Secrets of the Rebound Queen and the Blonde Bastard
a RWBY fanfiction by The Overlord Bear
Summary: During another one of her more frequent visits to the Xiao Long-Rose residence some years after defeating Salem, Blake Belladonna sneaks a peek on the contents of another diary which was once owned by her Beacon team leader’s mother. Her curiosity gets her discovering a little too much information, though…
No matter how many times Blake Belladonna had visited the place already, the family residence of her team leader and said leader’s older sister gave her quite a feeling of home.
Sure, Menagerie was becoming more of a home for her again, especially after expelling the White Fang out of the continent and fully opening its borders to the rest of Remnant, but Ruby and Yang’s house felt more…normal.
Well, it was a normal that was more refreshing than the normal Blake was used to, at least. Her own brand of normal pretty much consisted of being a terrorist, trying to not be a terrorist, and trying to fight against terrorists, see, so being in a house like where she was right now made her realize how much of an idiot she was all that time.
And hey, the more frequent visits to the place had helped reduce the twitching reach that her hands had for her weapon. It was ironic, though, since the quaintness of the place was likely a significant factor behind how Ruby and Yang turned out. Even with Grimm and guards, it still wasn’t as dangerous as living outside the Kingdoms or in Menagerie (which was still dangerous even without the White Fang because of certain local wildlife which were intentionally faced either for penalty or for sport). Growing up in a place like Patch was likely to make action and the field seem a lot more exciting, after all.
Anyway, Blake came by herself again this time, as she did with her more recent visits. No fancy cape from her more conflicted teenage years, no Gambol Shroud on her back, and no ribbon over her cat ears and shortened hair.
She also didn’t have a lot of worry about not having her variant ballistic chain scythe, though, since Blake had been learning hand-to-hand combat from Yang and her father during her visits. That, and she also went through such training with Ghira, her own father, whenever she was back at Menagerie.
“Oh hey, Blake. You’re really coming around here more weekly now, huh?”
And speaking of said father, it was also a weekend, which meant Ruby and Yang’s father, Taiyang, would be having a day off and would be in the house for most of the day. That, and the school term was ongoing.
“Yeah, Mr. Xiao Long,” Blake answered as she sat on the sofa perpendicular to the man’s leather seat. “I know Ruby and Yang aren’t around here as much lately, but…it’s peaceful here, you know?”
“Oh, yeah, I get that,” Mr. Xiao Long replied with a chuckle, and Blake noted that he wasn’t bugging her to call him “Dad” or even “Taiyang” now, which was something he was insisting on when her visits started to become more frequent. Even with him being that hilariously embarassing father who wanted to be as cool as his kids, Blake and her regret of disregarding her own parents found that insistence a little too kind, see, and it was nice to know that he understood that. “My family once lived in Vacuo,” he continued, “And even with life at Beacon being more peaceful than life in the Kingdom of the Wild Desert, I don’t think it can beat the peace that this place brings. But hey, enough about me. How’s life going for you lately, Blake?”
“Well…I’m still kinda lost in life, I guess,” the cat faunus answered, looking down at her gathered hands on her lap. “Menagerie’s more peaceful now, and they’re even cooperating with the Kingdoms, which is a really big step for us, but as I’ve said before, there’s still wariness among most of us there. For example, a lot of the shopkeepers in Menagerie end up talking very…defensive when foreigners get shocked by the prices. A lot of fights like that happen, among other sorts of fights, and the citizens who support Dad’s new agenda, let alone those who are willing to enforce that, aren’t that much right now, and I feel…helpless.”
“Ah, that’s tough, alright,” the blonde man answered, putting down the notebook he was reading. “I’m honestly not that experienced in politics, though, but I think I can understand being of wary of people who have consistently mistreated you. We get so used to it that a change of heart becomes harder and harder to believe…which reminds me of how I’ve been reacting to Yang’s mother lately…”
“Yeah…” Blake sighed, also remembering practically walking into an argument between him and that woman named Raven Branwen. The cat faunus didn’t have a good first impression of the woman, especially when she belittled the kind father and his hospitality.
Also, Blake held herself back from trying to console Mr. Xiao Long, who had closed his eyes and taken a deep breath. He knew better, after all.
“Still,” Mr. Xiao Long then continued, raising an index finger with a smile, “If we can get used to the bad things, then why can’t we get used to the good things? I mean, wherever one is, there’s always the other close by. You just gotta focus on the good stuff, even if they’re small – and especially if they’re small – because they have the power to be big things by being the building blocks of big things. I think you can get more used to your hometown like that, especially if it’s important for you to be there more. Sure, maybe you’re an introverted girl, and I won’t expect you to be as outgoing as your father, but I’m sure you can help your family and your community there in some way.”
