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the flame in her heart

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It was dark, past midnight at least. Everyone had fallen asleep by now, the battle with Cordovin and, soon after that, another battle with the Leviathan, had left everyone rightfully exhausted. To top that off, they had had to bicker with the Atlas military as to why they didn't need to be sent straight to jail. They had stolen Atlas tech, and crossed the border without permission, after all. Eventually, the military got a call from Ironwood, and told the group that they would stay in the stolen aircraft overnight. Ironwood would see them in the morning.

They’d also desperately attempted to actually be let inside Atlas, but they were shut down immediately. It would cause wide panic among the people, according the the Ironwood’s word. And then they made eye contact with the Faunus of team RWBY, with eyes glaring daggers through her, words equally as sharp as they had said, “Especially since there’s a Faunus among those who tried to infiltrate our facility. They won’t feel safe with her in there.”

With that, they had slammed the door. There were complaints among the group, but Ruby had been quick to shut them down.

“This could have been a lot worse. Now, everyone rest up. Who knows what Ironwood has planned for us tomorrow.”

Blake had walked back into the aircraft. An unknown force was tugging her toward Yang, constantly, with right now was no exception. She gravitated toward the corner Yang resided in subconsciously. The blonde simply looked up at her and smiled, patting the spot next to her on the ground. A flame flickered inside Blake’s heart. It should have been impossible for Yang to smile at her the way she did. After everything she did.

That brought a memory to Blake’s mind, one back in their days in the academy.

“You’re not one to back down from a challenge, Blake.”

She had denied it at the time. But now, looking into the lavender eyes before her, she opted to another memory.

Yang holding her as she had sobbed, Yang muttering four words into her ear, and Yang being all she could breathe after that. Warm blood stained her hands. Blood that she thought she could never wash away, but before her was the sun, and the sun had told her she knew she’d stay this time around. That gave her hope that in time, the blood would fade away from her hands. It may be ever so slow, but Yang knew. Yang understood, as she always had.

‘And you’re not one who ever ceases to take my breath away, Yang. Take it away forever, and be everything I breathe at the same time,’ Blake felt a smile creep to her face, as she took the seat next to Yang. She sighed, pressing her head onto Yang’s shoulder. Yang made no motion to move Blake, only wrapping her free arm around her bare shoulders. With that, the flame flickered again.

It’s well past midnight, and everyone is asleep except for Blake. She’s shivering cold. Yang’s arm around her shoulder didn't account for much of the rest of her body. She’s distracting herself by playing with Yang’s hand that rests over her shoulder, when suddenly the fingers flex on their own, and a soft yawn rumbles beside her. Her eyes dart to the side, expecting to meet lilac eyes, but only really making out the silhouette of Yang.

“Hey,” Yang mumbles hoarsely, still quiet, and then the rest of her words are slurred, incomprehensible.

“Hm?”

“I said,” another yawn interrupted Yang, before she continued again, “Why are you awake?”

Blake sighed, “I just can’t sleep, I guess.”

Yang sits herself more upright, mimicking Blake. She retracts her hand to stretch, but her warmth lingers there momentarily.

‘The tingle of her ever being there in the first place will remain forever,’ Blake thinks to herself.

Yang stands abruptly, the floorboards creaking loudly under her weight, and Blake’s genuinely surprised that no one as much as stirs in their sleeps. She blinks at the prosthetic when it’s outstretched towards her, and tilts her head.

“Let’s go on a walk, then,” Yang whispers, voice more smooth than it was when she had first awaken. Blake suddenly forgot about the absence of her coat, and took Yang’s prosthetic into her hand. Yang leads her out of the room quietly, which Blake wants to laugh at. She had jumped up and made a ruckus, but now she cared if she would wake anyone up. Her free hand covered her mouth, careful not to let any giggles spill out.

After seemingly an eternity of dodging things and people on the floor, all while tip toeing, they made it to the doorway. Yang slid it open gently, and pulled Blake outside into the moonlight with her, just as quickly sliding the door shut.

Blake finally notices the cold nibbling at her skin again, harsher than before. She wraps her arms around herself in an attempt to warm herself up a bit. Blake finds herself disappointed that it doesn’t work.

Yang notices, already stripping her own jacket off. She hands it to Blake, who prays to God that the moonlight wasn’t enough light to reveal the light pink dusting her cheeks. She grabs it reluctantly, shooting Yang a look, one eyebrow raised, asking for clarification without asking. Yang simply nods, already starting to walk towards the forest.

Blake slips the jacket on, instantly nuzzles into the collar, and notes to herself, ‘Citrus scented, classic Yang,’ before she catches up to the retreating Yang.

“Thank you,” her words come out muffled from under the jacket, zipped all the way up. Yang laughed at it, and Blake closed her eyes, trying to memorize every bit of it, so she could lock the sound away forever.

“No problem, human space heater, remember?”

Maybe it’s sleep deprivation, maybe it’s the view of the shattered moon above them, or maybe it was just meant to happen. Blake's smile is hidden underneath the jacket, but you can still hear it in her voice when she says, “I love your laugh, it makes me feel safe. At home.”

Yang’s breath audibly hitches, then catches a second too late for Blake’s liking. She’s about to apologize, about to curl in on herself and hide away from the world, but Yang says something first.

“You’ve always been the one to make me feel safe, though,” she stops mid strife, turning around to face Blake, who nearly runs into her. She turns her head upward, and then lilac meets amber, and oh, the flame in her heart lights again, “Your eyes, your voice, your laugh, smile, your mere presence. It makes me feel safe, always has. I guess…” her voice trails off, and Blake knows what she’s going to say, but the suspension burns in her soul anyways, “That’s why I was so angry that you left. Not really with you, but because you had become home and then you were gone. And I was the one who let you ever become home.”

They had to talk about this someday, Blake reminded herself. But never had she expected it to be like this, here. After a battle against the demon of both of their pasts, after supporting Ruby in killing a Leviathan, after having to reside outside Atlas for who knows how much longer.

‘How did I imagine this going, then?’ She asks herself, and no answer comes. Right. She didn't have any expectations, she just knew it was up in the air. Yet it still slapped her in the face. Was she still the weak girl she was before, in Yang’s eyes? Did she believe her? Doubt was now shoving its way into her head, forming hot tears in her eyes.

“I’m-”

“Sorry, I know. I know, Blake. But you didn’t let me finish,” her prosthetic grabbed the small of Blake’s back, the other gently wiping her eyes, “Baby,” she paused, letting the word ring into the air, letting the fire in Blake’s heart breath in more oxygen, growing brighter and brighter, “I don’t regret any of it. I wouldn't take it back. In a heartbeat, I’d choose you over and over. I’d still want to live in any moment we share. That’s my promise. You made one to me, not to leave. My promise is that you’ll always be my home, and I’ll never regret it for a single moment.”

Blake’s unzipping the top of the jacket with haste, and then she’s pressing her lips on Yang’s. There’s no moment of hesitation in any of it. Yang kisses back, with such passion Blake has to loop her arms around Yang’s neck to stay standing. Or maybe it’s just because her knees fell to jelly the second Yang called her home. Blake is pinned against a nearby tree, both of them smiling wide, and then they just turned into giggling messes. It’s not even a kiss at that point, just laughing with their mouths pressed against one another.

‘This is perfect,’ Blake thinks, the flame in her heart flickering wildly. She knows Yang feels it too, because when they’re done laughing, and they’re just staring at each other with love stricken eyes, her smile is real. Genuine, and beautiful. The stars above complimenting the shattered moon are nothing compared to the view in front of her.