Nothing Says 'Summer' Like The Beach

[Part Dos]

Yang grunted as she finished tying the last knot to their volleyball net. She tugged and pulled everything a few times to see if it would hold up, before nodding to herself in satisfaction. As she brushed her hands together to motion her completion of the task, she heard Blake say, "You forgot to draw the lines of the court in the sand."

The blonde's shoulders slumped as she released a low guttural groan. Reluctantly, Yang began trudging around what she deemed was the perimeter with her big toe in the sand to create a rough outline. She did this a number of times, slogging under the late-morning sun to give the court a decent amount of definition.

When Yang thought it was enough, she stood aside and stretched, popping the bones in her back with a low moan. "Why did I have to do all the work?" she groused, plodding over to her friends who rested underneath the Schnee property umbrellas – taking care not to trample over the perimeter she had so painstakingly carved out – and stomping a foot on the cool sand with a petulant pout.

Blake lazily flipped to the next page of her book, never taking her eyes off the novel. "Because you were the one who wanted to play," Blake nonchalantly replied from her reclined position on her chaise lounge.

"And you don't get sunburnt," Weiss continued, methodically massaging sunscreen lotion onto her arms and legs. At the heiress's request, Ruby dutifully sat behind Weiss so that they were back-to-back, and applied the same substance onto her own skin, having already changed into her swimsuit.

Yang's eyebrows knitted, feeling as if something were off as she looked at Weiss. Lilac eyes widened as it dawned on her that the heiress was now dressed in a white two-piece string bikini, rather than the one-piece she wore yesterday. "You brought more than one swimsuit?" she asked incredulously.

Weiss raised her nose haughtily. "I couldn't be caught wearing the same outfit back-to-back, could I?"

Ruby paused in her action to turn around, peer over Weiss's shoulder and look the heiress in the eyes. "Wait," she interjected, "didn't you wear the same outfit in Beacon again... and again... and again?"

Weiss, who had stiffened because of Ruby's close proximity, sputtered. "They were clothes designed specifically for combat scenarios."

"You couldn't design them in other colours or styles?" Yang fired back.

"That... would have costed more than necessary," Weiss flimsily justified as she slowly shrank away from a perplexed Ruby.

Yang raised an eyebrow, though Weiss couldn't tell if it were at her response, or the physical display. "Uh huh," she sceptically drawled.

Exasperated, the heiress huffed and got to her feet. She brushed past the amused blonde towards the volleyball net. "Shouldn't we be starting already?" she snapped.

Blake nimbly extracted herself from her seat and untied her sarong, leaving it on her chaise before sashaying to the side of the court opposing Weiss in her black two-piece bikini. Ruby bounded towards the heiress, looping an arm around her shoulder.

Yang took her time to strip off her casual wear, tossing them onto Blake's chaise with pinpoint accuracy, before strolling towards Blake. "Yeah yeah, cool your jets," she said, brushing off the heiress with a casual wave of the hand. "Stretch first, we don't need anyone to start cramping up mid-game." She widened her stance and began to go through the motions of their most basic exercises. Blake and Ruby swiftly moved to do the same.

Weiss let out an annoyed sigh, but saw the logic in Yang's argument. "I didn't even want to play," she grumbled as she followed the blonde's lead.

"Oh c'mon," Ruby cajoled, no visible or hearable strain in either face or voice as she bent down to touch her toes. "It'll be fun!"

"Yeah Weiss," Yang said, "don't be such a wet blanket. This is a team building exercise! Go team!"

The heiress paused to rub her temple, feeling the onset of a mild headache. "You're never going to let that go, are you."

"Never," Yang replied with a pleasant smile.

Weiss exhaled tiredly through her nose, dropping her head and screwing her eyes shut in resignation. "I don't know why you had to tell your sister, Ruby..." she wearily said.

Ruby held up her hands. "I'm sorry Weiss!"

Yang laughed as she performed one final stretch, lifting her arms up as high they would go. This drew attention to her ample, jiggling chest, attracting the envious stares of both Weiss and Ruby. A quiet moan then slipped from Yang's lips as she rotated her arms back to push out her chest, causing a certain faunus's ears to perk as her head jerked up, allowing Blake to stare unabashedly at the oblivious blonde.

As Yang rolled her shoulders and neck, she noticed everyone else's gaze aimed at her. She relaxed her posture and looked around with an eyebrow raised in question. "What?"

"Nothing," the trio instantly replied in unison, each voice different in tone; Weiss's was tinged with jealousy, Ruby's was high-pitched and guilty, and Blake's was coy.

Yang's forehead creased in bewilderment. She turned to her partner for a more extensive answer, but received nothing other than the faunus's patented smirk. "I just see why people enjoy beach volleyball now," Blake responded casually. Off to the side, Ruby vigorously nodded her head as Weiss scoffed and crabbily crossed her arms.

Still confused, but knowing it would be nigh impossible to squeeze proper answers out of Blake and Weiss, and thinking that she'd spare her sister the embarrassment of having to spill the beans, Yang brushed it off. "Alrighty then..." she said slowly before shifting gears, "How do we decide which side starts?"

"How about Rock-paper-scissors?" Ruby suggested, holding up a loose fist.

Yang shrugged and grinned, mimicking the action. "Why not. You're going down, little sis."

"You're on," Ruby replied with an equally confident grin.

Yang swung her arms forward and back to loosen her muscles as she cockily strode to the centre of the court, making faces at Ruby, who did the same. They spent a fair bit of time goading each other on with raspberries and mock growls and teeth gnashing, until Weiss barked, "Will you just start already?!"

Yang rolled her eyes. "Alright, alright, geez. Hold your horses, princess." The blonde put her game face on. "Ready?" she asked, staring at Ruby.

Ruby evened her expression and crackled her knuckles. "You're going down, Yang."

"Oh snap, big words from–"

"Stop trash talking!" Weiss snapped.

Yang stuck her tongue out at the heiress before re-adopting her serious countenance. "Rock-paper-scissors!" she cried, throwing out her index and middle finger as Ruby put down a fist.

As the leader pumped her winning hand gesture up into the air victoriously and accompanied it with a triumphant laugh, Yang yelled, "I call for a do-over!"

Ruby did a little dance. "Nope!"

"C'mon, this is unfair! Best three out of five!"

"Don't be a child, Yang," Weiss berated. "And you!" she called, pointing a finger at Ruby who was doing a celebratory jig, "Calm down!"

"But mooooooom!" Yang wailed, childishly flailing her arms up and down.

"Don't you even!" Weiss threatened, her face reddening and veins bulging in escalating irritation.

Blake chuckled, deciding to intervene before the heiress ripped through their net and mauled her blonde companion. She walked forward and clasped her hand on Yang's shoulder, pulling her away from the net. "Let's just start the game, Yang. You wanted to play, didn't you?" she coaxed.

Yang sulked, too upset to give a proper worded response.

"I'll even get you ice-cream," she offered, trying to pacify the blonde.

Weiss scoffed. "You're spoiling her."

Yang ignored the remark and looked at Blake with big, watery lilac eyes. "With sprinkles?" she whispered, mouth pursing together into a tiny pout.

Blake swallowed, feeling her heart skip a beat for just a moment. "... Sure," she replied after a prolonged pause. "Whatever you want."

Yang gave Blake her signature megawatt grin.

"Sucker," Weiss muttered under her breath on witnessing the display.

Having very sensitive faunus ears, Blake heard the comment and glared at the heiress, mouthing, "You're just as weak." She jerked her chin at Ruby for emphasis.

Weiss wisely chose not to retort.

Not being the best lipreader, whatever Blake had said flew right over the leader's head. Deciding that it would be best to start the game now, Ruby cupped her hands around her mouth. "Pass us the ball!" she called out as she bounced on the balls of her feet.

Before anyone else could do anything, Yang broke free from the grip Blake had on her shoulder and ran over to the volleyball that had rolled off to the side. Bending over to grab the ball, Yang stood up and spun around on her heel in a smooth motion, throwing it as hard as she could. With her amazing physique, the volleyball sped through the air, heading straight towards Ruby.

Ruby's eyes widened upon realising how much acceleration the ball picked up. With a small squeak, she held up her hands defensively and braced herself for the impact. She did this just in the nick of time as the volleyball slammed into her hands shortly after, bouncing away as Ruby toppled over from the force.

While their leader fell into an ungraceful heap with a loud 'oof!', Weiss sighed, picking up the projectile that had innocuously rolled to her feet. The heiress rested it between her hip and forearm. "Are we quite done with being immature?" she said, sounding as if she were lecturing a bunch rambunctious of five-year olds.

Yang jauntily skipped back to her side of the court, giggling the whole time. "For now," she cheekily replied. "And hey, I was being polite! I got the ball like a good-sport!"

Weiss shifted to rest her weight on one foot and raised a dubious eyebrow.

Ruby scrambled to her feet, brushing off the sand that had clung to her skin before striking a winning pose. "You can knock me down," she started off strongly, pointing an accusatory finger at her sister, "but!" She paused, her eyebrows knitting in concentration and thought. "But..." she trailed off hesitantly, "Uh..." she continued, unable to think of a suitable idiom.

