Disclaimer: I own nothing of RWBY.


Corn

By: Imyoshi

Shut up and feed me!

A tiny chick squawked at Jaune Arc with her itsy-bitsy wings flapping in a menacing show of force. He grinned and laid his finger down on the dirt so the birdie could hop on. What Mr. Tall, Blond, and Scraggly did not know was that that peck-peck-pecking chick was none other than his friend Yang Xiao Long. Yup with a popping P.

Beacon's certified bombshell, number two in class but number one in everyone's hearts, currently ate bits of corn out of Jaune's palm with him none the wiser. No one but her adorable sister knew of her condition. Sickness? Gift? A tragic play waiting to be written? Whatever it was, turning into a tiny bird was not, in fact, Semblance related.

Blame her mother.

How this strange friendship between human and magic mumbo-jumbo mishmash happened required the clocks turned back a few weeks and then some. Yang remembered it vividly. Jaune found herself using Beacon's fancy birdbath during dinner and things more or less routined there with him feeding her corn, becoming clockwork with her picking at his shoelaces.

That was the short version.

Extended version included Yang covering herself and chirping violently at the blinking Arc, only remembering after her double-digit squawk that she was a chick. He had mistaken her angry noises for random bird noises, cooing at the stray chick splashing and ransacking around in Beacon's secluded gardens. What? Cut her some slack. Human or bird, she had to stretch her wings from time to time.

Whatever.

What had followed after was Jaune feeding the local birds bits of corn and bread. Other birds ran off. Other birds had birdbrains. Not her. No one ruffled Yang's feathers. This roughly ten-centimeter, five pounds ball of fluff was an amalgam of awesome. She skipped the bread and went right for the corn. Little stomach, huge portions! Until she reached full maturity, Yang's transformation was limited to a plump chick's body. Tiny feet. Tiny wings. A peck-peck beak. Worst of all, her yellowish body resembled that of a ball of feathers with two beady eyes. Best of all, her signature cowlick transferred over and pushed a single feather up. So win-win.

Now to restart the clocks.

Jaune sat on a lone bench with vegetation, dirt, and a birdbath nearby. Routinely, well ever since she discovered this quirky quirk of his, he came by and fed any critters who so happened to enjoy corn and bread for the first few days, only for Yang to scare them off with an Aura powered chick body. Now he only came by to feed her, bringing only corn as she scoffed at all things bread. Some of the novelty came due to her being the only free-roaming chick. He never looked around for a hen or rooster, not like he would find one.

Jaune lifted her to his face. "Hey, Chirpy, how's my favorite chick doing? Want some corn?"

Chirp!

Yang Xiao Long refused to cheep. No, no, no! She chirped. Not a sound chicks made, not naturally, hurting her vocal cords every so often, but Aura reversed the damage, and Huntress Pride kept her from cheeping. Half the reason she suspected Jaune took such a liking to her chick form might stem from the fact she was so different. Cheeping meant acting lovable, and Ruby was the adorable one. Yang behaved toughly.

Hence the name Chirpy.

Chirpy! Her title. Her name. Her moniker. Chirpy belonged to her. Chirpy the Chick! Original and already cliche. She knew full well changing it was as easy one-two-three but played along with Jaune's game. Beady eyes hungered for corn and the need to enjoy the simpler things. To make her demands known, she spread her miniature wings.

Shut up and feed me!

He laughed without worry and held out his other hand stuffed with corn. "Man, you're always so hungry. Maybe you should cut back? You'd probably stop looking like a ball if you do."

How about nope? Chick Yang nipped greedily at his palm before he moved her and the tasty food to his shoulder, her favorite spot. She learned a few things between her chicken human hybrid lifestyle. Corn tasted whatever as a human, so and so. Corn tasted out-of-this-world amazing as a chick.

"So... I think I finally figured out a way to ask Weiss out."

Chirpy rolled her eyes.

Here we go again. Jaune, she's not into you, but I approve of your spirit. Please, keep talking.

Another routine of theirs. Jaune brought corn. He talked. Yang ate corn. She listened and tweeted randomly. A flawless system that boosted his confidence and fed her. Besides, she enjoyed his rambling and doomed to fail plans. For someone so tactical on the field, praised high-and-low by his team, he failed majorly hard on the love department. So dense. Clueless. Chick Yang could only offer his shoulder as reassurance.

"A picnic. I'll invite Weiss to a picnic and serenade her with my guitar." Jaune turned to his shoulder. "What do you think, Chirpy?"

You're crazy if you think that's going to work. Weiss hates sitting on the floor. Why would she want to sit on the grass with a bunch of little critters slithering around?

Chick Yang responded by blinking dumbly and eating more corn, sitting on her ball-shaped body. She never chirped. Somehow that soothed the clueless leader, forcing her to endure a long tirade of his grandmaster, foolproof plan, going through step-by-step of his process with her dismantling every section with a swiftness that only made her want to transform and smack the upside of his head.

Dork.

"And that's it." Jaune poked chick Yang's cheek. "Thoughts?"

You're an idiot. And I'm out food. One of those problems we can solve right now. The other?

Chirpy got up and stretched her wings, shaking her tailfeathers. Then she chirped loudly, hopping off his shoulder toward the hand with the remaining corn. Monster closed his fingers, picking her up with the other to raise her to his grinning eye-level.

"I think you've had enough, Chirpy. Someone's looking a little bulgy around their whole body."

Yang mentally nodded. Fair point. Now, for her retaliation. She blinked slowly, tilted her head, and then pinched his palm with her claws and pecked at his skin with her beak. Yelping followed. Not good enough. Her wings stretched out with her bouncing on his hand, scratching with her nails.

Shut up and feed me!

For his credit, he understood her wild gestures and wordlessly rolled his eyes, holding up his other hand with his palms laid flat against one another to act as a fleshy bridge. Much better. Waddling, waddling, Yang ate her fill as he mumbled to himself, probably putting the final touches to his plan with him double and even triple-checking for any loopholes. She merely ate until her stomach threatened to burst, and then rolled onto her back. Other chicks saw this pose as trauma or death, something to fear, something to cry over, but Chirpy honestly enjoyed some of the perks of having a ball-shaped body.

Jaune thought so too, a sucker for whenever she acted like this. "You're so adorable. You're the best chick in the world."

Damn right.

He laughed and checked his Scroll for any missed messages and the time. "Hm? If I hurry to my room, I might be able to run into Weiss before Team RWBY drags her around for another adventure. What do you think?"

Chirpy mindlessly twitched her wing.

