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I Know You

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“Miló! Miló come back!” Ruby called, tripping over her feet in a bid to rush after the little golden lab. Weiss would kill her if anything happened to that dog; he was well behaved, but he was also dumb as a rock, and she felt just as dumb for letting him roam around without a careful eye. She was just so used to Zwei doing his own thing- “Miló!” She called, but he wasn’t stopping. Actually, it was Ruby who did the stopping, blinking as she realized just what had gotten him so excited. 

“YANG!” She laughed, booking it over right along with Milo as the familiar motorcycle pulled into the grass, parking before Miló could get underfoot. He reached the bike as they dismounted, tail wagging as he barked happily. Yang took off her helmet, and Ruby couldn’t help but gasp, eyes most likely the size of saucers. She collided with her before she could fully process it though, and Yang laughed, groaning as Ruby plowed into her. “Ruby!” She laughed, and Ruby was practically vibrating with excitement, not unlike Miló, who was full-body wagging beside them. If he got any more excited, he might pee. She supposed the grass was better than in the house. 

“Oh my god you’re back! You’re here and you’re back and your hair !” She managed to babble, and Yang pulled her into a headlock, ruffling her own hair, to her dismay. “Hey! Stop stop-!” She protested, squirming, and Yang let her go, leaning back on the bike and crossing her arms. She looked good- she’d chopped off the rest of her hair, now cropped and faded at the neck and still curly and banged on the top. She brushed it back and out of her face, grinning, and on the other side of the bike, Blake removed her helmet, smiling. “Hey, Ruby.” She giggled, and Ruby wanted desperately to hug her future sister in law, but there was a bike and a beefcake between them. “Yang move! Your muscles are too big and in the way!” She attempted to push past her, and only managed to protest as her sister stooped down and promptly scooped her up, throwing her over her shoulder. “Blake! Blake, tell your wife to put me down!” She pointed at Blake, who only laughed at their antics. Some help she was. 

Instead, Blake scooped up Miló, avoiding his eager tongue and instead following after Yang, who had begun to carry Ruby back to the house. “We’re not married yet, Ruby.” She rolled her eyes playfully and Ruby continued to struggle. “If you kick me in the face, Rubes, you can kiss your present goodbye- and I will personally wedgie you with your bell bottoms.” Yang threatened, and Ruby stopped struggling for a moment, trying to work out whether she was serious, or just making fun of her. “I hate you.” 

“You love me.” Yang grinned- she couldn’t see her face, but Ruby just knew she was grinning. She could hear it in her stupid face. “I’m 17- Put. Me. Down !” She pouted, and Yang did- she tossed her right onto the porch swing, like a sack of potatoes. She even dusted off her hands afterward. Ruby threw a pillow at her. Their dad chose then to open the door, or course, and after a minute of gaping, it was Yang’s turn to be squashed and picked up against her will. “Yang!” He laughed, wrapping his arms around her and hoisting her up, squeezing. Yang groaned, but let it happen. “Old man I can’t-” She grunted. “ -breathe .” Tai let her down, and placed his hands on her shoulder, taking her in with excited eyes. “We were expecting you next week-” He laughed, and Yang flushed a bit, scratching at her cheek. “Well, uh, some things came up, so, we figured we’d best cut our trip short.” She admitted, and Ruby cocked an eyebrow. “What kinda things-”

“Yang!” Summer came running from inside the house, having realized what all the commotion was about, and Ruby groaned, laying on the swing and burying her face in another decorative pillow as Summer gushed over the both of them. This went on for a short while longer, before Summer suggested they move the welcoming party inside and grab something cold to drink. Yang and Blake obliged, and Tai seemed insistent on grabbing their bags- however, that sent Yang and Blake looking at one another almost sheepishly. “Actually… We already sorta dropped our stuff off at Blake’s parents house.” Yang admitted, and Blakes ears flattened momentarily as Tai’s face fell, processing. “Oh. I uh- I just assumed… my bad.” He laughed in an attempt to patch up the awkwardness, and Yang flushed, scratching at the back of her neck. “We just don’t want to be too in the way here-” 

“My parents have a lot more space, and since it’s just them and Ilia…” Blake attempted to mediate, and Tai waved her off. “Really, it’s my bad for assuming. I get it. You two probably don’t want to have to stay in a little room with paper thin walls your whole stay…” He laughed, but the awkwardness was still lingering, and Raven leaned in the doorway, nursing a glass of wine and sipping from it. “I’m pretty sure none of us want that, dear.” 

