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Tear Jerker / Weight of the World

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The series as a whole:

  • America's life in general. He has been tortured, manipulated, abducted, coerced, betrayed, and taken advantage of more times than can be counted, slipping closer and closer to the Despair Event Horizon.
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    Weight of the World 

Chapter Nine: Vacation

  • America recognizes Ironwood as one of the men who held him and Canada captive. He realizes the teachers he trusted are apparently siding with Ironwood and panics. He desperately tries to escape but is cornered and collapses.

Chapter Ten: The Missing Days

  • America is unable to do anything but scream at the Atlas soldiers when they take Canada from their cell. When Canada is brought back, he's trembling and crying in pain after getting Mantle's Aura forced into him. He spends the rest of the time in the lab curled up and shivering in the corner as his Aura struggles to stabilize.
  • America is brought to the Aura transfer room and comprehends he is not strong enough to fight off all of the soldiers. He lets them shove him into the Aura transfer machine with barely a fight. During the transfer, he screams in agony and is unable to voice his pleas for the pain to stop.
  • America wakes up in Amber's Vault with Ozpinati looming over him. The first thing he does is quietly beg them not to harm Canada.
  • Seeing America grow increasingly scared, uncertain, and wary around Ozpinati. Because of their secrets and actions, his benign view of them is broken and he is unsure he can trust them.
  • America listens to Ozpinati explain why he needs to accept the rest of Vale's Aura. They insist he has a choice. He knows they're lying. The transfer was already started. He has no choice but to agree to finish it.

Chapter Twelve: Amber and Copper

  • America's feeling of isolation. He cannot tell anyone about Vale or the "choice" he has to make and has no one he can turn to for advice, not even Canada.

Chapter Thirteen: Vytal Festival

  • Ozpin's hurt that Ironwood kept more secrets about Alfred, Matthew, and Amber after Ironwood swore told Ozpinati everything. His hands tremble as he quietly says he thought they all trusted each other.

Chapter Fourteen: National Pride

  • England's dismissive attitude towards America. He does not know what America has been through or the Sadistic Choice he must make to save Remnant. He unknowingly rubs salt in the wound by berating America for wanting to stay in order to play the hero, which could not be further from the real reason.

Chapter Fifteen: Friendly Chats

  • Penny admits her team only spends time with her when they are ordered to.
  • Mantle and Vale/Amber are siblings, yet Mantle gave Cinder her location anyway. Mantle betrayed his only sister to save his own skin.

Chapter Sixteen: Fallen Sky

  • America's heartbroken reaction when Canada and Japan unknowingly imply he should sacrifice himself and fail to understand he isn't trying to be a self-absorbed hero. America is so distraught and stressed he suffers a minor breakdown and runs off, crying.
  • The above leads to America's merciless beatdown at the hands of Yang. Yang has a moment of horrified comprehension of what she has done as Canada cradles his bleeding brother and wails in grief...
  • Before Yang's attack, the last time Canada and England spoke to America they had an argument. Ouch.

Chapter Seventeen: Aftershock

  • Yang isn't there to defend herself when Blake wonders if she changed. When Weiss defends Yang, Blake reminds them (in a dull monotone) that Yang kept beating up Alfred after his Aura broke . Ruby can hardly stand to hear the conversation and has to force herself not to cover her ears and cry.
  • Unlike in canon, Ruby cannot simply believe in her sister. Ruby witnessed the assault and Yang (seemingly) attacked Alfred, a bystander and their close friend who was in the middle of the civilian-filled Fairgrounds, completely unprovoked. She's torn between wanting to believe Yang would never do such a thing and her horror about her friend's critical condition. She wonders how she could miss the signs that Yang was about to snap, and feels guilty for thinking such a thing about her sister.
    • In other words, Ruby's sister attacked one of her closest friends, and there is no way for Yang to explain or Ruby to try to justify Yang's actions to herself without somehow blaming Alfred. The whole scenario leaves Ruby torn, distraught, and crushed until Jaune brings up the possibility of a Semblance that messes with minds.
  • Canada questions the twins' friendship with Yang and wonders if he was so caught up with having friends that he missed warning signs that she should not be trusted.

Chapter Eighteen: Scattered Pieces

  • While in jail, Yang is wracked with guilt and contemplates how she could lose everything she has worked for even if she doesn't get convicted. She immediately feels selfish for having such thoughts while her friend is dying in the hospital, and bargains with any deity that will listen that she will give it all up in exchange for Alfred's survival.
  • Yang also thinks her team abandoned her because they did not come to see her. She doesn't know they were unable to because they couldn't leave their room without facing other students and the press.

Chapter Twenty-Two: No Hero in the End

  • After America goes missing, Canada mostly sits in his guest room in Taiyang's house and hardly speaks to anyone, watching America's goodbye message over and over.
  • America's message itself. He says goodbye to everyone, tearfully admits that he's terrified of losing himself to Vale, and apologizes to Canada for "leaving" (because if Canada sees the message that means America is gone).

    The Shattered Soul 

Chapter Four: Champion

  • Pyrrha runs into a little girl in the bathroom of the airship. The girl recognizes her as the person who "killed that girl with the bow" and flees. Pyrrha then overhears the girl calling her a monster and breaks down.

Chapter Nine: Inevitable

  • Though it was easy to see coming, Neo, Roman, and Mercury's betrayal hits hard. Alfred spent weeks with these people, fighting together, laughing, and getting to know each other, and they beat him up and leave him to die without an ounce of hesitation or remorse.

Chapter Twelve: Memory

  • Alfred struggles to remain positive while traveling through Anima alone, using thoughts of finding his family to keep himself cheerful and the Grimm at bay when all he wants to do is curl up into a ball and cry.

