered individual trying to focus only on his job. She could see how he wouldn’t mind to have some more tasks to not ‘think’ about what had just happened.

    Yang was attractive and quite keen to point this out so flamboyantly, thus it wasn’t difficult to see how someone as cool and calculative as Sid would have some trouble dealing with the full brunt of that comeback. A cheeky smile crept on her face at the thought that, deep in that armor of irritation and simplicity, there was someone that was could still get embarrassed and teased on by someone like Yang.

    It just made the future chit-chat on the way back to the flat even more… interesting, she supposed.

    ---------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d----

    AN

    I don’t know if I should really go for a break. This year I will be spending the Eve and Christmas, even New Year’s Celebration with my close family and so… I will need to get my mind doing something instead of getting bored and dulled.

    Of course, I will use some of my newer free time to correct many of the mistakes I’ve left in the stories I’m updating right now so… things like Magical Trickster DXD, Living Bot, and Golden Month will receive a major upgrade very soon.

    Also I will update Golden Month and this story very frequently as I’m inspired to muster up the ‘bestest story ever for both cases’.

    Lastly (about this chapter, the surname is an anagram and Kudos for the reader that will pinpoint the obscure Disney detail I just used for that name. It will be fun, but it is also a strong clue about the parents and siblings of Sid.

    So stay tuned ‘cause we are just starting here!

    P.S. I think I should say that this chapter is dedicated to my Sis since today is her B-day. So yay, Happy B-Day, you brat! XD
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  10. Threadmarks: And I wish for my individual Peace
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 5: And I wish for my individual Peace

    It’s been two days since Blake had gotten to deal with this new situation. Two days since she had been on the run from her teammates, two days since she had been hired as a waitress in a simple bar in Vale’s industrial district.

    The close encounter with Yang and Sun turned out to be the worst case of being found by any of the students of Beacon searching for her. After that unexpected situation, Sid had been partly-accepting of her request of him buying for her a hoodie and a face mask to keep most of her recognizable features hidden from sight.

    It had been quite the annoying task to have this much on herself, the unpleasantness of having her cat-ears forced flat by the hood turning out to be far different that how it did felt to have a bow. It was all for the sake of not being found, to not be brought back to deal with the daily life of a student.

    The girl was far too advanced in both physical and theoretical subjects to be actually capable of fitting with the role, having learned much from practical experience as a grunt-to-officer of the White Fang. This very notion was proven correct when the last she had to take resulted in an impressive A+.

    Weiss had been partially irritated by this detail, thinking that Blake should have flunked it because of her lack of interest in studies. A presumptuous exclamation that came out from the fact she had to headbutt a lot with Ruby.

    The Team Leader was young, inexperienced and was lacking two years worth of knowledge. This last bit was actually what caused the Schnee to devolve a large part of her free time in helping the caped girl to actually understand the basis of the lectures given at Beacon.

    It was almost impressive how Ruby had actually managed to get enrolled at the Academy, her unique fighting style barely compensating for her lacking capacity in keeping up with the school’s pacing.

    Actually, it was interesting how the Headmaster had broken the rule three times for this year, counting Ruby, herself and Jaune as prime examples of laws being ‘forgotten’ by Ozpin for some strange reasons.

    Blake was more of a political refuge than else, it wouldn’t have surprised her if the gray-haired man had taken her in for the fact he had connected dots about her important parentage. After all, Kali Belladonna did come to study at Beacon for a few years before returning back to Menagerie to her father’ (Blake’s grandfather) orders.

    Jaune was mediocre at best in whatever he did, his grades being just average enough and sufficient to continue with the school year without dealing with major issues with the teachers and the school itself. The blond was also weak in terms of fights, having been seen failing to keep up with someone like Cardin Winchester and other members of Team CRDL. but he was incredibly quick in accepting advice when presented and she wouldn’t be lying in saying that he had good chances of becoming a prominent huntsman by the end of his years at Beacon.

    It was Ruby that the Belladonna found to be the blatant error in keeping things under the rug, the girl being an eyesore by the way she failed to catch up with the missing material required for the rest of the lessons. Even with Weiss’ help, the little Rose was still capable of keeping up with a lazy Yang… at the best of her strength.

    Speaking of the blonde, the Cat Faunus was actually surprised by the fact the girl did indeed visit two more times the ‘Morning Sip’ and Blake had been forced to resort to have a hat and a pair of sunglasses while she was around. It did made things difficult as the light in the bar wasn’t strong enough to give her a proper sight over the tables and… some mess might have been made for the sake of not getting caught.

    Her pay suffered the blunt of these encounters, but that wasn’t actually what got the girl interested over the frequency of the brawler by the simple establishment as she tried to find out more about Blake… and also flirt a little with a stone-faced Sid. After the first time he had to deal with both the brawler’s flirting and the Belladonna’s intense teasing over it, the young man had been smart enough to gear up and endure the advances forwarded by the blonde in question.

    There was also the fact that the Cat Faunus couldn’t help but remind herself as of why she had never been close to Yang, the cheerful blonde being what Blake wouldn’t never want to be in a social context.

    She was too much an extrovert compared to the reclusive Faunus, something that had put them at odds during their first days as partners. The following step had been silent neutrality with some minor bantering initiated by Yang herself.

    Blake never felt the need to start anything as she felt that their relationship would have been affordable as formal team-members than anything else, a feeling not shared by the giddy blonde that would end up pestering her about the silliest of details.

    While the Xiao Long was eager for fights, to speak with people and to venture in danger, the Belladonna preferred the peace and quiet of books rather than dealing with real life’s issues, something proven by the way she had decided to not return back to Beacon as it was no longer the fight with Weiss that kept her from going there to seek redemption.

    The effort wasn’t… actually worth it. It was actually worse, in her quiet opinion, to let go of the little settlement gained by pure and raw dumb luck. Or lack of, considering the damage she had caused to end up in that curious situation.

    Sid was still uneasy to have around, the same she knew was for him when she was around, but they both weren’t there to attack each other. Rather they were making sure the other didn’t pull a foul without any physical damage involved.

    One could call it a cat-and-mouse play, where the girl was actually the rodent before someone with much more balance over his own life. He had his own moderation within the sea of extreme ends, something that Blake had failed to obtain after slamming painfully against both directions. The human was also partially-trained as a Huntsman but lacked any of the major skills and weapon that could actually make her consider him a threat to have around.

    He was mostly harmless, if not sassy and impudent with his tones when she ended up causing some minor issues. Lucky for her, her attention over her attempt to be conciliating turned out to be a blessing for their curious relationship.

    This connection was actually one of the major questions that had gotten the girl thinking about for hours, the extent and limits of their current ‘friendship’. It was odd to even call it friendship, the two of them being more or less simple housemates at this point.

    Where they even friends? She was at fault for crashing down from his roof and making some escalation of sort out of panic and ill-thinking, but now they were… neutral to each other. There was a humane understanding of each other and they were both respectful to the barest about the other.

    It was that simple bond that Blake found… nice to have in these trying times. There wasn’t any attempt to garner her utmost trust, nor was she supposed to fear every step for the sake of getting betrayed by the waiter.

    A peaceful standoff, one where both contenders knew that there wouldn’t be any horrible development coming from it but still didn’t budge from their standing positions. Staring at each other, determination pouring from their souls as they keenly avoided to make the first, and possibly wrong, move against the other.

    It was stimulating, it was refreshing and…

    “I finished my sets,” Sid proclaimed with a tired sigh, his sweaty form slowly walking away from the living room. “I will take the bathroom for some minutes.”

    The comment was enough to bring the Belladonna out of her silence-induced thoughts regarding the last two days of work, her attention once more shifting back to the fact she had yet to finish with her own training.

    Two days had passed and the working week was over as Saturday began without a clear plan established by both housemates. Sure, Blake had loved three more hours of sleep by the lovely couch and she had turned up refreshed by the extra time spent resting.

    Enough for her to be ready to the schedule she would have to deal while spending her whole day at the flat by exercising and meditating. The idea had came out from Sid, the young man mentioning how it’s been a while since he had last gone for some sessions of training and mentioning how the girl should have planned out something similar for the fact that she was a student at Beacon.

    Telling him about the full context of everything that had happened by the docks, her former allegiance to the White Fang and the reason why she was still avoiding her team had helped immensely the Faunus’ plight as the human had visibly appreciated the honesty provided by the girl and offering some minor support in giving her the means of avoiding getting ‘discovered’ by anyone she knew about.

    Still, some discomfort from the revelation of having been part of the now-violent organization had created some minor friction between the two as the young man was aware of the fact that the aggressive approach taken by the Fang developed far before her ‘planned’ leave and he had asked for some simple but crude questions.

    Did she ever kills someone during service? Only in extreme cases of self-defense. Her first kill was legitimated by the fact she had been merely fourteen and the one she had offed was a rabid officer from Atlas attacking her without hesitation and madly.

    Gambol Shroud had tasted blood in that encounter, but the following times the spread of the red color had been limited as she didn’t believe in making examples in that way. It was barbaric, it would have made her an ‘animal’ just like racists have painted her as with the rest of her kind.

    With a tired sigh of her own, the girl slumped on the comfy sofa, eyes closing as she quietly basked in the quietness of her free day here at the flat. Sadly, the cat ears that were proud feature and sign of her heritage proved to be strong enough to catch the distant noise of water running from the bathroom.

    Her eyes twitched open, a groan turning in an irritated purr as she blinked at the general direction where Sid was possibly taking a quick bath. The human was swift in his activities there but her mind couldn’t help but… wander to certain details.

    She had noticed that he was well-developed in his chest, legs and arms, there was a clear attention at making sure he kept healthy, something that was surprising coming from a supposedly-normal civilian. Her brain surmised that it had to do with the particular roles of his parents, both military-related jobs that would end up requiring fitness as a core part of their lives.

    Something that had been instilled even to their ‘average’ child, enough to have him become a fairly interesting threat if given a proper gun. Now, Blake wasn’t fairly certain of this particular statement, but she would easily admit that he could have been a good material for Huntsman…

    Yet he was a little too old for that. It was two years, he was two years older than her and… he had already gotten ‘enough’ from his time spent completing the regular education and specialization, having his own work and flat… it was kind of a pity.

    It would have been an interest addition, but then again he would have gone for Haven rather than Beacon and that would have render it mostly-impossible for her to meet him. It was a series of conflicting thought that followed this extended line that culminated… with someone knocking by the entrance of the living room.

    Her attention snapped at the waving hand owned by the one and only Sid Tremaine, the young man having a little towel covering his wet hair as he tip-toed with a simple shirt and short pants, his shoes missing. “Bathroom is clear,” He announced calmly.

    Blake nodded and, just as he got up from her seat, the man hummed. “By the way, I was planning to do a movie marathon after lunch,” The human pointed out, causing her to frown curiously at the proposal. “Something to keep entertained until dinner.”

    The girl blinked and tilted her head to the side. “Anything specific…?” She asked, knowing that a large majority of movies would have hardly got her attention, thus denying her the ‘entertainment’ promised by the young man.

    “The Madonna Arc’s Anthology,” He mentioned absently as he checked on the small stack of discs sitting nearby the TV, ignoring the fact that Blake’s jaws had dropped the moment the name was mentioned. “So, Ninja of Love, the sequel and the spin-off-”

    “W-Wait,” The young woman zeroed the distance between herself and thediscs in question and gave them a long look, her golden eyes widening as she had just found out about something… interesting.

    She had heard about news of some movies having been adapted from her beloved books, but the availability of the three films had been limited to some areas of Mistral and Atlas. Vale was quick to ban it for the sake of avoiding the ‘halved’ romantic scenes and Vacuo couldn’t just afford to distribute the movie with how expensive the process was for many kingdoms.

    But to think that a copy of the trilogy was here in Sid’s possession…

    She gulped nervously and slowly stared up at the now-confused look settled on the young man’s face. “Something’s wrong about it?” He asked innocently, seemingly unable to pick up the immense joy vibrating from her features.

    “W-Wrong?” Her tone felt trembling too. “N-Nothing wrong. Just… y-you really mean it? Can I… see it too?”

    He frowned, his confusion deepening even more but he still nodded at her. “Yeah?”

    It was enough for the Belladonna to show her affection at this grandiose offer… by launching herself at the unaware human in a surprise hug. The propulsion wasn’t strong enough to send them both flying back to the floor, but the relative closeness was more than enough to get a quick reaction out of Sid.

    He started to pat her upper back, her shoulders hurting a little as he seemed to be struggling in what was supposed to be a show of gratefulness and affection.

    “B-Blake! Get off of me-” He started to yell in a panicked tone. Could it be that he was flustered by the closeness she had-

    I just did a bath, Blake- You are stinky!

    Nevermind, any warm emotion she held for the young man flatly vanished with those strong words, she let go instantly of the hold she had imposed upon him…

    But decided to deign him a quick headbutt on his chest, the action not strong enough to hurt both of them but… at least she was the only one knowing the meaning behind the gesture, in fact she walked up to the entrance, glanced back and saw immense confusion at what had just happened.

    The giddy smile at the prospect of spending the rest of the afternoon in watching the terrific trilogy widened as she was finally granted the peace of mind in the form of a warm bath with bubble.

    Bubbles made good things better. Always.

    ---------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d----

    The movie marathon turned out to be a major success, an idea that I was partly eager to experiment with someone as introverted as Blake was. The fact that the girl had been quite impatient during lunch after learning of this proposal should have been grand sign that I had somehow hit jackpot with the picking of the movies.

    I had seen the little book the Faunus had around, the one she would take during their pauses at work or when it was time to go to sleep. It was Ninja of Love, or rather the Uncensored version of the curious literary work.

    The trilogy itself as books had been the cause of a major uproar back when it was first released because of the graphic content of some ‘love’ sessions between the two protagonists, forcing the principal editor to re-release it in two versions. An 18+ book that contained the fullest ‘glory’ of the original text and a redacted version with the entirety of the sexual content cut down and removed.

    The movies were based from the censored version, the movie-makers had been well-aware of the dangers of stirring another set of conflicts regarding the perception of the perverted book, thus deciding to create, with the author’s permission, some different scenes that replaced the very ones that were to be removed.

    The first film gained a massive and positive critic and review from the majority of the fans, some still mourning the fact that the ‘fun bits’ from the series had been denied by some ‘overly-conservatives troglodytes’. And yes, they did use the term ‘troglodytes’ to define people denying the sex scenes.

    I suppose I should also explain how exactly I ended up getting the trifecta with how rare it was finding it in Mistral and the answer to that question can be traced back to a mission my father had been part of back when he was still in active duty… three years ago.

    He had been called to deal with a sudden increase of Grimm by the lone village of Ansel and there he ended up befriending an old colleague of his and his wife. The woman, which was the writer of the three books, decided to provide, as a sign of gratitude, the copies of the movie to my dad and…

    Mom had been fairly angry about that. Considering the content presented by the movies, still a touch above what my siblings and I could have been able to watch ‘without inopportune questions being asked’.

    Both my brother and my sister had refused the chances of getting these with them when they both left home, leaving me as the sole owner of the ‘forbidden’ movies as I moved out of my home in Mistral.

    I had expected Blake to be a little uneasy at the fact I had provided her with the adaptation of quite the lewd book, the very one she was seen having around more than a few times, and yet she had been… overly-enthusiastic at the prospect of watching the three films in what turned out to be a seven hours long marathon.

    I was flinching once or twice of the time as the tones used by some characters before the cut-off scenes were still there to torment with their lustful tones.

    Seriously, why weren’t the movie shot down too? Why were they accepted so easily with how many crass dialogues it still had?

    Good questions in which the three movies failed to give an answer too and… Blake continued to be the giddiest I’ve ever seen her, with a bright smile, shining golden eyes and cat ears twitching in full-attention as the plots of the stories unfolded from the large screen in front of the sofa.

    We had our own mantle of sheets, two bowls of popcorn and chips, and large bottles of soda to keep our hunger and thirst satisfied for the whole duration of the marathon. We were sitting by the two edges of the furniture, our stares fixed at the TV displaying the movies. I had seen this just once before that day and… I didn’t find myself liking it just as I had back when I first gave it a quick look.

    The dialogue was okay most of the time, some scenes were fantastic in showing the complexity behind some of the protagonists’ flaws and weaknesses, but the way the shipping was flaunted was… way too speedy for it to appear realistic. The delivery from some of the actors was disheartening at best as these were too dismissive of major details that could have given major weight to the overall stories of the individual characters. A good set of movies… but not the best to watch after three times.

    And, much to my chagrin, I was actually contrasted by the way Blake was keen to describe the marathon. Terribly influenced by the love she held for the series, the girl judged it as a perfect masterwork, ‘the culmination of real life and fantasy, the dream and the fiction being painted upon reality itself’.

    I was impressed by the use of some precise words to elevate the state of some of the good scenes and I almost fell for that vision of hers. It was pitched in a delightful manner and fairly honest… until a certain degree.

    In fact, the only thing I ended up having to endure about this overly-positive judgment was how I had to decide whenever or not it would have been convenient for me to point out how her perception ignored the flaws of the good movies for the sake of lift up the potency of the scenes.

    I was half-tempted to call ‘BS’ on her review of it, but then again I had the common sense to know that she was trained in the use of guns and she had a weapon on herself. And that is why, instead of headbutting against an early death, I merely kept quiet until dinner.

    Dinner was fairly normal if not for Blake being in the best of moods with what had happened until mere moments ago. The smile plastered there was somehow intriguing to see as it morphed while she starting to eat her plateful of tuna.

    The Cat Faunus loved fish and I was pretty sure that, without the scene unfolding before me, I would have felt it sounding more as a racist slur rather than the commentary of what she was doing right now.

    She just loved fish, she literally spent half her pay in sea-food and there was nothing particularly wrong about it…

    Except that she would let out a purr or two in a normal situation. But now? Now the girl was vibrating on her seat, the purrs loud enough to not appear as mere innocent noises as she continued to happily eat the cooked fish.

    It was an overly-adorable sight, one that I had planned to have to see for that day. I had actually expected the girl to refuse the movies out of embarrassment and yet my little plan had backfired to a point where it actually looked I was ‘granted’ such a cute display of happiness.

    I might have been aware of the fact that Cat Faunus and Dog Faunus were rather affectionate in showing their cheerfulness, the former being more difficult to render so rather than the latter, something I knew from experience, but… I was completely unprepared with how I was supposed to react about it.

    After four days of having Blake around, I couldn’t help but feel nervous at the sudden shift of personality. I was certain it was a temporary thing, but I couldn’t let go of the fact that she was indeed looking terribly adorable-

    OMG, her cute kitty-cat ears are flapping so excitedly and-

    N-NO! We aren’t having any of that. I might love cats to a degree, but I couldn’t certainly compare a simple animal as a kitty to the purring, happy-looking Faunus sitting in front of me.

    I felt by breath itching as I didn’t realize I had walked behind Blake, the girl was unaware of this sudden shift herself and… we both discovered what was going on when I had my hand softly settled on top of her head.

    She tensed, and I tensed. I felt nervous, I felt paling and I felt the need to bolt away from the possible bomb I just set off with this careless and greedy action.

    I expected her to snap at the sudden gesture, to hit me and maybe beat the crap out of me (kind of an Anime reaction that would be, but I was still fearful of any reaction from that Neko- I mean, Cat Faunus).

    Then, much to my immense surprise and confusion, the black-haired girl relaxed and… started to purr even more, seemingly accepting the fact my hand was now on her head. I blinked once, then twice.

    Then thrice.

    What the heck is going on?!

    Finally, I managed to lift my hand off from her soft and silky hair, wide eyes staring accusingly at my traitorous fingers before deigning to answer to the certainly-implicit question generating from the poor girl assaulted in such manner.