Don't worry, Vomit Boy. I'm not going anywhere. And I doubt Blake's in the mood to hit Vale. So she's all yours, tiger. Go knock her overpriced socks off.

He nodded vigorously. "Wish me luck."

Jaune got to his feet and carefully set her inside a shady bush before running off. Instead of just jumping to her hooks, Yang waited to make sure the coast was clear of any residual life. Ten minutes trudged by uneventful. Not a soul in sight. Alrighty then. She rolled onto her feet, ruffling her feathers. Out the hedge she went, strolling past much of the vegetation and fruity thickets, and skedaddled to the isolated side of the garden where only trees and ordinary shrubs grew. After another check around, Chirpy went to the furthest tree.

Time to go meet up with my team. I wonder what Ruby's been up to all day? I swear, if she's snuck away with Blake's book again while I was busy, I'll hide Crescent Rose and paint it pink.

A tubby chick walked one side of the tree, and Yang Xiao Long exited the other side with a full stomach and an easy-going mood set up on high. Stretching her wings always put a kick in her step. Chirping with Jaune only elevated the mood. She might only scold Rubes once she inevitably caught her redhanded with Blake's Ninjas of Love deluxe edition.

All signs pointed to nope.

She rubbed her stomach, stuffed with corn. How crumbs of corn managed to fill her human-sized belly eluded her. A chick she understood, that made sense in the most illogical of ways, but did the transformation up the size of the corn, too? Uh? Questionable questions she wasn't sure were worth questioning. Like where her clothes went or how they reappeared. Better to ignore it and head for the Mess Hall for a quick dessert, and then find her troublemaker of a little sister.

So she exited the garden.

Yang waltzed through the courtyard, dragged her hand over the water at Beacon's fountain, entered the Academy, and crashed into Jaune who turned a corner with an abundance of stuff clung to his arms. He fell to his feet. She did not. He groaned. She laughed and dragged her feeding friend up to his feet with a mighty tug. Before she asked whoa, hotshot, where's the fire at, she immediately noticed all the stuff littering the floor.

Roses? Chocolates? Not one but two guitars? Even a coconut creampie with a can of whip cream? Huh? Did she dare ask? Ha! She snagged that line and jumped at the chance by grabbing a few items and shaking them with Nora-level grin.

"What's up, Lady Killer? Heading to a picnic?"

He grinned and swiped them from her hands. "It's a surprise."

Why not mess with him. "A surprise, huh? You're sure it has nothing to do with Weiss and a date?"

"W-Who told you?"

She smirked. "You just did. Right now."

He threw his head back and mumbled loudly to himself. "Come on, Arc! You have seven sisters. That's the oldest trick in the book."

Her smirk stretched. "No kidding, casano-duh!"

"Mock me while you can, but watch and learn." Jaune huffed proudly. "By this time tomorrow, I'll have won over Weiss' heart."

Her smirk stretched even more. "I'm going for In Your Dreams, two-hundred."

"Ha-ha. You may not know this, but I have a very reliable source backing me up this time." Jaune waved his free hand. "Love is in the air."

It was a full-blown Cheshire Cat smirk. "Along with your head. How's it up there in the clouds?"

His idea of a comeback came in the form of sticking his tongue out. Yang, for all her years of teasing, regrettably repeated the action and mentally prepared herself for when he undoubtedly crashed and burned. Tomorrow's food frenzy was going to a heartache filled one, meaning she had to act extra adorable and peck at her wing. That always seemed to put him in a better mood.

"So?" Yang dawdled. "What's up with those chocolates? You sharing or am I stealing the box?"

She half-expected him to say no or not answer her at all and walk away, maybe sprint, but he must be in a better mood than she thought, shocking her when he really offered her some straight out of the box. Jaune even allowed her to choose between the gourmet selection. Hmm? This one, that one, and one of those.

"Never knew you had such a sweet tooth?"

"I don't..." Yang answered, stuffing one inside her mouth. "But even I can enjoy chocolate every once in a while. Especially the free variety."

She playfully chewed on her first piece, sharing a chocolatey stained grin with her fellow blond. "You're horrible."

"And you're delusional."

His response to that one was stuffing her mouth full with another piece of chocolate.

...

Chirp!

As a magical, shapeshifting chick, Yang had no foreseeable goals except lounging around and rolling on her back an hour or two a day at Beacon's gardens. Maybe take a bath? Tweet at the passing crow. Pick at some flowers. Torment the worms.

Sleep.

Doing homework, going to class, beating up Grimm, and teasing Ruby all built-up stress, fretting about things wasn't what Chirpies were about, except that wasn't entirely true. One object—Yang wanted one thing while tottering as a chick.

Jaune's Pumpkin Pete Hoodie.

One day that hoodie will be mine, Jaune. Either you give it up without a fight, or I can pay Nora. The choice is yours.

Why? Like all great ideas, it happened during a nap. She remembered sleeping in that pocket after an arduous meal, much too sluggish at the time to leave a linen bed. So warm. So soft. So detergent clean! Once she turned human, Yang attempted to purchase that same exact hoodie, only to dismally learn that those were promotional sets, meaning not sold in convenience stores, send in fifty box tops, blah-blah-blah hogwash. With that hurdle in her way, the only foreseeable outcome was to take Jaune's.

The how to her grandmaster scheme was still in the planning stages, but the one-size-fits-all hoodie would be hers in due time. Until that fateful day, chick Yang stomped her feet on the floor for Jaune to pick her up. He snickered all carefree-like and extended his hand down, wincing slightly when her razor-sharp claws pressed against delicate skin, but instead of offering his other palm of food, he relaxed on the bench with a sigh. Beady eyes already knew where this was going and prepared her squawking wings.

What happened now, casanova? Another rejection?

"So bad news, the plan failed. Weiss didn't accept my proposal." Jaune trailed. "Good news... there is no good news. Back to the drawing board, Chirpy."

Drawing board was a euphemism for winging it, something chick Yang understood very well. Yang already knew he would either have an idea or a half-baked plan by the time she finished her meal. Speaking of food, her wings spread with her chirp following.

Shut up and feed me!

That soft chuckled uplifted her spirits. Resilience's twin brother sure knew how to take rejection. Chick or not, Yang still cared for dumb-dumb and hated seeing him all down in the dumps. A possibility for why she kept up this charade of pretending to act as a run of the mill chick. Everyone needed someone to vent to, and Jaune's just so happened to be a chick on his shoulder with the ability to pile drive a Grimm into tomorrow while looking good.

