Yang went to bed feeling justified in knocking her friend out. Blake was a traitor and deserved it. The next morning, on the other hand, was a completely different matter. That terrible anger had left her and felt as if she had acted as soulless as the grimm they were trained to fight. Only a monster could do what she did, regardless of what her friend did wrong. In the light of day she wasn't entirely sure Blake had done anything wrong. No, she knew Blake had done nothing wrong. Though the anger had left her, her self-loathing was as strong as ever.
Mechanically she got dressed and ready. The sun hadn't risen yet. She could hear the commotion outside. Everything was being prepared for the search at the first break of light. She would be there. She had no choice. She tried to push her thoughts of Blake to the side. It wasn't really working. Once finished she opened the door to leave; and found a blue haired duffus waiting, posing perfectly. "How long have you been standing like that?" she asked.
"About the time I heard you moving around," he smiled. How did he get his teeth to glint like that? "Was it worth it?"
She was tempted, dearly tempted, to pull him back into the room and show him how much she needed him. More accurately she wanted to pull him in and have her guilt wiped clean. She knew that wouldn't be the result. It would just add to it. There was no way temporize it as anything else but cheating. She settled for grabbing his tie and pulling him down for a kiss, which was stretching it.
"Worth it. Let's go." It took Neptune about two seconds to wipe the smile off his face and catch up.
Neptune's arrival was just what she needed. Having him close was a good distraction from unpleasant thoughts; ones that involved either a dead sister or a bloody face under her own fist. Suddenly cold Yang leaned into her friend. She was sure that Neptune didn't know about the latter, but the former was enough for him to understand the need and he obliged her. "It's going to be okay Yang. We'll find them."
"I know," she replied, though it was clear she was no longer sure. It had been over twelve hours now since Ruby had disappeared. That was a long time to be lost at sea.
Already feeling bleak, she had called Sun for support. It was a risk, but she really needed them both. So when she found him waiting for her with the rest of the search party she was beyond happy; not thinking about her leaning into his best friend.
"So, that's how it is?" he asked, glaring at both of them.
Yang jumped away from Neptune, suddenly guilty for a new reason. I'm so glad dad isn't around to see this, Yang thought. How many ways can I fuck up? She wasn't in the open relationship she hoped for. Until it was, if it ever was, Neptune was off limits. Worse she'd called him in her panic for exactly that. How many times was she going to betray Sun's trust?
"Bro," Neptune started.
"Don't 'bro' me. I can see what's going on," Sun started, and then turned to look at Yang. "Besides, she made it clear what you two are doing."
Neptune was instantly defensive. "She needed some comfort. Her sister's gone and you weren't around."
Sun was growing angry. In the back of her head the memory of her conversation with Nora played. 'Will they fight over you? Oh, I hope so!' She was seeing that prophesy unfold before her. It had been dangerous to bring them both here at the same time, and she had thought about only calling Sun. Yang should have called only Sun, but had been desperate to take advantage of one of the strengths of an open lifestyle in her time of need. Instead of supporting this was going to only drag her down further, and she knew she deserved it.
"Guys, this isn't the time," Yang asserted, hoping to stop this from degenerating to that predicted fight, at least for now. "Check your egos at the door because it's not about either of you, or about me. This is about Ruby. We'll deal with my fuck ups later, got it?"
Both folded their arms and looked away from each other as if it was choreographed. "Fine," they synced. In any other situation Yang would have laughed. Today was too serious for that.
She decided that until today's search was done it would be best if none of them were with each other. It could only increase the tension and distract them from the search. "You there, and you there," she pointed towards two separate bullheads. "I'm going to be in this one, got it?" Her tone made any arguments impossible, so both simply nodded. Yang had chosen the plane she'd been on yesterday. Its crew was familiar with her now and knew what to expect. Given her reckless nature that was an important thing. Putting on her com she told the pilot "I'm ready, let's go." Apparently she was all they were waiting on because they took off right away.
On the way she was briefed on the plans to find her sister. "We have reassessed where the two survivors would be based on where we found the wreckage last night. The currents are fast in that area though so the possibilities are a large area. We are going to have to make the grid larger to accommodate."
Yang nodded her understanding, which was silly since the pilot couldn't hear her head moving. "Okay."
Over the coms she heard Sun and Neptune starting to bicker. She was about to say something when someone else beat her too it. "You two shut up and keep the channel free! Some of us are trying to find someone rather than fight over a girl." Two meek apologies were heard right after.
Yang sighed, regretting calling them both more by the minute. She could have used a shoulder right then. Instead of two she was getting none, and a headache to boot. She put Sun, Neptune, and her own needs to the side as she looked through her set of binoculars for any sign of intelligent life. If there was a mirror she'd see the biggest idiot of all. Out of sight out of mind did a lot to help put her worries about them on the back burner. Out of sight out of mind did not work so well when it came to her little sister and missing friend.
