The White Loved One
Cinder noticed the cloaked woman just after Ruby did, snapping her head up at her just before the cloaked figure disappeared from the roof top and reappeared on the ground, in front of one Adam’s men standing to the left of Ruby.
Before he could even dream of drawing his blade, the woman’s blade was dashing across his chest in quick succession, causing him to stagger backward. He staggered back a few steps before the woman’s free arm shot out toward the mercenary and he was somehow launched backward through the air. All the people standing directly behind him moved out of the way as he flew through the air and slammed into the column of the building behind him.
Even before he hit the concrete, the woman was already engaging the second White Fang agent. This one was a little faster, bringing his katana up just in time. But just as her blade contacted with his, she was moving her sword again, much faster than he had been expecting. He didn’t have time to readjust to her speed, feeling his blade being knocked to the side and bracing himself for the strikes that came right after. He felt the sting as the point of the woman’s blade was thrust into his chest and he could have sworn he saw a circle appear around the hilt before it slid down the blade and made it to the point. At which point he too was sent flying through the air.
The third agent, the bigger one with the axe, had stepped closer to Ruby and had his axe held over his head, ready to bring it down on top of Ruby. At least then Ruby had the desire to want to get away from him now, shuffling her body away but not really getting anywhere.
As the axe made its way toward her the woman, that reminded Ruby so much of her mother, appeared in front of her to block the attack. The axe collided with her sword, which gave off a red glow as the axe slammed against it before it was rebuffed back upward. Ruby noticed that the woman was left handed and wasn’t sure whether her mother was too.
Ruby was about to call out to the woman, she wanted to know who it was, but just as she opened her mouth she saw a small flash from one of the buildings a few hundred meters from her, Ruby knew it as a flash from the muzzle of a sniper rifle.
The woman noticed it to when she quickly disengaged from the axe user, dashing back toward Ruby and slamming her sword point into the ground. What followed wasn’t the sound of the bullet speeding toward them, it was actually the sound of three bullets, from three different locations, but somehow the white figure managed to freeze all three rounds in the air.
Before the first bullet completed its journey to the ground, she had leaped into the air and made it to the first sniper. By the time the bullets clinked against the floor, she had cut the rifle in half, knocked out the marksman and was moving to the second.
The second rifleman had just realised their shots had missed when a flash of white caused him to jump in surprise before his rifle was crushed and a boot was slamming into his skull.
Back on the ground, the huge axe yielder was stomping back to Ruby, hefting his axe easily. But just as he stepped within range of the red head, a mass of blonde hair appeared before him and felt a fist slam into his gut, followed by a huge amount of force pick him up off his feet, and launch him into the air, bouncing off a street lamp and landing with a thump.
Yang turned around in time to see one of the other mercenary’s running towards her, two swords in his hands. She pointed her gauntlets behind her and fired, shooting her toward the dual swordsman, where her fist slammed against the flat of his swords. Although he blocked the attack, the power behind it was enough to push him back a few feet against his will. He flicked his swords to the side, Yang waited for him to come to her and when he did he had a smile on his face. Oh how Yang would enjoy beating that smile out of him.
Winter and Blake watched as Yang jumped into the fray, still stunned by the sudden appearance of the white figure and even more stunned by the revelation of Weiss’ death. As the fighting started Winter’s cries had died down enough for her to watch what was going on, all of her attention seemed to be directed toward the cloaked figure. Blake was still dumbfounded and feeling a bit lost and still hadn’t made a move to attack.
She watched as Ruby struggled with her chains, watched as Yang threw punch and kick at the swordsman in front of her. She watched as the axe user groggily got back to his feet and watched as the one with the katana made his way back to Ruby. Blake had no idea why, but she felt so lost. She had never suspected to lose someone so early on, especially not someone as close to her as Weiss.
Just as the mercenary with the katana drew his blade from its scabbard, there was a loud boom accompanied by a white ball which slammed into the ground between Ruby and the mercenary. The mercenary paused but didn’t flinch, holding his blade by his side and waiting patiently for his enemy. Then out of the dust cloud came a hooded figure dashing toward him.
This time he was ready and was able to keep up with her, blocking and parrying with extreme speed. It wasn’t until she started to change things up that he began to stumble. Winter watched on as the new stranger flipped over her opponent, spinning in the air to land facing his back. She struck out two times before he spun around to block the third.
