Ren had been grateful when Fox offered to spar with him. He’d heard a lot about Team CFVY but he’d never really interact with them that much until now. Even than, it was only Fox at the moment. “I suppose I’ve never really thought about how much of it I put into attacks.” He said simply. There was no reason to lie or make excuses. “I’m not exactly physically strong, and I mostly rely on my speed in battle.” But he knew what Fox was talking about-he’d been taken out before because of that. “I don’t know how to regulate it.” He admitted.
Ren suddenly felt very apprehensive about trying to be spontaneous with Nora like he had. If the look on her face was anything to go by, the way she looked away from him only solidified that feeling. He immediately sat back up. “I’m sorry, that was uncalled for. I shouldn’t have done that without asking.” Ren murmured, unable to look at her again.
To say that Ren wasn’t happy to be working security for one of Jacques Schnee’s speeches would be an understatement. He was, however, very good at hiding his displeasure-partly due to his semblance and partly just because of his personality-and keeping his face a mask. However he had taken almost immediate note of Jacques’ young son, Whitley. He looked like both Weiss and Winter, which was to be expected, and he couldn’t have been more than 14.
So Ren was watching him extra carefully to make sure that he was okay.
Which came in handy when everything started going sour because of rioting. Jacques’ numerous security immediately set about trying to deal with the rioters. Ren, however? He immediately ran to Whitley’s side and knelt down to his level, shielding him as much as he could from all of it. “Are you okay?” He asked seriously.
“I slept as much as I usually do.” He said in response to her question, rubbing his knuckles lightly up and down her back as she nuzzled into him. Which was to say, not much sleep at all. “But I’m glad you managed to get some extra sleep. You deserve it.”
As if the abundance of Grimm wasn’t bad enough, the people were also angry and scared. And when people were angry and/or scared, they tended to turn to violence. Like several of the people around them were doing. He’d gotten separated from Ruby, Nora and Marrow in the process of trying to get rid of all the Grimm swarming the area, and all he could do was hope that Marrow could keep Nora and Ruby safe, since neither of them had their weapons.
He was moving through the crowds as quickly as he could, attempting to stay out of the way of the more violent people. If Jaune were around maybe he could use his Semblance to calm everyone nearby down. But he had no idea where Jaune was.
And then he noticed an angry, large guy pinning Oscar to the wall. “Hey!” He shouted, running over. “Leave him alone! Now is not the time for this, do you not see the Grimm swarming the city?” He snapped. He was already irritated enough and this stranger wasn’t helping. He swiftly got in between them and took the guy’s hand off Oscar. “Are you all right?” He asked Oscar without taking his eyes off Oscar’s would be assailant.
Ren gasped as he was hit in the back of the head by a snowball, and glanced over his shoulder to see Yang there. Somehow, he wasn’t surprised that she was the one who had hit him with a snowball. He looked at her, then he bent down and started to form one of his own. “Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it, Yang.” He called out to her as he stood up with a decently sized snowball in his hand. Then he tossed it.
It had taken far too long to take all of the Grimm that had come as a result of Tyrian’s attack and the election out-though Ren certainly felt like their own heightened emotions probably hadn’t helped at all. Even his usage of his semblance (several times) on himself, Ruby and Marrow had barely made a dent in the frequency with which the Grimm had come for all the negativity in Mantle. By the time they had finished, his aura was completely drained and they got the okay from Ironwood to come back.
Ren’s feet felt like there were heavy weights tied to them as they trudged back to the dorms. The first thing he did when he entered the dorm room he shared with Nora, Jaune and Oscar was flopped down on his bed.
“It was awful, Jaune.” He whispered. He would be lying if he said being there hadn’t given his massive flashbacks to both Kuroyuri and the destruction of Beacon Academy.
Ren couldn’t believe this. He couldn’t believe any of it. And yet, here it was, right in front of him in horrible, repeating clarity. He’d let himself get distracted, and this was the price. But he didn’t have to pay it. Instead, everyone else had to pay it. He wasn’t even sure what to say or what to do. He just felt numb with how many emotions he had. So instead, he turned to Nora. “Are you okay?” He asked softly, even softer than he usually spoke. Because she was the only one he could ask on the well-being of and actually receive an answer.
He watched as Fiona was taken away on a stretcher before turning his attention back to Robyn. “I wish I could have, too.” Ren looked at her. “I’m fast, not as fast as Ruby, but fast. I should’ve been able to do something. To do more.”
Ren looked back at her, wondering if he looked as horrible as he felt emotionally. His insides felt like they were twisted into so many knots that it almost hurt him to breathe. What Ren needed was for the people who had been hurt at the campaign party not to be hurt or dead or dying. What he needed was for Penny not to have been framed. What he needed was to be able to go back in time and get to Tyrian before he could hurt anyone. “I appreciate that, Weiss.” He mumbled. “But I don’t think anyone can give me what I need right now.”
Ren’s eyes widened as Ash told him that he thought ihmself and his brother had seen the Nuckelavee he’d killed. “Yeah, that soundsl ike the Nuckelavee all right.” He muttered, hand clenching into a fist at his side. It was dead, long dead in fact, but even the mention of it or thinking about it made him bristle. “You two were very lucky that you managed to avoid it. It destroyed Shion, chased people away from Oniyuri and completely leveled Kuroyuri.” Ren’s voice caught ever so slightly as he mentioned Kuroyuri. “And those are just the villages I know it was in.”
Ren looked at Nora with nothing but adoration in his eyes, even as he had StormFlower out and ready. His heart was pounding so sharply he was almost certain it was going to beat out of his chest, and he was absolutely terrified for what was to come, but he meant what he said. He didn’t regret it in the slightest. And as long as they were together they could do anything. Very quickly, he put one of his StormFlower guns away and gently touched the small of Nora’s back. “We’re going to be okay.” He murmured, pressing the very briefest kiss to her temple.
“I’m already focused.” Ren told him. “It’s called multitasking.” If Qrow’s head wasn’t in the battle it put them both in danger, which was why he was curious as to whether Qrow could handle this or not. “If you’re not focused, that puts me in danger as well.” He reminded Qrow.
If he was being honest, Ren was absolutely exhausted. He felt like they’d been doing this for hours and his body was incredibly worn down. But he didn’t want to say this to her; he didn’t want to give up. He wanted to get stronger so he could better defend those he cared about. “Me? What about you? You just never stop, do you?” He countered, playfully though. It seemed like Elm had endless reserves of strength and energy. In a way, it reminded him of Nora.