A/N: Twenty six chapters after they met, and Eye of the Tiger has officially sailed. I tried to keep it as slow a burn as possible, and wound up almost missing the opportunity. Still, Ozpin's machinations loom, and Arthur will be hard pressed to remain a free man. I can say for many of the naysayers that come the end of this tale, Luck Takes a Turn will be very out of canon. But before we focus on the horizon, let's check in on our power couple – and the downsides of being close to Vale.


Chapter 28

The first thing Sienna noticed when she awoke was the amount of sunlight streaming into the room. Typically she was an early riser, to be better prepared and allow for any remedial exercise, but the satisfying warmth and soreness from the previous night's activities made her reluctant to move. Behind her, Arthur's larger form curled protectively around her, his arm wrapped around her stomach underneath the sheets. His presence was comforting, something she'd never really admitted to herself until now. Whenever Arthur had been close by, Sienna had felt more secure in herself. Now he was snuggled up behind her, just as bare as she was, and she couldn't find a damn thing wrong with the situation.

Well, not entirely. She thought with a wince, rubbing her legs together to alleviate the soreness. Note to self: never underestimate the core strength of a man who's ridden horses all his life. Although it did help with her aching muscles, it brought to her attention another problem. Sighing in defeat, the Faunus gently removed Arthur's forearm from her midsection and slid to the edge of the bed, smirking at his sleepy grumble. Her bare feet touched the cold floor, causing her to shiver as she relinquished she sheets. Sienna made to stand...then promptly sat back onto the bed as her muscles betrayed her. The Faunus' eyes widened as she realized just how out of sorts she was, and she was tempted to wake Arthur to help her get to the bathroom. But to do so was to admit defeat, or even invite a repeat of the previous night. While the second option had its merits, Sienna had her pride to consider.

On her second attempt, she managed to make it into the bathroom, though she landed quite heavily on the toilet itself. All cold porcelain and tile, the trip did wonders to wake her up. Sienna pushed more Aura toward her core, actively soothing her sore muscles now that she could focus. The feeling gradually ebbed away, allowing her to at least stand and look at herself in the mirror. She leaned against the counter and stretched, arching her back to try and get the kinks out. When she got a loud pop and a settling sensation at the base of her spine, Sienna groaned in relief and opened her eyes once more.

Even with her dusky complexion, there were a few marks on her neck that had been left by the outlaw in her bed. Smirking at her reflection, she turned on the shower and let it warm as she considered how to move forward.

Arthur had excused himself countless times to give her privacy and protect her modesty, but last night he had performed with such gusto that she knew he had felt some way about her for some time. She couldn't deny her reliance on him, and his brutal honesty and dedication were attractive in a partner. She had considered him a candidate for something more even before she'd been stripped of her leadership. Now? Now Arthur was one of the only people on Remnant that she could truly rely on.

Stepping into the shower, Sienna sighed as the warm water cascaded down upon her. Her attraction to Arthur notwithstanding, she wasn't exactly in a position for a courtship. They were heading to Vale just to make sure that one of the four Kingdoms wouldn't send her to prison the second she was seen in public. Beyond that, Arthur's problems were still numerous. Chief among those problems was the survival of his former teacher, Dutch Van der Linde. According to what little he had gleaned from Ozpin, Arthur believed that there was a small group of people doing their best to disrupt and dismantle civilization across all four Kingdoms. Atlas and Mistral could do with some restructuring in her opinion, but that hardly meant that every person in those Kingdoms deserved to starve and die.

Sienna heard a groan outside through the bathroom wall, and she realized that now they were going to have to talk about...whatever it was they were. Girlfriend and boyfriend sounded too elementary, and lovers hardly covered it. Anything more concrete was out of the question, no matter how long Kali had been ribbing her about the man. No, they were simply partners. Hopefully Arthur would agree with her.

Even though it was tempting, Sienna wrapped herself in the towel she had dried off with, lest they focus on an encore instead of a very important conversation. She opened the door slowly, allowing the steam from the shower to roll out ahead of her. When she peeked around the door, Arthur was sitting on the side of the bed in his trousers and bare feet, shirtless. Now that she was a little more cognizant, Sienna realized that she had marked the outlaw up quite well; faint red lines danced up his ribs and could be seen along the curve of his shoulders, and there were definitely a few love bites along his collarbone. The man himself was staring back at her, his eyes sweeping over her towel clad form with a look that was torn between hunger and concern. He had woken up without her, and had likely wondered where she was.

