Hello and welcome to my new story, and my first RWBY story, Out on the Table!
That, admittedly, is a working title. I thought of this story literally a few days ago after thinking about Volume 7 and all the ways it could emotionally devastate me.
You know, as you do.
Speaking of, this is meant to take place after and continue off of Volume 7 Chapter 7, so if you haven't seen it yet, LEAVE! There are SPOILERS! This should be going up only a little before that Chapter becomes available to everyone, so please come back after watching it.
This also means that this story has been written before has gone up Chapter 8 has become available for first members, which is more so a thing I want to point out for myself because I want to know just how much of the stuff I've written here will actually happen in the show, because again, this story is meant to continue off of the events that happened in Chapter 7. I do slightly hope that Chapter 8 doesn't look too much like this story, though, because I do want this story to deviate from canon enough for it to be a proper AU.
And of course, final thing before the chapter begins properly, First Members, NO SPOILERS FOR THE NEW RWBY CHAPTERS IN THE REVIEWS! I want this story to be accessible to everyone, including non-First Members.
That is all. Please enjoy.
Silence filled the Schnee Manor.
Where mere moments ago the room had been filled by the words which spelt everyone's undoing, a pin drop could now be heard from a mile away.
Oscar honestly hadn't meant to do it. He was just so sick of the lying and the secrets. Of being like him. Of everyone around him acting like him! Everyone thought what they were doing was right! Everyone thought that they had the answers! That they were the ones who were doing what's good for the world!
Everyone thought they could be Ozpin!
Well he didn't want to be Ozpin. So in a bout of frustration in the middle of the Schnee's dining hall, he did it. He took the Lamp—the lamp Ruby trusted him with—and summoned Jin. The question he asked was simple:
"What is everyone here hiding?"
But he didn't—he couldn't—have realized what a loaded question that was. Just how much everyone was hiding from each other. Just how much everyone thought they had to hide from each other. Secrets kept from teammates, from friends, from family... all of it spilled out into the open. Everything laid bare on the table.
And none of it could be taken back.
So now the room was silent. The dinner party's abrupt but not unexpected death had arrived. Between Jacques Schnee, General Ironwood, Winter, Team RWBY, Oscar, Team JN_R, and the Ace-Ops, not one person said a word. Aside from the sound of Blake's full teacup shattering against the table, there was no sound.
Until finally, Robyn Hill spoke up.
"What in the world…?" she asked, leaning onto the table with her head in her hands. She had been invited to the dinner party so Jacques could gloat about his recent victory over her, but what she ended up getting was so much more. Maidens, reincarnation, Amity Tower, Silver Eyes, Salem?! What the hell did it all mean?! All she wanted was to save Mantle; she had never expected to get wrapped up in all of… all of…
… all of THIS?!
"Robyn," Yang softly called out, reaching out to her with her robotic hand. But it was quickly yanked backwards when a shining silver blade intercepted it.
Living up to her namesake, Winter delivered a frigid glare to the normally fiery girl. "I think you've told her enough, Ms. Xiao Long." She turned to the faunus sitting next to the blonde. "You as well, Ms. Belladonna."
Blake gulped, stiffening up. She felt an itchy trigger finger around her semblance, begging her to let her just run. But she stayed. She stayed because she knew her partner was just as deep in this as she was. And seeing as how certain things about their relationship had also come out during that whole fiasco, she wasn't inclined to leave her partner's side anytime soon.
"You two… told Robyn about Amity?" Ruby asked in a broken voice. "And Yang, you knew Raven was the Spring Maiden this whole time? Why didn't you say anything?!"
The hurt eyes of her sister did more damage to Yang than Winter's icy demeanor ever could. She liked to believe she trusted Ruby. She did trust Ruby. So then why, why did she never tell her? Why'd she go against her leader—her sister!
Yang simply looked away, clenching her fists. She felt Blake's hand wrap around her metal one, squeezing it reassuringly. She looked up into her partner's eyes; they were just as confused as her sister's and Weiss's, but they at least told her that she was willing to hear her out later. For now, that would have to be enough.
