now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost
and like a ghost she glimmers on to me
you've been cultivated since birth, like you were a flower that needed special care in order to grow properly. you grew just like how father wanted you to and, in those early years, you didn't object very much to anything he told you to. never said a word in protest as he controlled what you did and how you dressed, controlled your very being sometimes even, especially after winter left the family. even as a child, you were supposed to be subdued and proper, but carry pride and honor for the schnee name. your name was known throughout all of remnant as a sign of power and wealth; there wasn't a single person who didn't know about the schnee dust company. that name meant something grand before you were even born, and sometimes you wonder if it meant something else back then, something that didn't have your father's touch all over it.
being a schnee meant being perfect. it meant presenting yourself in only the best, even at home. it meant hiding who you were behind a different face just to please someone else for one reason or another. it meant never having any freedom to do as you pleased. a dissatisfaction with your life has been brewing in you for years, silently, ever so quietly, but you never said anything. you didn't say anything when your father revealed that he only married into the family to have the schnee name for himself, even though part of you knew the whole time. you didn't say anything even as your parents gradually started to grow apart and mother started to drink so heavily it became impossible for anyone to miss it. instead of addressing any of this, though, even in an attempt to salvage what was once your family, you ignored it for a long time. you were a schnee, and that meant being quiet about any problems that may have been around to save face. you were supposed to be perfect. anything else was not allowed. speaking out was always met with hard glares and even harder words.
was it really your fault, then, that you wanted to rebel, even just a little bit? that you wanted to take your name and do something else with it? was it your fault that you felt trapped every single day, wanting to be different from what father had made you into being, but not knowing how to do it? whitley might have been satisfied to do whatever father asked of him, but you weren't.
winter, however? she had already cast aside the schnee name for something else, something that belonged to her alone, and part of you was envious of that. not at her in particular because you could never hate her for anything, but just at the thought of being free. you couldn't help but look at the idea of freedom with jealous and hungry eyes.
out of everyone in your family, the only saving grace you had was winter. she had already gotten out by the time that you decided that you wanted to at least try to leave and do something on your own. going to beacon sounded like a good start, but you couldn't just get into an academy meant for hunters and huntresses only on your name and only because you wanted to. winter wouldn't take anything other than full conviction and determination from you. having your sister be proud of you was more sought after for you than anything else in the world. training under her was a good way to start down that path you felt, not that it didn't have its hardships.
even when you were injured during training, leaving a scar on your face that would never go away, you didn't quit. even when winter kept having to interrupt your training to save you from her avatars you didn't quit. and you definitely didn't quit even though your father wanted you to, because going to beacon would do nothing to further the schnee name, not in his eyes. you wanted to be free so badly that these things were nothing in comparison. you just wanted to go out and be your own person. that desire gave you strength where you thought you had none. to some, it could be called stubbornness. to you? it was individuality. you weren't just a schnee. you were weiss.
but, had it not been for winter and her ability to show you that it was possible, that you didn't have to live under your father for the rest of your life, you didn't think you ever would have tried to be more than just a schnee in the first place.
now sleeps the crimson petal now the white
nor waves the cypress in the palace walk
you've thought about what beacon academy might be like in the time between the entrance exam and becoming fully immersed in student life. and the reality? so much different from your own imagination.
you had no disillusions about this: you had to be the best in order to graduate and become a full-fledged huntress and that was your plan from the start. you weren't about to put all the hard work winter put into training you to waste just by being accepted and doing nothing with that. you weren't about to write off getting the scar over your eye without getting some compensation for it, and becoming a huntress seemed to be the best logical conclusion. it seemed like a good start, a way for you to be someone else outside of the schnee family, a way for you to be known as weiss for once instead of one of the schnee children, even if you still held the title as heiress a little too close to the chest at times. you were dissatisfied, yes, but part of you was still proud to be part of the family, proud to know that one day the company would be yours. letting people on to the fact that you issues with your own life, that your father wasn't the best person to be around like he showed himself off to be, wasn't exactly a good idea in your book. so you kept it quiet and aimed to be one of the best huntresses beacon had ever seen. you hated the idea of slacking in yourself and in others and there was no reason for you to not give it your all every single day, so it was very hard to understand when ruby was made the leader of your group.