Chapter Fifteen: Sever Their Trust

  • ...Which leads into the meeting with England, who Alfred remembers pointing a gun at him. His hurt at the betrayal is palpable.
    "Roman was right. I am just a prize to be thrown away." Anguished eyes looked to Canada and all he could see was America's blue. "Did you betray me too?"

Chapter Seventeen: Welcome to Earth

  • Upon realizing she is on another world and left everyone she loves behind, Pyrrha crumples in the hallway and cries as the nations helplessly look on, unsure if they have the right to comfort her after everything they kept from her.

    The Depths of Deception 

General

  • The amnesiac America struggles with feelings of self-loathing, wondering whether he is the "real" America or not and feeling like a fraud whenever he fails to remember something or does not do something the way "the real America" would.
  • Canada's listlessness when he realizes he's dying. He does not get out of bed. He barely eats, he does not talk, and his family and friends cannot figure out what is wrong. He just lays there and waits to die. It's an uncomfortably realistic depiction of depression, complete with lack of interest in things he usually enjoys and feelings of worthlessness. Canada's completely given up. Thankfully Cuba helps him.

Chapter Five: Deeper Into Conspiracies

  • Ruby's denial about Pyrrha, Alfred, and the others' "deaths" and her insistence that RNJR need to keep looking for them until Jaune bluntly tells her they are gone is hard to read.
    Ruby: (thoughts) Repress repress repress.
    Ruby: (chuckles) "Well, silver eye now."

Chapter Ten: Visitation Rights

  • Pyrrha's father breaks down and cries when told about his daughter's "death". The strong, jovial man becomes a weeping mess, mumbling about how he needs to inform his wife when she returns. He then tearfully begs Jaune to let him forge the remains of Pyrrha's weapon into his armor and shield so Pyrrha can see the fight through to the end.

Chapter Twelve: Everything Hurts

  • RWY's happy reunion turns tearful when Weiss and Yang are told about Pyrrha, Alfred, Matthew, and the others' "deaths" Ruby reveals she blames herself for their passing and agonizes over all the different decisions she could have made to prevent it.
  • Because of England's harsh rejections of him, America questions whether he deserved what happened to him.

Chapter Seventeen: Psych 101

  • America's heartbroken admittance that he "gave up" while at the lab, and his continued self-loathing. He hates himself for giving in so easily and rants about how he should have "tried harder" to escape instead of meekly doing what Atlas wanted.
  • It shows how much Remnant messed him up when he says he's letting them and Atlas win just by living.
  • Ruby is melancholic and uncertain after being left out of the Kuchinashi mission. She second-guesses her every action and wonders if that was why she was not trusted enough to go.

Chapter Eighteen: The Bite of Failure

  • Italy feels worthless after failing to protect Germany and Prussia from the Grimm. In an attempt to prove to himself that he is capable, he loads up a Grimm battle-simulation in the hologram room... and completely fails at it. Germany's quiet admission that Italy does not have to prove anything to him only drives Italy (and the readers) to tears.

Chapter Nineteen: Drawn and Sketchy

  • The guilt of what she did to Alfred haunts Yang. When Mercury reminds her of the incident and rubs it in her face, her first instinct isn't to punch him, but to struggle to hold back her tears.
  • During one of his therapy sessions, America also admits he's waiting for his friends to betray or abandon him and implies he thinks he deserves it.
    • America has taken Roman's words that he is nothing more than a prize to be fought over, manipulated, and thrown away to heart. After everything he has gone through, America's sense of self-worth is now completely in the dumps.

Chapter Twenty-Two: Unprotected Exposure

  • After America defeats the Karkadann, he panics and accidentally throws England into a tree. When England gets back up and approaches, America flinches. He thinks England is going to attack him and rather than fight him off or run, America shuts his eyes and braces himself for it.

Chapter Twenty-Six: Disaster

  • RWYJNR's failure to retrieve the Relic of Knowledge hits hard. Their struggle this book was All for Nothing.
    • Ruby begins crying as she realizes they utterly failed. Haven is safe but the thing that really matters is lost.
  • Yang and Blake's short interaction shows that Yang has not forgiven Blake for abandoning her team.
  • America's response to England's deception. He's so stunned that England never accepted Vale that he goes nonverbal as he silently cries. England and America's relationship seemed to be on the mend, but it turns out England was secretly hating a part of America this whole time.
    • It took so long for America to trust England again, and that trust is shattered in an instant.
  • A pinned America desperately begs England not to sever his connection with Vale as Canada futilely tries to comfort him.
  • America is captured by Atlas again. England could not keep his promise.

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Drafted into Service

  • England tells the group he has a ritual to get them to Remnant. Pyrrha asks if he had the ritual (a way to get her home) the whole time. England has a moment of realization before Pyrrha shoves past him, saying she is going to the training room in a choked voice.
  • America struggles not break down and panic as he wakes up and realizes he's been captured again. Only his gag keeps him from screaming and sobbing as he comprehends he is right back where he started.

     The Atrocities of Atlas 

Chapter One: Fathers and Daughters

  • Ruby does not defend Qrow and Ozpin after finding out the secrets they kept. Ruby is upset enough that she does not berate Yang for punching their uncle.
  • Ozpin grows uncharacteristically silent and morose when he is told about the Grimm on Earth. His failure to stop Salem has officially pulled another world into their conflict.
  • Having finally recovered his memories and found out what happened, America mourns Penny. He realizes her Aura can never be brought back and sadly thinks how she can never be replaced.
  • America is so traumatized by his experiences in the lab he nearly goes into hysterics when he sees Polendina dressed him in the cargo pants and white t-shirt he wore there.

