Yang walked steadily through the garden, her eyes focused on the path ahead of her. Grass peeked through the grey cobblestones of the path. Flower bushes lined it, each with a different array of colors. She smiled softly at the soft singing of the birds hidden in the trees and the scent of flowers that surrounded her. Yang basked in the warmth of the sun shining through the clear Spring skies.
It was weird. This calmness. This peace. She didn’t think she’d feel it, not with everything that had been happening. But the fact that Adam and the White Fang had been stopped, allowed her to take this moment. Allowed her to put her walls down for just a bit. Of course they still had Salem to take care of, but she was putting that aside right now. Right now all she could focus on was getting to the center of the garden.
Yang had found a little envelope on her bed the evening before. As soon as she had seen her name written on it, she knew who it was from. The clear clean strokes of the handwriting gave it away instantly.
Yang had hesitated though. She had stood there, staring at the envelope. She had fisted her hands, trying to stop them from shaking. Being reunited with Blake had been one of the hardest things that had happened to her. She had been hurt by her friend. By someone she cared deeply for. When she needed her, she wasn’t there. But she knew she had to put that aside. Knew that Blake had her reasons. Knew that she just didn’t need to, but wanted to forgive her friend and move past everything that had happened.
After she had taken a couple of deep breaths to settle herself, Yang finally sat down on the bed and took the envelope into her hands. She had slipped her metal finger through the opening, breaking the seal. She pulled out the small letter and unfolded it. As she had read the short letter she nervously bit into her lower lip. It hadn't said much, just that Blake wanted her to meet her in the gardens at noon tomorrow.
They hadn’t been able to talk much, since Team RWBY had been reunited, so this must have been Blake’s way to get the two of them alone. To finally have that talk that they both knew they needed to have.
When the path widened and opened up to reveal the center of the garden, Yang finally spotted her friend. She was sitting on the edge of the large fountain, the water streaming behind her. She watched as Blake’s ears perked up and turned in her direction. The girl lifted her head, a soft smile on her lips.
Yang lifted her hand and waved to her as she approached.
“Hey,” Yang greeted as she sat beside Blake.
“Hi. I’m glad you came,” Blake said as if she was unsure if Yang would actually come or not.
“Of course,” Yang said confidently. Yang looked out at the garden, taking in the view. “It’s beautiful here.”
“Well the city is called Kuchinashi. It means gardenia.”
“Yeah, but it’s full of thieves and criminals. I’m surprised this place isn’t in ruins or overrun by them.”
Blake sighed. “It makes it all the more special, though.” Blake turned her body slightly and her gaze met Yang’s. “I, um, wanted to talk with you. To apologize for everything.”
Yang dropped her gaze, not being able to look her friend in the eye. She missed the hurt expression that flashed across Blake’s face.
“I’m not trying to make excuses, but I didn’t know what else to do. Y-you were…” Blake’s voice cracked and she felt tears starting to prick her eyes. She blinked furiously, trying to hold them back. “You were hurt because of me,” she finally got out.
Still Yang said nothing and still Yang couldn’t look up. Her hands were clasped tightly in front of her and seeing Yang’s prosthetic made Blake’s throat close up. It was a reminder for both of them. A reminder of what had happened. Of what Yang had sacrificed for Blake.
“I thought I could figure everything out with the White Fang. I felt like I needed to. Needed to protect the people that I cared the most for.” Blake bravely reached out her hand and placed it over Yang’s hands. She let out a relieved breath when Yang didn’t pull away. “I know now that I was wrong… I know I hurt you.”
“You weren’t there when I needed you most,” Yang said sadly, her voice barely above a whisper. She felt as if she tried to speak fully, she’d break into tears. She’d fall apart once again.
“I know. I’m so sorry.” Blake tightened her grip on Yang’s hands.
“I thought you’d stay,” Yang admitted. “My mother left me. You left me. Ruby left me. Weiss was gone. I-I was alone.”
Yang’s shoulders shook softly as tears streamed down her cheeks. A tear dropped, landing on Blake’s hand. Blake stared at it for a second before pulling Yang into her arms and embracing her. She felt Yang tense at first, but then she melted into her, her arms wrapped around Blake’s waist.
Blake knew that Yang wasn’t one to let her walls down around anyone, so she knew how important this moment was. She knew that she had made a mistake and wouldn’t do it again. She couldn’t let Yang go. Not again. And she finally felt at peace for once. Felt confident in what she was going to finally tell her friend. A weight had been lifted once Adam was taken care of, now another weight was about to be lifted too.
“I missed you so much,” Yang cried.
Blake sniffled, but held back her tears still.
Yang spoke so softly that Blake felt as if her heart had cracked. The pain that Yang had gone through alone, she couldn’t even fathom. Of course she had gone through her own struggles, her own pain. But she had people there. She had Sun, her parents, and eventually Ilia.
“I’m sorry.” Blake closed her eyes and held Yang closer. “I’m not going anywhere this time. I promise.”
Yang buried her face in the crook of Blake’s neck. She didn’t know how much she had needed to hear Blake say this. How much she wanted to hear Blake say this.
They stayed like that for a long time. Basking in one another’s presence. It’d been so long since it’d been just the two of them. Things felt right now. Better.
Yang was the first to move away, but not far. She wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand and then her teary eyes met Blake’s. They looked at one another, but something was different. There was always that unspoken thing between them, but it wasn’t the same anymore. And it gave Yang strength.
“Thank you,” she started.
Blake didn’t know what to say to this. She didn’t think she should be thanked. But here Yang was, thanking her. Yang obviously had a different idea though. She lifted her hand and brushed a stray strand of hair away from Blake’s face.
“I needed to hear that,” Yang said softly. “I needed to know you’d stay because I can’t…” her voice trailed off and her gaze dropped. “I don’t think I can handle losing you again.” She lifted her head and looked at Blake, her eyes full of passion, adoration, love. “I care about you too much to lose you again,” Yang finally confessed. She felt lighter. It didn’t even matter that Blake hadn’t had a chance to respond yet. Just saying that aloud and letting her feelings be known was enough for her.
“I won’t leave you.” Blake cupped Yang’s face and rested her forehead against hers. They both closed their eyes for a moment, just taking in the intimate and affectionate gesture. “I care for you too, Yang. You don’t even know how much.”
When Yang opened her eyes, she was met with Blake’s amber ones. A few tears had finally broken through and were running down her cheeks now. Yang wiped them away as she smiled softly.
“I think I do.”
Blake smiled and nodded. Of course Yang knew.
“I love your smile,” Yang confessed quietly. Her gaze was on Blake’s smile, but then she looked back up to meet Blake’s.
Blake’s eyes dropped to Yang’s lips and her smile left her face. She leaned forward, her nose nuzzling affectionately against Yang’s. When she closed the gap between them, their lips finally meeting, she heard Yang gasp softly. At first she thought she had made the wrong move, but then she felt Yang’s hand on the back of her neck and her lips pressed against hers more.
The kiss was everything they had imagined and more. When people say sparks were supposed to fly when you kissed the right person, they were wrong. Sparks weren’t flying between the two of them. It was something else. It was ease. It was certainty. It was peace. It was what they both needed. What they had both wanted for so long. It felt like home, being in the arms of the one they loved. And finding it in the city of Kuchinashi, the city of gardens, but also of secret love, was the most fitting thing that could happen for the two of them.