    The degeneration of mankind in a nutshell!

    “S-Sorry,” I tried to apologize, my head burning a little in embarrassment and mortification at the fact I did indeed touched a rather sensitive part of her biology. The cat ears were quite sensible, I remember receiving a lecture out from my mother when a child had been caught pulling on some Faunus child’s animal ears and- “I-It’s just that… it looked-”

    “Cute?” She suggested softly, her head lowering a little and yet I could still see the blush spreading to her ears and turning those red. “I-It’s alright, I- You apologized.” There was embarrassment in the girl’s voice, but the purring for some reason didn’t cease even in that moment.

    The rest of the evening was spent quietly and silently as we decided to not discuss about that weird and senseless scene. It was just too… senseless.

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    AN

    Little moment of warmth before something a little deeper. Comedy at the purest, when the awkward is made silent for only the presents to know about.

    People are asking for the two to be paired? Well sadly, I don’t wish for them to do that.

    Would it kill the closeness? No, I’m actually bringing up the kind of friendship that will be so weird, so crackish and terribly easy to misunderstand for the people witnessing this happen that it will become much better and wholesome than mere romance.

    Expect jealousy from Blake’s admirers and the only one hailing from Sid’s camp. It will be a fun brawl~!
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  11. Threadmarks: And I'm not that bad!
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 6: And I’m not that bad!

    Yang wasn’t having the greatest days as of now.

    After Blake had just gone and escaped from them following what had happened in the docks, the rest of the team had taken the material victory as a moral defeat at the fact that the Cat Faunus had decided to avoid them once more.

    It didn’t help that the bitterness of failing to ‘calm her down’ was burdened by the harsh lecture the team got from Ms. Goodwitch. It was the first time the woman had looked so incredibly livid and ready to make use of her infamous whip, their grace being the ever-so diplomatic mediator that was the headmaster.

    The headmaster had stressed well-enough that the situation had been mostly led by a simple ‘teen-related’ fallout and that the escalation had been out of their hands as a whole He pointed out how they wouldn’t have certainly gone to risk their lives for the sake of stopping a grand theft committed by a terrorist cell.

    The Combat Training teacher was still furious even when the man shifted his attention at the three girls, her eyes narrowing at them and promising a multiple-months long detention for how much crap they had caused with their intervention.

    But Yang hadn’t been quick to call for relief as the visibly-angriest woman had settled down, her lilac eyes noticing way too well the familiar expression, similar to the one her father would take when some of his students had gone and done something completely wrong and unforgivable, on the calmly, yet furious headmaster.

    Ozpin’s lecture didn’t spare them, even the smallest of details and errors committed before and during the fight were brought up to be dissected and displayed in their hideous glory.

    Ruby was terribly mortified at the pressure exercised on her as she was still the team-leader and she had been expected to be a little more mindful of the emotions and the attrition born out from her partner and Blake, her hood failing to hide the paleness now present on her face as she merely took the verbal punishment withou much but a nod.

    The same was for Weiss as the heiress did seem to have reverted back to a little child as she merely nodded absently at Ozpin’s rant while also giving some ‘yes sir’ where it was necessary, gone was her snippy remarks and her classy tones.

    Yang didn’t feel the need to express major worry about the situation, even though she had been afraid herself of what kind of punishment she would have ended up because of her inaction regarding her partner’s fit and… how she hadn’t given her some support.

    Not just because the Xiao Long could see the logic in Blake’s words, but because she did know a little about the situation of Faunus after what Uncle Qrow had described both her and Ruby about what was going on in Atlas.

    While the White Fang were terrorists, the violent reaction exerted by the most-advanced Kingdom was still worth of some frowning and displeasure. Miners were killed, a large majority of Mantle was dealing with something close to a famine because of the latest reforms and the protests weren’t being denied with the units deployed there.

    It was close to war, close to something that Yang didn’t want to be part of and… to think that her partner came from that kind of situation? Sure, the blonde wasn’t sure that the Belladonna had come from the cold territory up north, but the overall situation for Faunus wasn’t different if not in Mistral and partly in Vale.

    And seeing the vehemence displayed by the girl, the brawler was also certain that her partner wasn’t from neither of the two kingdoms. Either she was from Atlas, Vacuo (which was a hellhole for everyone) or Menagerie.

    The day after the fight, Yang had found herself having some trouble finding rest. Maybe it was the guilt of the whole situation, or maybe the hits she had received the day before were still make her body bitch about the soreness.

    It wouldn’t be the first time that the stinging sensation on her aura from numerous attacks she had suffered from a spar or a full-fledged battle had continued to annoy her brain until she found sleep in utter tiredness.

    Yet the Xiao Long hadn’t found rest in that singular day, nor the following one and the one after that. Gone was her cheerful morning personality as she felt incredibly sluggish with her usual routine and her attention span suffered immensely because of it.

    Not even sparring gave her that same bright fire as the gnawing emotion of having failed someone that she had a responsibility over was still here to spoil her chances of regaining some calm. She was unnerved, terribly so, and the fact that her search through Vale had been inconclusive at best was enough to worsen up her general mood.

    It didn’t help that Sun had taken interest in making it a double patrol, following her as he mirthfully commented about everything around them and… it had been quite the irritating, if not infuriating, behavior to not react with a punch.

    The Monkey Faunus seemed to really mean well, having been the one that had told the team that Blake had indeed mused over the chance of apologizing and that they had planned to ‘see’ if there would have been a theft to either confute or prove that her thesis was correct or not.

    One thing led to another… and the Cat had jumped right on the trouble rather than make some smart decision. Something that led to a brawl in the docks and that ended up with everyone losing everything.

    Not the brightest idea, but Yang couldn’t certainly fault the fellow blond over it as it had been her partner to cause this incredible mess.

    And it was also Weiss’ fault for instigating the usually-introverted Faunus to this kind of action. She could have been a little less… abrasive while dispensing her ‘righteous’ preaching, maybe even get a lesser fallout out of that predicament.

    Still, it was useless to cry on the spoiled milk and Yang couldn’t exactly linger too much over the past now that she had to find out where her elusive partner had gone. She had to be in the capital, the Scroll she had on herself still functioning from Beacon’s database even though her location had been blocked out by the Cat Faunus.

    It was a minor relief over the multiple worries besieging the blonde and… she was glad that she found someplace where to rest during the searches. The ‘Morning Sip’ wasn’t a place where she could ever hope to find alcohol to buy, but Yang wouldn’t exactly make use of some Strawberry Sunrises to get her early-day going.

    Alcohol was nice when it was used to spice her emotions up, just enough to warm her body and keep her heartbeat drumming as she concluded the last tasks of a difficult day. She never got drunk… too much. There had been some instances but- she was digressing.

    The place was nice, it had a warmth system that delightfully keeps her from freezing up with the unholy cold coming to Vale during this part of the year, her clothes and aura offering just little protection from the surreal climate, and the coffee she would order would always aid her to recover from the drowsiness of the uneasy morning while also clearing her mind for further thinking.

    The bar was nice, not the Junior’s kind of ‘nice’ as the place was clean and a fine establishment. One that she had found because of Sun’s insistence to expand their operations’ range, something that could easily be described as ‘annoying people until someone actually care and give us some clue’ kind of plan.

    It was good plan, she has to admit, but with how overly-irritating Sun was at that early hour, Yang couldn’t help but deem it the worst idea with her ‘buddy’. That very buddy that wasn’t there at the moment as she happily took a sip from her warm mug.

    The very mug offered by the usual waiter, Sid having been rather intrigued by the matter but keeping himself distant from getting too attached to the matter. Something that the Xiao Long appreciated as she knew that too many people to keep an eye on were going to create her more issues than help in the long run.

    The young man was barely older than her, maybe a year or two, and his politely-quiet manners and tones were more than enough to bring her to relax in that good place. Patch didn’t have much of a daily bar, only a pub that offered ice creams and icicles to those that had enough money to afford it.

    It was the first time she had gone to see something like this place and… she was glad that this occasion had come, ignoring the importance regarding what had led her in this part of town.

    The very place where she found a perfect target for her teasing. Sid was a gentleman, but Yang was more endeared by how easy it was to get him flustered once or twice in a while. After the first time, the man had been guarded over falling with her ‘tricks’, but the blonde was hardly a rookie in the unfair game of teasing.

    It had been easy to pick up hints from his posture and his clothes about what kind of person he was and the most curious topic about them all was… his colleague. The young woman was a little shorter than Sid, her hair and eyes hidden by a little Christmas-themed hat and a pair of sunglasses.

    She was rather curt with her interactions around clients and she had been avoiding quite well ever coming close to the curious brawler. Why would she wear sunglasses with so little illumination and… why the hat?

    The questions were there poking at her sanity, but she couldn’t exactly man-handle her way into discovering what was going on with the lady. It was the little common sense she had that drove her to not pull a ‘Junior’ on the bar, feeling like this little haven was far too much of a necessity to ditch without a proper reason.

    Curiosity was still there, pressing for at least a hint or two that could satisfy her sudden case of interest and… that was done when the waiter came around to pick her empty mug.

    “By the way, Sid,” Yang said as soon as the young man had his hand on the cup. “Can you tell me about your lady-friend over there?” She pointed subtly at the unaware waitress and… Sid blinked in minor surprise.

    “You mean B-” He immediately stopped, his eyes widening a little more before he corrected himself, faking a cough. “B-Bianca? My colleague?”

    Lilac eyes narrowed. “So her name is Bianca?” She pressed on with an intrigued tone, her glance briefly returning to the young woman and… yep, there was something off about that very name.

    He nodded and she felt like something was off with that reply. Something about the way he had just stopped and almost panicking about it, as if the Xiao Long had asked him if he still had his V-Card or not.

    Very suspicious, she admitted to herself and she decided to continue with her inquiry.

    “That’s a peculiar name. Isn’t it… Mistralian?” The guess was met with a quick nod, this time the strange panic subsiding. Maybe it was time to poke a little harder and see if she can fish out another reaction out of him.

    “I bet that she is… newer than you,” The brawler commented as her eyes caught just in time another clumsy tripping from the waitress, dignifying her current lack of experience. “I bet she relies a lot on you.”

    He sighed. “You could say that.”

    The admission was actually a strong clue about a little suggestion about the case, one that seemed the most appropriate by the way he appeared so flustered when the blonde mentioned about his colleague.

    There was no doubt that, while the young man was trying to make it appear that they were in a professional relationship… he might have been thinking of the clumsy girl more than he said.

    “Oh really?” Yang felt a smile widening on her face at the unsuspecting frown coming from the waiter, the cheeky girl truly feeling at the peak of that glorious teasing session as her prey was soon going to fall for her little discovery.

    How could she not see this as the real truth!?

    His shyness when talking of the girl, his adorable panicking when Yang would ask more about his ‘interest’ and how he was so conscious of the girl’s flaws and still loved them.

    Her smile twitched and… she went for the bite. A big one for sure!

    “Then I can only guess that she is rather handful when you are crushing on her.”

    Hook, liner and-

    Thud



    Lilac eyes turned to stare at the now-unconscious waiter as he now lied on the floor in a twitchy, the entire bar fell silent as everyone heard the man falling on the ground and were now exchanging glances between him and the nervous blonde.

    Yang blinked again, this time it was her turn to panic as the situation had devolved to an uneasy murmuring from the other clients, with the waitress cautiously approaching her colleague and checking on him while the owner proceeded to walk towards Yang.

    He looked annoyed, but not angry. Hopefully, she could get just five seconds of her explanation in before being kicked out. Yet, while she had expected to be banned for ‘killing’ one of the workers there, she felt surprise as the older man’s appearance eased with a soft sigh as he momentarily glanced at the unconscious worker.

    “To think that Sid would have been taken down by you, missy,” The mustached man said, returning his calm stare at her. “I will let it pass the fact you went overboard with your teasing and… please don’t do that again, I need this one in particular.”

    She felt confused, uneasy and terribly embarrassed at what had just happened and, feeling guilty over the matter, the blonde rose from her seat and tried to help the ‘camouflaged’ lady to pull the sleeping young man away from the room-

    Only to be hissed at by the fellow woman. She froze, her eyes widening for a moment as she tried and failed to compute the strange reaction she had just witnessed and before she could even proclaim her dumbfoundness, the two workers left her sight to their locker room.

    What the heck was that!?

    -----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d------

    Blake felt uneasy at the strange demeanor she was being prime witnesses of.

    It’s been just twenty minutes since their shift had concluded, the close encounter with Yang gone and partly-forgotten as the blonde left the bar after paying for her coffee, giving to the Cat Faunus some relief over the fact that her stupid reaction hadn’t gotten the blonde suspicious of her identity.

    The current camouflage was indeed useless in keeping the usually-extroverted girl from noticing the awfully weird look the secretive Faunus had to cover her unique features. Something that Sid had been quite prominent to point out once he woke up.

    Their interaction in the locker room was brief as they both resumed their shift after sparing a few words following his awakening, his curt sentence still fresh on her mind as it was manifesting in their current shopping spree.

    Hat and glasses need to go.”

    She understood perfectly what he was referring too and she agreed to this wholeheartedly, but the fact that they were browsing in the wigs section of a costume shop was enough to get the Faunus to some uneasiness regarding what the young man was trying to find.

    “We need something… short,” He whispered to himself. “Something that could motivate the hat while also dissuade any connection to the long-haired one.”

    There was a pause as he stopped by a pair of dark-red short version of her style, his eyes narrowing at it before he took them and flashed those at her. “What do you think of those?”

    The Cat Faunus had been silent until now, the intrigue born from seeing the human going through what seemed to be a panic-induced Plan B had been both an entertaining and disturbing sight. It was just plain odd to see the usually-collected Sid being this much frantic with his actions, showing that the close call had been far worse than the one she had when Sun was around too.

    Yang was good at flirting, but it was her teasing that made her a worrisome individual to face alone and without precaution. Something that the young man had paid dearly as he had been aware of what he had been going against… and earned a quick unconsciousness out of it.

    And while the sudden fainting had given Blake the worst scare possible, she was mostly confused as of what could have exactly gotten this strong of a reaction out of the human. There was hardly anything that Yang could have said about him to get him to that state and… it didn’t help that the young man was tight-lipped over the matter.

    Very suspicious but also concerning, hoping that whatever had gotten him this worked up wouldn’t end up becoming her next problem any time soon. Yet, knowing her partner’s propensity to tease everyone on her reach, it was a sure thing that was going to happen to the Faunus too, whatever she liked it or not.

    Blake hummed and nodded at the curious wig, picking it in her hands as she tested the texture and… it was just as soft at hair. She checked around to see if there was space for her longer black locks and… it seemed there was enough to fit her head well.

    Seeing her positive answer, Sid moved out of that section of the shop and, instead of leading her to the counter so they could have gone to pay for this product, he decided to wander right to the part of the building that displayed numerous boxes containing… eye-contacts.

    She frowned as the young man started to browse onto that section too, her worry about his sanity growing with her need to ask what had gotten him to that particular frenzy. It was now far too pronounced to be ignored and, if she had to be honest, the girl wasn’t a fan of eye-contacts.

    The Belladonna had tried them once a few years ago during a Fang operation and the atrocious itchy soreness she had to deal with after she was gone with the blue-colored ones for a full hour of wearing the pair had left her in a particular discomfort when around those.

    “Sid,” The girl finally spoke, a twitch in the human’s posture giving her clue that he was at least listening to what she was saying. “I know that this might be weird coming from me but… isn’t this a little overboard?”

    The moment the last word from her query left her lips, the young man’s search came to a sudden halt. He stiffened his body and then he glanced back with a serious look, almost making her flinch in response.

    “Blake,” He started with a tense voice. “What I’m going to tell you is going to sound disrespectful to a fair degree and I wish you to understand that there is context behind this nervousness about some details that… aren’t good to think about right now.”

    She blinked at the way he explained it. She had expected him to pull an angry tirade and… yet he was awfully calm and collected in that frenzy of his. Seriously, what did Yang told him?

    Sid opened his mouth once again and… he started to tell her what had truly happened in that brief encounter he had with the blonde and why he had gone unconscious the moment her last sentence had reached his ears.

    Blake stood still as she listened to it all, not even displaying any telling emotion about the fact that the main reason that had gotten Sid to faint at work was… the possibility that he was crushing on the ‘mysterious’ waitress.

    The temptation to merely bash his skull at the silly and outrageous reason to actually ‘faint’ was terribly growing within her chest but she held back from putting thoughts into practice. Maybe there was indeed something that she was missing from this view, she thought absently, there has to be a better reason for him to faint other than the idea of her being

    Sid had yet to pull a ‘Sun’ on her and, hopefully, that wasn’t going to be the case this time.

    “But what is what got you scared?” She pressed on impatiently, huffing as he blinked tiredly. “Seriously, you said that there was a context to-”

    “If she truly believes that, what do you think she will do the next time she comes at the bar?”

    “Apologize?” The Faunus guessed, getting a sigh from the man.

    “She will want to know more about the matter and… try to ‘help us out’,” He pointed out without hesitation. “You said that she was the one that usually headbutt onto the problem and what better way to solve a problem about ‘crushes’ than directly investigating the crush itself?”

    …Oh Gods.

    Her eyes widened and her face paled a little. “Y-You mean that she-”

    “Officially speaking, I fainted for a lack of sugar, not because of me pulling an act worth of some Award. Something that I’m solving with more snacks rather than weak medicines,” Sid interrupted firmly as he continued to explain his new plan.

    “And you decided to hide yourself a little less than usual as you almost tripped on me when I fainted. That is why you decided that for the sake of work, you ditched the glasses and the hat to avoid meddling with any worrisome situations.”

    She blinked, her golden eyes staring in shock at the newly-fabricated excuses and the absurd save proposed by the young man. He looked determined about it and she would be lying if she said she didn’t felt it good enough to be used for their predicament.

    It was odd to say, but now the faint felt legitimately the best action to pull in that awkward case. If he had continued to talk or even move away from the situation, the blonde would have taken them as positive things.

    While the faint still counted as a possible sign for that, if the legitimate cause was given to a medical issue, the ‘clue’ itself would fall away from the whole ‘crushing debacle’ and so would Yang’s attempt to investigate on her.

    The perfect alibi and… Sid had given this to her for her sake. Blake couldn’t certainly deny that something this big would require some effort from the human himself and she felt rather amazed by the show of trust and friendliness coming from that seemingly well-elaborated plan.

    The Faunus didn’t expect this much from him, feeling that he was going out of his way to cover up for that glaring issue she would have gotten to deal with alone if it wasn’t for him.

    The girl blinked once again and the quick hug that followed that genuine interaction that dripped of intriguing trust towards her was perceived as unexpected by the young man as it was for her. The first time she had ‘consciously’ gone for the embrace, beyond the mere moments of giddiness caused by having her favorite series to watch on TV rather than in the caged dimension of books.

    It was the first time in a long time since she had hugged someone as a mean to thank them. Blake couldn’t even remember who was the last individual she had hugged for that.

    Was it her parents? Adam? Or even Illia?

    It’s been so long and-

    “That was quite… interesting,” Sid mused quietly, but loud enough to snap the girl’s out of her depressing thoughts. “And ignoring what did just happen, do you prefer brown or blue ones?” He asked while bringing two small boxes.

    She glanced in surprise as her eyes looked at both with a minor grimace replacing her smile. “Do… Do I have to?”

    The human frowned at her comment. “What’s wrong with contacts?” He pressed on, seemingly perplexed by her reaction.

