spotto: (Stage One.)
[personal profile] spotto
Blame Akira.

Also wtf why was 14 so short compared to this chapter. How am I dividing these? With no thought put into it at all it seems!

“Weiss, the point of a disguise is to dress in clothes you wouldn’t normally wear,” Yang explained as she waited outside a changing room in the most expensive department store of the mall.
Weiss threw open the door as she stood wearing a beige summer dress, frills lining the top and bottom of the hem of clothing as well as thin, light blue jeans that hugged her knees and thighs, “Exactly. I would never dress in such budget clothing.”
“...those pants you’re wearing costs more than I make in a month.”
“Excuse me? You have a job?” Weiss stopped marvelling at her outfit she claimed to hate to look dead-on at Yang.
Yang began whistling.
Weiss rolled her eyes, “Right, ex-con.”
“Well I mean, you too are an ex--”
“We are not having this conversation again.”
“Ooooookay then,” Yang pulled out a random shirt from a clothes rack, “how about this one! One less digit in price! Wow! Amazing!”
Weiss’ critical eye sized up the shirt Yang held. She didn’t take very long, “Yang, that’s a man’s shirt.”
“Exactly! If you dressed as a dude, no one would ever recognize you.”
“Well first of all it’s twice the size of my torso, so if I want to walk around looking like a complete slob who cared little about my appearance--”
Yang nodded, “It’s perfect! So big you don’t even need to buy pants!”
“I’d rather keep my hat and glasses than to put that on.”
“You’d rather wear vomit hat and hippie shades than this? Wow Weiss, wow.”
Weiss did a double-take, “What? You complimented my current look!”
“Well, I was trying to get you to accept it is all. I didn’t say I personally liked it,” Yang stuck a tongue out.
Weiss had no clue why they were at this particular store since it wasn’t her money they were going to spend. Yang had simply offered a shopping trip considering how often Weiss had complained of her current disguise, which she figured was fair considering a lot of the clothing Weiss had was actually Blake’s, most of which were too big for her. Yang had actually brought over some of Ruby’s old clothing for her current outfit, which did indeed fit, but the hat and shades were part of some old Halloween costume Ruby had when she went through a strange phase obsessing over a bullet hell game created by a man who wore something similar. Why she wanted to cosplay as the real life creator as opposed to a character had baffled Yang for a moment, but she never really asked why. Their father had scolded her greatly for the alcohol that was suddenly all over the house though. The one time something like that wasn’t her fault!
“Let’s just move on to the next store so I can gawk at their tacky clothing in dis--”
“Velvet!” Yang suddenly called out. The rabbit faunus had just entered the store with a few companions Yang did not recognize.
Velvet twisted her head around and smiled at the familiar sight, “Oh! Hello Yang!”
“Long time no see! I guess we’re both on the outside now too, huh?” Yang made small chatter, while Velvet responded in her usual polite manner.
“Yes, it’s been quite some time. I’ve only been out for a few weeks myself,” Velvet said.
The blonde patted Velvet on her back, “That’s great! I guess you found a ride home since you never took up my offer.”
“I figured you were busy,” Velvet mentioned, “Actually I didn’t have a ride back. Blake drove me home.”
“Wow, that Blake. You a friend of her’s now too? I keep in touch with her y’know,” Yang wondered, perhaps maybe Velvet knew a little more of Blake than she let on. They were starting to grow concerned about what Blake did when she wasn’t around considering how often it was.
Velvet shook her head, “Not really. She knew no one was available to pick me up and so she did it herself. She’s quite nice.”
“Oh yeah she definitely is. If I ever land in the slammer again I’ll be sure to pick the one she works at!”
“I don’t think that’s how that works, but hopefully you’ll never be in the situation for that to happen anyway.”
Yang drew back her bleeding enthusiasm, “Hm, good point! I hope the same to you then. We should head our neat and tidy ways from now on. No returning to that place for either of us!”
“What are you doing in this store anyways? It’s quite pricey as I’ve just learned,” Velvet asked as she took a glance at a price tag.
“Just browsing with a friend of mine, who seems to have disappeared,” Yang scanned the store but saw that Weiss was completely out of sight, “Well, she’s a bit distant towards new people, so that’s not unexpected.”
Velvet’s ears perked up, “Oh! I’m sorry I completely forgot to introduce you.” She pointed at her two companions, another brunette though human this time, with rather stylish shades and a brown beret who was a few inches taller than Velvet if one discounted her ears. It was possible they were the same size from the heels she wore though. The other was an incredibly tall gentlemen of Asian descent who had little to say as he nodded politely at Yang. 
