The Uncanny Penny

Chapter 2

Team RWBY were back in their dorms, discussing the meetings they had with Penny and Nick.

"So Penny has a brother," said Ruby. "Funny how they sound nothing alike. I mean, why make androids with such different personalities?"

"I'd be more worried as to why they're being built in the first place," said Blake. "Considering what we saw Penny do, these androids sound like they could be very dangerous weapons in the wrong hands, which if the rumors about Cadet are true, is likely to happen."

"But they don't really seem like weapons," said Yang. "I mean, I can kind of see Nick being one, but Penny? She's too nice to ever be someone's weapon of destruction."

"She appears nice," said Weiss, "but who knows what she's really like. Maybe she's actually a more dangerous threat than the White Fang."

"You really think Penny could be a threat?" asked Ruby.

"Even if she isn't now," said Weiss, "all it would take is a little bit of reprogramming and Penny can go from being the weird girl who greets us out of nowhere to horrifying weapon of mass destruction."

"I just can't imagine Penny ever being like that," said Ruby. "And by the way, I'd appreciate it if you guys stopped calling her weird."

"I'm sorry. Is quirky more appropriate?"

"Look, I know Penny isn't exactly normal, but she's nice and trying to be friendly to us. So when she shows up to the party tomorrow could you at least make an effort to-"

"Wait a minute," interrupted Weiss. "You invited her to the party?"

"Are you sure that was wise, sis?" asked Yang.

"Now you listen to me," said Ruby, getting agitated at her team. "Penny has just as much of a right to show up and have a good time just like any of you. So tomorrow I expect this team to be friendly and respectful to her just like we would anybody else. Do I make myself clear?"

"All right," said Yang defensively. "Didn't realize you two were BFFs all of a sudden."

"We're not BFFs," said Ruby. "I'm just trying to help her make more friends, and I'd like to think I can rely on my team for support. Promise me you'll all make Penny feel welcome."

"We promise," said the rest of her team.

#

Penny was sitting on the airship heading to Beacon. Yesterday she was so excited to attend the party, but now that she was on the ship and would be arriving any minute, she started to feel anxious. After learning the set procedure for falling in love, she wondered how to best approach it. Did she really spend enough time to get to know the person that well? Was what she was feeling actually love, and was it the kind of love that meant you were in love rather than just plain love? Hopefully one of the new friends she was bound to make could help her out.

Team RWBY were waiting by the entrance of Beacon for Penny's arrival.

"Do we have to wait for her here?" asked Weiss.

"What I did tell you about making her feel welcome?" asked Ruby.

"That doesn't mean we have to stand out here."

"Weiss, is it really that hard to just say hello, maybe give a compliment, and then not act like a jerk to her?"

"When you're trying to make a big deal out of it, yes. Why are you suddenly obsessed about Penny?"

"I'm not obsessed. I just...I feel bad she doesn't have a lot of friends. When I was talking to her yesterday, she sounded as if she was alone in the world. I don't want her to feel that way. Would any of you?"

The others thought about Ruby's words for a moment. They all had personal memories of times they thought they were alone, and how badly they wanted to have somebody there for them. Now that they had several friends of their own, they had nearly forgotten what it was like to feel that way.

"I'm sorry," said Weiss. "I promise I'll be nice to Penny."

A moment later Penny's airship landed at Beacon. As soon as Penny got off the ship, she saw Ruby waving over to her. Penny was surprised to see Ruby's friends there as well.

"Hello Ruby," said Penny, "and hello Ruby's friends. I wasn't expecting you to be here."

"Why wouldn't we be?" asked Weiss. "We're your friends too right?"

"Really?" said Penny. "You guys are my friends too?"

"Of course," said Blake.

"Totally," said Yang.

Penny started shaking with glee. "This is great! We haven't even gotten to the party and I'm already making new friends! Where is this party anyway?"

"It starts in the auditorium in about an hour," said Ruby. "In the meantime, let me show you around Beacon."