Chapter Two: Dark Thoughts

  • When Blake goes to say goodbye to her parents, Ruby thinks Blake is leaving the team again. She barely keeps herself from saying that out loud but Blake easily fills in the blanks.
  • Prussia names his Remnant-styled weapon Rapunzel. Rapunzel is one of the fairy tales he reads to a sick HRE in canon. It is confirmed he is thinking of HRE when Germany sees tears in Prussia's eyes after he asks why Prussia named his weapon after a "fairy tale princess".
  • America must touch technology to manipulate tech with his Semblance. He knows this, but tries to extend the range of his Semblance anyway so he doesn't have to touch tech and intends to use that to escape Polendina. His efforts are futile.

Chapter Three: Slice and Sink

  • The soldiers constantly drug France to keep him out of it and Australia and Romano are completely helpless to stop them. When France isn't unconscious, he sits on his cot and silently stares at his hands.
  • Polendina reveals the Atlas soldiers never planted any bombs in NYC. America nearly breaks down when he realizes he easily could have fought them off and avoided capture instead of needlessly giving himself up to save people that were never in danger.
  • A small moment, but when Blake sarcastically snaps at Italy, he's obviously hurt. And then Yang glowers at Blake, showing how fractured their friendship has become.
  • Canada breaks down in tears after he rants about the deaths of everyone in Mantle. He may have never stepped foot in the city, but he cared about Mantle's people as if they were his own.
  • Weiss's guilt when she's told the mine that caused the accident was run by the SDC.
  • This exchange after the Mantle reveal is short but poignant:
    Blake (shouting): This isn't about Dust!
    Qrow (solemnly): I know, kiddo.
    • The above exchange happens after Qrow mentions how the rich people of Atlas will only care about the higher Dust prices instead of the lost lives. Atlas cares so little about Mantle that the loss will barely get a mention on the news, if anything.

Chapter Four: Confrontation

  • Yang fully expects Blake to abandon RWBY again and tells her as much.
    "I'm ready to face my past. I came back to the team." Blake said weakly.
    "No." Yang stated. "You didn't. You just happened to run into us at Haven. If we weren't there, you never would have come back to us."
    "I would!" Blake denied.
    "After how long?" Yang challenged. "Years? Your priorities were never becoming a Huntress or staying with our team. They always revolved around Adam and the White Fang, and the White Fang wouldn't fall in a night. If we weren't at Haven, you'd still be running after Adam."
    Blake couldn't deny it.
    Yang crossed her arms, glare never weakening. "Yes, you didn't know about Salem and the Relics. Yes, the White Fang is a threat. But we are a team. We tell each other things. We fight together. You never remember that. You always insist on doing things alone over and over and over." Her eyes turned a dull blue. "All this proves is you still don't trust us at all, even after everything. You don't trust our capabilities, our ability to protect ourselves, or our team. You didn't trust us to help and defend you."
  • When Austria is grabbed by a Hologram Grimm in the battle simulation, only a couple nations bother trying to help him and a few question why he is part of the Taskforce. No wonder Germany chews them out for it.
  • America has watched Penny's death so many times that he sees it when his eyes are closed. After he smashes the screen by throwing his shoe at it, he can barely keep himself from having a meltdown and sobbing. He's slipping closer to the Despair Event Horizon.

Chapter Six: "Good" Soldiers

  • America forces himself not to cry during and after the soldier tortures him, doing anything from counting in Japanese to imagining vengeance upon his assailant in order to distract himself from the attack. He's in denial about the attack leaving scars, and thinks himself weak for "allowing" a human to permanently injure him like that.

Chapter Seven: Little Voice in His Head

  • When another guard attacks America after he steps out of the shower, he does not bother fighting back. He does not see the point in trying.

Chapter Eight: Ultimatum

  • America cannot do a thing to defend himself when Polendina's soldiers hold him down as Polendina prepares to take some of his Aura. Anything, that is, except activate Penny 2.0, something he has been trying to avoid since he woke there. He finally does what his captor wants so all his struggles and pain this book so far were for nothing in the end.
  • America knows he will not wake up if Polendina takes part of his Aura. His desperation and fear is doubled by Vale's and he sobs openly as Polendina preps him for the procedure.
  • Based on the activation-sequence text for Penny 2.0, Penny Polendina's Aura truly is gone and can never be brought back.

Chapter Nine: Activated

  • When America asks Penny 2.0 if she remembers they are friends, she flatly states she fails to see the relevance of that to her mission.
  • America breaks down sobbing after the soldier's last attack, furiously berating himself for not fighting back sooner. Penny 2.0 comes in, sees him crying... and does absolutely nothing to comfort him. She only stands there and watches him. If there is anything that proves the old Penny is gone, it's that.

Chapter Ten: Waiting Game

  • Weiss's distraught reaction when she realizes how corrupt and dystopian her home has become. She hardly reacts when Ruby hugs her.

Chapter Eleven: Internal Strife

  • Romano sits in his cell with only a blindfolded, gagged, and deafened Australia for company. He has no one to talk to, and only his thoughts to distract them. What are those thoughts? "Rescue isn't coming."

Chapter Twelve: Pawns

  • America falls unconscious from internal bleeding. When he wakes up, Penny asks about America's family as they head towards their destination. America is briefly overjoyed but quickly realizes she only asked to keep the conversation going and make sure he stayed awake. Her lack of interest is confirmed when she accepts his randomly-chosen topic about fighting techniques. Every time America begins to think Penny 2.0 may be developing emotions and a sense of self, that hope is brutally crushed.
  • The increasingly dystopic nature of Atlas has had a heartbreaking affect on Neon. The once bubbly, colorful, and expressive Faunus has become wary and withdrawn, preferring to not draw attention to herself in order to avoid being arrested. At Atlas Academy, she cannot be herself or ask to use a training area for a spar because some of her classmates and teachers are itching for an excuse to kick her out.
  • Vale's response when they see Penny 2.0 has led them to Ironwood. She's so used to betrayal that she isn't surprised. She's only resigned.

