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Chapter 7: Happy Birthday with Mommy
In the Last City under the protection of the Traveler, the dark of night had descended. Instead of a mirror image of the bleak Darkness that has plagued on the last of humanity's fears, the sky was lit up in the beauty of the cosmos. Serving both as a reminder to them of humanity's ambition of their past glory in the stars and a source of drive for the Guardians to fight for a possible future to move forward. Each Guardian will always look to that starry night to reflect their purpose from the limitless bright lights that still burned upon that canvas of black.
One of those Guardians that may hold all of that hope was Ruby Rose, a recent and eccentric Hunter Guardian. Childish yet incredibly talented out in the field and even more so with her innovation of the mecha-shift upon the gear for the Guardians. Her Light burned brighter than most like a beacon of white in the very rare moments she had Pine revive her. She didn't know it yet, but she was quickly forming her own legend in humanity's history.
But the fight on the Darkness was not on Ruby's mind nor can it distract her from more personal priorities. She had just returned after a late patrol from in the EDZ doing a favor of tuning weaponry from her now partner-in-creative-destruction, Banshee. And by tuning, it meant shooting a bunch of Fallen or Hive monsters a bunch of times and see if they guns for some reason weren't doing their job shooting bullets. Once her ship arrived flying over the plaza of the Tower, the form of Ruby teleported down walking over to Banshee with a skip in her step.
Banshee's shop was open and the Exo himself was standing right there polishing his weaponry to keep them in pristine condition. On sight of his favorite Guardian, Banshee paused his motions and gave Ruby a grin. The Hunter in red returned it in kind while holding a datapad recording each of the diagnostics for the Exo to analyze. They simultaneously made a nonchalant exchange with Ruby throwing the pad to Banshee while the Exo threw the Hunter a glowing purple Engram. Ruby instantly caught it and stashed the Engram away into her personal vault while few Guardians still around were giving Ruby looks of disbelief.
Because Banshee never smiled at any other Guardian and he certainly did not give away an instant Engram for one datapad. They could bitch and moan about the unfairness, but Banshee will just give them the finger in response to their bitching and moaning. In his cybernetic mind, Ruby was his partner in the weaponsmith business and his greatest respect for the field. A complete contrast to every Guardian that for some reason would sometimes come back with some of the weaponry broken.
However, Ruby paused in her step surprised to see up the steps in the back of the plaza stood the Vanguard of the Hunters and her own mother, Summer Rose. It still almost brought Ruby to tears every time she saw the face that mirrored to own, to know that her mother was really alive and was still kicking the butt of evil. One look between the silver eyed pair was all it took for anyone to recognize they were very closely related, and only a few really knew it as them being mother and daughter.
There was an awkward expression on Summer's face as she smiled at her daughter. Her face twitched in a mix of excitement and nervousness, and her body seemed to squirm in anxiousness. Ruby noticed none of this and approached her mother with a bright smile plastered on her youthful face. Just being with her mother and not being a dream was enough to make Ruby's spirits.
"Hi Mom." Ruby chirped. "What's up?"
"Hi Ruby." Summer greeted. "Well, I, uhm, have a little surprise for you."
"Really!?" Squeaked Ruby, and in a burst of rose petals glomped Summer's entire right side in a hug that almost tripped the elder Hunter. "Please, tellmetellmetellmetellmetellmetellme!"
"Easy, easy." Summer chided, getting back her balance and setting Ruby back on the ground. "I can't really tell you. It's supposed to be a surprise."
"Ooh." Ruby replied, her face sparkling in a cutesy way Summer had to hold herself back from pinching her daughter's cheeks. "I love surprises!"
Summer couldn't hold in her laugh. "Okay, but hold still."
The Vanguard in the white cloak walked around her daughter till she was standing behind her. She then moved her hands to cover Ruby's eyes to block her vision. Her expression morphed into confusion, but Ruby made no move to resist having complete trust in her mother.
"Just keep on walking and I'll give you directions." Summer told Ruby.
"Okay." Ruby said, walking forward with Summer close enough to keep Ruby's eyes covered.
With Summer's input of directions occasionally, the Rose pair were walking through the lower levels of the Tower of the residential areas. Summer's path led them to walk through the dark grey halls kept in mint condition for the Guardians that decide to make their homes here. In comparison to a civilian, each home was equal to a top-of-the-line apartment of at least four rooms. Potted plants and windows dotted the walls to give the complex a more homey feel for the Guardians.
The pair soon stopped in front of one of these apartment homes. This was Summer's personal abode that she had taken shortly after her arrival under the Guardian and when she was under the tutelage of Cayde. She had much more time to use the apartment home since being a Vanguard meant staying within the limits of the Last City. Her Ghost materialized and waved over the door that soon slid open granting access to Summer.