"Okay!" said Penny. The five of them began walking around the main gate. "Say, now that we're all friends, we should get to know each other more. So what do you guys like to do outside of school?"

"I like to come up with ways I can improve my weapon," said Ruby.

"I like to perfect my skills as a huntress," said Weiss.

"I like to read," said Blake.

"I like to sleep," said Yang.

"What about you Penny?" asked Ruby. "Do you anything outside of...what do you do most of the day?"

"My masters usually have me testing my abilities in their labs," said Penny. "When I'm not doing testing I try to get out and see much of the world as I can, though they really don't like me doing that."

"How'd you get them to let you come to this party?" asked Yang. Penny suddenly stopped in her tracks, causing the rest of the team to stop and look at her.

"They...don't know I'm here," said Penny.

"Aren't you worried you'll get in trouble?" asked Ruby.

"As long as I'm back before curfew and don't cause any incidents, things should be fine," said Penny. "At least I hope so. I'm not doing the wrong thing am I?"

"Of course not!" lied Ruby. "Right guys?"

"Nothing wrong at all!" replied Yang.

"Nope," said Blake.

"Of course you're doing the wrong thing!" said Weiss.

"Weiss!" said Ruby.

Penny frowned and looked at the ground, ashamed that Weiss admitted the truth. Weiss walked up to Penny and lifted her head up.

"Listen Penny, sneaking out without permission and going to places you're not supposed to?" said Weiss. "Of course you're doing the wrong thing. But you know what? Every kid does it."

"Is that true?" asked Penny.

"I've snuck out of my house plenty of times," said Weiss. "Besides, some people say it's only wrong if you get caught."

"I never got caught," bragged Yang. "I was the master of sneaking out and coming home without my parents knowing any better."

"How come you can't be that stealthy when we're fighting Grimm?" asked Blake. Yang gave Blake an annoyed look.

"Thank you everyone!" said Penny, back to being her happy self. "That makes me feel so...normal."

As the five of them continued walking, Ruby started whispering to Weiss.

"Wow Weiss," whispered Ruby. "I never thought a girl like you would do that kind of thing."

"That's because I never actually did," whispered Weiss.

"Then why did you-"

"Because I'm trying to be nice to Penny."

Ruby smiled and nodded, then went back to showing Penny around Beacon.

#

Around the same time Penny arrived at Beacon, Nick arrived at the club where he was told he would be meeting his temporary master for the night. Nick entered the club and headed to the bar where Roman was sitting.

"Welcome Model-005," said Roman. "I've seen your demonstration yesterday, and I was impressed. Would you like a drink?"

"Hello Mr. Torchwick," said Nick, "and no, I do not require food nor water. I have been given orders to assist you in robbing the dust vault on the eastern side of Vale. Based on my calculations of the security put in place there, this job should not cause any difficulty beyond my abilities."

"It had better be. Your boss is charging me quite a huge sum amount of money for your services, and if this goes wrong because you weren't up to snuff, you and your boss will be sleeping with the Grimm."

"As I have told you, I've done the calculations. The security placed there by Cadet is strong, but are nowhere near my level of power. Even when taking into consideration the sudden interference of unknown parties and the possibility of betrayal or lack of cooperation from you, I predict a 99.999% chance of success at worst."

"You're that confident it'll go off without a hitch?"

"I am not programmed to feel confidence or any emotion in particular. I am simply stating facts Mr. Torchwick."

Roman smirked at Nick's response. "I'm starting to like this kid. Let's go over the plan, and please, call me Roman."

"If we are to be informal, you may call me Nick."

#

By seven o'clock, Team RWBY and Penny headed to the auditorium for the party. Everyone had their own plans for the party. Without getting a date, Yang decided she was going to try her luck by getting one at the party itself, and asked Blake to be her wingwoman. Blake agreed just to make sure Yang didn't start a fight. As pointless as the party seemed to her, Weiss hoped to talk to the older students in the hopes of having an intelligent conversation for once. Ruby just wanted to have fun and to make sure Penny has fun as well.