Weiss released another weary sigh, using her free hand to loosen the knots forming on her forehead. Her headache was definitely getting worse.

Blake shook her head. "I think this has gone on for long enough," she said, acting as the group's voice of reason. "Weiss, Ruby, one of you serve. We'll play to fifteen." The faunus then took a few steps back to cover the back of their side of the court, wordlessly indicating to Yang that she should be in front. The blonde took her place, semi-crouching into a position that allowed her to spring about as much and as far as possible.

Ruby turned around to stare at Weiss with a grin. Understanding the silent message, Weiss tossed her the ball and walked further behind to take guard.

Without any further delay, Ruby threw the volleyball up as high as she could and jumped, spiking it onto the other side, signalling the start of their match.

The volleyball game started off casual, for the most part. While Yang would typically get competitive at something she was good at, she managed to rein it in fairly well, only letting the occasional taunt or jeer slip from her lips.

At least, for the first half of the game.

However, they all failed to take into account that Yang and Weiss served to fuel each others' combative spark.

With the presence of the Schnee heiress, who became more engrossed and thus, aggressive, as the match progressed and as their points remained equal, the two quickly became the dominate powers of their respective teams. Rules be damned, they both took control of the ball, relentlessly and ruthlessly sliding around their respective sides of the court, trying everything and anything to gain the upper hand.

Needless to say, this therefore led to their auras coming into play. Whether or not it was intentional, neither Blake or Ruby knew. Nor could they say who exactly started it. All that they were aware of was the sudden flash of bright yellow and ice blue as the tenacious duo resorted to their semblances.

As the palpitating tension thickened the air, suffocating both substantially less high-strung members in its debilitating fog, the sheer strength of Yang and Weiss's powers also began literally tearing the court apart. Blake and Ruby found themselves having warily stepped back from the court to stand clear away from the electrifying conflict.

They said not a word, simply observing the back-and-forth in awed silence and briefly wondering just when it would end, and more importantly, who would end up winning. After all, from what they could keep track of, it seemed that the two were tied at just a point away from victory.

This unspoken question was answered moments later, when Weiss – who had scaled high above the court using her glyphs – spiked the ball with all the adrenaline fuelled strength her nimble arms could muster. Yang dove for it, trying to use her own aura to propel her forward a touch more, but she was just out of reach. The volleyball crashed and burrowed itself into the beach like a mini-meteorite, engulfing the nearby Yang in its little explosion of sand.

Weiss let loose a long, jubilant sound as she fluttered back to the ground with the aid of more glyphs. She unsteadily stood on her feet, panting slightly from exertion.

Yang stumbled to her feet, sputtering as she dusted off her face. "You... Cheaty McCheater Face!" she cried, blinking rapidly to get the sand out of her eyes. "I call for a rematch!"

Weiss frowned. "You are such a whiny brat!" she yelled.

Yang felt her hackles rise. "Takes one to know one, Schnee!"

"Uh, guys?" Ruby meekly interjected from the sidelines.

"What?!" they shouted, turning to look at the leader in synchrony.

Ruby squeaked, dropping her head to stare at the sand so as to avoid their furious gazes. "You... kinda trashed everything," she said softly, timidly poking her index fingers together.

It took a few moments for Ruby's words to cut through the angry haze in both girls' minds, but when it did, they simmered down.

Weiss cleared her throat into a clenched fist, her posture relaxing as the fight left her. "Oh."

Yang rubbed the back of her head, laughing sheepishly. "Guess the match got the better of the both of us," she told Blake and Ruby apologetically. The blonde did a double-take upon realising that the perimeter she had painstakingly created had been demolished during their game. "Oh come on!" she exclaimed. She looked at Weiss in exasperation, gesturing to the disappeared lines. "Really?"

The heiress pursed her lips together. "... Blame lies equally between us," she defended.

The blonde's head lolled back as she breathed a tired moan.

Weiss sniffed. "I suppose this means we can't have that rematch."

Yang's head canted to the side so that she could stare at Weiss with a deadpan expression.

Blake sighed. Having seen enough to know where this would probably head, she decided to react. "How about that ice-cream, Yang?" she asked, body already half-turned in the direction of the inland.

The blonde's lips thinned as she deliberated over her words. "... You're treating?" she finally said.

Blake nodded before completing the turn and strolling towards one of the many ice-cream vendors nearby. Yang cheered, bolting after the faunus. When she caught up, she looped her arm around Blake's, locking them at the elbows.

"Hey!" Ruby yelled with a pout. "I wanted ice-cream too! Don't leave me!" The leader began to chase after them, but found herself restrained to her spot by the vice grip on her forearm.

Weiss rolled her eyes. It was obvious why Blake did what she did; this would separate herself and Yang long enough so that they wouldn't maim each other, while keeping everyone on mutual and affable ground. Granted, she knew why Ruby hadn't picked up on this – or perhaps, chose to over look it: the girl was sugar crazy, after all.

The heiress snapped out of her reverie when Ruby's shrill voice shrieked, "Weiss! Why're you stopping me? There's ice-cream out there, Weiss! Ice-cream!"

If Weiss didn't know any better, she would have been scared of the insane, obsessive grey eyes looking straight through her. Instead, Weiss was just hoping she could distract the leader enough before she began frothing at the mouth again.

"Come on Ruby, let's go for a swim," she said rather insistently. The heiress then wrenched Ruby towards the ocean, heedless of her pleas and outcries.

"BUT ICE-CREAM!"


Yang popped the last of her ice-cream cone into her mouth and chewed contentedly, wiggling around animatedly on the bench they had found on the way back from the overcrowded artisans ice-cream store. Next to her, Blake ate another spoonful of her raspberry ripple.

The blonde dusted off her hands and belched inelegantly before smacking her lips together, basking in the sugary afterglow. She glanced out of her peripheral at her partner, who had barely made a dent in her frozen treat. Yang puckered her lips, not understanding how one could eat ice-cream so slowly. "Do you not like it?" the blonde asked, her eyebrows knitting in curiosity.

"Hmm?" Blake hummed around her plastic spoon. She pulled it from her lips and stuck it back into her mound of ice-cream while swallowing the quickly melting mouthful. Yang gulped, mesmerised by the way Blake's slender throat bobbed from the action. Lilac eyes snapped back up to look at Blake's face when the faunus said, "No, this is delicious."

Yang's expression only continued to scrunch. She folded her arms behind her head and stretched her legs out as she made a frustrated sound in the back of her throat. "Then why–"

Whatever she was about to say was interrupted as Blake lifted a spoonful piled high with ice-cream to the blonde's mouth. "Try it," Blake said, poking Yang's pursed lips with the tip of her spoon, getting little dabs of the frozen treat on her lips.

Yang's eyes widened imperceptibly. She tentatively opened her mouth, just enough for the faunus to feed her partner. The taste of raspberry ripple exploded the moment it touched her tongue, prompting Yang to close her lips around the spoon in an attempt to extract as much flavour as possible from the single bite.

Blake smiled, watching Yang's expression change from uncertain to ecstatic in the blink of an eye. Blake gently extracted her spoon from her partner's clamped lips and stuck it back into her now marginally dented scoop of ice-cream. "So?" she inquired, meticulously gathering another heap of the sweet-and-tangy concoction. "What did you think?"

Yang licked her lips and grinned. "You have good taste," she complimented, resting her arms on her uncovered belly.

Blake smirked. "Better than cotton candy?" she asked before plopping the morsel into her mouth.

Yang blanched. "What do you think I am, crazy?" She shook her head, ruffling her blonde locks. "Nothing can beat the almighty cotton candy flavour," she declared, side-eying the half-full cup in Blake's hand with hungry eyes.

Blake noticed this and chuckled. "Of course not," she nonchalantly replied, offering another spoonful to Yang. The blonde chomped down on it without any hesitance and trilled in glee.

"I would never think of dethroning the almighty cotton candy flavour," Blake teased.

Yang nodded, jutting her chin out in mock arrogance. "I'm glad you know your place, peasant," she said with a pompous tone.

They shared a laugh before Blake pointed out with a finger how quickly the ice-cream was melting. Any conversation was stalled in favour of consuming the sweet treat.

Minutes later, Blake fed the last sliver of raspberry ripple to a voracious Yang, leaving the spoon in her mouth. Yang plucked it out and polished it off with her tongue, before turning to her companion with curious eyes. "Why'd you share?" she asked, tilting her head.

Blake shrugged, crushing the paper cup in her hand. "You looked as if you were starving."

"Starving? Me?" Yang asked, mildly surprised.

Blake nodded. Her eyebrows furrowed. "Weren't you?"

Yang glanced down at her lap in thought. "I don't think so..." she trailed off uncertainly.

That was odd, because Yang knew she didn't feel the hankering to eat Blake's portion until she had been fed the surprisingly delicious concoction. Yang scratched her jawline, wracking her brain for what she did prior that could have led Blake to said conclusion. A light blush tinged her cheeks upon recalling that she had stared – and even gulped – at Blake earlier, though it... wasn't what Blake had thought it meant.

Far from what Blake had thought it meant, actually.