Chapter Thirteen: Cycle

  • America's thoughts when Penny 2.0 reveals she has been giving Ironwood information on him this whole time. He ricochets between hurt, despair, and terror as he realizes Ironwood intends to capture him again.
  • Ironwood grabs America from behind and America flashes back to the ex-soldier. He freaks out and drags flame-tipped fingers down "the soldier's" face and kicks him away. It's clear America is suffering from major PTSD.
  • America's anguished declaration note  that Penny is the only person he has on Remnant. Other than her, he is completely alone and without allies he can rely on or turn to for help.
  • Throughout the escape, Vale tells America to use the cyanide ring. She doesn't believe they can escape Ironwood and Penny, and is resigned to their fate.

Chapter Fourteen: Not So Little Secrets

  • Vale's outburst that she could do nothing but watch while America tried to fight off Ironwood. She is completely unable to help him in any way, no matter how much she wants to.
  • Ruby hides behind Canada for a majority of the Silver-Eyes/Summer/Ozpin conversation and is afraid that her friends will judge or fear her because of Silver Eyes. She struggles to hold herself together, frantically tries to leave while babbling about how she might hurt them, and barely speaks a word otherwise.
  • Weiss weakly defends Ozpin by saying he isn't lying; He just isn't telling them the full truth. She struggled to accept that Ozpin kept so many secrets from them and may not have his students' best interests at heart.

Chapter Fifteen: Sand and Snow

  • RWBY, JNPR and the nations realizes they cannot trust or include Oscar because Ozpin is in his head and will know everything Oscar does.

Chapter Sixteen: Guilt

  • America genuinely worries that Winter is going to chain him to something or lock him in a room to keep him from leaving while she is gone. He is so used to people hurting him that he expects such behavior. Even worse, he does not intend to fight back as he thinks this. He only backs away from Winter and braces himself.

Chapter Eighteen: AGATE

  • The K and I of Team FNKI chose loyalty to Atlas over their teammates and doing what's right. Neon is broken up about her "friends'" betrayal while Flynt is terse when they're brought up. A team of what should be True Companions split up because two of them drank Atlas's propaganda Kool aid.
  • Canada still hates his Semblance and is disgusted when he is forced to use it.

Chapter Twenty: Iron Heart

  • Vale's insults to America. She encourages him to use the ring, insists he should kill himself to save his enemies the trouble, and snaps that America's friends actually hate him. America recognizes the insults for what they are (baseless hostility from Vale) but he's still hurt by them.
  • America's desperation as Ironwood drugs him again and again. He begs Ironwood to stop as the General keeps drugging him to the point where America nearly falls unconscious from overdosing.
  • Ironwood's acknowledgment that he and Atlas have become as bad as the people they fought. He refuses America's offer of redemption and is resigned to go down in history as a villainous tyrant who was responsible for the Institute and other atrocities.
  • After America defeats Ironwood, Vale gives another scathing remark. America brokenly snaps at her that he "knows he's an idiot" and knows that he "walked into near-capture" again. Vale coldly tells him not to cry because "it's annoying" and America shakily tells her to shut up.

Chapter Twenty-One: Mercy

  • America tearfully apologizes for getting France captured by Atlas's men. France is unable to tell him that he doesn't blame America and can only pat his cheek consolingly.
  • America wilts when France calls him a naive idiot, one of Vale's favorite insults for him. He hides his hurt (as usual), but France notices something is wrong.
  • When France touches America's cheek to comfort him, America is startled and recoils before relaxing. France notes it's almost as if America is unused to such kindness... and America is unused to it. He's been with Winter and Penny ever since escaping Polendina. Before that, almost everyone who touched him had the intention to hurt him or force him to do something he did not want to do. No wonder he flinches: he expects to be hurt again.

Chapter Twenty-Two: Level Six

  • Ruby doesn't make it in time to stop the guards from killing some of the prisoners. Oscar comes up to one of the cells with her. His expression says it all.
  • America begs a comatose Romano to wake up. He doesn't.
  • Pyrrha doesn't try to fight off Penny 2.0 as the robot attempts to kill her. Despite all the encouragement from her friends and father, Pyrrha still believes she deserves to die for her murder of Penny.
  • America pleads with Penny 2.0 to spare Pyrrha, saying he can't bear to lose another friend.
  • Once she's stopped trying to terminate Pyrrha, Penny 2.0 hollowly says Pyrrha was "her" (Penny Polendina's) friend, confirming that Penny 2.0 is not the old Penny and the old Penny is gone. America's choked response suggests he realizes that as well.

Chapter Twenty-Three: Hero Lost in Time

  • Atlas dismisses Penny Polendina as just another robot. She doesn't give a damn about her "partner's" death.
  • Qrow is impaled protecting Ruby from Atlas. He weakly chuckles that he "made it" and pats Ruby's head one last time before collapsing.
  • Ruby's denial about Qrow's note  death. She sits in shock beside his limp body and mumbles that they need to fight so he needs to wake up now. When he doesn't move, she quietly tells him to stop pretending as she refuses to comprehend what has happened.

Chapter Twenty-Four: Useless Italy

  • Italy forces himself to shoot America to stop his suffering and allow his body to heal.
  • Italy's panic after Weiss and Japan are attacked by Silver Eyes Ruby. He desperately shoots at her to distract her from Japan (who she was torturing) before he realizes he can't hope to beat her and lowers his gun. He thinks about how useless he has been on the mission, and is glad he can at least try to protect his friends. Ruby's silver light wraps around him, and he shut his eyes and hopes that he can at least serve as a distraction so someone else can save Japan and Weiss. Then his Semblance activates.

Chapter Twenty-Six: And I Watch You Burn

  • The first time America sees Canada since getting taken by Polendina, his twin is (from America's point of view) sitting there and doing nothing as Jaune's Aura tries to overwhelm him. America has no idea that Jaune is trying to heal him and when Canada fails to help, America gives up and lets Jaune's Aura in.
  • Because America is barely coherent and has no idea what is going on, he thinks England is angry at him because of Vale. note  America still blames himself for "letting" everything happen to him and hasn't forgotten what England tried to trick him into doing.