As soon as they arrived, they noticed Team JNPR by the concessions table and walked over to them.

"Guys, I'd like to you meet our friend Penny," said Ruby. "Penny, this is Jaune, Pyrrha, Nora, and Ren. They're known as Team JNPR."

"Salutations Team JNPR!" said Penny. "It's a pleasure to meet you!"

"Hi Penny," said Jaune. "Where are you from?"

"I'm from out of town," replied Penny. "I'm visiting from Atlas."

Before arriving at the party, Ruby had gone over with Penny how to respond to certain questions that might give away Penny's secret of being an android. Not that she didn't trust JNPR to keep a secret, but the less anyone knew about Penny's true origins the better.

"What are you doing in Vale?" asked Jaune. "You don't go to school?"

"I'm an independently trained huntress," said Penny. "My master and I are here on a business trip of sorts."

"How did you and Ruby meet?" asked Pyrrha.

"We bumped into each other a couple months ago," said Penny. "Or rather, Weiss bumped into me and Ruby and I quickly became friends."

"That's...interesting?" said Pyrrha, not quite knowing how to respond to such an odd occurrence.

"I love your bow Penny!" said Nora.

"Thank you," said Penny.

"You know, I used to think about wearing a bow, but I could never pull off the look. I tried wearing one around my waist, but I found out it really got in the way of smashing Grimm. Speaking of Grimm, one time, I was surrounded by a dozen Ursii!"

"A dozen Ursii? Were you worried?"

"Normal huntresses would be, but I certainly wasn't!"

"This is going to take a while," said Ren.

The rest of Team JNPR and Team RWBY went off to enjoy the party while Penny continued listening to Nora's story with great interest.

#

Roman and Nick were in the back of Roman's limo, going to the location of the vault.

"Say Nick," said Roman. "I meant to ask you earlier; you honestly don't feel weird about having to destroy the robots created by your own company?"

"Of course not," said Nick. "I was not programmed to have feelings, emotions, or a sense of morality. I am simply an android programmed for combat purposes. If I am ordered to destroy my company's fellow creations, then I will do so."

"So if I told you to just go and kill whoever created you, would you do that?"

"You do not have the right level of permission. As of now, professor Gainsboro's level of permission outranks above all else, and so I cannot be ordered to terminate him."

"Then how do I know you weren't ordered to kill me after this job is done?"

"I assure you Gainsboro has given me no such order."

"We've arrived at the gate Mr. Torchwick," said the driver.

"Well kid, time to see what you're really made of," said Roman.

Roman and Nick stepped out of the limo. The building was secluded away about a half mile from the city area, with a barbed wired fence stretching across for miles. The road leading to the building was blocked off by a gate that could only be opened from the other side. Nick jumped over the gate and headed to the panel that controlled the gate. He took out a sword and broke off the panel, causing the gate to start opening. Once fully opened, Roman and Nick entered the limo and headed to the building.

"Are you sure it's wise for you to come along?" asked Nick. "I can handle everything by myself."

"I want to make sure I get my money's worth," said Roman. "Don't worry about having to watch out for me."

Suddenly the limo came to a halt. "What's going on?" asked Roman.

"Sir, there are two security bots in front of the entrance," said the driver.

"They must have come out in response to the gate," said Nick. "I'll handle it."

The moon roof opened up and Nick climbed out onto the top of the limo. He saw the two bots standing near the entrance; the bots looked like metal soldiers carrying machine guns. The bots took aim at the limo, ready to shoot them down.

"Halt," said the bots. "You are trespassing on private property. Deadly force is authorized."

Before the bots can fire, Nick took out two of his swords and threw them towards the bots. Each sword impaled a bot through their head, instantly shutting them down. Roman peeked out of the moon roof and whistled, impressed at Nick's speed.

