There needs to be actual Tauradonna content on the tag. So I wrote some Tauradonna. Huzzah. *throws confetti* Still ended up on the Dark Side though, because Adam's a dark and complex character and I feel like it fits him. Heh.

This ended up being mostly speculation about Adam's slow little descent into fallen hero/villain territory, and Blake's inner conflict with accepting it. Made a guess at Adam's age. I like him older, but not too much, you know what I mean?

The scene break quotes are from the show. Hoping that's obvious, but just in case. :D

Falling Petals

"I had a partner named Adam, more of a mentor actually."

His hands were warm on her hips.

She's thirteen and scared; he is her rock. Almost an adult, Adam is seventeen and fearless.

"It's okay," he whispers in her ears, nose close to her hair as she holds tight to his chest. The sound of the grimm roaring outside, echoes in her head; loud and terrifying. Adam holds her tighter, eyes on the door of the building they've taken shelter in. "It'll be okay. The monsters will be gone soon."

Blake can hear the others fighting. The monsters that they wear as masks are outside; they devour everything in their path. The White Fang are fighting them. Their weapons and guns firing just as loudly as the roars. Screaming. Shouting. Blake shivers and clings to her partner.

Adam should be fighting with them.

"I'm sorry," she whispers, digging her face into his coat. At the first sign of grimm, Blake had ran. Too scared to stay on the field, even though she wasn't expected to help fight. She just couldn't be there. So she hid, and Adam came to get her. Blake crawls further into his lap and fights back shameful tears. "I'm so sorry."

"For what?" he asks, rubbing her side. His hands were warm through his gloves. "It's okay if you were scared, Blake."

"But you could be helping, and you're in here with me," Blake says.

"They don't need my help," Adam answers. He leans on the wall, shifting his hips under her, head still watching the door. "I'm not going to leave you alone, Blake. Don't worry."

"But I ran away," Blake whispers. "Doesn't that make me a coward?"

"You're thirteen," Adam says. He shifts, his knees coming up on her sides. Blake moves to match, her face still buried in his coat. She traces the stitching of a flower on his shoulder with her hands. "We haven't even had a chance to start training yet."

"That's not true!" Blake shouts, sitting up. She sniffs and points at the sword on her back. "We started. And you taught me how my semblance worked. I should at least be able to watch."

"If you know that," Adam says, smiling. He ruffles Blake's hair, his hand between hear cat ears. He tugs on one when he finished. "Then you won't run next time, will you?"


"Will you?" Adam says again, laughing.

"No." Blake crosses her arms. She nods as if she's made up her mind. "I won't run."

"Then today it's fine," Adam says. He turns toward the door and tilts his head. One of his horns scrapes against the wall, and Blake wonders if he can feel that. Part of her has always wanted to touch his horns, to see what they felt like, but is too scared to ask. Adam smiles. "And you hear that?"

"Hear what?" Blake asks. She looks at the door, and shakes her head. "I don't hear anything."

"Exactly," Adam says. He grabs her hips and lift Blake as easily as if he were lifting one of her books, setting her on her feet on the floor. He tugs himself up, his full height towering over Blake. He pushes on Blake's shoulder "That means the fighting's all done. Let's go see if they need help cleaning up."

"Okay," Blake says. He starts toward the door and she grabs the tail of his coat. He stops and looks down to meet her eyes. Blake squares her shoulders. "Adam."


"Thank you for sitting with me," Blake says. She swallows, her voice thick. "I won't run next time."

"I'm glad to hear it" Adam kisses the top of her head before heading out the door.

Blake can't stop the blush.

"I had someone very dear to me change."

His hands were warm on her hips.

She's fifteen and scared; he's nineteen and too old. His hands keep her a foot away, though she can feel the tremble under his fingers. Blake can see the conflict in his body; his eyes hidden away behind that mask.

"Blake, we can't," Adam says. He keeps hold of her hips, terrified if he lets go that Blake will come closer. He isn't wrong. Blake wants nothing more to close the distance. To feel the heat of his jacket and chest. His defense is weak. "We can't."

"But why not?" Blake asks. She pushes; reaching her hand out until her fingers touch the stitching of his coat. His rejection scares her, but Blake doesn't run. She never runs from Adam. He's her rock. Her center. Blake wants him all to herself so badly it hurts in her chest. "You like me, I like you. Why can't we?"