Again she tried to reassure herself. They're two near fully trained huntresses, only a couple of months from graduation. They wouldn't let a simple plane crash kill them. We just haven't found them yet is all. Those thoughts got harder to believe as the hours ticked by. Eventually they had to return to refuel and to eat. Yang had no appetite and merely picked at the food in front of her. Sun and Neptune sat across from her. Both looked worried at the condition of the normally unstoppable woman, and carefully did not look at each other.
She felt the anger start to rise up inside her again, but she breathed deeply to control it. Beating the hell out of both of them wasn't going to solve anything. "Okay you two, let's do this before I beat the crap out of both of you," she opened, looking at them with an expression that made it clear she wasn't kidding. "We don't have the time, so I have some ground rules. The first one to raise their voice loses. The first one to fire off an insult loses. The first time I even think you're being derogatory you will lose."
She wondered how her father would feel about this opening. On one hand she was trying to open lines of communication. On the other hand she was being heavy handed about it and not really giving them any choice. She hoped those ground rules would keep this talk civil, and she hoped the heavy handedness would make it short. They didn't have time to let this stretch out.
"Pretty sure that we want to 'win,' aren't you?" Sun asked.
Okay, that deserved a smile. "If you didn't you wouldn't be acting like a couple of cavemen."
Neptune looked directly at her, a smile of his own to match hers. "And what exactly are we going to win?"
"Me, of course." Now that should be incentive.
Sun was the first to catch on to the implication and asked, "and if we both win?"
"Figure it out lover boy," she grinned. She just might get her appetite back after all. Then she sighed, "If I don't follow them I'll lose as well."
Putting everything in terms of winning and losing wasn't right. It wasn't that simple, but it would have to do for now. No matter how it went this wasn't going to be the first time they talked about this unless she loses them both here. She hated it but the current situation was working in her favor on that. They weren't going to leave when Ruby and Weiss needed all the help they could get. It was a deplorable thought, yet it was the truth.
The best friends looked at each other, then at her, then back to each other again, and let out a gut buster of a laugh that eased the tension instantly. "I'm not expecting either of you to like this, or to get along with each other. I called you both because I need you both. I need to know that if I fall you will be there to catch me. One might be enough, but why risk it?"
Neptune tried to do his 'I'm too cool to not be enough,' act, and Yang stopped him instantly. "Don't start. Both me and Sun know you're full of shit. I've seen how broke up you were after Weiss broke up with you, remember? And Sun just plain and simple has known you too long. So be honest for the moment. It'll make this go faster."
He instantly deflated. Sun started to puff out his chest in the testosterone induced 'manly man' act. "And don't you start either Sun. I saw you after Blake dropped you like a hot potato." He likewise deflated. "Good, now let's be honest about this. You," she pointed at Sun, "have been dating me for almost a year now. Do you think you know me pretty well? Think you love me?"
"Yeah, you better believe it! No thinking involved," he paused, realizing he had left himself open for a comeback, but it didn't happen. This wasn't the time. "You're my woman."
"Let me stop you right there. I'm no one's woman. I told you, no macho testosterone. You love me, we got it. I assume being first you also feel you have the most right to date me?"
"Well of course."
"Okay. So we know where you sit." She turned to Neptune. Yang was moderating the conversation as fairly as she could; giving both a chance to speak their mind. It wasn't ideal, but with the current crisis there was no such thing as ideal. "Your turn." Neptune looked a bit nervous, which was a relief. He really had dropped the act for the moment. "You don't really want to date me if it costs you your friendship with Sun, do you?"
He dropped his eyes, and looked to the side. "That's not the only reason."
"Right. You also don't want to share me either, correct?" He nodded. "Do you love me?"
Yang smiled a bit. "It's okay. We haven't even started dating yet, assuming we ever do. Love isn't necessary at this point. You do care for me though, don't you?" Was it right to be amused right now when her sister was still missing? She wasn't sure and felt guilty for yet another reason.
"Enough that we were making out not that long ago?" That elicited a worried look from Neptune towards Sun. "Don't worry I already told him and I also told him that given the opportunity I'd do it again."
"If you put it that way, yes, I care."
She was stressing on the feelings portion of what she wanted. At this point their feelings were the most important. Hers would be expressed soon enough. "Would you want to date me if Sun wasn't involved?"
"Of course I would," he said just a bit too forcefully.