"That was quick," said Roman.

"It's easy when you know their CPU locations, which is usually located in the head," said Nick.

Roman got out of the limo and walked up to the entrance with Nick. The building was several stories high and looked like a typical office building. The entrance looked like a giant metal wall with no way to open it.

"Stand back," said Nick. Nick levitated two swords above him. The swords pointed towards the door and began to move in a circular motion. A green beam of energy began to form between the swords. Nick fired the beam at the top left corner of the door, cutting it through. He then guided the beam all around the door, causing the door to lean forward and collapse with a loud ground-shaking thud. As Roman and Nick entered the building, Roman expected to hear some kind of alarm go off, but nothing was happening.

"This place doesn't have an alarm?" asked Roman.

"Correction: The alarm is a silent signal transmitted to all the security bots in the building," said Nick. "It appears to be absent to fool intruders and lower their guard."

Roman and Nick headed to the emergency stairs - taking the elevator would set them up for an ambush - leading to the basement where all the dust was stored. As soon as Roman opened the door leading to the room full of dust, he was in awe. The basement was approximately three stories tall and looked like a big empty warehouse, with all the dust stored in the reinforced walls.

"We're definitely going to need more trucks," said Roman. "So where's the rest of the security?"

"Look up," said Nick.

Roman looked up and noticed a small army of robots suddenly dropping from the ceiling. Soon the empty room was filled with more bots like the ones outside, plus even bigger bots with gatling gun arms. All together there were fifteen guard bots and five gatling bots. Roman was starting to see why Nick wanted to come here alone.

"I query that you should leave and let me handle this," said Nick. His backpack opened and out came all ten of his swords. He gripped two of the swords in his hands as the rest hovered around him.

"I'll take that advice," said Roman, quickly heading for the door he came in. All the robots turned their attention to Nick and began opening fire.

Nick began dashing at a fast speed and used his other swords to block the oncoming bullets. He headed straight to the weaker guard bots and decapitated them one by one with the swords in his hands. With his quick speed and using his remaining swords to block for him, Nick was taking very few hits, and even those didn't deter him in the slightest. After taking out the guard bots, he turned his attention to the gatling bots. With all of them firing at Nick, Nick decided to back up against a wall and use all his swords to create a shield to block. Since the walls were reinforced for this kind of situation, Nick didn't have to worry about the dust suddenly exploding behind him. He waited until the gatling bots stopped firing to prevent overheating, then sent his swords flying towards the bots' heads to impale all of them.

After hearing the gun fire die down, Roman came back in and saw all the robots down and broken. The place smelled like thick cigarette smoke, but to Roman it smelled like victory.

"You were definitely worth every cent," said Roman. "Now, how do we begin opening these walls?"

"The walls are operated by a terminal on one of the upper floors," said Nick. "It'll be easy to access since all the security has been terminated."

"You go up and do what you need to do," said Roman. "I've got to call my men."

#

Back at the party, Penny was still talking to Nora. They had been talking about various things for about an hour. While Nora was on a story about her team, Penny noticed a group of boys gathering near the punch bowl. The tall orange haired one looked to be their leader.

"Tell me men," said Cardin, "what do you think of the punch?"

"It's okay I guess," said Russel.

"You know what I think?" said Cardin, pulling out a bottle of alcohol. "I think the punch could use a little kick."

"Good one Cardin," said Russel. Cardin poured the alcohol into the punch as the rest of Team CRNL laughed at their prank. Cardin quickly put the bottle away before anyone noticed. Penny didn't say a word and went back to listening to Nora.

"So long story short, that's why Pyrrha doesn't let me borrow her makeup anymore," said Nora.

"That's a shame," said Penny.

"You know Penny," said Nora, "we've been talking for so long I feel like we're long lost sisters."

"Really?" asked Penny. "You think we're like sisters?"

"Yep!" said Nora. If Penny was able to blush she'd be turning bright red along with her smile.

