"This," Weiss declares, voice snippy and snooty and way too pretentious for their current setting, "is stupid."

"Everything's stupid at three in the morning," Yang replies with a shrug. She slides into the booth, grinning at Blake and patting the seat next to her, dimly aware of Weiss complaining about personal space on the opposite side of the table as Ruby all but shoves her up against the wall in her haste and excitement.

Tentatively—and with a hesitation that Yang's grown used to seeing in her partner's golden eyes—Blake lowers herself into the booth with far more grace than the brawler suspects anyone has ever displayed at a twenty-four hour diner.

"We should be sleeping," Weiss points out, now that she has apparently set up boundaries between herself and the beaming girl beside her. The heiress looks hilariously out of place in the dingy diner, and Yang would be a liar if she said the juxtaposition between Weiss' prim propriety and the diner's honest grittiness hadn't influenced her decision in bringing the team here at least a little bit.

Yang rolls her eyes. "None of us were sleeping anyway," she points out, reaching for the menus to pass them out. Ruby snatches hers out of her sister's hand with an excited squeal, Weiss accepts hers with a frigid eye roll and a muttered complaint about the sheer idiocy of the situation, and Blake simply stares at hers.

With a frown, Yang gives the laminated menu a little wiggle, inching it closer to her partner. Blake stares at it blankly.

"Here," Yang says by way of explanation, dropping the menu on the table before the Faunus. Blake's ghostly pale hand appears above the table to reach for the menu, and Yang just shrugs and decides to add that odd little scene to the part of her brain called Weird Blake Shit for later pondering.

Then Blake pushes the menu across the table, where Weiss looks up sharply, like she's annoyed at her boundaries being crossed.

"Blake?" Yang asks, because this kind of behavior goes beyond the typical Weird Blake Shit and she's gonna need an explanation.

"I didn't bring my wallet," Blake says quietly, still not looking at her. At any of them. Her gaze stays fixed to the table.

"Don't worry," Ruby chirps. "Weiss is gonna pay!"

A starkly scandalized look passes over the heiress' face, but before she can open her mouth to predictably protest, Blake speaks again.

"Not hungry," she says bluntly. She folds her arms across her chest. Yang's violet eyes narrow at the defensive action.

"This is team bonding," Yang argues, reaching across the table to pull the menu back to Blake.

She looks up to give the brawler a look that is such a perfect mix of confusion and irritation Yang nearly chokes on her tongue to keep from laughing.

"It's breakfast," the Faunus deadpans.

"It's both," Ruby insists. She worries her lip, staring over at RWBY's dark-haired swordsman. "Really, Blake, don't worry about money. Yang and I will totally pay for you."

"I never said I wouldn't," Weiss grumbles, tossing her ponytail over her shoulder as she crosses her legs daintily below the table. Yang idly hopes her knee doesn't brush against some old gum she just knows is stuck to the underside.

Yang gives her partner a nudge. "Just pick something, it'll be an adventure," she suggests brightly. Blake's gaze drops to the menu, doubt darkening her features.

Yang catches Weiss' eye across the table, and they both exchange what the fuck faces as Ruby cheerily walks Blake through the menu.

What's her problem? Weiss mouths to her, the scar over her eye twisting as she frowns in confusion.

Yang just shrugs, honestly thrown by her partner's bizarre aversion to breakfast food. It's not like Blake doesn't know what breakfast is—Yang's watched her pick at a bowl of oatmeal every goddamn morning in the cafeteria.

Weiss chews her lip, icy eyes flickering over to the Faunus with concern as a gray-haired woman approaches their table, sporting a sour expression and a filthy apron.

"What'll it be, girls?" A waitress who looks like she could rattle off an endless list of places she'd rather be stands before their table, idly tapping her foot, pen poised above her notebook.

"French toast and milk, please!" Ruby requests with a large grin.

"Coffee and an English muffin," Weiss orders primly.

"A short stack of pancakes," Yang asks. "But like, four of 'em." She lifts a hand a few feet off the table to represent how high she wants the stack to be. "And like, a plateful of bacon, please."

