Chapter 1: Atlas Ball
The last thing anyone would accuse Blake Belladonna of being was ignorant. She knew wholeheartedly what being in Atlas would be like. She had no regrets about casting her old bow aside, but did realize how short-sighted it was in retrospect. The advantage of four ears suddenly became a disadvantage as she could hear every whisper around her. As bad as her brief time in Mistral was, Atlasian attitudes toward the Faunus was far, far worse.
Luckily, she did have a security blanket of sorts, regardless.
"This is a huge step down from the last dance we went to."
Gods bless Yang. Truly. If there was anyone who could make her feel welcome, it was her.
"I do agree, but I'd argue since you organized it, you are kind of biased," Blake reminded her.
Yang scoffed. "I'd like to think I can be objective. And objectively, none of us are having fun."
Blake scanned the room. Ruby was sticking to Weiss like glue, doing what she could to stave off the upper crust's endless questioning of the former heiress, and double-checking to keep herself from making some sort of social faux pas. Jaune had graciously taken up the role of looking after Oscar, who was so much a fish out of water in high society that it wasn't even funny.
"Ren and Nora are doing okay," the catgirl commented.
Indeed, the two were enjoying a slow waltz with one another, amusingly enough, with Nora taking the lead.
"Meh," Yang offered, "that's not the kind of dancing either of them like, anyway."
Blake smirked. "I still remember that routine they all did."
"Jaune in a dress. Great night," Yang recalled fondly.
Blake nodded. But a dark mood came over them. That night, for all the good it had, also carried the memories of one they had lost.
"You know what was really funny about that night?" Yang asked.
"Before, I was kind of rooting for Jaune and Weiss," the blonde explained, "I just... thought he was a good guy and deserved to be happy. But as soon as I saw him dancing with Pyrrha, it... well, everything about that made more sense, you know?"
"Sometimes we don't realize what would make us truly happy until it's staring us right in the face," Blake summarized.
"Yeah," Yang muttered.
A moment of silence reigned over the two.
"I never really thanked you for convincing me to come out that night," Blake realized.
"Eh, water under a bridge," her partner waved off.
"Did... did you end up dancing with anyone else?" Blake asked.
"Nah," the brawler recounted, "once Neptune shaped up and talked to Weiss, it was all on me to keep everything running smooth."
"So just me then."
Blake stared toward the floor. "Great night," she muttered.
"Great night," Yang repeated.
The two's eyes began to drift toward the dance floor.
"Wanna show these stuffed shirts how it's done?" Yang offered.
"Don't mind being seen dancing with a Faunus?" Blake wondered.
"Not at all. And the arm might distract everyone anyway."
"I kind of like the arm," Blake said, comfort in her voice.
"Well," Yang replied with a smile, "I kind of like a certain Faunus."
Chapter 2: Meeting the Parents
It was over. The fighting was done. Haven was safe. The vast majority of the White Fang was behind bars. The Relic was secure. Salem's enforcers had fled. The war was far from over, but the battle was a resounding victory.
But after victory came a great deal of clean-up. And with most of the adults dedicated to helping the authorities get everything straight, the younger members of the group had been given mostly free reign to come and go as they pleased.
Yang had taken advantage of this opportunity to get a bit of fresh air. Between her mother, the maidens, the relic, a world-spanning conspiracy, and... Blake, she had no illusion about the fact that this had been the most stressful week of her life.
Which ironically had no overlap with the most stressful day.
And here she was, standing outside the farmhouse where everyone had regrouped. Staring outward at that full moon. It would be beautiful if it hadn't punctuated everything else that had transpired this evening.
"Pardon me," a voice rang out.
Yang turned to face the source of the noise. As it turned out, it was the large cat faunus gentleman who had accompanied Blake earlier. "What's up?" Yang asked.
"I just wanted to let Blake know her mother and I had gotten a hotel room for the evening. I wanted to know if she wanted me to get her a room too, or if she was staying here for now," the man explained.
Context clues kicked in. This man was Blake's father. Yang should have realized earlier, but then again, Blake never really talked about her family before. "Ruby's kind of adamant about her sleeping over. Band back together and all that."
"Right. Just making sure," he replied.
