Blake went back to her room after seeing Yang with Crescent Rose, feeling dread overcome her. Yang was blaming her. The way she had looked at her after leaving the bus made that infinitely clear. Blake couldn't blame her. If things were reversed she'd feel the same. Feel as if her friend, her teammate, had abandoned her entire team when they needed her the most.
Though Yang had left first, and with a speed born from her anger, Blake was the one who got to their room before her. She went to her top bunk and hid in the corner, as much as she could. I did the right thing, she kept telling herself. I wouldn't have made much of a difference and Phoenix will. I couldn't risk it all falling apart. She'd had these thoughts all night, and she would have them again in the future. She truly did believe every word. That didn't get rid of the guilt. After a while Blake knew her teammate wasn't coming back. It was bad then if Yang was avoiding her to this degree. Blake decided that a rift between them could not be allowed and left her room. There was only one real place for her friend to be. She headed directly to the guest rooms.
She didn't really know what she was going to say. Her eloquence with Phoenix was from hours of preparation for a receptive audience. Not this time. Yang was going to be hostile and there was no time or way to prepare for it. Still she tried, working through the possibilities as she stood outside the door her friend was on the other side of. When no clear answer came to her she called it a bad job and knocked. Whatever was meant to happen could not be stopped.
She wasn't prepared. Not even remotely. Yang's words cut at her, one at a time, resonating with her own depression and self hatred. Yang's eyes became red and Blake knew she was in danger. She couldn't help but feel she deserved it. Then Yang asked why. It was the one thing she had known was going to be asked. She started with "It was necessary" and was ready to expand on that; to tell Yang why she was unable to go. She wanted to make Yang understand that she loved her teammates, and it was tearing her apart knowing how she had let them down.
She didn't get the chance. After those three words Yang attacked. Yes, it was necessary, but I still deserve this, was her last thought before Ember Celica made contact. She was already half unconscious from that blow, the triggered blast after only made sure of it.
She woke in pain. She tried to open her eyes and her left refused to do so. Judging by the feel her nose was broken. She recognized she was in the clinic right away and was thankful that Yang must have brought her there. At least she thought she had. It would give her a little hope that Yang may one day forgive her.
Quietly she rolled onto her right side, nearly jumped off the table from the pain, and quickly returning to her back. She remembered taking the punch, but why did her right shoulder hurt?
"Ah, you're awake!" a surprised voice said a bit too cheerfully.
Blake got right to the point. "So what's the damage?"
Nurses, like doctors, were trained to deliver bad news as tactfully as possible. This one obviously failed that class. "Broken nose, dislocated shoulder and cracked clavicle on the right side," Nurse Anderson said. Her that upbeat voice was so counter to how Blake felt that it was even more annoying than she normally found it. "The rest is mainly bruising and swelling. They should go down in two or three days, or a few hours if you used your aura, but I'd concentrate on your shoulder if I were you. As far as the doc could tell your left eye will be fine once the swelling goes down."
At least the nurse didn't beat around the bush. "My shoulder, do we know how?"
"Well a couple of the teachers looked and found where the attack happened. From what they said it wasn't too hard since we already knew Ms. Long was responsible." She smiled as if this was all perfectly normal. "They found a hole in one of the walls. They think you were hit hard enough to impact it with your shoulder and cause that hole. They said you must have been unconscious by the time you hit the wall, or your Aura would have made your injuries much lighter. When you were carried here Ms. Long didn't seem to give any thought to your injuries; maybe because she didn't know about your shoulder. It aggravated the damage a little."
"Huh. I knew she was mad, but I didn't think she'd hit me quite that hard," she said, while realizing that the damage between them was far worse than she had thought.
"Do you want anything for the pain?" Maybe she thought being overly cheerful was a way to lighten the mood? If so it was not working.
"No," Blake insisted. "I need to go help with the search and drugs are just going to fog my head. I have to be sharp."
For the first time in her life, as far as Blake knew, Nurse Anderson frowned. "I think everyone's gone already."
That surprised Blake. "How long have I been unconscious?"
"Hmmm, let me think. I'd say about thirteen hours would be accurate, if you include the time it would have taken for Ms. Long to bring you here," the nurse replied as she returned back to her normal happy demeanor.
"That's too long. I need to go help..," she started, trying to get up from her bed.
"You are going nowhere until this heals," and to make her point she cheerfully poked Blake's collar bone lightly. The pain was enough to cause an involuntary yell and for her to fall back into the bed. "If you leave now you will cause it to heal wrong. If you behave and concentrate with your Aura this should heal in about four days."
"Miss Belladona I'm afraid I must insist," came a familiar voice behind her.
She whipped her head around to see him, and yelled in pain again from stretching her shoulder in the process. "But Headmaster..."
"Ah ah ah, no arguing," he said in that calm authoritative voice. "I am afraid you are too valuable to lame yourself in a moment of recklessness."
"But Ruby and Weiss..."
Ozpin continued the sentence for her, all be it not how she would have, "Will be found, or not, whether or not you help. One extra pair of eyes will not make a difference in the scheme of things."
Blake had no way to deny him no matter how she wanted to. It was the same argument she had told herself with little success. "I'm failing them again."