The woman spun on her heel her sword trailing behind her, scraping across the enemy’s katana, sparks dancing off their steel, before she dashed a few meters away from him, dodging a counter attack and just as his katana hit the ground, she was already gliding toward him at excessive speeds. He was slightly bent over and she spun just before she came into contact, adding force to the blow that went across his chest. He staggered back and she was about to take advantage of his vulnerability, but she sensed something behind her and turned to see the axe yielder making his way back to Ruby.
He was stalking toward the girl when the figure came toward him. But this time he was ready, bracing for the attack and grabbing at the air in front of him when he felt her presence. He managed to wrap one arm around her, quickly using his second to pick her up into a bear hug. Ruby watched as, who she now resigned to calling her mum, struggled and thrashed as her back was crushed. She continued to kick her legs and jerk her weight up and down, hoping to at least get her feet to touch the ground, which she did.
As soon as her boot touched the floor, she flared her semblance and was shooting straight forward, not caring for what was in front of her, seeing as the mercenary would hit it first. The pair shot through the air, almost breaking the sound barrier but definitely breaking the concrete pylon they ploughed through effortlessly. There was a loud grunt, followed by the feeling of freedom as he let go of her but continued moving backward while she planted her feet on to the ground, in time to see him continue through the wall of the building, crashing through glass and concrete.
“I think you two should go help, they seem like they need it.” Cinder said to Mercury and Emerald, all the while starring at the cloaked women.
“Torchwick can deal with the faunas.” Cinder didn’t say anything about what she would be doing, she seemed content with watching, at least for now.
Mercury moved off to help Azura, who was fighting Yang, while Emerald moved off to back up Ityei, the katana user.
Torchwick simply, turned to where Blake and Winter were standing, pointing his cane at Blake and squeezed the trigger.
Blake was so out of it and still so lost, she completely ignored the missile rocketing toward her, up until the point where it froze a meter from her position. Blake snapped to attention, turning to the small projectile frozen in the air before her, which was when she realised that Winter was there too, her rapier held out in front of her, a glyph holding the missile.
Blake watched as the girl gracefully flicked her rapier across the glyph, sending the missile back toward Torchwick, and couldn’t help but be reminded of Weiss. Torchwick dodged the missile and turned back to see a bunch of ice shards flying toward him. He dived out of the way, giving Winter some time to turn to Blake.
“Blake she’s not dead.” Winter said confidently.
“Wh-what do you mean?”
“I can see you’re thinking about Weiss, but I’m telling you she’s not dead.”
“Winter don’t be like that.” Blake half warned half pleaded. This was very strange and uncalled for, Winter suddenly telling her Weiss wasn’t dead even after they were told she was.
“No you don’t understand. She isn’t dead. I know it because I can still feel her presence. She’s here somewhere, please believe me because we don’t have time to worry about her. We have a battle to win.”
Blake looked down at the younger Schnee, this was so crazy, it sounded like the dumbest thing to say. So Blake was very confused as to why she believed Winter. Maybe it was the way her eye’s remained firm, maybe it was how her voice sounded so confident, or maybe it was because Blake felt it too, maybe Weiss wasn’t dead.
‘But that’s impossible there’s no way sh- No! I can’t think like that now! I need to get focused, we are here to fight for Ruby and I promised Yang nothing would happen to us. I don’t break promises.”
Blake’s hand clenched around Gamboul Shroud, she had no other choice.
Winter saw the faunas girls resolve harden and was satisfied to see those amber eyes grow still and firm. She stepped to the side and turned to face Torchwick with Blake by her side.
Winter and Blake weren’t the only ones to feel it. Both Ruby and Yang felt something, something they dared to call hope, however small the feeling was it was somehow there and it was probably what got Ruby to her feet.
She stood up just in time to see Ityei and Emerald walking toward her. Ruby couldn’t help but feel a little scared, unarmed, weakened and still getting weaker as well as being chained up, there wasn’t much she could do. She looked to Yang and saw her sister still fighting the swordsman, her gauntlets clashing against the metal of his swords. She saw her land two good hits before she turned back to the impeding threat.
She wanted to stand tall, wanted to show no fear, but when they got closer to her she couldn’t help but shuffle back and even stumble over. She landed on her rear, staring up at the man as he drew nearer, he pointing his scabbard at her and when she looked at it, she realised it doubled as a gun. He wasn’t even going to run her through he was just going to shoot her.
Just as he pulled the trigger, her ‘mother’ appeared in front of her, her sword knocking the gun down and sending the rounds bouncing off the floor out of harm’s way. It was then that she seemed to have enough, she took a step back toward Ruby, ignoring the katana that was coming her way, took her sword in her left hand, hoisted it up, before slamming it into the ground. Everyone in a radius around her, except Ruby and Yang, were thrown backward away from herself and Ruby. Yang’s opponent was thrown to the side off his feet, Yang watching him soar a little confused. Emerald and Ityei were thrown backwards and landed near Cinder’s feet, who just felt the pulse.