    A sigh left the girl’s lips. “Last time I used them, my eyes almost got an infection and-”

    “That can’t be true.” He huffed with a frown. “Like, I know there are some bad reaction but chances of infection are only when-” The young man stopped as he turned his attention to another set of boxes, leading Blake towards them.

    “Where the ones you used contained in boxes like these ones?” Sid questioned with a curious tone, gaining a surprise look from Blake as… those were the ones she had used back then.

    “Yes, but why-”

    “The ‘Human-only’ ones?” He interrupted with a strong query, catching her off-guard. “The one that can actually damage a Faunus’ eyesight if used by one?”

    There was a nervous pause from the Belladonna, her mind trying to squeeze out the details of that specific situation and… then she remembered exactly the possible individual she had to blame for what had been three days of atrocious problems about her eyesight.

    The ‘humble and kind’ girl that had given her support on those trying times, the very shy Faunus that had ‘opened up’ for the sake of helping.

    Ilia had been the one assigned to buy the contacts, Blake remembered perfectly, her eyes throwing a deadly glare at the boxes as she now had the name of the one guilty part that had caused her so much trouble!

    Meanwhile, a certain Chameleon Faunus sneezed without an apparent reason as she continued to stand perched by her usual tree in Kuo Kuana, eyes directed at the mansion owned by the Belladonna family and… where Blake could ‘hopefully’ come back to. The right place to continue with her loving Sta- ‘humble guarding’.

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    AN

    I don’t have much to say… except that I just found an adorable Blake fanart that I will possibly use as the FF cover in the ‘maybe future’. Why not now and why maybe? Well, it’s almost midnight and I need some sleeping going before I ded on this keyboard, plus I don’t know- I don’t feel it.

    I wonder if this will reach 100 follows before 31th…
     
  12. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Well worn.

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    Better than 90% of brainless Ruby/Jaune altpower bullshit that pervades the fandom. Looking forward to the next chapter.
     
    JBukharin likes this.
  13. Threadmarks: But your team certainly is!
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 7: But your team certainly is!

    ~Sid POV~

    I was glad that my quick-thinking was rewarded just as I had planned it to be.

    While Yang has been a little suspicious about the motivation behind my fainting, the fact that both Bianca and the owner were there to vouch for my situation was more than enough to get her to not ask more than just a question or two.

    With Blake now showing her new look with a sprinkle of shyness here and there during her job, the blonde was effectively provided some ‘answers’ about the waitress, soothing the nagging need to pester me during my service.

    It was a quick change that diverted the whole routine back to normality as the Xiao Long decided to be more subdued and less blunt with her inquiries, restricting herself to get too much teasing and cocky around me.

    I didn’t need to hear it from her because I was totally aware of her little pride about having a ‘trustworthy and strong’ personality, but I was now sure that the precise moment when I had fallen unconscious that day, I had completely frightened the student at Beacon to be less annoying than usual.

    The girl was now less distracting and more pleasant to talk around. Something that I found, just like Blake was, ideal for our current predicament.

    I knew that Marcus did give her a talk when she first returned to the ‘Morning Sip’, getting a little promise to be less-unruly during her time spent there for the sake of not getting banned from the establishment.

    After this whole debacle had concluded and two days of relative peace had passed, I began feeling rather confused about the overall ‘terrible’ situation the Cat Faunus had with the entire team, mostly because I knew little about their leader.

    And while I could confirm without hesitation that the brawler could turn quite unbearable most of the times, I also knew that she seemed to know how to back down when someone asked her to.

    Since they were partners and Blake hadn’t said anything atrocious about the girl’s personality that I could see with my own eyes, I could only assume that the reserved girl would have been able to easily ask for a tone down from the blonde but she decided to not be the one to interact first.

    The Faunus could be rather difficult to understand since she preferred silence over saying if there is a problem with her, about her or around her, rather she was more inclined to let a fire expand before genuinely thinking of asking for help over the topic.

    Still, from what I could see from the Xiao Long, the situation couldn’t have gotten so bad for Blake to call them terrible and to not even consider possible sharing a civil talk with her whole team.

    I could remember perfectly the racist episode I had seen back in the alley where Weiss Schnee was sprouting some bad stuff about the Belladonna with a younger girl, but maybe it was only one of the members that had been this prickish personality rather than the entire squad being unwilling to consider diplomacy.

    And Yang was actively trying to search for her partner, her tone seeming a little angry but also quite guilty herself over what had happened back to the docks.

    This little perplexity of mine keep floating within my mind but I found myself unwilling to truly ask more about the past circumstances that had led the Belladonna to crash onto my poor roof, damage it again and steal couch privileges.

    Our relationship was still tense at best because of the unknowns we had over each other, the little escalation that could have been with the girl back in the costume shop was proof that she didn’t know much about me and I didn’t know much about her too.

    We were making steps forwards and some common ground was shared mostly thanks to the fact we were taking uneasy steps into compromising the sudden twist to our lives and the fact she had to depend on me for her current dilemma, but we weren’t certainly going to be knowing of each other overnight.

    Plus the girl still had some erratic scheduling regarding showers and baths that had been a problem to face when I finally decided to confront her over the matter, ending up dealing with quite the shout-contest with the Belladonna.

    It had taken some effort but the Faunus had finally conceded the fact that a regular routine of showering would be the best now that she wasn’t on the run or sharing a bathroom with three more girls.

    Progress was made from that heated discussion, one which saw me as a smug victor and Blake as the blushing moron while she was sent going to the bathroom to wash her untreated hair.

    It was after just two days of normality that a new issue arrived to the bar and I was certainly in for some unflattering situations.

    It was early in the morning, Marcus had gone out of the bar to check on the current supplies of coffee and had left us to keep watch over the building.

    And while Blake was concluding some dust-sweeping with a simple broom, humming and enjoying the quiet moments before the opening hour, I was busying myself by checking on some of the important dates that the ‘Morning Sip’ would have to deal with.

    The Vytal Festival was around the corner and knowing how much important the international event was, we were all planning to prepare for a large assault of new clients from beyond Vale.

    The stockpile had to be checked on a daily basis just to see if there would have be enough resources to keep up with the approaching increase over the clients’ presence in those intense days.

    I wasn’t sure that Blake was ready to deal with something that much difficult as she had yet to truly master her new personality while accommodating with the orders she had to take and serve.

    All in all, that day had seemed to begin in rather the normal pace just as usual and I was quite relaxed while checking on the agenda for the ‘Morning Sip’.

    The door opened just a minute before the official start of the shift and I nodded at the entrance at the familiar blonde spearheading the ‘true’ beginning of the work day.

    It had been something that the Xiao Long had taken upon herself, to be there punctually to ‘open’ the bar for the others to enter and to get some ‘fresh’ service before things would start to get slow for anyone to get anything.

    The brawler was smiling as she continued to chat to the two girls behind her, following her inside as the lilac-eyed girl took them to one of the tables inside, I blinked in surprise as I noticed a familiar silver-haired girl with a combat dress and a young brunette being the members of the little entourage led in by the blonde.

    They took a seat and I didn’t hesitate to glance at Blake as the Faunus in disguise had noticed their presence too and looked fairly paler than before.

    I took the duty to be serving the trio and moved to greet Yang.

    “Good morning and,” I said before nodding at the blonde. “Hello Yang.”

    She smiled. “Morning, Sid, and I hope the coffee machine is revved for my usual.”

    “As always,” I chuckled briefly before turning my attention to the other girls. “By the way, welcome to the Morning Sip, how may I help you two?”

    Weiss had her eyes fixed on the menu when I asked this and she took just a moment to pick her own order. “I will take an Atlesian Black with two spoonfuls of sugar,” The Schnee replied curtly and I frowned briefly at that decision.

    The Atlesian Black was considered the worst blend for good reasons. I remember having given it a try when I first heard of its horrible reputation, despite Marcus warning me of the atrocious beverage that it was.

    I foolishly ignored the signs that it would have been a terrible idea and… I realized why Hell was now a thing for Coffee-Afterlife.

    Without mentioning anything to the seemingly-fine (but surely insane) girl, I turned to the last of the trio. “What about you, miss?”

    The brunette blinked in surprise at the query, sporting a little blush at being called ‘miss’. I guess she just wasn’t called like that by anyone, she looked very young and I would be surprised if someone had considered her a ‘child’ among the other students at Beacon.

    Gulping nervously, the short-haired teen picked the menu and scanned for any interesting snack to pick and… she settled on one in particular, her silver eyes shining brightly just for a moment and I… was that drool?

    “I-I will pick a chocolate-milk with vanilla sprinkles.” There was no hesitation, rather I felt her voice skipping a beat at the deliciously-named beverage.

    I nodded and turned to walk back to the counter as I started to prepare the three orders, starting from the easiest (being Yang’s simple coffee) and concluding with the slightly more difficult of those (Atlesian Black, ugh).

    With the three steamy mugs set on a small metallic tray, I traveled back to their table and settled down the order for the girls to pick up their respective cups.

    The brunette, I recalled her name being… Ruby or something like that, picked hers quickly and started to gulp down the content, only to stop, eyes widening and sporting some sudden tears as the scorching sensation of the still-hot liquid going down her throat.

    Stopping, the youngest of the trio started to cough a little while Yang went to pat her back to help her recover from the fit, smiling eye-to-eye at the pained expression of the silly girl.

    Weiss sighed tiredly, looking at the scene with a frown, and she went to pick up her cup and steal a quick sip. I had expected her to tank the horrible taste of the beverage without any major problem since she had been ordered it with utter certainty.

    A few moments passed and then she started to cough uncontrollably while dropping her mug and the rest of the content upon the table and the tray, eyes watering just like it had been with Ruby but this time it was the bitterness instead of the unholy warmth.

    “W-What was that?!” The Schnee exclaimed mid-coughing, eyes turned accusingly at me as if I had been the one to commit the ‘heinous act’ of giving her the suicidal brew.

    “That was Atlas Black,” I replied with a small frown. “Just like you have requested, mi-”

    “T-That wasn’t ‘Atlas Black’!” She shot back with a snarl, ignoring the flinches coming from the other girls. It was quite interesting to see Yang being irritated by someone like that but…

    I admit that Weiss does have the shrillest of voices.

    “It was ‘Atlas Black, the renowned bitter flavor originating from Atlas,” I repeated back, giving her a serious tone. “Lady, what where you expecting?”

    “A decent coffee! But it seems that is too much to ask from someone like you!” Her yell was now starting to get annoying to bear through. Seriously, was this her semblance or what?!

    “So you just wanted a normal Remnant coffee and not the Atlas Black you have asked for?” I asked with an irked tone. “I will see to bring you a ‘kind replacement’ once I’m done dealing with this mess-”

    “You bring me the coffee,” The girl interjected again. “We will fix your mess by ourselves.”

    Think of happy things. Think that I will get a warm bath once I get back home and… that I will nap until tomorrow.

    I nodded blankly at that little jab, hiding a scowl from them as I walked back to the counter and prepared a cup with the normal brew of coffee, ready to bring this to the table and then get out of their sight for a while.

    Just as I turned around with the new mug, I was provided with quite the spectacle right by their table and… I paused just a moment to watch it all unfold.

    “That doesn’t mean you have the right to call him that,” Blake, or Bianca, said with an irritated frown. “Just like he said, the Atlesian Black is infamously known for the bitterness, miss.”

    The Schnee huffed with a tired look. “And what kind of waiter wouldn’t give a proper warning about this? No one should be offered this beverage without proper notice.” Weiss shot back, drawing a deeper frown from the Faunus in disguise.

    “It’s not one of the policies and that was a rude attitude-”

    “You are the one speaking?” The silver-haired girl interjected, her eyes narrowed on the waitress. “You are here, molesting and intimidating me with the fact that ‘I shouldn’t have done that’, yet I think it’s my right as a client of this establishment to critic some lazy job-”

    At that little accusation, Blake looked ready to explode on the Schnee but I was already by her side and poking her arm with my free hand while holding the mug with the other one.

    The Cat Faunus turned with a hint of surprise and a little anger at what was going on but I give her a tired smile. “Please help the new clients, Bianca,” I gestured her the couple by the entrance. “I will take care of the table.”

    The girl opened her lips to protest but… she stopped as she noticed the malicious glint in my eyes, merely nodding as she rushed to help the new arrivals while I turned to deal with this annoying predicament.

    While I would have been fine to enjoy some pettiness from the heiress directed at me and only me, the fact that she had even indirectly and deliberately mentioned how what Blake was doing was intimidation, which wasn’t the case since the Faunus was just pointing her shitty attitude, was more than enough to get me interested on seeing this situation dealt with a brutal response.

    Something that would be as effective as ‘possible’ within my competences as mere waitress of the bar as I had my own limitations as of what I could and couldn’t do with bad clients… but I just knew what could have worked with the girl.

    “So, you have my coffee?” The ‘princess’ asked pompously and I blinked with a tiny smirk on my face.

    “I sure do… but I was also thinking,” I mused loudly. “That maybe you are also a good friends to your teammates and… that is why I think this one will be for Yang.”

    I pushed the mug right in front of the blonde, the trio’s eyes widening all at once at my little move. “I understand that it’s stressing to keep up with the studies and the fact she is actively searching for your missing teammate, so I guess it would be right to give her something to help up.”

    Lilac eyes flashed amusement at the trick I was pulling, knowing myself that it was rather childish from a good perspective but I wasn’t allowed to certainly pull any major stunts against her.

    “Excuse me?!”

    “Miss, I will be honest with you,” I addressed the girl. “You have ordered a particular beverage that is known to be barely-acceptable for people and yet you pinned this issue on me, then you tried to badmouth me to a colleague while also threatening her with some hefty accusations, and finally you have the presumption to think that, after what you just did, I would just let you have a free coffee?”

    I waited for a moment after proclaiming the fairly long question, my eyes steeling onto her face as the girl looked like a tomato with how much angry she was about the verbal beating she just received.

    But her anger was also mixed with some embarrassment and logical thoughts over the topic, knowing that everything I just said was just what has happened in the last twenty minutes of so of interaction.

    After two minutes of utter silence, I sighed and aimed my index at the entrance. “I would invite you to leave.”

    The request was met with silence at first, then Yang tried to salvage the situation by apologizing on her teammate’s behalf but… I wasn’t having any of it and continued to ask them to leave for the day.

    I didn’t have the power to ban people out and Marcus had yet to return from the storage warehouse, so he wouldn’t be there to help me with the standard procedure.

    Weiss tried to comment furiously at his, she looked ready to explode very soon but a very apologetic blonde and the embarrassed girl with them managed to get her out of the building before anything weird could have happened.

    Moments of quiet passed at the building, then Marcus returned ten minutes after with a tired look. He had gone for a quick run to reach the establishment and he wasn’t certainly built to make that kind of stuff anymore.

    Just as things settled down back to some peace, I managed to catch Blake’s attention during a moment where there were just a few clients around to thank her for… trying to defend me.

    I wasn’t going to hug her and call her lovable nicknames for doing that, but I wasn’t ungrateful enough to not give merits where it was due.

    The genuine tone was met with a tiny smirk and a nod. “You are welcome.”

    ----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d---------

    ~Blake POV~

    Hours have gone by and it was now night at the flat as Blake went to her lovely couch and tried to catch some sleep on it.

    At first, her sleep started particularly refreshing as she hoped for it to be a dreamless one which would deprive her of any vivid imagery about what happened until now.

    A feeble hope that soon proved to be as unattainable as backfiring, the girl having to deal with another round of nightmares that took her away from the proper and genuine rest she needed to go with the current routine.

    It was all a mix of her experience at the White Fang, now mixed with what had happened just before and during the battle at the docks, the words shared by Weiss were there to remind her how another bridge was burned in her attempt to find peace.

    But differently from the usual fun ride, her mind was more than glad to provide a new arsenal of horrible visions that were truly bothering her out of her slumber.

    In fact, the Belladonna ended up opening her eyes around three in the morning, tired and panicking over what she had just seen, her body shaking and sweating over the sight bestowed by her infuriatingly-creative brain.

    Her golden eyes were directed at the ceiling as she tried to recollect herself from what she had just seen and she couldn’t feel the need to sleep much to her dismay. Her body was just too tense to merely accept what has just happened.

    She could remember Sid standing upon her aching body, blood was on his shirt and there was a furious scowl on his face while he handled what looked to be a crowbar.

    Was he intentionally hurting her? Did she do something that-

    He would never do something like that. Her logical self tried to defend but her brain was susceptible to the minuscule doubts over that idea as Sid was very brutal when provided with a more than rightful reason to react that badly.

    He... still cares for me. Until she managed to mess things up again, maybe by running away as a mean to avoid her problems from the past and that was just- irritating and difficult to deal with.

    The Faunus waited silently as her labored breathing was the only noise in the entire apartment, her mind trying to lull her consciousness back to the much-needed rest and… her concentration was broken at the sudden noise of the fridge being closed.

    Her sight moved away from the ceiling and she noticed that the kitchen’s light was turned on, soon a figure emerged and… she blinked at Sid.

    The young man stopped, he was wearing a half-sleeved white shirt and a pair of baggy pants, to look at her with a surprised and interested look. In his hands was a cup of… milk.

    “Sorry,” He said with a tired and quiet tone. “Did I wake you up?”

    There was silence at first, her mind putting an immense effort to make her realize that this was the real one and not a vision.

    The Faunus blinked. “N-No, I-” Blake paused mid-explanation, her stare moving away. “I was just… having a bad dream. Nothing to worry about.”

    Once again there was silence and the human was frowning at her much to her dismay. Instead of getting him to not ask more about this, she ended up getting him interested over the matter.

    “A bad dream?” He parroted briefly and then blinked. “Do you… want to talk about it?”

    The offer was interesting. While part of her was still unwilling to give too much out to Sid, she felt like… talking with someone as level-headed like him would give her some reassurance.

    Ultimately, she nodded and made way in the couch so that the young man could sit near her, waiting for him to be accommodated before starting to explain what had happened.

    The Belladonna pointed out numerous times that her tale was a corroboration of what she saw in her dream and that she didn’t thought of him as a violent individual, but Sid was quick enough to interrupt her as the whole story was given, his eyes tired but sporting a calm glint as he gave his own thoughts over the topic.

    “You are afraid of being put on square one once again,” He started with a hum. “Legitimately-speaking, your fear is partly-honest because after running twice from life-related problems you ended up digging a hole, a psychological one that you feel like is close to be closed upon you.”

    Blake blinked slowly, her eyes wide open as her ears caught everything she just heard. Not only the words felt correct to a fair degree, but it was impressive how close he had been to… understand her little plight.

    The reason behind her true stay here, instead of returning back to Beacon Academy.

    “W-What?”

    “You think that doing this for the third time, to run away or to do something that is worth running away from, will be the last time as you think I could go that berserk on you,” Sid pointed out. “You think that you will do something so terrible and horrifying that would end up with me turning murderous on you… which isn’t technically possible for good reasons.”

    She didn’t gesture him to continue, but rather he continued himself without prompt.

    “The only way you can get me to attack you like that would be if you ever try to hurt or kill someone from my family and… that isn’t actually a viable option for you since they are all in Mistral...” He paused a moment to blink and then frown about it. “Actually, my older sister isn’t there, kind of going around doing… stuff from her unknown boss. She never told us much about her work anyway and I don’t think she will be in Vale anytime soon.”

    And while the young man thought about this curious detail he had himself forgotten, Blake began evaluating what she has just listened to. The dream was possible… for impossible conditions for her to accomplish even if she tried to do something like that.

    There wasn’t just a proper chance and it would require efforts that she couldn’t muster for proper reasons. So that meant that the nightmare was a stupid one, but a stupidly strong one that had her awake for a while now.

