Ruby's vision blurred and the smell of rotten food was about to make her gag. She opened her eyes and remembered sadly where she was – in one of many alleyways in Vale, only this one was full of litter and had the smelliest dumpster.
Ruby pushed aside the thought of the dumpster 'smelling like corpses' as one student back as signal would have put it. She stood up and looked around there were two busy streets on both her sides the dumpster behind her, and a stray cat sleeping right at her feet (The same one she had to drive off in the middle of the night.)
Swallowing whatever tears were going come, Ruby strode out of the alleyway. This would be her life from now – moving from hiding place to hiding place, after what happened between her father and her. Ruby kept walking and walking - it was quite odd how she looked so professional in her red-rimmed dress with her cape and boots. Cleaning those wouldn't be a problem – she had some lien in her personal wallet and the boat she stowed away on from patch had a keychain with a Vale-gym-membership, so she didn't have to worry about staying clean (unless the membership had its limits or would expire).
But Ruby didn't know how she was going to earn money for food – she couldn't steal, she couldn't even find employment (not even from an old man who managed a food stand and dust shop all by himself.).
Maybe I should just….starve…
She had entered the city only after one night – though Ruby knew this could be the rest of her life unless her father found her – or, more likely, if Qrow found her and took her back to him. But Ruby could not make herself face the man that kept claiming he was her father now; he changed so much since Summer died.
Her gloomy thoughts were interrupted by the smell of cookies in the air. Ruby was lured by the scent , blindly walking out of the alleyway (Nearly stepping on the cat's tail), across the street and down the sidewalk.
At last, she had found fresh cookies on a tray out in the open at stand reading "A Simple Wok". Ruby dashed over to the stand and reached out for one but a wrinkly hand shielded the palm-sized cookies.
Ruby's hand flinched back and she looked at the angry old man running the stop.
"S-s-sorry…" she stammered. In response the old man pointed to a sign next to the reading:
"Two lein – One cookie"
Ruby early reached into one of her pocket for her wallet but it wasn't there. "Oh man – I forgot my wallet!" She gasped and raced in the opposite direction, leaving a trail of rose petals covering the old-man's stand.
Ruby wildly looked around but she couldn't remember which alleyway she slept. Her stomach growled and reminded she needed to start eating in order to survive.
Today was one more day for Carn Inken as he took out the trash from his kitchen and stomped out of his house. The alleyway next to him held the nearest dumpster, so he usually dropped it off there. On his way there he noticed a wallet ground, being chewed on by stray cat.
Carn hissed and stomped his foot infront of the cat, scaring it off. He threw his trash bag on top of the dumpster and picked up the wallet. There was some lien, a membership to the gym, and student card ID card from signal academy.
Just then, Carn heard a frustrated scream around the corner.
Maybe it's not worth getting that wallet – sooner or later I'll starve to death….
Ruby hammered the wall until her hand was bruised. She kept crying and crying with her back to the street, knowing people would see her and ask her what's wrong.
They can't help me – THEY can't….how could this happen to me? I wanted to be like mom, I wanted to help people….but now I need help….
Someone tapped Ruby's shoulder. Doing a poor job of wiping her tears, Ruby came face to face with a man. His hair was maroon, he was slightly shorter that Ruby, and his skin was little too dark to be from the area.
"I take it that this is yours?" He asked presenting the wallet.
Ruby snatched the wallet and laughed in joy. She restrained herself upon seeing the confused look the man's face along with the nearby strangers stepping away from the two.
"I'm sorry…it's…been a rough day for me. I should go." Ruby became to walk only to have man stop her.
"What's a Signal Academy student like you doing in the streets?" he asked.
Ruby choked and stuttered "Running away…"
"From you parents?"
"No…just my dad…" Ruby sighed, squeezing her eyes. "He's not proud of me…"
"What did you do?" He asked.
Ruby was taken aback and shouted "I didn't do ANYTHING wrong! Mom dies and then I'm left to become a huntress alone! But I suck and dad's not proud of me, so I went to my mom's grave – AND THERE I FIND A HUNDRED GRIMM AND KILL THEM! And when I come B-b-back I…." Ruby collapsed from thinking about it and broke down sobbing.
The man held out a hand but Ruby shook her head "Just go…go please…why you would want to help me?"
The man sighed and said "Well…I was going to offer you a free breakfast and a bath, since you're not a crazed hobo. You're just a girl that's had rough time. Why don't you come in?"
The man held out his hand. Ruby looked up and saw the hand. She took it slowly.
"t-thank you….but please don't tell my dad where I am…"
"Not a word…" the man promised. "You're Ruby Rose?" he asked and she nodded.
"You can just call me Inken." He said. "I'll be busy so you can just make yourself at home, Ruby…Ruby?"
Inken turned around and saw Ruby floating towards "A Simple Wok" where the cookies where being sold.