He paused, unsure how to reply. "Complicated question, huh? It's easy to say we feel this or that, not so easy to put it into words on why. You probably haven't given it a lot of thought. Well, let me answer my own question then, for both of you." She looked at Sun. Now was the time to open up. It was a bit scary, but she thought Sun, at the very least, would be pleased by what she was about to say. "You first, since you are the one who I'm rightfully dating right now. Sun, you make me happy for many reasons. You're fun to be with, of course. You get my energies flowing, as they say. I start an action and you automatically know where I'm going and finish it if needed, or join in if not, and I can do the same with you. I'm completely comfortable in your presence knowing that no matter what I would do or say you will accept it; because it's something you totally understand. How could I not love all of that?" Sun was smiling at the end of that with that stupid look on his face. Yang realized this was the first time she had told him, fully, just what she found so wonderful about him.
Now it was time for the other half. "As for you, I don't know well enough yet on that kind of level. I'm pretty sure I would love you, given time. You are the exact opposite from Sun. Under that cool surface you show, you're actually very nervous of what others think of you. That's the point of the cover; you want everyone to think the best. That should be annoying as hell to me, honestly. It's a level of vanity that is nearly unforgivable." She saw Neptune shrink in on himself a little as Yang attacked exactly where he was weakest. "But I think that's what would make us work. I'm the exact opposite, not giving a rat's ass what others think about me. It gets me in trouble, and I know it. We balance each other, and you are a good enough person and friend that I don't fight you when we look for that balance. I want to see if there is more to it than just that." Yang shrugged. "Could be a complete waste of time too. I don't know." Neptune gave another smile, this time complete with trademark teeth glint. "Told you, drop the act for the moment," she said with a good natured grin.
She looked at both of them. "My point is that I want both of you, and I want you for different reasons. Not because one is better than the other. Not because I want to double up on what I got. Certainly not because of some vanity of my own. I want you because you both offer something completely different to the table. Something that if the other tried to capture it they'd lose the thing that attracted me to them in the first place." She looked directly at Neptune. "It's also fun to take you down a peg when that persona of yours gets a bit too much. Does that make sense to either of you?"
"Heh, you and him get along for the same reason me and him get along," Sun realized.
"Yup," she agreed, happy that he was catching on.
Neptune and Sun both looked a lot more comfortable with each other. "Truce?" Neptune asked.
"Truce," Sun agreed. They huddled up and started to have a quiet meeting in hushed tones Yang couldn't make out. Then both of them looked at her. "We still are not on board with the whole tag-team dating thing, but we also know you don't need our drama right now so we'll drop it for now. Fair enough?"
It was a start. "More than I could have asked for," she sighed with relief.
"Actually, you did ask for more," Neptune pointed out.
"I guess I did. How about 'more than I hoped for' then?" She paused. She'd told them the why's of what she wanted, but there was one more thing. "Sun, I'm sorry for all of this. I said you know every aspect of me, but that isn't completely true. I hid this from you, and then I went only a couple of steps short of cheating on you with your best friend. I'm terrible and I don't deserve for our relationship to continue, but I'm desperate that it does." She looked at Neptune next. "And I'm sorry I put you in the middle of this."
With synchronous nods both got up and went around the table, one sitting on her left the other on the right. They both leaned and held her and Yang absorbed the emotions that came with it. She'd held the stress and worry over Ruby and Weiss to the side, almost forgetting about it at one point during the conversation, as she expressed other feelings. Ones that for a short while had been needed to get this situation at least partially under control. This show of support brought all of her fears back to the fore, but now they were not overwhelming. They were shared and she could have cried at the relief. She did a little, a few tears forcing their way out of her eyes. "This doesn't mean we're good with this open thing," Sun told her, "but for now at least we'll keep it to the side until we find them."
Over the PA system it was announced that they would be leaving in five minutes. Yang still hadn't really eaten, but she wasn't going to let that stop her from getting out looking for Ruby. With this behind her, at least for now, she was feeling much lighter and balanced.
Six more hours passed, and still no sight was made. The operation stopped for the night. Again without success more and more people were acting like it was over. Yang still didn't want to believe it. She would go out again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. Every day until she found them.
None the less, the overall feeling of hopelessness surrounding her was weighing her down. Sun and Neptune came in on either side of her, and went into lockstep. It was oddly comforting, as if they were one. Again she felt their support, and again she felt her load spread among all three of them.
"Ms. Long, I need a word with you," Glynda ordered from behind her. It was definitely an order, and a disapproving one at that. Her teacher was pissed. "Alone."
Yang had a good idea what this was about, and she had earned whatever was about to happen. Sun and Neptune walked away with worried expressions and a wave as Ms. Goodwych led her towards her office. The angry steps of Glynda reinforced just how much trouble she was in.
