Man, I don't even know why I'm doing this, but the idea won't leave me.
Pyrrha Nikos smiled slightly to herself as she ate her breakfast, enjoying both the food and the company of her teammates. Beacon's cafeteria was uncommonly good for institutional food, and this morning was no exception. Also like most mornings, Nora was chattering brightly about a dream she'd had or plans for a future adventure or a dream about an adventure, with Ren offering the occasional soft-voiced comment. Even with Ren's additions, Jaune still looked a bit lost as he tried to follow the trail of Nora's thoughts.
Pyrrha's smile grew wider as she saw some familiar figures approaching her team's table. Since they had found themselves working together during their initiation at Beacon her own team JNPR and team RWBY had developed a close friendship, and they took their meals together more often than not. She opened her mouth to greet the other team, then froze, the words dying in her mouth.
Just what ... happened to them?
She cast her eyes over the other group, taking in their unusual state. Of the four girls, only Weiss met her gaze, her icy blue stare openly challenging her to make some comment. Pyrrha held Weiss's stare for a few moments longer before she looked aside, daunted, and muttered a weak "G-good morning."
Weiss offered her a tight smile as she sat down with the rest of her team at their shared table. "Good morning Pyrrha, everyone."
Ren, perceptive and discreet as always, nodded in greeting and said nothing. Jaune was similarly silent, whether out of wisdom or confusion. Only Nora cried out "Morning g- wow, what happened to you?" She gasped. "Were you attacked? We have to find those fiends and bring them to justice!"
Ruby and Yang flinched as the temperature at the table seemed to drop by several degrees and Weiss's face grew even more set into a careful non-expression. Blake rubbed at her forehead with one hand as she sighed. "Weiss, perhaps I should be the one to explain this to everyone."
Weiss took a careful sip of her tea. "Explain? I see nothing here that requires explanation."
Blake sighed again. "We all know they aren't going to accept something like that." She turned to face the members of team JNPR. "So, last night we had one of our team study sessions..."
Weiss was not deeply engrossed in her studies. In truth, she didn't need to be. Her grades on her last several quizzes had been excellent and she was ahead of the scheduled reading for most of her classes. If she was to be honest with herself, the main reason she attended these team study sessions was in case Ruby needed help. Her partner was a proficient fighter, but being advanced two years had left some gaps in her knowledge base.
Right now, however, it was not Ruby distracting her from her studies but Yang. Over the past few minutes the other girl had been letting out a series of murmurs, sounding alternately intrigued and frustrated, and the noise and half-heard words had chewed away at Weiss's concentration. She finally let out a frustrated sigh and asked "Is there something we can help you with, Yang?"
Yang looked up from her text and gave a start. "Hm? Ah, well, maybe. Look here." She set the book she had been reading on their shared table and turned it partway towards Weiss. "See, this is a reading for our Aura Theory and Practice class, and in this one bit right here," she underlined with her finger, "they talk about a theoretical technique to ignite something by focusing enough will and Aura on it, so I was just thinking-"
Weiss glanced up sharply from the book. "You can't be serious."
"Well, why not? My Semblance is flame, after all. Honestly, I think if anyone should be capable of doing this it would be me. It can't be too hard to go from burning things on accident to on purpose. And since you were kind enough to offer to help~" Yang cut off her words as Weiss's palm smacked against her forehead.
“Fine, clearly I deserve this.” She looked at Yang. “Exactly what help do you need?”
Yang gave her a cheeky grin. “Obviously I need you to make me angry! Shouldn't be hard for you, princess.”
“Really, I only seem to produce flame when I get angry. I've been trying to figure out how to do it cold,” she took a moment to chuckle at her own pun “but it hasn't been working very well.”
Weiss considered the idea for a minute. It sounded like a truly interesting and useful technique that had before been only theoretical. For a team of first-year students to develop something like that would be an impressive accomplishment, a mark of prestige for all of them. “Alright, I'll do it. But only if” she help up a finger “you give Ember Celica to Blake and Ruby and have them hold you back.”
“What?! Weiss, don't you trust me not to hurt you?”
Weiss gave her teammate a level stare. “How many times did you punch the last thing that made you angry enough to ignite?”
Yang looked sheepish. “Ah, I dunno, maybe a dozen?”
Blake looked up from her textbook. “Twenty-seven, actually.”