"No worries," Yang assured him.
"You're... Yang, right?" the man wondered aloud.
"That's me," the brawler answered. "And you're Blake's dad, I guess?"
"Ghira," he responded with a nod, "a pleasure to meet you."
"Cool," Yang replied curtly.
Ghira quirked an eyebrow at the blonde's cold response. "Is something wrong?"
"Just... I've had a hell of a day."
"Of course, my apologies," Ghira remarked, "Paternal instincts, I suppose."
Yang chuckled. "My dad's the same way."
"Some things are universal," the catman considered.
"I once asked him if every father figure used the same few stock phrases, and he basically said 'yes'," Yang recalled fondly.
Ghira smirked. "He sounds like quite the character."
"He'd have to be to get me and Ruby for daughters," the blonde joked.
The two shared a slight laugh, before the quiet began to take over again.
"If I may, can I ask you something?" Ghira ventured.
"Make sure Blake's okay."
Yang's mind raced. She half-wanted to protest that Blake should be worried about her, not the other way around after how things ended before. But, in spite of what others may say, she had enough presence of mind to know this was neither the place nor time.
Ghira already knew what she was about to ask. "She hasn't said anything, but she doesn't have to. I can tell she wants to rejoin you on whatever crazy adventure you've wrapped yourselves in. And as much as I've missed her, her mother and I know that this is something she has to do."
She was staying. Blake really, truly was staying. It sounded too good to be real. There was a chance to fix things. To make things right.
"I..." Yang began, "I had to say goodbye to someone today."
Ghira's face fell. "Did they...?"
"They're alive," Yang clarified, "but... I thought they were someone I wanted around for the longest time. But now I know nothing good can come out of us being a part of each other's lives. And.. that just sucks."
"And Blake coming back at the same time... it makes you think."
"Yeah. Blake's my friend, but..." Yang hesitated, "Don't take this the wrong way, but she left. And... what if nothing good comes from us being around each other too?"
"I won't pry into what happened to you," Ghira replied, "with Blake or this other person. But I do know how you feel to some degree. It's why I left the White Fang in the past. The relationship grew toxic. But Blake found a way to rebuild her relationship with the White Fang. Approach it from a new angle, and now we have something better. A new Brotherhood of Faunus. Maybe that's what you two need to do. Re-evaluate things from a different perspective."
Yang thought about this. Blake was more like Raven than the blonde would care to admit. But there was one thing Blake did that was consistently different. Every time the chips were down, at their darkest hour, Blake kept trying. Blake stood against the White Fang time and again, even if she ran at first.
Tonight, Raven chose to leave again. And Yang had no reason to believe she'd ever see her again.
And this same night, Blake chose to come back. And planned to stay.
"As long as she's got my back, I've got hers," Yang decided.
"Thank you. Have a good evening Miss Xiao Long," Ghira replied with a bow.
"Good talking to you, Mister B."
"Don't call me that. That's what the monkey boy calls me," Ghira muttered, somewhat frustrated.
"Ghira, then?" Yang asked.
Chapter 3: Proposal/Wedding
Much as Ruby argued for "Happily Ever After", it seemed with the end of Salem's threat came a different saying about the conclusion of stories. "Every story ends with either a wedding or a funeral." And Ren and Nora were more than happy to oblige on the former.
It was a small ceremony, nothing but close friends and their families, but it was still the joyous affair everyone had dreamed of. Though the absence of those they had lost along the way was harshly felt, there was no doubt that this collection of individuals was stronger than they had ever been before.
And happily enjoying the reception included the recently-formed romantic duo in black and yellow.
"Who woulda thunk it," Yang asked, a few Strawberry Sunrises in.
"About what?" her partner replied. "Because if you mean Ren and Nora getting married, I'd say anyone who ever met them."
"No, I mean, that... we'd all get this far. After how it all started. Just a few kids trying to make the world a better place, and now, boom. Grimm Queen's gone."
Blake smiled. "It wasn't easy, but... we did it."
"Couldn't have done it without ya," Yang cheered.
"Same to you," Blake replied, raising her glass.
With a slight toast, the conversation took a somewhat less jovial turn.
"So... what's next?" Yang wondered.
