Yang had always been a people person. But there was something about Weiss Schnee that rubbed her the wrong way.

Maybe it was the haughty tone. The arrogant way she carried herself. The abrasive coldness that clashed with Yang's own perpetual exuberance. The harsh, brusque way she treated Ruby, her adorable, insecure little sister.

... Definitely.

"Oh, so now you're on my side," Weiss snarked, hands on her hips.

"I was always on your side!" Ruby yelled placatingly.

"Yeah, what's your problem with my sister? She's only trying to be nice!" Yang defended, mentally adding, 'something a bitch like you doesn't deserve.'

"She's a hazard to my health!" Weiss said adamantly, stomping her foot.

As Ruby haplessly watched them verbally spar back and forth, Blake blew out the candles she used for reading, before getting to her feet, book in hand. Ruby, the only one to have noticed – considering the other two were still at each other's necks – called out to her fellow literary enthusiast. "W-wait, where are you–"

"As... pleasant as this has been, I really should be going to bed," Blake interjected with a half-grimace. "I suggest you do the same. The initiation process is a gruelling one, or so I've heard." Blake was about to turn on her heel towards her bedroll, however, the look Ruby shot her – akin to that of a kicked puppy – made the normally stoic teen pause. Mustering a small smile, she said, "It was nice meeting you, Ruby. Perhaps we may speak again sometime soon."

The blinding grin that bloomed on the younger girl's face only caused Blake's countenance to further soften. Shaking her head lightly, the amber-eyed girl proceeded to walk to her bedding, leaving the other black-haired female to separate the bickering duo.

Ruby, belatedly realising what Blake had left her with, shifted from ecstatic – from having made a potential new friend (all on her own, too!) – to miserable. She groaned lightly and burrowed her face into her hands, as Weiss and Yang continued to argue.

Needless to say, it was a long night.

After an exhausting night of dealing with the Schnee heiress, Yang's morning passed by in a blur. She vaguely remembered being rolled out of bed by Ruby – an ineffective manoeuvre, considering her bedroll was already on the ground – before being hoisted off towards the communal bathrooms. The shower woke her up just a teeny bit more, but it still wasn't enough to really jar her out of her half-awake state. It was only until Ruby – dear, beloved Ruby – sat her down in the dining hall and brought her a stack of pancakes, as well as a mug of coffee, that Yang truly got shook from her daze.

Conversation flowed freely between the two sisters, segueing from one topic to the next. The blonde faintly recalled the subject of Jaune Arc and Blake being brought up in-between bites of their meal, but it was Ruby's next issue that garnered all of her attention.

"I just don't see why you can't get along with her. I mean, you're Yang! My older sister Yang! You get along with everyone! Why do you not get along with her?!" Ruby whined, flailing her arms around.

The blonde regarded her companion with a raised eyebrow, waiting for her to calm down before responding. "I don't get along with her because she's a Grade A bit–mmhph."

"Language!" Ruby hissed, retracting her fork, now sans pancake.

Yang choked down the large chunk of food, before reaching for her mug.

"You need to learn how to eat slower, dear little sister. Once that youthful metabolism wears off, you're going to be struggling to maintain your physique," Yang replied sagely between sips of her brew.

Ruby halted the process of shovelling pancakes into her mouth, turning to glare at her sister. Her puffed up cheeks only reduced what little intimidation power her glare held to zilch, resulting in Yang only smirking in response.

Gulping down the food she held in her mouth, the fifteen-year old frowned. "You still haven't answered my question."

The lilac-eyed female sighed. "Why does it even matter, Ruby? Ice Princess doesn't even like you."

Ruby glanced down at her almost empty plate. "I... I don't know. I know she doesn't like me, and I'm terrified of her, but..." Her eyebrows furrowed. "She must have her reasons, you know? Beyond me flambéing her and almost ruining her supply of Dust, I mean." Here she began playing with the little food she had left on her dish. "A-and I just feel like... if we could be friends... I-it just feels right, is all, Yang. The thought of it. Almost as if it were... destiny." The girl's head shot up, her eyes shining, pleading for her older sister to understand.

Yang closed her eyes and exhaled. It was times like these that she was reminded how idealistic Ruby was. "You're a naive, optimistic, foolish little dreamer, you know that?" she murmured. The blonde could practically hear her sister deflate. Yang's lips quirked ever so slightly. "But you're my little dreamer. And so far, I guess you've never been flat out wrong..."


"So! I guess that means that as your older sibling, I have no choice but to tag along for the ride."

The dazzling grin she received almost made her think this would work out for the best. Almost.

"But!" Yang continued, "I am obligated to remind you what a stupid idea this is the entire time. Oh, by the way? Your attempt to befriend Weiss Schnee, bigwig company heiress, is really dumb."

A groan was her only reply.

Yang chortled. "Now come on, let's go. We can gossip about the princess all you want later. Right now, it's initiation time, baby," she said with a twinkle in her eye.

"Wait wait wait! I'm not done with breakfast yet!" Ruby yelled frantically, jumping to her feet so she could dash off for another helping – her third. The blonde only rolled her eyes in amusement, already used to this from their time back home, before shifting her attention to the white-haired beauty across the room who was chatting amiably with a taller, Amazonian-esque female.

'Destiny, huh? Well, destiny or not... I'm watching you, Schnee. No one messes with my little sister except me.'

'So much for watching Schnee,' Yang grumbled internally, picking tiny twigs out of her lush, blonde hair.

The vivacious teen, with all her foresight and planning, had failed to predict that the Emerald Forest had wickedly huge trees. To her, they looked tiny from the cliffside. Her eyes glazed over wistfully in thought. 'Then again, I guess today's proven that I haven't been very attentive...' Lilac hued orbs shifted to look at her newfound partner's lithe back.