Ruby looked up at the figure before her. Watching as her cape flapped in the wind, emitting those familiar white coloured roses she knew her mother fo- Wait. They weren’t roses!
Ruby craned forward to get a better look at them and either just by coincidence, or something else, one of them gently floated past her face. Ruby watched it sail through the air gently as it turned and spun peacefully before her, she realised that it wasn’t a white rose, but it was a snow flake.
Ruby looked back to the person in front of her, who was turning toward her. Ruby tried her hardest to add it all up, but found it rather difficult. The person was wearing her mum’s cape, moved as fast as her mum, but was left handed and created snowflakes instead of roses. Ruby turned to Winter, the only other person who was having the exact same feeling as her. The two girls made eye contact and Winter found the question in Ruby’s eyes and offered nothing but a small nod in response.
“Ruby I broke my promise once, I refuse to break it again. I did say I’d be your snow angel.”
Ruby looked up at who she thought was her mother, but was now thinking otherwise. Ruby’s mouth moved without noise, opening and closing repeatedly, before the woman knelt down, grabbed her arm firmly and shot off on top one of the buildings away from the battle.
They landed gently on the roof, Ruby stumbling away and nearly falling off her feet again, but she was quickly grabbed and steadied. As she stood in front of, whoever this person was, Ruby began to feel just how weak she was, the toll of being injured and especially that necklace being violently destroyed had been plaguing her body since it happened, slowly draining her and making her weaker and bringing her closer to the brink of losing herself.
Just then her vision began to blur and she started seeing black dots grow in front of her, blocking out the image of the woman holding onto her. Ruby began to tip backward but found herself being shoved forward, she tried to clear her vision by shaking her head but only succeeded in making her head swim and her sight even worse than it was.
“Ruby? Ruby!” She felt her body being shaken and then felt herself being gently lowered to the floor.
Ruby tried to respond but only managed to mumble mindlessly as her head lolled to the side limply. She caught a shady glimpse of a white figure knelt over her, the hood was pulled back but Ruby couldn’t make out the face, she couldn’t hear her voice anymore either, everything was just a blur. Suddenly Ruby realised she didn’t feel any pain anymore, as if it had been banished, all she felt was calm and peace. She felt light and weightless, as if she had drifted away and was enjoying it before she realised what was happening to her.
She was dying.
Yang watched as her sister was lifted and taken away at blinding speeds, shooting off into the sky and out of eye sight. Strangely though, as she watched her sister be taken further away from her, she didn’t feel a sense of urgency, didn’t feel that her sister was in danger. Yang decided to trust the woman and turned to Blake and Winter, who were now walking toward her.
Their opponents had regrouped after what that woman did earlier, whatever it was, and were now grouped together in front of the three girls, who were currently outnumbered, two-to-one, Brorn was still knocked out somewhere under all that rubble. Yang was pleased to Cinder looking far from pleased with what was going on, Torchwick just the same. Emerald and Mercury were indifferent.
Yang was proud to see Azura looking quite furious, after besting him, Yang was sure he was seething underneath. Ityei looked neutral, his poker face not giving anything away. In all their minds they were already matching each other up.
Yang had her eyes on Cinder and wasn’t too concerned whether Azura got involved or not. Blake was eyeing Torchwick, glancing to Ityei every now and then. His similarity to Adam was unmistakeable. Which left Winter, Emerald and Mercury.
“Not going how you planned?” Yang teased, her face as stern as ever.
“We can adjust.” Cinder replied coolly.
Yang ‘hmphed’, cracked her knuckles and then her neck. “That’s good to know.” She cocked Ember Celica before launching herself into the fray.
Ruby frantically tried to swim back to herself, at least she felt like she was swimming, or was she flying? It didn’t matter, she had to fight whatever force was pulling her away from her world.
Wasn’t it strange? Just an hour ago she couldn’t care less if she had died or not, now, she refused to do such a thing. Why? Well she wasn’t entirely sure why but something within her, some small part of her wanted nothing more than for her to fight. A part of her that she didn’t recognise to be herself, it was a part of her that belonged to someone else. A certain heiress with a certain set of blue eyes she could never forget.