Point proved after just a minute of silently pecking at his shoulder. "I don't know, Chirpy. Do you think I should give up on Weiss?"

Chirp!

Yang momentarily cursed herself for responding to a question so on point. Jaune actually turned to regard her with corn in her beak. Play dumb. Chirp! Chirp! Chirp! Uh-oh! He wasn't looking away, squinting his eyes the same way Blake narrowed hers whenever she asked if Ruby borrowed her Ninjas of Love books.

Act like a clueless chick!

She pecked at more corn, sweating underneath the intense glare with her side turned away. Thank fried noodles that Jaune bought her Broadway performance once she hit her last four pieces of crumbs. That scowl turned into a frown with his shoulder sagging, and he missed the way Chirpy relaxed while dropping the corn from her beak.

"Yeah, I think it's time to throw in the towel."

Now you're talking. About time you figured it out.

Still, celebrations aside, her chicken tender chest ached painfully from the way he paid her no attention. Not even rubbing her incredibly soft body against his neck worked its magic. Defeated? Not even close. A part of him broke. Some of that delusional confidence shattered. It was a testament to that Arc pride that he managed to hide it so well with a lighthearted simper.

Jaune chuckled aimlessly, kicking his feet out on the dirt road. He hid his hands into his hoodie's pockets, deep in thought. Yang could have nipped at his ear and received no reaction. Cursing her golden heart, she finished her meal and used the thread of his sweatshirt to travel across his chest until she stood beak-to-chin with him, pecking to grab his attention.

Cautious eyes glance down. Yang chirped. Then Jaune smiled and held her with his palm, standing to leave. He numbly brushed the sprinkles of corn off sweetcorn from his shoulder and dropped her off at her birdbath. Yang purposely splashed her head in deep, resurfacing to spray him with a measly torrent. Droplets painted his forearms. None of it affected his mood. The heartbroken blond just rested his arms against the edge to watch her play in refreshing liquid, at ease with something so simple as animal behavior.

Yang never method acted so hard in her life.

Her regularized method to clean herself involved rolling around in circles in the inch deep water, very un-chick-like. Bless her lucky stars that Jaune's bird hobby only stretched to talking and feeding them, not observing and documenting them. Then again, when she considered the notion, her romantically challenged friend saw nothing wrong with her unnatural figure, so details, details. Yang dipped her head and splashed his cheeks, chirping for good measure.

He retaliated by booping her pillow-soft noggin. "Has anyone ever told you that you're a great listener, Chirpy?"

Tell that to Doctor Oobleck. I swear he has it out to get me. I forget my homework one time, and suddenly I'm the bad apple. But no, I'll have no excuses, Miss Xiao Long!

He checked his Scroll and panicked. "Well, I'm heading off. I promised my team—I promised Nora that we'd head out to Vale today. Take care. Be back tomorrow, Chirpy."

He waved—dork—and sprinted out the garden in fear of Nora's wrath. Chick Yang did not blame him at all. Nora's ferocity made Weiss' temper appear childish. Ha! Tough noodles. Still, his running off left her in a pickle of a dilemma. Getting down from the birdbath was easy, what followed next irritated her beak.

Not this time. This time it'll be different.

Jumping from the cement podium, Yang landed with a soft thud and shook as much water as possible from her feathers. Much remained. Okay! Water everywhere! Not a problem. Chirpy carefully checked her surroundings for any wandering eyes, finding the area devoid of other life, and rolled her way to the tree, and not just a typical roll, but she rotated in every possible angle to rub her feathers against each blade of glass along the way. Again, she preferred this spherically shaped body compared to the traditional chick. Not to mention, revolving was quite fun once she got past the delicate phase, but she renounced pleasure.

Today victory belonged to her.

She maneuvered her spinning to curve around the tree. In went Chirpy, out came Yang Xiao Long with dripping hair.

She groaned loudly, pushing drenched locks away from her face. "Every time! What the heck?!"

Never in her life, ever-ever, had she successfully transformed dry after taking a dip in a pond, puddle, birdbath, whatever! Always wet, always her hair, not once dry. She remembered taking a blowdryer to the face once, a walking, squawking ball of expanded fluff and still transformed with her face damped.

Whatever.

Her Semblance activated and burnt the rest of the water from her body, but it was already far too late. Water damaged her mane, leaving her a frizzled mess in desperate need of a hundred stroke brushing technique. One day, she promised herself, one day she would transform without a drop of water anywhere. One day. Until that faithful day, Yang stomped out the garden with her eyes ablaze, daring any poor schmuck to stand in her way. Everyone wisely kept their distance the whole time, but Fate had to intervene the instant she entered the hallway.

"Whoa? What happened to your hair, Yang? Lose a fight to an Ursa?"

Nora Valkyrie.

Yang never bothered counting to ten, turning around to greet and meet her opponent. Look at her casually leaning on the doorway, grinning that Nora-like credence that only existed in one so chaotically insane, and that came from a hocus pocus shapeshifter. Unlike spineless jellyfish, fear wasn't in her vocabulary.

She approved that.

Yang respected Nora, more than respected, she admired the trigger-happy short stack. Not many showed fearlessness to her inferno inherited eyes. Nora not only bravely accepted them, she challenged them head-on with a redoubtable glint in hers, second only to that telltale smirk. Threats meant nothing to her, growling glares even less.

Only physical stimulation worked against her, and Yang knew the perfect comeback.

"Wait just a moment, Nora, kay?" Yang quickly slipped into her room and threw one of the pies Jaune gave Weiss at her face. "Payback for the food fight. Tootles!"

Then she slammed the door on a pie-faced Nora.

Nora's stunned reaction, right before the creaming filling quenched her face, erased any lingering anger with her hair, and Yang happily brushed it while Jaune berated Nora for ruining her outfit minutes before heading to Vale.

Victory never tasted so sweet.

...

Chick Yang was tormenting some caterpillar when Jaune found her.

He scolded her in front of her victim. "Chirpy! Leave that caterpillar alone."

Not that he gave her choice on the matter. Jaune swooped her up and away from her plaything, heading right for his favorite bench. Made zero difference to her, she knew where that caterpillar lived. Once he left—bam—right between its six eyes. Humph! That would teach that foolish insect from sleeping in her bush. Until her much justified revenge, lunchtime.

She pinched his finger with her claws and enjoyed the free ride. Then they sat down, and she immediately knew something was troubling him from the way he sighed and only offered her bits to eat. No story of how his day went or his newest plan of love, Jaune just sat there with his finger out-and-about, feet kicked out. Yes, that rhymed. Uh-huh, totally on purpose. Still. Another minute of this and she considered pecking his digit, aiming to break skin, but he slapped his other hand over his face and groaned.

