Breaking the Ice

(*)

Weiss Schnee stepped into director Ozpin's office, nodding respectfully in deference to her employer and occasional combat trainer, though he didn't do much in that area anymore. Beacon was a large and pervasive organization, and frankly the current head was needed more planning than teaching the new recruits.

"Ms. Schnee," he said, taking a sip of his ubiquitous coffee. "Thank you for attending so quickly. I'm sure you suspect I have a mission for you, but the circumstances are... unique. I wanted to go over them in person."

Weiss looked around the room. "Then why isn't Ruby here, sir? Am I undertaking this solo?"

Ozpin winced slightly. "Not... exactly. This is a job for two, but... I'm afraid Miss Rose is unavailable at the moment."

Weiss blinked. "Unavailable...?"

Elsewhere...

"AH-CHOO!" Ruby sneezed, tossing her used tissue into a massive pile of the same, before rolling over in her bed, wrapping the covers around herself like a little cocoon, and muttering in a pained, scratchy voice. "I. Wish. I. Was. Dead."

"AH-CHOO!"

Beacon...

Weiss sighed. "She doesn't handle colds well at all, does she?"

"The girl is one of our highest-success agents, she's earned a sick day," Ozpin said with a shrug. "But we can't wait. We've confirmed four victims in the space of three days. The first was assumed to be an accident involving an industrial freezer, but, a girl locked in at a medical lab studying cryogenics. But then two more victims, frozen solid, the very next day nearly half the city away..."

Weiss swallowed hard. "You think it's someone like me. Someone who awakened, just like the Anderson case and..."

Ozpin waved her off reassuringly. "It's uncertain. We have no records of a pureblood Yuki-onna in the area and they don't interbreed with humans often. But whatever it is, it is clearly a cryokinetic creature in nature, and you are the specialist for that sort of thing, Ms. Schnee."

Weiss took a deep, steadying breath. "Yes. Of course. Either way, it's something I should be ready for. When do I leave?"

"As soon as your special partner arrives. We can't have a single operative on a case with casualties piling up this quickly," Ozpin said. "Oh, here she is now."

Weiss began to turn to see the opening door, only to be intercepted halfway through by something big, soft and warm pressing against her back as a pair of arms wrapped around her waist. "Ready for our big debut, lil' Frost Dragon?" chirped a warm and energetic female voice from so close to her ear she could feel the other woman's breath tickling it.

Weiss tried her best to fight down the intense blush. "G-get off, Yang!"

"Awwwww, you're still cold and prickly," Yang pouted, very noticeably not letting go. In fact, she chose instead to slightly tighten her grip, sliding her hands across Weiss's stomach lightly.

It didn't cause any butterflies, and she was blushing because she was angry. That was her story and she was sticking to it.

Weiss wiggled out of the other woman's grip, making a small frustrated noise that only got more frustrated when Yang responded to the motion by making a pleased giggle as she finally let go. "You are insufferable," Weiss muttered.

"And you're adorable. We're both 'ables'!" Yang chirped.

"Sir?" Weiss asked, a bit of pleading entering her tone. "Is there really no other partner available?"

"None that comes with a built in defroster and more raw power than any other three agents put together," Ozpin said, apparently not too perturbed by the actions of the operatives. One did not get to be head of an organization made of dozens of different magical creatures or magically inclined humans without getting used to supernatural customs of all stripes, and it was well-known that dragons like Ms. Xiao Long tended toward the... passionate. Sexual harassment complaints had gone up 400% after her joining, at least until Ozpin had finally caved and removed forced-snuggles from the list of things that could be punished.

Weiss turned to him, a bit of desperation in her eyes. "What about her own partner? Blake. Won't Blake need help on missions too?"

"Actually, agent Belladonna has requested a personal day," Ozpin said. "Oddly, almost immediately after this case report came in."

Yang whistled innocently.

Two Hours Earlier...

Blake Belladonna, humming a small tune, sat down in the seat of her car. She inserted her key and gunned the engine.

Nothing happened. Not a sound.

She blinked, and got out of the car, popping the hood to see if something had come loose, even as she pulled out her cellphone to call a mechanic. She looked inside the hood and saw...

Nothing. The entire front of her car was completely empty, except for a single square sheet of paper. Fingers trembling with barely contained rage, Blake picked it up, knowing damn well what it would say, but compelled to read on anyway...