'If you only knew,' the blonde thought to herself, torn between amused and mortified that her partner could get her so wrong. Yang felt a small smirk tug at her lips. 'Guess Blake's still pretty innocent.'

She wasn't sure if she was relieved or not.

"Yang?" Blake slowly prompted, perturbed since the blonde had fallen silent for a such an extended period of time.

"Ahhh," Yang breathed, wondering if she should correct her partner's goodhearted mistake. She decided otherwise. "You're absolutely right," she lied with a big cheesy grin. "You know me too well, partner." The blonde then wrapped her arm around Blake's shoulder and pulled her into a short side hug. "You're the best."

When the blonde released Blake from the embrace, the faunus mock-karate chopped Yang on her head with a chortle. "You need to work on your memory. Your grades can't afford to get any lower," she chastised lightly.

Yang gasped. "Hey! They're not that bad!"

Blake rolled her eyes. "Only because you're doing well enough during practicals." She shook her head with a sigh. "Honestly... you really should pay attention during our theory lessons."

Yang slumped in her seat, sliding down so her buttocks barely rested on the bench. "But some of them are so boring," she moaned.

Blake stared inscrutably at the girl.

Yang looked up at Blake, confusion swirling in her eyes. "What? They are!" she insisted.

Blake's countenance never changed when she dryly inquired, "So faunus pornography is the more interesting alternative?"

"Of cou–" Yang stopped in mid-speech, feeling her heart sink into her stomach as Blake's words registered. "Wha..."

Blake allowed a small smirk to slip pass the impassive facade. "You don't hide your phone very well. It's easy to see what's on your screen from the seat behind you."

Yang jolted out of her seat, face glowing cherry red. She stumbled away from the snickering faunus, stuttering, "I-I was just browsing! I-It was an accident! I-I didn't know that it'd–!" Her countenance flared hotter with every sentence, until Yang felt as if she could pass out from the warmth at any moment.

"Mhm," Blake said with mirth, watching the blonde gracelessly flail about.

"Don't sound so sceptical! It's the truth! I just..." Yang swivelled around and darted for the beach, narrowly avoiding several palm trees and the occasional straggler in the way.

Observing the hasty retreat only caused Blake to crumple over in laughter. As they died into snickers, she shouted as loud as she could to the girl who had vanished off into the distance, "Don't go into the water! You'll cramp up!"

Blake sighed and wiped the corner of her eyes, shaking her head. She slowly got to her feet, taking her time to stroll back to the beach. Tossing her garbage into the rubbish bin she passed, Blake chuckled, wondering if Yang would ever figure out that she did in fact know what the blonde had been staring at.

'What Yang doesn't know won't hurt her.'


Blindly sprinting towards the shore had worked marvellously for the blonde. She hadn't bumped into a single person or shrubbery in her mad escape from the embarrassing twists of events, and quickly found herself kicking up a small sandstorm as she trudged to the chaise lounges the group had claimed.

She flopped onto the nearest one with a loud groan, feeling absolutely enervated. Lazily gazing out into the distance, she spotted Weiss and Ruby splashing about in the water.

The little voice in the recesses of her mind whispered vindictively of the heiress, reminding Yang of the pantry debacle – and more importantly, the promise she had made to herself that she would get sweet, sweet revenge. It cooed about the minor squabbles they would have, all the times Weiss would win – such as the recent volleyball game – and how Yang would be left behind to mope and lick her wounds. Its cloying tone hindered her senses, blinding Yang to all but how glorious it would be to give Weiss her comeuppance. All she had to do was–

' –pull the string, Yang...'

Yang gritted her teeth, trying to clear her thoughts. That incident – and majority of the others – had happened months prior; was she truly juvenile enough as to have held a grudge for so long? Even after all they had been through, with Blake's revelation and Weiss kind of pulling the stick out of her ass, was Yang really deliberating to go through with such an immature prank? Just for a good, long, hearty laugh? To show that so long she was around, the heiress was far from infallible? To end up proving that this would always be the focal point of their strange love-hate relationship?

'Yes.'

The blonde looked around. The beach was relatively devoid of people considering it was past noon; only small groups of tourists speckled the expanse. There would be no real harm done, and therefore, no foul... correct?

'Absolutely.'

She was dragging her little sister into this... did she truly wish to see Ruby flounder alongside the heiress, because that would obviously be the most likely outcome, given this particular scenario?

'… Are we actually still stalling?'

'Not anymore.' The blonde needed to clear her mind and forget about what had just transpired with Blake, and she knew just how she would do it. And more precisely: who would aid her.

A small sly grin bloomed on Yang's face. She comforted herself with the thought that if Weiss were in her shoes, the heiress would have likely... not considered doing exactly what she intended, but something equally embarrassing was probable.

Her mind made up, she gave a brief mental apology to Ruby. However, the blonde firmly believed that neither party would be too opposed to this development, considering what she'd seen over the year; heck, considering what she laid witness to in the past few days.

Yang slid out of her seat before carefully, yet swiftly, padding diagonally to the ocean, cautious as to keep out of the frolicking duo's line of sight. She tread warily into the sea and submerged herself as quick as she could so as to avoid detection. Lilac eyes took awhile to adjust to the salinity, but when they did, they were greeted with the sight of two lean bodies wading in the water.

'You're going down, Weiss-y,' Yang thought to herself. Air bubbles escaped from her nostrils as she tried but failed to suppress a devious giggle. Kicking forward, she glided through the water like a shark, swimming towards the white-clad person – who incidentally was the closest – while plotting her ingenious plan in her head.

It would be quick; she would go in as subtly as she could, and once the deed was done, she would withdraw immediately and watch from the sidelines as chaos ensued.

Angling so she was hidden behind Weiss – and thus would not be spotted by either girl – Yang came up for breath before diving back under, ready to ambush the unsuspecting heiress.

Once within arms reach from Weiss, Yang stretched her arm out and grabbed between her thumb and finger the stray bikini top string floating enticingly beneath the waters. With a smirk, she gently tugged it and watched the loose knot slowly unravel.

The moment Weiss's bikini top came undone, Yang performed a hurried retreat, swinging her arms and legs in a jellyfish-like motion to propel her back at an extraordinary pace.

From a distance, Yang heard the scream; watched as Weiss's body began to flail about and curl around her torso.

Success.


Weiss's shriek attracted the attention of majority of the nearby beach-goers, resulting in a small concerned crowd uncertainly making their way towards the duo. However, Weiss paid them no mind, desperately clutching her loose top to her chest while simultaneously shrinking away from everything upon registering what had just happened to her.

Realising her partner was too panicked for her diplomatic charm or feisty defence mechanism to kick in, Ruby decided to take initiative. The leader manoeuvred herself in front of the alarmed heiress, shielding Weiss from the crowd's prying eyes. Extending her arms out to form a barrier, Ruby laughed boisterously to avert the throng of people and their scrutiny. "Nothing to see here people! Just thought we saw something, ahaha!"

Despite the suspicious looks, Ruby's endearingly crooked grin never wavered; she maintained the act long enough for everyone to eventually lose interest and return to their own activities.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Ruby dropped her arms as the tension left her body. She turned around and stared at her partner, who had taken the time to immerse herself in the ocean until only her face from the nose up was visible. Ruby noted the way anxious, dilated ice-blue eyes flickered between herself and everything else, akin to a cornered animal ready to lash out or chew its own leg off at any given moment.

Ruby's eyebrows furrowed as she watched Weiss squirm and fumble about beneath the water. "Do you need help with that?" she unsurely offered.

Weiss's head burst out from the watery depths as she exclaimed, "No!"

Ruby's gaze subconsciously flitted downwards as the water bobbed and waned around the heiress, revealing titillating slivers of pale bare shoulders and collarbone. Weiss, noticing that Ruby's attention had been diverted elsewhere, followed her line of sight and promptly sank back into the water with an embarrassed squeak. "It's fine," Weiss asserted, "I can get it myself."

Ruby nodded in understanding. They stared awkwardly at each other for a couple of beats, neither party budging, before Ruby apprehensively asked, "Well?"

Weiss reeled back, feeling her face heat up. The heiress whipped around and briefly glanced over her shoulder, muttering an almost incoherent, "Don't look," before she began fumbling with her bikini strings.

A faint blush dusted Ruby's cheeks. She turned her head away to appease Weiss's demand, though just barely, since she could still technically see the heiress out of the corner of her eye. Ruby bashfully stayed like this for what felt like hours, occasionally taking the opportunity to peek at Weiss under the defence of ensuring the heiress was alright. However, Ruby soon started to grow antsy, watching Weiss struggle with knotting the strings and failing to make any headway.

Ruby's fingers itched and twitched, aching to reach out and help her partner. She tucked her lower lip into her mouth and bit down hard to try and distract herself from the temptation. Weiss caught a glimpse of this as she floundered about and sighed. "Fine," she said, breaking the still between them, "help. But don't do anything untoward."

Ruby's hands shot forward to tie Weiss's top. Her brows knitted in puzzlement. "What does that even mean?"

