Linked in Life and Love

Act I: From Life to Love

Chapter One: Warmth

Blake squinted her eyes against the sudden onslaught of light. She flung her arm over her face, trying to chase away the evil glare that had woken her so suddenly. Her cat ear flicked as a small breeze passed over it, the instinctive motion sending a sudden shot of pain.

Oh, Dust, my head, she thought through the dull ache in her skull. She moved her arm back down, grimacing as she did. Uh… why am I so sore…?

Her ear flicked again as another breeze drifted past. She blinked blearily, the blurry image of Yang's bunk above her slowly coming into focus. She turned her head to the side, regretting it instantly as the unforgiving morning sun blazed at her from the window. She threw up her hand to protect her eyes.

What… what happened last night?

She tried to dredge up memories of the previous day, her pounding head not helping matters. Another breeze made her ear flick again, much to her annoyance.

Okay… it was the last day of classes for the week. Yang suggested we do something fun in Vale… bright lights… a carnival?... no, an arcade. Ruby made me play that dancing game… Weiss kept losing at skeeball… got flustered. Her lips curled up at the thought of the Ice Queen, red-faced and flustered at failing at a 'children's game'. Yang tried the punching machine… broke the punching machine… argued with the owner… got us thrown out… then… then…

Blake frowned, her mind getting foggier as she dug further into the night. Her ear flicked again at another breeze.

Went back to our room… still early… Ruby suggested… movie night? Some… action flick… Yang's choice… Dumb, but fun. Then…

Another breeze, another flick of the ear.

Then… it got… warm?... Uncomfortable?

Breeze. Flick.

I was… scared? Couldn't find…

Breeze. Flick.

Velvet… Infirmary? Lockdown… burning…

Breeze. Flick.

Ruby… Yang… Weiss… tears… lips…

Breeze. Fli-

...soft… hands…

Breeze. Flick. Flick, flick, flick, flick.

Blake's eyes shot open.


She looked at the window. It was shut.

...not… a breeze?...

Very slowly, Blake turned her head around, her amber eyes shut tight as if not seeing the source of the 'breeze' would make it disappear.

She felt air against her forehead.

With all the willpower she could muster, Blake cracked a single eye just a sliver open.

A sea of yellow took up her vision.

With growing dread, Blake opened her eyes fully.

Yang Xiao-Long lay beside her, one arm folded behind her as a makeshift pillow. Her head tilted towards Blake, the unkempt mane that was her hair splayed out in all directions. Every breath of her silent snoring sent small puffs of air ghosting into Blake's hair, making her ears twitch before she quickly folded them down against her head.

Yang? But… why is she in my bed? And why…?

As Blake's eyes drifted down Yang's body, her train of thought came to a screeching halt.

The first thing that caught her attention was the complete lack of the loose orange tank-top Yang always wore to bed.

The second was the head of white hair laying on her uncovered chest.

Weiss Schnee, heir to the most powerful Dust company on the planet, snoring softly with a content smile on her face as if the brawler beneath her was the most comfortable pillow in the world. And judging from her bare shoulders, she was in the same state of dress (or lack thereof) as the blonde.

Weiss?! But… she… and Yang… in my bed! But… why… how…?

The Cat Faunus' heart sped up as reality came crashing down on her, the pieces quickly completing a puzzle she really didn't want to solve. But it wasn't until she started taking deep, anxiety-filled filled breaths that the final damning piece clicked into place…

Why is it so hard to breathe?

Swallowing her dread, Blake hesitantly looked down, already knowing what she'd see:

A head of black hair, the tips dyed red, resting on her bare chest.

And as the final nail in the coffin, she could see, as well as feel, that neither of them had a speck of clothing on.

Blake took a full minute to take in her three nude teammates, all crammed together on her little double bed.

For a final confirmation, Blake took a small sniff of the air.



The Previous Night…

"Oh, Dust, is this for real?" Yang wheezed out between laughs.

Blake pressed her knuckles against her lips, trying to keep from bursting out laughing. Things had started out simply enough. Team RWBY, having changed into sleepwear, were sitting on Weiss' bed as her scroll projected a movie against the far wall. Blake sat against the wall, Yang at her side. Weiss sat at the edge of the bed, while Ruby lay on her stomach beside her, chin propped up on folded arms. It looked to be a rather normal end to a good day.

But as soon as Yang's choice of movie started playing, all four girls had alternated between eye-rolling, groaning, or just outright laughing at the testosterone-fueled explosion fest before them.

To be fair, to the average person it was probably an okay, if silly, representation of what the world of Hunters was like. But to four Huntresses-in-training who fought actual Grimm on a regular basis?

It was outright ludicrous.

"C'mon, Yang. *chk*" Ruby said through tight-pressed lips, snorts of laughter escaping every few words. "It's not *chk* that bad."