All eyes snap to Blake, who swallows, lifting her gaze to the waitress.

"Eggs," she blurts out. Yang could have laughed at the absolute bite of panic in her partner's voice.

"Scrambled? Poached? Over easy?" the waitress asks, chewing on the end of her pen and cocking an expectant brow.

Blake hesitates for the briefest of second—golden eyes darting across the table to Ruby—and it hits Yang like a ton of bricks.

Blake doesn't know what the fuck breakfast is.

Well, not exactly. Of course she knows, objectively, what breakfast is. Knowing Blake, she could probably give you a textbook definition, word origin, and tell you how to say it in six languages.

But she doesn't know what breakfast is.

A memory of Summer and Taiyang serving the sisters a huge breakfast slams into the brawler. That had always been their treat after one of the two Hunters came home from a mission. Yang always ate so much she felt she was going to be sick, but she wouldn't trade those mornings for anything. Sitting around the kitchen table, stealing bacon off her dad's plate and feeding Zwei scraps under the table and drowning her plate in syrup.

She doubts very seriously the White Fang had engaged in such heartwarming traditions.

"Oatmeal," Blake eventually murmurs, sounding like she just lost the spar of a lifetime. The waitress just nods and prepares to walk away, but Yang stops her.

"Eggs," the brawler says firmly. "Do it, like, three ways if you can. Some poached, some over easy, some scrambled."

The waitress eyes her, unimpressed. "That'll be extra."

"That's fine," Ruby assures her.

With a shrug, the waitress turns and leaves them.

An awkward silence settles over the table, which Yang determinedly ignores by gathering up all the menus and stuff them back where she'd found them.

The waitress returns with Weiss' coffee and Ruby's milk before leaving again. Both girls promptly seize their drinks, thrilled to have something to do with their hands.

"So," Yang begins. "Anyone beat Ren's high score on that scroll game yet?"

"Why did you do that." Blake isn't looking at anyone, she's staring resolutely at the table like she's wondering if she should flip it over her partner's head.

Yang considers taking the gentle route, then promptly decides against it.

"Because you should know what eggs are," she says, folding her arms and sitting back in her seat.

Blake flicks her a nasty glance. "I know what eggs are," she hisses through a locked jaw.

"Then why have I ever only seen you eating oatmeal for breakfast?" Yang fires back. "Every morning, Blake. Every single morning."

The Faunus goes stiff, lips pulling back just slightly in the makings of a snarl, and it's moments like these when Yang reflects on how absolutely stupid she is to have never guessed what Blake had hiding under that bow of hers.

She's such a cat when she's cornered—hackles raised, fur bristling, teeth bared.

"Maybe I like oatmeal," she snaps.

"Nobody likes oatmeal that much," Weiss counters calmly, not looking up as she stirs cream into her coffee. "And half the time you don't even touch it."

Blake sputters for a moment, switching her glare to the heiress. "Are you all taking notes on my eating habits?" she protests, a little to shrilly for the venom she tries to use.

"We're just worried, Blake," Ruby insists softly.

Blake looks ready to spit back a response, but the waitress returns, neatly depositing the girl's meals. Blake stares down at her plate of eggs with wide eyes as Yang grabs her fork and slides closer, bumping shoulders with her partner.

"Alright, crash course in eggs," the brawler announces while Ruby reaches across Weiss for the syrup and nearly knocks over her mug of coffee in the process.

"Scrambled," Yang points to them with her fork. "Poached," Blake follows her gaze, and Yang could laugh at the seriousness with which she is studying fucking eggs. "Over easy."

"Those are the best," Ruby declares, smiling cheerily before shoving a handful of French toast in her mouth.

"All eggs taste the same," Weiss remarks with a roll of her eyes, sipping her coffee.

"Blasphemy," Yang retorts, lifting her fork to aim the prongs at the pale-haired heiress, who just scoffs.

Yang passes the fork to Blake. "I can promise they taste better than oatmeal," she says with a smirk.

"And they're better for you!" Ruby pipes up helpfully.

Yang points to her sister, looking at Blake. "There you go, Team Leader approved. Eat up."