Weiss got the first syllable of her sentence out of her mouth before she stiffened and faltered upon feeling Ruby's rough fingers brush against her skin. The heiress tried again to explain herself as best she could, but every contact Ruby's callous hands made with her sensitive, smooth back further reduced her into a tongue-tied, incomprehensible and confused mess. The heiress soon grew frustrated with her inability to form coherent thoughts and growled. "Will you just–" her scathing reply morphed into a gasp as Ruby grazed her hand against a sweet spot, "–hurry up?" she choked, practically hearing her heart hammer away in her ears.

An annoyed groan formed in the back of Ruby's throat. "I'm trying, but this is really really hard!" she cried, "You're really wet, Weiss!"

Just in view, a certain blonde was simultaneously choking on her saliva and gasping for air between bellows of laughter as she waded in the water.

Neither party heard her strangled sounds, too busy in their own world.

The heiress's blush travelled like wildfire, spreading to colour her ears, neck and chest with an intense bright red. She started producing garbled noises, instinctively attempting to wrench herself away.

Ruby released her grip on one of the strings to clasp a hand on Weiss's shoulders and keep her in place. "Woah, hey! Calm down! All I said was–"

"I know what you said, you dunce!" Weiss shouted, squeezing her eyes shut. She took a moment to control her breathing and regather her wits. "Just..." she exhaled wearily. "Just tie the strings."

Though the heiress's body was still incredibly tense, Ruby said nothing of it. Doing as instructed, the leader unconsciously stuck her tongue out in concentration, clumsily looping the strings into a durable knot. The heiress reconciled herself to staying as motionless as possible so as to accelerate the process, ignoring the temptation to jerk aside, as well as the goosebumps that appeared each time Ruby's warm flesh skimmed hers.

Seemingly an eternity later, Ruby carefully floated away from the heiress with a self-satisfied smile. "Done!"

Weiss released the breath she unconsciously held in a rush. "Thank you," she muttered quickly without turning around. Without waiting for a response, the heiress kicked away, swimming for the shore.

The young confused leader treaded quietly for a few beats, watching Weiss awkwardly paddle towards the beach. She thought she caught a glimpse of pink across Weiss's face, but couldn't be sure if it was a trick of the light or...

Scratching her head – and tussling her short damp mane as a result – Ruby murmured under her breath, "What just happened?"


Meanwhile, Yang – who had recovered from her bout of maniacal cackling – watched the events unfold with a sly grin. The blonde congratulated herself on a job well done by reaching around to physically pat herself on the back. She savoured her success for a few moments, the grin practically a permanent fixture on her face.

Thinking it was high time she teased Weiss, given the perfect opportunity, Yang began her swim back to shore. A few strokes in, however, Yang's expression contorted into one of extreme pain as sharp jarring pain jolted from her abdomen into her legs, paralysing them with the erratic muscle spasms that took hold. She instantly knew what was happening, and felt fear grip her heart.

With majority of the motor skills in her legs lost, the blonde sank like a rock into the ocean's briny depths before she could even get a cry for help out. The blonde felt adrenaline rush through her veins with the situation suddenly taking a turn for the worse. Intuitively making use of the hormone boost, Yang desperately flailed her arms – and even her mostly unresponsive legs – in a struggle to return to the surface. Due to her amazing physique as a huntress-in-training, she managed to fight the cramps that seized her through sheer tenacity and surface with a distressed gasp, hacking up some of the water she had inhaled in her panic. Yang thrashed about for as long as she could, yelling for help as she struggled to keep her head afloat. But in spite of that effort, her body soon turned against itself and completely shut down.

For a split second, as Yang was engulfed by the deadly waves and dragged down towards Davy Jones locker, she came to terms with herself, accepting her fate as a goner and wondering how the rest of the team would be once they realised she had disappeared. However, before she completely lost consciousness, she felt someone grab her by the scruff of her heck and pulled her out of the ocean's embrace. Disoriented, Yang could do nothing but blindly allow her saviour to manoeuvre her limp body into a position where they could painstakingly ensure her nose stayed above water as they hauled her back to shore.

Once they reached land, Yang's saviour dumped her onto the sand to recuperate. Yang immediately rolled onto her hands and knees, heaving up copious amounts of seawater she had ingested, before flopping to the side, absolutely exhausted from the ordeal. She laid on her back with her eyes closed, revelling in the comforting warmth of the sun for a few beats, a reminder that she was still alive and breathing, before her senses kicked in. She felt her saviour's presence lingering at the edge of her consciousness. Yang slowly cracked opened stinging lilac eyes to see a blurry black figure hovering over her. The blonde sluggishly lifted her hands to gently rub away the haze that clouded her vision. As her hands fell away, Yang was greeted by an aggravated Blake glaring down at her. Yang gave her a crooked little smile, but before she could thank her rescuer, the faunus stalked off in a huff to her chaise.

Regardless of still being in a daze, Yang could understand when she had goofed. She wasn't by any means sure of the reason, but she was certain Blake was annoyed. The blonde scrambled to her unsteady feet as fast as she could and staggered after Blake.

"Blake!" she called, stumbling to the lounge area. "What's wrong?"

Blake, who was in the midst of tying her damp hair into a high ponytail, shot her a blank expression and pointed to her bow.

For a few beats, Yang tilted her head with a quizzical expression, analysing the bow with narrowed eyes. They widened when realisation smacked her in the face. "Oh." Yang sheepishly scratched the back of her head and gave her partner a sincere grin. "Whoops. Uh, thanks for helping me out, Blake. Even when you obviously–" she gestured to the bow that hid her partner's cat ears. "Y'know."

Blake sighed but returned the look with a small, captivating smile. "You're welcome." She frowned, however, still displeased by her drenched state. She performed a quick, instinctive shudder to shake off some of the excess water, before bending down to pick up her bag.

As the faunus bustled about, digging around her bag for a spare towel, Yang watched appreciatively as stray rivulets of water that lingered ran down Blake's slender, well-muscled body. She gaped at how well-defined thighs and calves and abs and everything glistened from the moisture, serving only to highlight the tantalising dips and swells and curves that made up Blake's sleek physique. When Blake finally found a towel and proceeded to dry herself off, Yang cursed internally.

The blonde wondered if she could get her partner back into the water again. And then make it so anything capable of mopping up liquids mysteriously vanished. Perhaps if she paid Ruby in cookies...

"Yang? Blake?" they heard someone behind them nervously ask.

Yang whirled around at the familiar voice to find herself staring at a shy, yet ecstatic, Velvet Scarlatina. The blonde beamed. "Velvet!" she hailed cheerily. "Fancy seeing you here!" Before the other girl could reply, Yang took a step back and lifted her hand to rub her chin, seizing the chance to appraise her fellow classmate's demure brown one-piece attire with a devilish smirk. "And in your swimwear too, ooh la la," she singsonged. The blonde flashed her a wink and thumbs up. "Modest is the new sexy."

Velvet squeaked, squeezing her legs together as they buckled slightly at the knees and bringing her arms up to her chest to shield herself from Yang's approving gaze. A pink flush tinted her cheeks as her long bunny ears drooped. "Y-Yang..." she trailed off, flustered. "... T-thank you?"

This display only made the grin on Yang's face broaden. Caving into impulse, the blonde leaped forward and caught the timid faunus in a tight embrace. Velvet let out a short squeal, which was mostly masked by Yang's uproarious laugh.

"You're adorable!" Yang exclaimed, lifting the light faunus into the air and twirling her around a bit, before setting her back onto the sand on now shaky feet. The blonde kept an arm wrapped around Velvet's waist, despite the meek protests, and chuckled lightheartedly at Velvet's weak attempts to escape.

For reasons unbeknown to her, Blake felt the hairs on the back of her neck bristle as she watched the banter between Yang and Velvet.

"Velvet," Blake said cooly. She winced internally when she was met with mildly confused lilac eyes and fearful baby browns. Realising her error, Blake tried to inject more pep into her voice. "What brings you here?" she asked more kindly.

Velvet seemed to calm down, thinking that perhaps she had misinterpreted Blake's tone. "Ah, my family typically comes to this side of Vale during the holidays," she gently replied. "I-I didn't expect to run into you two," she continued shakily, instincts screaming for her to slip out of Yang's hold. She tried to wriggle free, but failed miserably.

Seeing the other faunus's valiant effort, and coming to terms with the fact that Velvet didn't deserve the hostility, Blake sighed, forcing herself to relax; this helped in restraining and subduing the beast within that threatened to claw its way out and maul who it deemed an interloper. "I see," she finally replied, tone tranquil. She gave Velvet a warm smile. "We didn't think we'd encounter anyone we knew either, but it's lovely to meet you all the way out here."

Velvet beamed in response and nodded enthusiastically. "It is!"

To her side, Yang underwent a different spectrum of emotions; the blonde felt dread and unease creep into her bones, though she only had the vaguest inkling as to why. Yang, relying on her intuition, zoomed in on the only one capable of making her feel as such – Blake. She scrutinised her partner, taking note of the way her eyes were sharp and alert, and how her smile seemed somewhat forced...

Blake, feeling eyes on her, glanced at the blonde.