He then peeked through his fingers, one eye staring down at her fluffy form. "Do you want to know why I'm in such a funk?" Jaune asked. "Well, it's simple. I don't belong here."

Chirpy rolled her eyes.

Not this again. I failed a test. I lost another fight. No one loves me. You're like a broken record, Jaune. You're here already, so why cry over milk that's not even spilled?

Yang didn't see the point of this constant looping, but then Vomit Boy continued. "Can you keep a secret, Chirp?"

No.

Secrets and Yang did not mix, like water and oil or Weiss and Ruby. Polar opposite they were, meant to butt heads till the end of time, but she had trouble telling him that with her cheeks stuffed to the brim with corn. Instead, she swallowed her food and then pecked at more, considering what juicy information he prepared to reveal to her. Maybe he cheated on Professor Port's exam? Stole Doctor Oobleck's mug? Hid Ozpin's cane or sent a love letter to Professor Goodwitch? Better yet, Jaune had an embarrassing snapshot of Ruby at the Halloween party?

Tell her already!

Whatever it was must be enormous. Dummy Jaune acted like a dummy, sweating. He glanced around the empty garden, doing a clean sweep while chick Yang blinked at his out-of-character behavior. For a guy who openly talked to a spunky bird without shame, he sure acted like the end of the world was approaching. When he finally checked underneath every pebble and bush, he sat down and inhaled deeply, exhaling harder. Juicy, juicy secret, come to momma bird.

He coughed. "You see, and don't tell anyone this, but my transcripts are fake."

Oh.

Whatever excitement vanished.

Hold the Scroll, Jaune! What?! Are you pulling my leg? You faked your way into this school?

Fake transcripts were something else entirely.

Yang waited for the punchline, but it never came. What he said he meant. Vomit Boy, Mr. Tall, Blond, and Scraggly, Jaune Arc, Fearless Leader of Team JNPR, faked his way into Beacon Academy. Uh, wowzers. No, seriously, what a plot twist. Yang Xiao Long wasn't sure whether to be impressed with his dedication or furious for his stupidity. Why not both? She showed her dazzled displeasure by breaking said skin and extending her wings out with an angry chirp to which he translated as shut up and feed me!

In actuality, she just waited for him to continue, knowing from practice when he was just getting started. When he spilled out his heart, he emptied everything, including his guts. A particularly troublesome habit she discovered whenever he lost a match or flunked a test. Rubes showed the same quality, but her go-to solution involved laying flat on the bed with her head pressed face-first into the pillow, groaning. So she prepared herself by rolling onto his palm once he presented more food.

Then he shifted her position to his shoulder to groan. Ordinarily, she ignored the woes of his losses or failures, but not this time. Chirpy-Yang ate slowly, not wanting her gobbling to interfere with her ears. The wait wasn't too long, and before she swallowed her second piece, he let his guts out.

"I don't know what to do." Jaune frowned. "Pyrrha's training to help me improve before anyone notices so far has been a great help, but it's not enough. Eventually, someone's going to pry, and then I'll be expelled."

Yang choked on her vegetable.

And Pyrrha knows? Miss honor student? You've got to be kidding me? How come I'm the last to find out? Where's the love?

Well, well, well, forget one-sided secrets, Team RWBY wasn't the only team around with dirty laundry of their own. If his partner knew, then it stood to assume Ren and Nora knew, too. Pyrrha couldn't zipper shut her lips that tight. Who would have thought such a thing coming from that team? What a conundrum, bringing up the subject of how to analyze this disquieting knowledge.

Obvious choice was obvious.

Yang couldn't judge him fairly. Nope, nope, nope! Blakey was an ex-terrorist. She accepted someone who, for all intents and purposes, deserved to be locked up. Even Weiss looked the other way, telling her partner to wise up and talk to them, and she had every right to be peeved at Blake. So turning her fluffy back on him was the exact definition of calling the kettle black. Nope! Nobody was perfect. Yang was a hothead, not thickheaded. She embraced his secret with a friendly chirp. Oh! Blakey was also a Faunus, too, not that that compared to working for an evil organization, but points for clarity.

He straightened his back and almost threw her off balance. Only her claws kept her falling. So typical of him to apologize, but her ramblings apparently distracted her from hearing solid points of his pity party, because he suddenly grabbed and placed her—along with the rest of her food—on the dirt. Determination burned splendidly in those deep ocean blues. Geez, what pep talk did she miss?

"You're right!" Chirp? "I can't just sit around and feel sorry for myself. I'm here already, might as keep trying. Thanks, Chirpy!"

Chick Yang tilted his head at the way he raced out the garden and toward what she suspected to be the training rooms. Points for determination. Minus a few when he tripped on his shoelaces, but she admired his driving tenacity not to give up. When he summoned his weapons locker to retrieve his weapons, something clicked in her birdbrain.

All those losses suddenly made sense.

Just everything fell into place, like some disfigured puzzle. Jaune's lack of adequate skill, his inability to win one match, and why he fussed so hard whenever he bombed a test. All of it! Just like that. Click! Bam! Right in her face like a cheap shot. Yang couldn't shake it off, eating corn that turned bitter and stale in her beak. She no longer felt hungry, staring harshly at the dirt. Then Mr. Caterpillar made a reappearance, stealing her meal.

Yang only stared at it.

Look at you! You're walking prey! All slow and soft. Anyone could beat you up. You're lucky Jaune saved you earlier, but what about now, huh? All alone without any help. You're just asking for it.

So defenseless, so why did she feel humble enough to allow it to devour her food? Stupid bug reminded her of Jaune with how ferociously weak it was, but she knew better. Unlike her friend, this little guy, with some help from Mother Nature, would eventually blossom into a breathtaking butterfly and shed that fragile skin. Jaune needed more than Pyrrha's help and some boundless confidence to undergo the same transformation. Time was not on his side. A few more failures and those nosy professors were bound to check his transcripts. Expulsion hung over the horizon.

Chirpy clicked her beak.

Why do I even care? So what if he gets expelled? It'd be better for him, this way he won't die, and Rubes won't have to attend another funeral. Sure, his team would be sad, including Ruby, but it's for his own good. Yeah! It's none of my business. None of my business. None of my—gah! Damn it!

Yang must have broken the all-time chick running world record with how fast she dashed to the tree and exited out the other side with her fists locked and loaded. Her long legs covered a great distance in no time. Goodbye, garden! Hello, black and blue!