Blake paused. "Good question. I mean, Weiss has to fix her company. Ruby's finishing her Silver-Eyes training..."
"We become working huntresses, I guess? Wasn't that the plan?" the blonde recalled.
"I... I thought so before, but..."
"The new Faunus Brotherhood. We have a chance to make things right for real this time," Blake realized.
"Yeah," Yang acknowledged, "Clear that up, maybe Oscar can finally call the Gods back. Get that squared away."
"I don't know about that, but... it's important. And... I feel like I should be helping with that."
Yang grew somber at the realization. "You... have to leave again."
"No, I get it. The world needs you more than I do."
"You are my world," Blake reassured her. "You... you make everything I've been through worth it. I don't want to just leave you again."
"It's my own damn fault. Ruby's got magical destiny, Weiss is fixing what her dad broke, and you're kicking racist ass on a global scale," Yang listed off. "Me? I just want kicks. Where's that put me?"
"Anywhere you want to be," the catgirl reminded her.
"Well, I wanna be where you are."
"Then come with me," Blake offered.
Yang was taken aback. "You... want me as part of this?"
"If we're fighting for equality, having a human as a permanent ally would be a good image," Blake pointed out. "And given the nature of what we're doing, we'll end up just about every place you can imagine."
"We'd be campaigning all over the world..."
"Never knowing what tomorrow will bring," Blake said, echoing words she'd heard so long ago, "and I think that'd be a good thing."
"It'd be the best thing ever!" Yang cheered. "I'm in!"
"Great," Blake replied, her face growing flush. "You and me. For the long haul."
Yang's smile turned to the nearby happy couple. Nora looked ready to burst into tears of joy at any minute, and Ren more emotional than the blonde believed possible. "The long haul..." she muttered, also growing flush.
"Time for the bouquet!" a rather upbeat announcer declared.
The two turned to look at each other, embarrassment strong in their faces, but determination building in their eyes.
"Bet I catch it!" Yang declared, rushing over to the growing crowd of single women.
Blake smirked, as she also stood up. "Not if I do first!"
Chapter 4: AU Day
Yang woke up sluggish, unable to remember how she ended up in a bed. And for some reason, she felt distinctly wrong somehow. It didn't take her long to realize why, however.
"Where's my armor?!" she cried out, realizing she was suddenly in her undersuit.
"It had to be removed so we could treat you."
A quick glance revealed the source of the answer. To the side was a woman, keeping her under careful observation. This stranger struck Yang silent. She was stunning, truly. She was in armor, but had removed her helmet as well. Long flowing black hair adorned by a cute, little bow, capturing innocence and radiance in one fell swoop. Piercing golden eyes, which only served to draw attention to the flawless face of her newfound companion. The only thing of question was the armor. Black, with purple highlights.
"Are you... a Blue?" Yang asked.
"For the moment," the woman replied. "Technically, I'm a medical officer. Neither Red nor Blue. But you are in Blue Base."
"I got captured?" Yang groaned. "Crap, the others'll never let me live this down."
"Not your fault you got caught by the mortar shell and they didn't. Blue Leader's already contacting Red Leader for negotiations."
"Probably wants something dumb," Yang assumed.
"Access to your radio transmitter, I think," the medic replied.
This gave the blonde pause. "Don't they have one?"
"Broken. There was a... syrup incident," the medic said, struggling to find the words.
Yang chuckled. "Sounds like the Blues aren't the brain trust they like to pretend they are."
"The rank-and-file not so much, no," the medic confessed. "Nora means well, though."
"Is she the one with the grenades?" Yang tried to confirm.
"I'm not at liberty to discuss that kind of information."
"Worth a shot," Yang sighed.
Suddenly, the door opened, and a woman in light-blue armor walked in. "How is she?" the new arrival asked.
"Should be fine," the black-haired woman declared. "All things considered, we could take her back to Red Base right now."
"Well, Winter's organized everything. We'll be getting the chance to use the radio very, very soon." She turned to face Yang. "Your days are numbered, Red."
Yang scoffed. "You got off easy. One lucky shot does not a victory make."
"We're getting a Freelancer," she bragged.
"We already have one," the blonde countered. "Or did you forget how Pyrrha kicked your teeth in the other day?"