"Morning, tiger." She greeted, walking over to him and ruffling his hair. He chuckled at the action and wiped the sleep from his eyes, groaning as he stretched out the kinks.

"Seems more like afternoon to me. How'd you sleep?" A hand grasped her hip gently, pulling her closer but not getting adventurous. She obliged him by placing her hands on his shoulders, straddling his legs as she gazed down on him with lidded eyes.

"Better than I have in a long time. No thanks to you, of course." She teased, and she felt his grip shift from her hips to her lower back. A rumble in his chest came as Arthur hummed, clearly doubtful of her words.

"I didn't hear any complaints. Must have slept on the wrong side of the bed." He responded, and already she could feel how her presence effected him. Underneath her, he began to stir with renewed purpose.

"Easy, cowboy. While another round is very tempting, I believe we have somewhere to be." She made a single gyration of her hips, drawing out a groan as she stood from his lap. "Let's get something to eat. We can play around when we get to Vale." Arthur watched her go, torn between getting back on the road and dragging her back into bed, but he reluctantly began looking around for his boots. Sienna began picking up her clothes from the previous night, storing what she didn't need in her bag.

Arthur watched her for a few moments, entranced by her form and still in somewhat disbelief of how last night had ended. He had always considered her beautiful, anyone that disagreed would have been either crazy or petty. Their relationship had always been warm, even in the times when she had been angry with him. Hell, the times she had been mad at him had been when the passion had burned brightest. But he hadn't predicted that she would be the one to make the first move.

"So, about last night..." He hedged, and the Faunus stopped gathering for a moment to focus on him. She grinned sheepishly, not quite used to situations such as this. She'd had a casual fling or two, both being Faunus in the middle of a fight for civil rights, needing to take the edge off more than anything. With Arthur, though, it was something more.

"What, is there something you want to try next time?" She asked with a shaky laugh. "Don't tell me you thought this was a one time thing?" At the mention of 'next time', whatever tension that had been gathering in Arthur released, his shoulders relaxing slightly as a soft smile crossed his face.

"Yeah, I figured as much. I was just...well, hoping that we were sticking together." The outlaw clearly struggled with situations like this as well. Although knowing his history, he was just as unfamiliar with commitment as she was. But the happiness she had glimpsed when he knew that she wasn't just going for some casual fling sent a swell of warmth all the way down to her toes.

"Arthur? Come on, we're burning daylight here." Sienna chastised, already pulling on a set of pants and wearing her tight top. He shook himself from his daze and started looking around as well, wondering just how in the hell his hat had wound up on the ceiling fan.

Thirty minutes later, their bags were packed and slung over Famine's back. It was already nearly noon, and Arthur's stomach growled loudly enough for the both of them. They grabbed a few sandwiches and some coffee for the road, and began their final ride to Vale. With both of them mounted, they stood a better chance of reaching the city's edge by nightfall. Though Arthur did take some pride in her riding sidesaddle due to some lingering soreness.

The storms that had swept through the area during the past few days left the surroundings damp and washed out, the skies gray and overcast. Still, the stifling heat of Lemoyne wasn't present, and it wasn't cool enough to be uncomfortable. It was a nice day for a ride, and their high spirits made the journey quick and enjoyable. During the ride, Sienna had drawn the Peacekeeper and was spinning its cylinder as she inspected the weapon. Its engraved metals and comfortable weight made for decent exploration. She had removed the rounds already, of course; Burn Dust rounds made by Arthur himself. With the rounds seated in a speed loader he had given her, Sienna was free to spin the revolver on her finger like some circus performer.

"You alright back there, Black Bell? Careful with the old girl." Arthur chastised playfully. Sienna snorted and twirled the revolver around her finger one last time before opening the cylinder and loading it once more. She deposited the Peacekeeper back into his holster and kept her arm around his waist, leaning forward to rest for a moment.

"I have no idea who that is, but I'm assuming its someone you beat in a duel." Sienna muttered. Arthur chuckled and shook his head.

"No, I actually helped her out of a bad spot. She and I cleared out nearly forty bounty hunters in one go. Fiery woman, but a little old for me." Arthur shifted slightly as she rested her chin on his shoulder, trying to keep Famine's steady gait from boxing her jaw on his collarbone.