"Arm and Hammer, you're up."

Curse her heart of bleeding generosity. All too soon, she spotted that familiar mane of sun-shaded yellow entering the training rooms without a clue to the Yangnado heading his way. Well, she aimed to fix that in five, four, three, two—!

"Ah!" Jaune screamed.

Ha!

Yang had skillfully lunged and wrapped her arm around his neck, dragging him down to her height level faster than anyone could blink. Not bad, Vomit Boy, he managed not to trip and fall. At least he had footwork on his side. Fundamentals were important. She grinned wholeheartedly, purposely smashing his face against her chest.

"Vomit Boy! Just the leader I was hoping to run into!" Yang tugged harshly. "Come on! Today's match was just awful. You need a sparring partner, asap! I'll whip that butt into shape!"

He yelped, unable to break out of her iron grip. "Why do I have a feeling you're just using me as a punching bag?"

Ha-ha! Yang tugged harder. He wasn't wrong, but punching bag to Yang correlated to endurance training. Not as if she was offering him a choice in the matter, totally not an excuse to beat some sense into him. No, no, no! What was a friendly match between good friends, and for them to be such great buddies, he needed to stay here at Beacon Academy, away from the Kingdoms.

Away from expulsion.

"Chin up, mister Arc, you get to spar with me, the cream of the crop, a dream come true."

"... More like a nightmare."

She tugged harder with her eyes turning crimson. "What was that?"

"Nothing, nothing." Jaune dragged Crocea Mors on the floor. "I look forward to fighting you of all people. My heart's about to explode in joy."

"That's right!"

Yes. Yes! Some extra training and the bonus of building him up would only benefit them all. Someday he might thank her, and if he never realized why she dragged him around, then all the better. Off to the arena to work up a sweat, only for her stomach to growl. They both paused, sharing a look.

He looked up. "Skipped lunch?"

"Shut up and move your butt!"

...

Chirpy waited impatiently in her cozy bush for Jaune to show up.

Any second now, she expected him to walk by, pick her up, feed her, and tell her about his day yesterday. Even if she happened to be there, hearing what he thought of it determined if she upped the training regime or broke his arm. Speak of the noodle-y devil, here he came with a limp in his step.

Her prey walked with a bruised body, a bandaged cheek, and frizzle frazzled hair. Impressive. Massive Aura reserves had their benefits. To only escape with that much damage meant she had to up the threshold. Good to know. Yang chirped boldly in the bush to attract his attention, rolling out. Jaune scooped her up quickly enough, taking his seat on their bench. He didn't feed her right away or start chattering, Jaune only moved her to his shoulder and huh-ed.

For once, and only this time, Yang didn't chirp for food, not that he even noticed with how spaced out he acted. That dazed off expression lasted roughly a few seconds before he came back to his senses and reached into his pocket for her food. Not a word he spoke, not when he spilled the contents on his shoulder, nor when she picked at a few to keep up appearances, only when she finished halfway did his mouth reboot.

"Huh? The strangest thing happened to me yesterday. Yang came by and sparred with me?" Jaune snorted. "Well, it's not so much as fighting as her tossing me around like a ragdoll, but I never thought she would waste the energy on me. It was kind of nice."

Chick Yang blinked.

Nice? What the heck? Not at all what she expected to hear. Possibly some aching and grunting, but nope. Who in their right mind thought getting tossed around was nice? Huh? Maybe Jaune had one of those masochist personalities? Definitely shed some light on why he jumped into the frying pan so willingly, but still! Nice? Fighting her never warranted that reaction from her opponents, not even her old man.

So she waited.

Jaune wore his emotions on her soon-to-be-hers hoodie. "Call me crazy, Chirpy, and I know it's weird, but I like girls who can express themselves, it's why I have such a thing for Weiss. But Yang's the diamond in the rough when it comes to that. She's a no-nonsense girl. Yang takes what she wants and makes her own rules."

Hmmm. Yang accepted the praise wholeheartedly with corn between her beak. Never before had her noodle ever talked about her personally, always a passing note whenever he chatted about what her team did or planned, so hearing he enjoyed her in your face attitude boosted her ego. None of that explained why he thought trading blows with her constituted as fun, but now that he opened his mouth, he appeared to have trouble closing it, rambling into her tiny ears.

He laughed and poked her body. "Don't tell anyone this, Chirpy. But what I like the most about Yang is her smile."

Chirpy almost choked on her corn. What? Not her body? Not her long legs or enormous chest? Her smile? Those rows of pearly whites? Huh? That was a first. Guys—even a few girls—a hundred percent of the time gawked at her body first. Eyes always looked up and down. What her voice sounded like or how she acted always came second. Judging a book by its cover came very naturally for her when first impressions meant nothing to the general student body, but her caregiver here proved to be the outlier. Funny, considering he snuck his way into Beacon Academy.

Irony, more than a five-letter word.

He relaxed on the bench with his hands shoved into his hoodie's pocket. "Yup, her smile. Every time I see that beautiful smile, I know what she's feeling, especially when she's throwing fists my way. So I didn't mind being her punching bag yesterday." Jaune shared a look with her. "Is that weird?"

Yes! That's super weird. You're making it sound like I'm your type, but knowing you, you would've asked me out the first time you met, yet you didn't. So answer that.

He chuckled. "I know what you're probably thinking, Chirpy, why didn't I ask her out? Why go after Weiss? Well, I wanted to the moment she smiled, but she's way out of my league. I'm more than happy being friends with her. But don't tell her, or I'll just die from embarrassment."

You or me first, buddy? Wait? Does that make Weiss your rebound option? Oh, my brothers, it does! Ha! Even after you learned about her vast money and name, I still outranked her? Oh, this is gold. I can't wait to find a way to rub this in her face later. Thanks for the flattery, Vomit Boy, I promise not to hurt you too badly.

Peck! Peck! Peck! Chirpy gorged herself on the remaining corn as team leader over here relaxed on the bench, whatever troubles from the previous days failed to ail him, a walking, talking ball of sunshine during this cloudy day. A traditional scene to find human and chick in, but the comfortable silence broke once he aimlessly checked his Scroll and swiftly jumped to his feet. Before Yang finished her food, he grabbed and hushed her down to the nearest bush.

"Oops! Sorry, Chirpy, I have to leave. Early bird catches the worm, and I have to train."

He then raced off.

Huh? Guess that's my cue to hurry up and change. Can't slack off now. Who else is going to train Jaune? Weiss? Ha! Ah, I crack myself up.