Blake brightened at that. Not brightened like Ruby with sparkling eyes and an open mouth, but brightened with somewhat more opened eyes and noticeably stretched up lips.
“Your students probably enjoy having you as their teacher, huh?” she then complimented.
“I guess so,” he replied, smile stretching farther. “Some of my students are just too proud to admit it, though,” he added with a shrug. “I’m just as cool as them, you know?”
Blake chuckled at that…and then she paused, feeling a pang in her heart.
Her own father was like Mr. Xiao Long too, in a way. Ghira Belladonna was more of a boisterous joker, though, and he was the wise yet energetic life of parties back in Menagerie, being not too formal with the people, even with his job as chieftain of the place. Although honestly, Blake wasn’t much for parties and all their noise, but still, her father was someone who tried to understand others.
Maybe that’s why he, along with her mother, Kali, had been so quick to forgive her and welcome her back home when she returned after that long period of disregarding them.
Yeah, reality still was stranger than fiction…and maybe Blake didn’t need to imagine herself as being someone like, say, the lead heroine of Ninjas of Love any further.
And yes, even with her and her friends saving the world from some Grimm Queen, that part of her life felt like a very embarrassing phase for her…and she once called Ruby’s personality childish…The hypocrisy of it all, indeed…
Suddenly, there were the synchronized sounds of ringing scrolls, and both went for their respective pockets to draw them out.
“gun b bringin the gang to patch,” said the message from Yang Xiao Long, which was followed by a line break and a “and i kno youre there blakey.“
Both readers sighed and laughed at the message which was sent to them. Mr. Xiao Long stood up after that, too.
“Looks like I’m gonna have to prepare some food, then…” he said, “But I think I’ll need to buy some more, considering how much foodstuffs the fridge and the pantry had when I checked a while ago…” and then he turned to Blake, “You wanna come along, Blake? Maybe you have some good ideas about what sort of food we should prepare.”
“Just have some fish along with them,” she answered as she remained seated, “And no, I don’t feel like coming along, but thank you for the offer.”
“Alright, then,” Mr. Xiao Long went before stowing away his scroll into one pocket and checking his other pocket for his wallet. “Well, if you don’t mind me imposing, just look after the house for me, okay?”
“Mhm,” Blake replied with a nod. “Take care, Mr. Xiao Long.”
“Will do, Blake,” he responded with a smile, and then he left.
And then there was silence…which was surprisingly unsettling to Blake.
Hm, maybe good residents really turned a house into a home, then…and speaking of which…
Yeah, the corgi was there, alright, and he had just woken up from his nap on the gap between the sofa where she sat and the leather seat where Mr. Xiao Long sat.
And yes, Blake was more used to Zwei now. And come to think of it, he was kinda like Mr. Xiao Long with their enthusiastic attempts at getting along, though the corgi was more touchy-feely and licky-licky about it.
So yes, she was expecting him to sit beside her, maybe even jump on her and try to lick her again, but…
The dog didn’t try to climb and get a lick on her, though. Instead, he jumped on the low wooden table in front of them, sniffing the leather-bound notebook which Mr. Xiao Long had been reading a while ago…and it was kinda familiar too…
Curiosity welled up within Blake, but she hesitated as she stretched out one hand, considering her behavior.
“Well, if he just left it there while being aware of me, then it’s probably nothing much…” she told herself as she struggled with her creeping hesitation while reaching out for the notebook beside the sitting and tongue-lolling dog.
Once Blake’s hand got a hold on the notebook, she leaned back and flipped the front cover open with her other hand.
On the left, behind the front cover, was a taped note that said “For Tai.”
On the right, though…
I have so many diaries already, so much that I have multiple boxes for them. Tai’s kind, though, allowing me to have them kept in his new house with Raven. It’s like the house became Team STRQ Residence instead of Xiao Long-Branwen Residence, hahaha…
Though speaking of which, Raven’s strangely unconcerned about me dropping by some more. She knew what I felt for Tai, and back then, she even liked to rub in that fact in by dragging him away from right in front of me, and Qrow had to help me hold myself back.
That was embarassing, yeah, but I still didn’t want to ruin my friendship with them, so I let them be. I do feel jealous, but I don’t think anything good can come out of acting on that.
Now, though…I wonder why Raven’s acting so cold? Tai’s been taking good care of her during her pregnancy, but she doesn’t speak or even smile as much, even with her teammates trying to lighten the mood…She wasn’t even pushing Tai’s forehead when he did his bad puns!