Ruby struggled and struggled, clinging onto whatever she felt to be tangible, trying to summon some aura, even a little just something she knew to be herself, to anchor her back down to earth. Memories, feelings, emotions anything. Memories! Yang, Weiss, Blake, memories of her friends and family! They seemed to feel so real, something she could hold onto and never let go. But just as Ruby thought she had stopped drifting, everything went black. And then white.
When Yang’s fist slammed into the layer of dust formed around Cinder’s chest, everyone sprang into action. The layer of black dust cracked and exploded off Cinder’s body, shards of it breaking away like glass and flying everywhere. The pieces that flew toward Yang, were completely ignored as Yang continued to push the attack without a care in the world. One punch followed another, followed by another, followed by another, all executed with extreme speed and power. Cinder was able to swiftly dodge most of them, the one punch she didn’t landed against her shoulder, where a thick layer of dust crystallised and shattered instantly.
Cinder staggered back before, throwing a cloud of dust at Yang. Yang shielded her face from the black cloud before the individual crystals spontaneously combusted together, turning the black cloud into an explosion that pushed Yang back. Yang slid back on her heels, her arms still held up and when she lowered them to counter attack, she found Azura coming toward her.
Quickly gathering herself, Yang readied herself for him. As he charged toward her, both blades gleaming in the moonlight, Yang catching a glimpse of the red that ran through the blades. His foot touched the ground, a few feet from Yang where he quickly spun anti-clockwise, swinging his swords around with him, putting his power and speed behind them. Yang lifted her left arm up as Azura spun toward her, bracing as his swords clanged heavily against her gauntlets, one shortly followed by the other. But Azura quickly stopped his spinning momentum, bringing his arms to a halt before swinging his right arm back around to smack the inside of Yang’s left arm. As soon as they heard the clang, his sword was moving to Yang’s right arm, smacking it to the side violently. Yang reeled back, both her arms forced outward, leaving her open, Azura quickly struck out with his left sword, thrusting straight into Yang’s mid-section.
Yang yelled out as the sword stung her torso, her aura flaring painfully as it dissipated the attack, it rippled from the point of contact before it settled and readjusted. Yang clutched the area, glaring up at Azura and snarling angrily at him, feeling the wave of anger pass through her and spark her fire. Not wasting anytime, Yang quickly threw herself back at him, her eyes losing their calming lilac colour and becoming a sharp fiery red. She reached him and immediately let loose with two left hand jabs, Ember Celica providing the bone crushing force that could quite literally crush bones. Fortunately for Azura the punches rattled off his criss-crossed swords, albeit quite violently, but Yang’s next punch didn’t care much for his defences.
Right after her second jab left his blade, her right arm was already drawing back before Yang pushed it forward, her muscles rippling firmly as they pushed her fist with extreme force toward its target. When Yang’s natural ability had brought her fist to full force, which was already exceeding average amounts, Ember Celica kicked in and fired, adding even more power to the punch. Yang’s right arm hurtled toward Azura, slamming into his swords but easily ignoring them and continuing through, crashing heavily into his body. Bystanders watching wouldn’t have been able to tell whether the boom came from the punch or from Ember Celica’s barrel.
Azura’s aura shuddered and rippled violently, resembling a pond that just had a huge stone thrown into it. He was instantly lifted off his feet and made at least thirty meters before landing horribly on his rear, bouncing and rolling over his back to involuntarily land on his feet. Azura staggered back as he tried to recover from his world spinning rapidly and the pain seething from his chest, but Yang didn’t have time for breaks. She ran up to him, leaped into the air and spun around, her leg coming around to round house Azura in the head, staggering him to the side. His world rattled again, he was heavily disorientated and Yang seemed to notice this as she decided to ignore him and walk toward Cinder.
Azura took the opportunity to get in a free hit, focusing his aura on his eyes and ears, his vision slowly came back to him and he was able to run up behind Yang. Yang sensed him coming and spun around, fist already moving toward him. But Azura saw that coming and felt so smart as he lifted his sword up and parried the punch, Yang was more than pleased to smash that smirk off his face.
Yang’s right arm skidded against the outside of Azura’s sword, she caught a glimpse of his smile as he thought he had gotten her, but she simply smiled even more brightly than him when she easily proved him wrong. As her arm was deflected slightly off to the side, she quickly bent her arm so that Ember Celica was pointed to the side and then she fired. The force of the blast was perpendicular to the motion Yang was already moving with, so when she planted her foot firmly onto the ground, she spun anti-clockwise with the force of Ember Celica. As she spun Azura’s left handed thrust felt nothing but air as Yang turned sideways, dodging the attack by mere inches. Yang continued to spin as Azura continued to move forward, and when Yang had completed a half turn, where she was now facing the side of Azura as he continued forward, she fired Ember Celica, stopping her turning motion, and launching her fist straight into the side of Azura’s face, where she fired once more just for fun and rocketed Azura yards from where she was.