Dear Blake,

Stole your engine, explain why later, SUPER important.

Love, Yang

"... Screw it, I'm taking the day off," Blake said, after a few seconds of silence in which she fantasized about a blonde head on a platter.

The Present...

"Sir, I... look, it's not that I dislike Agent Xiao Long, but... I mean, we're not the most... compatible."

"Opposites attract!" Yang said in a sing-song voice.

"We. Do. Not." Weiss turned to her, teeth gritted...

...Only to have a single finger dragged lazily along her jawline, totally destroying that good rage into another storm of flustered confusion as Yang winked at her. "Not what your face says, little frost dragon. Blush, blush."

Weiss made several small noises and tried to draw a breath to protest, because she had a dozen different exceptional put-downs to use against Yang in this particular case, each one more cutting than the last.

She realized to her great dismay several seconds later, however, that all she was actually doing was sitting there staring into the young dragon's eyes while Yang stroked her face idly and her mouth hung open like a moron.

Ozpin cleared his throat delicately. "Well. Ladies. If there's no further objections..."

"None," Yang said softly, smirking openly. "I've already arranged transportation."

"Yeah buh wha?" Weiss said. "I... wait, what? No, sir! I can't..."

"Good luck, ladies. And do recall lives are at stake?" Ozpin said, setting down his coffee with an air of finality.

Weiss had just enough time to whimper in dismay as a giggling Yang took her by the hand and dragged her out of the office.

(*)

It wasn't that Weiss didn't like Yang (though of course, she didn't like Yang and she really never would they were simply too different in all ways even if the girl really was quite pretty), really. She was a very nice girl, and a good sister to Ruby. And really, her interest was flattering.

It was just that Weiss didn't date, period.

She had done the dating scene, more than once. A younger, less certain in the world Weiss Schnee had dated more than one young gentleman, only to have each relationship peter out around the third or so date without the tiniest spark of chemistry.

Later attempts with willing teenage ladies had gone better. It hadn't been hard to notice just from the difference in comfort levels that she was leaning in that direction; a kiss with a boy brought awkward muttering and apologies, a kiss with a girl most often brought... the desire to try that again.

The issues there came from other problems.

A young lady did not want to cuddle up to a girl whose body temperature was five degrees too cold for anyone who was alive. A charming college freshman who had just admitted to herself she liked girls, tended to have some issues when she realized that her date's odd paleness was not the lighting in the restaurant after all, and that white hair was natural. And nobody wanted to date a woman who went out in the middle of the night and came home smelling like smoke and blood two days later.

And so it was that Weiss Schnee had grown comfortable with her loneliness. She had her mother and father, and they supported and accepted her. She had a career that saved many lives. She had made a close friend, in many ways a sister (though she would never admit it openly, she had standards) in Ruby Rose. And she was content.

And then Ruby's sister had latched on like a vise and never quite let go.

The dragon had taken a liking to Weiss from the moment they'd been introduced, for reasons Weiss had never quite gotten. Maybe it was her bond to the girl's adopted sister, maybe it was the way Weiss met her gaze without fear even after learning of her true nature, maybe it was just that Yang took a liking to most everyone. But since that day, every single meeting had been a storm of cuddles, innuendo, flirtation, and about seventeen different invitations to 'spend some time alone'.

Weiss had, eventually, sat down and explained to Yang the problem. That as the descendant of a human and a yuki-onna, Weiss really did not feel comfortable letting others get that close. She had a long list of failed romances and broken friendships, along with a great deal of general ire directed her way simply for the way she looked or felt to the touch. People just shouldn't get close to her, for their own good; it always ended badly and always would.

Yang had replied by leaning against her so closely that Weiss could feel her heart beating, pressing her lips to Weiss's ear, and saying softly, "So if I kiss you, will it taste like ice cream?"

That was new. People were supposed to leave when they found out about her heritage. It wasn't like she wanted them to leave; perpetual datelessness wasn't something she enjoyed... it was just something that happened. It was comforting. People came, they learned, they left, like clockwork.

Oh, one or two had come to accept her heritage, she could admit that. But only Yang had ever chosen to use it as fuel for additional innuendo, even dubbing her 'frost dragon' as a kind of unwanted pet-name. The woman was something that Weiss had never seen in any girl that had shown interest in her: Relentless.

