3:35 - You: Hey Ruby! My roommate and I are both in my dorm if you would like to meet her and chat for awhile with me.
3:36 - You: I haven’t told her yet, so nothing about my heritage for this visit okay?
3:38 - Ruby <3: Hi Blake! I would love to meet your roommate and talk about stuff! I could also use some advice on… stuff. I’ll tell you in person, see you soon!
3:38 - You: See you soon Rubes.
Blake clicked her phone off, glancing over to Weiss who was again studying it seemed, though what she couldn’t fathom. Considering how far she was in that textbook though, she could just be reading ahead to get a leg up…
“Hey Weiss? Just a heads up that a friend of mine is coming by the dorm to hang out. She also wanted to meet you so expect that.” Weiss looked over, letting out a sigh before sliding her books closed and to the side while taking note of the bowler had Blake wore, raising an eyebrow.
“I will endeavour to be polite then. May I ask why a bowler hat of all things? Seems at odds with your other choices.” Blake gives a small shrug in response, giving it a light tap.
“Wore it at a costume party once and liked the feel of it.”
“...Of course you did. Alright then, when will she be here?”
“Knowing Ruby… I give her either two seconds or twenty minutes. Depends on if she gets lost.”
“What…” A loud knocking was heard at the door, bringing a smirk to Blake’s lips at the dumbfounded Heiress’ expression as she walked over and opened the door, getting wrapped in a tight hug.
“Blake! Hi!” Ruby grinned as Blake rolled her eyes with a smile and gave her head a small pet.
“Hey there Ruby. Try to keep it down okay? Lot of people around here.”
“O-okay! Um… h-hello!” Releasing the hug, Ruby then noticed the standing woman in white, seeming rather… regal in the way she stood.
“Good afternoon, Ruby I presume? My name is Weiss Schnee, a pleasure to meet you.” Her head tilted down in a small nod to Ruby, who blinked quickly in response as she felt a bit of nervousness take hold.
“E-erm… hello! Its a pleasure to be uh… invited to your… abode…?” The awkward attempt brought a ghost of a smile to Weiss lips, surprising Blake a bit.
“Of course. It is nice to see Blake has friends, though she has not mentioned you before.”
“Eheh uh… y-yeah, Blake has been kinda a uh… a second sister to me.”
“Mmm, and all the teasing that comes with that, isn’t that right ‘little Red’” The grin Blake showed was quite the stark contrast to Ruby’s now flushed face.
“H-hey! No mocking of that! Come on Blakey, please?” And there came the puppy eyes, hurting her heart and soul to try and resist much to Weiss’ amusement at the look in the Crimsonette’s eyes.
“Those are certainly weaponized. I shall leave the two of you to your conversations then and will study in the library for a time.” She gathered up her books as Blake finally managed to escape Ruby’s eyes, stepping back as Ruby turned to pouting.
“You don’t have to Weiss, this is your room too.”
“It is no trouble, part of being a good host in this manner I suspect. Good day to both of you, I will return in a few hours.” With that done, she seemed to glide past the pair, stepping out the door, the lock clicking a short moment later.
“...She locks the door when you’re still here?”
“I think it makes her feel better in a way, coming from Atlas and all.” Blake sat down with a long sigh, flipping her bowler hat off with a happy sigh, ears flicking free to Ruby’s amusement.
“So thats why you’re still hiding in here.” The bed whoophfed a bit as Ruby sat down next to Blake, smiling warm and inviting.
“Its been a week Ruby, no need for me to rush things just yet.”
“Speaking of uh… rushing things… You know what Polyamory is right?” Stiffening at the question, Blake carefully turned to Ruby slowly, the younger girl a bit startled by the reaction to her question.
“I do… Why are you asking?” It almost looked like Blake was scared to answer, which startled Ruby all the more.
“W-w-well… um y-you see…” What followed was a very rambly explanation of her afternoon before coming by, everything from the arrangement Coco and Velvet had, to the first offer, and then the deal they had agreed to of hanging out and seeing if things grew. Eventually Ruby’s explanation devolved into rambling on about the couple’s looks and when they hugged her together… At which point Blake had finally figured out what to say, gripping Ruby’s arms gently as she let out a long sigh.
“Well, that explains why you smell like Heat and sex.” She muttered before turning her full focus to the girl before she could fully register the quiet comment.
“Take a deep breath Ruby, okay? Good. Now, I have some questions, but I am not passing judgement here, okay?” Ruby nodded quickly, helping calm her before she began again.