"Montana," Yang clarified.
"Well, then we're overdue!" the enemy soldier argued. "Blake, be ready for prisoner transfer."
"I'll gather my stuff," Blake replied.
"What?" the blue replied, confused.
"She's good to move, but I'll want to check up on her treatment. I'll need to head over to Red Base for a while," the medic explained.
"You're supposed to be on our side!"
"I'm on the side of the injured, Weiss."
"We need to keep the teams even! It was five-on-five, now it's... what, six?"
"Actually, since I'm not on either side, you getting a Freelancer means you'll be even now. I don't count."
"Ugh... I'm talking to Winter about this," Weiss complained, storming off in a huff.
"She seems nice," Yang commented.
"Ice princess is my least favorite part of being stationed here," Blake confessed. "Just pop your armor back on, and we'll get a move on."
Yang nodded, moving toward her nearby gold armor. But before she began putting it on, she stopped. "Hey..."
Blake turned to face her. "Yeah?"
"Do you ever wonder... if bad things happen for a reason?"
The medic pondered this briefly, before settling on, "I'd hope so."
"Like, I got hit by a mortar shell, and that sucks. But now I get to meet you, and you seem pretty cool."
Blake grew a bit embarrassed at the praise. "Oh, um... thank you."
As Yang began re-equipping her armor, she could feel herself growing a bit bolder. Some sort of psychosomatic effect of returning to the soldier mentality. "So... are you doing anything later?"
"I'm not allowed to date patients," Blake countered, rather pointedly.
Yang's face fell. "Oh."
"But after you're patched up," the medic continued with a smirk, "I might be persuaded to clear my schedule."
"Oh!" Yang said, growing more cheerful.
"Come on. We've got to get you back home."
"I'll give you the five-star tour," Yang boasted.
"What makes it five-star?" Blake asked.
"Ends with my living quarters," the Red replied flirtatiously.
"Well," Blake purred, "I suppose you are in need of some bedside manner."
And as her face grew flush, Yang was certain that getting hit by that mortar was by far the best combat injury ever. Of all time.
Chapter 5: Beacon Days
"Okay, gang!" Ruby began, pride beaming in her voice, "I know that our first few days as a team haven't been the smoothest, but, I think we can fix that up right now!"
Blake rolled her eyes. The team aspect of all this was the one thing about her new life plan she didn't particularly care for. The White Fang had been her team. Her family. Leaving was hard, but she couldn't go on the way Adam wanted her to. As for this?
Ruby was a bit too peppy, but tolerable. Yang was at least someone who wouldn't slow her down. And Weiss... was about what she expected from a Schnee. She had resolved to try and meet the three of them halfway, but halfway between her and Weiss was a lot of ground.
"Okay, I'll bite," the heiress ventured forth, "What did you have in mind?"
"Well, the fact of the matter is, we don't know each other that well yet."
Ruby was dead-on in that regard, and frankly, Blake wanted to keep it that way. The less these four knew, the better. No one had caught on yet, but Blake was smart. Eventually they'd realize she was a Faunus, one way or the other. But with luck, she could control when and how that information came to light. And with even more luck, they'd never know her nature as a former White Fang operative.
"So I vote we play Two Truths and a Lie!" the red reaper declared.
"Sounds great," her sister chimed in.
Weiss thought for a moment, before deciding, "I guess that wouldn't be terrible."
Blake paused. "How does that go again?" she asked.
"It's easy," Yang explained. "You say two true things about yourself, and one lie. Any order you want, and we have to guess what the lie is. And then, you tell us which it was."
"Don't you and Ruby have a huge advantage since you're sisters?" Blake wondered.
"Good point," Ruby pondered, "I guess we just won't comment on each other's."
"Just Blake and me, then," Weiss summarized. "I think we can handle that."
Blake was concerned, however. She was living so many lies right now. What could she confess? She could lie three times, sure, but then she would have to keep track of what she said that was supposedly true. It would be simpler to just give minor information that could mean anything. Keep things vague. Mostly true. With that settled, she nodded. "Alright then, I'm in."