Yang spread her wings at the outburst, tilting her noggin. Okay. She wobbled over to the tree and exited the other side with her arms stretched over her head, loosening up for the future brawl. Cloud nine had nothing on her. Everything thing Jaune said touched her soul from the brutal honesty of it all. Amazing smile? What a confidence booster! First time she ever heard of such a compliment, but it already struck number one in her lists of cheesy one-liners and dashing wannabees.

So she owed him by beating some skill and experience into him.

Whistling, she passed the birdbath, only to pause, thin her lips, and then backtrack a few steps and raise a smug brow. Why not? Leaning over, her hands gripped the sides of the fountain and stared deeply into the calm water. Gleam mirrored off the crystal clear water.

"Huh? So this is what you like, Jaune?" Yang experimentally grinned and admired her reflection. "I can't say I blame you. That's one killer smirk right there. One-of-a-kind! Maybe I'll show you some more as a treat."

Only one way to find out!

This time she took her time heading to the training rooms, acting nonchalant to his whole smile reveal. Smile, smile, smile! Of all things to see in her—not her hair or body, but her grin? Yikes. The more she fussed over it, the more it sunk in that Jaune saw something in her but never approached her. Bits of blood rushed to her face from the realization. Huh? He called it beautiful. Between every word or phrase people used to compare her, none ever called her beautiful.

It was nice.

Yang choked. Nice? No! Never nice.

Focus!

No time for dillydallying. Yang slapped both her cheeks hard and kicked the door open. Target at four o'clock! Smile lover currently practiced on his arched swings against stationary bots, and she clicked her teeth at the wasteful display. No, no, what good was slashing at motionless targets? Was he asking to be kicked out? She huffed, locked and loaded Ember Celica, and blasted the target dummy with a Dust-infused shotgun shell before he finished his strike.

Jaune blinked at where his target once was, gradually turning to greet his newest opponent. "Yang? Why'd you blast my target?"

"That bucket of bolts can't teach you squat." Yang slammed her knuckles together. "But I can so bring it on. Round two!"

"Round two?" Jaune groaned. "I still haven't recovered from yesterday's fight."

Fair point. Yang realized she might have gone overboard yesterday and hadn't suitably trained him, only beat him. Okay, she could fix that and hold back. However, he appeared reluctant. She couldn't have that when acting so generous. Many dreamed of one-on-one training with her.

So she offered her services in the most humble of ways. "What are you? Chicken? Buck, buck, buck!"

She appreciated the way his eyes narrowed, a testament to pride overshadowing logic. This time he turned fully, holding Crocea Mors over his bandaged cheeks with his legs spread apart in a practiced stance. Confidence. Good, he needed plenty of that to challenge her.

"I'm going to make you eat your words."

"Doubt it." Yang shrugged. "But you're welcome to try, Cluck-cluck Boy."

He moved first.

Crocea Mors came down to her from a lunge forward, arching for her shoulder. A simple sidestep. Yang followed up with his ill placement with an uppercut to the jaw, holding back some momentum, but he learned from yesterday's training and edged his chin back in time for a dodge. Then that pesky blade came for her side midriff, only for her gauntlets to meet it head-on and stalemate the strike, but she kept at it by charging a shotgun powered shot for his torso. Bam! Knuckles impacted shield, and for his credit and her surprise, he canceled out her impulse-driven strike.

His legs only trembled slightly.

Fun.

Yang grabbed the top of his shield and covered her hand in Aura to seize his blade, pushing them both far apart in separate directions, before bouncing up and delivering a double footed kick to his exposed chest while using his body as a standing post. He vibrated. She bent her legs. Not done yet! This time she sprung away, using him as a stepping stone, and then unloaded a clip of Ember Celica in the air, propelled herself forward, and delivered a brutal haymaker to his face.

He knew he couldn't dodge, so what he followed up with stunned her.

Jaune quickly turned his face in the direction of her jab, lessening the impact while dropping his shield at the same time. That same arm gripped her wrist and twisted her body in the air, throwing her to the floor with her own momentum as he busied tanking the blow to his head with a wall of Aura. Yang wasted little time flipping to her feet, barely dodging a two-handed strike meant to cleave her Aura in two from a diagonal cut aimed for her back. Her jump back covered a hair distance, and she phewed with her eyes almost turning red.

Ha!

She smirked, her heart pumping. "Not bad, Vomit Boy."

"You're holding back on me." Jaune smiled, clutching his cheek.

The jig was up. "True, this is just a spar, but if you want me to try harder..."

She purposely left the question hanging in the air and added to the assault, dancing through space with her shotgun powered momentum pushing her straight for him. Oh? He dropped the idea of countering and gripped his shield with both hands, or so she thought. Once she got closer, she saw him hiding a generous portion of his body behind his buckler with Crocea Mors rested on the floor, posed for a counterattack.

He only needed to survive her next blow.

Her smirk grew.

Challenge accepted.

Yang fired one last shell and activated her Semblance, hair turning golden with her eyes adopting such a lovely shade of crimson. Sorry, Jaune, no holding back this time. Her blood was too pumped up. Powered fists connected with an impenetrable shield, and his feet picked up specks of dust from his body shooting straight for the nearest wall. Crash! Cracks expanded from the crater his body created, and her velocity carried her with him. To his credit, he managed to keep his arm from wavering and absorbed the damage without flinching too much, glowing a snowy shade of Aura. Then he swiped his shield to the side, threw her off balance, and went for an across her chest slash.

Humph!

She discharged her last round and shot herself onto the floor just as his sword swung by her hair. Turbulence swept past her head. A blazing body bent on the floor, blue eyes widened while hers sparked, and she engrossed all her strength for a punch right between the eyes. No defense, no attack, Jaune had no chance to defend himself between her and a stubborn wall. Whatever recoil from her previous attack still affected, wobbling his legs. Yang only entered his space with her smile grand.

Fist to face technique!

Victory belonged to her.

Before the impact, before delivering the match-winning blow, time slowed to a crawl. In those few precious seconds, Yang analyzed his battle strategy and overall performance. He lacked the skill, but not the firepower or swordplay. Every strike carried oomph hidden in those muscles of his. All his blows were too straight forward, easy to read, meant to kill a Grimm. Pyrrha taught him well in that regard, any standard Grimm would fall to him, but against another person like Cardin, some rogue Huntsmen, or some mega old Grimm? Not a chance. The splitting image reminded her of Ruby's nonexistent hand-to-hand combat prowess. Fixable with enough time, and it helped he was extra-tanky. Ruby moved fast, Jaune absorbed hits like some durable sponge.