And taking that into consideration, she probably should not have agreed to drive the company car.

Weiss tried her very best to focus on the highway as they drove to the scene, which was made very difficult by the fact that Yang was leaning across the well between the seats, her head resting on Weiss's shoulder like it was her own personal pillow while she idly ran a finger up and down the other girl's thigh without a care in the world.

Not groping, not squeezing. Just slowly. Gently. Running her finger.

Up.

And.

Down.

Weiss did her very best to tell herself it wasn't maddeningly distracting as she tried to drive. She did her very best to tell herself that it was just the dragon being cuddly, seeking body heat (Liar, you don't have any to seek!, he treacherous thoughts reminded her with evil glee), as they tended to do. That the hot breath on her neck and the finger sliding, barely touching the skin, down her bare thigh, tracing around her knee, and sliding back up, was nothing important.

Then on the most recent lap it began to slide under her skirt, and she realized just exactly was a load of crap those earlier thoughts of denial were.

Slamming on the brakes, she pulled over to the side of the highway and put the car into park before yanking Yang's hand away. "S-stop that!"

Yang smiled, her face much, much too close for comfort. Weiss noticed very acutely that she would need to lean in barely an inch if she wanted to...

Weiss's blush got noticeably deeper with that thought. And then only got worse when Yang said, cheerfully, "Fifteen minutes."

"W-wh...?"

"Fifteen minutes," Yang said. "You let me do that for fifteen minutes before you complained. You are so into me."

"I... that... I was just... I was... trying... we are on the job! I am focusing on the job!"

"I like you. You like me," Yang said. "I've dated enough shy girls to spot the signs."

"I am not shy."

"Not usually," Yang said, smirking slightly. "But as soon as someone starts acting like you're beautiful, you start running away. Now whyyyyyy is that?"

"I don't do that," Weiss muttered. "And if I did it would be none of your business." She turned her attention back to the road, gauging traffic to get ready shift out of park and pull back in. "Now, if you excuse me, some us have work to do and killers to catch, so..."

Yang leaned in a little further, nuzzling aside Weiss's hair and kissing the side of her neck.

The universe froze.

For several long seconds there was nothing. No sound beyond the blood pumping in her ears. No sensation other than the blissfully warm lips delicately moving up and down the pale flesh of her throat, sending shivers down her spine with each light brush, prompting as a quiet gasp as Yang softly suckled, bringing for a sigh of bliss as Yang's tongue lightly extended to lick at the her pulse. Weiss was paralyzed, unable to do anything other than lean into the other woman's body, close her eyes as a strong hand rested once again on her thigh and squeezed gently.

Yang nipped gently at her ear, practically doubling her over, and whispered, "We are on the clock. But it's broad daylight. We don't need to rush. Twenty minutes, that's all I need... maybe ten if you're really sensitive..."

Weiss closed her eyes, leaned into the lips and tongue relentlessly teasing her to the point of madness...

And let out a scream of pain.

Yang jumped back as if stung, her eyes wide. "What the heck?! Did I nip too hard? Not hard enough? Are you-"

Weiss held up her right hand, shuddering with a combination of barely contained pleasure and pain, her eyes lidded and gasping for breath. She held up her right hand, showing drops of blood slipping down her wrist from where had formed a small spike of ice and driven it into her palm.

Yang's jaw dropped. "Holy crap. I... I see."

"See... what?" Weiss gasped. "That we are on assignment? That lives could depend on us? That there might be some lonely, terrified child with power he doesn't understand running around for us to find? I put up with your games because I know you mean well under it all. But this is not the time."

"No," Yang said softly. "That you're running even harder than I thought you were. I don't know why, but... staying apart, and alone. It's really important to you."

"You're deranged. You're unprofessional, and we're working, and you're deranged."

"Says the girl who was enjoying herself so much she needed to impale her own hand to get herself to stop." Yang sighed. "You're allowed to have needs. You're allowed to do things you shouldn't, just because you want to. You can throw off duty for a few minutes and act like you have some damn feelings. You don't have to... to run around pretending you're made of ice on the inside."

Weiss smiled bitterly. "But I am. A lot of people were only too happy to let me know that while I was growing up.

