( * * )
Yang Xiao Long, by her own admission, was competitive. Whether it was sparring with Pyrrha, playing Remnant: The Game with her team, or engaging in snark-to-snark combat with Weiss, Yang played to win no matter what.
Yang had also prepared herself for when-or-if Ruby got a special guy or girl. She realized, long ago, that she'd probably compete with them for Ruby's attention and affection. In fact, probability wasn't even a factor.
So when Ruby finally did hook-up with a girl – something that surprised no one – in their third year, she was as happy as any overprotective sister could be for her, and was ready to wage the 'War of Affection'.
However, Yang was unprepared for four things:
First, Ruby's girlfriend was proud thief and ex-Cinder-minion Emerald Sustrai, who, along with her partner Mercury, had decided to pay her debt to society by becoming a Hunter rather than doing it behind bars, with Team RWBY 'awarded' custody at the start of their second year.
It was... an interesting year, to be sure.
Second, the Vytal Festival was being hosted by Mistral that year, and no one except Pyrrha and maybe Weiss was prepared for how freaking cold it got at night.
Third, Haven Academy's ventilation system was crap, forcing many to either bundle up or cuddle up.
It was these three points that led to the current situation.
"I'm her sister, we've always cuddle when it gets cold."
"Well, I'm her girlfriend: shouldn't that mean I get first dibs on cuddles?"
Yang, Emerald, and Ruby stood in the center of one of Haven's common rooms, with Yang and Emerald standing on either side of Ruby, surrounded by occupied sleeping bags and mats. Teams JNPR, SSSN, and RWBY – a.k.a. RWBY(em) – came up with the tradition to have a mass slumber party the weekend before their field assignments, mainly so that Blake and Weiss can spend time and cuddle with Sun and Neptune respectively before school and the festival picked up.
Thus, the other members of the teams, with the exception of Scarlet, Sage, and Mercury, were bundled up with their special person and enjoying the show.
"Come on, Em, you get to cuddle with Ruby pretty much all the time: in the dorm, by 'your tree', the library, even during lunch!" Yang wore her usual orange tank-top and black shorts, since, thanks to her semblance, she wasn't really bothered by the cold.
"Yeah, but this would be our first it's-cold-outside-slumber-party-snuggle, and those don't come around often. There's no way I'm missing out on that." Emerald had on a loose dark-green sleep-shirt that reached down to her thighs, the edges of black shorts peeking out from its hem.
Off to the side, Sun snickered. "'It's-cold-outside-slumber-party-snuggle'? That's a thing?"
Beside him, Blake looked up from her book, smiling coyly, "Well, I would assume so, since it's what we're doing."
Sun solemnly nodded, "Good point."
"Guys," Ruby said, exasperated, "I have my own sleeping bag you know. I don't have to cuddle with someone every night." She wore her usual rose-printed sleep pants, but had traded her black tank-top for a simple t-shirt.
Emerald shook her head, "Special occasion. And special occasions call for special occasion cuddles."
"Agreed," Yang smirked before turning back to Emerald, "And I'm sure there'll be plenty of other chances for your 'snuggles'. Besides, it's twenty degrees outside*: did you forget about my semblance? Ruby will have a nice, toasty night's sleep."
"And you have a one-person sleeping bag, which would make things real uncomfortable real fast for two people. I, on the other hand, have a double-sized, Schnee Camper's mat: that way if things get too hot – literally, Merc," Emerald called out to her partner, who called out 'killjoy' from his sleeping bag, "Ruby and I can just separate until things get comfortable again."
Yang turned to Weiss, sharing a similar mat with a flannel-covered Neptune, "Weiss?"
The heiress rolled her eyes, "She just asked for a catalog, Yang. It's not my business what she orders from it."
Neptune frowned, "Wait, Emerald's technically a convict, right? How was she able to order something? And how did she pay for it?"
Emerald shrugged, "I have my ways."
Ruby looked at her girlfriend with a mix of worry and suspicion. "… Okay, I'm not going to tell Goodwitch or Ozpin, but we're still having a talk about this in the morning."
"Looking forward to it."