"Yes, I've believe I might have discovered your tastes, Mr. Morgan." She whispered in his ear slyly, sending goosebumps down his arms. He twisted his head slightly, trying to keep his ear aware from the dusky devil that clung to his back.

"No need to remind me, Miss Khan. The road is hardly the place to frustrate a murderous outlaw." He reprimanded lightly, more to keep her from starting something that would delay them further than out of any discomfort. Sienna snorted and leaned back, returning her view to the paths they were taking.

The wilderness outside of the city of Vale was starting to look more and more settled, the dirt paths giving way quite quickly to paved roads and metal signs. Traffic became more plentiful as well, the two travelers passing a menagerie of Dust-powered vehicles and horse drawn carriages in equal number. A few travelers were on foot, though their simple clothing and lack of extravagant weapons indicated that they weren't Huntsmen or Huntresses. That didn't mean Arthur didn't notice a rifle or two, however.

By midday, the looming walls of Vale were in sight. A generous forest surrounded the city as it butted up against a busy port. The bay area was largely home to the shipping companies that fed civilization and facilitated the trade between nations, but there were also a few ferries running back and forth from the island of Patch. If his math was right, Ruby and Yang would be getting ready for school some time soon.

Behind him, Sienna was looking at the bustling city with a different eye. Where he saw progress and life, the Faunus perceived it as a complex hive of people, each trying to win over the other in the constant race called life. More times than not the Faunus were the losers, but her recent fall from power showed that her people could be just as underhanded and cruel. And now she knew better than to blame every evil on the humans. A few of the passersby had given her dirty looks, prompting her to don the hat that Arthur had gotten her. Obviously word of the White Fang's violent shift had reached this Kingdom as well.

"Hey, Arthur..." She prompted quietly as he slowed Famine down, seeing no reason to push the loyal horse when their destination was so close. "What do you think about the White Fang? The things we've done?"

The outlaw sighed at her question and didn't answer right away, reaching up to scratch the stubble of his cheek instead. He pondered her question for a few moments, not wanting to answer flippantly.

"I guess it was kind of inevitable, really. You keep putting pressure on people, eventually they're gonna fight back. It's only natural." His mind went back to the braves that had died with Eagle Flies and their attack on Cornwall's oil facility. They had been betrayed and lied to and pushed around for too long, and eventually they too had snapped. "I'm sure you know me well enough that you know I don't hate 'em."

Sienna bit her lip, sensing a continuation coming. "But...?" She hedged, not sure if she wanted to hear the rest.

"Well, you know I can't say that they've hit every nail on the head. You recruited some desperate people, and a lot of them had more grudge than sense." Arthur spit into the dirt, obviously thinking of Adam Taurus in particular. "You kept picking fights without offerin' quarter, which made the Kingdoms think that there was no reasoning with you. And what support you did get a hold of had too many damn strings attached. And, if you don't mind me sayin', you hired some really questionable outlaws." He added that last bit to soften the blow, but he also knew that she wouldn't have accepted his answer had he pulled his punches. A mirthless chuckle came from behind him, and her hold on his sides loosened slightly.

"Did I really condemn them to failure? I did everything I could, but were we doomed from the start? Did all that strife mean we were...evil?" The last part was more to herself than Arthur, but he heard in anyway with how she was buried in his back.

"Horseshit." His sudden expletive caused a few travelers on foot to hurry past them, hooded gazes toward them somewhat fearfully. "Ain't nothing in this world as certain as 'good' and 'evil'. Them are just words for people to feel better about themselves. Think about it; there's plenty of people that go about their lives every day and never have a real opportunity to do something. Something good, something bad, doesn't matter. What matters is you don't know how good someone really is until you see them make tough decisions." Arthur turned in the saddle and gave Sienna a level stare.

"You did make some hard choices. Choices that got some people hurt. Others killed." Her face fell when he said that. "But a lot more happened that was positive. And I know what harm you did cause was either accidental, or for the best. How many others can say that these days? Atlas? Mistral? Hell, even Vacuo is eat up with bureaucrats like a dog with fleas. And I know Sienna Khan did what was right, not just what was expected or what benefited her. As for the rest, well... their sins are their own." His eyes wandered past her, further down the road they had already traveled as a familiar smell crossed his nose for the third time in the past half hour.

"Arthur, I..." Sienna smiled softly. "Thank you." She nuzzled into his back, chastising herself for ever doubting him in the first place. She noticed his eye cast behind them after he had broken their gaze and turned around eyes well, watchful for whatever it was that might have attracted his attention.