Slowly, and not without plenty of looks, Blake pokes experimentally at the poached egg. Yang decides to leave her to her own devices and promptly tucks into her pancakes. Weiss butters her English muffin daintily and Ruby chatters about some tweaks she's planning on making to Crescent Rose through a mouthful of French toast.

Yang smirks to herself. It isn't quite those mornings with Summer and Taiyang she's so fond of, but it's still warm and real and she chalks this little outing up as one of her best ideas.

Weiss pays for their meal—but not without making a production out of her goodwill and honestly Weiss it was like twenty lien get over yourself—and the team troops out. Yang casts a quick glance at Blake's plate as she slides out of the booth, grinning stupidly to herself when she sees her partner ate everything.

Weiss strides ahead of the group as they make their way back to Beacon, and Blake shadows her, leaving Yang and Ruby trailing behind, simply taking in the late night. Early morning. Whatever.

"Sometimes it's easy to forget she grew up different from all of us," Ruby remarks, hands clasped behind her. Her head's tipped back, face towards the sky, and the moon reflects in her eyes, making them shine like little galaxies. "You only see it in the little things. Like eggs."

Yang glances down at her sister, arching an eyebrow. "When'd you get so introspective, Rubes?"

Her sister giggles at the nickname, looking up to flash a bright smile. "We should do more late night team bonding," she suggests instead, twining her arm with Yang's. "Let's go bowling next time."

Yang snorts. "Yeah. Bowling. I'd love to see Weiss stick her fingers in some dirty balls."

"Yang!" the heiress snaps, whipping around to scowl at the blonde. Yang grins at the flush on the other girl's face, and when Blake looks back and there's laughter in her eyes.

-0-

"I wouldn't," Yang calls without looking up from her scroll.

Blake's hand hangs over the doorknob to leave their dorm, turning to cast her partner a look blended with curiosity and suspicion.

"You wouldn't what?" she asks.

Yang shrugs, violet eyes never leaving the game she's playing. She's gonna beat Ren's high score, dammit.

"The showers," she remarks casually. "I assume that's where you're going, unless you were just gonna parade around the school in a towel." She bites her lip, eyes narrowing in concentration as the game's difficulty kicks up. "In which case I say more power to you and please take pictures."

Blake's golden eyes narrow, mouth tightening with mild irritation. She shifts her weight, the cheap sandals she wears to the community bathroom squeaking as she does.

"And why not?" she asks, trying to retain her dignity while standing in a fluffy white towel she'd stolen borrowed from Weiss. Schnee Dust Logo aside, the towel was the softest thing she'd ever touched. And of course, Yang had raised the point of how delightful it must be to literally clean her ass with the symbol of the loathed company.

Yang doesn't answer for a moment, much to Blake's mounting annoyance. She waits none-too-patiently for the blonde to finish her game.

Half a minute rolls by before the brawler curses loudly, flinging her scroll across the room to land on her sister's opposite lofted bed.

"God, the controls suck," she complains, folding her arms in an honest-to-god pout.

"It's a scroll game," Blake reminds her bluntly. "A free one, at that. What's wrong with the showers?"

Yang sighs, hauling herself out of her slouch to look down at her partner. "Nora just got done with a shower," she explains. "So unless you like your showers cold and miserable, I'd wait for the warm water to cycle back in."

Blake pulls a face, like Yang's explanation hadn't been crystal fucking clear. Then she shrugs, turns, and pulls the door open.

"Whoa! What did I just say?" Yang demands, frowning as she swings down from her bed in the way that always makes Ruby laugh and Weiss clench her teeth and mutter, "I don't think your Semblance covers you breaking your neck, Yang."

Blake ignores her, gathering her towel tighter around herself as she begins to walk down the hall towards the showers, Yang angrily pacing after her.

"Blake, that water's gonna be ice cold," she insists, falling into step beside her partner. "Just wait like, thirty minutes."

"Why are you following me to the showers?" Blake asks instead, flicking the blonde a sideways glance.

Yang huffs with irritation—a habit she's picked up from Weiss but will deny she possess to her grave—as she stalks beside the swordsman.