"And that's another thing," Yang said, a tone of triumph in her voice. She pointed at Emerald, "You are a convict, technically. What if someone who isn't us or our professors walks in and sees you with Ruby? How can we trust that they won't start blabbing to the nearest reporter about the leader of Team RWBY sleeping with a thief? Literally, Merc," She added quickly, ignoring the grumble in response.
As improbable as it was, it was a valid argument. Ever since the battle during the Vytal Festival their first year, Team RWBY was declared the 'Champions of Vale' for their efforts, with special attention given to Ruby herself. Overnight, she became a household name kingdom-wide – world-wide by the end of the week – the young leader's popularity on par with Pyrrha's and the Schnee family. If word got out that a 'Champion of Vale' was in a relationship with a known criminal, the media would have a field day and extend it to a field month. And, while Ironwood had backed off a bit, 'Papa Schnee' was still breathing down their necks over the whole arrangement, looking for anything to get Emerald and Mercury behind bars and away from his daughter.
All eyes turned to Emerald, waiting for her response.
The thief tapped her foot and sighed, "Alright, Xiao Long," she said, "I was trying to play nice here, but you forced my hand."
Yang's triumphant expression was replaced with a bemused one, and waited for Emerald to continue.
"You're Ruby's sister: your cuddles are rated G, at best. As her girlfriend, my cuddles can be rated G, PG, and PG13 – if she wants – which can include adorable head-butting, cheek-nuzzling, snuggling into chests, and sleepy kisses, which may have a little bit of tongue." She smirked and fluttered her eyes at a very flustered Ruby before continuing, walking over to her mat and picking up the blanket draped on it, "I am also the girlfriend who got her hands on this big, soft, cotton lined thermal blanket," Emerald wrapped it around her shoulders for emphasis. "And last, but definitely not least," she reached into a backpack sitting next to the mat and pulled out a magazine, "I also have the latest edition of 'Weapons'. The small arms special edition."
Everyone just stared in the following silence.
It was then that Yang remembered the fourth and most important thing that she wasn't prepared for when Ruby got a girlfriend:
Emerald played dirty.
Ruby and Yang gaped at Emerald, the biggest, smuggest grin plastered on her face. Yang gave her sister a sidelong glance. She saw Ruby's eyes flittered between her and Emerald. Her jaw dropped lower when Ruby sheepishly looked away, chuckling nervously.
"Ah, come on!" Yang protested, "That's cheating! You're cheating!"
Emerald rolled her eyes, "Well, of course I'm cheating: I'm a thief, remember? And for the record, I did play fair at first."
In their respective sleeping bags, Ren and Pyrrha quickly covered Nora and Jaune's mouths before they could say anything, slowly shaking their heads.
Yang floundered a few moments, trying to come up with a counter argument, offer, anything. Eventually, her shoulders slumped. "Alright," She sighed, "You win."
"Finally," Weiss moaned, "Now can we please relax and get some sleep? It's almost midnight, for heaven's sake."
"Midnight on a Saturday night, Weiss," Blake said, "But, yes, I'm actually pretty tired."
"Too tired for snuggles?"
Blake smiled at Sun, "I didn't say that."
As the others began getting comfortable, Yang stood at her spot, rubbing her eyes, when she felt a hand on her arm.
Ruby gave her a smile, "Next time. Promise."
Yang smiled back. "Night sis."
"Night Yang." Yang watched as Ruby padded over and climbed into Emerald's sleeping mat, snatching the magazine from her amused girlfriend's hand. She went to her sleeping bag and climbed in, let out a sigh, and closed her eyes.
"I'd offer a pint of ice cream if I had some, Xiao Long…"
"Shut up, Mercury."
( * * )
*That's in Fahrenheit. For you metric people, that's -6° Celsius.
A/N: This was written over the course of a few hours because:
1. I've been stuck on Emerald X Ruby for the past couple of weeks.
2. There aren't enough Emerald X Ruby fics out there.
3. Eh, why the hell not.
Extra (because I forgot to put it in but still wanted to share):
"Why don't you three just cuddle together with Ruby in the middle?" Pyrrha asked.
"Because the last time we tried that," Ruby said vapidly, "I woke up with bruised ribs." She gave her sister and girlfriend very pointed looks. For their part, Yang and Emerald had the decency to look embarrassed.