Yang caught the glint of latent animalistic... possessiveness? Jealousy?

Whatever it was, it caused the blonde to take a small, unconscious step away from the bunny girl – though she still maintained the loose grip around Velvet's waist – as a jolt of... something lanced through her body. Yang's eyebrows furrowed, unsure as to what she actually saw. 'There's nothing to be jealous of, though...'

"So why are you both here?" Velvet innocently queried, ignorant of the little cold war between Yang and Blake.

Yang snapped out her trance. Deciding to test her theory, the blonde chanced sidling even closer to Velvet than before, all the while staring at Blake to gauge her reaction. Yang casually replied, "We decided down time at the beach would do the entire team wonders."

The blonde observed Blake's jaw tensing for a moment before it relaxed, the only tell from the well-trained ex-White Fang member. Suddenly, a wave of smugness washed over Yang. She managed to break her partner's steely demeanour – she demolished Blake's famed self-control. Yang tried to quash her grin, but couldn't suppress her twitching cheeks.

Velvet looked pleasantly taken aback, her head swivelling to glance between the two partners. "Oh? Where are Weiss and Ruby, then?"

"Elsewhere," Blake said, unable to bite back the terse response. She glimpsed at the sky, and then the horizon, before continuing, "Speaking of which, we'd best be heading off too; it's well past lunch." She approached the two with an apologetic smile directed at Velvet, swiftly yanking Yang away from the other faunus. "Hopefully we'll see you around, Velvet. Sorry for having to keep this so brief. And for having to deal with," Blake jiggled the blonde she held by the shoulder, "this."

Velvet seemed moderately bemused, but shook her head. "It's fine," she said. "I suppose we'll meet again soon?" she asked optimistically.

Her cheer was contagious, permeating even the green-eyed monster that had become of Blake. "Of course," she said. Blake's eyebrows knitted. "I'm sorry for being so... curt today."

Velvet smiled in understanding. "Don't worry, I'm sure you've just had a long day. Please, take your leave; don't mind me."

Blake nodded. She turned around to hastily gather everything the team had left on the lounge chairs, haphazardly stuffing as much as she could into her bag before slinging it over her shoulder. What little she couldn't cram – the thin towels they laid over the chaises and a few articles of clothing – she draped over and carried using a free arm. With one final, genuine smile, Blake parted, dragging by the arm a grinning Yang, who had been quiet during the exchange.

Yang's expression was tirelessly smug as she enthusiastically waved goodbye to the bunny faunus. "See ya later, Velvet!" she shouted. 'And thanks for giving me jealous Blake,' she mused internally. 'Guess my 'Get-Blake-Wet' plan can wait till another day. After all...' the blonde glanced out of the corner of her eye to examine the tense, minute little features on Blake's face that spoke volumes as to the faunus's tumultuous state. 'This is way too good to pass up.'

They trudged back towards the house for awhile in silence, until a loud, high-pitched, "Hey wait up!" sounded from behind them.

"Ruby?" Yang muttered, turning around to find her sister running to them at full speed. She skidded to a halt in front of the duo, scattering sand all over their legs. "Ruby!" Yang exclaimed, grimacing at the grit that now coated her calves and feet.

The leader flinched. "Sorry!"

Blake chuckled, shaking off the excess from her limbs. She cocked her head. "What's the rush?" Blake asked.

Ruby looked around with troubled grey eyes. "Have you guys seen Weiss? She ran off before I could catch up..."

Yang shrugged.

Blake pointed her thumb in the direction they had been heading. "She went back to the house."

Ruby beamed and nodded. "Thank you!" she yelled as she raced back to their temporary residence.

Yang quirked an eyebrow. "How'd you know that?" she asked her partner.

"I ran into her on the way back," she answered with a patronising sniff. "A certain someone would have noticed if they weren't too busy drowning."

Put on the spot, Yang sputtered and stuttered flimsy excuses. Blake smirked, wordlessly strutting back to their abode, leaving the blonde to scramble after her.

They found the door conveniently left ajar upon their return, a result of Ruby's hastiness. Entering the house, they were met with the sight of a now clothed Ruby lazily sprawled across the couch as she mindlessly flipped through the array of day-time syndicated broadcasts. The duo heard tinkering from what they could only assume to be the dining room-slash-kitchen, a sign that someone else – most likely Weiss, since Ruby was sedated on the sofa – was home.

Yang moved to join her sister, flopping onto Ruby's stomach when the leader refused to budge.

"Y-Yang!" Ruby wheezed, clambering away when the full weight of her sister came crashing down on her abdomen.

Yang snorted. "That's what you get."

Ruby pouted, bringing her knees up to her torso as her back hugged the corner of the couch, protecting her tender stomach from anymore attacks.

Blake mustered a tired smile as she watched their interactions. She dropped everything she carried beside the couch before deciding to check up on Weiss and inform her of their return.

Arriving at the kitchen, Blake was met with the sight of Weiss – dressed in a white blazer with its sleeves rolled to the elbows and shorts – rummaging through the cupboards. One particular cabinet proved to be too high for the heiress, who resorted to standing on her tiptoes. When that wasn't enough, Weiss rested a hand against the marble countertop and began to jump for the door; even with the added leverage and momentum, her wiggling fingers only managed to brush against the bottom. Blake folded her arms and leaned against the wooden door frame, an amused smirk plastered across her face as she watched Weiss futilely strain for the cupboard.

It was only a minute or so later that the thought of aiding Weiss even crossed Blake's mind.

Deciding she had made Weiss wait long enough for help, the faunus silently approached the heiress while she was still in the midst of her struggle against all things tall. Blake reached around Weiss to open the cupboard, unconsciously pressing herself against the heiress's back.

Weiss squeaked and stiffened as a warm, barely clothed body touched hers. She watched as an arm effortlessly pried open the cupboard door before it – and the figure – pulled away. The heiress whipped around and, on seeing it was Blake, hissed, "What are you–"

"You seemed to have been having issues," Blake interjected with a smirk. "I thought I'd help before you spent the rest of your day here."

Weiss blushed furiously. "You could have pitched in sooner," she rebuked.

Blake shrugged; she knew she could have, and so saw no point in arguing. "Couldn't you have used your glyphs?"

The heiress's blush toned down a notch, though it still lightly dusted her cheeks. "... It would have been loud enough to attract attention," she muttered. She cleared her throat, ignoring the small chuckle that slipped from Blake's lips. "Anyway," Weiss stated clearly in an attempt to divert the conversation, "It seems that we're out of supplies yet again–"

"We finished them yesterday," Blake interrupted.

Weiss sighed. "You could have mentioned something earlier today when we went out for breakfast," she grumbled. "Or have taken the initiative to purchase groceries yourselves."

Blake ran a hand through her hair. "Did you forget how Yang practically hauled all of us back home as soon as we paid the bill? Just–"

"I paid the bill," Weiss clarified.

Blake rolled her eyes. "Yes, and then Yang dragged us away because she wanted to play volleyball."

Weiss pursed her lips together, finding truth in Blake's words. She sighed yet again, massaging her temple to stimulate her brain for ideas.

"I found a fish and chip shop nearby," Blake suggested nonchalantly after a few beats. She ignored the knowing look Weiss shot her.

"You just want more fish," deadpanned Weiss. Regardless, she nodded in consent. "Let's get Yang and Ruby, then."

The two ambled out of the kitchen to hear the sound of scuffling and unintelligible yelps. Glancing briefly at one another, they both briskly walked to the living room and found Yang and Ruby had somehow miraculously tumbled over the sofa's backrest and onto the floor, with the blonde hovering over her little sister's violently flailing body. Upon closer inspection, Yang had shoved her thumbs into Ruby's mouth, stretching the sides of her cheeks as far as they would go. Ruby tried to buck her sister off while wailing at the top of her lungs, but to no avail. Yang's superior physical state allowed her to pin her sister down without breaking a sweat. The blonde cackled victoriously.

Clouded by unexplainable rage, an irate Weiss lurched to her partner's rescue, but was held back by a grip on her shoulders. The heiress was ready to snap at Blake, but halted when the faunus tipped her chin at the sisters.

That was when Weiss noticed the way Ruby had unknowingly manoeuvred her knee so it was positioned right under Yang's crotch.

Everything seemed to move in slow motion. Despite herself, the heiress winced sympathetically as Ruby's knee jerked up, driving itself right into Yang's delicate region. A long, low, strangled groan escaped from Yang's lips as the blonde fell sideways, rolling away from the trio to curl into a ball and cradle her sore bits in agony.

Profuse apologies began spilling from Ruby's mouth a mile a minute as she propped herself up on her forearms and shifted to worriedly touch her sister's arm. The pain-addled Yang only curled up tighter on contact before choking an incomprehensible reply.

Weiss shook her head at the sisters' dramatics. She stepped forward and extended her hand out to her partner, 'tch'-ing and peered away when Ruby stared at her with big, perplexed eyes. "Stand up, you dunce," she said, grabbing the slow-acting girl by the wrist and dragging her to her feet, "we're going out for lunch."

Blake, who had moved to crouch beside a theatrically wheezing Yang, briefly glanced at the clock overhead. "Technically, it's dinner now," she commented.