“Why did you think I would know about polyamory?”
“W-well um… Y-yang talked about all those books you read wh-when she was drunk once…” Which prompted a muttered ‘Maidens dammit’ from the faunus, sighing again in exasperation.
“Of course she did. Ruby, do you know the reason Yang and I never got together in the first place?”
“W-well… I thought you just didn’t feel for her that way, right?”
“That was… part of it. I did want to try, but Yang learned I was, AM poly. And she couldn’t… well, she thought it would be too much for her if it ever came up that I was considering another partner with her.”
“She is a little possessive…”
“Thats a bit of it, yes. I don’t think less of her, polyamory is not for everyone, but it is definitely something to keep in mind okay?” Another nod, Blake releasing the girl with a long breath, looking back seriously again.
“Alright, now, I get the understanding that you are taking things slow and wanting to figure out if this would work for you at first. Still, I have to ask; How do you feel right now about potentially being not only with two women in a relationship that could potentially turn sexual, and that they may and could already have other partners? Casual and otherwise?”
The way Ruby stopped herself from immediately responding was a good sign, it showed that she was actually considering all the ramifications instead of running headlong into things.
“Take your time, I’ll get us a snack.” Ruby nodded slowly, lying back on the bed to give a more thorough think, away from Coco and Velvet to accidently distract.
Blake reached under her bed and pulled out a couple packages of gummy candies, an old vice of hers, the tiny stash she kept on hand for those rare days like this when it would be useful to have the comfort. Once retrieved, she lay back on the bed next to the Crimsonette. Five minutes later and a few shared candies had Ruby coming to a decision.
“Like I told them, again, I still think I would like to get to know them first… but I am not against it. It will take getting used to but… well, thats the same for any kind of relationship right? We didn’t immediately get to the sisterly point for years. So yes, I would like to try and see what being poly is like. Maybe I’ll only end up being comfortable with Velvet but am good with them being together and with others, maybe I’ll… erm… enjoy time with both or more. Until I know more though, I don’t see a reason why I shouldn’t. And um… a first relationship like this would be kinda neat too.”
That last admission brought a wave of sympathy to Blake, hugging the determined and anxious little sister she had grown to love.
“Thats very mature of you Ruby. And for what its worth, I am proud of you making this decision to try something clearly different to what you were aware of. Just like when you earned your way into Beacon and were so very nervous when the letter first arrived but stuck with it, okay?” The smiling nod in response was joined by the pair hugging yet again.
“Thanks Blake, this um… helped a lot.”
“Anytime Ruby, and I get that its hard to talk to Yang about this stuff with her joking attitude, but do talk to her about this later okay? You can wait until you’re sure if you want to be romantic or friendly in the end, but you’ll need to eventually.”
“Yeah I know… Its just! ...She still sees me as a little kid! Its frustrating at times.”
“Thats what the big sisters of the world do I imagine. I can be the weird cousin-like sister that keeps the two of you out of trouble though.”
“Psh, you’re just as likely to get us into trouble.” The stuck out tongue brought a wicked grin to Blakes face, pushing the girl over to tickle her sides mercilessly.
“AH! NO!!!! BLAKEY!!! AHAHAHAHA!!!! WHY THE, AHAH! BETRAYAL!!!” The one-sided battle lasted barely a minute before Blake acquiesced, stopping her fingers to let the Crimsonette catch her breath.
“Hah… yeesh, is it always tickles with you two!”
“Too cute, always too cute for your own good.” Again that ruffling of Ruby’s hair, giggling at the pout just a bit more before growing concerned at the sudden burst of anxiety on her face.
“Whats wrong Ruby?”
“Um… n-nothing really… j-just um… C-can you help me buy something? Before I uh… head home on the bus?”
“Of course Ruby. What did you need?” Reassuring smile in place, Blake gently patted the girl’s back, reaching with the other arm to get a drink from her water bottle.
“U-um… c-can you help me um… b-buy… y-y-you know… um… j-just in case… s-some condoms?” Ruby’s face immediately went beet red at the question, hiding her face deep inside her hoodie as Blake started and began choking on the water she had been drinking, further embarrassing Ruby while her own cheeks tinted just a bit as well.
*Dammit Ruby, why did you drop that on me!?* She groaned mentally, wondering exactly how awkward her offer to help would make her.