"Switch seats with me. You're driving the rest of the way."

(*)

Weiss winced in annoyance at the tightness in her hand. She hadn't pierced a tendon or anything, but she also didn't have any painkillers or even real bandages. She could stop the bleeding on her own, advantages of cold blood and endless access to ice, but it still hurt. Particularly given the fact that it totally unneeded if she hadn't been left at the mercy of that... deranged devil dragon.

Still. They were in the field now. In her element. She could work now.

"There have been four victims," Weiss said. "The first, Veronique Westen, was found fifteen miles from here in the freezer of her university lab. She might literally have been an accident, we don't know for sure; if it was murder, it was very clean, which doesn't match what we normally see in yuki-onna halfbreeds. But three more were found in this park, in rapid succession, frozen solid out in the open in the middle of spring."

"So you think he... or she, I guess... lost control in the park and flash-froze some people by accident?" Yang asked, and Weiss said a small prayer of thank you as she proved she could be professional, if only in tiny bursts.

"We can't know that for sure," Weiss said. "But we can know it was three killings over several days, and all three were within a half-mile of each other, right in here. If it was by accident, then she feels safe in this park for some reason. She's hiding nearby, unable to understand what's going on and hurting anyone who gets close to try and help. If he's doing it on purpose, the park is his killing ground. Either way, we'll find them here."

Yang blinked. "If she's doing it by accident or he's doing it on purpose?"

Weiss shrugged. "The girls tend to react with panic, the boys tend to go on a power trip. Don't ask me why... maybe it's because pure-bloods are always female, so something about the power and the male mind mixing together just makes it snap."

Yang nodded. "Gotcha. Hey, you're kinda awesome at this, y'know? It's sexy to see you all confident and controlling."

Weiss rolled her eyes. "Nice try, but that's not a skill I'm proud of. There are only about five or six of these cases per year, but they all come to me. You'd be shocked how fast it gets old to have the horrible dark fate you might have had if things had gone differently rubbed in your face."

"So, we split up and search?" Yang asked.

"You sound like your sister. No, we don't split up. I know what I'm doing and you don't, so follow my lead."

Yang smiled. "So, I get to walk behind you?"

"... Beside. And eyes forward!"

"Oooooh, let's hold hands! For security."

"I miss Ruby," Weiss muttered as Yang interlaced her fingers through Weiss's good hand, making a small noise of satisfaction.

"I bet people will think we're on a date," Yang chirped.

"So much miss Ruby."

It was a city park, and not a big one. The trees were far apart, and there really wasn't a lot of cover, so Weiss assumed that the park was not the place their target was waiting so much as near it. Still, looking around was never a bad plan. Spot possible avenues of attack, hiding places, buildings nearby that might offer a viewpoint...

She jumped slightly as Yang slid an arm around her waist. "Dear lord, you are relentless."

"Only when I'm after something great," Yang confirmed without the slightest hint of shame.

"How many times have I turned you down, just today? In the last..." Ugh, had it really only been two hours? "...two hours?"

"None," Yang said.

"... … … You haven't been counting well."

"No, I mean, you melt at the touch," Yang said cheerfully. "You lean into every gesture. You practically purr when when I get close. You want me to pull you off somewhere and rip all your clothes off. Every time you say 'no,' it's 'no we're working' not 'no I don't like that.' You're so desperate for a little release that I can smell your hormones from here. "

"You cannot! Dragons don't have smell that acu—I mean, there are no hormones!" Weiss protested.

"I hate to be stereotyping things, Weiss, I know it's a touchy subject," Yang said mildly. "But in general a girl doesn't sit there moaning while you nibble on her neck unless she's a little into you."

"I... I... I... I was not moaning. I was... gasping. At an unusual sensation. Not a good one. Just unusual. It was... scientific interest."

"I've had my hand on your butt for forty-five seconds, and rather than yell at me, you have, once again, leaned into it," Yang said with an air of complete triumph.

"... I hate you."

"Liaaaaaaaaaaar," Yang said in a sing-song voice. "And its a full minute now."

Weiss twisted out of the other girl's grip, silently cursing at the shiver that ran down her spine at the motion, and said, "Look. What do I have to do to get you to stop molesting-"

"Cuddling!"

"-me?" Weiss finished.

"Stop enjoying it?"

