Without him even realizing it at first, it seemed as though Qrow had found himself in Winter Schnee's company more and more often. A chance encounter in Terminus led to more subsequent meetings. They were an unlikely pair, that was for certain. Comparing the two was much like comparing night and day. Qrow was often drunken and disheveled, his posture poor and crooked. Winter was refined and dignified, her back as straight as an arrow with her head held high as if she were royalty -- which, to be fair, she might as well have been, given her family background. The two could probably not have been more different, and Qrow imagined that when they were spotted with one another, that's what most people thought at the sight of the two.
Maybe being around her was good for him, though. He found that he ended up taking care of himself a bit more when he went to meet her. Dressed up in garments that weren't tattered clothing reeking of spilled liquor, straightened his back more, didn't throw himself into danger quite as often. He didn't admit as much to her, of course. He knew that she'd probably feel smug about being able to change him even in such small ways, and besides, she probably noticed he wasn't quite the same anyway. She wasn't the oblivious type.
Still, regardless of the potential for her to feel superior over the fact that she could get him to change even slightly, he liked being around her. Their tongues may have oftentimes been barbed with wire and they used them to fling pointed jabs at one another, yet, either because of or despite that, she felt like home. Probably because she was, well, one of the few people from home. Whatever that word even meant anymore.
He wasn't entirely sure what came over him that convinced him to invite her out to the Winter Gala. All he knew was that he wanted to see her again. With such a chaotic winter hitting Elysion, maybe what they needed was a party to boost their spirits. One last hurrah before spring came back around.
Perhaps he didn't exactly think that plan through, though. Him, a walking bad luck charm, plus a room full of people who could be affected by his radiating misfortune sounded like a recipe for disaster. Once he got to the party, he was quick to retreat to the fringes while he waited for Winter to show up, unwilling to accidentally ruin someone's entire night just by standing a little too close to them.
In hindsight, this was probably selfish and a bad idea on his part. He shouldn't have shown up, he shouldn't have made plans, he shouldn't have put these people in some form of danger just by being there. What he did was thoughtless, careless, reckless, and it was all just for one person. Try as he might, he couldn't justify potentially ruining one night for several people just so he and one other person could have been happy for a night. But the rush, the thrill of being able to go to something like this had gotten the best of him, and now here he was dealing with the consequences of his actions. He'd gotten so caught up with planning and hoping for the best that he didn't really account for what could go wrong until it was a bit too late to back out.
Well, technically, he could back out. It just wouldn't sit well with him if he simply left and didn't explain himself.
Instead, he shuffled his way out to a balcony, pacing back and forth. He twisted and turned the rings on his fingers, as if that would give him something else to focus on while his thoughts taunted him with worries about what could happen if he went back inside -- and if Winter would even show up. He should have come here with her, shouldn't he? But then, what if he got her into trouble because of that? He wasn't sure what the right answer was, and it didn't help that doubting himself seemed to have become something that was more and more common.
He couldn't quite pinpoint just why he was so nervous, and he definitely didn't like it.
Eventually, his pacing came to a stop and he propped his arms up on the balcony's railing, waiting to see if Winter would arrive.