“Ma!” Yang blushed, and Ruby stuck her fingers in her ears, sitting upright on the swing. “Gross!” Yang threw the pillow at her, nailing her in the face, and Blake laughed, snorting into her hand. “Girls, please…” Raven grimaced, and Ruby imagined she was having flashbacks to the time before Yang had decided to go with Blake and continue the yearly trips around Anima with the faunus. It hadn’t been that long- a year at most, since Blake and Yang had made the decision, but still, sometimes it felt like forever. “Alright, well this is all well and good, but how about we move inside now?” Summer prompted, and Ruby hopped up eagerly. One perk about Yang not living with them anymore was she got all the kaprisuns to herself- she’d be damned if she was sharing now

 

As Ruby ran inside, in search of her daily sugar, Summer and Raven followed suit, and Tai nearly did as well, before Yang caught him by the shoulder. “Hey dad? Can I uh- can I talk to you?” Tai blinked, but he adjusted his cap and nodded. “Yeah- yeah of course, firecracker.” He assured her, and Blake smiled softly at her from behind him in the doorway. Yang smiled back, and Blake disappeared into the house, leaving them on the porch. 

It seemed Tai was already prepared for this- he stepped past her and off the porch, waiting for her at the bottom step. She followed, and they started walking. It was warm out today- she’d gotten used to the seemingly never ending sun in Kua Kuana when they’d stopped there for about a month, so it wasn’t too bad out today, in all actuality, but by Beacon standards, it was a seasonably warm, sunny day. The kind of day they’d all have gone hiking to the waterfall on, or bought popsicles from Neopolitans. 

“So, what’s on your mind, kiddo?” He ventured, and Yang snapped back to it. “Oh, uh… You remember that time, in the truck, when you talked to me about how grandad reacted to you telling him about me?” She started, tentatively, and Tai stalled, looking at her for a good long minute. “Yang Xiao Long, if you tell me you’re-” “NO!” Yang realized, gesturing wildly. “Oh my gods- no, no I’m not, I promise-” 

Tai looked visibly confused. “Is- Is Blake…-?” 

If it was possible to be the color of a tomato and still retain consciousness, somehow Yang had achieved it. “No! No, no- no she is not.” Yang assured him, and Tai relaxed, taking off his hat and rubbing at his face. “Jesus, kid. You gotta work on your story telling, then.” 

“Wha-? Why would you just jump to that anyway??” Yang was still mildly flustered, blustering, and Tai shoved his hat back on in annoyance now. “I don’t know! I don’t know shit about magic- you start your important talk like that and how the hell else am I s’pose to take it?” He gestured back at her, and she rubbed at her eyes. “Darkness…” She swore, trying to reign in her embarrassment. “No, dad, we’re not pregnant- this isn’t- It’s not about that.” She promised, before rethinking that, and rubbing at her neck. “I mean… fuck.” She sighed to herself quietly. 

“When we talked, you said that if I found a girl that made me feel like I had fireworks in my lungs, and I came to you and said ‘dad I love her and I want to marry her’ you’d buy me a patch of land and help us build a home- do you remember that..?” She asked tentatively, and Tai seemed to understand. “Oh.” 

“Blake and I have been talking about it for a while, and it’s obviously been a joke for a while… but I really do want to marry Blake. We don’t need all the stops- we were thinking something like what Qrow and Clover did. But… I wanted to tell you anyway… and I wanted to ask if you’d give us a hand with our own place.” Yang asked, and Tai stopped, right in front of their little cemetery. She hadn’t realized they’d been nearing it until they’d arrived, and Tai didn’t seem to have realized it either. He was still mulling it over. 