In due time, and with some practice, he would be ready to kick butt and beat some human opponents. Yang rather enjoyed whipping his butt into shape. He definitely complained less than Rubes. A little more training there, some steady improvement here, and he the idea of expulsion—hiccup! The edges of her smile wavered. Expulsion? Failed tests? Beautiful smile?

Eventually, someone's going to pry, and then I'll be expelled.

No!

Everything faltered for the briefest of moments. At the very last second, Jaune rolled out of the way. A wavering fist collided against a dented wall, and her smile returned full force. Thank brothers, he dodged. If that blow had connected and led to some random infirmary visit that finally pushed someone to run a background check, well, she refused to think about it. No, a quick one-two to the gut would suffice. After that, and right after he recovered his breath, she planned to drill him into learning how to counterattack.

Baby steps.

She removed her hand from the wall and turned to find him breathing heavily with sweat dripping down his hair. Not such a bad look for a noodle, especially the way he glared at her. Oh well, she ran forward with both her hands thrown behind her back, ready to deliver a double-jab to his stomach, but he stood still. Maybe a last-minute dodge? Nope. He collected his air and stood straight, frowning without any of his weapons raised.

"Is everything okay, Yang?"

Huh? She stopped inches before crashing into him. "What the heck are you talking about, of course, I'm fine? Why wouldn't it be?" Yang stretched her smirk. "If you needed a timeout, you should've just—!"

"You hesitated." Jaune moved closer. "For a second there, you lost focus, and you never lose focus. Is something the matter?"

Double huh? Come again? He—he noticed that during that split second? That slight shift in her smile? The wobbling and mangled curve of her lips? He. Noticed. That? Yang blinked so dumbly to his response that he placed a tender hand over her forehead with his brows furrowed and leaned impossibly close.

Yup, her smile. Every time I see that beautiful smile, I know what she's feeling, especially when she's throwing fists my way.

Crimson melted into lilac from how close their noses almost brushed. Piercing blue searched her face for any sign of sickness, grave, and because he noticed her moment of hesitation from the trembling of her lips.

I'm more than happy being friends with her. But don't tell her, or I'll just die from embarrassment.

For the first time in her entire life, Yang Xiao Long blushed.

She never blushed.

What followed next defied logic. Yang randomly yelled and harshly headbutted him, knocking him off his feet before racing off.

Spirals surrounded his eyes with a clucky, fat chick acting as his spinning stars.

...

Slam!

Yang burst through the door and stomped into her team's room, thanking Oum for the privacy, and screamed into the nearest pillow. Her fists pounded into the bed. Not an ounce of strength followed those angry jabs, only tempered sentiments. First his fake transcripts, his accidental confession, and now his ability to read her emotions from her smile alone? She needed a freakin' second pillow.

She huffed.

An angry arm grabbed Weiss' velvety soft, imported pillow and cocked a mighty fist back, imaging that cotton blend shaped to resemble Jaune's dense, caring face. Eyes turned red. She threw her punch. Then stopped with her eyes shifting back to iliac.

Damn it.

Yang could not find it in her to smash pillow Jaune's face, no matter how much her knuckles ached to deliver the mother of all knuckle sandwiches. None of the blame belonged to him. He only talked to a chick, not once suspecting that ball of fluff was her listening to his private thoughts. Doy! He never knew she knew that he knew how to read her emotions based on dimples.

Her shoulders dropped.

"Why'd you have to open your big mouth? Why couldn't you just had fed me and shut?"

Arg! She threw Weiss' pillow across the room and rested her back against the wall with her anger dissipating. Now what? Explaining the headbutt would be so easy if she hadn't screamed right before, or ran away. Oops, reflexes. Yup! That ship sailed. Stupid, beautiful smile, making things worse. Stop caring, dummy. Hide that sensitive side. Treat her like everyone else and not check to see if everything was hunky-dory. Like any other guy—wait a flippin' second!

She jumped to her feet. "That's how'll fix this!"

But Yang's the diamond in the rough when it comes to that. She's a no-nonsense girl. Yang takes what she wants and makes her own rules.

A no-nonsense girl? Exactly! Oh, she would show herself that beneath all that honorable Arc exterior, his hot-blooded nature ruled over him. Once she saw him as another faceless guy, then everything had to turn back to normal. No more beautiful smile, only someone who liked feeding and talking to the birds. An easy-easy fix!

Her hands moved in a blitz.

Buh-bye, jacket. Sayonara, pleaded piece. Only her low yellow crop top, mini black shorts, and boots remained. Not the most modest outfit by a mile, a heart attack for her old man, but desperate measures demanded drastic actions. Once he saw her in this skin-revealing attire, those eyes would have to look down.

She mentally promised not to sucker-punch him for ogling before running out of the room.

...

Finding him proved a vaster challenge than she first thought.

Expecting to find him out cold in the training room asked for too much. Jaune, fake transcripts or not, still swallowed her punches without complaint. A headbutt knocking him out, an absurd thought. So she recounted what he said, remembering the threat of expulsion and his not so stellar grades.

Dummy only studied in one place.

Yang burst into the communal room, discovered her miserable headache eating slightly burnt toast with a comic in his hand, and promptly stomped over to his unaware figure. Afternoon snack, eh? Must be so relaxing while she frantically pulled at her hair upstairs? Whelp! Not this time, buckaroo. Nimble hands gripped his hoodie and hefted him on his feet before he so much as chewed his food. Wide eyes blinked at her fiery presence, lips covered in crumbs.

"You have some nerve... you know that?"

Now he swallowed his food. "Yang? What are you talking about?"

Playing dumb, huh?

She slapped away his remaining toast, glaring with that of a heated sun. Toast vanquished. Step one of her plan complete. Step two incoming! Crossing her arms underneath her breast to amplify their appearance and alluring effect, she watched him like a Nevermore for any slight indications of him looking down. Now, if her hunch was correct, then she expected him to stumble over her words.

"What do you see?" Yang demanded.

"What—?"

"What. Do. You. See?"

Without missing a beat, he tilted his head. "Uh, the corn in your teeth?"

Yang's fiery world froze. The leftover corn in her teeth? Of all things to notice, that was what he saw first? Not her criminally revealing outfit or exposed skin, but bits of food? That meant he looked at her mouth first than anywhere else. What in the world? How? Why? People only looked at her body. That was what they saw first and foremost.

Not him.

Not Jaune Arc.