Really now, I wonder what’s going on…?
It didn’t take much for Blake to recognize the former owner of the diary: Summer Rose, Ruby’s mother, and also the woman whom Yang liked to call “Super Mom.”
As far as Blake knew, Ms. Rose died because of Salem’s schemes. And now that Blake remembered it some more, Ms. Rose’s scattered leather-bound diaries were also key to Ruby utilizing her Silver Eyes better.
Still, Blake felt like she was being rude by reading the diary she currently had in her hands. Sure, maybe the ones they had once read were okay because they helped illustrate the painful web of secrets surrounding Ozpin’s figurative chess match against Salem, but this was clearly from Team STRQ’s early years as Huntresses and Huntsmen, and considering what Blake knew about Ruby and Yang’s family…
Oh dear, that sort of thing just boosted her curiosity…
And so, Blake read on in numerical order, learning more about the conflict Raven Branwen caused within Team STRQ and Ms. Rose’s attempts at staying optimistic despite being worried for her and the rest of their team. There was also a lot of writing that were investigations regarding Raven’s suspicious behavior and the Branwen Tribe’s sudden lack of bandit activity, speculations that tried to connect all that as well to certain significant occurrences in Ozpin’s assigned missions – such as a certain mysterious arson in some frontier settlement (Blake had a feeling that Ms. Rose was talking about where Cinder Fall came from) and the people of Menagerie driving her away during one attempt at a visit (which caused Blake to feel very ashamed of her fellow Menagerians again) – and of course, the random funny, heartwarming, and/or ordinary moments…but Raven still wasn’t quite a warm presence in the third category.
After all that, the cat faunus managed to read the entry where Ms. Rose talked about helping Raven give birth to Yang, but it was quite…detailed.
Yes, it was at that point when Blake realized how much of an investigative woman Summer Rose was.
Right after that particular entry, though…
Raven…she left. I really want to just slash my pen all over this page right now, but I can’t lose composure right now, especially with me having been team leader, and damn it, Raven up and left us. She even cut off scroll contact, and Qrow confirmed that she wasn’t planning on going back to Tai and Yang as well.
Sure, Qrow can understand, and I can understand, and the both of us were angry at Raven and her dedication for the cruelty of those Branwens, but Tai?
Damn it, he’s devastated! He was the first one she told about her departure, and she definitely did it in a way that really hurt his feelings. Definitely took it too far now, Raven.
Really, what’s going on…?
And damn it, why does consoling Tai make me feel so guilty…?
Blake became more hesitant at this point, considering the progression she was expecting.
In other words, along with knowing the fact that Ruby and Yang were half-siblings…well…
Blake had read enough erotica to know where this was going.
Still, she continued reading, feeling like Summer Rose back when she wrote what Blake had just read…
I’ve been avoiding Tai, and I honestly haven’t been writing here for around a week. It’s the shame, I think, the shame of knowing that you’re willing to swoop in and take advantage of a man’s depression for your own pleasure, knowing that it would be so easy to do so.
And what makes it more painful is having to watch that man feel so abandoned, much like me when I was younger, when my family got massacred, I was left behind, and people tended to ignore me up until I was fortunate enough to find old Seq and Fern from here in Patch – Bless their souls – and got taken care of by them.
Would my past excuse me from trying to find happiness for myself? And if Tai would even welcome me into his arms so easily, would that even excuse me, too? It feels so unfair, swooping in like the Branwen siblings’ namesakes and feeding on Tai’s decay, especially when I feel like I can’t honestly promise him that I’ll be able to come back home from missions all the time…and I haven’t even told him a lot about the missions that Ozpin assigned to me and Qrow. Tai expressed that he wasn’t interested in working for his special missions when the Headmaster first offered them to Team STRQ, because Tai wanted to live a more ordinary life instead of being in the front lines, but he let us be when we accepted Ozpin’s offer, even with Ozpin warning us that they would be very dangerous missions.
Damn it, Tai’s so understanding that it hurts. And he’s not his usual self right now, his usual hot-blooded yet surprisingly humble self…I don’t think I’d be doing him good if I
That entry stopped right in the middle of the page.
Blake honestly couldn’t help feeling creeping unease, a feeling which crept up her stomach and tried to make knots out of its walls as she went to carefully turn the page.
Also, she would be lying if she said that her face wasn’t starting to burn up as well.
Like, come on, there’s a very good possibility that –
I…I did it.
I did it with Tai.
That was my first time too.
I never had my eyes on any other man except him.