"I believe a certain Yang Xiao Long is responsible for you not going today," he said. He came and sat down next to her, putting his cup onto the rolling table near her feet. "And believe me she will pay for that transgression."
Blake jumped at that. "No, please don't," she begged. "She's stressed and understandably angry. I don't blame her at all."
"Blake I understand her reasoning. I even sympathize with her, but as a Huntress she is measured by a higher standard." He paused, looking at her with an intensity that almost was like he was seeing her soul. "You are also measured by that standard, but I believe the one you hold yourself to is far stricter. I would go so far as to say impossible. In the last two months you have accomplished the impossible. In particular the last week has yielded unparalleled results. I expect them to be only the beginning. Yesterday you were forced to choose between your mission and your friend, and you chose the mission. This was the right choice. As a Huntress personal sacrifice is a painful necessity. Do not let that pain lead to self destructive guilt. You must learn to accept these situations or you will not be able to do what is necessary the next time it occurs."
Bowing her head, Blake was forced to admit that he was correct. She hated it though. "You have done your part, let us do ours," he said as a parting farewell.
The nurse looked at her. "So, are you going to listen to me now?"
"Yes ma'am." She was far from happy with herself or the situation regardless of what Ozpin had told her, but she was closer to forgiving herself than she had been since letting her face get turned into hamburger by one of her best friends.
That night the search party returned. Part of her hoped Yang would come to her quickly, and part of her feared it. Not right away, but eventually Yang did appear at her door, quiet as the grave. "Ruby and Weiss?" Blake asked anxiously. It was her overriding concern beyond what had happened last night. She had laid their all day with no news and feeling powerless.
Yang shook her head. "Nothing yet. Where their vehicle went down was drastically off from where we expected. The currents are faster there which is why we missed them yesterday, and they start to split after getting to the ocean."
She hadn't looked Blake in the eyes yet, finding anything else more interesting. It was obvious that she had been crying. Ruby's disappearing was really getting to her. "Yang, it's okay. She's a Huntress. A few days at sea won't be enough to stop her."
"That's not it," she said with heat, all of it directed inward. "I'm sorry, really really sorry." It felt almost as if Yang had killed her, the pure emotion and guilt that radiated off her.
She had hoped to hear that from her friend, though without the heartbreak, but there was one more thing she hoped to hear. "Forgiven, but only if you forgive me for not getting there to help faster." Her own guilt was great.
Yang didn't disappoint. "Now there is something that does not need to be forgiven." She came close to making eye contact this time. "Glynda made sure I understood that."
Now that was amusing. "So that's who the headmaster sicced on you. I wondered." The mental image pretty much wrote itself. When she wanted to be Glynda was a truly scary woman.
"A natural choice," Yang confirmed, her voice still thick with emotion. "And one I'm going to apparently be seeing every weekday till graduation to give me 'a proper understanding of the responsibilities that comes with being a Huntress' as she put it."
Blake couldn't help but laugh even if the mood in the room made it out of place; then wince at the pain it caused in her shoulder. Yang noticed. "I didn't mean to hurt you this badly; just knock you out and give you a headache for the day. I thought you would at least try to avoid me so I didn't hold back." She paused looking at Blake. "What was with that by the way?"
"I felt I deserved it," Blake admitted, remembering the depression that was still with her; though being able to talk with Yang was helping more than anything the Headmaster had said earlier.
Yang shook her head again, her feelings of guilt looking just as strong as when she came in the room. "That alone tells me you didn't deserve it, and you really felt that you had no choice."
"Don't you dare say you're sorry again," Blake insisted, partially because she was afraid her friend would go on a crying jag if she did, and partially because she didn't feel it was owed.
Her friend smiled at that, pulling herself back together a small piece at a time. The smile was forced, but it was true. "Okay. So what can I get for you while you heal?"
"A book would be nice."
A shake of her head. "Predictable. I'll be sure to get one from behind your mysteries," Yang teased, knowing that was where Blake hid her romances. It made Blake blush and caused the first true laugh from Yang since she came into the room.
Ozpin sat his office, looking at the terminal before him with interest. He took a sip from his cup, and then tapped a couple of keys. Constantly aware of his surroundings he knew exactly when Glynda had entered, but did not look up. Glynda was going to be testy with him he realized. The cadence of her steps alone was enough to tell him that.
He was rarely proven wrong, this wasn't an exception. "What's going on Ozpin?"
"What do you mean Glynda?" he said with his usual calm demeanor.
She didn't buy it, not that he had expected her to. "Don't give me that. Your act may fool the rest but I have known you too long," she accused. "You're worried, and you know more than what you are telling us, even me."
There were certain disadvantages when working with friends. One of those was them being able to recognize something was up and calling him on it. That Glynda had once been more than just a friend made her particularly hard to deal with at times like this. "I have theories only right now, but yes, I am worried."
Glynda's eyes narrowed, and with a single finger pushed her glasses up by the bridge. "Why?"
"Because if I'm right those girls were in more trouble than they should reasonably have a chance to deal with." He said it with his normal tone yet managed to convey a sense of unrest. It was a single word that caused that feeling more than anything else: 'were."
Glynda was obviously not in the mood for vagueness. "And what might that be?"
The Headmaster turned the screen around so his friend could see. "This."519Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡzobLAGgdYgns126.96.36.199da2