"Just because I'm in a bit of a... a drought romantically doesn't mean I like a crazy dragon sucking on my neck! My hormones might be a little... unreliable, I admit. I admit that you're pretty, it's not that I don't think so. And I don't... dislike the attention, totally. It's kind of... well, it's not awful to think I'm attractive," she said, annoyed with herself at the admission. "It's just that I have my job, and my friends, and family, and my life. And I'm happy and comfortable and there's no room for anything else right now. I've never been comfortable before. I'm enjoying it, and it will only be upset by... by..."

"A wanton and beautiful seductress?"

"Complications," Weiss said. "So I don't mind you looking, but I just can't let it be more than that, all right? I just want to enjoy the quiet and the acceptance and finally feeling like a little less of a freak."

"A little less of a what?" Yang asked, her eyes wide with something not unlike horror. "You think..."

"Do you feel that?" Weiss snapped suddenly.

"Do you mean terror that you think you're a freak, or indignation that you think I think you're a freak?! Because it's both!"

"No. A cool breeze..." Weiss murmured, her eyes scanning the park for some sign of the source. She had barely noticed it until it had already passed, so picking up a direction was damnably hard, but then the wind picked up another trace... "This way!" Weiss snarled, turning to face a line of warehouses on the southern edge of the park, maybe a half-mile run.

"Because it's a windy day?" Yang asked in confusion as they sprinted.

"Because you smell hormones?" Weiss asked with dark amusement. "I smell snow."

"You don't get out of our talk that easily! Do you think you don't deserve to be attractive, is that the problem? Or-"

"Not the time!"

(*)

Yang touched the metal door of the warehouse, her eyes widening. "It's cold. I don't mean like metal, I mean like ice."

"She's here. Or she was recently," Weiss muttered.

"How do you know 'she'?"

"Because 'he' would probably be attacking us already. Law of averages."

"Unless this is a setup," Yang said. "Look around. Only two doors in. This one, and the shipping entrance that needs a motor to open. 'He' cuts that, then gets between us and this..."

"Then 'he' is facing a adult, pureblood dragon and a Yuki-onna hybrid with vastly more experience than himself."

"... Point. All right, let's go kick this guy's ass!" Yang cheered. "If I get the killing blow, you have to go out to dinner with me this weekend. Wear something slinky."

"If there was ever a time to shut off, now would be it," Weiss muttered as she worked the handle. The lock had been frozen and pushed out, as if they needed more proof.

Thankfully, it wasn't a terribly hard search, once they got inside. The building was long abandoned, but from the look of it, it had once been a shipping warehouse. This wasn't where the goods were stored long-term, just where they rested on docks to be loaded into and off of the trucks that pulled into the main entrance. There was some shelving, some storage space, but for the most part boxes would not be in this room for very long, ideally. It was a waystation, not the final stop for anyone.

Weiss hoped that also applied to the slip of white she saw in the darkened room.

The girl wasn't even hiding, really. She was huddling behind a pile of overturned shelving, curled up in a fetal position, and Weiss could hear soft whimpering. She didn't even appear to be aware anyone had entered.

Newly awakened, scared, her powers flaring randomly and killing anyone who gets close. She's traumatized, the poor thing, Weiss thought, her heart leaping into her throat as she thought, not for the first time or the last, how easily she could have been this girl.

She came up closer, the girl still curled up and whimpering. Her jeans and t-shirt were torn and stained, and a bloody, discarded purse lay next to her. If she was aware the two women had entered the building with her, she showed no signs.

Weiss winced, and pressed a hand to the girl's shoulder. "Hello, little one. I know it's scary, but we're here, okay? We'll take care of you."

Yang, for once being professional, picked up the bloody purse. "Here, I'll see if I can... ah-ha, wallet. Um, looks like her name is Veronique Westen. Try that."

"Thanks," Weiss said, turning back to the terrified girl. "Veronique? Can you hear... me..."

Her voice trailed off, as a lump of fear settled into her heart. Veronique Westen.

The first victim?

The whimpers from the young girl huddled beneath her abruptly ceased, and a pair of cold, stormy gray eyes locked onto her own.