“...you remember what I told you, Yang, at the end of that conversation?” He finally spoke, and Yang hesitated, thinking it over. He didn’t wait for her to remember it. “‘You could run away into the woods and not come back until I’m old and gray, and I’d still give you my whole world’” He said, and with such conviction that Yang felt her chest tightening. “Dad…” 

“Bumblebee, I’m always gonna have your back. You wanna marry Blake the witchy way? I support you. You wanna settle down? I support you. You wanna move to Kua Kuana- I'd be very sad, but I’d support you . Got that, Yang?” He asked, and brought their foreheads together like he’d done when she was real little. She didn’t put her hands on his cheeks, like back then, but she did nod in understanding, her mouth clenched shut in an attempt to keep the warble in her throat silenced. Her eyes were already brimming with tears, and he smiled, wiping them away. “That being said… if you two decide to get funny with the magic shit and make me a grandpa before I’m fifty I swear to-” 

The moment was ruined as she struggled away from him, putting him into a headlock. “Shut up old man!” She blushed furiously, and he fought back with a grunt, flipping her over his shoulder. “Hey! Drop the old man shit! That’s my whole point- I’m only 38!” They wrestled each other in the dirt, and from the house, Raven sipped from her glass, watching them and sighing in preparative exhaustion. “Boys…” She grumbled to herself, and Summer rolled her eyes, peeling and slicing apples on the counter, Blake helping her. 

“That’s perfect, dear.” She praised, and Blake felt her chest swell a little with pride, her cheeks coloring as she sliced the apples Summer had already peeled. “These are for a cobbler, right..?” Blake reiterated, and Summer nodded pleasantly, humming to herself. Ruby licked her lips, resting her head in her hands on the counter and watching with rapt attention. “Mom’s cobbler is the best- it’s so good you see stars!” Ruby grinned, and Summer rolled her eyes endearingly. “Oh, it’s not all that. It’s good, but it’s not as good as it could be.” 

Raven nodded in seeming remembrance, and Blake watched as she made her way to join Ruby at the island, limping ever so slightly. Her leg hadn’t healed quite the same, after the mauling, and while she didn’t need the aid of a crutch or the wheelchair any more, standing for long periods of time seemed difficult, and walking was more of a chore than it had been. “That’s right- it was Tai’s mom’s recipe, right?” 

Summer nodded, finishing the last long curling red peel of the last apple. “Mhm. The recipe was a wedding gift from dad- the dish too.” She nodded to the ornate ceramic cobbler dish sitting on the counter. Blake got lost in the craftsmanship, and almost brought the knife down on her finger, but Summer’s hand stopped her, holding both hand and knife in place, and away from her fingers. “Sweetheart, careful now.” She chided, and while Blake’s ears flickered back momentarily, the moment passed, and they continued in the preparing of the apples. She didn’t see the point in informing her future mother in law that she was quite proficient with knives, all things considered. 

When the cobbler was in the oven, Summer offered her hand in a high-five, and Blake blinked in surprise, before meeting the high-five with a little smile. While they were preoccupied, Ruby stole rest of the caramel in the pan, and a few apples, and Blake couldn’t help but laugh as Summer realized this, nearly popping a vein as she chased her youngest daughter around the living room, Ruby shoving caramel-covered apples in her mouth all the while. Miló joined in the fun, of course, running around and barking at the commotion, while Raven looked like she was fighting a migraine. Eventually, however, the fun came to an end. Ruby tripped on the pant leg of her bell bottoms, and the caramel pot went flying, splattering the walls, while Ruby played dead on the carpet. After a minute of horrified sputtering, Summer grabbed her daughter by the shirt and shook her vigorously, as Raven set her glass down and wordlessly went to retrieve the cleaning supplies. Blake, meanwhile, was curled up on the floor, dying of laughter. 

 

*~*~*~*~*~*

 

It was after dinner- a hearty meal of pozole, roasted butternut squash with maple, cinnamon and allspice, and the delicious apple cobbler- that Yang stepped outside to get some air. She walked aimlessly, letting muscle memory take her through the property- and still she ended up at that sad little cemetery. There were three headstones there. One was old, and cracked with age and neglect. There was no name on the inscription, but she’d known since she was little that her grandmother was laid to rest there. There was a time, when she first realized this, that she had nightmares for weeks- terrified of the idea of the dead so close to their house. But she’d slowly grown out of that fear. Now she just sat beside it in indifference, running her hand over the much newer, wooden headstone on her other side. She’d spent hours on it, when her depression had receded. It had been an anchor, keeping her together. Reaching into her shirt, she played with the feather she kept on a necklace, close to her heart, turning it over in her hands. 