"What is it?" She asked quietly, squinting into the mottled browns and greens of the shady woods around them. She had seen numerous people walk by and give them a passing glance, but not enough that it rated a second glance. She was about to ask what had caught his attention when she caught an earthy aroma as the wind shifted, something she hadn't smelled since their time at sea: tobacco.

"Someone's smoking Burning Reds." Arthur replied with a wrinkled nose. "Filtered stuff that smells like more chemical than tobacco leaf, but I saw it all the time at the bounty offices. We're bein' followed."

Sienna cursed and fought the urge to look around again, knowing full well that if she revealed that she knew they were being tailed, the fight would soon commence. It was better to try to passively gather information and control the environment of the upcoming fight, if possible.

"We're too close to the city to turn back now, but the guards will likely side with any bounty hunters over us." The Faunus whispered, and Arthur could hear her chain begin to unravel in preparation. Though he was loathe to take a detour now of all times, she had a point. The customs office for Vale was not traversed easily, and trying to rush the process would only arouse suspicion. The gates were held partially open in case of a Grimm attack, but he couldn't barge in without a good reason...

Wait.

"I got a plan, I think." Arthur said with a grim frown. "But I ain't really excited about it." Most of the bounty hunters he saw out in the frontier were the rough looking types, hard to tell from the bandits they often hunted just from looking. He needed to lay eyes on them to be sure, but it was a safe assumption regardless. Arthur guided Famine off of the beaten path, sliding into the woods easily enough while keeping a wary eye out for intruders. He cast one last look at the gate, maybe fifteen hundred feet away, before the trees obscured it from view.

With their position temporarily concealed, Arthur turned around to face Sienna in the saddle, dropping down to the ground in one languid movement while holding up a hand to stop her from doing the same.

"What are you doing, Arthur?" Sienna demanded, looking around frantically like a child lost in the woods. "You're going to get us ambushed, coming over here like this!" The outlaw grinned at her worried words and tapped the side of his nose in a conspiratory manner.

"That's the plan. Now I need ya to hit me. Right here." He tapped his nose again, gesturing with his hand that she needed to hurry up. Her amber eyes blinked twice in surprise, before finally the full weight of what he was asking.

"Arthur, are you insane?! What purpose does that serve?" The outlaw looked around to see if there were any bounty hunters coming, but for now they were still alone. For now.

"Look, explainin' will take too much time. Just give me a good one right here. I'd do it myself but I can't guarantee I'll do it right." Arthur held up his hands. "What's the issue? I've seen you knock plenty of folks on their ass."

"Why do you want to do this now, of all times? We have to get out of here!" Sienna hissed worriedly, swatting his arms away from her as her chain appeared from her back, wrapped around a forearm and at the ready.

"Oh, come on. If I'd known you were gonna be such a woman about it-" Before he could react, Sienna's eyes flashed dangerously and her foot snapped up, driving her boot into his nose and sending the outlaw tumbling back. As soon as he hit the ground, however, her indignant expression was replaced by worry. The Faunus jumped down from Famine's back as Arthur groggily sat up, groaning nasally as he placed both hands on either side of his misdirected nose.

"Damn it, Arthur! Why did you make me do that?" She chastised as he realigned his nose with a loud crack and a grunt of pain, snorting to test the airway and clear away the blood. He wiped the blood down his right side, doing an amateur imitation of a serious wound. With that done, a soft gold glow washed over him once more as he allowed his Aura to protect him.

"Had to make it convincing. Now back on th' horse, we ain't got time for chit chat!" He pushed to his feet and angled toward Famine just in time for a man in rough leather armor to burst through the foliage, a poorly maintained sword pointed at Sienna.

"Stop right there! Hands where I can see them!" He barked, revealing a few missing teeth. The man's unkempt hair and filthy complexion almost led Arthur to believe that he was a genuine bandit, but the fact that he was targeting Sienna specifically meant that his fears of bounty hunters were on the mark. It also meant there were probably more.

"No can do, pal." Before he could sweep his sword back to point it at Arthur, the outlaw charged the man. Bending low and tucking his chin, Arthur slammed into the man's gut hard and lifted, taking him off of his feet entirely. Both men were yelling angrily as he continued his charge, finally coming upon a stout tree and slamming the bounty hunter's back into it. Arthur heard as much as felt the air rush out of his opponent and stepped back to kick the rusted blade from his hands. Before the bounty hunter could recover, Arthur drove his knee into the the man's temple, stunning him. While the man groggily floundered and waved his arms in an uncoordinated attempt to ward off attacks that weren't coming, Arthur wiped his remaining blood down the outside of the man's forearms and smeared the rest of it underneath his own right arm on his vest.