Yang laughed out loud. "Ruby, he just drove a car out of a plane, bounced it off the back of a Nevermore, then drove it into another plane…"

"While on fire," Blake added.

"While on fire!" Yang echoed, descending back into laughter.

"Where do they come up with this stuff?" Weiss mumbled, trying so, so hard to keep a straight face and failing miserably.

Blake smiled, and not just from the color commentary her team was providing. Hard to believe that only a year ago, she'd been running from both White Fang and the authorities, trying desperately to scrape up the money for Beacon's entrance fee. Now she looked around, and she had true friends, people who stood by her…

"Oh, I call bullcrap! Fire doesn't work that way!"

...dysfunctional though they may be.

"No, no, I'm sorry lady. You can't outrun an explosion. You're freaking dead."

"I can," Ruby said, looking back.

"Yeah, you can, Little Sis. I don't see any rose petals behind Miss bandana-head here."

Blake let out a small laugh at the sisters' antics. Judging from her shaking shoulders, Weiss was about to lose it.

After a few more minutes of gunshots, explosions, and poorly written one-liners, Yang suddenly clutched her stomach, doubling over from laughter. "*snk* I can't… I just, I just can't… *snk*" She was laughing so hard that she fell over, landing in Blake's lap.

Blake rolled her eyes. Yang had exactly no respect for personal space, a trait she shared with her sister. After so long keeping to herself, it had taken Blake a while to get used to the sudden hugs and shoulder-punches the two continually subjected her to, but she was starting to reach the point where she accepted them as commonplace.

A sudden burst of heat went across Blake's skin, rather low but noticeable. Blake ignored it, chalking it up to the blonde's higher that normal temperature. After a few seconds, though, she noticed the heat increasing steadily. She frowned, looking down to see if Yang's Semblance might be to blame, but no, there was no yellow glow. Just a mass of blonde hair, drifting and ghosting across her skin, tickling her thighs like tiny strands of silk, Yang's cool cheek against her leg…

Wait… cool? Yang was never 'cool'. She was always warm, much more than normal. She always felt like she'd been in the sun all day. So why…

Blake froze as the blonde kept laughing, her cool breath blowing across her bare legs.

No, oh no, is that tonight? Blake quickly counted the days, ignoring the scorching feeling across her skin. She cursed mentally. Damn, it is! Okay, no big problem, just got to get to my bag.

The movie stretched on for an agonizing ten minutes, Yang's head staying in Blake's lap as she couldn't stop laughing as the cheesy action got worse and worse as the seconds ticked by. Blake tried to ignore her, and the feelings that she was suddenly aware of, praying that no one would notice her sudden stiff posture.

Finally, after a few parting one-liners, the screen faded to black as the credits rolled. "Okay, I think that's all the stupidity I can handle for one night," Weiss said as she clicked her scroll off, a sharp smirk betraying her attempt at decorum.

"Oh, admit it, Snow Queen," Yang said as she sat up (thank Dust!), rubbing tears from her eyes. "You were enjoying yourself."

Weiss let out a huff as she stood up from the bed. "The fact that I found the movie hilariously moronic does not change the fact that it was still moronic."

"Exactly! The best kind of bad movie is when it's so bad it's good!" Yang said proudly as she got up, stretching her arms as she did so.

"I still don't think it was that terrible," Ruby mumbled as she pulled herself up.

"Ruby, there was a giant robot snake that shot lasers from its tail!"

"...I thought that was kinda cool…" She grumbled as she climbed up to her bunk, ropes creaking ominously as she did.

As her teammates continued to bicker and joke, Blake made her move. Moving quickly while her team was distracted, she made it to her bunk and grabbed her bag from its hook on the wall. She started rifling through it, looking, searching…

Come on… where is it…? She thought desperately, feeling warmer by the second. Where… a-ha! Relief flooded through her as she found the tiny orange bottle at the bottom of her bag. She gave it a little shake.

She shook it harder.

Blake stared down at the silent bottle with wide eyes.

E-empty?! H-how can it be empty?! I refilled it just last-

She looked up in horror.

Last month. When her friends found out she was a Faunus. When she disappeared for almost a week hiding from them. When she spent so much time worrying about her team and the White Fang.

She forgot to get a refill.

Blake stared at the empty bottle, cold dread filling her just as equally as the uncomfortable warmth.

This is bad, this is very, very bad, I can't- No! No, no, no, just calm down and think. Okay, I'm empty, but… but maybe some other Faunus on campus would let me borrow some of theirs, just once. Maybe… Velvet! Yeah, Velvet's nice, she'd understand… wait, no, her team's away on a mission. Damn! Um… Oh, Sun! Eh… That'd be.. Awkward. I know he'd help, except… I don't know where his room is… Ugh! Maybe… the infirmary? I'm sure they'd have some, but I doubt the faculty would just give me some…

"Blake? You okay?"