    “So… I don’t have to worry about-”

    “Do you plan to kill anyone from my family?” Sid suddenly asked, the Faunus’ eyes widening in shock as she shook her head quickly at it.

    “N-No-”

    “Then there is nothing you can do to get me to that point,” He said and then… offered the untouched glass of milk to her. “By the way, drink this before going to sleep.”



    “I-I don’t need to-”

    “Look, either you drink it or I will have to go to the kitchen, prepare another glassful of milk and come back,” He interrupted dryly. “The second option would make me pissed as I don’t want to make that trip again just because you feel shy all so suddenly.”

    Without protesting the little jab at her personality, Blake took the glass in her hands and took a sip out of it. She blinked as she noticed it was quite warm, the milk having been heated before having been put in the glass.

    “Thanks,” Her voice was soft and barely reached the young man. Sid nodded and stood up from the couch, ready to walk back to his bedroom and back to his slumber.

    But before he could reach the doorstep, Blake decided to inquire about something that had been pressing on her mind for a while. “Sid?”

    The human stopped and glanced back while sighing tiredly as he waited for her to speak once more.

    “Why were you… awake?” The inquiry reached him and he seemed to tense up a little.

    “Just a bad dream,” He said quietly. “Nothing worrisome or-”

    “You can… stay here with me?” Blake offered, feeling like she should at least give something back after the positive talk he got from him but… he frowned.

    “Blake, how old are you?” He shot back with a sigh. “You can sleep alone and-”

    “You can stay on one side while I stay in the other?” She continued quickly. “I understand it sounds weird but-”

    “It is weird.”

    His final comment got her to finally pause and sigh. “Can’t I just try to help you too?”

    “There are other ways,” He pointed out tiredly. “Ways that wouldn’t end up to create some strange predicament for the morning.”

    “But I will stay by my side!” She shot back with a huff. “And I don’t think you would move too much to cause that.”

    There was a pause after those words, then a sigh from Sid and… the human fully turned around as he walked back to the couch.

    A small smile to complete her little victory, ready to try and make up with how many issues she had caused with her how problems.

    Giving him one of the covers and one of the pillows, the two remained by the edges of the sofa as they spent just a little while awake before going back to their respective slumber and, much to the Faunus’ surprise, her sleep proceeded to be the smoothest possible since her fallout with the White Fang.

    It was odd at first, but then she realized it had to be the fact that she had been aware for the rest of the night and early morning that someone was nearby to ask for… help, thus her mind didn’t feel the need to deprive her of her needed rest.

    It would prove to be a single occurrence as the human wouldn’t end up anymore wandering by the kitchen during her troublesome nights, but that day… Blake felt grateful that someone was still around for her to trust even in those trying times.

    The faunus fell asleep with a small smile, waking up only when it was time to prepare for work and… she could have sworn that Sid was sporting a small smirk himself as the two woke up together.

    How curious.

    ----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-

    AN

    Ain’t that sweet, folks!

    By the way, I have left in this chapter a massive hint about Sid’s big sister and… she will appear next chapter. Prepare for some surprises and some fun directed at a generally-serious character in the show that had been turned in… a funnier version of herself.
     
  14. Lucidum

    Lucidum Verifiably Bored

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    D'aww ain't that sweet, though I'm putting money that his sister is Cinder. I did enjoy that scene with Weiss as I'm fairly sure that's a mistake Weiss would make, ordering coffee for herself the first time and then assuming the Atlas blend has been what she has had all this time and then learning that she was wrong but too prideful to admit that she was wrong.
     
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  15. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Well worn.

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    This is cute. I didn't care much for blake post volume 3 but she was an enjoyable enough character before then, if a bit naiive. Sid is a pretty nice guy for all he puts on airs about being all tough. His and Blake's interactions are cute. He's a bit snarky, but not in a MCU-type way, and he can still be put off his game. Not unflappable or anything, which is nice. You've captured RWY's essences well, from Ruby's wishy-washiness trying to please everyone and not having a strong stance only to please no one. You've captured Weiss' stubbornness, especially in the earlier volumes. And it's satisfying to see her uppityness get thrown in her face. She's the type to think anything from her homeland is automatically good, so not expecting Atlas Coffee to be utter shit is in line with her character. Pre-fall of Beacon Yang is a type of character I like, with her super upbeat attitude and earnestness but IRL her type could be overbearing, and I like how you portrayed that.

    Lucidum I think Cinder being his sister would be a bit too convenient, but I suppose stranger things have happened. I certainly can't think of any other canon important female human characters that hail from Mistral, but there is always the chance Sid's sister could be another OC. Sid's pretty well written, so it wouldn't be the end of the world.

    I'm just waiting for the shoe to drop, and Blake to eventually get found out. Although there is a chance she will decide to reveal herself to her old teammates on her own but choose to keep living with Sid. Wherever you take this, JBukharin, I am looking forward to it. This story is criminally underwatched both here and on SB (I don't even think there are ANY comments in that thread) and it's a damn shame because this is in the upper percentile of RWBY fanfics I have read.
     
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  16. azureSky

    azureSky I should sleep more

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    I probably should offer more support on both sites despite my lurking habits. And I do agree it has attracted a alarmingly small population contrary to the quality of writing.

    I do feel like the mysterious boss is going to be a red herring or a long ways off.
     
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  17. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    I've rewatched Volume 1 up to 3 with my sister recently so I've come to study closely some of the details that I've missed from the first times I've seen the show. I was actually stomped when I realized how flawed the four were and how they had grown up... until volume 4 to 7 (minor personal pet-peeve of mine is when character development is neglected).



    Let's just say that it isn't Cinder... but someone with Cinder's face and inherent personality. It will be fun to write her in the next chapter.

    It's a secret third option, it will be completely unexpected and... let's just say that some fun scenes are planned mid-chapter during some tense moments.

    I blame this on three specific issues (two of which are more guesses than else):
    1) I've a DxD story with some Xovers that is closing up to 80 chapters, I've started it back in September and... I think I've picked some difficult x-overs. Like, I've Rosario + Vampires and a Tokyo Ghoul AU cramped in it and... not the best of xovers to put on some standard stories. That could have leaked on the initial reputation of any of my stories, the fact that I tend to go overboard with stuff (even though I don't plan to exceed anywhere but in that one);
    2) The RWBY fanfics arsenal is over-saturated and mine could have been seen as a continuation of some shipping or stuff like that. I think the only ones that get to save themselves are Coeur and Mallobaude because of their strong reputations in the fndm;
    3) I think my IRL 'curse' of being ignored by people is starting to spread even in my writing accounts. Kind of a fun thing I elaborated out of the fact I tend to get ignored around, but nothing of worrisome because I can make myself 'present' when I want to;

    Still thanks for the comment and I hope to continue writing well in this stories. :)
     
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  18. Threadmarks: Why does your sister hate me?!
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 8: Why does your sister hate me?!

    ~Blake POV~

    The new weekend came quickly much to a certain Cat Faunus’ initial relief.

    While the days that followed the little situation that saw Weiss forced to leave the Morning Sip proved to be surprisingly normal, or as normal as her life now was, the constant paranoia of ending up encountering the Schnee around during their walk back to the flat was more than enough to give her some negative thoughts to enjoy.

    It wasn’t like Blake was actually worried of being discovered by the pretentious brat that was the Atlesian girl, but rather she was irritated by the fact that the team-member would go as far as ridicule someone just because of her own mistakes.

    While the Belladonna was perfectly aware of the petty behavior Weiss has, her initial perception of such foul mood was connected to the Schnee’s biased views on Faunus.

    It was blatant how such judgment was actually a complete understatement of the problematic element that was Weiss Schnee.

    While the white-haired girl was polite and very punctual with her homework for the sake of showing a proper attitude towards the teachers at Beacon Academy, her overall ego managed to shatter the ‘model student’ character before the eyes of fellow students.

    Even others on the team had been targeted by her mood-induced tirades over homework, room-cleaning and general responsibilities.

    With Ruby being considered ‘naive and too young to lead’ (ignoring that Weiss herself had wanted to just be a ‘second-in-command’ rather than the ‘official leader’ during their second day at school) and Yang being ‘terribly unruly and crass’, the Schnee was so hopeful of gaining a prominent role in the leadership of the team.

    She had almost wanted to try to condemn Blake’s lifestyle, mostly because the Cat Faunus was seen the least around school books compared to the other members but the positive results from the tests at school proved her rhetoric far too superficial to be introduced.

    Until her hidden traits had been revealed, the Faunus didn’t have any major quarrel with the heiress, mostly because she wanted to have as little as possible with the bratty girl.

    Time passed and… now the situation had changed to a curious degree.

    While Blake could have easily let go of the little exchange of words shared by Sid and Weiss, just like she had done back at Beacon, there was something that made the young man worthy of some simple defending.

    Maybe it was because for what he had done for her until now. For giving her a home, for giving her a chance to hide away and… for giving her some faith in her good reasons.

    It was almost nostalgic, the only time she had gone out of her way to defend someone… had been years ago.

    The Belladonna could remember the crying red-haired child, she could remember the chuckling bullies as they ridiculed his scars and she could remember when she went to slap the ringleader of the foul children.

    A single intervention and… she ended up meeting with him.

    Her chest would tighten at the mere memory, the painful squeeze of a long lost chance of having a peaceful world for herself… deprived by her lack of interest to someone that always needed help along his way.

    But despite the emotional burden presented by such sight, the Cat Faunus couldn’t help but remind herself of a major detail she was close to forget.

    Sid… wasn’t Adam.

    He wasn’t the leader of the Vale-based section of the White Fang, he wasn’t a brutal warrior, he didn’t believe in violence before dialogue and...

    He wasn’t the weak child she had met so many years ago. He was strong enough in her eyes to not lay down through the insults and he certainly proved to be better than the violent actor of the tragedies unfolding thorough the kingdom… by just being a sane person.

    It wasn’t humanity that made him stand up before the long-lost friend, but rather his willingness to grasp his sanity and never let go out of his hold.

    Common sense and… an admirable sense of self-control.

    Still, these thoughts were hardly important after some days spent studying more while also approaching the mind owned by human known as Sid Tremaine.

    Small steps that drew little results, just like it had been before and… just like it is even now.

    Finally, they managed to share some minutes of mutual enjoyment by watching some channels on the TV before going to sleep, ending up finding the programs that they both found common grounds with.

    It was incredibly little but her nightmares had started to reduce as this new routine began.

    Her mind would just remind her that she wasn’t alone in that place. No more alone for the shadows to ridicule and poke at her with dramatic versions of her memories.

    He was here, just around the corner and right to his bedroom, sleeping but always vigilant for any intruders.

    A silly development that actually helped her gain some more energy from her sleep, enough to properly sustain the working schedule while also giving her the chance to plan out any contingencies over possible scenarios.

    From her Team finding out about her current whereabouts, to dealing with another attack of the White Fang.

    The attack by the docks had proved her that they were still… doing something in Vale.

    It didn’t just feel right to merely connect the Fang to Torchwick without some further evidence or clue that could consolidate this idea.

    The group deployed was far too big to be just a handful of dissenters and since she was sure that Adam was still alive and keeping things from further escalating.

    It had to have been the work of someone stronger.

    If there was something that Blake was aware of her former leader, it was that strength came before ideals nowadays.

    The Bull Faunus was obsessed with strength and pride, his ideals slowly receding to make way to the more animal-like tendencies of his personal brutality and that helped in pointing out that someone had managed to force the man to ally with Torchwick.

    Someone that wanted all the Dust available in Vale for some major reasons.

    But what kind of reason and why?

    A deadend that the Faunus was unable to overcome after two to three days of minimal thinking and… then Saturday arrived to bring some more issues to her plate.

    While Sid hadn’t given her any reason to worry for a change over their plans of spending the entire time indoor, the little order established by the two would soon meet a difficult obstacle in the form of a visitor.

    It had all began when the doorbell rang, alerting all the occupants of the flat about the visit of someone that wasn’t planned to arrive.

    It was an instinct at first, but then the young man confirmed that no one was meant to be coming for that specific day… or month.

    The human went to check who it was, both were wearing casual clothes and so there wasn’t a worry for any major misunderstanding, but her sight was honed enough to pick up the sudden shock going through Sid as he went to the door-hole before opening.

    He tensed a little, eyes widening in substantial surprise before a little smile broke on his face as he unleashed the sole barrier to this intruder.

    It was a young woman with shoulder-length, black hair which covered one of her bright light-orange eyes.

    She was wearing a red off-the-shoulders, mini dress with gold-like decorations.

    It was incredibly small for someone to wear but the woman seemed comfortable enough to don it without any issues and Blake was no major judge considering her past choices. Battle-kimonos weren’t as comfortable as her younger, giddier self had thought them to be.

    But despite the elegance offered by the unknown woman’s graceful display of expression and posture, she seemed to be quite elated to be pulled in a hug by the surprisingly-happy young man.

    The Cat Faunus’ mind had to reboot momentarily at seeing Sid being the initiator of the intimate act. It was the easy-to-anger young man, the one that had been so angry to ignore the threat poised by a possible armed robber (which was her only trying to defend herself), the one that would never hug people so easily.

    Yet the visitor smiled brightly at the embrace and returned it by wrapping her arms around the dark-haired youth’s neck.

    “Cindy! I didn’t expect you to come here and-” Sid went to finally greet, before stopping suddenly and showing now a pout at this ‘Cindy’. “It’s been three years! Where have you been?”

    Instead of being shocked by the mood-swing, the woman giggled and pulled the young man back in the hug.

    “Already trying to pull the ‘tough brother’ act on me, little Sid?” She asked mirthfully. “And I thought that you would have received me with more… tact.”

    Her eyes had been scanning around the living room and had stopped by Blake’s frame peeking by the couch, her happiness morphing in a scowl.

    “Sid,” The woman started with a strangely sweet tone, one that the Belladonna had heard only being used by her mother when her father was caught doing something he shouldn’t have done. “Do you perhaps… have something to tell me?”

    The tension was visible and palpable, the glare the Faunus was receiving from this intruder was filled with an unexpected degree of anger and hate.

    Instead of reacting upon the evident aggressiveness displayed by the unknown woman, Sid merely sighed.

    “Oh right,” The embrace dropped with limp arms as the young man turned to gesture at Blake.

    “Cinder, this is Blake Belladonna, my housemate- and no, we aren’t a couple,” The Belladonna blinked in surprise at that quick quip, but she was glad that no misunderstanding was created upon the sight. In fact, Blake could now say that this ‘Cinder’ was now at ease about her presence here.

    “Blake, this is Cinder Tremaine, she is my big sister and professional troublemaker back in Mistral-”

    “I was a troublemaker until I started to work around the kingdoms, little brother,” Cinder interjected with an annoyed sigh. “But yes, I suppose I should also mention that I mean no harm towards you Blake by appearing a little… possessive. I’m only trying to keep my brother safe from certain… bad ends.”

    The jab wasn’t missed by the Faunus, but the woman was already moving on to the next topic.

    “By the way, Sid, you should do me a favor,” The dark-haired lady said as she turned her attention to her sibling. “Mom and dad, they don’t know I’m here and-”

    “You want them to not know?” He piped in with a frown before appearing a little nervous at the sad look on his sister’s face. “I-It’s not that I will not do that, rather I would like to understand why and… where have you been in the last three years.”

    She gave a slow nod and soon they were all sitting by the couch, with Sid taking the middle as to divide the two girls from interacting in any sort of violent way as, despite her words of being just ‘protective’, the quick glares were still there.

    Seriously, what is wrong with this woman?

    Soon Cinder started to tell what had happened in the last years, going through some specific details to add more legitimacy to the overall tone as the beginning of such tale just sounded… quite far-fetched.

    “A rich businesswoman has got you roped for some long work with numerous tasks and-” Sid summarized with a confused tone. “And now you are the Logistical Manager for Dust coming by her company?”

    “It’s more of a Logistical Director and… I make sure that nothing like what had happened in the docks happen once again,” Cinder nodded with a small smile. “It’s a newly-developing company and precautions are needed to preserve its survival.”

    “And you are a strong lady that knows how to make things and people work properly and efficiently,” Sid complimented while nodding, gaining a bigger smile from his sibling. “Still, you should be careful about it. Seems like Torchwick allied to the White Fang and he is doing some funny business with Dust shipments.”

    “And that is why we have the most efficient guards to make sure that none of those thugs get to us,” The lady replied with a nod, stealing another glance at Blake, this time stopping a little more than usual. “Still, one would be wary of the company you have-”

    “She is fine,” The young man sternly interjected, catching a surprised look from his sister. “We might have some rocky obstacles, but Blake is someone I trust enough to know that she isn’t part of them.”

    Still that surprise here for everyone to see looked more like disappointment to the Cat Faunus.

    There was some bitterness at the defense provided by Sid and… why should it be a problem for his sibling.

    “If you think she is trustworthy,” Cinder commented slowly, her voice dropping soft. “Then I guess I will support your judgment. After all… you are my little brother.”

    “I thought we were beyond that nickname!” He exclaimed with a groan. “I mean, I was the one that helped you getting Stacy to back away from calling you ‘little’.”

    “That is because he was annoying teasing me with that but… I don’t think I’m that-” She paused dramatically, her lip quivering in a faux sad tone. “Annoying.”

    Blake could see it was an act, Sid surprisingly didn’t.

    He gulped nervously. “Y-You aren’t annoying. It’s just that… I’m not little.”

    In that very moment, the woman pulled the young man in another hug, this time humming happily as she softly ruffled his hair. “Of course you are my little brother and I love you lots,” Then her stare lifted up to Blake an ominous glow emitting from her dark-golden orbs. “And I wouldn’t certainly have you brought to harm by some silly fools all over this dumb Kingdom.”

    It might have looked like simple baby-talking the poor owner of the flat, but Blake recognized that this wasn’t just a jab thrown at her… but a threat. A deadly one at that.

    The conversation continued with a little while, with Cinder learning about her brother’s new life here in Vale, a fake story how Blake ended up in his flat and that things were going smoothly for them all.

    She bought most of the lies told by her sibling, yet even after the woman had left the house and the premises of the building, the Cat Faunus couldn’t help but be wary for the rest of the day.

    There was just something that… she couldn’t see about the woman. Something that made her somehow way more dangerous than she looked.

    It was instinct.

    It was fear.

    ----------------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-

    ~Cinder POV~

    Leaving the building, Cinder found herself followed by her two trusted followers, leading them back to their current headquarters.

    Mercury looked bored, the waiting spent without ‘an apparent reason’ had left him quite irked if not annoyed at the strange situation that had just unfolded.

    Maybe he had expected another assassination, or maybe he just wanted some general actions.

    He was that much brutish, but also very submissive with her orders and that made him a perfect pawn to use to do some massacring.

    Emerald looked less irritated, a good effort to hide her suspicions over the subtle request of visiting someone that they weren’t aware of and that seemingly had some good relationship with Cinder.

    This very individual causing some confusion and distress to the tanned girl as, seeing the pleased mood which Cinder was displaying right now was more than enough to spring some jealousy out of the former thief.

    Something that was as endearing as dangerous to have run rampant without ‘proper guidance’ as emotions could cause grand disasters if left unchecked, especially those Emerald harbored for her ‘savior’.

    Still, she could also see some legitimacy within the confusion in her pawn’s face and… that was about Sid himself.

    He was something that wasn’t supposed to be a target but rather someone that the half-Maiden considered important to keep alive even after the fall of Beacon and Vale.

    The very idea clashing horribly with the known-plans involving the attack on Vale during the tournament, the chances of retrieving the young man before evacuating safely from the kingdom being close to zero.

    Something that Cinder was aware of and acknowledged that the horrible scenario wasn’t just viable anymore.