“This is Coco and Yatsuhashi. They’re my close friends,” Velvet explained, “And you two, this is Yang. She was my cellmate.”
“Nice t’meet you,” Coco raised her glasses to see Yang in normal lighting, “You’re quite the looker you know? I can see Velvet easily surviving where she was with you around.”
Yatsuhashi grunted.
Yang scratched the back of her head, “Ah it didn’t seem like Velvet needed much protecting in the first place. She knows how to keep herself out of trouble.” 
“Good good, well us three need to get going. I could easily afford the prices here but Velvet would never let me buy anything here for her, so I guess we’ll just head off to another store,” Coco smiled, “Hopefully we’ll run into you again soon, Yang!”
“Oh yeah, same to you!” Yang called out as the three exited the store, disappearing down the rest of massive corridor of the huge mall. 
A few minutes passed before Yang divided a coat rack revealing Weiss still hidden amongst the wool and fabric, “Are they out of sight now?”
“Geez, you’re too jumpy Weiss.”
“Are you crazy?” Weiss accused, “Velvet knows who I am!”
Yang shrugged, “It was prime opportunity to test your disguise.”
“I am wearing glasses and a hat! It’s not like I dyed my hair and had plastic surgery!”
“Well even if Velvet did realize it was you I don’t see the problem. She’d most likely think you look astonishingly similar to that girl who got stabbed as opposed to ‘holy shit Weiss has returned from the dead! The second coming of Christ is upon us and they’re a tiny white-haired demon! Ahhhhh!’ “ Yang was amused at her own little scenario, “What possible horror of a world would we live in if you were God?”
Weiss did not react the same way to Yang’s imagination, “I would’ve put the two-and-two together and figured it out right away.”
“And what would you do next? Report the sighting of a dead person to the police? Come to think of it how did Blake manage to pull off such a feat? That’s actually really impressive,” Yang was wondering why she didn’t contemplate on these things sooner.
Weiss sighed, putting the clothing she had tried on away, “It probably has something to do with her ties to the White Fang.”
“Oh, you know about that too huh? I guess I don’t need to be quiet about that,” Yang said.
“Wait, you know as well? This isn’t some huge revelation?” Weiss asked.
Yang tapped her chin, “Actually she never really told me. I sorta assumed.”
“You assumed!? What evidence did you have to jump to that conclusion?” 
“Well, I don’t know if you remember that day, but it was this nice sunny day near the end of our time served,” Yang thought back, “and the alarm went off. Turned out Weiss had been stabbed! Before we really found out though some creepy faunus showed up and like outright told Blake what they were doing.”
“Wait wait wait wait, start over,” Weiss needed time to absorb such crucial information, “Why on earth would they tell Blake what they were doing and--hey! I was the one being stabbed! Why are you even explaining it like that?”
Yang continued, “That’s a good question Weiss, why would they outright tell Blake what they were doing? And since I’m pretty sure it’s obvious it was the White Fang that targeted Weiss that makes it even more confusing.”
“Stop referring to the event as if I’m not the one you’re speaking to,” Weiss didn’t take much to be annoyed, but Yang had little reason to be doing this.
“It’s too bad we’ll never really know since Weiss died. Ah what a sad and tragic day. Ruby was crushed. Well, I assume she was since I didn’t see her for a few months,” Yang reminisced.
Weiss grumbled, “Stop speaking as if I was actually dead!”
“Sometimes I can even hear her voice.”
“Yes, Weiss?” Yang turned her attention to the girl next to her, no longer lost in thought.
Uncharacteristically, it seemed Weiss dropped the issue of Yang’s playful explanation, “ didn’t see Ruby for months? Why?”
“Oh. They charged her for being involved,” Yang no longer carried a sunny disposition in her voice, “Bastards.”
Weiss however began stomping towards the exit.
“Whoa whoa whoa, where do you think you’re going?”
The angered ex-heiress narrowed her eyes, “Whoever is responsible for this madness!”
“Okay, we don’t even know who that is. You don’t know where you’re even going,” Yang was surprised she was being the reasonable one for once.
“I need to yell at someone after that revelation!”
Yang followed the aimless Weiss, who had left the brand name clothing shop and was powering through the mall corridors like she was on a mission. Unfortunately Yang was right in that Weiss had no clue where on earth she was going. Yang stopped her when she pulled her into a smaller shop filled with colourful trinkets. Weiss would have assumed it was a toy shop, but stopped short when the noticed many items one would normally not give children. It was more of a novelty shop more than anything, and Weiss was surprised she knew a proper word for it because otherwise she would never be caught dead in a place like this.
“Ooooh! I didn’t know a place like this was here! I guess it just opened!” Yang expressed excitedly.