"Great!" Ruby cheered. "Now, it was my idea, so I'll go first!" The cape-wearing girl took a moment to think before settling on her choices. "Okay... my favorite animal is dogs, my favorite food are cookies, and my favorite book is Violet's Garden."
Blake thought on this briefly, "The book would be hard to just come up with off the top of your head."
"And it does seem up her alley," Weiss concurred, "But it could just be a book in this room she picked at random."
Blake briefly scanned the room, "I probably have a copy somewhere around here. Then again, dog is an easy animal to pick at random, too."
"Right," the rich girl said with a nod. "I think I'll say dogs."
"Same," Blake agreed.
"Well, it was cookies," Ruby replied with a smirk.
"Really?" Weiss asked, taken aback. "I could've sworn that was true."
"Nope," her partner said, popping her mouth a bit on the last few letters. "Strawberries."
"So you like dogs?" Blake asked, a little worried.
"We've got one back home," Yang commented.
Blake took a moment to breath. Even if Ruby and Yang were dog people, it didn't mean she'd have to see the dog. Or be near the dog. Everything was fine.
"I'll go next," Weiss offered. "I have been offered a record deal before, my scar is from family camping trip when I was 10, and... my favorite birthday present was an old tricycle that belonged to my grandmother."
"I'm sorry, your Grandma's trike?" Yang snickered.
"Nana Schnee meant a lot to me," Weiss replied, "or I'm lying."
"I've heard about your concerts before," Blake recalled, "so the record thing's probably real."
"I wanna say... the trike's real too," Ruby said. "I don't think you'd make that up so fast."
Weiss sighed, "You're right. Scar's only about a year old."
Blake appraised the slash mark with a glance, it did seem a bit too fresh for the camping trip to be real.
"Why a camping trip though?" Yang asked.
"I always thought it'd be interesting," the heiress admitted. "But you try convincing a rich family to 'rough it'."
"No dice," the blonde shot back.
"Can we go back to the trike?" Blake asked.
"Later," their leader said, "Blake, you're up."
The bow-wearing girl paused. "Um... can I have a few more seconds to think?"
"No prob," Yang interjected, "I know mine. My first haircut ended in a hospital visit, my bike, Bumblebee, has a 12-stroke engine, and I once beat up an entire dance club."
"How does a haircut end in a hospital visit?" Weiss wondered.
Blake smirked, recalling the fate of the poor Ursa who took a lock of hair from the brawler. "She wasn't the one who got hospitalized. It's the bike."
Yang was shocked. "How'd you guess?"
"There's no such thing as a 12-stroke engine."
"Ooh, are you secretly a gearhead?" Yang wondered.
Blake shook her head, "Not on your life. Garages are too loud for me."
"Well, no more stalling Blake. It's all you," Ruby reminded her.
Blake exhaled slowly, double-checking what she had decided to say. "Okay... I grew up outside the kingdoms... I've been to every continent at least once... and my first combat experience was when I was eight."
"Eight?!" Weiss replied with a shock. "How?"
Blake kept her shudder under control. It was peaceful protest turned riot. When the violence broke out, she was ashamed to admit she bit someone's hand trying to escape. Not exactly a huge issue, but she saw it as the origin of some dark impulses.
"Hmm... I can see outside the kingdoms from you..." Yang thought. "And you do seem traveled."
"So are those the true ones?" Ruby guessed.
"I'm saying the eight thing's a lie, too," Weiss decided.
"Nah, the continent one's fake," Yang countered.
"Yang's right," Blake admitted.
"Seriously?" Weiss replied.
"Never been to that weird dragon one," the faunus in hiding explained, "The combat thing was... a bandit raid."
Yang grew a little pensive at hearing this.
Ruby, sensitive to her sister's distress, changed the subject. "So you've been to Menagerie, then?"
Blake was shocked. She didn't think Ruby would count Menagerie. Most humans didn't. "Umm... once."
"Did you like it?" Yang asked.
She missed it with all her heart and soul. "It was... nice."
"I've seen pictures," Weiss recalled. "Some of the landscapes are beautiful, but... I don't think I'll ever go."
"You probably wouldn't be welcome," Blake countered.
"That's my point," the heiress agreed.
"Would they let me come?" Yang asked, somewhat curious.