you carried such hate for ruby for such a long time. she didn't seem like good leader material at first. she hardly seemed like good huntress material sometimes, not seeming to take things seriously. not like you, though. had you been the leader instead, you would have been a good one and kept the rest of the team in line, unlike ruby. you felt so bitter about it to the point of being blinded by it, and - although you probably wouldn't say it out loud to her because, god you did not want to hear her gloat about it after everything bad you'd ever said to her - ruby ended up being a good leader after all. it was much easier to let that part go with time and perspective. you still expected things to be handed you to, even though you were trying your best to be your own person and didn't want to take any shortcuts in the process, and you had to let that part of you go if you were going to get ahead at all.
times were simpler when you still just a student, still a member of team rwby. it was easy to form a relationship with blake despite all the differences between you, despite how your mind was groomed to hate people like her, people like the faunus over reasons that were beyond your control. it wasn't right to blame her for something she couldn't really control either. it was easy to be around yang, who took things in stride except when they were really important. you might have complained about all her puns and lame jokes, but you knew that she was trying hard for her own reasons. and, as hard as it was to believe, even spending more time with ruby got easier after a while, even if you did still call her out on her behavior. the two of you did not see eye to eye on a lot of things, but she was still your teammate, still your leader, and while you would be more than open with her when you felt like she was being a ditz, you didn't want anyone else to the be leader of your team.
it wouldn't have given you pride to say that you knew what was going to come. you wanted to say you knew that the world wasn't simple as a whole, wanted to say that bad things happened to everyone no matter what, wanted so desperately to say that you could have seen everything that happened before they came to fruition did, but you didn't. you were just as in the dark as everyone else. beacon had a target on its back long before you had ever enrolled; it was something you couldn't have known. and after it fell, after your school that you had so many memories in was taken over and everyone had to leave, you felt so lost that it hurt, reeling in the aftermath of everything cinder fall had done. it would have happened whether you were there or not, and you tired to stop her from taking the relic and effectively bringing beacon down for the unforeseeable future, but you couldn't stop it. no one could have, but you still held so much regret and hurt for the people who had lost their lives.
you wished you could go back to beacon, even as you were headed away from it and going back home for the first time in months. not as the same person you were back then when you first came, no, but just back to when things were much more clear for you and everyone in fact. back when you could be happy to wake up everyday and do something you were passionate about. instead, you were on the way back to the schnee mansion, back to a family that you felt so out of touch from now after everything that had happened.
when beacon fell, you fell with it, though you didn't have a choice in the matter. no, father always had to have the very last word, had to have his way even though you had actually protested for once. it only made him angry, and at some point, you couldn't say no to him anymore.
you wished you had been able to say no.
nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font
the firefly wakens waken thou with me
being back home felt like you were trapped, much more than you had been in the past. it was like having your eyes opened for once in your life only for someone to come along and close them again, making sure they stayed shut no matter how hard you tried to open them again and see the world for what it really was. you didn't want to go back, but you did because you weren't sure what to do. beacon felt more like a home than your actual home did, and the longer you stayed there, the more you realized you should have never come back.
father hadn't changed a bit in the time you were gone, except now he was even more unwilling to entertain anything that involved you being someone else or being someone else besides a schnee. seeing things from the outside made you feel so uncomfortable around the people you grew up with. there was a time when you were used to useless small talk, used to doing everything father wanted from you and more. if there was ever a time when you wanted to be more free than you do right now, you had no idea when that was. you shouldn't be here. you should be out helping your team. everyday that went by felt like more and more wasted time. knowing where you had to be didn't seem to matter in your father's eyes. he always had his own ideas for you, always tried to set you on the path that he wanted instead of giving you choice. you knew you didn't have much of a choice before, but now? you might as well have been locked up for real.