"I've wondered what it would be like to have a sister!"

"Only child huh?"

"I have a brother, but him and I don't really relate well."

"That's a shame. I don't have any siblings, but Ren is kind of like a sibling. We've known each other since...well forever."

"Nora, since you and I are like sisters, is it okay if I ask you...sisterly questions?"

"You can ask me anything!"

Penny leaned forward and spoke in a lower voice to Nora.

"Nora," said Penny, "do you find any boys attractive?"

"Well Ren and Jaune are definitely attractive," said Nora. "Personally I think Pyrrha might secretly have a thing for Jaune, and I mean who wouldn't? He's like one big huggable teddy bear. But of course he's nothing compared to Ren. I mean Ren is the prettiest boy in this school, and I'm not saying that just because he's my teammate and best friend but seriously who can possibly be more attractive than him?"

"What about girls?" asked Penny.

"Attractive...girls?" asked Nora.

"Do you find any girls attractive?"

"Well, I guess so? I never really thought about how attractive girls are. I mean not that there's anything wrong with girls finding other girls attractive or boys to boys or whoever to whoever. Whatever floats your boat, you know?"

"So you wouldn't think it's weird for a girl to be attracted to another girl?"

Nora started to have a grin on her face, knowing what Penny was really trying to say. "Are you trying to say you're attracted to another girl?" asked Nora.

"I'm not sure if I'm 'attracted' to her," said Penny, "but lately I find myself having these strange feelings for her. I have several friends now, yet I find myself wanting to be with her more than the others. She makes me so happy, and I...I want to make her just as happy."

Nora started giggling. "I think you're in love!" said Nora.

"You think so?" asked Penny.

"Of course! I mean, are you willing to do anything to make this special someone happy?"

"Yeah?"

"Are you willing to spend the majority of your life around her? Are you willing to be there whenever she needs you?"

"Yes and yes?"

"Then that settles it! You're in love Penny!"

"That's weird. I was told that love was a lot more complicated than that."

"It's not complicated at all! Love is simply finding someone who makes you happy and wanting them to be happy right back."

"But what about all the situations where love isn't okay?"

"I don't believe in that. Well, there are a few exceptions, but that just comes from people being creepy weirdoes. You're not a creepy weirdo are you?"

"Not that I'm aware of."

"And this person you're in love with: She's not a creepy weirdo too is she?"

"No, she's a perfectly normal girl."

"Then I'd say it's perfectly okay!" proclaimed Nora.

"Thank you Nora," said Penny. Shortly after they were done talking, Ruby ran up to them.

"C'mon Penny!" said Ruby. "Come dance with us!"

"Okay!" said Penny, joining Ruby on the dance floor. Penny was having the time of her life. So much so that she began to ignore the transmissions coming in from Gainsboro.

#

Roman and Nick were outside the vault, as several of Roman's men came in and out of the building, carting away loads of dust. Nick began to receive a transmission from Gainsboro.

"Hello professor," said Nick.

"Nick, where is Penny?" asked Gainsboro. "It's past curfew and she hasn't responded to my calls."

"She informed me that she would be attending a party at Beacon Academy," said Nick. "I query she would be located there."

"What is she...," said Gainsboro, sounding like he was about to lose it. "Never mind! I want you to go over there and bring her back right away before she causes another incident."

"Understood professor," said Nick. "I am afraid I have to leave Roman. The professor has an emergency I must attend to."

"Go right ahead," said Roman. "You've done more than enough for us tonight, and I think you'll be doing plenty more in the near future. My driver will give you a lift."

"Thank you," said Nick. Nick went to the limo and asked the driver to send him to the airship station.

#

Another hour into the party and Penny couldn't be happier. Before tonight, Ruby was the only friend Penny had; now she had all of Team RWBY and JNPR as her friends. Plus now that she began to understand the meaning of love, it wouldn't be long until she can tell that special someone how she really felt.