I know that Qrow had his eyes on me too, but he kept on distancing himself from me and the rest of Team STRQ, saying that he’s a bad luck charm. I still can’t believe that there’s such a Semblance, but as much as I hate to agree with Raven and her cold attitude, maybe his consistent belief in that would probably make it an actual power. I don’t know.
I don’t know.
Why am I even trying to digress?
Oh yeah, I just got what I wanted…what that stupid part of me wanted.
I like Tai that way, but…what’s the point of getting him like this? He wants me, and I want him, but why am I so confused about this?
I have dreams. Or perhaps I should call them grudges. Or survivor’s guilt. Or a lack of self-esteem.
I don’t know.
I don’t know.
My pride is killing me, it seems.
“I’ll be here for you,” I said. “Leave this to me,” I said. “You know I can take the lead better than you, right?” I even damn said.
Still, I can’t let go of someone I promised to help, especially if they really deserve help.
But I…I’m an idiot.
Blake was now frozen on her seat, but her stomach felt like it was rolling with all that sadness she was feeling.
One of the scattered diaries that Ruby had been wanting to find was hidden in her own house, and she and Yang never knew.
Along with that, it held entries about Summer Rose’s dark thoughts. Ironic yet understandable, hiding it deep beneath the atmosphere of security that this quaint place had.
Suddenly, Blake heard Zwei barking softly, nuzzling his head on her thigh.
Instead of recoiling like she usually did with him, Blake welcomed Zwei, rubbing his head as he pulled him a little closer.
And then she continued reading.
That, and shoving her perverse disappointment to a corner where it would never come to light any further than it already had.
Around two years had passed since I last wrote on this diary (and that’s now the longest time gap I’ve made in between entries), and that’s the first sentence I write after all that.
I feel stupid, but…Tai was just like when he found out that Raven was pregnant with Yang. He chattered so much, he asked so much, and he punned so much.
Above all that, he cared so much for both the mother and the baby.
I don’t get why I’m also getting that sort of care from him, but maybe…maybe it would be good if I just let him do what he wanted.
He looks more alive that way.
I feel happier that way.
And just like last time, I don’t think we’ll meet again for a very long while, diary.
It was at that point when Blake realized that she was nearing the end of the notebook.
Still, like when she and her friends were nearing their final fight against Salem, Blake didn’t consider it a smooth last stretch.
And to be honest, what was more difficult than reading the expected drama was having to kill her erotica-tuned expectations.
Okay, deep breath now, and…
That’s the name of my daughter.
She has Silver Eyes, just like I do.
I’m worried for her, considering how Ozpin values my kind, so perhaps I should help her grow up to have more optimism. Read her all those nice fairy tales and such.
Besides, Tai’s becoming more and more protective lately. Perhaps he can help Ruby think about things some more on that end.
Ah, and the same goes for Yang. She’s a ball of sunshine, just like her father. I think she’d be able to get along well with Ruby, even if they have different mothers. It’s for the better as well, that Tai and I are the ones caring for them.
Oh, and there’s Qrow, but he prefers not being close by. Still, he cares for them. And he isn’t trying to pry on me anymore.
And perhaps I should call this my official retirement from keeping diaries…my very last entry.
I should be braver, after all. Brave enough to practice what I preach.
So goodbye, dear diary.
May we never meet again.
And beside that page was a drawing of that rose insignia which was also part of Ruby’s combat outfits.
“I actually read all that for the first time today, too.”
Blake jumped and gasped at that, sending the notebook flying a little bit before catching it and pulling it to her chest…right as she turned to show a blushing face to Taiyang Xiao Long’s smiling face.
“I’m sorry…” was her weak, squeaky response, shakily raising the notebook to its current owner.
“Arf!” Zwei entered, not so fazed by Blake while his tongue lolled out.
“Nah, it’s no problem, Blake,” he replied as he took Summer’s diary. “In fact, I’m pretty confident that you won’t go spreading that around so carelessly.”
“R-Really…?” the cat faunus wondered.
“Come on, Blake,” the blonde man told her, “I know you’ve found out stuff about Summer through all those hunts for her hidden diaries, along with forming a sort of sisterhood as Team RWBY, so yeah, consider this a ‘Welcome to the family’ thing or something.”
“You’re really weird, Mr. Xiao Long…” Blake retorted with a frown. “Ms. Rose was right about you: You’re too kind.”
Taiyang just stared at her for a while, though, and in that silence, Blake realized that she may have gone a little across the line there…
But then he laughed instead.