The first room Summer directed Ruby through was a kitchen with marble counters, an oven, and fridge that extended towards the entrance from the left into a dining room. Just ahead of them was a sizable living room with two cushion couches and one chair of the same material. There was a TV at the left of the wall of the living room, but it was pretty much mundane to use it in this era unless one somehow had recovered CDs from humanity's past. To the right was a hall that opened up to the bedroom that had a personal bathroom, and to the right was a door leading to the main bathroom. The floor was divided in two sections with a pale tile for the kitchen, dining room, and bathrooms while the rest was a grey carpet, and above the dining room and family room was a five-bulb LED light. Summer's destination for Ruby only led to the family room where her surprise waited for her daughter.
"Are we there yet?" Wondered Ruby.
"Almost there." Summer cooed, allowing Ruby to take a few more paces toward the living room. "And here we are."
Summer released her hold over Ruby's eyes to let her vision drink in the sight before her. Ruby instantly had her breath hitch in shock at what lay before her. Encompassing most of the floor of the living room were dozens of presents wrapped in gilded red paper and golden thread. There were so many that it made a pile that reached four feet in height. Tears glistened on Ruby's silver orbs as too many emotions came to the surface, but none of them were negative. She turned back to Summer, who was shifting nervously, but Ruby could not hold back the tears running down her face seeing her mother holding a small chocolate cake topped with vanilla icing and strawberries and one white candle burning on top. Perfect for a...
"Happy birthday, Ruby." Summer said fondly.
That's right. Today, was October 31st, her birthday, and now five months after her resurrection upon the tower of Beacon. Five months after not seeing any of her friends or family from Remnant, but in return fighting for a bigger purpose and finally reunited with her mother to guide her. She had made some new friends, especially among the more eccentric Guardians like the Hunters and a Warlock that can bake the best~ cookies in the world, but hadn't shared any of her past. In all honesty, Ruby had given up celebrating her next birthday without anyone to join her, but she never expected her mother to do so despite her memory loss.
"How?" Ruby gasped out.
"I... think I'm starting to remember." Summer explained, setting the cake down on the dining table. "I felt a lot of pain, but for some reason I could be more happy. I was holding a baby in my arms while a blonde man was crying happy tears beside me. Looking at that bundle in my arms... I can't describe how much my heart swelled in that moment. I saw doctors giving me a birth certificate, and I knew... I knew that dream was when you were born. My precious little Ruby.
Seeing Ruby making no response, Summer decided to continue. "You know, I have a lot to makeup for. I mean, I lost out on over nine years of birthdays for you, and on top of that I don't remember your first six. So I thought of just getting a whole bunch at once from the Lost City. Wasn't sure what to get, so I just got whatever you might have liked if you are anything like me, and then I ended up getting a whole of stuff-"
Summer's words failed to leave when at that point Ruby blurred to her mother and wrapped the Hunter Vanguard in the biggest of hugs she could possibly give, her head pressing just above her chest as Summer was only half-a-head taller. The older woman heard soft sobs escape her daughter's lips. Those sobs and tears tightened something at Summer's heart, calling out at hidden maternal instincts that were making their return. It was why Summer held Ruby close as well, gently holding the back of her daughter's head.
Just thinking that this wonderful girl and Hunter was her daughter felt so right to Summer, and she long ago gave up resisting the sensation. She didn't want to let that go and hoped that this was no blissful dream. That she in fact in a previous life she was a gracious warrior and a kind mother to this - to her precious girl named Ruby. Her baby Ruby.
"Thank you." Sobbed Ruby lowly, her voice muffled as she buried her face in the crux of Summer's collarbone. "Thank you so much. I don't need presents, no matter how many. I already have the best in the world. I finally have my mom."
Summer couldn't help it when she felt more than heard the sheer affection in those words. Her own silver eyes rained down tears not of sadness but joy. She felt as if her legs were becoming jelly, but she endured to hug her daughter tighter. Her memories may be lost, but the dreams she had been having recently were clues to her past. It won't be like this where there was this thin yet sturdy invisible wall between them. They'll be a family again and that's a promise Summer was never going to break, not even for the next few eons.
"Oh, my baby." Summer sniffled, caressing Ruby's back. "I will get them back. I will get my memories, and we'll be a family again. By the Traveler's Light, I promise to make it so, Ruby."
"Me too." Ruby muttered.
The mother and daughter pair stayed in that hug for what felt an eternity, and they would kept themselves that way. It just felt so right holding each other. Summer in mind may see Ruby as a stranger and later as an extraordinary Hunter named Ruby, but her heart still remembered her little baby Ruby. She won't let anything separate them again!
"I love you, Ruby." Summer spoke with the most conviction she ever had in her life as a Guardian beside left right ear of her daughter, unashamed of the tears she was shedding.
"I love you too, Mommy." Ruby cried, but the tears did not diminish the happy smile.
(Remnant; On the Island of Patch)
In contrast to the starry night on Earth, Remnant was still at midday with the bright light of the sun. The island of Patch can be considered the epitome of a peaceful paradise that humanity of Earth wished to achieve. Grimm were hardly seen in its forests, making it the best place to start a family. Yet for now under the light of day it was anything but 'peaceful'.