"Because I just told you, like, twenty seconds ago that the showers are out of hot water and you ignored me." The blonde frowns, annoyed. "Where do you have to be that's so damn urgent?"

"I just want to take a shower!" Blake snaps. "This isn't up for discussion!"

"Why are you being weird?" Yang demands.

"Me?" Blake's tone is properly scandalized and yep, they've both been spending way too much time around a certain privileged heiress. "You're the one following me to the bathroom!"

"It's cold," Yang says again.

"I don't care," Blake replies firmly, gritting her teeth.

They stand there for a moment—Blake wearing only her appropriated towel and Yang half in her uniform and half in pajamas—when Yang blinks her violet eyes once, twice, three times.

"You've never taken a hot shower." The realization hits Yang like a physical attack, and she stops dead in her tracks.

Blake, by contrast, forges ahead, determined to outpace her partner until Yang reaches forward to grab her arm, hauling her back.

"You've never taken a hot shower," Yang repeats, and it's like the diner all over again.

Blake's jaw goes taut, and she forces her gaze away from Yang's, color rising in her pale cheeks.

Oh Yang could absolutely vomit.

"Blake…" Yang stares at her, eyes wide.

The dark-haired girl whips her head back, facing her partner with a face like thunder.

"What do you want me to say?" she hisses, and the blonde rears away from her partner's anger, but doesn't drop her arm. "It's not like the White Fang was swimming in resources. We barely had enough drinking water, never mind showers. And when we did, it was sixty seconds of the coldest water you've ever felt." She gathers her towel a little tighter around herself, and Yang feels her burning heart break a little bit.

Motherfucking White Fang.

Yang tightens her grip on Blake's arm before turning and marching back the way they came, dragging her along.

"Hey! What are you doing?" the Faunus protests, fighting Yang's hold.

"You," Yang announces, turning a corner that will lead them down a separate corridor, "are going to take a goddamn hot shower if it absolutely kills you. Got it?"

Blake scoffs, but Yang ignores her, hauling the Faunus past rows and rows of dorm rooms, dimly aware that she is—quite literally—parading her partner around the school in nothing but a towel.

She wishes she had her scroll on her.

They finally arrive at Yang's intended destination, and Blake frowns with confusion.

"This…this is the Visitor's Wing," she realizes, looking around "Yang, there's no community bathroom here. They all have their own private—" she jumps when Yang knocks solidly on the door in front of them "—Yang what are you doing stop—" she spits through gritted teeth, eyes wide with alarm.

The door pulls back to reveal one delightfully shirtless Sun Wukong. Yang wishes Blake wasn't hiding behind her back so she could get a look at her doubtlessly very entertaining expression, but she settles for watching Sun's face flush darkly as he takes in the scene before him.

"Hi," Yang greets him amiably, like there's nothing particularly odd about this encounter. Blake shifts to hide herself behind her partner's broad frame, and Yang can hear her whispering expletives to herself. "We need to use your shower."

Sun blinks at her—she almost feels bad, the boy looks so lost—and he frowns.

"I mean, okay," he agrees tentatively. "Is there something wrong with—?"

"No hot water." Yang elbows her way past the Faunus, flashing him a winning smile as she drags Blake into his dorm room after her.

Sun dutifully attaches his gaze to a desk in the corner while Blake makes a beeline for the bathroom, both their faces raging shades of red.

Yang cackles merrily to herself as she follows Blake into the bathroom, closing the door behind herself.

"I know how to work a shower," Blake snaps, face still flushed as she rounds on Yang.

Yang quirks an eyebrow. "Bold words from the girl who's never used warm water," she replies flippantly, moving past the dark-haired girl to inspect the shower. She notices Blake holds her towel a little tighter as she passes and rolls her violet eyes with a snort.

"Relax, Belladonna. Your propriety is safe with me, I promise." She narrows her eyes, gripping the shower door as she sticks a hand in to give the hot water tap a solid few twists and ducking back out before she can catch a face full of water.