    Speaking with Sid had been… enlightening.

    Especially since now the young woman was now aware of the little traitor he was harboring in his little home.

    A stray cat that is bound to bring more harm to him than good, no matter how genuinely happy he looked around this mostly-silent girl.

    Blake Belladonna, a name and a face that Adam had been bemoaning for some time, an individual that had initially been proposed to be kidnapped out of Beacon, an impossible action considering the tight security and the risks, before the leader of the Vale Branch settled for the assassination of Tukson.

    Yet now that the little brat was out of Beacon and wandering a little too close to her little brother’s life, maybe it was time to consider some punitive expedition to get her removed from that safe environment.

    With Adam soon to arrive to the Kingdom’s capital, it was going to be about time for the man to notice the very detail over his little ‘crush’.

    The passionate Faunus would surely wage a crusade over her, maybe putting in danger her little sibling and…

    Cinder wouldn’t certainly allow that to happen, even if it would end up with her tearing apart the brutish masked moron with her bare hands.

    Calming down for a moment as she noticed her powers acting up and her followers tensing at her sudden anger at that impossible scenario, her mind returned back to her original mission.

    The Maiden’s powers were hers to take, but the current security and the new unknowns were more than enough to make her backtrack about the full completion of things.

    Salem hadn’t given her a time limit over the completion of her tasks, rather she had offered her ‘as much as she needed’ for the sake of success itself.

    Joining the Queen of Grimm had been a hard choice, the woman being persuasive while also terribly helpful in pinpointing some clues of her past that were more than anything she ever dreamed of.

    It was enough for her to go after the Maiden, to take her powers and to return the ‘favor’ extended by Ozpin several years ago to her previous family.

    A family Cinder wasn’t truly aware of, rather remembering just a few glimpses of her mother’s face… before being given another chance with a new family in Mistral.

    Charles Tremaine had been part of the Huntsmen sent to take to safety the survivors of that terrible Grimm attack to the village she was born into.

    She could remember the comforting words of the man as she fell unconscious because of the ashes and cinders rising off from the ground because of the terrible fire spreading around the settlement.

    She was brought back to the capital, her childhood slowing to a full halt as she failed to initially get to know with her new siblings. Estranged by the kind tones coming from the youngest of the two and distraught at the lack of effort from the more serious of the two, the eldest holding some distrust towards her.

    But then… something curious happening.

    It was slow, it was visible but also not for her younger self.

    It all a peculiar route made by small steps committed by a shy but also brave child, a little boy with bright blue eyes and hair as dark as hers.

    Sid was there for her from the beginning. He was the one that had dared her refusals until he had conquered his legitimate space in her heart, worming himself in a lovely spot that not many knew about.

    It was a childish and innocent endeavor which turned out to become amusing and inspiring.

    His stubborn attitude driving deep in her core, shaking her self-imposed shackles of isolation and… she was brought out to enjoy the fullest of her new life in the Tremaine family.

    Charles became her father, Antoinette became her mother and the two children became her brothers.

    But the youngest become something even more important than that.

    Sid was a paradox within the limitations of siblings bonds she was aware of, someone that she would care as a younger brother but she would also considered much more more.

    He was always yearning for her attention and she would happily give him some if not all of her free time for the sake of catching one of his bright and lovely smiles.

    It was silly at first, but from that degree of stupid it then turned something a little more serious and worth of greater consideration.

    Their growth spur in the decade that followed her introduction to the family was undeniably radical, their appearances and their attitudes developing for the best, but their emotions seemingly remaining unchanged… at least that small detail was correct about the young boy’s dense perception of the world around him.

    Cinder actually felt something odd blooming about her bond with him, something getting stronger by the passing of days.

    She had never made any permanent friends, nor she minded giving more time to her family than to other people.

    That was why the girl hadn’t been aware of the full taste of what truly friendship was, thus leaving her to believe that it was mere friendly closeness at work.

    The young woman could then remember when she first learned about love in a simple day at school, about that dumb emotion that would make girl go after men without an apparent reason and then she compared her strange interest she had over her adoptive sibling and then the realization struck hard.

    It was difficult to stomach, but the signs were far too evident for her to blatantly ignore and...

    Leaving home was painful but necessary to dodge the unpleasant repercussions she was suffering in that inner struggle.

    Her mother was distraught, her father was shocked and Stacy was floored by her decision.

    Sid learned of the news after some time had passed since her departure, his reaction reaching her in small fragments with the contacts she kept with her parents before joining Salem.

    The ‘little boy’ had faced a sharp change about his future, deciding against pursuing studies in Haven and preferring to remain a civilian.

    A decision that had left her horrified as Cinder had been there to hear her baby brother’s desire to become ‘their’ protector.

    Now that dream was shattered and that, she was aware, had been her fault.

    At least he wouldn’t be getting hurt because of the cowardly Headmaster in Haven.

    It was temporary, she remembered thinking at first, it would go away by getting distant and letting time pass through and…

    That idea was obliterated in that very day she decided to visit. It had been a surprise to learn about his presence here in Vale and part of her had wanted to make use of the visit to subtly pressure him to leave the capital and return back to Mistral, where he would have been safe from the dangerous plans she was pulling the strings of.

    But then things changed when she was hugged.

    From what she could discern from this visit, which should have been just one of courtesy, her mind was still intrigued by him to a concerning degree.

    He had grown again, this time leaving the boisterous rebelliousness he had displayed in his teenage years and…

    Sid had embraced a more mature and adult-focused mindset. He was slightly-taller, more confident and… that lovely smile of his was still there.

    The way he was so eager to hug her, to show his love and support…

    And his still-present muscles-

    No!

    She blinked, her eyes widening a fraction as she was brought back to the real word and she noticed that… she had digressed a lot.

    She sighed, realizing that time was starting to run short over the decisions she had to take over the complex plan in her mind.

    The initial draft wouldn’t do, especially because Sid was in Vale and living a normal life here.

    Hesitation had been there for a long time since she had started with her tasks, her consciousness over her strength being targeted by the bad developments rising from her aggressive pace as Ozpin had indeed increased his security over the city.

    The man was dangerous when given too many hints and clues and she would be lying in saying that she was ready to outmatch someone that was far too old and experienced to beat even in an unfair competition.

    A quick operation would surely unbalance him in the long-run, but the destruction perpetrated would actually hinder her future plans.

    If there was something she had learned from her past works under Salem, it was that old institutions were easier to manipulate and predict.

    Killing Vale would only shatter the board and make people within the other kingdoms more paranoid.

    Fear can do so much without having enough Grimm dispatched in the various weak areas present in Remnant and… the risk of losing Sid was a big one.

    He cared for Vale, it was like Mistral for him and… that meant having to deal with the repercussions of having him hate her if she ended up getting caught.

    It wouldn’t be acceptable. It wasn’t acceptable.

    So the young woman started to formulate something of a devious plan.

    Ozpin was restless, his little clique will surely continue to be causing some issues with their meddling, but given some time and preparation, Cinder was more than sure that something better could be born without shedding unnecessary blood.

    Roman would surely be elated at the prospect of not being pushed into risky situations for ‘some Dust’, but the woman remembered that Adam would have wanted to ‘taste some blood’ after his arrival.

    Something that wouldn’t just work and… she just had the right idea how to solve it.

    Both Emerald and Mercury shuddered as a cool breeze reached down their spines, the two minions completely unaware of the machinations developing in the devious mind of Cinder Fall.

    Blake Belladonna shuddered too as she took a bite out of the small basket filled by popcorn and chips, her full attention diverted at the comedy movie Sid had decided to show for the movie marathon of that day.

    The Faunus completely unaware that her peace was going to be shattered fairly soon…

    -------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-------

    AN

    Some have guessed, some did not.

    Cindy is here and, differently from the Canon, I actually minded enough to give her a backstory.

    And no, it’s not as simple as shown in her POV, her full backstory will be offered later when it will make much… sense to explain.

    Still, I can finally offer the full info about the Tremaine Family:

    Charles Tremaine (Huntsman/Father) – 45
    Antoinette Tremaine (Militia/Mother) – 42
    Stasius ‘Stacy’ Tremaine (Unknown/Oldest Son) – 24
    Cinder Tremaine, formerly Fall (Agent of Salem/Oldest Daughter) – 22
    Sirud ‘Sid’ Tremaine (Waiter/Youngest Son) – 19


    Lore behind the family and their names:
    1) Tremaine is the name given to Cinderella’s Lady Tremaine (the Wicked Step-mother), she was adopted in their family and… they are good in RWBY;
    2) Charles is picked by the best-known version composer of Cinderella’s tale, Charles Perrault;
    3) Antoinette is actually not from Cinderella. I decided that, since the mother should dignify Cinderella’s father, which was a merchant, to give her the female version of the Merchant of Venezia, Antonio/Antoine;
    4) ‘Stasius’ and ‘Sirud’ are bastardized anagrams of the two daughters of Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drusilla/Drizella.


    Yes, I stuck by Cinderella and nobody suspected. Lol! XD

    Also yes, I did make Cinder problematic and a worry for the MC. Yay.
     
  19. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Well worn.

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    You lied to me
     
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  20. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    I have only played around the truth. This isn't Canon Cinder, so she isn't technically Cinder. Also, I think it would have been worse if I had just said yeah and thus spoilered the little secret. Didn't mean any harm with that, of course. :)
     
  21. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Well worn.

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    It's Cinder. You've given her a backstory but it is still Cinder
     
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  22. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Okay, it's Cinder.
     
  23. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Well worn.

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    [​IMG]
     
  24. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Well worn.

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    You have way too many damned tags on Ao3. IMHO tags should only be used for characters that have a major role, not just mentioned. Also several of the non-character tags are unnecessary. I've seen worse, but I've seen better too.
     
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  25. JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    I generally go too mad with tags. It's just unlimited power... I can't hold myself!
    (But yes, it has been fixed a little.)
     
  26. Threadmarks: I don't-
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 9: I don’t-

    ~Sid’s POV~

    Another day at work, another walk back home.

    Yawning as Blake and I left the closing ‘Morning Sip’, we turned the corner to begin our return to the apartment.

    I admit I should have expected things to turn a little stale after a while, dealing with the Belladonna had somehow turned manageable after almost two weeks of having the Cat Faunus around.

    Maybe it was because I’ve grown accustomed to the few quirks of hers, the ones that would generally unbalance me at first sight but… now were actually easy to deal with as those had became mundane.

    There was also the fact that the girl had kept her word over being careful with her peculiar situation.

    Her ‘work’ attitude had taken a minor change around the members of her team and those she knew about, displaying a more extrovert-like behavior that proved to be deadly useful in keeping the girls (and the blond) from suspecting anything weird about the identity of the curious waitress.

    She established herself as another individual from just a handful of details given to her camouflage, someone that barely resembled the real ‘Blake Belladonna’ and that offered her the means to be hiding in plain sight without having to face the ire or disappointment of her team.

    Still, I have to admit that I was also glad that things hadn’t truly escalated back when they could have. The little fright given by Yang had left me quite in an agitated state as I felt the gigs come close to end, concluding the intriguing part of my life dealing with the Cat Faunus.

    A part of my life I was having just some issues to come to properly understand as…

    I don’t know what to think of Blake.

    I still disliked her to a minor degree, some of her unhealthy habits (like reading some forbidden genre) was enough to put me at odds with her and quarreling with her was still a common situation to face sometime.

    But my life had regained its original little glint of normality that I loved to feel as I continued to go through the final problems about coming to Vale.

    Blake was a new variable to everything about the flat, work, shopping, and… general life.

    It was odd to consider the whole idea that someone like her would have ended up becoming something this much essential in my daily routine and yet it was the case.

    Weird, but not awkward for some reason, finding her so-different personality a fresh breath of air compared to my previous lifestyle.

    Maybe it was because I trusted her and she trusted me in return.

    I knew enough to be sure that she was putting herself on the line to keep things from going down any of the grander extremes available in her situation, the chance of settle herself to do a situation that would have her not deal with her team, to not have to work and… to not be dealing with the rules of my flat.

    There were so many opportunities for her to bail from her limited role, to gain a better position compared to the one I had presented her and to ditch it all and just go for a better life.

    I was confused about Blake, I was confused by her priorities and… I was confused as to why she seemed so happy right now.

    Amber eyes glowed happily as the girl seemed to have found something that had taken her interest, her hand reaching and grasping at my arm and pulling at it.

    “Can we go there?”

    I blinked in brief surprise, unready for the little initiative that she had decided to take. It was unusual but… then I realized what she was looking at.

    It was a neon sign that said ‘Melody Aquarium’ and a small fish underneath it.

    I blinked again, this time to let my poor brain rest away from the growing need to facepalm at that ridiculous request of hers… but then I realized that it was the first time she had asked me something like that.

    I reckon that she had been in the flat for some time now and that she hadn’t asked if she could leave individually or if I wanted to accompany her somewhere else after work.

    The oddity of the predicament was enough to give me some restrain over outright refusing the query, my interest peaked by the personal curiosity of seeing why there was an aquarium here of all places.

    This section of Vale wasn’t set to offer any entertainment nor rest places to the tourists visiting for the Vytal Festival and I felt like I would have noticed a place like this prior to that afternoon.

    I sighed as Blake pulled again, the fish-loving Cat Faunus seemingly growing impatient by my lack of response and daring to poke me for a final decision.

    Another sigh, I closed my eyes and then… I replied. “Fine, but only this o-OONCE!!

    She took full control of my arm and started to yank me towards the small entrance that led to an underground level, making me almost trip by the concrete staircase just beyond the door.

    I had a little frown plastered on my face as we ventured inside the building, the corridors being quite narrow and giving off the first hint that something was off about this underground ‘Aquarium’.

    A minute passed and we were still wandering by the corridors, nothing changing other than the presence of dark mold forming by the edges of the long hallways.

    My frown deepened, this time annoyance turning in confusion, while Blake’s enthusiasm seemed to vanish slowly as greater confusion took hold of her expression.

    We paused for a moment after a while, I was the one to stop and the girl the one to accept the legitimate pause because something truly felt off about this place.

    “This isn’t an Aquarium,” I pointed out with a scowl. “It could have been a prank, someone with a used neon sign trying to get some unfortunate morons out like this.”

    She huffed. “Does that make us morons then?” The question was sarcastic, her snappy tone being mostly directed at the fact we got tricked with that rather than with me admitting that we had been tricked.

    I sighed and nodded. “Only because we hadn’t checked properly and-”

    My lips sealed close, causing the Faunus to frown at my sudden interruption, but then the girl herself tensed up, our stares moving right at the direction we came from.

    There was… nobody?

    I frowned and Blake’s cat ears twitched attentively as she did in fact catch some curious noise coming from behind.

    Footsteps.

    We merely blinked and then they were before us, approaching slowly but confidently.

    The mask, the dark hood and the armored vest. Those two were part of the White Fang.

    I gritted my teeth, chiding myself for having forgotten that the organization could have noticed Blake early on, especially since the attack on the docks could have gotten them angry at the one cause of their misfortune.

    The Belladonna’s eyes widened and she reached out for her bag to take out her weapon out of it.

    After some legitimately-good pondering from the Cat Faunus, we agreed that she should always have Gambol Shroud around for the sake of defending ourselves… by those specific situations.

    “Seems like we found the stray kitty our boss was trying to find,” A masculine voice began, the tallest of the two grunts turning to his partner. “Ain’t that right, gal?”

    The girl, I could see that she was tanned as her arms were exposed and showing a darker skin than mine, as if… she wasn’t from Vale.

    Denying a response to the young man, the female sighed and lifted her right hand up, ready to snap her fingers. Fingers snapped and I felt a sudden wave of tiredness almost forcing me to unconsciousness.

    I blinked as I felt a soft thud reach my ears and I turned to the origin of the noise to find out that Blake had fallen to the floor. There was no damage, no blood but… she was out of commission as she was right now.

    “Yikes, your control truly suck as I thought,” The chatty Fang member commented with snark. “Didn’t you tell her that you would have been able to deal with two people at once-”

    The girl growled as she prepared to snap once again. “Shut. up.

    But before she could have concluded this action once again, I had my eyes closing up and kept them as such until I heard the familiar noise unfold.

    Nothing happened, I was still tired but I didn’t perceive the same wave of tiredness I had felt until now, I opened up to find the silent grunt seemingly surprised while her partner chuckled in amusement.

    “Ah! It seems that your plan has failed, little Green.”

    Another growl, but I wasn’t minding any longer at their dynamics. My focus was all shifted to what had just happened and why the now-unconscious Belladonna was now on the ground and barely breathing.

    It was a Semblance, there was no denying about that, but recognizing what kind of ability it was took me way too much of my limited time here.

    My analytical prowess, the one honed from years of studying under dad’s strict but high-rewarding lessons, was now passing to my current thoughts what I was dealing for.

    Long-range, non-physical, her power was attached to vision.

    Illusions. This wasn’t ideal to face right now without the means of creating distance or blocking the girl’s vision from causing more issues.

    “Still, I hope you understand we don’t want to cause any tragic accident by dragging civvies in our problems,” The young man resumed with an appeasing tone, still cheeky and somewhat infuriating. “How about you leave now before things turn uneasy-!!”

    I rushed forward, a stupid attempt if the situation had seen the two grunts armed, but I was now sure that the two fools weren’t part of the Fang.

    Cheap imitators at best.

    Diplomacy with a human? They were far too calm about interacting with me without spitting more of their patriotic sermons about Faunus-kind.

    And… they don’t have guns with them.

    If they had, then I wouldn’t have been able to even consider anything from their proposal, guns being far too convincing to just let freedom of choosing.

    My gamble paid off high-time as their reaction was noticeable surprise, my punch almost reaching the chatty impostor but ending up being caught by a quick kick from him.

    I flinched momentarily as I felt how sturdy his leg was. Some armor I couldn’t see? Underneath his pants maybe?

    A little detail, one that I used against them as I saw the tanned woman rush towards me, hand stretched out and ready to provide some more illusions and put me out of commission.

    I smiled darkly as I waited just enough to slam the extended leg on the unaware companion, she paused and tried to dodge but I quickly increased its speed by providing a kick of my own.

    She received the blow right on her mask, sending her slamming on the wall and wobble a little on the floor. Still awake but not enough to return to the assault.

    Good for me.

    I quickly stepped back, avoiding a punch and a follow-up kick from my opponent.

    “That was nasty,” The masked guy mentioned with a sigh. “I mean, I am happy to see her take the hit, but isn’t that uncool for a man to kick a woman?”

    I hummed. “Is that how you wish to justify the fact you want to capture a defenseless girl?” I mused quietly. “Is this, I don’t know, an attempt at forced love?”

    He paused a moment, raising his hands up in appeasement. “Hey, generally I would use my undeniable charm to ensnare ladies and I would never resort to that.”

    “Oh? And how many ‘ladies’ did you ensnare until now?” I asked half-distractedly, noticing that he was already returning to attack.

    He lifted his left leg and slammed the sole on my guard.

    “Touché.” He declared and soon we started to exchange blow after blow, his pace surprisingly well-kept for an impersonator and I had some trouble getting through that legs-based stance of his.

    The fact he was strongly-protected by his lower body made it difficult to disrupt his flow by kicking his legs to soreness but then I realized something peculiar of his protections.

    While his legs were armored from the foot up to above the knees, there was a small section of his body that was certainly ‘softer’ compared to the rest and I had to make a decision.

    Either I wasted more time trying to get another flaw out of him or I decided to break several rules of the Bro Code.

    Tough decision considering that I had to take into account that he seemed fairly good as a ‘criminal’, but there was also the more important detail being that Blake’s life was in the gamble I had to do.