"Weren't we going to talk about Weiss's trike?" Blake asked.
"Oh, right!" her partner realized, distracted at the possibility of getting one up on the heiress.
"Did it have a name?" Ruby inquired.
Weiss sighed, and admitted, "Stardust."
As laughter filled the room, Blake pondered the earlier question. If she ever went back home, it would be stressful for all involved. And bringing a human would be a very weird statement to make.
All the same, she and Yang spending time in Kuo Kuana? Someone with whom she could share the sights with. Someone who wouldn't just see it as the home of Faunus. Someone who actually wanted to see Menagerie for all it had to offer. It was appealing, to say the least.
Years later, Yang once again found herself asking if she would be welcome in Menagerie.
"Of course dear," Kali answered. "You're family."
Chapter 6: Beach Day
A beach vacation was exactly what the doctor ordered. A beach vacation with everyone else was exactly what Weiss had hoped to avoid. Sadly, Ruby cannot keep such things secret, and everyone had made a point of joining the heiress on her sabbatical. Which, begrudgingly, she grew to accept.
Blake, however, had failed to accept an unforeseen complication.
"Stupid poaching laws," she muttered.
"I tried to tell you," her partner shot back.
Blake had been dead-set on fishing during the trip, but sadly, unlike her old home in Menagerie, she was expected to have a license for such things. And with false IDs and credentials, it was more of a hassle to acquire such items than she was willing to put up with.
Yang, on the other hand, was more than happy to spend her time soaking up the summer sun. As such, she was lounged out on the beach, taking in the rays like it was nobody's business. "Sure you don't want a tan?"
"Heat just makes me tired," the black-haired girl explained. Blake's set-up was next to Yang's, and unlike the blonde, she was content to sit under a parasol, complete with a hat and sunglasses. She also wore a rather conservative swimsuit. "I'll just catch up on my books."
"You can do that anywhere," Yang protested, "Are you at least gonna swim?"
Blake turned to face her partner. "You remember what's under this hat, right?
"Right... cats don't like water," the brawler recalled.
"Not so loud!" Blake hissed back. "And what about you?"
"Saltwater plays havoc with my hair."
"Sorry I asked."
"Well," Yang said, "at least take in the sights."
"I will," Blake countered, a bit of playfulness creeping into her voice, "but the book makes an excellent excuse to hide my eyes."
"Smart," Yang replied approvingly, "Not what I meant, but smart. I've got this," she explained, pulling out a sun reflector to further control her tan. "You keep watch from the front, I'll check behind us."
"Got it," the catgirl agreed. "So... what should I be looking for?"
Blake rolled her eyes. "I know that, but any requests?"
"I don't know, just... summer beach bods? Like..." Yang's eyes began to wander. "Your eleven."
Blake turned her head slightly, bringing the book up to keep her intentions hidden. In that direction were a man and a woman. The man a stereotypical body builder type, seemingly setting up for a cookout. The woman was more mousy, and working on a sandcastle.
"Eh, too muscly for me," Blake dismissed.
"Not him, her!" Yang countered, keeping her voice down.
Blake's eyes grew wide. "Oh."
Yang paused. "Did... did you not...?
"No, no...I just..." the faunus stuttered, thoroughly embarrassed by this exchange. "So... you're..."
"Bi," the blonde finished.
"Oh! I... good to know..."
"Does that... bug you?"
"No! No, no, no..." Blake stammered out. "I just thought... Well... I didn't realize you were... so, her?"
Yang smirked. "Eh, I like 'em a little shy. It's cute."
"Should I warn Velvet?" Blake asked.
"Meh," Yang waved off. "That's a little too shy. It's a balance."
"I get it," her partner agreed. "Not too shy, not too bold."
"Just right," Yang summarized. "Kinda like..." she trailed off.
"Like who?" Blake asked.
"Nobody," Yang continued, her face growing flush.
Blake began to smile. "Yang Xiao Long, do you have an actual crush?"
"What? No! Shut up."
Blake snickered. "Alright, alright, I'm sorry. Boy or girl, though?"
"Blake!" she protested.
"Give me that, and I'll stop," Blake promised.
"Girl. Now let me tan in peace," Yang declared, lying back down.