"I'm too old for you," Adam says.

"You like me," Blake says, eyes narrowed.

She knows that he does. She knows that he looks at her; has noticed how her hips and her chest have changed. Blake is no longer a tiny girl and has grown up. She knows exactly what his cautious looks mean. When they train. When they fight. When they turn in for the night. His eyes are always on her, the same as the way her eyes always follow him.

Blake watches Adam just as closely. The way his hips turn under his coat. The way his eyes flash when he's happy. The way his hair falls in his eyes when it's wet. The shape of his lips, the touch of his hands. Blake wants it.

They're partners; they should be together. Blake won't let Adam run from her.

"You want it, too," Blake says, leaning forward.

Adam swallows, his hands still rough on her waist. He presses his lips together and lets his head fall back. He sucks in a breath and whispers. "I do."

"Then kiss me," Blake says.

"I will," he presses her forehead against hers. She holds her breath, waiting for him to close the distance and let her taste him the way she has in so many day dreams, but he doesn't. Instead, Adam whispers, "When you're older. That's a promise."

He kisses the top of her head, the way he always does, before leaving the room. Blake pouts, but can't help but smile.

Adam's worth waiting for.

"It wasn't in an instant. It was gradual. Little choices that began to pile up. He told me not to worry."

His hands were warm on her hips.

She's still fifteen and scared; his grip has changed. It's too tight, too desperate. She can feel his breath picking up in excitement as they stand in the crowd of people cheering.

"We're finally going to make a difference, Blake," Adam says. He grins too wide and stands behind her. Her head rests near his shoulder, the familiar stitching of his coat in the corner of her eyes. "This new leader is going to change things. The humans will have to take us seriously now."

Blake crosses her arms across her chest as she stands in the crowd. Her nose itches, the mask she has to wear at the group meets is heavy and itchy. She can't wait to go back to their cell, where she can get rid of it. The new leader on the stage is talking about a new world for the White Fang.

One of violence.

"Are you sure about this, Adam?" Blake asks quietly. "I mean, he wants us to rob stores and vandalize buildings."

"If they won't sell to us, why shouldn't we take it instead?" Adam asks. He huffs and scrunches his nose. "We tried to pay, and it's the only place to get goods. What other choice do we have?"

"Can't we go to one of the stores that does serve us?"

"They should all serve us," Adam says. His grip tightens, and Blake can feel the way his fingers dig. It hurts, but she doesn't think Adam even realizes he's doing it. "It's not fair what they're doing."

"Right," Blake says.

She begins to worry, but he's still warm at her back. She leans on him. She listens to his heartbeat and closes her eyes. His grip is firm and grounding, and she breathes in deep, taking in his scent. HIs rose scented cologne is soothing in the mass of sweating bodies around her. Despite her reservations, she hopes Adam and the others are right.

Because she still wants this.

"At first they were accidents."

His hands were warm on her hips.

She's sixteen and terrified; Adam is shaking and covered in blood. His coat is soaked with it, and it drips down his mask. He's squeezing her hips; Adam is a wreck. His grip changes and he's hugging Blake. He's clutching to her, breathing heavily and scared. The blood soaks into her shirt.

Adam has never killed anyone before.

"It was an accident," he says, his voice full of something Blake has never heard before. It's shaky and airy; like he's having trouble breathing. Adrenaline. She feels his heart beat through his chest, pounding against hers through her breasts. Blake clutches back to him, unsure of what else to do. "I didn't mean to."

"It's okay," Blake says, whispering back his own reassuring words. She swallows and holds him close, her head on his shoulder. "It'll be okay."

Adam had waited until they got back from the mission to fall apart. Collapsing to his knees the second they returned to their shared room. His heart won't slow and Blake fears for him. She drags her hand up and into his hair, holding him closer and closer. The other stays locked on his jacket, less she drop him.

Blake can't stand to see him this way.

"I killed that human," Adam whispers into her shoulder. He shudders and lets all of his weight fall on Blake. She takes it, holding him close; dragging him into herself before he falls apart. "I didn't mean to. He just. I didn't realize how hard he had hit me and my semblance."

Adam chokes, unable to finish his sentence.

Blake had seen it. The human could dish out more power than he could take back. The cut of Adam's sword had depleted that man's aura with a wave of energy, nearly cutting him in half. The artery he had cut in the neck soaked him.

