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Second Chance

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“So… how’s life been going?”

“Wonderfully.” Blake smiled back at her therapist. Her life was even more than wonderful; it was just perfect. She was the happiest she’s ever been.

It’s been roughly four years since she escaped her relationship with her abusive ex, Adam. She ran away back home, scarred and miserable, but her parents welcomed her back without thinking twice.

Her, and the little life she was carrying inside of her.

Blake didn’t have the heart to condemn that innocent life for Adam’s mistakes, and her parents respected her choice. It was worth the beautiful baby girl she got a few months later: Kila.

She looked just like her mom, minus her bright blue eyes. Differently from who she got them from, they were full of love and wonder for the world, and all the good things Adam would never have.

“That’s good to hear.” The slightly older woman said, with genuine care “And tell me, how are things going with Yang?”

Even a professional like Dr. Danielle Magnus couldn’t help some giggles in front of Blake’s lovestruck expression from hearing that name alone.

Yang Xiao Long. Also known as her classmate during high school. Also known as one of the most beautiful and kind women she ever laid her eyes on.

And also known as her current girlfriend.

“She was supposed to ‘officially’ meet your family over dinner last week: how did it go?”

“It was perfect.” Blake answered, sure she wasn’t exaggerating “Dad was a little difficult at first, I get it after what happened last time, but warmed up soon enough. Mom loved her right away instead, but I had no doubt about it!” she joked.

Her therapist smiled again. Blake made a lot of progress with her in these years; during their first meetings she was so tense and unsure about showing her feelings freely, even if it was exactly the point of their sessions. Because of that, every time she laughed like that it was both a success and a joy for her.

“Yeah, I assumed something like that from what you told me about them.” The therapist joined in with the joke “And, how about Kila?”

“She’s head over heels for her!” Blake let out a louder laugh “She met her a few times already, and I suspect she’s even more in love with her than I am!”

Blake suddenly shut up, while her therapist raised her eyebrows in interest “In love, huh?”

Blake met Yang a few months after getting back to her parents, not too soon after giving birth to Kila. At first, they just reconnected from their previous knowledge in high school, then became friends, and then again really close friends.

But the whole dating thing was pretty new in comparison to that, just a few months old. They never even said “I love you” to each other yet, not in that context at least.

“I…” Blake mumbled, blushing.

It was so embarrassing.

“Come on Blake, this is nothing to be embarrassed about.” Danielle said encouragingly “It is beautiful that you’re feeling like that, that you’re giving yourself a second chance. Plus, I could totally tell from even before you two started dating!”

What!” Blake’s ears dropped indignantly in response at the teasing.

“So, are you planning to tell her?” the therapist went on, as if nothing happened.

“I… I don’t know.” Blake answered honestly. “I think it might be too soon.”

“There is nothing wrong with that. Just because you know your feelings, it doesn’t mean you’re ready to extern them you know?” Blake nodded “It’s okay to wait until you’re ready. The important thing is that you’ll be honest when the time will come. Take your time, but be careful not to confuse being not ready with actually being scared, okay?”

“Of course, thank you Doctor.” Blake smiled gratefully.

“Well, as much as I’d like to stay here and gossip about you and Yang all day,” Blake playfully rolled her eyes “I’m afraid our time is up. So, will I see you in two weeks as usual?”

“Actually, I was thinking… maybe I could stop coming here?” Blake timidly confessed. Not getting any answer, she explained further “I’ve been so happy lately, my life is perfect! I think that this is it, I’m good now.”

“Blake, are you really sure about this?” Danielle asked with worry “Stopping all of a sudden, just like that, isn’t really wise.” she took one moment to think. “How about this, we will meet again next month then, and then we’ll see. How does that sound?”

“It sounds great, thank you!”

“Good.” The doctor signed their appointment in her notes, just like Blake did on her phone’s calendar, then the two women shared a handshake. “Bye Blake, take care.”

 


 

“Mommy!” Blake had barely the time to enter her home that two little arms were pulling at her trousers, demanding attention.

“Hey sweetheart.” Blake smiled down at her child, picking her up to hug and kiss her “How was your day?”

“Grandma made tuna!”

“You lucky little thing, you have better lunches than me!” the child squirmed laughing as her mom lightly poked at her ribs to tickle her.

“I saved some for you to bring at work tomorrow!” Kali said from the kitchen, well aware that her daughter wouldn’t forgive her a tuna meal without her.