Blake flinched, dropping the bottle back into her bag. She turned to see Yang right next to her, looking concerned.

"Y-yeah, I'm fine, Yang. Why do you ask?" Blake replied, willing herself not to stutter.

"Well, you've been staring into your bag for five minutes. What, did someone steal your wallet?"

"No, I-" Blake could practically hear the light bulb go off in her head. She plastered on as convincing a smile as she could muster as she spoke. "Actually… yeah! I think I left it back in the cafeteria! I'm just going to run down and grab it real quick." Blake moved to the door before Yang could respond, and pulled the handle.

It didn't budge.

"What?" She tried it again, to no effect. She jerked it in panic back and forth, to no avail.

She turned around, finding her whole team staring at her. Ignoring her reddening cheeks, she asked, "Did one of you lock the door?"

Yang and Ruby shook their heads, confused. Weiss took a step towards the door, scroll open. Blake took a step out of her way, leaning back so as not to brush up against her. Weiss glanced at her out of the corner of her eye before waving her scroll over the door lock.

*Be-beep* A deep note came from the scroll, the word "REJECTED" flashing across the screen in big red letters.

Weiss stared at the screen, incredulously. "Rejected? Why on Remnant-"

*De-Dum* A video suddenly opened itself on Weiss' scroll. The image of Glynda Goodwitch appeared, looking stern as always. "Attention students. Due to a security threat on school grounds, we are placing Beacon Academy on lockdown. All students are to not leave their dorm rooms for the remainder of the night. Any students currently outside their rooms are to make their way to the nearest public location, such as the cafeteria or training room. Have your IDs ready if you are in this situation. You will be informed when the lockdown has been lifted. That is all."

Team RWBY stared at Weiss' scroll, confused and, in a certain Faunus' case, terrified.

"Lockdown?" Weiss muttered.

"So, what, they locked us in our room?" Yang asked. "Can they even do that?"

"Apparently. What do you think's going on?" Ruby wondered.

As her teammates talked, Blake felt the world fall on her shoulders. She felt her insides ice over, an iceberg in a boiling sea.

I'm… locked in? No way to… stop it?

Blake looked around the room at each of her teammates as they spoke. Ruby was hanging off of her bunk, animatedly stating her theory for the lockdown, obviously influenced by the film they'd just seen, Yang laughing at her ideas as Weiss shook her head in exasperation.

Blake swallowed through her dry throat, slowly making her way to her bed. She pushed away the burning feeling, the ache that had now appeared. Sitting down, she reached over her table and picked up the book she'd been reading the last few nights. With conscious effort, she leaned against the wall, opened the book, and tried to get comfortable.

It's… it's just one night. I… I can do this. I can make it through… one night… just this one, single time, with no problem. I am a Huntress, I fight monsters on a daily basis. I can survive… one night… just got to make it through… one night… I can do this… I… can… do this…

Her frantically twitching bow said otherwise.

One hour later…

She was going to die.

Blake held her book close to her face, her hands shaking, her breath choppy. She kept her eyes glued to the pages, rereading the same words over and over again, unable to focus. She swallowed, before again glancing up at the room.

Weiss sat at their shared desk, pencil scratching across paper as she worked on the day's homework. Back straight, posture relaxed, her head tilting back and forth slightly as she alternated between reading her textbook and writing down notes.

Ruby was doing the same at Weiss' insistence, though with less success. She was sitting cross-legged on her bunk, surrounded by books and binders. She furrowed her brow at the book in her hand, chewing on her pencil nervously.

Any other night, a normal sight in the Team RWBY dorm.

But for Blake, it was anything but. Her senses were on overdrive, every sight, sound, and scent screamed at her, drawing her attention. The way Weiss' hair drifted over her eyes as she moved her head, the delicate way she moved her fingers as she turned the pages of her book. The slight grinding sound of Ruby's teeth biting into the soft wood of her pencil, her tongue trailing across her lips as she stuck it out in concentration.

But the most distracting, the most tormenting, came from the small trails of steam floating from under the bathroom door. With her already strong hearing increased, she could clearly hear Yang's quiet humming, her fingers squeaking through soapy hair, the near-silent beating of water against her soft, wet skin…

Blake slammed her book shut, eyes clenched and teeth grit, banishing the image from her mind.

No! Stop it! Control I am in control! I am in control…

She took a deep breath and held it, clenching her hands into fists.

It hurt. What had started as a warmth had become a fire, a raging inferno that was screaming, begging, to be quenched. It was like someone had replaced her blood with lit Fire Dust, and she was burning from the inside out, and Dust it was painful. She was at the point that it took all of her willpower not to scream in agony. She only barely felt the sharp twinges as her clenched fists dug her nails into her palms.

I am in control… I am in control… I am-


Blake's amber eyes snapped open at the very sudden, very close voice.

And she stared directly into the light grey orbs right in front of her.

Betaed by Covert Weapon