it wasn't a surprise, at least not to you, when you finally snapped and said what you were really thinking. it wasn't your fault that you were surrounded by people who couldn't have known about the suffering at vale, at beacon, and thought nothing of it. it wasn't your fault that you'd been holding all this bottled up until now. you never were the best at keeping your emotions in check, but didn't it used to be so easy to just smile and say nothing? wasn't it easy to act like nothing was wrong with the world as long as you stayed in your bubble? the bubble of your family and your name? god, how could you have ever done that before. it seemed so stupid in retrospect. you were done, and you weren't shy about letting everyone know that you weren't about to sit here and let people talk about things they weren't even there for. nobody had the right to make light of such things.
and it was because of that very act of defiance that turned your home into a true jail. you weren't allowed to leave home alone anymore, and your title as the heir was handed over to whitley, though you were sure that you had lost it as soon as you went to beacon against your father's wishes. it wouldn't surprise you if all this was planned from the start, but it gave you more reason to leave your home beyond. you no longer wished to be part of a family that was corrupt and only cared about money and a name. you wanted to just be weiss before, not just a schnee, but reclaiming your whole name and making it into something much more than what it was? that sounded like a good plan for you to act on. the first time you left wasn't to make sure that the name schnee was in a better light, but it sure was this time.
going after ruby and towards mistral hadn't been easy, and it made escaping the jail of your own house seem that much easier in comparison. you definitely didn't expect to meet up with yang again along the way, especially after what had happened to her during all the chaos that cinder had caused. it was just like her to bounce back better than ever after losing an arm, and it felt so good to see her again after what felt like years apart. it wouldn't be quite the same until the whole team was back together, but being halfway there didn't seem so bad either. yang was still the same in some ways, though, which was refreshing. it was nice to be around someone who didn't try to hide who they were behind a mask, who was true to their emotions. you missed her so much.
getting her back felt like coming home to your real family.
now slides the silent meteor on and leaves
a shining furrow as thy thoughts in me
not knowing what was going to happened seemed to be a theme in your life as of late. you knew that you had a big fight ahead of you to protect haven from the likes of cinder and adam. you knew it wasn't going to be easy even if you were confident. predicating the future, or - rather - the most recent past, was easy if you knew the proper context clues. it wasn't too hard to guess at your father's intentions because you'd lived with him your whole life. you hadn't expect the fall of beacon, but there wasn't much you could do about that now. you weren't strong enough back then and you knew that. that part was easy enough to come to terms with, especially since you weren't about to stay weak any longer than you had to be. you were reunited with ruby and yang, felt like you were on top of the world even if it was taking a long time to finish the fight already.
getting struck from behind, though, lanced through the side by cinder and feeling your breath catch in your throat and stop altogether, was something you couldn't have predicted. you didn't have time to think about what it might have meant when it happened. the fight was going on for a long time, almost too long because there didn't seem to be an end. but you were taken out of it, had lost consciousness not long after feeling the piercing pain in your side. you couldn't breath for what felt like forever, and if it hadn't been for jaune? you didn't think you would have made it for much longer, a thought that was partly amusing and partly annoying as all hell. funny how he was actually useful for once. you never would have guessed.
seeing blake again was one more item on the list of things you had hoped for rather than expected to happen, especially now of all times. you weren't as mad at her for leaving as yang was. you knew she had her reasons, and knowing blake she needed the space. honestly, you weren't upset with her at all, though you could see why yang was. but getting to be together with team rwby again? after so long of being apart and feeling like you couldn't do anything about it?
this was what coming home was meant to be, what it was meant to feel like.
now folds the lily all her sweetness up
and slips into the bosom of the lake
it all seemed more like a dream now. one second you were back with your real family, feeling happier and more content than you had in ages, and then they were suddenly gone, and you were alone again. that theme of not knowing what was going to happen to you came back with a vengeance and took you away, just when you thought things were going to be looking again. it wasn't as bad as when you had to go back home, not nearly, but it still felt too different from the norm. at first, you found herself drowning in loneliness and hopelessness for a little while until you picked yourself back up again. you've picked yourself up from worse, much worse than anything this new world could throw at you. so you stood up tall and didn't let the change hold you back. one day you were sure you would go back and everything would be normal again. you couldn't give up that hope.
at least you had winter by your side to help you through it. you were surprised to find her, but so pleased at the same time, so much so that you didn't want to leave her side for anything. you had winter and that was good enough.
it was good enough for now.