"You weren't aware of this, Ms. Rose?" Winter asked, seamlessly taking over Ironwood's role. She had hoped the General would aid her in this interrogation, but it would seem he was just as distressed as Robyn at the moment. "You really should keep a better handle on your team."
She turned her head towards her sister. "What about you, Weiss?" the eldest Schnee sibling asked, a hint of desperation entering her voice. Of all the things she'd do for General Ironwood and Atlas, she didn't know if putting her baby sister behind bars was one of them.
She was scared to find out.
But thankfully, Weiss shook her head. She was just as confused as everyone else at the table. Once she'd answered Winter's question, her horrified eyes returned to the place where her father had sat moments ago. Marrow and Harriet had already went after him, but it was anyone's guess if they'd catch him or not.
The corners of Winter's lips twitched upwards for a quarter of a second, but she was just as quickly back to her cold demeanor. "Still, Ms. Rose." She returned to RWBY's leader. "You and your team have still been keeping valuable information from us. I suggest you explain yourself."
Ruby swallowed. Steeling every nerve she had in her five-foot four inch body, she answered, "We didn't know if we could trust you yet." Her hands moved like she was gesturing to an invisible Dust hologram. "With the embargo and soldiers everywhere in Mantle, we were afraid of what Ironwood would do if he found out…"
"... Salem can't be destroyed...," Ironwood muttered, his first words since Jin's big reveal party. Much like Robyn, he kept his head in his metal hand, staring down at the intricate snowflake pattern in Jacque's tablecloth. A chuckle escaped his throat. "All this time… all these resources…" He started to stand up. "...And she can't…" He gripped the tablecloth so hard it ripped. "...Even be…" He lifted his human fist in the air. "DESTROYED!" He slammed his fist down, shaking the whole table and knocking down several glasses.
The general's whole body seethed with raging, heating up so much that it created literal steam when it came into contact with the dreadfully cold air of the dining room. He glared at Ruby. "You knew this whole time that Salem couldn't be destroyed, and yet you still were going to let me reveal her to the world?! Do you know the kind of panic you could've caused?!"
"You were going to cause that panic anyway!" Nora screeched, slamming her own hands down on the table. She didn't know where to begin with what Jin showed them. Things about Ren, Fria, and even herself had her thoughts all jumbled up. But she could see one thing clearly: Ironwood wasn't the one who was right here. She didn't know who was, but it wasn't him. Ruby was trying to stop people from panicking and attracting Grimm, and Blake and Yang were trying to get Robyn on our side!
But Ironwood didn't see it like that. He looked over all of Team RWBY, then told his soldiers, "Put them in handcuffs. They go on trial in the morning."
RWBY and Winter gasped as the remaining Ace-Ops moved in to arrest them. "Ironwood-" Winter started, but the man cut her off.
"No, Weiss Schnee goes too," he answered curtly, "Be happy that I don't have them take you as well for revealing the Winter Maiden's identity to an unauthorized individual."
Crestfallen, Winter stepped back, glancing at her sister. She held her tongue.
"I also want Oscar taken in and held until further notice," Ironwood breathed, now staring down the scared farmboy, "I have a few questions for him specifically."
Oscar gulped, afraid of what they might do to him now that the cat was out of the bag. What would they do to bring Ozpin back? He knew he wasn't as important in their eyes; he was only here because him being here meant Ozpin was! But Ozpin's not here!
So what will they do to him?
Finally, the general brought his attention to the JN_R trio. "And what part did you play in all of this? I didn't see many significant secrets relating directly to you."
Jaune stiffened, but as leader of his team, he knew he had a choice to make. Jin didn't say whose secrets belonged to who, though quite a few were certainly easy to guess. But the secrets about Salem, the Lamp, and Ozpin belonged to all of RWBYJNOR, and these secrets belonging to so many people made it difficult to narrow down who they belonged to, even when no narrowing was necessary. If he wanted, he could just say that JN_R had no involvement and that it was all on RWBY and Oscar.
But how could he live with himself doing that?"
"We had no involvement, sir. The decision to hide this valuable information rests entirely on RWBY's shoulders. Like you, we weren't aware of any of it until now."