Weiss scanned through the items, finding each and every one of them a waste of effort for her own eyes to even see. Anyone insane enough to actually buy one of these useless items must not be part of this world. Yang picked out a pair of sunglasses and put them on her face. The moment she turned around however, slinkies were bobbing forwards and backwards with any movement she made.
“I wonder if this is what it’s like to be on dust!” Yang wondered, awing at the colourful plastic that rebounded back and forth in her sights.
“Not even close,” Weiss murmured without thinking. 
Yang raised an eyebrow, “Ohhh? Then how is it like?”
“I don’t know if I should be more dismayed that I’ve had that experience, or that you of all people haven’t.”
Yang chuckled, “C’mon Weiss, give me some credit! Frankly, if you can only have fun while on dust, you’ve already lost.”
Fine. Weiss would give Yang some credit. She’d have one positive point in the pool of negatives she had already accumulated the moment Weiss had met her. It was negligible in terms of improving her general opinion of the blonde, but it was better than absolutely nothing. She was about to turn on her heels straight out of the shop when she felt a light bop on her forehead.
“Look! Inflatable hammers!”  Yang hammered Weiss further, stopping at nothing with her endless assault.
Weiss stood there attempting to wait out Yang’s bopping, but somehow Yang did not grow bored and stop. It was to the point that Weiss’ hair was starting to stick to the balloon-like hammer from all the static electricity built up. Yang could see Weiss slowly degenerating into insanity as she went on and on.
“You’ll have to fight fire with fire if you want me to stoooop!” Yang sang her words playfully.
It only took thirty seconds for Weiss to finally grab the biggest blown-up hammer on display and smash Yang in the head with it, “Can you even feel this through your thick skull?”
“Ohh, what kind of burn was that? You know you can do better than that!” Yang taunted as she landed her next hit right on top of Weiss’ nose, ”Ooooh I was hoping that would pop it.”
“Why you!” Weiss growled and began to rub Yang’s hair with her hammer, “I don’t need brute force for the likes of you!”
“Hey! That’s a low-blow!” Yang stepped back and whacked Weiss on the chest, “Hair’s off-limits!”
Weiss almost began grinning, “Then you’re nothing but a hypocrite!”
The hammer fight deteriorated to the two of them sword-fighting with the rather light and harmless material, until an employee finally had enough of the two ‘sampling’ the items, asking them to stop. Weiss had attempted to pretend that whole scene had never happened, escaping to the other end of the shop. Yang caught up to her, grabbing an item off the shelf that caught her interest.
“Look what you’re making me do! Honestly,” Weiss pouted, trying to take her mind off the play-fight by examining the colourful lava lamps closely.
Yang beamed, “I dunno. I think I like you all loose like that. Here, this might help even more!” 
She tossed her a rubber clear ball, which Weiss managed to catch in time, “What’s this?”
“A stress ball!” The blonde began squeezing, “It’ll totally rid you of all the wrinkles under your eyes.”
“I don’t have wrinkles under my eyes!”
“You suuuure?” Yang teased as she marvelled at her stress ball, “Wow this is even working for me.”
Weiss frowned at her own, “I don’t see how this could possibly help.”
“Really? That’s surprising. I thought you of all people would benefit from these the most, considering how close they feel like to boobs.”
Weiss dropped the ball, “W-WHAT!?”
“Oh, maybe I jumped the gun a bit? I doubt you even know what those feel like.”
“Excuse me! I am a girl!” Weiss spat back.
Yang just kept smiling.
Weiss suddenly knew what she meant.
“What’s wrong with you!?” The desired effect of Weiss’ now reddened cheeks was quite satisfying to Yang to say the least.
Yang began cackling, “One day Weiss, one day.”
“Changing the subject,” Weiss said as she finally calmed down, “Was Ruby really alright after that incident? When you next saw her, that is.”
“Pshaw,” Yang flung her hand forward casually, “She was fine when I saw her next. I was actually surprised too! Usually Ruby does something pretty stupid when stuff like that happens.”
Weiss adopted a look of sudden concern, “...’when stuff like that happens’?”
“Oh. Whoops,” Yang confessed, “Well cat’s out of the bag anyways...or should I say Blake’s out of the ba--”
“Yang, get to the point.”
Yang’s eyes grew distant as she brought back old, almost forgotten memories, “Ruby wasn’t...herself, when her mom passed away.”
“Her mom?” 
“Half-sisters,” Yang informed, “On that day Ruby locked herself in her room.”
Weiss furled her brow, “That sounds like a rather normal response--”
“For months.”