"Alright, now we can go." The outlaw jumped up into the his saddle quickly, leaving Sienna wondering as they left an enemy combatant at their backs. She still took his offered hand and swung up behind him as the bounty hunter regained his feet, chasing after them in a daze. Famine snorted as they burst through the trees, his rider angling toward Vale's gate with urgency. As they approached, Arthur covered his bloody shirt with one hand and affected a wince, acting as if he were injured. And suddenly it all became clear to her.

"Bandits!" Arthur cried roughly as the guards came out in front of the gate. "Bandits a coming!" He used a little left over blood from his broken nose and some phlegm in his throat to make his voice sound rougher and injured, and the guards quickly moved to the gate.

"Quick, get it open!" One of them cried, and another rushed to the control booth. Famine ran up almost into the gate itself as the heavy cargo gate, more like a steel portcullis than anything, slowly lowered into its setting in the ground. While the horse spun irritably, one of the guards approached; a young man in his twenties with medium length hair and a blue on white uniform that read 'Customs'.

"Sir, are you injured?" The man cried, his hand still on the pistol at his side. Arthur groaned and moved his hand to show off the bloody vest, though he used Famine's movements to conceal the whole thing.

"There's four or five a' them." Arthur rasped, playing up the role. "Rifles and blades. I need a doctor." The guard's face paled; clearly he wasn't as seasoned as his colleagues. Arthur doubted that a more grizzled customs officers would have shied away from the blood.

"I can see that. Head on through. There's a hospital off of 5th Avenue." The young man replied, waving urgently at the control booth without looking over Arthur's wounds. If his ruse didn't require a pained grimace, the outlaw would have smiled. Wherever he had wound up, hopefully Hosea was proud of his acting skills. Sienna played her part as well, reaching around and grasping the reins as Famine trotted forward into the town. Behind them Arthur could hear a few shouted words, and thanks to his fake wounds the guards were none too welcoming for the bounty hunters. He slouched over his fake wound for a few streets for good measure, but once the city's gate was out of sight he straightened.

Vale's gate was surrounded by small motels and convenience stores that were damn near stacked on top of each other, and it took a few streets before they reached actual residential areas. Like the customs officer had said, a large concrete hospital stood on 5th Avenue, but Arthur did little more than wipe at his vest as they passed it. He withdrew a canteen from one of Famine's saddlebags and splashed some water on his hand, the albino alligator leather releasing his blood with just a few passes of his weathered palm. A few passing pedestrians gave them strange looks, but that could just as likely be attributed to Famine as it could an assumed Huntsman washing blood off of his vest.

"You could have just told me what you were planning." Sienna chided, leaning back to avoid the bloody rinse. "I can play along well enough." The outlaw barked out a short laugh at that, imagining her pout since he couldn't turn around quite yet.

"I doubted that you woulda hit me as hard as you did. Besides, got some frustration out, didn't ya?" He grinned and turned her head so that she could see it, and she swatted his back in protest. Women. There was just no pleasing them.

"Now that you're reckless plan got us in the city, what's the next step? I'd hardly think that a bounty hunter like you has the kind of connections for Headmaster Ozpin himself to drop everything and call." Sienna asked, ignoring his previous statement as she looked around the city.

"Oh, you'd be surprised. I've got a few friends 'round here, including a place we can shack up for the night." Arthur winced at that. "Provided that Marston ain't burned down the neighborhood by now." Especially since he and Sean were on that half baked plan to hunt down the doctor that put all that metal shit in Sean's head. Arthur left that bit out; Sienna had enough problems to worry about without borrowing theirs.

As for Sienna, she wouldn't deny that her curiosity for how he planned to fix her bounty issue with the Schnee family was comparable to who the rest of the gang were. She had heard countless stories from him about John Marston, Sean McGuire, and yes, even Dutch Van der Linde. She knew of Ozpin and Ironwood and Jacques Schnee and all the prominent members of Remnant's society, but the people that he was leading her to had survived together through more trial and treachery than even the most heinous SDC racial discrimination. From what he'd told her about Eagle Flies and Rains Fall, there was even some of that as well with Cornwall Kerosene & Tar.