Gray eyes... oh n-

Weiss leaped backward as fast as she could... and it was just a second too late. The already chilled air of the warehouse was a sudden blizzard, a pillar of spiraling frost so cold and ferocious that the Beacon agent was sent tumbling like a leaf in the wind for several long, painful seconds before finding her feet, clutching her arm to her chest.

The ice had been so cold it burned, leaving a jagged mark across her arm. Weiss suppressed a shiver that was as much terror as chill. "Yang! Get to cover!"

"She's losing control! I thought you were the expert on th—" Yang screamed as she dove for for cover... again, just slightly too late.

A icy wave roared over the young dragon, swallowing her cry of shock and carrying her across half the length of the warehouse to slam into the wall, pinned there like a fly in amber. Weiss could actually see her expression through the crystal-clear ice, a mix of pain and shock.

Weiss gritted her teeth in rage, her eyes locking on the fading storm. "No. She isn't losing control at all, is she?"

The warehouse was frozen over, a thick layer of glittering ice covering the majority of the surface. The young girl's eyes locked onto Weiss, an alien coldness in them, and she began to change, her outward appearance shimmering like snowflakes as it slipped off her. The woman that stood in her place was taller, inhumanly beautiful, without any of the flaws or mess of the girl. Her torn and stained clothes were gone, replaced with an immaculate white kimono a shade paler than skin and hair even more white than Weiss's own. Only the eyes remained the same: the cold, pitiless, stormy gray of a pure-blooded yuki-onna at her worst.

"Weiss Schnee," she said softly. With dignity, always with dignity. "Daughter of the traitor Setsuko, who abandoned her family for yours."

"She's not a traitor," Weiss snarled.

"She had you," the yuki-onna said. "A loyal child would have smothered you in the crib. A good child would not have bore you at all."

"Shut. Your. Mouth!" Weiss snarled, calling up the ice in her own blood, and sending it roaring forth, a ferocious, unrestrained wave.

The creature did not quite smile, as she raised a hand and twisted her wrist. A countering wave of frost met Weiss's attack, swallowing it whole and detonating wildly, a storm of razor icicles spreading outward in an arc at the half-breed like pellets from a shotgun. Weiss fell to her knees and tried to gather the ice from the ground in a shield, but it ignored her call, answering the commands of the more powerful pure-blood to refuse her service.

Desperate, she covered her face with her hands and wrapped her own ice around her limbs as a makeshift shield, and felt a dozen hammerblows as blades skipped off, and two deep stabs of agony as blades slipped through her armor and cut deep.

Stupid. Stupid. I can't fight her head on. She's stronger than I'll ever be. She's made this whole building her fortress and I'm the intruder. I can't leave Yang, but... but... no. She'll follow me. I'm the target, and... I don't know. Maybe Yang will be okay, I don't know, but I have to do something...!

Another wave of ice tore at her, and Weiss snapped her own hand up, a razor-thin blade of focused power, slicing into the attack to tear it to pieces, a move that had served her well over a dozen cases keeping her own half-blooded brethren under control. The bolt of arctic power split in half...

… and came back together, slamming her full in the chest.

Weiss slammed into the ground so hard stars flashed behind her eyes. She couldn't even scream, her entire body so cold that her lungs simply felt like solid chunks of ice in her chest.

"You see, then?" the pureblood said gently, stepping forward, her soft white slippers finding perfect traction on the ice. "Less than a minute. You are among the greatest of your impure breed, and you stood against me for less than a minute. You see why your existence is an abomination? You lessen us. Your mother was a petulant brat to leave with your ape of a father, and your honored grandmother was... ill-advised in allowing her to do so. You a problem that should have been dealt with many years ago."

"So... so she sent you...?" Weiss muttered through the pain. Her tone contained a great deal of agony, but no surprise.

"Not as such. But when she learns of my actions in cleaning her family tree, she will be pleased, I am sure," the pureblood said, her fingernails coating over with layers of frost until they formed talons. "She is a powerful woman. My own daughter will grow up in her favor, and be the better for it. Family is very important to our kind, child. At least, those of us who value where they came from over their base instincts."

"Shut... up... about... my... mother!" Weiss snarled, tears filling her eyes and freezing in them, the pain only making her angrier. "I don't care... what you say about me. I've gotten your... crap... and worse... all my damn worthless life. But you shut up... about my mother!"