“She missed four months of school and lost a lot of friends through that time. No matter how we tried we couldn’t break her out of her shell,” Yang sighed, “Then when she finally came out, she looked like the happiest girl in the world. It was almost as if she reset her emotions or something.”
Yang continued, noting that Weiss was in deep thought, “Luckily Rubes is a nerd, so all that missed school didn’t affect her that much. We thought maybe a miracle had happened, until dad discovered her pet project.”
“Let me guess. It was a gun.”
“Ding ding ding!” Yang flashed her index finger, “In fact, she had modified her mom’s gun. Everyone was trying to figure out where the heck that went and it was in Ruby’s room the whole time.”
“Wait, her mother owned a gun?” Weiss was beginning to see where Ruby’s little obsession may have started.
“Oh yes. Part of her job and all.”
“Her mother was a police officer!?”
Yang wavered, “Ehhhh, not quite. She was a private investigator. Surely you’ve heard of her Weiss. Her name was Summer Rose.”
Weiss almost sprayed all of her non-existent drink out of her mouth, “Summer Rose!?”
“See? You have!”
Oh, Weiss had more than just heard of the woman. She had met her.
It was in the summer, fittingly enough, during a mild Vale evening. Weiss had turned nine a few days ago and was preparing for the banquet her father had planned at their mansion. The most important guests were to arrive this day, for some purpose beyond Weiss’ comprehension. There was a time when Weiss would ask her father what the parties were for or what his work was, but she learned long ago never to question what he did. For one thing his temper flared up whenever Weiss was curious of the touchy subject, so the young girl stopped questioning her father’s actions. The maids would make sure Weiss was presentable to these influential men and women her father had invited, often spending hours keeping the child sitting still so she would be the sparkling Schnee heiress. To Weiss though, these banquets were always quite droll. The adults would be discussing their adult topics and would always shoo Weiss away whenever she’d be close enough to eavesdrop, and none of the guests ever brought over their own children. 
Weiss would’ve preferred staying in her room in that case, but her father would never allow it, wanting to make sure she was available to be seen by all the guests. The food wasn’t anything remarkable either, so Weiss really had nothing to look forward to during these gatherings. She just hoped time would go by as fast as possible so she could return to her room and play with her toys or get on the computer so she could instant message her sister, Winter. The fact that she had to stay with her father in this far too large of a house alone was not Weiss’ idea of a happy childhood, but keeping in touch with her older sister and idol, was at least the highlight of each and every day.
On this particular dinner however, Weiss found herself standing in the hallways, listening in on her father’s conversations. She had been caught doing this before, but boredom was too much for Weiss to just wander around being tossed away by guest after guest after guest, so whenever she could especially when her father was at the peak of his social activity, which was also when he was least attentive, Weiss would eavesdrop. She didn’t know why she needed to do this, especially when she didn’t understand half the things her father would be talking about, but it was better than doing nothing. If only these guests brought their pet dogs with them or something so Weiss could have some company that way.
“ signed that contract. You were there. He was there. Everyone here is a witness. You can’t back out of this now, Schnee,” a man with a husky deep voice said.
“That’s just how business is. If the profit margins narrow, I will have no part of it.”
“You greedy backstabbing bastard! After all these favours we’ve done for you and this is what you give us in return!?” A woman was heard, infuriated.
The Schnee patriarch remained calm in spite of the rising tensions within that room, “Sue me if you wish. You have little chance to succeed of course, but that’s really the only thing you can do, now.”
“You have the gall to invite us to your own house just to drop out of our deal? What kind of message do you think this will send to the others?” 
Weiss’ father responded, “That the Schnee Metalworks Industry does not partner with incompetence. Now please leave before I call security.”
“We know you had a hand in this project’s downfall, Schnee,” another man spoke up with a hint of venom, “we may not have the evidence, but we know. You won’t be laughing anymore when we hire Summer Rose.”
Weiss jumped when a loud crash was heard from the room. It sounded of glass or ceramic, and Weiss knew of only one item fitting that description in her father’s study. It was Weiss’ only present her father had accepted, a porcelain white lamp she had picked out just for him during her birthday. Weiss figured giving her father the present instead would be a wonderful tactic to getting him to notice the special day, and somehow it had worked. Weiss could feel a sore pain growing inside her chest, but in her mind she convinced herself it had to have been something else, or probably just an accident! Or maybe one of her father’s inconsiderate friends had done it, since they sounded so abrasive towards her father through the door.
“How dare you threaten me with that woman!”
Okay, maybe it wasn’t his friends.
“She is nothing but a farce! All her cases so far has been solved by dumb luck,” her father continued, “and I guarantee you if you do go through with your intentions you would join her on the chopping block.”