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Safe In Their Arms

  • Blake's grief over Sun's condition. She realizes how self-centered she's been and tearfully apologizes for abandoning Yang. Yang forgives her.
  • America's desperation, helplessness, and terror when he wakes up and sees a man in a lab coat. He has no idea he was taken to safety and thinks he's been captured by Atlas. Thankfully Qrow is there to calm him down and reassure him they haven't been captured by Atlas. America falls unconscious again soon after.
  • "You don't have to give me a long-winded speech explaining things, doc. I know what's wrong. I can feel it. Actually that's wrong. I can't feel it." Oh no.
  • Ruby locks herself in her room for the trip and refuses to see anyone, even Yang. Weiss finally storms in to talk to her, and Ruby brokenly explains that she can't "let me see you" and that she remembers everything she did while using Silver Eyes. Weiss tries to reassure her they can stop her next time, but Ruby's compliance when Weiss demands she showers shows her speech did not convince her.
  • Happy tears this time. America wakes again to see his brothers sitting at his bedside. They hug and he tries to make a joke. Instead he breaks down and cries as he begs them to stay with him. England gruffly tells him they never had the intention to leave.

    The Charlatan of Choice 

Chapter One: The Flightless Bird

  • America thinks how he needs to tell his family and friends that he's dying and dreads seeing the grief-stricken looks on their faces.
  • Vale's emotionless acceptance that they are going to die. She's given up and doesn't believe they can prevent their deaths.
  • The scene where Qrow tells Ruby and Yang that he's paraplegic. He hugs them, tells them he's proud of them, and they need to watch each other's backs since he won't be there to protect them anymore.

Chapter Two: The Fog of Denial

  • The scene where America tells Canada and England he's dying. They stare at him in stunned silence before Canada begins to cry. America hugs him and tries to reassure him that he still has time to try to save himself, but he doesn't believe his own words.
  • Penny 2.0 confirms she is not Penny Polendina. When Ruby spoke to her while she was pretending to be deactivated, she remembered the things Ruby talked about but had no emotional attachment to them.
  • Penny struggles to put her hair up in a ponytail in an effort to make herself look different than Penny Polendina.
  • Ruby happily greets Penny, believing she is Penny Polendina. Penny bluntly informs her that she is not her old friend. Ruby recoils, weakly excuses herself, and flees into her room.

Chapter Three: Haunted

  • America storms out of the room when Canada and the others say he cannot go on a mission with them. He internally rants about it, insisting he doesn't care, but he does care and is deeply hurt by their rejection. Not only that, but he actually doesn't care about being left out of the mission itself: He only wanted to go in order to spend time with his brothers, who he had been separated from for months.
  • Oscar breaks down after talking about what he saw in the Transformation Institute and laments he wasn't good enough to save everyone. It's clear the kid has been holding in these feelings for a while and had no one to talk to about them.
  • Everyone's mistrust of Ozpin caused them to isolate Oscar as a side effect. America is the first one to approach Oscar with the intent of talking only to Oscar. Oscar's surprise when America showed interest in his thoughts and insisted on talking to him, not Ozpin, is heartbreaking.

Chapter Four: Acknowledging the Damage

  • America finally crosses the Despair Event Horizon. He talks with France about their recent experiences on Remnant, becoming quieter and quieter as the conversation goes on. Eventually he admits that he’s been scarred by a guard and that he believes he deserved to be captured because he (in his own words) "practically asked for it" by acting recklessly. He then confesses he doesn't really care that he might die and completely shuts down emotionally. He tonelessly says he's happy France is feeling better and goes to bed, having given up just like Canada did.
    • America also reveals how little self-worth he has left. He does not see his accomplishments or the good he's done, and wholeheartedly believes he's become a worthless pawn to be passed from party to party. He also blames himself for France's capture and torture, lamenting that the other nations were captured by Atlas because of his reckless decision.
  • England and Canada's talk to America. America reveals his scars to them and is overwhelmed by shame when they express horror, disgust, and pity upon seeing them. England becomes angry and goes to leave, but America knew he would (like he always does) and is resigned to let him go. Surprisingly, England decides to stay at the last minute which confuses America. He keeps insisting England and Canada are wasting their time and he's more trouble than he's worth.
  • America says that he might as well wait to die, because then Ozpin will win. Canada and England's angry retorts do not change his mind. He admits he would rather die than face capture again. When his brothers promise to protect him from Salem, America gently tells them they cannot hope to keep that promise.

Chapter Five: Trying Not to Drown

  • Many of America's friends react to his depression in one of the worst possible ways other than believing he is faking it. They immediately began treating him like glass and cannot stop thinking about his mental state, which effects their every interaction with him and highlights how messed up they think he is. Essentially, they are reacting in the last way America wants them to and making a huge (albeit unintentional) deal out his depression. It takes Romano snapping at them (that they need to treat America normally and not like an invalid or they'll make him feel worse) to make them realize what they're doing and stop.
  • It's implied Yang fell into a serious depression after losing her arm (and Blake left). Blake realizes just how much pain she caused Yang and she and Ruby are horrified that they left her to face it alone.
  • America's depression. He lays awake all night and far into the day, and cannot find the energy to get out of bed or force a smile. When his doctor arrives unexpectedly, he tries to practice smiling in the mirror but gives up on it and bothering to clean up his bedraggled appearance. Once the doctor leaves, he does not bother eating and goes straight back to bed, claiming he's tired. He also apologizes to Canada for his mental state and hopelessly whispers that tomorrow might be better.
  • Whether it was unintentional or not, the doctor makes America feel guilty for trying to "excuse" and "rationalize" Ironwood's actions. He does this by saying things like "all the innocents Ironwood hurt deserve justice", which progressively makes America feel worse and worse. Regardless of his intentions, the doctor is tactless at the very least.