Penny and Ruby were talking by the concessions table when Penny felt a hand touch her shoulder. Penny turned around and was surprised to see Nick.

"Hi Nick!" said Penny. "I didn't know you were invited too!"

"Correction: I am not here because I was invited," said Nick. "I received a transmission from our master that you were out past curfew."

"It's curfew already?" said Penny, starting to panic. "I must have lost track of time!"

"I figured as much. The master was worried that you would be involved in another incident much like the one at the docks weeks ago."

"There's no incident here. In fact, I've made so many new friends! Speaking of, this is my friend Ruby."

"So you are subject Ruby that Penny is constantly talking about," said Nick.

"Yeah, I'm that...subject," said Ruby. "So you're Penny's brother huh?"

"Technically we aren't actually related," said Nick, "but in a way yes, I'm Penny's younger brother."

"Younger?"

"I'm a newer designed model, so if we were to be blood related, I would technically be the younger brother despite being built to look older. Anyway, it's time to go Penny."

"But I really want to stay," said Penny. "I'm having so much fun!"

"The master is insistent we report back to the lab now as per his command."

"Please let me stay a little bit longer?"

"I'm not allowed to disobey the professor, but since you are behaving yourself, I'll query him to extend our stay here. Will one hour be suffice?"

"That's perfect! Thank you Nick!"

As Nick was about to call the professor, the rest of Team RWBY went to the concessions table.

"This party has been a waste of my time," said Weiss. "Everyone here is either too busy dancing like a fool or won't even acknowledge my presence."

"I think they just can't stand your attitude," commented Yang. "Now, me on the other hand, I'm having the time of my life!"

"That's because they take one look at you and think 'easy.'"

"D'aw, is the rich little heiress mad that all the boys love me and not you?" said Yang in her most condescending voice possible.

"Shut up!" said Weiss.

"Calm down Weiss," said Ruby, taking a cup and filling it up with punch. "Here, have some punch."

Weiss took the cup and downed the whole drink in one gulp, and immediately regretted it when the awful taste covered her entire mouth.

"Even the punch tastes awful!" complained Weiss.

"Oh quit being a baby!" said Ruby. "There's no way the punch can be that bad!"

Ruby filled a cup for herself and took a sip. The moment she tasted the nasty bitterness, she spat it right back out.

"OOOH!" yelled Ruby. "The punch IS awful! What is this?"

"May I have a cup for analyzation?" asked Nick. Ruby handed her cup to Nick, who looked directly into the cup and analyzed the punch.

"What you are drinking seems to be a mixture of two separate drinks," said Nick.

"What do you mean?" asked Ruby.

"Well, most of the ingredients in this mixture would indicate that it is normal fruit based punch. But there is also traces of another drink which appear to have the characteristics you would find in a bottle of alcohol."

"Did you say alcohol?" yelled Weiss in a panic.

"I query by your reaction that should not be part of the mixture," said Nick.

"You're damn right it shouldn't! Somebody spiked the punch! Oh dust, I drank alcohol when I'm not supposed to!"

"Calm down Weiss," said Ruby. "It was an accident."

"Accident or not, I drank it!" said Weiss. "I could be drunk right now!"

"Weiss, I'm pretty sure you'll be fine."

"One drink is all it takes Ruby! I need to get out of here!" Weiss screamed as she ran off.

"Who would spike the punch?" asked Ruby.

"Well," said Penny, "earlier I did witness a boy and his friends pour something into the punch and laughing about it."

"What did he look like?"

"Let's see...he was tall, had dark orange hair...and I think his friends called him Cardin."

"I should have known," said Ruby. "I need to tell Goodwitch. Blake, Yang, make sure nobody else drinks the punch."

Ruby ran off to find Goodwitch. Yang looked around and slowly reached for a cup, but got slapped on the wrist by Blake.

"I have a feeling this dance is about to turn into an incident," said Nick. "I query that we should be leaving now."

"Do we have to?" moaned Penny.