Once in her office Glynda used her riding crop on the arm of a wooden chair, the sound echoing. "Sit." Yang had never heard of her actually using that crop on anyone, but she wasn't about to test that, so she quickly complied. "You know why you are here." It was a statement, but Yang nodded anyways. "You should know Ms. Belladona will be hospitalized for at least five days, and it's only that short because of her Aura helping with the healing."
The blood left her head so fast she was dizzy for a second. If she had been standing she wouldn't have been at that point. She hadn't known just how badly she had hurt her friend. She thought maybe a black eye, a broken nose at worse.
Wisely she stayed quiet and let her teacher continue. "I understand this is because of a disagreement. Specifically her inability to meet your time schedule?" What else could she do? She nodded slowly. "Do you know what she was in the middle of when this emergency began?"
Again she nodded, feeling worse with every word spoken to her. She couldn't maintain eye contact. She looked at the foot of her teacher's desk as if it was the most important thing in the world. Again she heard the crack of the crop, this time on the side of Yang's chair. "Pay attention." Yang jumped, her eyes again on Glynda regardless of how hard it was becoming. Goodwych adjusted her glasses unnecessarily. Yang had been around long enough to know it was a habit of hers when she was truly angry.
"Thanks to your teammate's efforts groups of the White Fang are coming back together, under a new banner and a new method to their mission. I want you to contemplate what that means not just to Vale, but to the whole of Remnant." She paused, as if giving her the chance to do that then continued. "While you were searching for Ms. Rose she was cementing that arrangement. As important as your sister may be, what do you think was the priority in her situation?"
This time when she paused it was clear she was waiting for an answer. It took a minute for Yang to find her voice. "Her mission."
"Good, at least you are capable of recognizing that after the fact, eventually. Your temper is well known and documented. This has not been the first time it has caused trouble. Most times it has been justified and restrained enough not to have you expelled." She paused. "It has been a near thing though. So I want a reason why you shouldn't be this time."
Yang thought about it, and she couldn't come up with a single one. She tried to speak, but nothing came out. "Luckily for you Headmaster Ozpin has decided to be more lenient than I feel you are deserving of. You will not be expelled." Yang couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief. "Instead you are getting an unofficial class, with me, every day for the rest of your academic career. I am not going to go easy on you. You will learn, forcefully if necessary, a proper understanding of the responsibilities that comes with being a Huntress. Am I clear?"
"Good. I expect to see you tomorrow during the time that your Bullhead is refueling. Once we find your sister and classes resume for you I'll expect you here at three o'clock. You are dismissed." Yang couldn't get out of the office fast enough.
Both Sun and Neptune were waiting for her just outside of the office doors looking anxious. "What was that about?" Sun asked.
"I don't think I've ever seen her look that angry," Neptune said with awe. "Did you mess up that badly?"
Yang collapsed. It was too much. Loss, mistakes, guilt, consequences, and she wasn't even done for the night. She didn't think she could take anymore. Her boys, not that she had any right to think of them as such, kneeled on either side of he, and held her as one without a word. "I did, I really did," she confirmed. Her arms hung at her sides limply and she only stayed upright because of them holding her that way.
They never asked what happened. They just let her cry herself out let her lean on one and then switch to the other. She didn't think she would have been able to get up again without their emotional support. She was so far down that she didn't even notice how well they were acting as a team.
Eventually she regained her composure. There was one thing left for her to do, and this one she had to do without them. It wasn't that she didn't want them with her. She wanted it more than anything, but it wouldn't be right. An apology needed to be done directly without an outsider to what happened holding her hand, emotionally or otherwise. This one did at least. She had put a crack in her friendship with Blake that may always be there. How was she to put something like that to right?
She talked to the nurse before entering Blake's room. She got the specifics of Blake's injuries and couldn't believe just how badly Blake was hurt. The nurse was looking at her like a pariah, which was unnerving when this was Nurse Anderson. She never stopped smiling no matter the situation. She was definitely going to need her guys after this. That would require telling them what she had done, and so far she'd been too ashamed to do that. The only clue she'd given was her earlier breakdown.
Entering the room proper Blake looked worse than she had imagined. One look was all she could do before she had to look at something, anything, else. It was worse than when Glynda had been tearing her down. She wasn't sure if she really deserved forgiveness, but Blake was quick to give it and asked for her own in return.
It floored her. She almost couldn't believe her ears. Blake should be angry. She should be looking for blood. Instead she forgave her quickly, as if it had only been a minor white lie she had told. Then she went one better and asked for her own forgiveness.
I don't deserve friends like this, she thought to herself. By the time she left Blake had even managed to get a quip out of Yang, though she knew that was a temporary thing. Emotions ebb and flow like the tide, and like the moon Blake had pulled it back. Like any tide though they would return, and when they did she would have to endure the emotional waves that came with it.730Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡXOlVesm4g4ns 220.127.116.11da2