Yang stopped to watch him go for a moment, satisfied with her handy work she dusted her hands and turned to meet Cinder.
White? Everything was white. But shouldn’t things be black, with a white light at the end? Did she already get to the white light? But that wasn’t fair isn’t she supposed to get a chance to walk toward it in the first place? Oh who was she kidding that stuff is only in movies….right?
Ruby jumped at the voice, ‘God?’
“Mum!? You’re here?” Ruby realised she didn’t even know where ‘here’ was.
“’Here’ is a bit of an odd word to describe this place.”
Ruby was a little stunned. “W-Well what ‘is’ this place anyway?”
“Well to be quite simple, it’s you.”
“Yes, we are… inside you”
“Ruby calm down.” Summer said softly with a grin. Although things were going bad outside, neither of them seemed to care.
Ruby looked at her mother, this time really looked. The first time they met, in her dream, Ruby wasn’t very welcoming, now, all Ruby wanted was a hug. And a hug she got.
“Mum what’s going on?” She mumbled into her mum’s cloak.
Her mum rubbed her back gently, kissing the top of her head affectionately, Ruby wasn’t the only one who was missing someone, a mother always misses her child.
“Ruby I’m sorry.” She whispered.
“About what?” Ruby may have been a bit frustrated before, but she didn’t see how any of this was her mum’s fault.
“About everything. About leaving you, about not telling you everything, about not being there for you.”
“Oh mum. It’s not your fault. I’m sorry for being so hard on you before, I didn’t mean it I was just…confused.” Ruby wasn’t sure whether what was happening was really happening, but whether or not it was, she wanted to make the most of it.
“Mum I miss you so much.” Ruby confessed, burying her head back into her mother’s cloak.
“I miss you too Ruby.” The mother and daughter shared a silent moment in each other’s arms, but it couldn’t last forever.
“But I can’t stay here, and neither can you.” Summer broke the embrace and Ruby shot her a confused look.
“Ruby what did I tell you about playing with things you don’t understand?”
“Wh-what?” ‘Ok weird.’
“Don’t play dumb with me Ruby Rose!” Summer said sternly, but her wide grin betrayed her act.
“Mum what are you talking about?”
“The necklace silly, that wasn’t very smart to hide it from Weiss” Summer said casually.
“You know about that!” Ruby said alarmed.
“Yes I do.”
Then Ruby put two and two together. “You know about Weiss!” She squealed, turning a shade of pink.
“Yes Ruby I do,” Summer said with a laugh, “don’t worry, I think Weiss is a beautiful girl”
“Yes, she’s very well-mannered as well.”
“You spoke to her!?” This was getting crazier and crazier.
“Of course, you think I was just going to save her life and not introduce myself.”
“So she’s the one-“
“But I thought she was-“
“So how did you-“
“I got to her in time, just as her aura was leaving her. The wound took a bit of work to heal but we got there.”
“But how did you get back?”
“Long story short, I had my own version of that necklace you gave Weiss, except a much more powerful one. Which only a few people know where it is. It was enough to summon some of me, at least for a little while.”
“So you had a giant rose necklace hidden somewhere that could bring you back?! Why was I never told about this, I would’ve given anything to see any part of you!” Ruby felt it was unfair that she didn’t even know this about her own mother. Didn’t know that she wasn’t entirely gone.
“Because Ruby, it isn’t something you can take lightly. As much as I wanted you to know about it and come and talk to me as much as you could, I knew there would be times when you really needed me, like now. Understand?” Summer placed a soft hand on Ruby’ shoulder.
“I guess so.” Ruby answered, rubbing her boot into the…. The floor?
“Good girl.” Summer pulled Ruby into one last hug. “I’m gonna miss you so much Ruby.”
“I already do.” Ruby replied softly.
“Here, put this on.” Summer stepped back and offered Ruby her white cloak.
Ruby hesitantly took it off her mum but didn’t put it on. “What happens when I put it on?”
“Hopefully you wake up.” Summer replied, but Ruby sensed some sadness in the response.
“You’ll be gone then won’t you?”
“Ruby I’m never gone.”
Ruby nodded as she thought over the words.
“C’mon Ruby, time is running out.”
Ruby looked up at her mum for the last time, “I love you mum.”
“I love you too Ruby.”
Ruby swung the cloak over her, and she could have sworn she saw a tear roll down her mother’s cheek.