A blast of an explosion erupted a bright yellow light to match the radiance of the sun from under the canopy of the forest a distance away from any town on Patch. The smell of ash and burning wood filled the air followed by the loud creek of a falling tree, making a small clearing to see the source of the disruption.
Standing before a newly made stump scorched black by intense flames was Yang Xiao Long, her shoulders heaving from her heavy breathing of exerting herself. Her lilac eyes were focused in contrast to the beads of sweat trailing over her body. Instead of wearing light wear that would help Yang alleviate her exhaustion under the sun, Yang was wearing heavy advanced armor of white and red that still managed to angle to reveal her feminine figure. A black body suit of thick material lay under plates of white metal that adorned her hips, legs, boots, chest, and arms. Protruding from her shoulders and knee caps were red plates useful to block side shots to her head.
On first glance, people on Remnant would think the armor was advanced gear from Atlas, but it was so much more than that. Though identified to be metal elements, the very molecules were made from a power of Light itself given construct in reality. Just a single piece of it was harder than any alloy in Remnant that relied on Dust. The means that made this gear was on a different league entirely.
In her hands told all of what she was. A giant hammer taller than herself with a hammer that went shoulder to shoulder was held tightly in both her hands. This hammer was made of solid golden light that occasionally licked up golden flames as beautiful and hot as the midday sun. This was the ultimate Hammer of Sol belonging to the Sunbreakers. A sub-class of the Titan Guardians, and she herself was one.
Months ago, Yang would never have dreamed of the craziness she was in wielding this cosmic power. That was before the Fall of Beacon. Before everything went to utter shit. Before her fucking partner just ran away after her goddamn arm was chopped off. Before... she lost Ruby.
But it wasn't the Darkness that awaited to drown her soul and mind from her despair. Her new Light in life came from a little sentient robot of Light that had given her arm back and this new strange power. Speaking of which, that so-called Ghost that Yang took the liberty to simply call him 'Bud' appeared right beside her right ears when the Hammer of Sol disappeared and floated right in front of her face.
"You've done well." Bud congratulated. "You managed to summon the Hammer of Sol for seven seconds longer, clocking your limit at six minutes and thirty-six seconds."
"It's," Yang panted, "still... not enough."
Logically, Yang should not be training while wearing such heavy armor, but it was crucial necessity. She had been reborn as a Titan and needed to get used to combat in it as soon as possible despite her near endless stamina gifted to her by the Light. One would think after everything that has happened to her Yang would have lost hope, especially after the apparent death of Ruby. That would be the case if Bud did not tell her that another Ghost had resurrected Ruby as a Hunter and took her, in his words, 'somewhere safe to get stronger'. It angered Ruby still that despite being her little sister being revived by a Ghost that it didn't deter the fact Yang failed to protect her. Yang resolved that she needed more than anything to master this new power as a Titan as much as possible.
Unfortunately, Yang could not follow Ruby to wherever she went because she never died when she was chosen and thus her family and friends know her to be alive unlike Ruby. She could not make herself disappear, or worse fake her death to go after Ruby. After the Fall of Beacon, her father, Taiyang, was basically torn down into a shell of a man having now a wife who left him, a dead second wife, and now his youngest 'dead'. There wasn't even a body to bury Ruby, and her empty grave was right next to Summer.
"Today would be Ruby's birthday." Yang said sadly, standing to her feet. "It - It should've been back at Beacon for this for our 2nd year at Beacon. I even planned to have Weiss buy Ruby the best in the line of weapon materials, and I would go get her the best chocolate-strawberry cake on the market. I would Blake distract Ruby while all our friends gathered in our dorm to surprise her. It - It would have been the best if... if..."
Bud's golden optics shifted awkwardly as he watched his partner start to cry with soft sniffles. The strong presence of a Titan that Yang was previously emitting was broken down into this young woman who has been torn apart emotionally. All of her friends are gone, separated across the world with no way to even see their faces. Even worse was her whole family was going down the drains with Taiyang's will broken and getting into a bad habit of drinking.
"Gu - Yang." Bud called, getting Yang's attention with her eyes red with tears. "It will be alright. I know that your sister Ruby is a registered Guardian. She is possibly out there fighting for a bigger cause with powerful allies to protect and train her. And very soon you will see her again."
"You're right." Yang sniffled, wiping the tears away. "And when that time comes, I need to get stronger so something like the Fall of Beacon never happens again."
"Good." Replied Bud, his chasis spinning around his optic. "Shall we continue."
Yang gave a grin as an answer and her Ghost disappeared in a blink of Light. For a moment, Yang calmed herself down and forced herself to clear her mind. She metaphorically reached out to grasp at the new intense warmth that made its home in her soul. A power greater than anything on the planet of Remnant came to her command and golden fire wreathed around her form. Finally, it coalesced into a smaller, one-handed hammer in her hand that she began to throw at the trees around her with a metal bang akin to striking an anchor.
Quickly got this part done when I had the inspiration. This nice fluffy chapter I did enjoy writing this up since yesterday. Hope you are doing well in quarantine. My next update may be the first chapter for Red Campione.
Up next is Chapter 8.
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