That was the first time Blake had seen Adam run away.

He trembles in her arms and Blake doesn't know what to do. He's never been scared like this before. He's never. Blake wants to cry and make it better. She can't tell what he's feeling.

She just knows he's still too excited; too alive after that. His heart beats too quickly. Blake has to calm him down somehow or he's going to have a heart attack. She just knows it.

"It'll be okay, Adam," Blake says. She digs into his hair, her finger brushing against his horn. He looks up and she kisses his head above his mask. She ignores the taste of copper. "i'm here."

"You are here," Adam says. He pulls himself up, resting his forehead against hers. The blood on his mask drips on her face, and he reaches up. He takes the mask off and tosses it on the floor. Skin to skin, he presses their foreheads together again. "You're always here for me, Blake. I'm so thankful for you, my love."

His eyes are dilated.

His lips are on hers before it registers that perhaps Adam wasn't as scared as Blake believed him to be. It isn't until a few years later that Blake realizes Adam had never been scared.

He'd been feeling something, much, much different.

But Blake is sixteen and getting everything she has ever wanted as he slips his tongue into her mouth and they fall on the bed; his hands feel hot on her back. Their hips meet and it's all Blake can do to hold on.

"Then it was self defense."

His hands were warm on her hips.

She is still sixteen and worried; Adam has killed four people.

"Aren't you scared that you'll get in trouble?" Blake whispers, sitting in his lap. Her legs are at his side, and his arms are wrapped around her waist. She keeps her head on his shoulders, fingers running on the trim of his coat. "It's one thing when we rob stores, but you've killed people, Adam. The humans won't ignore that."

"If they hadn't tried to kill me, it wouldn't have happened," Adam said, his voice hard. "You were there, Blake. We were doing a job, and they had guns. They weren't going to stop, even if we did give everything back that we stole."

"We don't know that," Blake whispered.

"It was self defense," Adam says again. His voice has a tremble in it, and his heartbeat is steady.

Blake nods, wanting to believe that as much as he does.

"He always assured me that what we were doing would make the world a better place."

"Before long I even began to think he was right."

His hands were warm on her hips.

Blake is almost seventeen and scared; Adam is different.

"Your semblance is amazing, my love," Adam says, kissing Blake's shoulder blade. They are sprawled out on his bunk, his coat draped across the chair on the other side of the room. His red shirt underneath bunches against his waist. "Have I mentioned that lately?"

"Come on, Adam," Blake says, rolling over. She straightens her night robe as it bunches up at her hips. Her tights look pale against the black of his pants. She drops her head on his shoulder as he turns her into his side. "It's not that great."

"It is," Adam says, laughing. "That idiot couldn't figure out what you were doing, even after you'd used it three times to get away from him."

That idiot was dead.

Adam had killed him, stabbing him in the side when he had taken a shot at the real Blake instead of her shadow. Adam had saved her, but Blake couldn't get the smile that had fallen on his face as he struck out of her mind.

It isn't until a few years later that Blake realizes just how much Adam got a kick out of killing things.

He enjoyed it.

"He deserved it," Adam had said a few moments after the man fell. He wiped off his sword, speaking up when he'd noticed the way Blake had shaken when the dead man's blood splashed her. "We're doing a good thing getting rid of scum like that."

Blake crawls to lie on Adam, her thighs straddling his waist and desperate to stay in the moment. She crosses her arms on his chest and pouts. Adam smiles at her, wrapping his arms around her back as they lie together. She reaches up and takes his mask off, putting it on the side of the bed.

His eyes are as warm as his hands; full of need and want and so much adoration that it makes Blake's heart ache.

She loves this man so damn much.

"Let's talk about something else, Adam." Blake is so scared she will lose him. She isn't running from what he's turning into, but she might hide for a little bit. She'll slip away into his sweet words and the feel of his hands on her lower back. Her smile is coy and she can see his eyes dilate in response. "I'm tired of talking about work."

"Then what shall we talk about, my darling?" Adam hums. Blake smiles at the use of pet names. Adam always uses them when he's positively smitten; Blake loves it. He tugs on her ear behind her bow, and chuckles. "I'm all ears for you."

"That was awful, Adam," Blake says, leaning up to kiss him on the lips.

She tells herself that she means his pun, and not the man he's turning into.

