She had chosen to define her feelings of Qrow Branwen not by how she felt when in his company, but instead, by how she felt without
him. As the two began to run in closer circles, meeting on multiple occasions, Winter had found that coincidence need no longer bring them together. In the past, their polar differences repelled — their mannerisms initially pushing them apart and pulling at their nerves. And yet, time has proven that change has happened for the better. Indeed, their contrast was stark and despite everything the old Winter would have told herself before, his company was pleasant now. Refreshing, even. The two of them weren't always so compatible as they were today, and part of her regretted their somewhat sour history.
Trying to imagine being without someone so cynical, smug, and charismatic as him had become difficult to comprehend. Her life in Elysion wouldn't be the same. Before, she would go through her day and work, without so much as a second thought. Nowadays whenever any difficulties would come her way, there'd be a moment where his voice would pop into her head. "Psh, nothing the Ice Queen can't handle, right?" he'd scoff, his lips drawing into that smirk which used to drive her mad. Without her knowing, he had made his way into her thoughts little by little. Such thoughts never failed to amuse the specialist in her day to day minutia. No matter how small the moment. She would never admit that to him, though.
Winter would take any comments or judgements that others may have of the sight of them together and cast them into the wind. She has never cared any less about other's opinions, and that's saying something for someone who was constantly judged for being a Schnee. Winter believed their differences complimented each other now. In fact, she'd even go far as to say that his presence often livened up her day. Returning to work after a day she had run into him felt mundane and alien. It was as if she were constantly drifting between worlds, one with Qrow and one without. She admitted she has come to like the former. It had only recently become clear to her what it was about Qrow that drew her to him. He was her most true connection to an alternate life; one completely detached from her worries as a Schnee, one that was fresh as newly fallen snow. If she ever told him this, he'd probably laugh and tell her she was being dramatic. But that was just the thing — the change is dramatic. There was no mistake. And she wouldn't change it for the world.
Winter was certainly surprised when Qrow invited her as his 'plus one' to the gala, but pleasantly so. She wasn't entirely sure of his reason, but she had been secretly hoping her company had grown on him as much as his did for her. Perhaps this was just proof of that, the white-haired woman told herself over and over as she spent the entire evening after pouring over her closet in search of the perfect dress to wear. It had been far too long since she had attended a formal occasion, or dressed up for that matter. Between work and the disorder that unfolded as a result of the ice age everyone had been plunged into, Winter wondered if even she remembered how to do her makeup. Oh well, she'd figure it out eventually. Shaking her head with a laugh, she supposed Qrow would be having similar troubles preparing right now. The gala came at the right time to serve as a perfect escape, for the both of them.
After she had gotten past the coat check, she knew she wouldn't find him there, right at the front door. She knew him better than that. After all, perhaps that was part of the reason he suggested that they met up at the gala and didn't come together. It better suited his style. Walking through the ballroom, she shrugged off peering eyes, picking up two glasses of drinks in her hands. Hopefully, people would get the memo that she was here with someone, and not just anyone. But if they thought she was going to down two glasses alone, that was fine too. Her lips were painted an intimidating deep red; her dress matched. No one was going to bother her tonight.
Qrow wouldn't be caught dead at a social event, let alone hide in the corner at one, right? Surely he'd find a more private place. So went her logic in tracking him down, opting to search for a tucked-away balcony to brood in. And that was where she found him. Others would do a double take before they recognized him, the usual silhouette of his tattered cape was replaced by a slim fitting suit. But it was the very same man she was looking for alright, with his back hunched over, hands dangling over the railing.
She let the sound of her heels announce her arrival. And the oddest sensation washed over her as she did: she was nervous, suddenly. But now was not the time for that. Leaning her back against the same railing as she faced him, Winter extended her slender arm to offer one of her drinks, the pale moonlight dancing off the glass. "I brought you a little gift ~" she singsonged softly, bringing her own glass to her lips for a sip, "I knew you'd be here, of all places."