there's a difference between other girls and you, and you knew it ever since you woke up the first time, knew it every single day you were up ever since then because there was no way you could forget about it. normal girls, human
girls, are born. but that wasn't you; you were made, and were it not for the synthetic skin that covers up all the metal underneath, covered up who you really and truly were, everyone would know your secret.
secrecy was a priority from day one. your dad and mr. ironwood had reinforced that idea from the very start, that you weren't to tell a soul about what you were because people might not understand it yet, might even be afraid of you because of it. dad was more concerned for your safety and wanted to protect you, even though you tried your best to reassure him that you would be just fine. you weren't perfected at first, weren't ready to see the world yet, and mr. ironwood wanted to make sure that the timing for it was right, that you were ready everyone to see and know just what you meant for humanity, wanted to make sure you were up for the tremendous task on your shoulders. that time was so lonely and you itched to go out when it got harder and harder to manage, but you understood it in a way and kept going regardless. you wanted to help them, wanted to help protect people from the grimm and any other threat that was wrought upon them, but you also wanted more than just that.
what was it like to be a regular human? what was it like to be a normal girl? what was it like to be able to go outside and not have to lie to everyone you met if you could meet them at all in the first place? you had no clue, and you were sure you never would either. there was nothing to be done about that, and it would undo everything both your dad and mr. ironwood had set out to do with you in the first place. some days, you weren't even sure if you would ever be able to tell anyone the truth about yourself. it felt like such a burden sometimes, when you yearned to be more normal or to just be able to go out and explore to your heart's content. everyone was so protective of you. if you could breathe, it would be suffocating to live under so much pressure, but you took it in stride. you didn't have an issue with what you were made for, didn't have a problem with being made for combat purposes. in that light, you were more than a little proud of yourself.
and then, you met ruby, and it felt like your whole world had shifted on its axis. you thought you were doing what you were made for when you offered to help ruby find her friend, thought you were fulfilling your purpose when you fought for a good cause. mr. ironwood didn't think so, and he wasn't very happy about what you had done, no matter how much you wanted to plead your case. the thing about living know what you were made for was that, after a while, you just got used to it, which made you not protest very much when he put his foot down. you had already disobeyed both your dad and him just by being in vale in the first place, even more so when you talked to ruby more than you were supposed to. you were just so happy, though, happy that someone could call you a friend for the first time in your life. it was all you had wanted, but you also didn't want to make dad unhappy at the same time.
so, when you saw ruby again, you ran from her, ran because you weren't supposed to talk to her, weren't supposed to talk to anyone. you weren't here to make friends. seeing ruby so concerned about you broke your resolve, though. you could only apologize to dad and mr. ironwood in your head as you confided part of the truth to her. you didn't like to lie to anyone, not for any reason. up until now, you weren't really lying you were just. choosing not to speak the truth. keeping your mouth shut because no one outside of the people who were more involved had ever asked. omitting the truth wasn't really lying, right? it wasn't lying if it just never came up at all. that's what mr. ironwood wanted. it was never supposed to come up.
but you told the truth anyway, unable to bear it any longer because ruby just wasn't going to take anything else for an answer. you didn't feel pressured because you wanted to be honest from the very start. nobody else had to know that you had spilled the beans, told ruby that you weren't a normal girl. it was getting closer and closer to the time when everyone was going to know anyway. surely it was fine to tell ruby about it? you couldn't really hide how your skin had torn anyway, and mr. ironwood didn't have to know about you being with anyone besides yourself. you'd already not talked about yourself before by omission so it was kind of the same thing. kind of.
either way, you had to get back on track, and nobody had to know if you had secretly waved to ruby every now and then or had talked to her for a little bit too. you were here for the vytal festival to battle student from the other kingdoms and academies, and to put your foot in the door, in a sense. dad couldn't come, but you could at least make mr. ironwood proud of you, especially if you won in the end. going all out wasn't an option, no, but you could still have fun with it either way, and testing out your abilities was always a plus. training outside of training and all that.
you still thought it would be fun when you went up against pyrrha nikos. it was hard to not know who she was, with her face everywhere and after hearing about her from mr. ironwood. she was famous, and you were more than happy to have a match up with her. you had no reason to suspect that anything would go awry, no reason to think that maybe - just maybe - this match was going to be anything other than that. just a match between two skilled people in an effort to win against the other. even as your swords were coming back to you with a force you had yet to come across yet did you think that anything was different. the moment when the strings attached to your swords came in contact with you, though, knowing how fast they were coming toward you, you only had seconds to do anything about it. only seconds, and you didn't think you could react fast enough for that.
your own swords were passing you, the metallic strings attached to them flying at you and then--
nothing. nothing happened. you opened your eyes and you were somewhere else entirely. you hadn't seen much of the world or the other kingdoms before, but you were sure that this was not home. the air felt too different, the scenery was too different. you didn't know anyone here, and this certainly was not the tournament grounds.
the first thing you did, in this brand new world that you had never seen before, was call out for your dad.