Chapter Six: Just One Day

  • Yang still feels guilty about nearly killing Alfred. She avoids looking at him, and although she has a pun-filled conversation with him, when she teasingly begins to challenge him to a fight over a piece of bacon she remembers what she did, freezes in place, and avoids him again.
  • America has pains from Vale throughout the day but suffers in silence. At times he is in so much pain he visibly flinches, and in one instance he collapses to the floor behind Ruby. He plays it off as him intending to sit there but Ruby sees through it. America is suffering but he keeps quiet and does not tell anyone, likely so he does not ruin their "no worries" day.

Chapter Nine: The Last

  • Romano's despair that he lost the Relic of Creation. He knows he messed up and covers his face so no one will see him cry.

Chapter Ten: Fairy Godbrother

  • America confesses he's terrified of being tortured again. He's deeply ashamed of his fear and does not believe Canada when he says he doesn't blame him for wanting to avoid torture.
  • England agonizes over his decision to give America the sleeping curse. If he casts the spell, America may have to use it and will be left comatose (essentially the nations' version of death). But if England doesn't and America is captured, his brother will be ruthlessly tortured and it would be England's fault for withholding the spell. England decides to cast it but it tears him up inside that he has to curse his brother to protect him.

Chapter Eleven: Departure

  • After England gave America the sleeping curse, he spent the next two days drinking himself into oblivion. America can smell the alcohol.
  • After Jacques is executed, Weiss runs to Whitley and tells him what happened. Winter arrives and the three Schnee siblings stand in silence. None of them cry. None of them know what to say. They stand there and stare at each other. Their feelings for their father are so complicated (and his training to hold their emotions in check so strong) that they aren't sure how to react. Whitley and Weiss do not feel grief at all, and wonder if something is wrong with them.

Chapter Twelve: In Transit

  • Weiss obsessively organizes the bags on the airship and denies her grief.

Chapter Thirteen: Here, Kitty Kitty

  • America makes an unofficial will of what he will give to who if he dies. He intends to give his house to Canada but questions whether there will be too many memories.
  • Yang's tearful demands that America be angry at her for nearly killing him. She breaks down when he refuses and tells her he never blamed her for what happened.

Chapter Fourteen: No Such Thing As Privacy

  • America's self-worth is so shot that he defends Russia after he attacks him and is genuinely confused why Canada, Weiss, and Winter are upset about it.

Chapter Fifteen: Unease and Hysteria

  • Citizens from Woodland are so desperate to escape town before it is overrun by Grimm they swarm Sterlyn and beg him to let them onto their airship. Some offer money, other supplies, and one pleads to be taken so they can find their daughter.
  • America feels what the people of Woodland are feeling and suffers for it. Their despair, fear, and depression affects him so badly he is in physical pain. At one point he's so bombarded he takes on the mentality of some of them and begins considering suicide. He snaps out of it and silently freaks out so his companions do not realize something is wrong.
  • An elderly patron at a diner judges and insults America because he's sickly-looking and depressed. She insists "people like him" should walk into the woods to die so no "good folk" die with them.
  • America is still insecure about mentioning his status as Vale to his fellow Earth nations, so much so that he changes what he was going to say in order to avoid mentioning it to Australia. England's rejection is still affecting him.
  • America isn't sure his family and friends will believe him if he tells them about Ozpin. His only evidence is Vale's words (and lack of them) but he's terrified they won't believe him, or will do nothing about Ozpin considering they were willing to (kind of) accept Ozpin's shady behavior in the past.

Chapter Sixteen: Divide Them

  • America doesn't see the point of getting up and would have remained in bed if Vale did not nag him into showering.
  • Russia attacks America again. This time he is violent enough that America cannot delude himself into thinking Russia is trying to help him. When confronted by Vale, he admits he's afraid fighting back will make his friends leave him because they were disgusted by Vale's powers in the past.
  • The girls' reactions to Ozpin silencing Vale. Yang, Nora, and Pyrrha are dully unsurprised. Ruby and Weiss are in denial and weakly try to make excuses like the possibility that Ozpin is being framed. They cannot fathom that the kind Headmaster they knew would go so far.

Chapter Eighteen: Going Down

  • New Zealand misses his brother and has no one to confide in. The normally pleasant nation is cold and distant when Ukraine tries to talk to him about Australia.

Chapter Nineteen: Something Amiss

  • In an attempt to snap Canada out of the uncharacteristic rage he's stuck in, America purposely acts self-deprecating and says Canada can hit him if it will make him feel better. Rather than shock Canada to his senses, Canada strikes America (his twin brother, who is terrified of his family turning against him) in a fit of rage. The blow is forceful enough that America crumples to the ground and is left dazed as a large bruise swells on his cheek. Canada snaps out of it and freezes up, horrified by what he did. America mumbles some excuses about getting firewood and stumbles away, still reeling from the punch.
    • Before he leaves, England coldly tells him not to get kidnapped this time. America knows something is wrong and England does not mean it but the words still hurt.

Chapter Twenty: Face to Fake Face

  • Vale begs America to use the sleeping spell before Salem's Grimm essence infects him. He holds out with the confidence that someone will come to help, but no one arrives.
  • America whispers a plea for help when Salem is about to slice him open to directly administer the essence into him.
  • Canada's guilt over striking America. He avoids looking at him for too long and keeps his distance until America goes to him.
  • Vale reminds America about the Grimm essence as he is hugging Canada. America shoves Canada away, terrified he is infected and it could transfer through contact. He hyperventilates and forces himself to vomit note  over and over. He doesn't notice the blood he's spitting up or that he's hurting himself. England manages to calm him down slightly with promises of a diagnostic spell. While he's setting up, Pyrrha sits next to America and holds his hand, and keeps holding it when he tries to flinch away. The diagnostic spell shows America's clear and he can only slump in exhausted relief.