The heiress waved a hand flippantly, uncaring of the specific terminology used. Ice-blue eyes intentionally drifted from Blake to Yang and back, hinting for the faunus to do something about her now-motionless partner.

Blake sighed, shaking the blonde's shoulder. Yang laid limp, allowing the faunus to swing her around without any reaction. "Yang, I know you heard us," Blake said.

No response.

Weiss rolled her eyes. She turned on her heel and sauntered to the front door, tugging along an unresisting Ruby. "Get Yang up and changed. We'll meet you both outside. Don't take too long," was all she said before the door swung open and clicked shut, leaving Yang and Blake alone in the house.

Blake stared down at the unmoving figure, contemplating what would be the best way to 'wake' the blonde.

"... Yang, your bikini bottom is riding up your butt cra–"

The blonde scrabbled into a sitting position, awkwardly wiggling about and plucking at her bottom to adjust her swimwear.

Blake smirked, slowly straightening from her hunkered state. "Now that you're up–"

Yang huffed, jumping to her feet. "You're no fun," she whined, storming off to the staircase leading to their rooms.

Blake chuckled and stretched, leisurely following the blonde. "Really? I thought it was pretty 'fun', seeing your–"

"Blake!"


Once Yang and Blake were properly attired – with Yang in a yellow crop top and jean shorts and Blake in a white tank top and jean shorts – the quartet set off with the faunus leading the way. They strolled in the opposite direction of their dinner location last night, exchanging small talk all the while as they moved towards the local, more populated area in search of the shop Blake had discovered.

Shortly after, they found themselves seated at a little fish and chips shack by the bay, a mere stone's throw away from their residence. With the store being self-serve, Blake rose from her chair as soon as the others settled into their seats, more than happy take every body's orders.

Deciding there was no harm in letting Blake go, the rest of Team RWBY scanned the menus cleverly placed under the glass partition for their desired meal. Weiss and Ruby were quick to give Blake their order, something the faunus was very appreciative of. However, when it got to Yang's turn, a devilish smile crept onto the blonde's face.

Blake felt a chill run down her spine. She tried to be patient, plastering on a false, composed smile as her partner peered at her menu, humming and haa-ing as she took her time to deliberate over what she wanted. However, in spite of crossing her arms and biting down hard on her lower lip, the faunus couldn't hide her restlessness, which made itself prevalent when Blake began bouncing erratically on the balls of her feet.

Eventually, it became too much for Blake. She started edging closer to Yang – who was fully aware of this action – until the faunus was literally close enough to be breathing down her neck. To the side, Ruby and Weiss watched this exchange with amused, if not mildly exasperated, expressions.

Feeling Blake's warm breath periodically touch her exposed neck, Yang innocently tilted her head and fluttered her eyelashes. "I'm sorry," she teased, "Have you been waiting long?"

The faunus narrowed her eyes and jutted her chin out in annoyance. "Not at all," she gritted, mustering another fake smile.

Yang grinned cheekily. "Well good, because I still need–"

Blake glowered at the blonde.

Yang held up her hands, inching away from the faunus. "Alright, alright," she complied, leaning back into her seat, "get me whatever you're having," she said with a sweet smile.

Blake bopped the blonde lightly on the head. She paid no heed to Yang's yelp, stalking off to the vendor.

A pout formed on Yang's face as she watched Blake walk away, which only worsened when the blonde heard her little sister's giggles.

Yang's head swivelled back to face her two remaining teammates, just in time for her to spot Weiss folding her arms as she jadedly shook her head.

The blonde snorted, perching her elbow on the table to rest her cheek on her clenched fist.

Not a word was traded in the next couple of minutes; only the sounds of the ocean and their fellow diners pervaded the air. Consequently, this allowed Yang to recollect the day's events, where inspiration for their next topic of conversation struck. The blonde studied Ruby – who was busy playing with her hands – and Weiss – who stared pensively out into the horizon – waiting for an opportunity to arise. Noticing her sister growing bored with her activity, Yang pounced.

"Sooo," the blonde drawled so as to avoid startling either of the girls. When she obtained Ruby's attention, she continued, "Someone's getting bold."

Ruby canted her head, her expression the epitome of adorably innocent. "Hm? Whaddya mean?"

A sly grin stretched across Yang's face. "You and Weiss seemed to be getting awfully cozy while you were alone in the oce–"

Realisation dawning on her face, Ruby recoiled in horror, almost toppling the chair she sat on as she waved her hands in front of herself. The ruckus startled Weiss out of her reverie, just in time for her to hear Ruby yell, "I didn't do anything untoward!"

"... 'Untoward'?" Yang muttered under her breath incredulously. The blonde shot her sister a dubious look. "Who even uses that word anymore?"

Ruby pointed a finger at the heiress sitting beside her, nervously chancing glances at Weiss.

Said girl, still adequately confused considering she was missing any and all context, simply quirked an eyebrow at the devious blonde. "What?"

Yang repressed the grin into a substandard impassive expression. "Nothing," she countered, shooting the heiress an eloquent expression as she leaned back into her chair, her arms folded behind her head.

Weiss sighed, her countenance mildly exasperated. Brushing off the playful look as Yang's natural facial appearance, she turned back to view the horizon. "Is that what you really interrupted me for?" she questioned, "Noth–"

"What were you doing with my sister earlier?"

Weiss did a double-take, staring stupefied at the blonde. "Huh?" she inelegantly started. "Excuse me?"

"At the beach," Yang explained. "You guys looked like something straight out of a cheesy chick flick–"

Weiss slammed her hand on the table and stood up. "It wasn't like that!" she hastily denied, "My top came loose and–"

The blonde planted her elbow on the table, balancing her arm upright so she could rest her chin on her knuckle. "Wow," Yang breathed, feigning shock. She smirked wickedly, laying her forearm on the table, which provided leverage to lean in closer. "If I didn't know any better," she hushed, "I'd say you tied it so insecurely on purpose."

Weiss reared forward indignantly, prepared to give the blonde a scathing tongue lashing. However, her diatribe was interrupted at, "I would not even think tostoop as low as some–" when two trays crammed with food, drinks and plastic cutlery were noisily placed on the table.

Blake raised an eyebrow, cautiously eyeing at the irate heiress and gratified blonde. Passing out everyone's meals and drinks, she carefully asked, "What did I miss?"

Yang leaned back far enough for Blake to slide the blonde's plate in front of her. "We were just talking," she casually said, reaching under the faunus to swipe a fork and knife.

"Excuse you," Weiss retorted, still on her feet. Ruby tugged at the heiress's blazer, wordlessly pleading for her to calm down. Weiss glanced around, realising they were making a scene. She huffed and unhappily settled into her seat.

Blake took her seat as well, staring suspiciously at her partner, who – alongside her sister – already began devouring their meal with gusto. "'Talking', huh?"

"More like someone being a mouthy, gossipy little..." Weiss trailed off into a grumble, violently stabbing her deep-fried cod with a fork.

Blake observed this display with amusement colouring her eyes. "You know Weiss," she said, cutting a dainty morsel of her own fish and popping it into her mouth.

The heiress looked up from her savage deed to stare quizzically at the faunus.

Blake swallowed her mouthful, wondering if she should finish her sentence.

"Blake?" Weiss prompted.

"Just..." The faunus shook her head, choosing to adopt a more tactful approach. "Did you realise how you've slowly started to change?"

Weiss's eyebrows knitted. "Change?"

Both Ruby and Yang slowed their consumption to a more moderate pace, signalling their renewed attention.

Blake motioned to Weiss's brutally hacked up cod. "Certain people seem to be rubbing off on you." She gestured to the blonde sat next to her for good measure.

Weiss blanched. "That... can't be–"

"Oh, but it is," Yang chirped, whistling appreciatively at Weiss's admirable job of mauling her food. "Oh, but it is. Didn't know you had it in you, Weiss. In fact, I don't think I could be so vicious." She set down her cutlery to slow clap. "You have changed, Schnee."

Weiss bit back the venomous retort lingering on the tip of her tongue, opting to instead refocus on her meal. The heiress muttered under her breath as she pushed around the tattered bits of fish on her plate.

Yang chuckled, picking up and waving around a thick cut chip between her fingers. "Life's a beach, isn't it?" Yang smartly quipped. Without missing a beat, Weiss dropped her cutlery and instinctively slapped her palm onto her face. Ruby groaned through a mouthful of food. Blake simply shook her head with a sigh.

"What?" Yang asked, biting off half of the chip in her hand with zeal. "It was right there!" She pointed her half-eaten chip at them. "You would've taken it!"

Blake shook her head. "That wasn't even a smooth segue, Yang," she wearily replied. "You just wanted the opportunity to use a pun."

Yang ate the rest of her chip, deliberately chewing slowly. "I will never confirm nor deny that statement," she answered after ingesting the bite.

Ruby pursed her lips, her eyes darting between Yang and Weiss. "See, that sounds like something Weiss would say..." she murmured. "Why is Yang rubbing off on everyone? First it was Blake, and now Weiss..." Ruby pouted. "Is there something you guys aren't telling me?"