“Well that’s just rude.”
Weiss jumped again. She twisted around in speeds unfathomable, hearing an unknown voice from right behind her. It was a lady, not especially tall but still taller than Weiss the nine-year-old. She wore a white cloak on her back and had a soft smile on her face. Her hair was black and cropped just short of her neck, and her irises were colourless, though still glinted in their silvery glory.
Weiss spoke out in decibels almost too low to hear, “Who are y-you?”
“Oh I’m sorry, did I scare you?” She began, “My name is Summer Rose. You must be little Weiss. I can’t imagine how your father managed to find a woman willing to take on his sp--oh wait, you’re too young to hear that.”
Weiss was about to grab the door handle, thinking her father would be proud if she made him aware that this lady he didn’t like was right on the other side of a slab of mahogany.
“Are you sure you want to do that?” 
Weiss stopped, “But you’re not supposed to be here.”
“Oh don’t be silly. Your butler let me in. I have all the permission to be standing right here.”
Weiss was unsure what to do, but her arm was drawn back as if her body had already decided.
“Jokes on him though, I’m already investigating him,” Summer mentioned, “Why else would I be here?”
“That would make papa mad,” Weiss mumbled.
Summer concurred, “True that, but has your daddy ever not been mad? Like happy? Or sad?”
“He’s been nothing before.”
“Nothing?” Summer’s interest was piqued.
“Yes, when he isn’t happy or sad or mad. Nothing.”
Summer took her time to process this information, “I don’t think it’s possible to be nothing.”
“Yes it is!” Weiss suddenly became adamant, “Papa said it was most important to be nothing.”
“And why is that?” Summer inquired.
Weiss drew a blank, “...I don’t know. Papa just said being nothing was good.”
“Do you enjoy being nothing?” Summer asked.
“...” Weiss’s mouth stayed shut.
The older lady crouched down until she level with Weiss, “I have a little girl back home about your age, and she’s never nothing. She’s always feeling everything, whether it be happy, mad, or sad, but most of all she is happy.”
Weiss looked down on the ground, unsure how to respond.
“How about that, Weiss? Would you say being happy is worse than being nothing?”
“I think so too. And if happy is gooder than nothing, wouldn’t it be better to be happy?”
“Gooder is not a word.” Weiss frowned, glaring at the taller lady.
Summer laughed, “Your daddy sure has taught you something. In that case, tell me Weiss, when are you happy?”
“I am happy when papa is happy,” Weiss narrowed her eyes, “That’s why you need to go away.”
“But when is daddy ever happy?” 
Once again, Weiss found she could say nothing.
Summer tilted her head, “That’s kind of sad, isn’t it Weiss? I don’t like feeling sad.”
“No it’s not sad,” Weiss denied, “It’s nothing. Like papa wants.”
“If you say so,” Summer stood back up, putting her hood back onto her head, “Well I like it better when you are happy. When we are all happy. So, I will be leaving now. That way you can be happy too.”
Weiss said nothing as she watched the white-cloaked woman head off the other direction. When the door opened behind her and her father asked her if anyone was there, Weiss found herself unable to tell her father the truth. She had only told him that she was talking to a random guest. Her father did not interrogate her further, but Weiss was never quite sure why she had lied to her father that day. She had never lied to him in her entire life, and yet after this one instance she did.
Yang started twirling around a sticky hand, lengthening to the point that it smacked Weiss square in the face. The blonde tried to keep herself from laughing as she peeled the gag item off the ex-heiress’ face, “Whoops!”
“You did that on purpose.”
“Oh Weiss, you accuse me of everything,” Yang twirled around the toy again, “It hurts.”
Weiss shook her head as she once again headed to the doorway, “I think we’ve spent far too long in this pointless shop. How it stays in business is anyone’s guess.”
Of course Weiss could only walk two steps before she heard a giant gulp of air enter into Yang’s lungs.
“Oh my god! I need to get this!”
“You cannot possibly be buying something in this useless store,” Weiss said before she turned around.
Yang was holding up an RC truck that could transform into any vehicle, “Ruby would love this!”
“Yang, this is four hundred dollars.”
“Which is chump change to you!” Yang reasoned, “Why do you care what I do with my money?”
Weiss rolled her eyes, “I have a lot of money because I don’t waste it on rubbish like that!”
“Well no wonder you grew up sad and lonely,” Yang stuck a tongue out to her, “Seriously! This thing has so many settings! It even makes noises--”
“Yang no--”
With a press of a button, the vehicle began its obnoxious pattern of vehicle noises, whether it be the backing up beep of a dump truck or the sirens of an ambulance, it had it. Though it was only a few dozen seconds before it stopped, it had already done its damage drilling a massive headache into Weiss’ head.