    So, much to my inner chagrin and disappointment, I decided I had to be quick in dismissing this fool before things escalated too much.

    I had to be quick, my Semblance being important for the fruition of this operation.

    As my opponent went to raise his leg to deliver another kick, I proceeded to swiftly counter it by slamming my leg up below his belt. Some smoke left my leg, the after-effect of the Semblance used to propel my kick faster than usual.

    He howled foully as I was quite correct with my assumptions but, before I could get the chance to back away from him, I was hit by a stray leg as the agony urged him to react to my horrible move.

    The kick reached my chin sending me backing away to the other wall, my sight a little disoriented while I tried to reach out for Blake.

    My footing was slightly unbalanced and my brain was scrambled with multiple thoughts, possibly a concussion making things worse, as I finally crouched down to pick up the unconscious Belladonna and bolt away from this situation before-

    “Sid, what happened here?” A hand was squeezing at my shoulder, I slowly turned around as I recognized the familiar voice and… I was bestowed with the worried face owned by Cinder Tremaine.

    My eyes widened in shock and I felt a little at ease at the known face. “C-Cinder?”

    She nodded, her concerned eyes reassuring me of some safety. “It’s me, Sid. You need to rest for a while-”

    “S-Sister, we need to- to help Blake and-”

    But before I could finish, I heard the sound of fingers snapping and Cinder looked surprised as I started to stumble and fall on the ground, my eyes closing and my mind going unconscious.

    Thud.

    ----------d-d-d------------d-d-dd-----------d-d-d-d----------

    ~Emerald’s POV~

    “Sister?”

    Her voice fell mostly silent as the only noises reaching from that cold corridor was the groans and whines from Mercury and the single but meaningful fall of the young man now unconscious beneath her.

    Red eyes tinged with confusion and incredible mortification at the realization happening so suddenly and so unexpectedly.

    She had gone through numerous theories and guesses over the identity of this ‘important’ individual that Cinder wanted to keep safe.

    A former close friend, an important contact for their mission here in Vale… and a lover.

    The last supposition had left her angry, annoyed even, at the mere possibility that there was someone that her savior cared and loved so genuinely and so earnestly that wasn’t… her.

    She was the one daring to help the craziest woman in Vale, the most daring, the most powerful and… the most beautiful.

    Her cheeks almost turned red at the thought of the first time she had seen her, when the thief was granted the chance to be something more other than a mere street rat.

    The dark-haired beauty having granted her the opportunity of being worthy of something, but not yet worthy of something else.

    And that was-

    Being considered a close ally or friend.

    She shook her head and glanced down at the results of her efforts, both target lying on the floor close to each other.

    The green-haired girl sighed in relief at having succeeded with this task while also confirming that her worst fears were just silly thoughts from her mind, turning a moment to grace the silver-haired dumbass trying to recover from that amusing blow at his pride.

    It was amusing to see how the ‘mighty’ had fallen so short and so quickly under a mere kick, especially with Aura still running strong for Mercury.

    The son of the professional assassin Marcus Black slowly regained his bearings, glaring daggers at the sleeping dark-haired young man through the mask and that put Sid to a pedestal a little higher than planned.

    Still, there was some more work to tend to and that was dealing with Sid himself and how to dispose of him without hurting or killing him too much.

    Now that Emerald was aware of the bond that connected Cinder to him, the girl knew that maximum caution was required for the sake of personal attachment and to avoid the wrath of the Half-Maiden herself.

    Dropping him by his house would be suspicious, but dropping him here would also render him vulnerable to some criminal or pervert’s ministrations.

    Not a good way to get in Cinder’s graces, nor the proper way to not get killed by the woman for lax interest over someone this important.

    But it was only the former thief now that knew about the full attachment between the two, making it quite… a grand secret for her to keep away from others.

    She might have not been around to know about the other members of Salem’s inner circle, but from her leader’s very words the tanned girl was sure that this sensible information would end up paving the end of the woman’s ambition.

    And that was completely unacceptable!

    So, ignoring Mercury’s suggestion to leave the unconscious man to the nearest dumpster and his insistence to have him suffer a kick below the belt too before leaving him, Emerald decided that leaving him nearby his workplace would do for the situation.

    While the young man had been keen to notice that they weren’t true members of the White Fang, rumors were hardly built on truth and so Vale would only know of the events of today as the result of some ‘stupid grunts’ trying to make some ‘rules’ in town.

    With how boisterous the organization was about this kind of stuff, the green-haired henchwoman wasn’t that hesitant to see it as a possible predicament and thus they settled to go right at the now-closed bar near the capital’s center square.

    Reaching the place was easy, leaving it proved to be much more difficult for a seemingly-insignificant but immensely irritating instance happening before leaving.

    It had all started when the still-wobbly Mercury pointed out that the two unconscious individuals were somehow attached to each other.

    At first she thought it as a pun of sort, but then she noticed that the two were indeed attached to each other. Sid’s right hand was grasping tightly at Cat Faunus’ own palm, as if a protective measure born from the sudden catatonic state he was put into.

    Impressive, possibly one of the rarest situations ever occurring after disabling some people with her powers, said event proved to be quite an issue when they had to part the two away.

    As amusing as it had been during the walk to the ‘Morning Sip’, the fact was something that got them to waste several minutes tried to unlatch one from the other and… they started to struggle in their sleep.

    They agitated and got difficult to manage, but in the end the two minions succeeded in their endeavor and got to leave the now alone young man to deal with the aftermath of that day on his own, their next stop being the warehouse where Cinder had asked them to retreat once the deed was done.

    Darkness started to take over the day the more time they spent walking up to the place set for the reunion, but soon they were there to drop their last target.

    Cinder was here, the young woman giving a neutral but very-demanding expression. She wanted success on a normal basis, but the former thief could see some more incentive to have them accomplish a perfect job.

    Her red-eyed stare turned at the second individual in that large room, Adam Taurus tensing up as he spotted the unconscious body of his traitorous subordinate, his loyal guards sharing some looks before glancing at the sleeping Cat Faunus with a glare.

    “I hope the mission was an utter success,” The Half-Maiden was quick to point out. “The second target-”

    “-was safely placed by his workplace. The area is never visited by criminals or goons so he will wake up without any incidents.” Emerald quickly interjected with a determined expression, gaining a surprised look from the woman and a confused frown from Mercury as the two relinquished the hold of the Cat Faunus to a quiet Adam.

    The Bull Faunus seemed to tense up at Cinder’s words. “Second Target?” There was some anxiety, irritation dripping from his lips.

    “Nothing you should worry about, Adam,” The woman replied coldly. “He didn’t do anything to your subordinate, I can assure you of that.”

    The leader of the Vale Branch of the White Fang slowly nodded at the stern answer, his sight now fixed on the dark-haired girl as he started to move her towards the guards and order them to help him to carry the fellow Faunus away.

    Cinder didn’t seem to mind as the White Fang’s entourage then began leaving without saying anything, possibly because some deal had been struck prior to their arrival.

    There was a pause and soon Mercury decided to retreat to the hideout to recover from the ‘terrible ordeal’ he had to go through, leaving Emerald alone with their boss.

    The dark-haired woman was now looking at her Scroll, uncaring of her minion’s presence, but the former thief knew exactly how to catch the older female’s attention.

    She faked a cough and went along the lines written on her mind. “Ma’am, may I ask you something about the mission?”

    Cinder paused mid-writing on her keypad to stare up in confusion at the tan girl. “What about it?”

    And now it was time for the curious question. “I couldn’t help but notice the maximum care we had to give to our ‘secondary target’ and I wanted to ask something about it.”

    Now the Half-Maiden was giving her full attention, but she didn’t seem much elated by the topic.

    “Speak.”

    Emerald gulped nervously at that cold order, feeling the shivers at seeing such a piercing stare from her savior.

    H-How interesting.

    “W-Well, the secondary target seems to be rather attached to the primary target and… are there plans to make sure he will not hinder our true mission by trying to save the girl?”

    The big question, the one that had long eluded her mind and now… she will see if it would get a reply or not.

    She expected a solid yes, a refusal to give her more about the topic and then an order about returning to the hideout too-

    “No, there are no plans about it.”

    ...What?

    “B-But Cinder-”

    “Sid Tremaine is the last-born of a powerful family of Hunters hailing from Mistral,” The Half-Maiden started to explain. “And while he isn’t a Huntsman by any means, he has been subjected for years to the intense training regiment allowed by the current head of the family, Charles Tremaine.”

    There was a pause, the former thief didn’t dare interrupt her boss as she sported a little smirk forming on her face.

    “He is resourceful, smart and terribly gifted by a dangerous Semblance,” She admitted easily, drawing some surprise from her minion.

    Sure, it was a family member but… why would Cinder allow this many compliments to this singular individual. He managed to keep up with Mercury and her, but it was all because of tricks and…

    He was good. Damn, she should have thought about it earlier.

    While he wasn’t a huntsman, while he was family to Cinder, the woman didn’t want to protect him for that bond. No, there was something that Emerald was missing.

    A piece of the puzzle that wasn’t the described ‘might’, nor the bloodline he came from.

    But what could it be?

    “I promised to Adam that the attack will happen a week earlier than planned,” The Half-Maiden said calmly, freezing the green-haired girl with these news. “That he would get as much Dust and manpower as possible.”

    This… this was bad. This was incredibly bad!

    “But-!”

    “Yet I think that Adam’s impatience will end up being shattered by an attack to their stronghold,” She pointed out so suddenly and without hesitation. “It will be a wake-up call, something to get him to finally don the leash we gave him without much of a fuss.”



    “Y-you wish to use Sid to- to attack the White Fang?”

    Cinder smiled. “To weaken them,” She replied with a sigh. “To break some of their useless pride and make them the proper pawns I need.”

    There was another pause.

    “You doubt it will be possible, Emerald?” The woman asked unexpectedly, causing some panic to rise within the minion. “Please, speak genuinely and logically about this. Every thought is important for this plan, especially since you were on the field to see his current progress.”

    S-She wanted her opinion? This was completely out of Cinder’s usual modus operandi.

    Something just wasn’t right about it. There was some legitimate hesitance, one that the Half-Maiden was trying to compensate with more information about the matter, to gain a better insight over the situation.

    This wasn’t the driven woman that wouldn’t ask anything to anyone because she knew everything.

    No, this one was using so many honeyed-words, so many careful terms to garner her final results.

    This time, Cinder wasn’t forcing her way through… rather she was manipulating it to her own whims while stepping cautiously around.

    All for her glorious plan of reforging the world to become a better place.

    And she was putting so much effort in it to make sure it worked, for herself, for her family and… for her.

    Her heart fluttered just a moment, then Emerald realized that she had yet to respond to her boss.

    “H-He almost took out Mercury with his quick thinking,” Part of her wanted to mention the unceremonious kick below the belt, but surely this detail wasn’t something that the woman wanted to know. “A-And I got lucky that he was stunned to recognize I was… masquerading as you, Cinder.”

    There was a brief flinch, the girl braced for a moment for any comment about this last bit but-

    “Hmm,” The woman looked impressed by the curt report. “So you were forced to make use of that kind of trickery to get behind his guard. Interesting.”

    No reprimands, no chiding. The former thief was safe from any negative outcome out from her final decision for that fight.

    “Then he will succeed, he will bring Adam down to the knees and make him realize that we are the only solution to his salvation,” Cinder continued, her eyes glowing like fiery embers. “The moment Sid wakes up and remember what had happened… it will be the moment when we will have our pawns back under control.”

    It wasn’t a promise, it wasn’t a prediction.

    No, Emerald thought before turning following the woman back to the hideout, this…

    This was destiny.

    -----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d--------

    AN

    The bet is raised, the stakes are high and Sid is going to bring Hell to Adam.

    Before anyone ask, no, Sid wouldn’t win fairly against Mr. Aggressive Ex-Boyfriend, but there is something that will make the difference. Sid’s Semblance will… be Adam’s literal nightmare.

    Like really, it will do much more than grant an advantage or two.

    Stay tuned for some more of this epic comedy reaching the first ‘phase’ of the story, the one that will see the greatest twist of all times!
     
  27. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Well worn.

    Joined:
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    Well, Cinder does have all the pieces in place.

    Time to flip the board.
     
    azureSky and JBukharin like this.
  28. Threadmarks: -Want to-
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 10: -Want to-

    ~Sid’s POV~

    Of all things that I could have not either expected nor wanted to experience after coming to live here in vale, blinking awake and staring at the familiar starry sky still above the city was possibly one of the top ten.

    Why this predicament wasn’t truly a surprise for a Mistralian like me? Well, considering that bandits, thieves and other criminals were easy to encounter in solitary strolls around the minor cities, getting mugged by someone wasn’t a novelty.

    Not at all.

    It wasn’t a ceiling I wanted to really be staring at and the cold breeze reaching right at my shivering frame was enough to get me to wake up a little faster than planned.

    My throat was aching annoyingly, a knot forming as the wind had certainly not spared my unconscious self from its relentless ‘striking’ upon the capital.

    My Aura had tanked most of the weather, my eyes squinting around as I tried to understand where I currently was.

    I could see wooden tables spread across the small area in my general proximity, familiar tables.

    I blinked as I slowly started to stand up from the uncomfortable bench I just woke up into, my brain burning for some time as memories and logical reasoning went to give me a clear picture of what had happened earlier that evening.

    The fake aquarium, the exchange of blows between the two masked aggressors, Blake falling unconscious and-





    NonononononoNONONONONO!

    My sore back groaned a little as I suddenly went tense, anger breaking the last sleepy resistance I had within my brain in that precise moment.

    Worry, fury, and a barely-restrained need to exact some revenge against the poor bastards that had decided to come around to attack us and-

    Blake.

    My sight regained some more focus, cold realization springing me to start moving, to get my muscle acting against the irritating cold persevering in that district of the city.

    My brain started to properly recollect everything and I was given notice of two distinct details:

    I wasn’t dead and the Cat Faunus was nowhere in sight.

    As much as I deemed the two morons that had attacked us to be mediocre at best, their team-skills lacking to a deplorable degree, the little lucky kick that had gotten me that debilitating concussion had been the very blow that costed me that unexpected fight.

    The two ‘White Fang’ thugs weren’t nowhere in sight at the moment and my mind was rightfully repeating that, if they had been the real deal, they should have killed me when I was forced unconscious.

    I had been spared. Me, a human, had been spared by the White Fang.

    Why is this important about Blake? The answer is terribly straight-forward I reckoned with a dry thought.

    If those two weren’t part of the Fang, then they surely didn’t take the girl to one of the hidden outposts lying within Vale and so my chances to find her were close to zero.

    Anger bubbling, my irritation sparked numerous possible thoughts as I continued to wander around, still unwilling to retreat back home.

    While the fight had drained some of my Aura, my body was still in good-shape and my hope of finding Blake were all tied to a limited window of time.

    Wherever they got the dark-haired young woman, it had to be someplace that was still inside town and… if I waited just a day, even too many hours, I could expect the kidnappers taking her outside of the city for security’s sake.

    Suppositions, guesses and finally possible routes I could take to swiftly find out where they had taken here were now drowning my mind, rendering me completely unaware of what was happening around me.

    The darkness of the night became a cloak and the few lights still on were just enough to allow me a clear vision over the path ahead of me.

    Moments of quiet passed, my boiling fury barely reducing, quite the opposite as my hatred was growing more and more.

    If before getting knocked out I felt sorry for kicking that chatty kickster right where-all-begins, now I was sorry that I hadn’t delivered a second or even a third kick at his ‘weak spot’.

    But then, just as I concluded to plan out any torture I could deploy against those two fools, my mind gave me a half-decent idea.

    Actually, it was a half-idea but it was still worth of consideration and interest from my part; Blake had mentioned that Torchwick had been cooperating with the White Fang back during the battle at the docks, that the crime boss had been directly leading the groups as their chief.

    It was an odd concept, but it gave a purpose and a reasoning behind the unexpected attack and… why the two thugs had been so mercifully towards me.

    Their clothes were standard uniforms to the recruits of the Fang, but their allegiance was possibly closer to Torchwick than to the organization.

    A false-flag operation… to try and get back at Blake for interrupting the important heists.

    It wasn’t a complete lie to say that the makeup-wearing boss was vindictive when someone came to slight him to this unnerving degree and…

    Maybe it was about the girl’s past connections with the Fang?

    Did he want to bring her back there? To have the group-

    I stopped thinking about it, multiple horrible scenarios keeping me from persisting on that trail of thoughts and focus on the real issue and solution.

    If there was someone that would at least know whom would ordain a kidnapping with original WF’s clothes, it had to be Roman Torchwick.

    And where to find him at this time of the day? The crime boss wouldn’t surely be walking around Vale in plain sight, the warrant on his head being high enough to turn numerous people against him all for the sake of justice and money.

    He was elusive, but for good reasons.

    My only hope being the annoyed comments coming from some tuxedo-wearing men that would be coming at the Morning Sip on a weekly basis to rest away from the previous night hangover; comments about being ‘used’ by someone they called the ‘dandy bastard with cane’.

    Torchwick was known to make use of local gangs to stage his heists and he was the only crime boss that used a cane as a weapon to personally deal with his enemies.

    It wasn’t difficult to connect dots at first and, while I had mentioned this to Marcus, I was told to not denounce any of this behavior for some specific reasons.

    The Police in Vale was understaffed because of the numerous cuts applied by the Council in the last decade, the group barely capable of handling someone as influential and entrenched as the dapper criminal.

    Plus retaliation at the bar would mean also an attack against Marcus’ family and against me, not the best situation considering the barely-uncovered extent of operations ruled by Torchwick.

    Still, while I was deterred from calling the police, the owner of the Morning Sip did offer a detail that now served as a proper clue to this difficult case.

    It was about the allegiance of this gang that was common to find around the main streets, their unique uniforms having them stand out to other civilians or Huntsmen.

    Hei Xiong, better known as ‘Junior’, was the owner of the pub sited just a few blocks away from the Morning Sip, the place having been around for much longer than the day-shift establishment and being a bigger fish because of the large clientele and the presence of alcohol.

    The place had also another function, Junior working as an info-broker for numerous organization, legitimate and not, about the happenings inside Vale; the legitimacy of his sources having proven to be incredibly trustworthy as no one had ever attacked the pub.

    Except the curiously-familiar blonde brawler that might or might not have trashed the building for no apparent reasons.

    I was already pacing through the mostly-empty streets of the city, my eyes narrowing at the entrance the moment it came onto sight and I was quick to try and appear calm and collected as I approached the guarded doors before the night-bar.

    I tensed up as one of the grunts moved to stop me and, before I could do or say anything about it, the man started to check me up.

    It was similar to the check-ups one would receive by the airport, he was trying to see if I had any weapons on me and… he backed away, giving a solid nod to his partner as the fellow thug went to open the door just enough for me to pass.

    I blinked in confusion, expecting to be asked about some pass or to pay some fees to entry as this was an expensive establishment.

    “Should I need more to enter inside?” I asked with a frown, getting a shrug by the door-holder.

    “Blonde-bitch drained our cash in reparations, we are trying to-”

    “Get some clients to stay rather than be afraid,” The other man concluded with a sigh. “Hopefully, this is going to be another easy night.”

    I nodded at the two and decided to not ask any more questions to them as I ventured inside the club.

    Music was there as usual, several people having taken some private sections of the pub while the large majority was enjoying some dancing in the area reserved to that specific activity.

    I barely bothered the sight as I made my way towards the counter, at the moment having just the bartender and only a man standing by the stools.

    Once I was close at the counter, I knocked at it and waited for the calm-looking tall man to approach. “Yes?”

    “I wish to speak with Junior,” I said with a cautious tone.