"There you go," she announces, stepping back. "Hot water. The way it should be." She tips her partner a wink. "I think I'm gonna harass Sun for a little bit, so take your time."

Blake just nods uncertainly before looking up in alarm. "Wait! I never got a change of clothes!"

Yang winces in false sympathy, letting out a low hiss. "Yikes. Tough luck, Blake. Guess you'll have to make do." She blows a scowling Blake a kiss before leaving the bathroom.

Neptune was apparently called in during Yang's absence, and she flashes the dark-skinned boy a sunny smile as she steps back into the dorm room.

"Neptune, what a surprise," she greets him merrily.

He lifts an eyebrow. "Really? Because you're in my room."

She just shrugs, looking over to Sun as she makes her way to the door. "Make sure she stays in there for like, at least fifteen minutes," she orders. She shoots him a smirk over her shoulder, waggling her eyebrows at the distinctly uncomfortable Faunus.

"Thanks, boys," she singsongs, closing the door to their dorm with a snap.

-0-

"Well, look who it is!"

Yang treats the source of the loud, slightly slurred call to a fearsome glance. Beside her, Blake looks up from her conversation with Ruby, eyes narrowed.

"Who is that?" the Faunus asks, frowning at the group of men who stand in a loose semi-circle outside of the Crowbar. Yang's mouth pulls down with displeasure as one of the men dissolves into hoarse laughter, amber liquid glittering in the tumbler in his hand.

"The little Schnee princess!" another member of the group calls, pointing at a certain white-haired swordsman.

"That," Yang mutters, immediately switching her gaze to find Weiss, "is trouble."

The heiress scoffs as the group walks on. "They're nothing more than disrespectful nuisances," she snips, chin lifted.

"Jerks," Ruby grumbles, shooting the men a silver-eyed scowl.

"Just keep walking," Weiss tells her team briskly. "Don't pay them any mind."

Blake's brow furrows. "But who are they?" she asks again, hand twitching towards her blade as the men continue to call after Weiss.

The heiress' mouth is a hard line. "They're just people who are unhappy with the Schnee Dust Company for one reason or another," she explains stiffly. "So they think by harassing me, they're harassing my family's company."

"Maybe if you didn't wear the logo across your back like a target, we wouldn't have this problem," Yang grumbles, expression darkening as she spies two of the men breaking off from the group to follow the Huntresses. "Oh, someone thinks they're hot shit."

Ruby glances over her shoulder with a frown. "Maybe we could just ask them to leave," she suggests uncertainly, biting her lip.

"Where you going, Princess!" one of the men calls, drawing nearer. Yang activates Ember Celica with a cold snap, lifting her fists threateningly. Beside her, Ruby finds the grip of Crescent Rose beneath her cloak, and Blake's pale fingers curl around the hilt of Gambol Shroud.

"You're drunk," Weiss informs him coldly, turning to scowl. "Kindly move along."

The first man just laughs, shaking his head while his friend bares his teeth in a sloppy grin.

"Little far from home, aren't we, Princess?" he drawls. "Daddy ain't around to help you."

"I have never needed my father's help in anything," Weiss bites back. "Now leave."

The man keeps coming, until he's only an arm's length away from Weiss. Yang and Blake stand over the white-haired girl's shoulder, while Ruby flings him a fierce look from the heiress' side.

"Go back to your friends," Ruby advises him firmly. "You're making a pretty bad choice right now."

She's ignored as the man leans even closer, and Blake grits her teeth as he murmurs, "What'dya say, Princess? Why don't we spill some of that blood and see if it's as blue as everyone thinks it is?"

It's a busy few seconds.

Weiss' hand drops to Myrtenaster's hilt, but before she can even think to draw her blade, she's pushed aside by Blake.

The heiress stumbles, but is quickly steadied by Yang. "Hellfire, Blake," she swears, pushing white hair out of her eyes. "What are you—?"

Gambol Shroud glints like raw obsidian in Blake's ghostly pale grip as she plants herself before the heiress, settling into what is undeniably an I'm gonna fuck you up stance.

The man backpedals so hard he nearly knocks over his friend. Blake's eyes blaze like molten gold as she swings out with her blade, listening as the air hisses in reply.