Sliding out from under the truck she had been working on and grabbing a clean rag to wipe a bit of the grease and oil off her hands, Yang glanced over at the clock. Just enough time to write up where she had found the oil leak and the various other problems that would need addressing, the shotty brake line top of the list. Finishing up the report and signing off an estimate of costs was all that was left when her boss walked in. Although Nelson could be a bit of a hard ass, he was always fair when it came to pay and benefits.
“Xiao Long, you done with that hunk of junk yet?” His gruff voice was almost a bit abrasive, but kept on the professional end. A rough day then.
“Yeah Boss, found the leak and a half dozen other internal problems. Only things still solid on that machine are the chassis, the AC, and the engine.”
“Hmm, we’ll have to give the option for a partial fix if they don’t want the full repair.”
“I’ll write up two estimates. The oil leak, the brakes, and a rework of the electrical would have to be the partial. Otherwise we risk serious harm, don’t know how the hell it hasn’t caught fire before now when I looked under there.”
“I’ll give the estimate a look over with your report to be sure, still, good work Xiao Long. Get out of here soon, no overtime until the holiday season.” Yang gave a quick nod, spending another five minutes writing up the numbers. The first couple months of having the Boss check her work had been a practice in not strangling him, but once she learned a bit more of the reasons behind each number, she could atleast accept that it wasn’t a scam. Her signature on the pieces of paper finished up her last bit of work just as the clock turned to 5:30. One last glance made her confident in the math and she carefully slipped the reports into the ‘in-progress’ folder, getting as cleaned up as she could at the shop before hopping onto Bumblebee.
The feel of the wind rushing through her hair and across her skin never failed to bring a smile to her face under the helmet, weaving through traffic on her bike with practiced ease. Although the small car she also owned was useful, nothing beat the joy she felt on her custom built machine. Forty minutes later she arrived at the apartment complex she called home, slipping into the underground garage and locking everything up tight, humming on her way to the elevator. Arriving at the door, she pulled her keys out and tried the door, feeling it open easily brought a smile to her face as she stepped in, locking behind her.
“Rubes I’m home!”
“I’m in the kitchen!” Came the answering yell, kicking her boots off and walking down the hall, turning into the kitchen/dining room and taking in a long breath through the nose, smiling at the wonderful scents.
“Mmm, Triple-Spiced Chili? Whats the occasion?” Her hand reached out with a spare spoon towards the open pot before having it swatted from her hand with a disapproving frown by her sister.
“Thought I could use up the rest of the ground beef and red beans, no stealing any till its done Yang.” Who held up her hands in defeat.
“I give I give, yeesh, always protective of the chili.” Ruby’s stuck out tongue was met by the same response in Yang before the two giggled and shared a gentle hug.
“How was work?” Yang watched Ruby go back to tending the Chili, smiling as she added the spices based on the old recipe they had kept for years.
“Went pretty well, Boss wasn’t in that bad a mood and only one oil trouble situation this time.”
“You still need to shower though, I can smell it.”
“Yeah yeah, I’ll go take one now assuming the chili is gonna be another twenty, thirty minutes?”
“Easily yeah, I’m gonna let it simmer soon.”
“Alright, just don’t set the kitchen on fire!” Yang turned to leave, ducking quick as experience had taught her, the thrown spoon falling to the floor down the hallway.
“It was one time!” She huffed back.
“Nice try sis! But this Cis remains herself!” She chuckled to herself as she walked into the bathroom, already hearing the groan of the implied verbal pun.
Once her routine began, Yang could go on auto-pilot, letting her thoughts float about. It had been awhile since she had gotten a call from their father, an oddity in and of itself. Normally he made atleast one call a week to try and get them to come back, and always drunk to near incoherency. The custody battle when Ruby was still fifteen had been a nightmare, but it was well and done with. They were past that though, Ruby was in university on scholarship, Yang’s job was enough to build up a good little nest egg; They were doing well now. No use dwelling on that past.
Slipping out to dry off was a little harder tonight, the warm water having been a joy on her muscles more than she had expected. The promise of the spicy hot chili tipped the scales in her mind however, and the fluffy towels did their drying well. Slipping into a simple tank orange tank top and cargo pants, her mind was no longer clouded by the upsetting thoughts, that smell of chili practically having her drooling while she walked back to the kitchen to see a plate of sliced bread with the butter out already.
“Chili will be done in a couple minutes! Set the table?” Ruby called from the fridge, digging around for something.
“You got it Rubbles!” And so she went about the task, getting the placemats set and utensils, sitting down with a happy noise of relief as she watched Ruby bring in two large bowls shortly afterwards, grinning ear to ear.
“Mmm, thank you for dinner Ruby, this looks amazing.”