A variety of expressions were sent towards the statue-like Lie Ren. Most were of confusion, or betrayal, of disbelief…
… And one of pure, unbridled fury!
"Eeeeeeeeeeeeexxxxxxccccccccccccccccccuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuussssssssssseeeeeeee me!?!" Lightning crackled around the last living redhead on JNPR as she slammed her hands on the table, creating a thunderous CRACKing sound. Her eyes burned brighter than Yang's hair when her semblance was activated. If she had been allowed to bring her hammer, Ren's body would've already been pulverized into dust.
But Ren held firm in the face of Nora's anger. With his hands folded behind his back, he stood like a soldier. "I'm simply stating how Team RWBY's betrayal has shocked us all."
Nora fumed. "Oh it ain't their betrayal that's shocking!"
"Ren…" Jaune softly began, eyes looking like a kicked puppy's, "Why…?"
Ironwood pinched his nose. "My apologies, I seem to be getting mixed signals here," he stated coldly, "Were you involved in this act of treason or not?!"
Jaune and Nora glanced at each other, then at Ren, then back to each other. They nodded. "Yes, ma'am," Jaunes affirmed, "Nora and I were fully aware of what happened to Ozpin as well as the truth about Salem. It was only Ren who didn't have a part of it."
Ren gasped lightly, taking a sideways glance at his teammates. But they weren't even looking at him; they were staring down Winter and General Ironwood, fully aware that the man intended on never letting any of them see the light of day again.
Ironwood nodded. "Very well. Ace-ops, take them in." He pulled out his scroll and spoke into it. "Apprehend Qrow and hold him until I return." He then put it back in his coat.
Clover shrugged, approaching the table with a jovial strut. "Guess good luck can't win them all."
"A real shame," Vine breathed, following Clover with Elm, "Harriet would've loved to race you again, Ruby."
Elm nodded, smiling. "Yeah, you all were pretty fun," she said, cracking her knuckles.
Vine geared up his semblance, and Clover pulled out his fishing rod. The Ace-Ops, unlike RWBY or JN_R, were allowed to bring their weapons in case Jacques did anything.
"Any last words?" Clover asked.
Team RWBY, Jaune, Oscar, and Nora, all shared looks with each other. Ren shook his head towards them.
Nora spotted a pool just below the window, hopefully heated to avoid freezing. "Just two…" Nora stated, "Jaune! Aura!"
"Huh?!" The swordsman asked. Luckily he was able to pull up his Aura in time before everything kicked off.
It all happened in the span of a few seconds. Nora wrapped her hands around Jaune's arm and swung him around like a hammer, taking out Ren before slamming him into the table. The two halves of the table and everything on it flew up and shrouded RWBYJNO.
Clover threw out his fishing line at Ruby and Weiss. All he pulled back were rose petals.
Likewise, Vine was left with a handful of shadows where the Bumblebee duo one stood.
Nora threw Jaune out the window, shattering it into thousands upon thousands of pieces. She then grabbed Oscar—who gulped—and did the same to him. "Hold your breath!" she screamed after them as she heard a resounding SPLASH!
Nora turned around to see a number of guns and a sword aimed directly at her. Begrudgingly, she held her hands up. She looked around the room to try and find an escape, but she had no such luck. Not even Robyn was anywhere to be seen.
Clover pulled out his scroll. "Marrow, Harriet, how's it going?"
Harriet grunted. "The bastard got away!"
Clover sighed. "Figured as much…" He then shifted into leader mode. "RWBY, Jaune, Oscar, and Nora have all gone AWOL. Possibly Robyn as well. We have Nora apprehended, but we'll need you're Super-Speed and Freeze Command if we want any chance of catching the rest of them."
"On it," Harriet nodded.
"Just for clarification…" Marrow scratched the back of his head. "Did you mean Ruby Rose, or the whole Team RWBY?"
"The whole team," Clover answered dryly, shaking his head.
Clover closed his scroll, then turned back to the remaining traitor.
"Well, any more clever words?"
Thank you all so much for reading! Please be sure to Favorite, Follow, and Review. I don't know if I'll continue this, but I might if I get enough support for this story, because it was definitely fun to write this and I would like to do more with this story idea.