In the town of Vale, where the greatest huntress school in the world; Beacon Academy had its home, there existed a hidden darkness that encompassed the village. It rested over the citizens like a gossamer veil, long shadows always somewhere in sight.
The Academy itself, with its grand emerald lights, overlooked the town like a great protector, an eagle protecting its young. It was here that Weiss Schnee, heiress to the most successful dust company on the planet, studied and lived. All the while suppressing her birthright.
Weiss frowned as she looked at herself in the mirror, wiping away the fog on the cold glass with a pale hand. The blizzard that had all but buried Beacon the week previously had taken a huge toll on the students, but her more than most. From the time she was thirteen, Weiss had been struggling with the worst kinds of urges, ones that involved being close to another, closer than people would ever understand. But she repressed those feelings, forcing them deep down inside her with the help of her father. As a part of this, she was required to ingest a special medicine every day to keep herself from acting on the darkness she felt inside. Unfortunately, the blizzard had cut communications to the outside world, and her weekly shipment had long since run out and with no way to get it soon. Things were going to get messy, very fast.
Weiss’ bloodline on her mother’s side was cursed with being what the natives of Atlas called ‘Grimm-born’; those born with Grimm markings on their bones. Many of these unfortunate individuals lived their entire lives unhindered by the glowing red markings on their skeleton. But there were some that were not so lucky. Grimm-born that were exposed to excess amounts of dust often had their darkness activated. This darkness took on many different forms, but it never ended well for those afflicted. Her mother, Lilie Schnee, had died not long after sprouting enormous black feathered wings. Not that Weiss knew any of that; she always thought her mother had died in a dust accident when she was very little, and it was the lie that her father had perpetuated for her entire life.
Weiss, however, had a much different power to her mother. With blade-sharp teeth she tore into human flesh and sucked forth blood to sustain her. It had only happened once; to her personal tutor when she was thirteen, and since then she was terrified of losing control. Lest the guilt of the terrible act overwhelm her. The medicine she took was a dust neutraliser, used in dust mining to make unstable mineshafts safer. It was toxic in large doses, but she took just enough to lessen the vicious cravings that not only threatened her secret, but the lives of the people she held most dear; her team-mates and friends.
Her second set of teeth, Beowolf-like fangs that hid in her jawbones, had already started to descend. Ivory pinpricks poking through the pink jaws with tiny dots of blood.
“This is your own fault Weiss. You should always have had an emergency stash,” she scolded herself as she wrapped a towel around her head. Ruby had pushed them extra hard in training during the lead up to their mid-year exams. Though Ruby had mainly been focussing on the practical side of the examinations, leaving the theory to Weiss. The red-obsessed dolt had called it ‘teamwork.’ Back in their room, she found Yang hanging upside down from her bed, doing sit ups as she flicked through a thick history tome.
“That can’t be good for you,” Weiss said as she started getting dressed. Yang just chuckled, murmuring the word ‘fifty-seven’. “Where are the other girls?”
“Sixty… Uh, they met up with Jaune, Phyrra and Ren, sixty-one, something about stocking up on supplies now that we can get down to the city. Sixty-two.” Yang explained, not taking her eyes off the book.
“Oh good, I have to get my dust theory book off Nora anyway. But I swear, if she used it for target practice like her own copy of the book I’m going to throw her out a window,” the heiress growled as she pulled on her favourite white jeans. Nora lived across the hall, and while Weiss could tell she was smart by her marks, but there was something about the girl that always seemed… off to Weiss. Might have been her predilection for weapons and violence. Not quite at Ruby’s level, but ultimately she was the one who killed the Death Stalker during their initiation, with one massive hammer blow to the head.
“You worry too much, seventy-four. I lend her stuff and she never breaks it, Seventy five.”
“What about that figurine of Gavin from ‘The Achieve Men?”
“We don’t talk about that,” Yang replied in a deadpan tone, pausing halfway through a sit up. Weiss smiled slyly, sauntering toward the door with all of the self-righteousness she could muster in her weary form. As she reached for the handle, however, she felt an intense pain in the back of her head, like the worst kinds of migraines that make a person pass out for hours at a time. She stumbled, colliding with the thick wood. “Woah! Are you alright?” Came Yang’s voice. It was hard to hear though, as if Weiss was listening to the world from underwater.
“Y-yeah. I’m just a bit tired. And I’m quite hungry,” she replied, exiting the bedroom without looking back. Once she was sure that Yang wouldn’t come after her, she breathed a sigh of relief. The blonde girl had this weird ability to know when something was wrong with her friends at the briefest glance. But she couldn’t know, couldn’t understand what was going through her mind that that very moment; the sweet smell of hot copper smothering her skin as she rolled around in crimson fluid.
She gave her head a violent shake to try and dislodge such thoughts, but they persisted, stuck in her mind like a fly caught in a blood-stained web. Rubbing the bridge of her nose, she crossed the hall, too distracted by her ailment to remember to knock. Barging in, she was met with a high pitched squeal, which today seemed amplified by ten times the norm. Shooting a dark look at the source of the noise, she found Nora standing in the middle of the room, wearing only pale pink underwear and a blush encompassing the entirety of her body. Weiss’ breathing began to accelerate, as her second set of teeth dropped lower in her mouth.
As soon as she saw who had entered her room in full, Nora stopped screaming, instead smiling happily.
“Oh Weiss, you scared me you silly! I thought you were one of those creepy guys from CRDL!” she exclaimed as she ran a hand through her damp hair. Weiss had long since stopped paying attention, her ears filled with a steady ‘thud thud.’ Her mouth felt dry, aching for some kind of moisture. “Was there something you needed?” Nora continued, putting her hands on her hips before cocking them to the side.
“You…” Weiss growls, reaching behind her, and, with a flick of her wrist, locking the door. “I need you.”