"So, are we staying at someone else's place, or do you have an actual home? One that isn't in my guest bedroom, anyway." She joked as he guided Famine up toward Clyde St. There were a few people that looked up when they heard Famine's hooves on the street, but most seemed used to the sight compared to the other places they had traveled. Clearly he and Marston had made at least some impact on the area.

"Yeah, I got a little hole in wall here. Gives me something to spend all that bounty money on. You'd be surprised what an entire gang of bandits is worth to the government." Famine continued around the corner until they hit a stretch of buildings that had a small enclosed alleyway. In the back of it, she could see a perforated grate and a water spigot, both used to take care of Famine and make sure anything he left behind got washed away into the sewer. The three story building next to alleyway had some apartments judging by the lobby and staircase it had in lieu of a front door,Sienna noted as Arthur maneuvered the Arabian up closer to the building. She slid from the horse's back onto the street as Arthur continued in to the alley. She watched him guide Famine into the back of the alley, then slide from the saddle onto the ground. Arthur unbuckled the saddle from Famine's side and grasped the bulky apparatus easily, slinging it up onto a small collection of metal joints next to the spigot. He filled up a trough at chest height with water and fed the horse some hay from a wooden crate, then closed an accordion style gate behind him as Famine munched comfortably. Arthur used some of the excess water to clean the last bits of blood from his vest, though he still had a few stains on his pants and shirt.

As he wiped his hands down his front, Sienna looked up at the apartment building and the lobby that was just inside. Arthur opened the glass door and held it open for her, then inclined his head toward the stairs. A small desk and a half dozen mailboxes sat just inside, though the attendant wasn't available when they went past. According to the neatly written schedule on the front of the desk, it was only manned during the week.

"Figured you'd like a shower and some relaxation time before we went to go see John and the rest. I know I could use one." Arthur offered as he trod up the steps, his spurs jingling lightly in the confined acoustics of the stairwell.

"Are you implying that I need a bath, Arthur? Or do you just want to see me out of these clothes?" She teased, and Arthur chuckled in response.

"I was think more about how I don't need to be so ripe with a lady present, but don't let me stop ya if you wanna get more comfortable." He turned and looked back at her over his shoulder for a moment, and she could see something smoldering in those dark eyes of his. It sent a small thrill down her spine before settling in the pit of her stomach, burning like coals. Suddenly, she wasn't as tired from the trip as she had first thought.

Down girl. She chastised herself. Food and shower, then they could roll around for a little while.

The door to his apartment was a solid oak wood, with a metal slider at about head height that had Arthur's last name printed in neat black script on a faded yellow paper. It must have been a recently made arrangement, as the other apartment in the hallway had a wooden printed name on it, reading 'Blazkowitz'. Arthur presented a small brass key, strange given how most locks were electric and operated off of scroll identification in the cities, and unlocked the door. Sienna was about to comment on it when she remembered why he had kept their scrolls off during the trip to Vale.

Someone has been tracking him with his scroll, so it makes sense that he would be as off the grid as possible. Well, that and he just isn't all that familiar with technology, either. Sienna reminded herself. That situation with the Schnee Mansion and the adventures he'd had since then had really put some doubt in Arthur's mind when it came to scrolls and other things that relied on the CCT.

Still considering her backward boyfriend, Sienna hadn't realized that she'd followed him in until she heard the door shut behind her. The entryway to the apartment was somewhat narrow, maybe five and a half feet from wall to wall. The wallpaper was a muted blue, with faded white lines dividing the blue into a pattern of diamonds. Definitely not Arthur's doing, but homely enough anyway. A small wooden table sat just inside, decorated only by a small lamp and a picture frame, though the frame was empty. He clearly hadn't been in the apartment long enough to start hanging pictures. A few feet further in, the hallway opened up into a modest living space with a pair of faux leather couches and a wooden coffee table, with a display for a television up against the wall. He clearly hadn't figured it out yet, seeing that it was unplugged.

Sienna hid her smile at that and leaned up against the couch as Arthur hung his hat up on a stand, running a hand through his mane of hair and grumbling to himself. The outlaw pulled his gun belt from his hips and hung it over another peg on the stand, the Peacemaker facing outward in case he needed to pull it quickly. He walked around the half wall opposite of the television and entered a small tiled kitchen with a marble island, opening a gray metal refrigerator and pulling a beer from inside. He offered one to her, and she nodded. Another beer was held by the neck between his fingers as he closed the door back. He walked over from inside the kitchen and offered her the drink.