    The individual nodded. “You are talking to him.”

    I blinked in surprise at that, but I didn’t let my surprise stop me from proceeding with the questions I had to get answers from.

    “I require some information about the White-Fang,” I started with a calm tone, slowly bringing up my Scroll and expanding the photo I had taken of Blake when we had to place a picture to the contract she had with Marcus. “Blake Belladonna, she was kidnapped a few hours ago by two thugs from the Fang-”

    “I can’t help you,” The bartender replied with a tired sigh. “The organization is a tough nut to get info about and… if this event is that fresh, I don’t have the means to verify if something like that could have happened-”

    “What about Torchwick-”

    “Even worse, kid,” Junior interrupted with a tired tone. “Ever since the failure he got at the docks, he had been keeping himself out of public eye. I have little info about his whereabouts.”

    I gritted my teeth at that double rejection, shaking my head in disappointment at the bad luck I was experiencing in that very moment.

    It was my only lead and… no. There has to be something else that I could do about this.

    There has to!

    But before I could despair any further with that lack of directions, I heard someone knocking at the counter just beside me.

    “Junior, a glass of water for me and the kid,” I turned to grace the client that had been quiet until now, his hazel eyes staring right at me. “Name’s Tukson.”

    I blinked in recognition, remembering a book-shop called the very same way and… I frowned at him, unsure of why he would be interested on me.

    “Sid.”

    Tukson nodded and he waited for the glasses to come, taking a single sip from his own and then he started to talk again.

    “You are searching for info about the Fang, correct?” The bookstore owner inquired with a curious voice. “I might give you something if you allow me to look at the photo.”

    I tensed up a little more at this, slightly surprised at the ‘lucky’ encounter and feeling rather skeptical over this man’s friendliness.

    But I had little choice, my means to get some clues were nothing and even a hint over the matter would matter a lot in the long-term planning.

    I tilted the Scroll and showed him the picture, his eyes slowly widening at it as he stood quiet while looking at it.

    His silence was brief as he soon was nodding at me. “I might be able to help you but… I wish to know just something.”

    I blinked but nodded at him, a little hopeful over the matter but still keeping my guard up at him.

    “What’s your connection to her?” Tukson asked with intrigue and curiosity dripping from his tone. “Why are you, a human, interested in saving a Faunus? What do you get out of it?”

    I was stomped by the three questions, my mind stopping for a moment as to contemplate the essence behind the queries and… I couldn’t help but put in a curious situation.

    The man was partly-correct in mentioning the fact that I could have asked the help from… Yang, maybe the rest of team RWBY but…

    B-But it was the short time I have- yes, I could see that being the reason but…

    Why this reason felt so unfaithful to my current state of self?

    A brief struggle of thoughts, ideas and perceptions ensued, my mind turning in a battlefield as I tried to give sense to my current erratic behavior, to my desperate need to get the girl back to safety and away from harm.

    It was in that moment, the very instant that I saw a familiar glimpse flashing to my brain.

    I could see an uneasy-looking Blake, a hesitant Blake, I could see a frail Blake seeking help from me.

    And in return I could also see the moments that she had gone to cover for me, the moments that she meaningfully tried to behave properly and without creating chaos. All for the sake of the trust she has in me… and I have in her.

    I gulped, but it was nervousness driving me to the action, rather some minor hesitation.

    My dry throat prepared and soon I was speaking, replying to the man.

    “She is… someone I care for,” I genuinely admitted. “She can be annoying, terribly stubborn in her own terrible initiatives… but she is someone that I don’t wish to see harmed in any sort of way. She is a good person and… I like her for that.”

    There was some silence, Tukson’s eyes widening at the lengthy reply but…

    Then the man started to smile, a snort denied as he shook his head in amusement.

    “To think that… the roles would have been reversed to this degree with the new generation,” The dark-haired book-shop owner mused quietly, drawing a frown out of me before he actually addressed my words.

    “I see that you care a lot for your friend,” Tukson nodded with a friendlier tone. “So I think I will help you as I think I know where she is and… I want you to succeed, so I will give you some material to enter the base.”

    ...What?

    How could he know about Blake’s location if- Who was he? And how did he know so much of the Fang?

    “Sir, what are you-”

    “Junior,” The man interjected, ignoring my confused tone. “Could you please bring out one copy of the things I’ve left in Deposit 45, 97 and… 164?”

    The bartender nodded quietly but stopped just for a moment from going to comply with the request, eyes widening as he heard the last number. “164? Just one bar wouldn’t do much so-”

    “Bring them all, in a gym bag,” The client interrupted again with a determined nod. “I think it’s time I make it clear that… I’m no longer affiliated with them.”

    I was left confused by this strange comment, Junior sighing but nodding in defeat at the clear words, leaving the proximity of the counter and vanishing in the ‘backstage’ of the night-club, leaving me to give a quizzical look to the man.

    “I can see you are curious, but I know that you are angrier at the ones responsible for this attack to your friend,” He commented quietly, hazel eyes glancing in my direction. “So, while I will give you the means to infiltrate and get your friends out, I wish that you do another task for me, something that will work for the two of us.”

    “And that is?” I found myself questioning out-loud, trying to make sense of the bigger picture here exposed by the ‘simple’ book-shop owner.

    Tukson merely smiled and gave a brief chuckle, stopping as Junior emerged from the unknown sections of the building and bringing everything out and-

    My eyes widened at the uniform and at the fake ID to the White Fang, causing me to frown at both objects in renewed confusion.

    But before I could ask about ‘how’ the two had managed to get this things if the Fang was so well-secured, I was presented with a glimpse of what was inside the gym bag.

    I paled, I was shocked to death at the content but… then color returned back to my skin at the thought of how this was going to be used by me as there was only one thing that could require the presence of the small pale-yellow bars filling the bag.

    I smiled widely and nodded.

    “So… I guess you hate them too?” I supposed while glancing back at the man.

    Tukson sighed, but I could see a familiar smile on his face.

    “Oh no, I don’t hate them… I hate what they are doing,” He corrected with a hum. “Now please go and save your friend.”

    I nodded, slowly putting everything inside, careful to not use too much pressure on the material inside as I made my way outside of the bar, the small paper containing the precise address confirming my next steps.

    And now it’s payback time.

    -----------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------

    I admit that I have never seen this specific part of the city, the district looked to be one of the slums that were so common to find in the various cities in Mistral but…

    This one truly looked the worst possible. At least in Mistral there were non-profit organizations that helped around to make sure the situation didn’t escalate to this point.

    Maybe Vale wasn’t the second best to Atlas as many painted it to be.

    The desolate streets nearby the ‘abandoned’ warehouse gave off an ominous feeling as I carefully walked around to try and reach the proper place where to get inside the building.

    The uniform that Tukson had given to me and that I was donning looked incredibly well-made, the fabric actually leaving a delightful touch to the skin compared to other military-like uniforms I had the displeasure to try because of mother’s passion with that kind of clothes.

    It was doing a perfect job in hiding my identity away from anyone guarding the area, the hood and cloak keeping my body well-covered from giving out any details about my real self.

    I finally approached the entrance, my posture calm and relaxed as I ‘casually’ waved at the man keeping the door half-closed, unwilling to give away my cover… until I was well away and safe from any retaliations from the battalion living there.

    “Good evening, brother,” I said with a moderated tone, neither too flamboyant nor too dull. I was aware of the fanaticism, but I didn’t want to sound too much desperate or faux with my voice.

    The pitch seemed to work well as I was met with a nod from him.

    “Good evening,” He greeted back, his tone neutral but seemingly uninterested at me. “Can you please show your ID, brother?”

    I was quick to pass to him the fake ID also provided by the book-shop owner, the name written there being ‘Doble Simulado’, a young recruit that had been suffering from some sickness until now and that his treatment had taken way too long to leave a lasting impression on the garrison here.

    ‘I’ was a worker by the supply section of the building, one of the three cadets assigned there, in that massive room where there were numerous explosives, guns and Dust of all kind.

    The guard nodded and returned the plastic card back to me. “Welcome back, brother Simulado.”

    I nodded and quickly walked inside the place the moment he made way for me to enter.

    The warehouse was actually pretty small compared to the other major ones in the area, the decision of picking this medium-sized one enabled by the fact that the police was trying to find major groups within large buildings, something that this place didn’t actually fit in their investigation’s requirements; So this place was effectively void of any major threats from the law enforcement.

    I hummed quietly as I paced calmly through the place, glancing around at the numerous thugs present all in that very place.

    Some were training with some make-shift targets, other were compiling reports about the ongoing missions and the rest was wasting their time doing nothing particularly important.

    I could see four curious individuals seemingly involved with Remnant: the Game, two girls and two men.

    The first girl had white antlers that reached out of her hood and she was giggling happily as their opponents, the group of dudes, was having trouble keeping up with the female duo.

    Her friend was shaking her head, but she hardly seemed willing to bring the bubbly cheerfulness down as they were crushing the two other thugs.

    One of the men was incredibly tall and… he barely seemed focused on the game as he was tending to what looked to be some pots with flowers sitting right by his feet-

    Beside his incredibly-horrifying chainsaw-like weapon.

    I shook my head, these four genuinely looking to be having a blast with that tabletop game but…

    I couldn’t just ignore the fact I have a much more important mission to deal with, Blake still being confined Gods’ know where and I had yet to locate the supply station.

    Asking for directions would cause an unneeded amount of suspicions, so I ended up taking some time searching around for anything that could even resemble my ‘workplace’ here in the warehouse.

    A minute later, I found myself walking inside a large room with numerous shelves housing numerous wood crates with different denominations and content.

    Crates with guns, explosive and Dust. It was their arsenal and… it was mostly exposed as I saw the ‘guard’ to the place currently napping by the chair at the entrance of this room.

    My smile lit, my feet almost itching to skip around and just start placing down the little gifts Tukson had wanted for me to leave to his former group, small bars of explosive charges that were all set to trigger at the mere activation from the small device safely put inside the bag.

    I greeted the two other rookies wandering around, the two Faunus checking on the content of the boxes and writing some reports about the current state of supply.

    The situation was optimal for me to start to do something about my secondary task. I slowly ‘lost some time’ before joining them by hiding some of the charges in barely-visible corners of some of the boxes with the ‘Explosive’ tags attached to them, humming quietly and innocently as I took my bag and began helping the two cadets in concluding their shift.

    A single hour passed wandering around and signing down the small notepad the various objects inside the warehouse, the two unaware rookies nodding gratefully as I decided to take on the ‘burden’ as they left for their break.

    By the time they were out of my sight and away from hearing me crack the notepad on my hands, I began displacing more and more bombs all around the area.

    Tukson never specified how much I was supposed to leave around, and so I decided to play a safe route and deploy everything available and in strategic positions.

    Two hundreds bars were set up in well-hidden sections of the room, some even being left in acceptable quantities by some of the columns as to make sure the place collapsed quickly and without any major issues.

    When you make a man angry and said main obtain bombs, you better hope that the Gods are by your side.

    With that part of my job done and concluded, I took from one of the crates a tool that would prove to be useful with the next step of my plan.

    The crowbar was made with Dust-reinforced metal, the resilience and strength tripled compared to the normal alloy; This object was the best way to pull open the small gated part of the wall that led right into the ventilation shaft.

    I stepped inside with a careful pace, mindful enough to not create any noises as I quietly started my little search for the Cat Faunus I needed to recover before leaving this warehouse.

    I saw numerous patrols walking by the rooms visible from the gated openings all over the small metallic corridor, the shaft big enough to fit me crouching and not lying on my belly much to my glee and surprise.

    Too many action movies, seriously.

    Moments of uncertainty continued to linger as I ventured deeper and deeper this little compound and… I finally ended up finding something that did look like what I was searching for.

    The room was barely illuminated, but I could see someone tied to some table with some chairs.

    A golden pair of orbs was burning in the dark, furious and annoyed as a red-haired man approached… Blake!

    “You are making things difficult, Blake,” The masked figure muttered with a sigh. “I’m giving my best to put a good word to Sienna, about the fact that you didn’t betray our cause-”

    “The Fang betrayed the cause!” The young woman spat back with an irritated tone, her displeasure of her current conditions perfectly evident. “We wanted to bring peace, not violence-”

    “Humans don’t understand peace, my dear,” The horned jerk said with a condescending tone, his hand forcefully cupping her chin and cheeks. “And you should know too since your cover at Beacon failed.”

    The Cat Faunus pulled away hastily from his hold, her face burning with anger. “Y-You don’t know what I passed in the last days-”

    “A group of silly girls decided to turn your back when you showed your true colors,” The man mused smoothly, a chill going down my spine as I understood what he was referring to. “Just like everyone else in this disgusting world of war and deception.”

    “They are… they are not everyone,” The girl replied defiantly, her eyes narrowing at him with renewed strengths. “There are good humans, there is Si-”

    But the Belladonna stopped, eyes widening and her… stance retreated.

    The red-haired man paused just for a moment to think about this, while my own eyes widened at the cut-short outburst.

    She… she was referring about me?

    “There is someone that gave you hope for that silly dream of yours?” The man asked mockingly. “Someone that betrayed your trust by filling your mind with foolish ideals that would never come to be?”

    He approached again, his right hand pulling at the hilt of the sword sheathed by his side, the red blade burning hatefully while he took some locks of Blake’s hairs in his hand, yanking them painfully.

    “Tell me his name,” The man commanded with a stern tone, then dropping to a softer voice. “Please, my love, tell me so… that I can help him out?”

    Her eyes stared wide open at him. “W-What?”

    “You care for him, don’t you?” The masked man continued calmly. “Then give me his name, I will make sure he is protected by our more violent brothers, that he is safe from harm and-”

    “S-Stop lying!” Blake shot back, then yelped as the man yanked harder at her hair. “A-Adam, you are hurting me-”

    “Because you hurt me first, dear,” He inched closer, far too close for my liking. “But I think you said that love can mend everything… so please, do love me too, my darling-”

    He leaned in slowly, but the tears flowing from the Belladonna’s wide eyes suggested that this wasn’t ‘love’.

    This was violence, this was unwanted.

    I growled, my eyes tinging in red as I felt my semblance acting up and…

    I tensed my leg, pressure building up as white smoke formed beneath my soles and- I jumped through the gated section of the shaft, breaking it with my own body as I prepared the crowbar to take a swing at the bastard!

    I roared furiously, the man stopping moments before forcefully taking that kiss as to lift his sword up to intercept the approaching intruder.

    His red blade clashed with the reinforced crowbar, sparks erupting for a brief moment before I pushed everything I had in that rush to slam him as far away as possible.

    The redhead was sent flying into the concrete wall behind him, the impact cracking and almost tearing down the barrier in mere moments, giving me a little window of opportunity to act up.

    I slammed the crowbar on the chains, breaking them as Blake backed away from me in utter fear and shock.

    “W-What?”

    My free hand reached for the mask and I pulled it up for a moment to frown at her. “Hello.”

    Her eyes widened in realization. “S-Sid?”

    “In person. We need to go before-”

    “You two are going nowhere!” Adam roared through the dust, running towards us as he prepared to take a swing at me, the Muramasa clashing again with the crowbar.

    “Who are you?” The man demanded angrily, trying to win the little struggle that was ensuing.

    I smiled- no, I grinned madly.

    I’m just a human with a Cat Problem!

    Smoke exploded out of my body, covering the entirety of the room as I was granted full clarity over the area.

    Adam snarled at the challenging tone, backing away just a moment before rushing back to the close exchange of blows.

    The true battle starts now!

    ----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d------

    AN

    Explosions!

    Things are heating up here and… the fight will be truly a grand spectacle!

    Especially since it will not be a genuine 1v1.

    And yes, I did use that quote. Sue me~!

    Muhahahahahaha!

    BTW, the reason why this rescue is unfolding so quick is… John Wick logic.

    You stole the Cat, you get the owner’s wrath.

    Easy and effective~!
     
  29. Threadmarks: -Let go! This is why I will save you!
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

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    Chapter 11: -Let go! This is why I will save you!

    ~Blake’s POV~

    It’s been just an hour, maybe two, since she had woken up in that barely-illuminated room, but Blake was glad that the rescue party had come this early on to save her.

    Adam snarled as he tried and failed to kill the resourceful human much to his growing anger, Sid managing to defend himself by reflecting the furious blows away with his crowbar or use his semblance to retaliate in quite the incensed return of strikes.

    None of the two men was sparing much attention her way, the now-freed Cat Faunus more than happy to use the opportunity granted by her friend to start and search for Gambol Shroud, or even something that could help her the best in aiding the struggling young man.

    As trained as the human was, Sid was still far from being able to keep up alone against Adam, the Bull Faunus having experienced enough battles to be considered a fierce veteran of the Fang’s ranks.

    A true warrior that didn’t shy to display his full abilities, never holding back against his ‘true enemies’.

    The more she thought about the former friend, the more the Belladonna felt saddened and disgusted by what could have happened if Sid had been a little more late.

    It wasn’t much of a secret that her companion did harbor strong feelings for her, but to show them so intensively and so uncaring of her own decisions was enough to bring bile at the moral decadence he had now embraced after her departure.

    It wasn’t a full-fledged fall as he had been hesitant to go ahead with such a heinous action, but the mere attempt did leave more than enough disappointment to finally make Blake see the issue the fellow Faunus was suffering from.

    He was losing the grasp to reality the more he kept representing the idea and leaving his own personality to rot in that twisted monster he was becoming.

    Something so horrible that even Sienna had mentioned during one of the few meetings she had spared alone with the Cat Faunus.

    As much the tanned woman had been secretive about much of her plans with the organization, it had been a clear detail that she still minded how some of the grunts and officers behaved during several skirmishes in the past.

    Radicalism was reached a new height with the reactionary reforms passed by the SDC in the last few years and Adam was slowly and surely unknowingly turning in something that represent this renewed hatred.

    No longer was Adam Taurus a free individual, his ideas turning in a cage without lock, a prison for his own loneliness to consume his sanity.

    Still, her horrible musings didn’t stop her from going to search for something that she could use against her former friend, her entire body now awake and freed from the chains keeping her stuck at the now-damaged table.

    Her eyes scanning swiftly all over the half-room preserved by the ongoing clash, her mind drilling her with the resolve of being quick with her attempts as time was crucial with how unfair the fight was developing to be in that very moment.

    Sid ducked away from Wilt, the Chokuto missing barely but enough to allow the young man to return the attempt by slamming the Aura-reinforced crowbar on the Bull Faunus’ ribs; said action was then retaliated with a swift kick pressing on the human’s chest, forcing him to back away for a moment before resuming the close clashing.

    Nervousness was all high in her mind, so many thoughts and so little time to attend each and every one of those as she continued with her pursuit of some object to use as a mean to help.

    Her attention then flickered at something shining far deep in the shadows, behind some boxes filling that section, something which had some white-metal shining through some of the spots between the wooden cubes.

    Blake vaulted the crates which were hiding said object and she went to reach this possible weapon, crouching down as she lifted the short blade up.

    She frowned for a moment, her cat ears twitching in surprise as she recognized this particular kind of knife, having seen some soldiers in Atlas using those during close fights.

    It was a standard military knife that was mostly-produced and only used in Atlas and…

    Then the girl noticed that the boxes had some words painted on them, different kind of classifications that were mostly known with Atlesian Military-grade equipment.

    Her eyes widened, panic surging as she quickly realized that this building contained a vast amount of quality guns and melee weapons that were meant to be only available in Atlas, the Council there having forbidden the distribution of this new technology to other kingdoms.

    This… this shouldn’t have been possible, how could Adam have gained control of this kind of weaponry with how little control the Fang had over the region?

