The sign on the bakery door has been there for as long as she can remember, though it never registered in Yang’s consciousness as really meaning anything. The warning is posted in thick black letters but it’s so unassuming that Yang’s eyes glaze right over it as she tries to stroll inside, leading Blake by the hand. It’s only when she realizes Blake is standing stock still right at the threshold, tugging her back, that she turns around, forehead crinkling in confusion.
"Hey, you all right?"
Turning face, Blake immediately begins walking away without another word, spine straight as a column and fists clenched tight at her side. Blinking a few times, Yang jogs after her when it finally registers that Blake is already half way back to the bus station. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!” Yang says, looping an arm around her shoulder and whirling her partner around with an easy strength. She keeps her in place in a loose hug, wrists crossed behind Blake’s neck as the faunus resolutely refuses to make eye contact.
A few polite inches is kept between them. Yang learned the hard way that Blake does not always enjoy full body contact in their hugs, doesn’t like to be squeezed the way Ruby does.
"Hi. Hello. Blake? You there?" Pursing her lips, Yang gives two sharp whistles, teasingly trying to get Blake to pay attention to her. "Baby? Can you—?"
Before she can finish, Blake pushed her away with a sharp shove, palms striking hard on Yang’s chest. Her eyes are alight now, fury running through her like an electric current.
“Don’t. Whistle at me.”
The words are so low they barely register as human speech, rumbling growls reverberating from somewhere deep within her chest, vocal chords stretching in a way a human couldn’t replicate. It’s one of those times Yang remembers, really remembers they are a different species altogether and she’s so stunned and hurt that she drops her gaze to the floor and doesn’t chase after Blake this time, trying to figure out what she had done wrong, if she had forgotten something important that Blake trusted her to keep in mind.
When nothing comes to mind she clenches her jaw tight, rightfully furious as she returns to the bakery to enjoy a date with her own damn self if Blake is going to be a cryptic asshole.
And that’s when she reads the sign on the front of the bakery door, the one she ignored when she had come here with Ruby, her father, her mother— even a previous girlfriend, once, on a date.
Yang reads the sign on the door, and for the first time she realizes it’s not referring to dogs.
The gears click and turn.
"…Oh, fuck," Yang says.
Many hours pass before Yang returns home. By that time Blake had already texted her a million times with a million different apologies. Any other day and she would have taken wry amusement out of the fact that Blake was the one trying to initiate a conversation, but she was too deep in the mires of her own darkness to find humor in the situation.
When she enters the dorm room Blake sits up at once, ears pricking up at her arrival.
"Yang—" she starts, legs swinging over the bed to try and stand up, but she’s stopped by her magnetized backpack hitting her square in the stomach. "I’m— Oof!"
"Come on," Yang says, tossing her bow over as well. "We’re going out."
Blake’s eyebrows furrow, the edges of her lips turning down.
Reading her question, Yang answers it. “That’s for me to know and you to find out, now come on.”
Her frown deepens. Turning her head to the side, Blake regards Yang with renewed suspicion, eyes narrowed.
"Do not start," Yang warns.
Won over for now, Blake rolls her eyes and puts on the bow, following Yang outside. They can’t take the bus or any of the airships down, so it’s a long, scenic trek through the steep walkways down to Vale proper. Yang is fairly certain Blake knows where they are headed and what she has planned. No shock or surprise registers on Blake’s face when they find themselves outside the bakery again, a bottle of spray paint getting shoved into her hand.
Yang rattles her own can, grinning wickedly as her eyebrows waggle suggestively.
"I’m gonna draw a dick as big as the store front," she declares, waiting for Blake’s blank expression to slowly shift to rueful delight like the other times she’s brought her to mischief, waiting for tacit or explicit approval, waiting for something.
Blake sets the can down.
Her bubble of joy immediately deflates. “Aw, what?”
"It won’t change anything," Blake tells her, gently taking Yang’s can away as well. The words ring false, feel rehearsed. This isn’t the Blake angrily debating politics in the classroom, the Blake baring her teeth and growling. "All you’re doing is cementing the ideas the owner already has."
She snatches the can back. “I’m not trying to change his mind,” she says, her tone of voice implying: duh. “I’m wrecking his stupid shitty racist bakery.”