Blake laughed a bit before relenting. So Yang liked a girl. A bit shy, and a bit bold. Though Blake couldn't help but wonder. Didn't she know someone like that? Someone she knew very well?
A second look at her eleven revealed yet another interesting fact about the other woman. A head of long, dark hair.
Well turnabout is fair play after all. And if Yang wanted her to take in the sights, Blake would.
And the hottest girl on the beach was right next to her.
Chapter 7: Growing Old Together/The Future
Blake could understand her partner's impatience. It had been 15 years since the team had been officially recognized as huntresses. And on the anniversary of such an important date, Ruby had demanded the team re-unite for lunch.
"Shouldn't you be going at my pace, anyway?" Blake asked, "On paper, you're my bodyguard."
"We both know you can take care of yourself," Yang replied.
"But I like it when you take of me," Blake countered.
The blonde smirked. "Yeah, you do."
"Can you two please not do that in front of me?"
The two turned to see their old comrade-in-arms waiting. Apparently they had arrived outside the restaurant without even realizing.
"Please, Ice queen," Yang countered, "you've been front-row center to a lot worse from us."
"That doesn't mean I like it," Weiss complained. "And where's your sister?"
Blake simply pointed behind Weiss, and the swordswoman turned. A storm of rose petals descended from a nearby roof and coalesced on the ground to reveal their team leader.
"Sorry!" Ruby declared. "Woke up late!"
Weiss pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration. "Ruby, just because your speed keeps growing exponentially doesn't mean you can just run all to Atlas from Patch."
"Some things never change," Blake jested.
As the gang filed into the restaurant, and got to their table, Blake found herself experiencing the strangest sense of déjà vu. "Have I... been here before?"
"Technically, no," Weiss said, taking her seat.
Yang's eyes snapped open in realization, "Oh, my Gods!" With the sudden recollection, the brawler began laughing uproariously.
"Yang, you're making a scene!" Blake muttered under her breath.
"AHAHAHA! Wouldn't be the first time," she barely got out.
It was with this statement that Blake, too, recalled her previous encounter with this establishment. The group had only just arrived in Atlas, and was going to stop to get dinner before checking in with Ironwood. However, the restaurant had refused to serve a party containing a Faunus.
Yang took this news poorly.
"That was the first time you punched a racist for me," Blake recalled fondly.
"And I'll keep doing it 'til they get the message," Yang replied sweetly.
"Well they've started to," Weiss noted, "seeing as there's no longer a 'No Faunus' policy. It's gotten rarer and rarer."
"All thanks to my favorite feline," Yang cheered.
"It's grueling work, but, I've got a lot of motivation," Blake admitted.
"I have a reward system," Yang whispered.
"Yang," Ruby complained, "I don't want to know that stuff!"
"Neither do I," Weiss concurred. "Why do you do this?"
"Big sister prerogative," the blonde explained, "It's my job to bug Ruby, you just get caught in the crossfire."
Weiss pondered this, "I'm sure plenty of my policies do bother Whitley."
"See, you get it!" Yang affirmed.
"Speaking of sisters," Ruby chimed in, "when can I officially start calling Blake my sister?"
"Marriage is a societal construct Ruby," Blake reminded her, "and you know I'm not big on those."
"Yeah, but you've been together for basically forever, so why not?" the reaper griped.
"There are tax benefits," Weiss added.
"You sure know how to make a girl weak in the knees, huh, Weiss?" Yang commented. "Seriously, though, we just don't see the big deal. I... know that it's me and Blake for good. I don't need some legal nonsense to tell me that."
"Neither of us are going anywhere," Blake agreed. "Both of us, together, into eternity. That's all that matters."
"So... can I call you sister, then?" Ruby asked.
"Anytime," Blake said with a smirk.
"Woo-hoo!" the leader cheered.
"Just leave me the third-wheel then," Weiss snarked, "as per usual."
Ruby, in response to her partner's distress, went in for a hug. "Aw... BFF's are forever, too, you know."
Weiss graciously accepted. "I know."
And Team RWBY enjoyed a lovely lunch, happy to know there would be many to come. They were a family just as much as they were friends. And no matter what time would send their way, nothing would change that.