'Blake Belladonna. Little Miss Mysterious.'

Yang hadn't planned on picking the phlegmatic girl as a partner – initially thought too quiet and serious for her taste, really – but life had an interesting way of throwing you a bone.

Having landed a ways away from most of the other freshmen, she figured it safe to remove her sunglasses. As awesome as her aviators made her look, it was nigh impossible to see using them when light barely penetrated through the leaves.

So when Blake had dropped from one of the trees, back turned, she was startled.

The two had agreed not to make eye contact until they were certain they wanted to become team mates. With Blake seemingly more comfortable with the surroundings, Yang allowed the other to take the lead, enabling her to analyse her potential comrade from behind, as well as ensuring that neither of them could make the mistake of locking each other into a partnership.

Judging from the shrill scream miles away in the direction they were heading towards, a certain heiress had already made said blunder. 'Odds are it's either vomit boy, or...' Yang released a long suffering sigh, 'Ruby.' She ran her fingers through her hair, already stressed.

"Sounds like the Schnee heiress is already taken," Blake remarked airily.

Yang chuckled, slightly hoarse. "Yeah..."

"Worried it's your sister?"

"You have no idea."

The black-haired teen shrugged. "She's young, but she looks like she can take care of herself. And the heiress as well, if necessary."

Yang shook her head, before realising her companion wouldn't be able to see the action. She cleared her throat. "I'm not worried about Ruby's fighting prowess. She skipped two years for a reason. It's just..." the blonde stopped for a beat, contemplating how best to word things, "her and Schnee–"

"I get it. You don't have to explain it to me. But really, calling her 'Schnee'?"

The blonde grinned. "What can I say? Her last name just rolls off the tongue."

Blake replied with a noncommittal hum.

The forest grew quiet.

Yang tensed. As if Blake could sense the rigid posture she adopted, she commented, "I see you've noticed. It's quiet. Too quiet."

As soon as the words left the amber-eyed female's mouth, they struck.

The battle was ended quickly – decisively – by the duo. Yang liked to think that it was because Blake and herself worked surprisingly well together, in addition to their raw prowess. However, the ease of the fight also hinted towards it being a prelude to the rest of their time here in the forest. After all, they were nowhere near the temple up North.

Nonetheless, the experience shed some light on certain things.

Firstly, what power Blake held... wasn't natural. Granted, neither was hers, but... something felt foreboding about the latent strength the other girl carefully hid away. Which led her to her next point: she didn't care. With the way the raven-haired girl gracefully eliminated their opposition with her chain scythe and weaved through Yang's own close combat choreography seamlessly, she knew,

she knew,

that she had found her partner.

So when the blonde lifted her head that had been bent down in contemplation, she found Blake staring right at her with a small smirk and her hand outstretched. Yang beamed, reaching forward to clasp the appendage in a firm grip, and spoke, "Name's Yang Xiao Long. Nice to meet ya."

Her new partner nodded. "Blake Belladonna. Likewise."

Short, brief, and simple. And so it was, that the duo continued to trek towards the North of Emerald Forest, making small talk along the way.

"You know, you don't have to keep staring at my back."

That statement shook Yang out of her reverie. She blinked owlishly for a moment, before realising she had grown silent for the past few minutes as she lagged behind Blake. Accepting the remark as a roundabout form of invitation to move closer, the blonde bounced up alongside her team mate, hoping to break more of the ice.

"So your powers are all shadow-y and stuff. That's cool."

"Yes, I suppose they are... 'shadow-y', and stuff. And thank you," Blake replied courteously.

Yang grinned in anticipation of what she had lined up next. "I guess that makes you the... Yin to my Yang, m'right? M'right?"

Had Yang not been paying so much attention to her companion, she would have missed the infinitesimal pause in Black's stride. "Do me a favour," the more serious one of the duo began, shooting the blonde a critical look out of the corner of her eye, "never, and I mean never do that again."

"Aww, but," Yang paused to switch to the sleaziest Italian accent she had, coupled with gratuitous eyebrow wiggling and a leer, "bella, donna wanna see what else I've got up my sleeves?"

The exuberant female gave a toothy grin when she saw her partner actually cringe.

"No, Yang – that one was even worse – and if you don't stop, so help me– "

"–I will throttle you and make sure no one ever finds your body, Ruby Rose!"

"W-wait, Weiss! I didn't mean to! It was an accident! I'll make it up to you, I swear!"

"You can make it up to me by never coming near me again!"

"B-but Weiss, we're partne–"

"Don't remind me!"

Yang moaned, tilting her head back to look up at the canopy. When Blake glanced over, she saw her team mate mouthing 'why' repeatedly as they trudged along, evidently getting closer to Ruby and Weiss.

The amber-eyed lass smiled smugly. "Because you're a terrible person for making those puns, Yang, and you deserve every moment of this."

AN: It's been awhile since I've written something. I'm out of practice.

The start worked into canon because this had began as a completely different project. However, reading through what I had both written and planned out made me realise that it wouldn't work for the other story. I didn't feel like scrapping the ideas I've created for this one, though, hence the birth of 'With Friends Like These'. Not the most original title, but it'll do in a pinch. Moreover, no huge epic combat sequence, because I don't feel like I can do RWBY's action scenes justice at this time. Maybe one day...

Yes, one of those ideas was (shoddily) incorporating Barbara Punkelman into Yang's personality. I couldn't help myself. I really, really couldn't. In fact, I'm trying to create a list of puns as we speak. So far, not doing so hot.

Critiques, corrections and comments are always welcomed, as are pun suggestions.