“Yeah, I guess I am!” he agreed, and then he continued laughing. “I can be a little too sensitive, too protective, too kind, too trusting. Perhaps we can summarize that as ‘recklessness,’ something that both of my daughters particularly got from me, I think. Summer was the more reflective and tactical one, and even if she’s ruthless, Raven’s also like that, you know?”
And then it was Blake who just stared at him without any words for a while.
“Huh…” was what she managed to say next, earning another laugh from Mr. Xiao Long.
“You know what, just help me cook, Blake,” he then said, putting the shopping bags down and offering a hand to pull Blake up. “Ruby and Yang will know about this eventually, and I’ll be talking with them about it as well. So don’t worry about holding a live grenade in your hands, because you haven’t really pulled the safety pin out enough yet.”
After some more moments of processing, Blake blinked and then nodded at that, taking Mr. Xiao Long’s hand and letting herself be pulled up to standing position.
At that point, though, Blake’s enhanced hearing picked up a faint but familiar revving in the distance…which was accompanied by somewhat louder yelling…all of which were growing nearer to her hearing.
“I can hear the rest of RNJRWBY coming with the Bumblebeehive,” Blake then stated, calling herself and her friends by the not-so-Color-Rule-compliant (or maybe compliant, considering how Blake didn’t think she was in a position to judge because of her lack of knowledge of the colors that are mostly known by the older generations) name that stuck because of convenience and resonance. “Yang’s also speeding again, and everyone else except Ruby and Nora are clearly enjoying it.”
“Well, they’re gonna have to work with us, then!” Mr. Xiao Long replied with a grin and a shrug, picking up the shopping bags before going to the kitchen. “After all, they didn’t bother to at least inform us about their estimated time of arrival!”
Both Blake and Mr. Xiao Long laughed after that.
“Alright, then,” Blake complied, smiling as well.
Still, the cat faunus wanted to get some thoughts voiced out before they got revealed with a big and roving spotlight.
“Mr. Xiao Long?”
“You and Ms. Rose’s love story kinda sounds like something out of my favorite erotica. Or, well…I thought it would turn out that way.”
“Huh…I don’t know if I should take that as a compliment or as an insult, but…oh well, I guess that’s life. Way stranger than all those things, you know?”
“I guess so…”
“Still, you’re a very pretty girl, Blake, but your proposition is rejected for a variety of obvious reasons.”
“You didn’t get that? Maybe it’s better that you didn’t, then.”
“Oh. Oh...I don’t know if I should take that as a compliment or an insult, too…Please don’t tell anyone else about that.”
“Eh, seriously, Yang may have mentioned it to me once or twice – ”
“Hey, don’t worry so much about that! It’s a tough thing to accept as a parent with growing kids, yeah, but I can understand the curiosity. I mean, I think I was like…who was that blonde guy, again?”
“Oh yeah, Jaune, yeah…I was like him when I was younger…well, particularly when it came to bugging girls I had crushes on. I just hope that he doesn’t turn out like me, though…but since you’re all adults now, I’m gonna put some more faith in you all.”
“You’re still gonna test suitors, though.”
“Why, of course. A dad’s gotta do what a dad’s gotta do.”
“Even if they make homosexual relationships.”
“Even if they make homosexual relationships. What, are you into Yang? Or are you into Ruby?”
“What? No. Not Ruby, and…Yang, well…maybe I was…some time during and after the quest against Salem, but…she seems too energetic to me now.”
“Ah, yes, growing up…Happens faster when you live the Hunting life, alright. With the Hunting life, you either get inspired more easily, or you get disillusioned more easily. Don’t give up on life if you don’t feel like the Hunting life’s for you, though.”
“Okay, now let’s get to preparing the food now, then!”
A few minutes later, there was the grand arrival of the rest of Team RNJRWBY, featuring skidmarked soil and soil-kissing passengers.
All of them still managed to have a fun dinner that night, though.
“So, Jaune, how’s your love life?”
“”He’s dating me. Wait, what!?””
Well, there was that awkward moment, though…
Looking at a shocked Mr. Xiao Long during that moment, Blake knew that the both of them were obviously feeling deja vu.
But immediately after that, she had to hold an angry Yang back with the help of Nora and Ren.
And then came Qrow Branwen, smacking into the dinner table and knocking it over.
Yeah, it was a very awkward night…
Author’s Note: Inspired by a certain moment in a certain chapter of Coeur Al’Aran’s White Sheep. That, and some running jokes in the Professor Arc Forum.
Also, it should be noted that there a bunch of headcanons here.
Oh, and if you thought that this was going to be…well, weirder…I also thought the same for a while, but I changed my mind.
So yeah, honest constructive feedback is highly encouraged and will be highly appreciated!