“Thanks mom!” Blake said, putting Kila back to the ground. The little girl ran towards the coffee table, that was filled with papers and pencils, and retrieved one paper in particular.

Blake knelt down beside her to see better as her child proudly showed her latest work of art.

“I made this!” she said beamingly, showing off the drawing. It was a picture of three female cat Faunus, clearly the two of them plus Kali, a bigger man, Ghira, and a woman with an unmistakable golden mane. “Do you like it?”

“I love it!” Blake said, dropping another kiss in between her daughter’s cat ears “Keep this up and you will become a super great artist!”

“Yay!” the little girl giggled, then proceeded to take a new piece of paper, decided to refine her art skills.

Blake used that moment of distraction to finally put away her coat and bag, and properly say hi to her mother.

“Hi sweetie.” Kali stopped what she was doing to hug her daughter “How was your day?”

Blake couldn’t help her giggle, being on the other side of the conversation this time “It was okay, but I’m a bit tired now.”

“Would you like a cup of tea?”

“I’d love to, but I have to get ready for my dinner with Yang.” Blake explained.

Kali smirked, with a raised eyebrow “Oh, so you’re tired, but not for your date with Yang, huh?”

Blake decided to completely ignore her mother’s teasing, heading to the bathroom for a warm bath instead.

A couple of hours later, Blake was clean, dressed up and ready, eagerly waiting for her date. It didn’t matter how many dates they would have; she’d always feel excited and impatient.

When the door rang, Blake basically flied to open it.                       

Yang gave Blake a beaming smile, before taking her into her arms and kissing her. It didn’t matter how shortly they’ve been dating; she was the one, Blake was sure of it. And deep down she knew Yang thought that too.

And luckily, the most important judge of them all seemed to approve as well.

“Yang!” A little voice called from their ankles, and the couple separated to see Kila happily hugging Yang’s legs, looking up at her with a half-toothless smile.

“Hi cutiepie!” Yang said, leaning down to pick her up, leaving a kiss on her chubby cheek “How’s my little angel?”

“I do art!” the little Faunus stated proudly.

“Ohhh, can I see it?”

The child nodded, gesturing to want to be put down, but still holding Yang’s hand to bring her to the coffee table. Blake affectionately rolled her eyes, closing the door behind them.

Kila quickly browsed her drawings until she found what she was looking for. That drawing pictured one person only, and there was an attempt to make it more detailed: besides golden hair and lilac eyes, you could distinguish some boots, sunglasses and a leather jacket.

“Is that me?” Yang asked with sparkling eyes.

It was clearly a picture of Yang in her motorcycle outfit.

Blake couldn’t blame her daughter for the choice: it was one of her favorites looks for Yang as well.

Kali nodded “Like it?”

“Of course I like it, it’s beautiful!” Yang said, hugging her once more and making the kid squirm and giggle, her tiny ears flicking in enjoyment.

When they parted, Kila pushed the paper on Yang’s chest “For you!”

“You want me to keep it?” Yang asked with wide eyes.

“Gift!” The little girl grinned and Yang dropped another kiss in between her kitty ears.

Blake’s heart just melted: these two had no right to be so cute!

“Thank you! I’ll keep it forever!” Yang squealed, getting up from her kneeling position and neatly folding and placing the paper in the pocket of her jacket. Kila happily jumped on her place, ecstatic that her gift was accepted and so well appreciated.

Yang then turned to Blake with a teasing smile “Gifting portraits to girls, what a ladykiller! You should be taking notes Blakey!” Kila laughed as her mom pouted, not fully understanding what Yang just said but still pleased on sensing it was some kind of praise.

Blake, who happily stayed aside watching their interactions with a fond smile (until her “called out”), moved to try and get Yang to go but were interrupted once again, by Kali this time.

“Oh, hi Yang!” she greeted, peeking through the kitchen door.

“Mrs Belladonna, you get younger every time I see you!” Yang said with a wink.

“Flattery won’t get you anywhere… but please, don’t stop!” Kali answered, getting closer and leaning on Yang’s shoulder “Also, you know you can call me Kali.”

“Okay, that’s enough!” Blake said, pulling Yang back and closer to the door with her “If my family is done flirting with my girlfriend, we have a reservation to come to before it gets too late.”

Both Yang and Kali just laughed at her, as the blonde mumbled a pleased “Feisty!”