“Amazing!!” Yang held the vehicle up high as its shiny finish reflected off the artificial lighting, “Ruby would have so much fun figuring out how this works!”
Weiss slapped her face, then dragged the hand downwards towards her chin, “Just buy it so we can leave already.”
It was an odd sight Weiss found herself in, sitting down on one of the benches in the mall waiting for someone else to finish their shopping. Had it been any other store this might have been the other way around, but no, Yang was somehow keeping this idiot store in business. Well, an idiot store would surely serve the idiots in the world. Weiss needed to stop underestimating how many of them existed. Weiss took this time to examine what other stores were nearby, not having much opportunity to ever visit a shopping complex before. It did seem somewhat enticing walking around a place like this picking out outfits or buying food with other people with a similar sense of style as her, but she wasn’t sure how a situation like that would ever come about. Her outing with Yang might be the closest she would ever get to this point. And Weiss had to admit, she wasn’t hating what they were doing, even if she couldn’t believe the shop they were just in had existed. There were a few frozen yogurt stands, a coffee shop, some retail stores, and a small watch repair shop in her vicinity. Weiss promised herself to at least pay back what Yang had did for her when she was in the position to do so, knowing Yang was pretty much treating her to everything here. It was heresy for a Schnee to be treated by others.
But Weiss didn’t like her last name anyway.
Yang exited the shop with a bounce, “Well that was productive! Where do you want to go next?”
“Maybe somewhere without a price tag so you can save that bank account of yours,” Weiss suggested.
“Oh I know! There’s this rock-climbing exhibit in the mall this month!”
“...I said free.”
Yang flung both her wrists forward, “Why would I not take the opportunity to check that out? We’ll go there and have another bite later--after I use the ladies’ room of course!”
Weiss widened an eye at the suddenness of Yang’s desire for a momentary absence, but said nothing as she accepted Ruby’s present while she waited for the blonde to return. Once again she returned to the bench, when at the corner of her eye she noticed a large array of white. Weiss quickly ducked behind the bench, grateful it had been close to a wall and so giving her a nice small space to keep herself hidden in. The two men in white suits were recognizable to Weiss, who knew that uniform as something of a trend among her father’s associates. They didn’t all wear them of course, else stick out far too much, but it was something they would wear especially if they were on important business. ‘Important business’ usually involving something very, very illegal.
“Please! Just give me one more week! I swear I’ll have it for you next time!” The watchmaker of the repair shop pleaded, finding the display he stood behind to be far too little protection from the people that had cornered him.
The taller of the two white-suited men frowned, “You know I don’t like waiting.”
“Yeah! Especially if we have to show up in this dump one more time! You better pay up now pal, or you will surely regret it!” The shorter, plumper male added.
The watchmaker clamped his hands together, “I’m sorry! My ma had an attack last week, and I had to use the money. Please, I can gather up the same amount for next week, maybe even more! I just need time!”
“Alright then,” the taller one began, “So what you’re saying is you can get the payment to us next week for sure?”
“Yes, for sure!”
The plump one repeated, “A hundred percent?”
“A hundred times a hundred percent!” The watchmaker assured.
“So what you’re saying is your mother won’t be a nuisance next week,” the tall man concluded.
“Er, well, there’s a small possibility it will happen again, but since it just did the chance is very slim!” The watchmaker explained.
The plump one slammed the display with his fist, “But you just said a hundred percent!”
“It’s just a really small chance, don’t worry!”
The taller one crossed his arms, “Do you know what I hate more than waiting?”
“Er, what?” The watchmaker nervously asked.
The watchmaker stepped back a few feet, his arms shaking as he tried to talk his way out of this, “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said a hundred percent! Ninety-nine point nine nine nine percent, okay?”
“Why should we believe you? You just lied to us!” The plump one accused.
“It was just an oversight. I’m really really sorry! Please give me the week!”
The taller one dropped his arms, turning around, “I have a better idea. Let’s make sure it’s one hundred percent.”
“What do you mean? My ma’s condition has no cure. Unless you have some connections with a miracle doctor--”
“Let’s make sure,” the man emphasized, “it’s one hundred percent.”
The plump one finally caught onto his words, “Yeah! Let’s make sure!”
Only a few seconds of silence passed before the words finally dawned on the watchmaker, “No! No no no! Please! I will have the cash next week, promise!”
“We prefer guaranteed chances. Gambling is bad, after all,” the tall one began stepping away.