Weiss groaned, laying a reassuring hand on the quivering Ruby's shoulder. "There's nothing that you aren't involved in, Ruby," she stated. "We've just spent enough time together." Weiss muttered out of the corner of her mouth, too muffled for anyone to hear, "Too much, if you ask me."

Having not heard the last statement, Ruby's expression lightened comically. "Oh."

Yang grinned at her sister. "Is someone jealous?" she coyly asked, nudging the now lightly pink-faced leader on. She adopted a faux-french accent. "Would you like you be the one doing the rubbing on people, hon hon hon?" Yang suddenly winced and yelped as she accidentally bit down on her tongue. When she recovered from the pain, she glared at Weiss. "Why'd you kick–"

"Oh, I'm sorry," Weiss apologised. "My leg has developed a nervous twitch–"

Yang snarled. "Nervous twitch? I'll show you nervous twitch–" She flinched, sliding her chair further away from the heiress's reach.

"–ever since I've been exposed to some horrendous influence..." Weiss continued to explain. "There it goes again," she said with a sigh, massaging her temple. "It can't help but fly off the rails when it detects bad vibes."

Ruby laughed uncomfortably. "Come on guys, are we really doing this here? When we're on vacation? Why don't you two just take a break?" she pleaded, trying to play mediator.

Yang and Weiss chimed in unison, "Well if she would just–"

Blake blocked out the inevitable argument that was about to ensue, busying herself with her meal and leaving Ruby alone to fuss over the two. She gazed out at the horizon, watching the sun's slow, lazy descend as she popped another morsel of battered fish into her mouth.

'At least they're consistent.'


Night fell over the quaint, seaside town shortly after the quartet finished their lunch-slash-dinner. Deciding to bask in the afterglow of a good, hearty meal, they agreed to return back to the house straight away. However, Weiss, still ticked from the tiff between herself and the blonde of the group, departed shortly after with a small bag in tow, claiming to have other matters to attend to.

The heiress briskly made her way down a familiar path to a small, covert hot spring inn infamous amongst locals for its rejuvenating qualities. Having visited the location since young, and taking into consideration the Schnee family's generous contribution to its development and restoration, Weiss breezed through formalities and was ushered straight to a private changing room within the females' quarters by the owner herself.

Following the owner's quick reminder of the personal showers' availability, the two exchanged brief polite 'thank you's, after which Weiss was left alone. Stripping out of her casual wear, Weiss folded and placed them neatly in the provided basket before storing said basket into a cubby hole. She retrieved a small satchel of her personal assorted soaps and shampoos from her bag, which was also subsequently stuffed into the wooden box compartment alongside her basket. Grabbing the provided towels, Weiss wrapped the biggest around her body and rested a longer, thinner towel on her arm. The heiress then walked out of the room towards the private stall next door.

Entering the large, private bathing area, Weiss slid the fusuma shut before she removed her towels and placed them aside. She strode to one of the shower heads and sat upon a provided stool as she reached for the small basin to douse her body with. Ignoring the small supply of shampoos and soaps in favour of her own, Weiss proceeded to lather and cleanse her nubile body and hair with practiced ease before rinsing herself squeaky clean. She went through the motions twice, ensuring the removal of any and all foreign matter. Once done, the heiress wrung her hair out and got to her feet, padding back across the warmed, tiled floor for her towels.

Re-wrapping herself, as well as her hair this time to prevent any from falling into the hot spring, Weiss opened the sliding door, freeing a gust of steam that dispersed and diffused in the cool hallway air. The heiress treaded down the hall, walking past the closed shouji leading to the public hot spring in favour of the private one further down the passageway, not at all pondering over the decision. She did not wish to be disturbed that night.

Sliding the bamboo door open, she entered, shutting it on the way in to prevent the hot air from escaping. With no one else present, Weiss untied her body towel, unabashed by her nudity. She once again folded it methodically into a tidy, plush rectangle and placed it aside in a secluded corner. Weiss walked right to the rim of the natural hot spring, where water met the smoothed rock lining its circumference and slowly dipped a toned leg into the water to acclimatise to the temperature, before lowering the rest of her body up to mid-abdomen. The heiress waded to the far side, revelling in the scorching hot water lapping at her smooth, pale body. Sitting right against the edge, she carefully immersed herself up to shoulder level, relishing in the revitalising effects provided by steaming bath. In addition, the tranquil environment granted her with a peace of mind. Weiss breathed a sigh and relaxed, feeling the tension in her body gradually melt away. 'Finally, peace and quiet.' She closed her eyes and smiled, wiggling deeper into the water's comforting embrace. 'And there's no way Yan-'

"–g! Yang! Are you in here?!" a high-pitched voice cried as the shouji violently slid open, loudly slamming against the wooden frame. Ruby – who was barely covered by the small towel she held to her front – burst through, skidding to a halt as she met the eyes of a stunned Weiss. The leader looked down and, realising the state she was in, squeaked before jumping into the water. Ruby hastily took a seat as far away from Weiss as possible, submerging herself to her shoulders in an attempt to shield her privates, overlooking the fact that the hot spring water was too clear to hide anything.

Water sloshed about due to Ruby's explosive entrance, splashing the heiress in the face and knocking her out of her daze.

The heiress blinked rapidly and rubbed her eyes to find that an embarrassed Ruby, who looked at everything else but her, was still there. "What are you doing here?" Weiss questioned.

Ruby slipped deeper into the water, still avoiding eye contact – or any form of contact at all – with the heiress. "I... I..."

"Relax Princess. We're all mature young ladies here," came a familiar voice from the entrance. Both girls turned to discover that Yang, who was in the buff barring the towel wrapped around her head, had made her appearance. The blonde glided over towards the duo, not at all bothering to cover herself. She leisurely sat next to her sister, splaying her arms out and resting them on the rim of the hot spring, brazenly flaunting her assets. Her head flopped back as the heated water began to work its magic on her muscles.

"This is the private hot spring," Weiss emphasised, eyes drifting to stare enviously at the blonde's bountiful breasts. 'They're better than I thought they'd be,' she begrudgingly thought to herself.

Yang's shoulders lazily moved in a shrug. "The public one was pretty full, and we thought we could sneak into this one," she drawled. "C'mon Weiss, don't be selfish; this one is huge and empty. Unless you're expecting... company?"

The heiress bristled. "Don't take me for you," she snapped, her nerves completely frayed.

With a lax wave of the hand, Yang laughed it off.

Noticing her partner's growing agitation, Ruby instinctively decided to try redirect the conversation. "We didn't see you in the showers," Ruby whimpered, slipping deeper into the water as Weiss's enraged eyes zoomed in on her.

"There was a private one," Weiss stated brusquely. "How did you find this place?"

Yang snorted, half-opening one eye to peer at the heiress. "There was a sign we passed on our way home. Keeping this little haven all to yourself huh? And here I thought we had become good friends, Weiss, with all that rubbing."

Weiss glowered at the blonde who broke her therapeutic still. Her eyes unconsciously drifted between glaring daggers at the blonde's face and her bosom.

Yang's head perked up on noticing the heiress's gaze. "Oh ho, so these were what you were staring at," she taunted, cupping her hands around the bottom of her chest. Yang thought back to their morning on the beach. "Tell me, were these bad girls what caught your eye earlier today too?"

Weiss turned away huffily, grinding her teeth in irritation. "Where's Blake?" she managed to grit out after a couple of beats.

Yang smirked at the blatant attempt to avoid the subject. Choosing not to pursue the conversation, she shrugged, hands still on her breasts. "Something about wanting to spend some time in the house. Think she just wants to stay out of the water."

Weiss gave a sharp nod, before tuning the blonde out, dead set on recovering the peace granted by the hot spring she had found minutes prior, regardless of the sisters' arrival.

And so the trio sat in silence. Both Yang and Weiss found themselves basking in the bath. In contrast, Ruby, still fearful of any possible scuffle, in addition to being mortified by her current nude state, stayed alert as she remained sunken down at barely below nose level.

"By the way," Yang finally mentioned offhandedly. Ruby jumped in surprise, so antsy was she.

"Hmm?" Weiss hummed, too relaxed to give any other response.

"Since we're all oh-so calm right now, I figure this is the best time to say this..." Yang muttered, "I was the one who untied your bikini top."

Weiss's head jerked up from its reclined position on the smooth stone edges so she could stare at Yang with fiery eyes. "I knew you had something to do with it!" she exclaimed, wrenching her arm out of the bath to point at the blonde and thus splashing hot water everywhere. To the side, Ruby look at Yang disbelievingly as she shrank further away.

"I cannot believe you, Yang Xiao Long!" Weiss started angrily.

Yang looked mildly offended. "Why does everything have to be my fault?" she argued. A small smirk graced her lips. "... I mean, I take full credit for what happened today, but what about next time, y'know?"

The heiress's already pink face grew redder in indignation. "Next time?" she spat. "There will be no 'next time'."

Yang's expression was smug. "You sure about that?"

Weiss made a strangled, irate noise in her throat. "You're such a child!"

"Better than sounding like a prissy old grandma."