Adam kisses her back, happy to stop talking and occupy his mouth with other pleasures. Blake takes all that he can give, happy to disappear in this familiarity for a little while. He's so gentle here, with her. He loves her as much as she loves him and Blake clings to that with everything she has.

It's easy to forget the bloodlust that has creeped into Adam's soul, when this part of him never changes. It is a rock; a constant.

Blake still wants this. The way they stop talking and lie there together. The way she can fall asleep so easily with her head on his chest, tucked into his side.

"But of course his idea of a perfect future, turned out to be not perfect for everyone."

His hands were warm on her hips.

Blake is seventeen and scared; Adam is her rock.

Her rock is crumbling into pieces. Broken chips of stone littering the ground in shards.

"We're the revolution, Blake," Adam says, holding her close as they stand in the middle of the taken store. The humans cower in the corner, far more scared for their own lives than Blake is for Adam's sanity. "They deserve to suffer the way we have. We're taking it all back!"

Blake nods. She once told herself she would never run from Adam, she never had to. But her voice stays locked in her throat. She can't disagree with him. Not in front of the humans or the other White Fang members.

Because they believe the same as Adam.

They're so sure that this is the right thing. Blake had too once upon a time, but as she sees the terrified faces of their captives and the blood on Adam's coat, she's not so sure any more.

"Let's go, Blake," Adam says.

She follows him out and pretends not to hear the sounds behind her as the others finish what Adam had started. The White Fang was falling apart.

Adam turns and smiles at her, all teeth and love. She doesn't need his mask off to see the affection in his eyes. The way he still adored her.

Blake still wants him, but she isn't sure that she can watch him fall any further. If Adam were the rose on his back, the White Fang has started plucking his petals away, one by one. With every mission, and every kill, Adam falls deeper and deeper.

He comes home to her every night. Full of love and sweet words. He reminds Blake of the man she adores. That Adam is still the same man who held her when she was thirteen and scared, whispering that things would be alright. His love could break through any fear, and any trouble.

But Blake can't hide the blood on his hands with his love any longer.

There's too much.

"What about them?"

"When I realized my oldest partner had become a monster, I ran."

His hands were warm on her hips.

Blake is seventeen and terrified; It's the night before the train mission.

Adam is asleep, wrapped around Blake and content. She brushes his hair away from his eyes, unable to join him just yet. She presses her lips together and traces her hand along the tip of his horns. Blake leans down and kisses the edge.

He can't feel anything in his horns.

There aren't any nerves there, despite the living cells that grew even now. In all the time that she's known him, Blake is still endlessly amused that they're going to get longer and longer as he gets older.

Blake is distracting herself.

Tomorrow, they're going to steal an entire train full of dust from the Schnee corporation. And Blake, Blake will have a choice to make.

Adam nuzzles into her side, breathing softly. She runs her hand along his upper arm and leans her head back. Tomorrow is her test. She's going to give him one chance; just one chance to prove that he can still be forgiving. That he can still show compassion somewhere.

Blake will ask him to spare the people on the train.

She trembles; she already knows what his answer will be. Blake hates it. She hates it so much that it tears at her insides. But she'll try anyway because she can't face the answer. And she hates that she'll have to run from him when he does eventually answer her test.

She can't bear to see Adam grow darker. Can't stand to see him drown in the blood he's spilled.

"Something the matter, my love?" Adam mumbles into her side. He rubs his thumb against her side and looks up. His eyes are unfocused; he's still half asleep "You look like you're thinking too hard."

"I'm worried about tomorrow," Blake answers honestly. "I feel like everything is changing too fast."

"It is changing," Adam answers. He crawls up, his night shirt dropping off his shoulder as he hovers over Blake. He cups her cheeks and rests his forehead against hers. His breath is soft and and Blake takes it in. She shares his air and the lingering touches of his cologne. "But you don't have to worry, my darling. It's all changing for the better. We're doing a good thing."

"Do you really believe that, Adam?" Blake asks.

"I do," Adam says.

Blake believes him.

"Then don't worry and close your eyes," Adam says. He kisses the side of her mouth, lying down on top of her. He nuzzles his face into her neck, breathing softly. "It'll be a good day tomorrow. You'll see."

"Goodnight," Blake says.

She hates that tomorrow she'll be saying "Goodbye."

"Hello, my darling."

Blake is seventeen and terrified.

She wishes Adam's hands were on her hips and not on his sword.