"That’s right," Blake agrees, "And then you’ll go home and sleep soundly because you gave him what he deserves, right?"
Her first instinct is to agree, but Yang stops herself, biting down on her tongue and humming out a noise of thought instead. When Blake doesn’t give a hint to whatever she was really trying to say, Yang tilts her head to the side and cautiously says, “…..Yyyyyyyyyyes?”
"And if he gets mad and wants to get even," Blake says, "And tries to find someone to blame, do you really think they first place they’ll look for a pro-faunus vandal is a human girl from a respected huntressing family in a prestigious institution?"
"No, Yang!" she whips a hand out, raps a knuckle against Yang’s forehead.
Yang slaps it away, scowling, a few sparks crackling in her mane. ”So what? I can handle myself.”
"That’s the point! You’ll be fine!” Trying to wrestle the spray paint away from Yang again, she retreats at the first gout of flame, a spark of red coiling into Yang’s eyes as a warning. “Try to think of the bigger picture. If they need someone to blame it’s not going to be you. It’ll probably be some homeless faunus kid they pick up, the first one unfortunate enough to be caught tagging an abandoned building— or even just walking around with a backpack big enough for spray cans.”
"How do you know that?" Yang challenges her, skin already lightening a few hues, the beginnings of her semblance glowing with power.
"Because I was a homeless faunus kid!”
And well, Yang has nothing to say to counter that. She tightens her grip on the can, glancing at the bakery behind her.
"I know what you’re trying to do." The weight of her hand on Yang’s trembling forearm is strong, anchoring. She stays with Yang until the fever passes, the red bleeding out of her eyes, her rage gone and she’s left with nothing but the shakes in the wake of all that adrenaline. "I’ve been angry, too."
"It’s not right," Yang says numbly. "It’s not. It’s wrong."
"I just needed to do something, I couldn’t just— we can’t just let them— isn’t that illegal? It’s illegal to put up signs like that, right?"
"It’s not. Not yet, anyway."
Stopping herself before she starts to ramble any further, Yang closes her eyes, concentration drawing stress lines on her face. Finally she can stand still and Blake’s hand retreats, not wanting to prolong any contact more than necessary.
When Yang opens her eyes again she is calm, but in very visible pain.
"…Pretty garbage girlfriend I am, huh? You’re the one comforting me over this."
"I wouldn’t really put it that way."
"Yeah, well, you’re more charitable than me, then." She jams her hands into her pockets, boot scuffing the ground. As an after thought, she adds, "…I don’t think I’m a very good person."
Pulling her down by the lapels of her jacket, Blake kisses her firmly on the lips. Yang leans into it after the initial shock, though her forehead is still creased with concern. “You are a good person, Yang,” Blake says. “Better than most. And even though I don’t approve, I won’t stop you if you want to draw a six foot dick on the window.”
Forgetting herself, Yang nearly groans with want, hands on Blake’s hips to hold her flush against her body. “Oh, god. Can I? Please?”
Blake rolls her shoulders, shrugging.
Still holding onto her, Yang twists to glare at the bakery over her shoulder. “What I really want is to raze the goddamn building to the ground.”
"I know. Me, too." Reaching into Yang’s belt pouch, she rummages around until she finds what she needs. Yang always carried knicknacks in there: her scroll, extra cash, and generally a pen or a marker or two. ”But I’m trying to… to find other ways to fight my battles. And I want you to do the same, too, if you can.” Pulling out a sharpie, she gives Yang a thin smile. “How about this instead of the cans?”
She uncaps the marker, eyebrows quirking up.
"What the hell am I gonna do with this?" Yang wonders.
Somehow, Yang manages to stop herself after just half a dozen dicks scattered over the doorframe. The sharp, stringent black ink stains her hands and she tosses the spray cans in the nearest garbage before they tempt her too much.
When she comes back, Blake is admiring her handiwork on the sign with a hand on her chin, hip jutted out. “’No Butts’, huh?”
"I was working under pressure, give me a break." Holding out her hand, she waits for Blake to take it. "Can we go home now? Before I make an even bigger ass of myself?"
The ribbons criss crossing her palm feel cool and soft over the top of Yang’s. “Please.”