It had been her biggest hesitation in leaving on the journey across Anima- and it was still her biggest hesitation about moving out with Blake: leaving Ember behind. She closed the feather in her first and held it to her lips, letting the since wash over her with the breeze. 

So much had happened; so much had changed. But Ember would always be here. At least, with the feather, she could pretend otherwise. 

The third grave made her teary still. Zwei was a good boy- he always had been- but he was old, and struggling. One day he’d laid down and he’d stayed down, and they’d all realized it was time. That had been a hard couple of weeks. They’d gone to An- Summer, Tai, and Ruby. Yang had stayed home. A huge part of her wished she hadn’t… but it was too late to change that now. She’d stayed home, and locked herself in her room and cried. Raven stayed too. She said it was to keep an eye on Yang… but Yang knew it hurt Raven too. And they were far too similar. 

Yang found herself tearing up even now, as she sat in the dirt, and she shook her head to clear the tears, patting the ground in front of his stone. “Good boy.” She whimpered quietly to herself, trying to smile in an attempt to stop crying. But it was so hard. It had been almost a year, and it was still so hard. She missed them both so much. 

She and Blake had made an agreement that there would be no dogs- Yang couldn’t take it. She’d gotten Zwei when she was 6, and he’d always been the best boy- the only boy. Yang couldn’t stand the thought of replacing him. And Blake knew that. She wasn’t a dog person herself, so she had no qualms about a lack of dogs, but she also understood Yang’s perspective. And she too, had loved Zwei. 

Speak of the darkness, Yang heard her approaching, her feet shuffling in the grass, and she looked up as Blake lowered herself to sit, leaning into her. It was second nature now, the way Yang tucked her chin in between her ears and kissed the top of Blake’s head. “...how’re you doin’, hon?” She asked in a murmur, and Yang hummed into her hair in response, brow knitting. “...’m doin’...” She answered, and Blake hummed this time in turn. 

“Your parents are getting ready for game night…” Blake informed her, and Yang only hummed into her hair again, closing her eyes as she held her fiancé. “Yang…” Blake murmured softly, and Yang sighed, melting into her. She couldn’t even find any words, or arguments, or agreement. She just wanted to stay there, in the quiet- in the warm summer night, under the stars- with Blake. 

Yang opened her eyes, however, whining in protest as Blake pulled away, but she was pleasantly surprised as Blake simply turned around, the both of them now face to face. “Can I sing for you, darlin’…?” Blake asked, soft against her lips, and Yang just melted with the thought, like butter in the sun. “Please…” She managed, quiet and raspy, and even though Blake didn’t have her guitar on her, her music was like magic in it’s own right. Backing away, she pushed herself up to stand, and offered her hand. Yang took it, and together they got her to her feet. It was Blake who took the initiative and took one of her hands, holding her around the waist with the other, but Yang leaned into her touch, intertwining their fingers. She closed her eyes as Blake’s listing voice filled the yard, and her heart, and they began to sway. 

 

I just wanna dance with you

Let the whole world melt away

And dance with you

Who cares what other people say?

And when we're through

No one can convince us we were wrong

All it takes is you and me

And a song…”

 

There was more to the song- Yang knew it, because she’d heard Blake workshopping it along their journey- but kissing her seemed like it was more urgent than a second verse, and Blake didn’t complain in the least. 

They’d come so far, and fought so hard. They’d grieved and mourned, and laughed and cried, and screamed and whispered. They’d held each other, and avoided each other. It was so much, and truthfully, Yang was so tired… but she’d never tire of Blake. Of her words, and her poems, and her songs. Of her smile, and her dimples, and the little hidden freckle by her hairline. Of her kisses and her embraces and her touches with hands battered and scarred, that somehow managed to hold the world and everything important in them. No, she’d never tire of Blake Belladonna. Not now, not 50 years from now. Not ever. 

 

All Yang wanted to do now, was dance.