"Back off," she snarls, and Yang can't help but notice her bow is pinned flat to her skull.

"Crazy bitch!" the man shouts. He looks like he wants to say more, but Blake reaches out with her free hand to seize the man by the front of his shirt, giving him a firm shake.

"Don't ever come near me or my team again," she hisses. "Or I'll make sure you don't have a throat to swallow alcohol with."

How she plans to accomplish that is not discussed, and when Blake releases the man he promptly bolts.

The rest of the group outside of the Crowbar quickly vanish back inside, and once Blake is satisfied they're gone, rounds back on her team.

The RWY of RWBY stares back at the Faunus with wide eyes.

"What?" she demands sharply.

"Blake…that was a bit much," Ruby begins tentatively.

"He was going to hurt her!" Blake insists. Her chest heaves, golden eyes overbright and wild. "I saw him, Ruby!"

"Blake, take it easy," Yang soothes her, holding up her hands. "Just…take a breath, okay? You've got your murder face on."

"I don't have a murder face!" Blake flings at her fiercely, but even as she speaks, her eyes dim, her breathing evens out. She swallows hard, and the others relax as she shoves her weapon back behind herself. "I don't have a murder face," she repeats, her voice a displeased grumble.

"I…I certainly appreciate it, Blake," Weiss says, still catching her breath. "But that was incredibly unnecessary."

"And dangerous!" Ruby adds, silver eyes shining with worry.

Blake narrows her eyes. "But he said—!"

"People talk shit all the time, Blake," Yang informs her flatly. God, it's not like she hadn't seen this a fucking country mile away. Of course Blake takes threats seriously. Where Blake comes from, threats actually mean something. The White Fang doesn't do things by halves. "That guy was a drunk piece of shit who didn't even have a weapon on him."

"But…they said…" Blake nearly slumps in defeat.

Ruby gathers the older girl's pale hands in her own, offering a small smile.

"Don't worry about it," the Leader chirps. "You were gonna defend a friend. That's all that matters."

Yang nods in agreement. "Trust me, Blake. I'll let you know when it's time to throw down," she winks. "Can't be bumblebee without you, can it?"

Blake's lips twitch in amusement, and she gives a slow nod.

"Great!" Ruby gives her hands an encouraging squeeze before spinning back to lead the way. "So, onward to the bookstore!"

She skips off and Yang rolls her eyes and takes off after her, determined to not be left behind. Weiss and Blake end up following them at a more leisurely pace.

"I was taught the same thing, you know," Weiss remarks as they stroll along, arms folded primly behind her back. "Any threat was a real threat. And real threats were to be eliminated." She taps her sword's hilt. "That's why I was given combative training so early."

Blake shrugs. "We didn't really deal in threats," she mutters. "We just gave ultimatums. If they refused, they died where they stood."

Weiss allows this with a dip of her head, swallowing hard. "Naturally," she murmurs. A pause. "The point is, it gets easier." She looks up to meets Blake's gaze evenly. "Eventually you learn not everyone is trying to kill you. You learn to stop looking over your shoulder, and locking your door at night." She offers the Faunus a demure smile. "It doesn't happen overnight, of course. But it will, in due time."

Blake nods uncertainly, not sure if she buys Weiss' statement, when Yang calls from the front, "Blake! You think they'll have Ninjas of Love 2 here?"

The Faunus flushes darkly and surges forward to chase after her partner, who breaks out in a run, laughing loudly.


So….some explanations.

Firstly, Blake was raised by the White Fang, but yet turned out relatively normal? Idk man they blame Weiss' upbringing for a lot of her issues, but I feel like Blake would absolutely have some social hurdles to work through. Maybe it's a stretch. I liked the idea.

Also, the voices I used were a little different. I know the girls in canon are like, 17, and I usually try to give them 17 year-old voices. But today I said fuck it and gave them voices that I think better suit their characters. That's why Yang's a little more flirty.

I have no idea where this falls on the RWBY timeline. I guess some time before the Vytal Festival?

Anyway, I hope you liked it!