"Not a bad place, Arthur. I was expecting something outside of the city, honestly." She admitted, twisting the cap off of the bottle and taking a sip. After their travels, a drink was just what she needed. Arthur did the same and breathed a contented sigh, resting his elbows across the the counter.

"Yeah, I was too. Problem is, I can't keep a homestead all by my lonesome. No point in feeding the local bandits with what's in my cabinets while I'm out chasing Lien." The outlaw explained. "With a family or two I could manage, no problem. I was gonna offer the idea to Marston, but Jack is too happy here to move 'em."

"I'm sure you'll come up with something." Sienna gave him another look, then turned and faced away as she took another draw. "Still, this is nice little apartment. And tastefully furnished as well." Arthur pushed off of the counter and came around the wall to sit down on one of the couches, his beer settling on the coffee table with a small wooden circle underneath it.

"That would be Abigail's doing. I told her what I was lookin' for and gave her the money. I'm not here long enough to browse in between jobs. That, and my friends keep needing help from a grizzled outlaw." He winked as he leaned back, and she joined him on the couch. She leaned into him to get more comfortable, keeping her half-empty bottle balanced on her knee as she shifted into his chest. Arthur blinked slightly in confusion, but wrapped his arm around her shoulders after only a moment of hesitation. He still wasn't used to their new relationship, but he clearly wasn't averse to it. She brought up her free hand to stroke his gently by her shoulder.

"What's going to happen here, Arthur?" Sienna asked as she ran a thumb over his worn hand. "Ozpin has a lot of influence, but you can't expect him to outweigh the world's largest Dust supplier and the Atlesian government." Arthur grumbled and rubbed at his growing beard.

"I've helped him before, and the old schoolmaster has more power than he advertises. I hate owing favors to folks, but Summer swears up and down that he's a good fella. Hell, both her kids are attending his school soon. There's at least some trust there." He shrugged. "If that don't work, we'll figure something out. We ain't gonna let that Schnee asshole do anything to ya."

"Hmm. I feel so protected." Sienna teased, setting her beer down on the table. As she leaned back one more she turned to face him on the couch, running a hand softly across the his cheek. An easy grin spread across his face and he shifted in his seat to welcome her embrace. Whatever they cared about showers or some dinner fled as she pressed her lips against his, shifting into a melded embrace as he leaned back along the couch. Hands roamed and buttons were freed as they continued to explore, completely missing the appearance of a third party into the room.

"Ugh. You two are just like my parents." Arthur and Sienna's wide eyes met for a moment before both struggled up from the couch, looking around before they realized that Blake was standing in the hallway that led to several bedrooms past the kitchen.

"Blake? When the hell did you get here?" Arthur demanded, then narrowed his eyes in suspicion. "How in the hell did you get in here?" Sienna simply crossed her arms and huffed as she waited for an explanation. As glad as she was to see the young Belladonna alive and well, the girl had certainly interrupted something she had been looking forward to.

"I was scout for a little while, remember? That alleyway window you leave cracked was really easy to reach." Blake winced apologetically. "Sorry about your planter though."

"I had a planter?" Sienna heard Arthur mumble, and she could only shake her head. The former White Fang commander stood from the couch and readjusted herself.

"I'm glad you got away from Adam and the others, Blake. Especially seeing as how you're the reason Arthur knew what was going on. As much as I would have enjoyed a heads up as well...thank you. I owe you a lot." The tigress bowed slightly, and Blake's face tinted pink as she looked away. Ghira's daughter or not, she had never been one that was good at accepting praise.

"Actually, I was hoping I could call in that favor." The teen hedged, and Arthur could only chuckle in response. "Not to sound ungrateful, but the way things went down at Headquarters left me high and dry. Not to mention the train." When she said 'train', Arthur's countenance darkened considerably. Train jobs were always messy, and John had nearly been killed after one of Dutch's schemes had them hijacking Cornwall's freight.

"What about your parents? Surely Kali and Ghira could protect you in Menagerie." Sienna offered, but Blake only shook her head.

"No offense Lady Khan, but being protected is not how I'm going to fix any of this. The White Fang were the best choice at the time, but now we need a new answer. Despite what Adam did to us, you were still right; we can't be passive and expect the world to change for us." The girl explained, and Arthur couldn't deny the truth in her words. Idealistic maybe, but still true.