Vomit Boy saw the whole package. He cherished the pair of eyes and tremendous smile attached, appreciated her silly humor, pun-loving quality, emotions-on-her-sleeves attitude, and everything else that made Yang Xiao Long one-of-a-kind. Ba-thump! No. No! Quit it, heart! Stop drumming so hard. Slow the frick down. Act like her stomach and its endless tirade of butterflies—traitors! Both of them. First her heart and now her guts? What more did he want from her?

Jaune showed her by stepping up to glare at her widened eyes. "Yang? Are you all alright? I'm starting to get worried."

Monster.

He had the perfect chance, the optimal opportunity to glance down at sneak a peek down at her marshmallowy soft pillows, practically exposed with only a thin line of fabric separating them, and he wasted it on checking to see if she was alright with cerulean blues so vibrant-rich with worry that it stole the breath away from her lungs? What a clueless, helpless, chivalrous, caterpillar saving fool.

Damn it!

Everything happened in a blur. Emotions got the better of Yang. Blame video games! She roughly pulled him down for a Semblance-enhanced, just-pickled sweet kiss.

The tips of her ears flared with her spine electrifying every nerve with a jolt of toe-curling goodness. Actions always prevailed over words for her. Yang more than proved this by tasting his crumbs covered lips, creating candied, mouthwatering sweetness. She tried not to lose herself in the moment, eyes open, aiming to show her guts, lungs, and heart that nothing was amiss, but mutiny raged all inside with her brain shutting down.

Then he regained his bearings and kissed her back, and her eyes closed too.

Screw it.

He was a fool. She was a chicken. Somehow they made sweet, sweet cornbread.

Someone separated for air first—it was her, but she would take that to her grave—and used the moment of his currently fried brain to survey her future squeeze.

Jaune Arc was weak, scraggly, and an awful flirter, but he made up for that by being kind, sweet, and easy on the eyes. Between all the guys she had ever met in her life, that ranked high up there. Anywho, she knew, in due time, all that scraggly and weak nonsense would dissipate on its own, especially with her whipping his cute butt into shape. Plus, girlfriend privileges clearly stated in Article Whatever, Subsection Blah, Paragraph Yadda-Yadda, all his clothes effective forthwith belonged to her, ergo she finally claimed that Pumpkin Pete Hoodie of his. Just in time, too, because she needed to cover up. In a fell swoosh, she pulled off the sweatshirt and wrapped herself in its familiar warm threads.

Some sense of rationality returned to him. Easy to fix. Yang dragged him down for a flurry of smooches, planting her maize flavored lips all over his face. When he resurfaced, more dazed than before, she twirled her finger and pulled him toward an empty hallway.

"... Where are we going?"

Yang refused to answer and allowed instinct to drive her and push her out the nest.

...

"Chirpy! Where are you?"

Yang held back a simmering grin.

The lilac burst in her eyes fretted brightly from the way Jaune searched high-and-low for her birdie form. Trees, bushes, the water fountain, and even garden, he searched everywhere and failed to find her. How utterly sweet. Her chest ba-thumped from the caring nature he exhibited, good thing her new hoodie kept her snuggly warm. Yang briefly considered revealing to him her secret, but that was better for when and if this relationship progressed to such a level of trust, although searching for her birdie form with such desperation painted him in a good light.

Only a month of dating and already he wanted to introduce her to his bestest companion. Crazy! A month already. It seemed like only yesterday she dragged his butt back to the training rooms to whip him into fighting shape. The promises of more kisses really upped his motivation to avoid expulsion. Some rocky bits here and there, but with the help of his team and her, results started showing. He even won a match not so long ago, hence his need to celebrate and introduce her to Chirpy.

"Seriously, where is she? I really want you to meet her." Jaune panicked, sticking his head in a bush. "I hope nothing bad happened."

"Stop fussing! I'm sure she's fine, Jaune. So come over here and sit with me. C'mon!" Yang teasingly tapped her palm against the bench. "Right here. Make this seat warm."

He contemplated her more than generous offer, checking every hiding spot her chick persona dozed off a second time. When his search came up empty-handed, she made doubly sure to tap her knuckles against the hardwood extra-extra loud. Something tugged at her corn-fed heartstrings from the way his shoulders dropped from his obvious disappointment. Much later—when Jaune was alone—Yang promised herself to cuddle up to him in her chick form and tug at his earlobe.

For now, she bounced her shoulder against his, slipping right into his space once he sat that butt down. Of course, Vomit Boy blushed at the intimate contact. Cute. So innocent like a baby chick. Adorable, too. One of her hands reached out to play with sun-kissed hair, the other sneaking in to swipe some corn from his hands.

He slapped her hand away with an edgeless frown.

Her hands back away in mock surrender. Okay, okay. Distractions were a no-go. Better play it safe. Yang shrugged unapologetically and made herself comfortable, suddenly dropping her head into his lap with her mouth stretched open. Dumb-dumb Jaune blinked at the rare display, never knowing Yang had such an affectionate side.

"Feed me."

Something boring clicked, so he playfully rolled his eyes. "Ha-ha. Not a chance. This food's for Chirpy. No corn for you."

Oh? Chirpy, huh? Yang purposely thinned her lips deliciously so, pecking him on the neck. Not a kiss, but an actual peck, peck, peck, like an overgrown chick. Telling him not to react with a raised brow asked for the impossible. So she refused. Good. She shared a laugh with herself at the what-what expression he had. Like something out of a cheesy romantic comedy, except the popcorn was missing its quality pop.

"What are you doing?"

She made a face at the corn in his hands. "Chirp?"

Sweet, gullible Jaune took a few seconds to understand. "Are you that hungry, that heartless that you'd pretend to be a bird to steal some poor chick's food?"

"Chirp!"

His best attempt to hide his smile had to be his worst. "At least we know you're no mother hen."

Her turn to raise a brow. Mother hen? Her? Nah! Not in anyone's dreams. N to the O. Instead, she snickered and bumped his shoulder roughly.

Jaune Arc thought nothing of it.

Not when Yang Xiao Long rested her body against his shoulder, nor when she mindlessly grabbed a handful of corn, and not when she plopped the whole load into her mouth in a greedy manner. Then she slipped past his arm to rest for a second time in his lap, smirking up a supernova grin with her feet kicked up at the other side of the bench as a random butterfly fluttered nearby.

"Chirp."

"... And you're a terrible bird."

"Shut up and feed me!"


Author Notes: I really enjoy Dragonslayer. There's just something so liberating about writing Yang's character.