"I am doing this for your safety Penny," said Nick.

"I guess we can go then," said Penny.

Nick and Penny headed for the exit, navigating through the big crowd. While trying to get through, Penny accidentally bumped into Cardin.

"Hey! You shoved me!" said Cardin.

"I'm sorry. That was an accident," said Penny.

"Yeah? Well so is this!" said Cardin, shoving Penny to the ground. Cardin and his team laughed, while Penny simply got up and look unphased.

"That didn't seem like an accident," said Penny. "It appeared you did that on purpose."

"Way to go genius," said Cardin sarcastically. "Did you figure that out by yourself?"

"Can I ask why you did that on purpose?"

"Gee, let me think...," said Cardin, before shoving Penny again. Cardin and his team laughed and walked off. Nick noticed Penny getting bullied and walked over. Without missing a beat, Penny got up and talked to Nick.

"Nick, I'm confused. This boy keeps shoving me and I don't know why."

"Based on my data of human interaction, men will usually shove another person as an attempt to say that they want to engage in combat."

"Oooh. So he wants to fight me. Okay."

Penny walked up to Cardin and tapped him on the shoulder.

"Back for more huh?" asked Cardin.

"Sir, I accept your challenge for a fight," said Penny.

"A fight? You hear that boys? This bitch wants to fight me!" said Cardin, causing more laughter amongst his team. "You know what? Go ahead, I'll let you throw the first punch!"

"How very generous!" said Penny. Penny wound up her arm ready to throw a straight right. Cardin laughed as he was secretly waiting to grab Penny's arm to stop her punch. Suddenly, Penny threw her arm at lightning speed and landed on Cardin's jaw. The next thing Cardin knew he was launched across the room and landed right into the sound equipment playing the music. Everyone turned to see the speakers collapse on top of Cardin as the music suddenly grinded to a halt. Team CRNL ran over to check on Cardin as everyone was wondering what just happened.

"What a terrible battle strategy," remarked Nick. "What possible reason would one ever let their opponent make the first strike?"

"Maybe he was just being nice," said Penny.

"I would query that to be wrong," said Nick.

Ruby was talking to Goodwitch when they suddenly heard Cardin crash into the soundstage. Ruby turned to see Penny with her arm out and realized it was her doing. Ruby quickly ran over to Penny and Nick to make sure to get them out of there.

"Hello Ruby!" said Penny. "Me and Nick were just about to leave-"

"Yes, leave," said Ruby. "We need to leave now!"

Ruby pushed Nick and Penny as a signal to start moving faster. Luckily they made it out of the school before anyone can stop them.

"You guys are seriously lucky Goodwitch didn't catch you!" said Ruby.

"Did we do something wrong?" asked Penny.

"I would query that knocking out that boy was not appropriate behavior," said Nick.

"No, it definitely wasn't," said Ruby. "I mean, Cardin's a jerk and he had it coming, but you did it at the worst possible time."

"Oh," said Penny. "I'm sorry Ruby. I didn't mean to act inappropriately! I've completely ruined this night!"

"Hey now," said Ruby, "you didn't ruin anything Penny. Sure it didn't end on the best of terms, but I'm still glad you came."

"You mean that?" asked Penny.

"Absolutely!" said Ruby. Hearing that put a wide smile on Penny's face.

"Sensational!" said Penny.

"I would query this would be the time to say our goodbyes," said Nick. "Goodbye Ruby. It was nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you too Nick," said Ruby, extending her arm. "We should get together again."

"I would query that to be unlikely," said Nick, shaking Ruby's hand. "The master has been keeping me quite busy these days."

"Well hopefully you get some free time," said Ruby. "Goodbye Penny." Ruby extended her arm to Penny, who grabbed Ruby's hand with both her hands.

"I had such a wonderful time Ruby!" said Penny. "Thank you so much for inviting me!"