Chapter Twenty-One: Swift Retribution

  • America is so upset that his friends are willing to die for him that he retreats inward and doesn't talk. At all. Ruby notes he has the blank look in his eyes again that he had when he was depressed.
  • Russia caustically tells America to stop "moping" and implies he should be fine with his friends' willingness to give their lives for him.
  • Ruby is terrified of doing anything with Silver Eyes but feels she has no choice but to learn about them.
  • Everyone can only watch helplessly as America writhes and screams during the attack on Frontier.
  • Weiss's screams that Frontier can't be gone because Whitley and Klein are there. Blake whispers Sun's name and Ruby struggles to keep calm and not think about Qrow so she does not activate Silver Eyes.

Chapter Twenty-Two: Scars Upon Scars

  • When attempts to reach Qrow and Whitley fail, Weiss loses composure and throws her Scroll at a tree before breaking down.
  • Ruby allows Russia to drag America into the woods despite knowing Russia hurts him every time they are alone. America's fear that his friends will abandon him when he needs them came true, albeit in a minor way.

Chapter Twenty-Three: Trouble Magnet

  • France is not as unaffected by Atlas's attempted brainwashing as he claims. He freaks out when Tyrian calls him Vacuo and it takes him some time for him to calm down and realize America is not Canada.

Chapter Twenty-Four: The Ones Who Suffer Most

  • America is badly injured during another attack by Salem. Jaune attempts to heal him with his Semblance but America is too delirious to remember Jaune can do that. He believes Jaune is trying to overwhelm America's Aura with his. America begs Jaune to stop and says he doesn't want to die yet. Jaune's hands tremble as he says America isn't going to die.
  • Salem attacks Uni, breaks her horn, and nearly kills her. Norway and Romania save her life but lament her horn is irreparably broken. You can read the frustration and sorrow in Norway's voice.

Chapter Twenty-Five: Alfred Jones and the Seven Sacrifices

  • Oscar's fears about Ozpin have come true. He is losing his soul to Ozpin and will soon cease to exist.
  • Seeing Ozpin fall so far and become so desperate that he will murder three people to get more power. He is a man broken by thousands of years of a hopeless battle, and he cannot let himself regret anything or all the lives he took will be for nothing.
  • Pyrrha and Penny are unable to help America or themselves when Ozpin attacks them. After all the training Pyrrha did and promises they made to protect America, they're helpless when he needs them most.
  • America tries to convince Ozpin not to kill them even though he knows Ozpin will not listen to reason. He slowly loses hope, along with all the remaining good will he had for Ozpin.
  • Ozpin did not intend to use the Relic of Choice to geas Vale. It was a complete accident. He may be a ruthless liar, but his horror and guilt are real.
  • Just before Ozpin can stab him, America (and possibly Vale) whispers that he promised to never hurt them again. His defeated, choked tone and the reminder of Ozpin's promise makes Ozpin freeze long enough that Oscar can take control.

Chapter Twenty-Six: The Hunter and the Hunted

  • As a result of his actions the last chapter, the last shreds of trust everyone had in Ozpin is gone forever. Seeing the people that once looked up to Ozpin react to his betrayal is heartbreaking. Some like Yang are angry, but others like Ruby and America can only react with stunned disbelief.
  • When Ruby tries to come up with an excuse for Ozpin's behavior, Yang flatly tells her to stop, reminding Ruby that Ozpin tried to murder Alfred, Pyrrha, and Penny. Ruby goes quiet and does not come to Ozpin's defense again. You can see the moment she finally stops denying the kind of person Ozpin is and loses all faith in him.
  • Oscar begs England to activate his sleeping curse so Ozpin cannot hurt anyone else. America tries to comfort him and promises they will save him from being erased but Oscar does not believe him.
  • Vale's past is shown in more detail. She is tortured and forced to run from her Kingdom while Ozpin's men hunt her down. By the time she reaches the Kingdom of Mantle, she's a sobbing wreck and collapses in her brother's arms.

Chapter Twenty-Seven: A Bitter Fate

  • Italy accidentally leaves Canada trapped in the Warden Grimm when he uses his Semblance to grab America. He steps up to the plate and acts despite his terror in order to save the twins, but still messes up.
  • The moment where America's hand slips through Canada's and he realizes his brother is being left behind. Ruby snatches him as soon as he hits the ground and speeds him away from the battlefield, forcing him to desperately hobble back to try to save Mattie.
  • Canada's resignation and mouthed "I'm sorry." when he comprehends he isn't going to be freed in time.
  • America is unable to free Canada from the Warden Grimm before it teleports away with his brother.
  • Blake dies protecting Yang from the Warden Grimm.

Chapter Twenty-Eight: Goodbye

  • Ruby, Weiss, and Yang's reactions to Blake's death. Weiss is in denial and tries to resuscitate her, Yang begs Blake to come back, Ruby is completely numb.
  • Jaune tries and fails to use his Semblance to heal Blake. He keeps trying after Arthur's diagnostic spell shows Blake's heart was cleaved in two.
  • Ruby blames Alfred for Blake's death despite it not being his fault in any way. She lists all the people that have died "for him" and demands to know how many more people will be added to that list. She also projects her thoughts about her being unable to save Blake onto him by claiming he was not there to save Neo or Matthew. Alfred's gaze becomes blanker as Ruby continues screaming at him and he does not speak a word.
  • Yang blames herself for Blake's death. She says Blake died protecting her in an agonized tone.
  • Yang refuses to bury Blake in the woods because "She needs to go home."
  • The funeral. They cremate Blake's body and gather her ashes in a jar to take with them. Yang is stone-faced when she is handed the jar of ashes and does not break down until she is given Gambol Shroud. She is afraid of forgetting the site of Blake's death so she asks for a marker for the spot. She asks for some time at the memorial and grieves for her partner, whispering that Blake promised she would not leave her again.
  • Adam finds the memorial and wonders if he could have prevented Blake's death of he had arrived sooner. He is so grief-stricken he briefly considers turning against Salem. He shoves his personal feelings aside and remains convinced he is doing what is best for the Faunus. He tries to tell himself Blake would understand why he's doing this but acknowledges she wouldn't.