“Just dig in already, I can see the drool.” The two laughed again before finally eating, mostly silent save for Yang talking a bit more of the last truck she had worked on, shuddering at the thought of potentially leaving it with a partial fix. Ruby added a bit of her classes of the day, mentioning a project to do either a landscape of somewhere seen from home, or a portrait of a close family or friend.
“You need me to pose for ya then?”
“If you could later so I can take a good photo that would be good, lets me keep it as a reference.”
“Sure thing Ruby.” A smile crept to her face as she watched Ruby eat, so proud of how far her sister had gotten in life already.
Soon the food was finished and it was time to clean up. Ruby took the now cooled pot to the kitchen table to portion out for a couple later dinners while Yang washed the dishes quickly in the sink, humming a little tune she heard at work on the old radio. Some scrubbing and a light rinse was all she needed for the bowls and bread plate, setting them in the rack to dry before taking the now empty pot from her sister and spending a few minutes getting every bit of food clean from it, another long rinse finishing the job. With the chores done, the two retired to the living room, watching the couple episodes of shows on Netflix that they allowed before Ruby had to head off to work on other studies. A simple plan to make sure that one kept to her studies and the other didn’t neglect the apartment.
Gathering the laundry and setting a reminder to toss things into the shared machines in the basement, done. Little flower pots on the window sill, watered. Checking the fridge and cupboards… easily enough for the week. A quick cleaning of the bathroom and dining room took the last of her set aside chore time. Keeping them spread throughout the month prevented any one problem from building up while avoiding a day of pure exhaustion. With all that done and time to spare before she’d need to sleep, it was time to check on Ruby. A knock on her bedroom door was followed by a “Come in!” And so she entered.
“Hows the work going?
“Nothing too difficult yet. Oh! I got to chat with Blake for a bit today! Forgot to mention.”
“Oh? What about?” Yang’s smile grew as she sat in a free chair, Ruby turning to face her.
“Well, I got to meet her roommate. Just like what she told us, a bit… regal and overly formal. Anti-social too, left basically as soon as I got there… was a little weird.”
“Well, I’m sure she’ll warm up eventually. Can’t be an Ice Queen forever at University.”
“We’ll see. I also... talked to Velvet and Coco again and uh…”
“Yyyyeeeeesssss?~” She couldn’t help the curiosity, knowing how flustered those two had apparently gotten her little sister.
“W-well um… th-they wanted to h-hang out sometime! And be friends! They’ve been dating since high school too.”
“OOO I’m so proud of you!” Suddenly the Crimsonette was wrapped in a crushing hug.
“Hurk! Yang, breathe.” And was quickly released, gasping for breath as Yang grinned at her.
“I’m so happy that you got to make some new friends! I’m glad, truly.”
“Thanks Yang, a-and yeah! They said they we could meet up to see a movie maybe or help eachother study like with Velvet and I’s class.”
“Hehe, just keep me informed if you’ll be out late alright?~ Especially if you get invited to some University parties~”
“Ugh, no thanks. I don’t think I’m quite ready for that mess. I can’t even drink legally till October!”
“Well then, I can take you out on the town for your first! Maybe get Blakey and your new friends too.”
“Hrm… o-okay, that doesn’t sound too bad.”
“Sweet! I’ll go get the weekend off so we can enjoy the halloween parties, adult ones this time!”
“Ugh, fine! Just don’t take me to a strip club like you did to Blakey a couple years ago.”
“No promises!~ I’ll leave ya alone now to study. I’ll be turning in early tonight I think, could use the extra sleep.” Ruby’s protests were cut quickly at that last comment, suddenly leaping up to hug Yang close again.
“Thank you Yang… I know its a bit hard to still take care of me, but I appreciate it okay? And I can look into part time jobs maybe to help with the bills...”
“Nah, I got this, I promise. You just worry about graduating. You have a good night sis.”
Yang was hoping her smile was enough for Ruby, which it seemed to be as they hugged one last time before she left. The long exhausted sigh that left her as she entered her own room, practically collapsing onto her bed, was a great relief to her. Sure they weren’t in any real financial trouble, but she did wish she could cut down on her hours a little bit. Still, she wasn’t going to have Ruby trying to help with the bills just yet. Maybe during the summer, but right now… she deserved all the happiness she could get. The sigh turned into one more content as she curled up into her bed, glad for the investment in a very good mattress. As sleep finally took her, all her thoughts focussed on Ruby, smiling at the thought that she could succeed in life where she wouldn’t.