“No! Please! Leave my ma out of this! She doesn’t know I’m in this deep!” Instead of stepping away the watchmaker now closed the distance between them, “I really will have the cash next week!”
But the man kept walking. the desperate watchmaker hurried around his display of watches and clocks, dashing towards the taller white-suited man and grabbing his shoulder, “No please! Stop!”
“Don’t touch me!” The man whipped his body around, throwing the watchmaker off his shoulder. His strength was unwarranted when the watchmaker was flung through the air, crashing heavily into his display and scattering glass and watches all over the floor. This had caught the attention of the shoppers walking by.
The watchmaker groaned as he sat up slowly from the floor, the sharp pain from the glass leaving blood dribbling all over the ground. Before he could come to his senses on how damaged he and his shop was, he heard the distinctive sound of a gun trigger. He opened his eyes to see himself face-to-face with a pistol. The blood still within his body dropped as he froze in sheer terror. His ears were so stuck on the sight of the gun he never registered the screams and panicked shouts of the bystanders as they ran the opposite direction.
“How dare you lay a hand on me,” the taller man said though he wasn’t the one pointing the gun, “So much for seeing your mother again.”
The plump one gave out a hearty chortle, “Yeah! We’ll just kill ya both!”
The watchmaker’s eyes widened as he saw the fat fingers of the man about to press onto the trigger, but when the gunshot rang out, the man did not see nothing but black, or the light at the end of a tunnel. Instead, the shrill noise of more glass breaking led way to the sight of something overwhelmingly red, and this time it wasn’t blood.
Weiss, who remained where she was as opposed to screaming bloody murder like the rest of the shoppers, could do nothing but stare.
The gun that was once in the plump man’s hands had now landed at the far corner of the watch repair shop. The plump man himself on the ground face down, and standing right on top of him, with the wind from the broken skylight above providing the fluttering of the bright crimson red cloak, was a short hooded girl. Her own rifle was leagues above the size of the tiny pistol that was kicked away, and everyone around her marvelled at her sight, unbelieving what had just happened.
“W-who are you!?” The taller man finally broke the silence.
The girl adjusted her large rifle, “No one important.”
“No one important!?” The taller suited man growled, “How dare you mock me! You just landed on my associate!”
“Well, he was about to shoot someone. I’m sorry but I disagree with that, so...this is what I had to do.”
“What you had to do!?” The man found himself repeating again, “ bitch!”
The hooded girl tilted her head, “Rude. If you really need something to call me, you can call my baby Crescent Rose. She’s the important one.”
She? Weiss found something very familiar about this newcomer.
The heroine rubbed her weapon, “And she doesn’t like what you’re doing either.”
“You’re insane!”
“That’s subjective,” the girl said, “besides, I don’t think shooting other people is very sane either.”
The man finally stopped talking and pulled his own tiny-by-comparison pistol out, obviously armed as well as his partner, “Well you’re going to regret interrupting our talk. I’m having a bad day today and you have just made it worse.”
Weiss was about to leap out from her hiding spot when the ensuing bang did not cause further carnage. The gunshot had ricocheted off Crescent Rose and embedded itself where Weiss was about to leap towards. The ex-heiress had stopped herself in time from death, her pulse skyrocketing when she realized her near fatal error.
“No! You scratched Crescent Rose’s paint!” The heroine gasped, now aiming the weapon at the man, “I’m sorry Mr. Criminal, but Crescent Rose can’t forgive you for that.”
The tall white-suited man immediately turned to run, knowing he had little chance to escape certain death. Predictably, he was shot, but surprisingly, the man found himself still conscious and alive, if only the unbearable pain did not distract him from this most shocking fact. Instead of blood pooling around his fallen body, he instead felt the throbbing, spreading pain of an impact wound. He writhed on the ground, wishing he had been killed instead as the sheer force of the shot had left him too incapacitated to run. The hooded girl launched herself off the still remaining frame of the display onto a pipe, hanging there for a few seconds before her repeated swings gave her enough momentum to disappear back out the shattered skylight. Several bystanders began returning to the scene, many having witnessed the red hooded girl’s heroics. Weiss took a moment to breathe before she realized Yang was nowhere in sight, having been in the loo for far longer than expected. She decided to leave as soon as possible, not wanting to stick around when both the law enforcement and the media would come charging in to cover this story. And that was when Weiss realized.
Ruby really did do something stupid.
Yang panted as the mall’s back door closed behind her. She gritted her teeth as she saw the man she had been looking for stop at the end of the alley. He was dressed in a black leather vest on top of his white dress suit, as well as similarly formal dress pants and a bright red tie. His hair was cropped short a neat, surrounding his jaw and cheeks with a goatee. Like Yang, he was Asian in race, though both he and Yang did not meet the small and short stereotype. 