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Explosion

  • America considers committing suicide in part because of what Ruby said to him. He does not want anyone else to "die for him" and thinks that if he dies, Salem will never be able to win.
  • When England catches up to America, he says "I should kill myself to stop Salem." He says that like it's a fact. He's so broken he doesn't see any worth in his life anymore, yet he admits he doesn't want to die.
  • Both America and England have been hit hard by Canada's capture. England is helpless to save Canada, and is terrified of losing America too. America, who is considering killing himself by the way. England is unable fully convince America he should keep living and can only hold him as he cries.

Chapter Thirty: Recklessness of the Grieving Fool

  • Penny's blunt assessment of how Blake was alive and now she's dead. She does not have the tact to mince her words and makes America wince. Penny's struggle to understand grief is very childlike.
  • Penny has activated Aura. It is not Penny Polendina's, confirming Penny Polendina is dead once and for all. Penny 2.0 fears that the Aura might not be her own either, and if she lets it out it might erase her.
  • Pyrrha's calling out hasn't changed Ruby's mind. Ruby still blames America for Blake and Qrow's deaths even though he is in no way responsible for them.
  • America begs Salem to stop hurting Penny as she sadistically begins crushing Penny's skull beneath her foot.
  • America's screams make England overcome Roman and Salem's influences but he is knocked out before he can help his little brother.

Chapter Thirty-One: Prisoners

  • England desperately tries a variety of spells to locate America. All of them fail.
  • The heroes know they have little chance of making it to Beacon in time to save America and stop Salem. They're about to lose, and all of them know it.
  • Ruby tells Pyrrha they’re headed to Beacon. Pyrrha points out Beacon is weeks away. Ruby struggles not to cry as she says she knows.
    Ruby: (close to tears) I didn't say it was the best plan, o-okay?
  • Oscar sits mutely in a corner and does not speak with anyone. His near-death and failure to protect Alfred has clearly shaken him to the core.
  • Penny has (emotionally, not literally) shut down. Her voice returns to its old monotone as she laments how she failed to protect Alfred.
  • America has no idea rescue isn't coming. He has faith his friends are tracking him, but no one is coming. America himself seems to realize this but refuses to acknowledge it for his own fragile peace of mind.
  • America is on the verge of a panic attack for most of the chapter. He struggles to keep a level head and not freak out as the hours tick by and he is taken closer and closer to their destination (and his torture and likely death).

Chapter Thirty-Two: Now You'll Pay

  • England's guilt over failing to protect America and Canada. He suffers from a nightmare about losing them both. Adding to the impact, the twins are children in the dream. At the end, England brokenly tells Japan he lost them.
  • America does not have time to escape the villains since Emerald appears days before he expected her to. He resigns himself to being taken to Salem and has to take a moment to brace himself before using the sleeping curse.

Chapter Thirty-Three: Goldilocks and the Bear

  • Canada breaks under torture and desperately screams the counter-curse that wakes America. He breaks down sobbing as America stirs.

Chapter Thirty-Four: Twisted Tales

  • A crying Ruby admits did not want to call Taiyang because she thought she would have to tell him how Summer died.
  • Emerald slashes Canada's throat with the Relic of Destruction and leaves him to die. America screams as he is dragged away from his brother. He begs the villains to let him help Canada but they ignore him.

Chapter Thirty-Seven: Red Bullseye

Chapter Thirty-Nine: Ashes in the Wind

  • Raven returns but barely talks to Yang. She merely says Yang's fight with Adam is her own to finish and leaves. Mom of the Year right there.
  • Adam's death. Yes, Adam's death. He comes to realize how he's been doing things is the wrong way to his goals and regrets his actions, but it is too late for him to atone. He quietly slips away as Yang tries to stop his bleeding. Yang's distraught reaction makes it worse, because she did not intend to kill him and wanted to bring him to stand trial.
  • Seeing Canada believe Salem's lies that he is The Resenter towards America. He genuinely believes he is a terrible person. The doubts he had when he discovered his Semblance never left.

Chapter Forty-Three: Laid to Rest

  • The memorial for everyone who fell in the war against Salem. Weiss comforts Ruby as she cries, Neptune tries to comfort Sun, and Yang does nothing but stare at one name on the memorial: Blake Belladonna.
  • America's shame over his temporary paraplegia. He tries not to let it bother him because he knows he will heal but still feels bad. Because of that, he feels extra terrible because he will recover while people like Qrow never will.
  • America psyches himself up to try to take a single step and reach the bathroom sink. He falls instead. He's so badly injured he can't manage one step.
  • America's tearful outburst about Vale. He is torn between grief that she's gone and anger that she did not try to find a way for both of them could survive.
    America: "How could she do this to me? She went on and on about how sacrificing yourself for people hurt the people left behind, but she went and did it. That fucking hypocrite!"

Chapter Forty-Four: The Road to Recovery

  • The nations' goodbyes. They, Team RW_Y, and the others all know it is unlikely they'll see each other again.
  • America is still angry and grief-stricken over Vale's sacrifice. Canada bluntly tells America there was no way for Vale to survive since her capital was doomed. America flinches, says he knows that, and admits he thought both he and Vale were doomed. He was fully prepared to die with Vale and is shocked and confused that he's alive. He did not think he would survive the war but here he is, still living. He asks why he's alive when she is not and bursts into tears.
    America: Why am I alive when she isn't?
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