Last time on Memories…
"No, we didn't see each other for another two years… and by then," Blake frowned, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath before she went on. "I finally saw what he meant… when said that I saw it, I'd understand."
Yang's expression faltered again when she saw the look on Blake's face as she explained she saw what her friend, Adam, had meant. "What did you see?" she asked, shifting closer to her partner so that their shoulders bumped a bit.
Blake took another breath before opening her golden eyes and staring out across the city. "I saw a fellow Faunus…" she paused, as if trying to force the word to her lips. "Die."
Yang stared as a new weight descended on the pair when the word was uttered. A heavier feeling pulled down on Yang's shoulders as Blake looked as if she was just recalling a horrible stomach ache. "Two years… but that means you were only…"
"Ten," Blake nodded. "I was ten and I saw someone die. One of my kind." she pulled her knee up and to her chest, wrapping her arms around it in an almost defensive posture. "It was what I needed to see to understand what Adam meant."
"What happened?" Yang all but whispered, raising a hand to plant it atop Blake's shoulder.
Blake sighed softly and looked up with harder, more distant eyes as she gathered breath. "I was on my way home from school…"
Blake nibbled on the small treat one of her friends from school had gotten her, a tasty icecream bar in the shape of a fish! She had almost ripped into it at school, but she decided to save it in the provided fridge for lunches until the walk home after school. And now here she was happily nibbling the treat after a fairly nice day at school.
Up ahead on the sidewalk, she spotted the very same shop where she'd met Adam. It felt like a lifetime ago actually now that she mentioned it, in the end the shop had agreed to change its policies towards Faunus after the fiasco since during the struggle its windows had been broken and the owner had launched a formal "apology" however grudging it had been that Faunus would not be discriminated against inside the shop anymore.
It had been a victory that week for The White Fang and Blake was happy to know she'd been involved in it. Even if it ended in some arrests and injuries, the White Fang's leadership and some sympathetic humans had gotten most of their comrades out of prison. Not all, but to Blake it was still a victory.
She paused in front of the shop and looked into the window. She spotted two Faunus, but otherwise it was mostly humans around, no surprise. But since the Faunus were animatedly chatting and laughing without being harassed she would take it as another step in the right direction.
Smile on her lips she turned on her heel and continued down the sidewalk, now humming a soft little tune as her cat ears twitched back and further in time with the tune to the humming. She noted the heat had kept many people inside their homes today as there was very little anyone walking, instead there was just a lot of traffic.
That suited her fine, less people to possibly bug her. Human kids always teased her, or wanted to touch her ears. This way she could look forward to a nice calm walk home!
Blake paused and her ear twitched, turning her head she peered down curiously into a back alley that lead behind some apartment building. She stared with ears forward, listening for further noise. She got it, it sounded soft but that was someone, and it sounded like they were hurt. She considered what to do. Should she call for help? Go see?
A hacking cough followed by trashcans toppling over.
That was all Blake needed to hear before she ran down the alley as fast as her legs could carry her. Her feet padded along until she turned the corner and spotted a Faunus slumped over against a dumpster, his white shirt stained crimson and face bruised and lip torn. One of his ears was half gone, as if cut off.
Blake gasped and rushed forward, "Hey! Mister!" she called, rushing up to him.
He looked up, one eye bruised over, the other upon seeing her widened and he coughed. "N-No! Get out of here!" he waved her off, surprising her, he was obviously hurt!
She ignored him, moving to his side and looking at his wounded side. "You need help!" she urged, concern moving across her features. "Come on, I know some people around here who can help!" she reached up, grabbing his hand and attempting to tug him along.
That was when they heard a drawling. "Come out, little doggy." echo down the alley behind them. The man's eyes widened and he gripped her own, pulling against the dumpster so she pressed against the wall and it.
He looked frantic, frightened. "Do not move." he hissed to her, frightening her. He softened his voice, "Listen…?"
"Blake," The Cat Faunus whispered.
"Blake," he broke into a slight smile. "Stay here, and do not come out, do not make any sound, now matter what you hear, alright? When it quiets down, you can leave. Don't come looking for me, alright go straight-" there was a laugh, the voice getting closer, the footsteps could be heard by her ears. "Go straight home." the man whispered now.
Blake didn't understand, he was hurt… but he sounded so scared. "But… what about your injuries?"
"I'll be fine," he smiled. "I'm tougher than I look."
"There you are!" A voice called from behind the man, sounding giddy. "Thought I lost you boy, but you left a nice trail to follow."