“And then you kicked him through a window.” Ruby chimed in. “And even if he grabbed your butt during a fight it was a bit much, and the cops had that whole talk with you about excessive force, and-”
“Alright, I get it already!” Yang snapped, her cheeks red with embarrassment. She stripped the cuffs of Ember Celica off her wrists and set them firmly on the table before standing from her chair and walking several paces away from the others. Ruby and Blake exchanged a glace before they each reached out to pocket one of the cuffs and stood up to follow her.
“Arms.” Ruby requested, and Yang heaved a sigh before thrusting her arms out to either side. Ruby and Blake each took one of her arms and placed it in a gentle yet firm restraint hold. Ruby glanced over to Weiss. “Ready, I guess.”
“Ready,” Yang agreed. “What are you even going to do that has you so afraid I'll maul you, Weiss?”
Weiss silently drew Myrtenaster from where it hung at her hip and walked over to her teammates. Yang twitched. “What are you going to do with that? Weiss, no.” Weiss reached out with her right hand and gathered some of Yang's flowing golden hair. “No no no no no
, don't even think about it, you will suffer so much if you do-”
Yang's words were cut off by a shriek of outrage as Myrtenaster cleanly severed the locks of hair Weiss held. Yang lunged forward, dragging Ruby and Blake with her for a step as fire erupted from her skin and hair. Her head lunged forward, teeth snapping as she tried to bite as Weiss's right hand.
Weiss promptly retreated several more steps and surveyed Yang. Her irises had turned a bright, vivid red. Flame flickered and crawled along her limbs and through her hair like a living thing. Blake and Ruby, still holding her back by her arms, were pushing their own Auras outward to protect themselves from the fire. Rose petals and shadow clashed with flame and held it at bay.
Perhaps predictably, Yang didn't seem to have any intention other than hitting Weiss. She sighed. “Yang, come on. Focus on that technique or this is all just a waste of our time!” she snapped.
Yang's head snapped up and she focused on Weiss. Her lips split into a grin. “Alright, fine, you want to see it? I'll show it to you very
closely, so watch carefully, heh!”
Weiss was able to feel and almost see the tendril of focused Aura and intent that lashed away from Yang then. Confusingly, it seemed to curl around her right side before dissipating. She turned to look behind her. “I felt you do something, but it doesn't seem to have actually done anything. What were you trying to-”
Weiss was cut off by the realization of a growing feeling of heat against the right side of her back and Ruby's outcry. “Ah! Weiss, your hair is on fire!”
Weiss was already slapping at her hair and side in an effort to put out the growing fire that had started in her ponytail. Being unable to see exactly what parts of her hair were burning, she was unable to get it out and the fire was spreading. Ruby glanced back and forth between Weiss and Yang, who was still struggling in her grip, before she kicked her sister's legs out from under her. Letting Yang drag Blake with her as she fell, Ruby darted to her partner's side to join her in trying to extinguish the fire.
“Weiss, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, ah! I can't get it out, it's no good!” Almost all of Weiss's ponytail was now burning, and the efforts of the two to extinguish it were doing nothing. In desperation, Ruby grabbed Weiss's ponytail just below the hairtie. Her other hand darted behind her back.
Weiss's eyes widened at the sound of metal scraping against metal. “Ruby don't you dare-!”
Blake trailed off somewhat awkwardly. “And, well, that's about what happened. We're probably lucky we didn't set the study room on fire. Or have any witnesses.”
Pyrrha nodded and turned back to Weiss. Her flowing white hair had been severed at the point where she normally tied it into a tail, leaving her with a messy and asymmetric bob cut. “Well, I suppose I understand what happened to you.” She glanced back at Blake, who was rubbing at some burn dressings on her forearms. “And to you as well. But what happened to those two?” She pointed to Ruby and Yang, who had not said a word or stopped shivering since sitting at the cafeteria table. Ruby was huddled over her coffee mug and bowl of oatmeal as through trying to get all the warmth she could out of it.
“Ah. Well, after that incident, Weiss decided that if we were going to test techniques on each other we should take turns.”
“S-still so cold...” Ruby whispered.
Nora gave Weiss a cheerful grin. “I think your hair looks pretty good like this!” she chirped. She pointed her fork back and forth between Ruby and Weiss. “The two of you look more like each other now. Couples should match!”
They choked on their breakfasts.
So yeah, longest thing I've written in a while. I struggled a bit with the ending. Comments, proofreading, ways I could make it less crap?
Also, it's my headcanon that Ruby carries a hunting knife along with Crescent Rose because a) I saw a production of
where Red started carrying a knife after her encounter with the wolf, and b) there are just things a scythe isn't good at.