"Anything for a frie-"

Before Ruby can finish, Penny suddenly leaned in and gave Ruby a kiss on the cheek. She waved goodbye as her and Nick left Beacon. Ruby continued to stand there with her arm out and the surprised look on her face that occurred the moment Penny kissed her. She was trying to register in her mind what just happened. She turned around and started heading back to her dorm, still trying to comprehend what Penny did.

Ruby arrived back at her dorm, where Weiss was balancing herself on one foot while trying to recite the alphabet backwards to make sure she hadn't gotten drunk. Shortly after Ruby arrived, Blake came back from the party.

"Weiss, what are you doing?" asked Blake.

"I'm giving myself a sobriety test," said Weiss.

"You're not...never mind," said Blake, not wanting to end the night arguing with Weiss. "So what happened to Penny?"

Ruby was still so absorbed about what Penny did that she didn't listen to Blake.

"Ruby!" said Blake, snapping Ruby out of her trance.

"Oh, what?"

"Where's Penny?"

"Oh. She and Nick left. What happened to the party?"

"Goodwitch threatened to cancel it after what happened," explained Blake, "but Ozpin convinced her to let it keep going. Team CRNL is in deep trouble."

"You don't say," replied Ruby, sounding like she wasn't interested in what Blake was saying. Blake was starting to notice Ruby's mind seemed to be elsewhere.

"Something's bothering you," said Blake. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing wrong, but..."

"Does it have something to do with Penny?"

"We were saying our goodbyes, but before she left, she kissed me on the cheek. Why would she do that?"

"Well this is Penny we're talking about. Maybe she got the idea that when you leave, you kiss someone on the cheek."

"I know Penny has a hard time understanding some things, but I think even she knows you don't usually do that with someone."

"I think you're overthinking this. It wasn't like she tried to kiss you on the lips. That would have been awkward."

"Maybe I am overthinking it," said Ruby. "Still feels pretty weird though."

"At least you're not freaking out like Weiss over there," said Blake. Ruby and Blake turned to see Weiss grab a pencil and wave it around to make sure she was able to keep eye contact on it at all times.

#

Before Penny and Nick shut down for the night, they were ordered to see Gainsboro in his lab. Gainsboro was initially mad about Penny sneaking out to attend a party, but decided to calm down after hearing the good news about Nick's mission being a complete success.

"You wanted to see us sir?" asked Nick.

"Just wanted to check up on each of you after what happened tonight," said Gainsboro. "Starting with you Penny; you can't be going off to places with such a large public presence. You know that."

"I'm sorry sir," said Penny. "Are you mad at me?"

"Under normal circumstances I would be mad," said Gainsboro, "but tonight I'm in a very good mood, so I'll let you off the hook for now. But next time you do something like this, you need to ask for my permission."

"Thank you sir," said Penny, heading back to her room.

"As for you Nick, excellent job on your mission. You've made me very proud, not to mention rich. I expect our relationship with Mr. Torchwick will only get better."

"Thank you professor," said Nick. Nick returned to his room where Penny was waiting to talk about her night.

"It was so wonderful Nick!" exclaimed Penny. "I got to make so many new friends thanks to Ruby, and she was so happy for me to be there."

"I have to say, I have never seen you so happy before. It almost makes me wish I had your emotional programming."

"I feel more than happy Nick. I can't truly describe it. It's like...it's like I feel alive."

"Just don't let it go to your head. Good night Penny."

"Wait. Before you shut down, I wanted to let you know; I think it's time for the next step in the procedure."

"Procedure?" said Nick. "Ah yes, the love procedure. So you really think you have feelings for this Ruby girl?"

"I know I do," said Penny. "Now I just need the right moment to tell her."

"Do you realize there's a chance that Ruby can reject those feelings?"

"But I'll never know unless I express how I really feel. Good night Nick."

Penny entered her pod and shut down for the night. Nick shook his head and entered his pod to shut down.

"If I was capable of envying you Penny, I would not be doing that now," said Nick before shutting down.

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