"Stay down." Whispered the man. Standing and turning to face the other person who Blake couldn't see. "Easy to talk tough when you have a weapon, human." the man moved off out of view as he walked towards the other person, a human. With a weapon.
A tsk. "If I didn't have this, you'd maul me like the dog you are," the voice dripped with mocking. "Just like one of your guys did to my uncle a couple years back, got two scars down his face from your damned claws." a click.
"Probably improved his looks." The man's own voice wavered, but there was definitely his own mocking present, his footsteps stopped.
"Watch your damn tone, Dog," the human hissed, voice now venomous. "Or I'll put you down."
"You're going to anyways."
"I might not." the human said with an air of carelessness. "I might be persuaded to let you go."
"And how might I persuade you?"
"Get down on your hands and knees and bark like the dog you are for starters." There now a smirk in the voice. And Blake's own anger rose, she wanted to storm out there and tell that human off. But she remembered the man's words and so, she stayed put.
There was silence, finally, the human said. "Well? What, losing your ear make you deaf? Need a trea-"
There was a spit. Splat. Then an aggravated growl. "You shouldn't have done that, mutt."
"I actually enjoyed it-"
Blake jumped, her ears twitched and she reached up to plant a hand firmly over her mouth when she recognized that was a gunshot she just heard. A casing struck the ground, a cough before a thud. She briefly heard some footsteps, then the human spoke again. "Told you I'd put you down."
"Go…" a wet wheeze. "To Hell."
"Damn dog," the human said. And Blake felt tears welling in her eyes as the thought struck her that if the human found her he could… he would…
Footsteps echoed out, they were getting further away. She closed her eyes, counting. Humans ears couldn't hear as well as Faunus ears, and so if she stopped hearing his steps he wouldn't be able to hear hers. Finally, they faded out.
She broke from the dumpster and looked for the man. She stopped and gasped, falling back onto her rear when she saw him laying on the ground, arm laid across his bleeding gut, and then two more bloody wounds across his chest. Which wasn't moving… nothing about him moved.
She crawled forward, looking at his face. "H-Hey!" she said, reaching out and placing a hand to his forehead, she peered over and saw his eyes open… and staring lifelessly at the sky, mouth half open and spittle of blood coating his parted lips. She felt her stomach wrench and she leapt back against the dumpster, staring at the man.
He was dead… that human killed him. Just like that… for no reason! Her mind struggled to comprehend why he would do that… There was hating a Faunus… but killing them? She brought her knees to her chest and stared at the man until more people arrived. One called the police and soon... Blake's parents arrived to see her telling her story to the police.
She was dismissed... and she ran into her mothers arms and cried for all the tears she was worth.
Blake's eyes stung as she continued to stare out at the city. She reached up, using a finger to brush away the old tears and sigh, releasing her inner turmoil in her breath hoping to keep her composure. "In the end… I never learned his name before it happened. All I knew is… looking at it now, he'd saved me."
Yang stared in silent shock at her partner. Who just finished telling a tale that honestly both chilled her and made fury take hold in her heart. "Did they ever find out who…?" she prompted, praying they found the asshole who'd killed someone for simply being a Faunus.
"…Yes, they did." Blake whispered. "The evidence at the scene, three casings… no witnesses, no fingerprints. My testimony… it wasn't enough." She wrapped her arms tighter around her knee. "Because I was a Faunus. A kid. But I knew, that voice… I would never forgot it."
Yang stared, then she moved forward and wrapped her arms around her partner, pulling her close until Blake was leaning against the blonde. Yang's heart went out to her, it did. Yang had seen people die, but never like that, not under those sorts of circumstances. "I'm so sorry." she said into Blake's hair.
"It wasn't your fault…" Blake responded, sounding oddly detached as she reached up and wrapped a singular arm around Yang.
"We don't have to continue this discussion, we can go back inside, or-" Yang stopped when Blake shook her head.
"No, this… I need to get this out," Blake said as she looked at her partner, eyes firm but sad. "I want you to understand… a bit more about me, you're my friend and partner. And it will help, for when the others eventually ask about my past." she forced a small smile. "Just… bear with me."
"Alright," Yang nodded, looking Blake over. She didn't want to know, but Blake seemed resolute, so. The blonde brawler asked. "What happened then?"
"Then…" Blake's eyes lit with a flame and a frown formed on her lips. "I got angry."
"And I went to find Adam."
Yeah, that was dark, I know, hell, I depressed myself with that! But I feel it's the sort of thing that pushes someone like Blake into getting hardcore weapons training and yeah... so, Read and Review, the usual deal. I'mma go be happy.