"Ugh! This only proves that you're immature, vindictive, impulsive, careless–" Weiss continued to list off relevant synonyms, all while ticking them off with her fingers, until she ran out of breath. All this while, Yang stared at her with a mischievous grin. When the heiress seemed done with her rant, Yang opened her mouth to speak. However, Weiss hastily sucked in a breath and cried, "I'm not done! And!"

"And?" Yang prompted with an expectant look, prepared for another verbal fight.

Weiss looked primed to explode again, before suddenly deflating, releasing her breath in a loud sigh. "And I don't want to continue arguing more than I have to," the heiress calmly replied. "I'm here to relax, Yang Xiao Long. I would like it if you could grant me that much."

The blonde was taken aback by the mood whiplash, but recovered quickly. "I... sure?" she apprehensively answered, still partially expecting a belated eruption from Mt. Schnee.

Weiss nodded. "Thank you." They stared at each other wordlessly for a few beats before the heiress reluctantly admitted, "As much as I hate to admit it, despite all your faults, and all the times you aggravate me and intentionally get under my skin..." She sighed, tilting her head back to look at the night sky. "I don't think I would have you any other way."

'Huh, maybe this water is magical or something,' Yang mused to herself, a devious little scheme coming to mind. As she entertained the thought, the blonde decided not to test Weiss's patience for now, and to roll with the punches. "Aww, how sweet," Yang cooed aloud. "... I guess the sentiment goes both ways, Weiss," Yang continued with an honest grin.

They settled back into an agreeable still.

"Oh, and Yang?"

"Yes?"

"I still plan on getting you back for that one," Weiss breathed, closing her eyes and sinking back into the therapeutic bath.

Yang mimicked the action with a content sigh. "Looking forward to it."


AN: This was a bitch to write, if I'm completely honest. Volleyball is not my forte – I've only watched it once for the women's Olympics broadcast ages ago – so I skimmed over it as best I could. Apologies if I butchered the game. Also, apologies for filler fluff in what's already filler fluff. Did not expect these sequences to drag out as long as they did, but eh. I'll try to have Part 3 written and edited AFAP.

I've been getting a few (really polite!) reviews about how the girls – Yang in particular – deviate slightly from canon. Unfortunately, this isn't something I can rectify without affecting the 'continuity' of WFLT. Having started this fanfiction when RWBY was only 2-3 episodes in, I had little canonical personalities to work with. As such, I developed my own ideas about the girls and how they would interact with one another. Honestly, it bugs me sometimes how they're growing further and further away from their canon dispositions. But I went into this project fully expecting this outcome.

Thus, a fair warning that the differences will only continue from here. Weiss and Yang will forever be vitriolic best buds in my eyes with regards to WFLT, and while I try to incorporate as much canon into the story as possible, that may not be feasible in the later 'years'. These, of course, will have an impact on the way chapters are written and are planned.

For those still willing to stick around (hell, for anyone who read this stupidly long A/N), thank you so much. Your support means the world to me. I only hope this chapter, and the future ones to come, will continue to do RWBY right.

TL;DR: Warning: Non-canonical = potentially OOC.

(P.S: Credits to skilledjedi for that pun. I cannot believe I hadn't thought of it before.)

Also, thanks to Hiccup251 for spotting and pointing out some minor errors.


Omake

An hour or so after their liberating soak, Yang unhurriedly stood, stretching shamelessly in front of her companions. They looked elsewhere, albeit for different reasons, as the blonde strutted out of the hot spring.

"Well ladies," Yang said, still in all her naked glory, "that was good. Gonna head back, though. Think we've left Blake alone for long enough." She glanced at her sister who was still immersed up to her lips with water. "You coming, Ruby?" she asked.

Ruby shook her head slightly, turned away from both Weiss and Yang.

Yang smirked. "Suit yourself," she said, tone tickled. Her eyes drifted to Weiss. "What about you?"

The heiress kept her head low to avoid glimpsing at the blonde's bare body as she waded – ensuring she was still covered up to her shoulders – to the edge of the hot spring.

"You know I can still see everything, right." Yang stated.

Weiss frowned, but didn't budge. "I would like to retain some modicum of my decency, Yang."

The blonde flapped her lips and rolled her eyes. "We all have the same parts, Weiss. Sure, mine are bigger than yours–"

"Are you actually–"

"–but there's no shame in your hooha or your tatas," Yang continued pragmatically, as if she hadn't been interrupted by an indignant Weiss. "Flaunt 'em, Schnee! Be proud of your natural born lady bits!"

Weiss groaned, lightly knocking her head against the side of the hot spring. "Please stop," she said in monotone. "Either leave, or get me my towel."

Yang shook her head. "So demanding." Nevertheless, she obliged, walking over and picking up the neatly folded towel Weiss had placed aside earlier before chucking it at the heiress. "Catch."

Using reflexes honed during their time at Beacon Academy, Weiss easily snatched the towel while it was in mid-arch. Expecting Ruby to still have her eyes elsewhere, the heiress held up the towel in front of her to block the view from the mischievous blonde as she got to her feet, before wrapping it around herself.

Yang, having predicted the move, paid no heed to the heiress and instead glanced over Weiss's shoulder to stare at Ruby, who had completely turned her back to them. "You sure you're not coming out, little sis?" Yang queried yet again.

This time, Ruby was more receptive. She peeked around her shoulder, and upon noticing Weiss was covered, meekly asked, "Hand me my towel?"

'I see how it is,' Yang thought, lilac eyes darting between the bemused heiress and nervously shifting Ruby. The blonde quashed the amused chuckle bubbling in her chest. "Sure thing," she answered, reaching over to grab her sister's smaller towel and tossing it to the girl.

Ruby sloshed forward, snagging it just in the nick of time before it fell into the water. She staggered to her feet, trying to hide as much of herself behind the little shield that was her towel. As she walked towards the other two, her steps grew unsteady as Ruby began to feel lightheaded.

"Ruby?" Yang asked in concern, moving closer as she watched her sister teeter. At that, Weiss turned around, just in time for Ruby to stumble and lose her grip on her towel as she passed out against the heiress.

Weiss grunted, suddenly weighed down by the entirety of Ruby's mass. She stumbled back, holding onto Ruby's smooth back to pull the remainder of her legs out of the hot spring as Yang rushed forward to aid the heiress.

The worried blonde grabbed her sister and flipped the limp, unmoving girl over onto her back before carefully laying her on the ground, heedless of her bare state. She hunkered down beside her and touched Ruby on the cheek, cursing as she felt overheated skin cool slightly on contact. "She's passed out."

Weiss sighed, squeezing her eyes shut. "She should have realised the water was too hot," the heiress groused.

"It's Ruby," Yang said as explanation. Yang brushed the wet hair away from her sister's face. "Let's get her out of here."

The heiress nodded and made to move outside, but was stopped by Yang's protests.

"Hang on, I can't bring her out while she's naked like this, Weiss," Yang complained. "She'll kill me – or at least try to. Use her towel; at least you can kinda cover yourself."

A firm objection in the form of a steely, "No," came from Weiss's lips. "Surely you can use her towel," the heiress said, looking around for the item. She found it floating near the edge of the hot spring.

"If you haven't noticed, that thing got dipped in scalding water," Yang rebutted. "And I don't want to cover my unconscious sister in that." Yang ran a hand through her hair. "C'mon, it's not like nothing I've never seen before," she said, gesturing flippantly to Weiss's body. She continued in a murmur out of the corner of her mouth, "Besides, I'm not the one who's interested in you."

"Excuse me?" Weiss said, leaning in closer to the blonde to try and hear her mutters.

Yang smiled. "You're excused as soon as you hand me your towel."

Glancing down at her quiet, motionless partner's face, Weiss grumbled. She bent over and scooped out the small stray towel out of the water, wringing it as dry as possible. Hold it to herself, she carefully unknotted and removed her towel, reluctantly handing it over to the crouching blonde.

Yang draped it over Ruby's unmoving form and shifted to carry her in a princess hold. 'I don't see what you're interested in though, Rubes.'

"What?" Weiss asked, noticing the blonde's changing facial expressions.

"Nothing," she singsonged.

The heiress huffed.

"Lead the way, Weiss," Yang said as she stood in one smooth motion. "I'll set her down in the private area before going to grab our stuff."

Weiss nodded, and cautiously inched out of the room, keeping as much of herself shrouded behind the tiny article of cloth.

Yang snorted, but said nothing.

As they marched to the private changing room, Weiss became aware of the fact that she couldn't sidle the entire time considering how ridiculous it looked. Mustering her pride, Weiss began to briskly walk back to the changing room, regardless of the fact that the whole of her back was showing.

Behind the heiress, Yang's eyes scanned her up and down. After a few confident strides by Weiss, Yang felt the need to remark, "Y'know Weiss, for someone who's short and flat-chested, you've got a pretty decent ass."

The heiress faltered, feeling an intense blush spread across her face. "What is your problem?!" she yelled as she tried to manoeuvre her towel to cover her rear, in addition to her front, as well as possible.

"What's yours?! That was an objective view!"

"It doesn't sound objective, you pervert!"

"Only because you're thinking like that!"