The woman tilted her head slightly to one side, as if studying a fascinating insect, and the blades of ice on her hand melded together, merging into an elegant rapier that she leveled at Weiss's throat, pressing it lightly in. "You were right about one thing, at least. Your life was worthless."

"Well. That explains that," said a voice so thick with fury it was barely distinguishable as human, much less female. The air in the frozen warehouse filled with sudden jungle-hot humidity as a flame like a blast furnace ignited far too close for anyone's comfort.

The yuki-onna's eyes widened in shock as she spun, her weapon dissolving into a shield... which shattered into specks of frost as a ball of searing flame slammed into her.

Weiss found the heat so close to be uncomfortable, but took a certain satisfaction in the scorch marks on the immaculate robe and the elegantly coiffed hair unraveling as the snow woman was sent sliding along the frozen floor like a hockey puck.

"Hey, sexy," Yang said, stepping over the prone half-blood to put herself between the two women. "You miss me?"

"Insufferable," Weiss muttered.

"Remember, if I get the killing blow? Dinner. Slinky dress."

"Deranged."

"Impossible," the yuki-onna muttered. "They said... the partner was supposed to be a human! Dust weapons, but..."

"You've heard of Ruby! That's sweet," Yang said. "I'm the girl who used to beat her up for the last cup of pudding, nice to meet you. Now. You seem like a nice lady. You're a sadistic bitch and people like you are the reason the hottest girl at Beacon thinks she's a freak of nature, but I like your hair. I'm going to burn your face off now."

"Presumptuous ape," the yuki-onna muttered, the blizzard beginning to whirl around her again. "Your corpse will not defrost for a millennium."

Yang smiled and made a 'come-here' gesture, sparks dancing between her fingers. "You not paying attention? I got out of your worst all on my own, baby. There's enough flame in one hand to turn you into a puddle any time, ice queen."

"Hottest girl in Beacon...?" Weiss murmured half-deliriously.

"Sorry," Yang said, her bared power reducing the ice at her feet to mist. "Should have said prettiest. The hottest one is me.."

The yuki-onna snarled, a veritable glacier erupting from her hands, the floor of the warehouse shattering under the weight of it, jagged spears larger than Yang herself leading the way as it tore at her.

Yang smirked. "One. Hand."

She stepped forward, the fire igniting as she delivered a right cross directly into the incoming wave of ice, the flames tearing deep into it. Chunks of ice larger than cars went flying as a cloud of boiling-hot steam rolled through the freezing air.

"Careful... don't wanna die..." Weiss murmured.

"What are you...?" the yuki-onna gaped, her mouth hanging open at the sight. Ten tons of ice scattered like bowling pins tended to do that.

"Weiss's knight in shining armor!" Yang chirped. "I get a kiss, right? I mean, this counts as saving a princess, I think."

"Hate you... hate you so much..." Weiss murmured.

"Ah. You're its lover," the yuki-onna growled, her face twisting in disgust.

"Lover?" Weiss shrieked.

"IT?!" Yang snarled, a clear tinge of red slipping into her violet eyes. Her mind went redder still, drawing up images of an older man with cold eyes, smiling through blood on his lips as he boasted about the innocent families he had slaughtered, her people. That kind of unreasoning, mindless hate had always gotten on Yang's bad side.

Directed at someone she actually knew and liked? Someone who had been such a good friend to her little sister, someone she personally couldn't stop admiring no matter how she tried?

The red in Yang's eyes grew deeper, bloody and vicious.

The air in the building descended into sudden chill once again. The few windows in the building darkened as the sun outside was covered by clouds. "Mortals. Apes. Filthy half-breed abominations," the yuki-onna intoned. The ice in the building flowed around her like a living thing, and the windows shattered, a sudden blizzard roaring in. "Nothing in this cesspit of a city is worth preserving. It can all be buried along with you animals."

Ice so cold it was nearly black, wind like a hurricane, the bared power of an earthbound spirit making the atmosphere so thick with frost it was like moving through an ocean.

Yang didn't seem impressed.

Her red eyes began to glow like embers, matching well the snarl of fury on her face, and her hair ignited, white-hot and brilliant. "How many times do I have to tell you?" an echo falling into her voice, as though something massive and snarling were speaking at the same time as her. The flames wreathing her body took on, just briefly, the appearance of a snarling reptilian face...