"Alright, so how do you plan to do things now?" He asked. "And where do we come into play?" Blake moved from the hallway and sat quietly on the couch opposite of Arthur, which allowed Sienna to reclaim her seat as well, though she wasn't quite so clingy knowing that they had company.

"I need to get into Beacon." Blake responded, and Arthur winced at that. "It's secure, it's a source of training, and a Huntress can change more minds than a terrorist. It would also be a good way to dodge the SDC." When she said that, the outlaw's eyes trailed up toward her ears that were prominently on display. When Blake noticed, she dug into her pocket and held up a ribbon.

"I've hidden among humans before using a bow and avoiding attention. It shouldn't be hard to do the same there." She reasoned, but her hand fell when Sienna shook her head.

"A piece of ribbon and some books may fool the humans there, but other Faunus will know. Some may not appreciate seeing you hide in plain sight while they suffer." The tigress did not say it accusingly, but it wasn't hard to imagine the reactions of the other students. Seeing Blake skate by while they endured harsh treatment would cause many to get angry.

"That's a chance I'll have to take. I don't like it, but avoiding Adam and the White Fang is more important than breaking up school bullying." She offered an apologetic smile to her former commander. "Don't worry. There's a difference between being hidden and doing nothing. I'll find ways to help." Sienna said nothing, but the other two took it as silent agreement.

"So let me guess. You want me to walk into Ozpin's office and ask him for not one, but two favors? I know the guy owes me, but I don't think he owes me that much." Arthur rubbed his forehead, already wishing that he'd grabbed the whiskey instead of the beer. Still, Blake made good points.

Huntsmen and Huntresses were universally liked in every circle except the most criminal. They killed Grimm, had borderline super powers, and were almost always colorful and outgoing. A few tended to sour relations with selfish or harmful actions, but Blake Belladonna would help more people by slaying Grimm than she would sitting in prison.

"Alright, I'll do my best. I can reason with most folks, but Ozpin is a rare breed. He may want somethin' in return." In fact, Arthur could damn near guarantee it. Still, the look of relief and gratitude on Blake's face made the prospect a little easier to bear.

"I bet you need a place to stay as well, Belladonna." Sienna narrowed her eyes when the teen shook her head. "I know your family doesn't have any holdings in Vale, and I also know that there is an active White Fang cell here."

"That really isn't necessary, Lady Khan. I can take care of myself." Blake tried, but Sienna was having none of it.

"Nonsense. You will stay here until enrollment. That way we can make certain you are safe and protect you from any inquiries. Also, I will need something from you." Sienna stood up and walked over to Blake, digging into a pocket as she went. Blake looked ready to agree to anything until Sienna's scroll flopped into her lap, causing her to freeze.

"Call your mother. Now."

Arthur and Sienna watched as the teen hesitantly paced back and forth across the living room, giving Kali a rough explanation on what had happened with the White Fang and why she wasn't returning home. Blake winced and worried as she paced, but neither of them could hear what her mother was saying.

"This is better, y'know." Arthur said with a nudge. "I'd rather her be here taking up space than wandering Vale. Cities like these are tough, especially on young girls." Sienna hummed in agreement, and finally decided that Blake was being truthful with her doting mother.

"Now that that's settled, how about that shower?" She asked with a sigh, walking down the hallway toward what she assumed was the master bedroom. It had a bathroom attached to it, a queen sized bed, and several dressers of the same dark wood that Arthur seemed to prefer. The outlaw followed her into the bedroom and shut the door, tossing a thumb towards the bathroom.

"You can take first crack at it. I'm gonna try and get some rest first." Before he could even begin to unbutton his shirt, two striped hands gripped his lapels and pulled him down to a pair of burning amber eyes.

"No. You're coming with me into that shower, and so help me if one more thing interrupts us there will be blood." She snarled lowly. Arthur blinked for a moment, then shrugged his shoulders and pulled her to him.

"Yes ma'am."

By the time they actually managed to turn the shower on, Blake had come to return Sienna's scroll to her only to turn around and set it on the counter. Her mother may have seemed like an innocent housewife, but Blake was no stranger to the sound of slapping flesh and hushed moans. She immediately decided to move into her room properly and settle down with a good book, no matter how red her face was.


A/N: Happy New Year to everyone. Sorry it took so long.