    Even considering Torchwick’s alliance with the organization didn’t offer any means to truly solve this mystery, the man having a large crime network in Vale but nothing worthwhile in Atlas that could see this much equipment shipped to Vale.

    Blake blinked as her ears caught the distinct noise of blades clashing once again, her attention returned to reality as she took out the spare bow she had on her pockets.

    A seemingly innocuous object that wasn’t removed from her because of its relative harmlessness but, once unfolded and set well around the knife’s hilt, turned the simple blade into a make-shift weapon she was more adept to use, similar in nature to her custom Gambol Shroud but without her gun capacity.

    Adam was unaware of her silent steps, the Belladonna looming over him from behind as she slammed the flat edge of the knife by the side of his head, causing him to recoil in surprise and back away from the dual front.

    “Y-You- Darling?!” Surprise briefly replaced fury, then the hatred sparked fiercely from his scowl as he tightened the hold over his sword before rushing back against his two opponents.

    Sid smiled through his mask, nodding her way as the two resumed the engagement against the furious Faunus, the man snarling as he tried the human first so he could deal with Blake a little later, but the young Belladonna wasn’t going to allow him that kind of mercy.

    The sword was flexible, that was something that Blake couldn’t certainly deny, but the fact the Bull Faunus was facing two experienced foes at once in a close encounter made it difficult for him to move around without facing major pressure.

    The advantage he had mere moments ago was gone, the leader of the Vale Branch of the White Fang was facing a competent duo that was more than capable of keeping up with his anger-induced attacks.

    Suddenly, Adam snarled with renewed energy, slamming the Chokuto on her knife and pushing her a few feet away.

    The little development proving to be more than enough for the man to finally return his full attention on Sid, slamming the human with an unexpected fist on his mask and sending him flying onto some of the crates around the battle’s area.

    The human groaned, slowly getting up from his downed position while the Bull Faunus shifted his focus on Blake.

    The Belladonna soon found herself rushed by the brazen and aggressive stance adopted by her former companion, her hold over the hilt of the knife slowly slipping as the soft fabric of the bow rendered the surface difficult to grasp at with so much pressure against her.

    She yelped as her blade was finally forced away from her hold, forcing her to try and back away from that confrontation.

    Yet the girl would soon discover that it was too late to retreat away, the fellow Faunus roaring as he slammed his knee of her chest before grasping at her neck to push her to the floor.

    The young woman flinched with a pained look as she tried to quickly get up from the floor, only for the red sword to stab right on her shoulder.

    More pain surged as the blade twisted just momentarily on her wound, a yelp leaving her trembling lips as the sudden attack had left her unable to resist at the torture.

    “I always valued you for being a considerate and smart individual, Blake,” Adam said, his voice transpiring just bits of his current rage, the rest being genuine hurt. “I valued you as a friend and even more with your consent. I wanted you by my side when humanity got the justice it rightfully deserved and now… I will have to destroy everything you love-”

    The redhead slowly took Wilt out of her injury, some of her blood trickling down the edges as it was slowly pointed back at where Sid had landed, forcing her to glance right where Adam was pointing up

    The human was now standing up, legs wobbly a little as he was possibly suffering from some concussion. His mask came off with the impact suffered mere seconds earlier and now his shocked face was in full display for the two Faunus to notice, either with glee or with worry.

    “Starting with him.” The masked Faunus proclaimed smoothly, preparing his stance as the human roared and went to rush towards them. “DON’T YOU DARE HURT HER!”

    Her eyes widening in surprise and concern as smoke erupted from his feet once again to propell the young man towards Adam, turning the human in a blur.

    The Bull Faunus smirked and… prepared his own semblance, the damage endured by his blade now ready to be released in a single stroke.

    Her eyes widened, she struggled up as she knew what was going to happen, many robots and droids having faced gruesome fates against Adam’s ability.

    “N-No! Y-You- NO!” The girl screamed as she tried to get up but her body was drained, her aura was far too low and…

    Blood exploded in a scene of glorious dread and despair.

    The swift strike bisected Sid’s chest and left arm, cutting through without major resistance as his Aura was far too low to tank an attack of this magnitude.

    Yet his face was still not showing any reaction to that sudden damage he had suffered, rather he looked perfectly fine and… it had to be a slow-received reaction.

    Her brain was burning in fear, worry and confusion as the human seemed to not care at that horrible attack, mere surprise painted on his face as he continued with his attack.

    She had expected pain to surface upon his face moments after, but then the crowbar slammed right into Adam’s mask with immense strength and speed, blood quickly rushing out of the quick slam while also forcing the man to be flung right onto some boxes standing behind him.

    Silence ensued as Sid looked down at her and… smiled happily.

    It was in that instant that Blake’s eyes made a morbid but confusing discovery as she was slowly brought up from the floor.

    Sid wasn’t bleeding.

    The attack did land, there was some void between the upper chest and the neck-head area, but it wasn’t flesh that greeted her.

    It was smoke; Particles of white smoke that were now slowly reforming his body’s full composure without showing any pain in the process.

    Rather the human looked drained and tired as, by the time the astonishing process was completed, he almost crumbled on her unstable hold, forcing the girl to put more strength in her own legs as to keep both standing up.

    He chuckled weakly. “S-Sorry, that was… quite a difficult trick with low aura,” Sid commented with a quiet stutter, causing her eyes to soften and a small smile to appear on her face.

    “A-A trick?” She asked in a half-whisper. “You can do… that?”

    He tried to shrug, almost falling again. “I-It’s something I did some years ago, this is… the first time in a long time I’ve tried this.”

    ...Oh?

    “S-Sid, we should be going-” “N-No.”

    Blake blinked at the interruption, confused by his stubborn tone as the young man lifted his arm right to point at a certain box of many that have been left untouched during the fight.

    Her eyes widened in surprise as she noticed what was on top of it, the dark-alloy of the custom-made weapon familiar to her as she quickly approached it with the tired human.

    Her free hand grasped Gambol Shroud, slowly bringing it to her shoulders and settling it here as she made her way towards… the vent shaft the human had came through.

    Sid was pointing at it with his wobbly arm and Cat Faunus followed his directions as he made sure to led them out of the unknown building and they indeed ended up leaving from the section of the vents that led outside.

    They both descended from the shaft slowly and carefully, their bodies still sore and tired enough that a bad fall could seriously create complications, then rushing as quickly as they could away from the warehouse section.

    The sun was slowly emerging and bringing another morning to Remnant as they stopped just a moment by the young man’s request, standing a long distance away from the building they had ran away from, but the place still visible from where they were.

    “B-Blake, I know that this request is big but… do you want to really bring the past to an end without running?”Sid asked quietly.

    The Cat Faunus blinked in surprise at that question, her eyes frowning in confusion but then the human brought up a… detonator?

    Her eyes widened as she returned to glance at him quizzically, silently asking him how he had recovered that device.

    “The man that gave me this suit and… the mask, he also was someone leaving the Fang. He said they are too dangerous to be left around and… he wanted this to happen in return to offering me the chance of saving you.”

    She blinked, her surprise lessening but her nervousness growing as she stared back at the device.

    “You- You want me to-”

    “You don’t have to,” He admitted quietly, his tone showing some genuine concern. “I- I know that this is a big step and that you and that I shouldn’t be the one asking you but, I think it’s best you know that you have this decision and-”

    KABOOM!

    The human stopped, eyes going wide open as his attention snapped at the large explosion ripping apart the warehouse, fire and flames consuming the remaining structure of the place.

    His wide eyes then slowly shifted back at the device and… at the index finger owned by the Belladonna now pressing it.

    “Blake-”

    “I appreciate the fact you wanted to make a speech about it, Sid, I really do,” The young woman interjected with a snort. “But I will also remind you that I’ve had plenty of sights to know that this situation is beyond saving, that… there isn’t much to do about it except accepting reality. This branch of the Fang had gone through the deep end and… it can’t be redeemed.”

    He opened up his mouth, ready to say something more but…

    Blake’s unscathed arm wrapped around his neck, bringing him in a hug as she felt her remaining energy leaving her tired body.

    A yawn left her lips as she voiced one last thing before going unconscious. “Thank you for… caring for this ‘Cat Problem’.”

    The smile was palpable in the words but the girl couldn’t see his reaction as his face was not visible from where it was standing, her only indication being his shoulders tensing up at her whisper.

    And then… she fell asleep, her mind giving her guarantee that in the end Sid would have her returned to the apartment.

    Back in that lovely and comfy couch were… she could get some sleep from.

    Meanwhile, a certain young man was having trouble walking back to his flat with the non-negligible weight that was Blake Belladonna, the girl softly resting in his hold as he carried her in a slow and tiring path back to safety.

    Truly, what a Cat Problem he got!

    -----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-dd-----------d-d-d-----------d-d-d-----------d-d-d--------d-d-d-

    ~Cinder’s POV~

    The spectacle was proving to be brilliant to look at from afar, her binoculars allowing her quite the fiery sight over the headquarters of the White Fang, the now ruined building bringing some mirthfulness and pride to her eyes.

    The fire was still destroying the remnant of the warehouse, fire-fighters and police officers having reached the area some time ago as the explosion had quickly woken up the entirety of the Kingdom with its unholy noise, bringing the attention of the entire administration to the former hideout of the organization.

    Some of the thugs had managed to survive, a few of them having been wounded or just lucky enough to have been close to windows and other entrances to escape the growing blast, but their survival ended up with the final moments of their their freedom as the law enforcers arrived on time to arrest them all, their next destination being jail itself.

    She could already imagine the newspapers’ lines, the big titles throwing accusations and condemnation to the terrorist nature behind the White Fang and forcing the group to grow more and more desperate to resist the hatred combined against them.

    With the explosion surely going to be ruled out as a mistaken care of some ‘high-grade weaponry’ stolen from Atlas, multiple ramifications were going to happen all at once.

    First thing first, the Fang would suffer a major blow to their reputation, the current evidence presented about their sudden aggressive nature having been considered until now by a grand majority of Faunus as an attempt to demonize the organization, now the major event surely going to bring unpleasant attention to Sienna Khan and her Clique.

    The presence of illegal Atlesian guns, Dust and other military-grade equipment would then result in a tightening of the regulations coming from the Kingdom in the north, simmering the reputation between Atlas and Vale.

    The aftermath of the explosion was already causing some small-scale panic spreading all across the capital and attracting even more Grimm to the walls, something that incredibly helped her to avoid any suspicions about a ‘sudden’ increase of Grimm presence that her plan required.

    Still, with the White Fang surely requiring to retreat their Valean Branch with the sudden lack of recruits, Cinder will have to find some more canon fodders to fill in the role of backbone for their little invasion.

    Her mind was already thinking of having Roman work on expanding his turf and draft some of the other disgruntled criminal, maybe create a mercenary group that was easier to manipulate and use even after attacking Vale.

    Promises of wealth, power and betterment of life were surely going to conquer a large majority of the scum lurking in the kingdom’s darkest corners, enough to be made in a true strike force that could genuinely be used better than the Fang’s useless fools.

    Yet her job was far from over in that very day as some more tasks were needed before going back to her safe hideout.

    The Half-maiden proceeded to bring up her Scroll, accessing to the cameras she had set just outside her brother’s flat, from the entrance of the building up to the corridor before the door that led to the apartment, and woman was elated when she found the tired-looking young man bringing the lucky Faunus back to his home.

    He looked incredibly drained from the fight he had to go through, making Cinder question her own cautiousness to not urge her younger sibling to go this far with his mindset, maybe next time give it some more attention instead of being this much trustworthy, and…

    She was just so happy that he had proved her right, actually doing much more than she had expected him to do with how things have unfolded in just a handful of hours.

    Not only his response had been immediate to the threat, but the magnitude and power carried in that reaction of his… was thrilling to witness from a safe distance.

    It made sense to her that her lovely brother would be as brutal and fierce in protecting his things from damage, to retaliate vehemently when he was wronged or slighted by someone so foolish and moronic.

    Cinder could almost see how angry he had to be while facing Adam, the Bull Faunus currently missing and surely dead, the hatred materialized with the sheer madness of Sid’s semblance butchering the feeble fool in smithereens before bringing the silly girl to safety in his lair.

    For a moment her mind sported some jealousy at this specific detail, the bridal-carry that the Cat was surely enjoying just like the one the young boy used to give his sister when they were incredibly young.

    Time made the requirements to accomplish that delightful feat quite difficult to reach for the young man, but now that he was a full-fledged adult…

    She could only imagine the sensation of being hold by his athletic form, her smile growing a little more genuine at the thought of that.

    Maybe she should visit him? Maybe in a day or two, just enough to see him recover from his own injuries and be a little more at ease around people.

    Yes, some time away from him now mattered so little as he was now in her reach.

    The Half-maiden just needed to will it and… he would be hers to capture and keep away from dangers.

    But of course that opportunity wasn’t viable from the very beginning, her childish trail of thoughts concluding with some reasonable obstacles in the form of emotions.

    Cinder wasn’t certainly going to ruin her brother with hasty and brash need to have him around her, like a good sister should, but rather she would have to wait the right moment to strike and get him to ‘understand’ more about their connection.

    Yes, she can bear to wait for some more time for said chance to arise.

    She had already many things to do before this even happened, so much that needed to be done and completed for her main plans of true justice to this world.

    The woman hummed as she made her way back to her own headquarters, ignoring the people all around, looking so afraid and tense to what had happened in the last few hours.

    She entered the medium-sized warehouse sited far away from the Fang’s headquarters, finding Emerald and Mercury staring in shock at the TV’s screen, the news detailing the destruction that had lit the city’s collective mind like a true inferno.

    Emerald noticing her presence first, her mouth opening as she tried to formulate some questions over the matter, her curiosity clear but her coherence coming to miss as the girl failed to get some query formed.

    Yet Cinder knew exactly what the green-haired teen wanted to know. “It was him.”

    The comment seemed to finally get Mercury’s attention, the silver-haired mercenary had his wide eyes at the woman.

    “You mean to tell me that the guy we had fought is responsible for this?” He asked in pure surprise and with some skepticism. “Surely he got some ally to infiltrate and-”

    “Someone gave him a White Fang uniform, some explosives, and the address to the warehouse, but the rest was all him,” Cinder interrupted with a slightly proud tone, having some issues keeping her voice under control. “Roman contacted me recently that one of the White Fang’s target had recently left town after a visit at Junior’s and the owner confirmed that Sid did in fact ask for some information from him.”

    “T-This is ridiculous-” The girl paused, tensing up at their boss’ frown. “I-I mean, I think that the Fang couldn’t have been caught off-guard so easily. As much as a strong guy he could be, it couldn’t have been easy to-”

    “You mean to tell me you have forgotten the prank we pulled at some lazy grunts?” Mercury interjected with a snort, causing his partner to blink and slowly nod. “C’mon, it was memorable! The poor fools couldn’t recognize us while we wore their uniforms and gave them some fiery sermons about the ‘cause’ and ‘freedom’.”

    Emerald sighed. “I admit that was quite disappointing but… I though it was an isolated case,” She said before glancing at Cinder. “Wasn’t it that?”

    The Half-Maiden merely nodded. “Adam did give the impression they were professional, but sometime people put on some convincing masks to hide their incompetence. Especially if some of the recruits are mere botanists with no experience on fighting.”

    “Ouch,” Mercury commented with a quick flinch. “Still, shouldn’t we be worried about what this guy will do now? He did seem to recognize that we weren’t part of the Fang and-”

    “He will do nothing about it,” Cinder stopped him with a sigh. “He will not expose himself or his friend to danger once again without some decent proof that could lead up to you two. He will not risk it.”

    The silver-haired teen nodded before frowning in confusion. “You know, boss, you have yet to tell us how do you know so much about him,” He said with genuine interest. “I mean, you seem to know so much about him that it seems you have been close to him.”

    “Is there a question or do you want to be punished for being disrespectful, Mercury?” The steel glare reaching from the woman seemed to stun the young man to silence, surprise building up but the son of Marcus Black merely shrugged and decided to not poke any longer at the murderous dragon.

    “Just curiosity, I will tune out now,” He decided to conclude with, knowing better from testing his boss’ undeniable sense of wrath.

    “What about the ‘friend’, the Cat Faunus?” The tanned girl asked with some genuine curiosity. “She is dangerous to have around him and if her teammates find her out-”

    “Sid will surely be able to find a way to get the attention away from her,” Cinder stated with incredible conviction. “Until now he managed to hide her in plain sight, I know that he will manage even in the worst case scenario.”

    There was a pause, but Emerald nodded at the woman before turning her attention back to the TV.

    Without much else to do, the half-maiden decided to spend the rest of her day planning out the next step in the principal plan, the first obstacle to face in this mission for Salem.

    It was something incredibly complicated from a simplistic point of view, the problem ending up being quickly deemed beyond her current capacity much to her growing dissatisfaction.

    So, instead of raging and causing a fuss over the matter, Cinder decided to make sure to bring in someone loyal to her that could seriously help her with this task.

    Emerald gulped nervously as she walked upstairs and then right where Cinder’s command room was.

    Once she had reached her boss, the woman currently reading from one of the personal terminals built on her room, the half-maiden quickly took her by her side and showed her the issue they had to deal together for the incoming infiltration at Beacon.

    Red eyes widened in surprise and minor embarrassment, the half-maiden unwilling to specify what kind of problem she was having with the clothes she had now on her bed.

    Emerald’s face reddened as she gave a simple but blunt order coming from her ‘guardian’, her mind failing to grasp the ‘complexity’ of such request.

    “Help me putting on this uniform,” The woman said without a hint of any second reasons, her genuine concern manifesting in the fact a 22-years old woman was supposed to don a first-year student uniform from Haven Academy.

    The thing was… incredibly small and unfairly difficult to put on.

    And that is why Emerald was needed, the former thief surely the only trustworthy assistant to get her to succeed in that embarrassing issue.

    After two hours of trying and fighting against the blasted skirt and shirt, Cinder ended up victorious from that difficult battle before carefully removing the pieces before those ended up tearing at the stress they were suffering in that moment.

    Some knitting will become essential to adjust the size to better accommodate her frame without damaging the integrity of the cloth.

    Meanwhile, a certain tanned girl was seen smiling for the rest of the day, not even the crass puns coming from Mercury managing to bring her out from that heavenly mood.

    Such was the reward of a faithful minion.

    ----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-dd---------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-------

    AN

    So yep, the Valean Branch is ‘mostly’ dead and I can already tell that Adam is not dead.

    And no, I will not make him an Angsty ex-boyfriend, rather the awkward guy that misunderstand signals that aren’t even there. Yes, he genuinely believes that Blake was into him (which she wasn’t).

    Lastly yes, the next phase will see a grand change… that will last for a while.

    Some will be shocked, some will call for my execution (not that I’m planning something that massive, but people overreact) and I think some will call me a madlad.

    But in the end yes, I will make something epic.

    Stay tuned and… always believe in Gravity. Wryyy~
     
  30. The Brotagonist

    The Brotagonist A Neo Outlook on Life

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    This was an enjoyable read. I'll admit I was very hesitant when his Sister was about to be introduced and feared it was going to be the typical "family member doesn't like the girl and starts to meddle", while it did go in that direction it did so in a different way.

    Is the "grand change" going to be Blake's introduction back into Team RW(B)Y? And as a result of that they will be separated for a while? I'm hoping it isn't something like Sun is back and is thirstin' for that Bellabooty as per usual with his stalkerish tendencies. I'm fine with Drama but not Relationship Drama as it is something I typically avoid - I'm not looking to read Twilight: RWBY Edition. I've been enjoying it as is - a nice character exploration and introspection on Blake's character as well as Sid's own.
     
    JBukharin likes this.
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