“Junior!” Yang called.
“Blondie,” he responded.
Yang approached the man, “You are a hard man to find.”
“I’m surprised you’re still after me all this time,” was all Junior could say.
“Don’t fuck with me,” Yang growled, “I know you had something to do with my dad’s disappearance.”
Junior chuckled, “Just going straight to the point? I thought we’d do a little catching up.”
“Shut up! I want answers! Where is he!?”
“Humour me a little, Blondie,” Junior smiled, “You must be surprised finding me here.”
Yang narrowed her eyes, “The last time I saw you, you weren’t allied with the Schnee Syndicate.”
“I go where my interests take me,” Junior explained, “Besides they control the casinos in this entire region. It’s a pretty good business decision if I say so myself.”
Yang’s arm formed a fist as it was about to make a quick movement, but Yang stopped herself, her forearm only moving a few inches in the end.
“Oh, did I hit a nerve?” Junior smirked, “Are you only going after the Syndicate because they’re involved with casinos? Such straightforward thinking, Blondie. I thought you were smarter than that.”
Yang felt her rage begin to simmer, “You should be dead.”
“Touching, but technically I’ve never killed a man. I have a much higher moral compass than most, Blondie. Why are you so certain of my deserved death?” 
Yang sneered, “No. You misunderstand. You should be dead!”
“...oh, right,” Junior began to laugh, his amusement echoing above into the very heavens he had evaded, “Seems the White Fang have a lousy shot.”
“The White Fang have a one-hundred-percent kill rate,” Yang said, “How could you possibly be alive?”
“Ninety-seven now,” Junior updated, “Funny thing is I shot them back. They really are losing their touch.”
Yang did not like where this conversation was going, “You said you never killed a man.”
“Technically. I doubt they’re dead. The White Fang aren’t that incompetent,” he mused, “unlike you. Speaking of which, how was prison?”
A swing.
Junior had barely dodged the blow, “Oh, another nerve I see. I don’t understand why that would be one. You have no one to blame but yourself for that.”
“Fuck you!”
“You know beating me senseless won’t bring your father back.”
Another swing.
Junior was backed into a corner, “Or is that all you know how to do?”
Yang saw red. Her fists grew red. There was nothing but red on red, until the red could not be any redder. Even her hearing was red, especially when she never noticed a white van come careening around the corner, speeding straight at her. Luckily for her it was not intending to barrel right into her as it dodged the enraged blonde just in time to screech to a stop before crashing into the wall. A tide of men dressed in white poured out of the back door, covering the assault in white. This lasted for a few seconds as man after man after man was flung out of the white pile until the one alarm that would spread gang members faster than mayonnaise on bread blared out. The tide retreated, taking the one in the red vest with them as they all vanished inside the white van. Once again they dodged the blonde, racing through the alley back where they came from. 
Yang remained in the alley on her knees, taking breath after breath after breath. The sirens she heard behind her grew louder, but she didn’t care, still glaring at the ground trying to beat the red in her sights away. She accepted her fate, her emotions still running the blood through her body instead of her mind, but her senses suddenly came back to reality when the blaring sirens switched into the beeping noise of a dump truck.
“What are you doing!?”
Yang turned her head. 
“I leave you alone for two seconds and this happens! I don’t know which one of you is stupider, you or Ruby!”
“’s okay. It’s not my blood,” Yang mumbled. Well, most of it anyway.
Weiss crouched down next to her, the fury in her eyes not quite to what Yang was earlier, but it was still up there, “And that makes this all okay!?”
“It’ weren’t supposed to see this.”
“Oh please,” Weiss started, “I never once assumed you were some paragon of holiness here to sweep me away from life’s problems. I met you in prison, after all!”
Despite the lecture and shrillness of Weiss’ voice, Yang found her pulse slowing and her breaths returning to a more normal pattern, “I...sorry.”
Weiss didn’t seem to acknowledge her last word, “We are returning to the penthouse. You need to be cleaned up.”
“You aren’t going to call the cops?” Yang stood up slowly, waving from side to side as the words came out a tad slow.
Weiss scrunched up her nose, “Buffoon! Did you hit your head? I am an escaped convict. You are an ex-convict who really wants to drop the ex for whatever inane reason. I am in no position to do such a thing!”
The shorter one helped the taller one up as they left the alley, but as they left Yang did not catch what Weiss added after, still reeling from the extreme emotion she had experienced.
“It’s not like I’d have done so either way.”

Yaaa. I almost feel like posting the whole story thus far. Who knows. I dunno why I'm posting these so far off. Ah well.


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