Yang smiled, and there was no amusement in it. "One. Hand."

She lunged, the dragonfire gathered in her palm leaving a trail of light like a laser as she lunged, and Weiss screwed her eyes shut just barely in time and...

The light shone through like she hadn't even bothered, and the explosion buffeted her even through the thick layer of ice coating her body. And yet, it was oddly silent, and Weiss felt no heat at all, like something about it wasn't entirely physical.

She opened her eyes, a few seconds later, and her jaw dropped.

The ice was gone. Eradicated, and the blizzard outside had vanished like it had never existed. Where the yuki-onna had been standing was a crater fountaining thick black smoke, tiny fires flickering all over the warehouse. Burning on solid concrete, and yet they still didn't feel hot, and Weiss began to assume that dragonfire and the laws of physics were not terribly well connected.

Yang was nowhere to be seen.

"Oh, no," she murmured, rising shakily to her feet and limping into the smoke. "Yang! Yang! Please... come on, you have to be okay, you... you crazy...! Come on! Yang!" she shrieked, panic lending strength to her limbs. "Oh, God, please, please, your sister will never forgive me if you die and... and I'm sorry, okay?! It's me! There, I said it! You're a sweetheart and you think I'm the prettiest girl in Beacon and I push you away because I have issues, are you happy?! I'll say it a dozen times over if you're alive!"

A finger tapped her lightly on the shoulder, and a voice said, "Once is good."

Weiss spun, a brilliant smile igniting on her face...

And Yang lifted her bodily off the ground, smirking wickedly, lines of flame flickering out of her hair, making her look feral and wild and absolutely the most beautiful thing Weiss had ever seen. "I think I rescued the princess. You know what that means."

"Um, look, I-" Weiss began.

She was cut off when Yang slid and arm around her neck and drew her forward to kiss her full on the mouth.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmffffff!" Weiss said.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..." Yang said.

Weiss tried to fight back, she really did. She was tired and in pain, and it was hard. That was all. Her arms slid around Yang's neck because she was trying to escape.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmfffffffff..." Weiss said.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..." Yang said.

On the other hand. Yang's lips were very soft, and warm, and gentle, and her hands were so strong and firm, lifting her off the ground like she weighed nothing at all and roaming up and down her back. She gasped at the motion, and Yang's tongue slid into her mouth, all warmth and sweetness and raw, perfect desire without any deception.

Oh, screw it.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..." Weiss said, entangling her hands in Yang's hair and pulling herself in as tightly as she could.

Finally, Yang thought.

The kiss lasted longer than most of Weiss's relationships, but eventually air became an issue and the two girls separated with a soft murmur of approval.

Yang smiled brilliantly. Weiss gasped for air, a blush rushing into her cheeks. Notably, however, she didn't push herself away, just let herself hang in Yang's arms and enjoy the closeness. "So... um..."

"Hell of a reward, princess," Yang purred, her smile very big and very smug.

Weiss sighed, and knelt in, leaning on the other girl for support... and noticeably, also slipping her arms around her in something not entirely unlike a hug. "Don't think too much into it. You... won a bet. That's all."

"Whatever you say, frost dragon," Yang said with a wink.

Weiss coughed, blushing even more furiously than she already was. "Well. Um. If I recall, there were two bets at play. You did land the killing blow, and a Schnee always pays her debts. I guess... one dinner doesn't sound so bad."

"Slinky dress?"

Weiss snorted. "Only if you have one that hides the bandages."

Yang slid her arms under, lifting Weiss up to carry her like a bride, winking. "As the princess commands."

"Deranged." Weiss muttered.

But when Yang leaned in to kiss her again, she didn't pull away, just accepted the gesture. It lacked the ferocious passion of the first embrace; just a soft, gentle brushing of their lips.

It felt warm.

(*)

Author's Note: Another request-fic for Radiant, though a much older one; I actually wrote this months ago when we first started talking over agents and she wasn't sure on the pairings. I started joking about Yang/Weiss, and in turn she challenged me to write her a Freezerburn fic that she liked, and if I succeeded she would make it the pairing.

I succeeded.

But then I couldn't post it, because it was too early! So now that there's been a bit more buildup, here it is. Hope you enjoy as much as she did! And as always, check my profile for links to other works, and of course my new Tumblr.