“See you next time, Kali!” Yang said, gallantly keeping the door open for Blake to exit first.

“It’s always a pleasure to have you Yang.” Kali answered, in a less teasing tone, as she picked up her grandchild.

“Bye mom! Bye Yang!” Kila waved her little hands and Yang couldn’t help sending her a flying kiss before finally getting out. The little girl wasn’t disappointed as she giggled once more.

Finally alone, Blake couldn’t help but let out a relieved breath. She wasn’t ashamed to live with her parents; she refused them for far too long, and having help with her child 24/7 was everything but unappreciated.

But damn, did she wish she was on her own when scenes like that happened. And they did happen too often for her liking.

Yang offered her arm “Shall we?”

Blake clung into it possessively, and the couple went out of the building.

“…are you crying over the drawing?”

“No…?”  

 


 

The restaurant was nice, but not fancy. The kind of place where you could show up with dark jeans and white button up, which was perfect because it was exactly what Blake was wearing.

Aside from a few special occasions, they always opted for more casual spaces. It was actually one of the things Blake appreciated the most about her outings with Yang, both before and after starting dating.

Adam always expected some level of “class” from her, always reminding her how a not cured enough look would embarrass him and make him look bad. It’s incredible how long it took for her to understand he didn’t care about her even if she was the perfect example of a trophy-girlfriend.

But now things were different. It wasn’t about looking good; it was about feeling good. It was about the comfort and enjoyment of both of them, the joy of spending time together, relaxing and having fun.

It was like Karma sent Yang to be forgiven for Adam and everything he put her through. It really did repay her in spades though: Blake would re-do everything exactly the same, knowing where it would lead her.

Yang pulled her chair for her, never missing a chance to be a gentlewoman. Blake knew the blonde just wanted to show off for her, not build up some kind of imagine for everyone else, so she didn’t mind those little shows of extra care.

That didn’t mean she wouldn’t tease her for them though.

“Oh honey, trying to give a good impression?”

“Just making sure to keep the most gorgeous woman here to myself.” Yang answered, not missing a beat.

“Smooth.”

And that’s why Weiss was always exasperated in their presence, while Sun would either fangirl or tease them to death.

Blake loved her friends.

A waitress soon came up to take their orders, and as quickly left that couple of way too old teenagers alone.

The wait was spent in comfortable chat, filled with lovey-dovey looks on their faces, and their hands joined at the center of the table.

“…and then the asshole groped her!” Yang said, with no hidden disgust and annoyance “I had to step in immediately, and then I threw him out of the pub.”

“Ugh, men can be really disgusting.”

“Yeah.” She agreed “I hate having to assist to scenes like that so often, but at the same time I’m glad I can be there to look out for these girls.”

Yang was a bartender at a rather popular, maybe even the most popular, dance club of the city. Being an older sister, she was naturally protective of other girls. And being as built as she was, that made her the perfect bouncer as well, great two-for-one deal for the owner.

“Junior doesn’t pay you enough.”

“Agreed; throwing away all my perfectly made drinks because some assholes decide to mess with them is a pain. He owns me moral damages!”

Blake playfully hit Yang’s shoulder at her attempt to light the mood. The blonde still giggled at herself. “Oh, and by the way, I didn’t even tell you the latest craziness!”

“Wasn’t it the groping man?”

“Nah, that’s unfortunately common occurrence.” Sadly, Blake couldn’t deny that truth “No, someone left a closed box with a kitten inside, right outside the club!”

“What the fuck?” That was confusing. A lot of (heartless) people left kittens and puppies on the streets, but who would ever leave just one, inside a box, in front of a dance club of all places, in the middle of the night???

“My exact same reaction. They didn’t even make holes for air, that little thing would’ve died suffocated if I didn’t find it in time!”

“Poor kitten.” Blake’s own ears flattened “And how is it now, is it okay?”

“I brought her to a veterinary, luckily she was fine and healthy. Now she’s great and loved!”

“Oh, did you find her a family?” Her question was met by silence. “…you brought her home with you, didn’t you?”

“You didn’t see her eyes! And fur! And cute little ears!!!” Yang whined, as her girlfriend sighed “What can I say, I’m weak for pu-”

“Don’t you dare finish that sentence.” Blake warned. Yang grinned, but did as she was told.

“…her name is Ember!”

Their waitress arrived not too later with their orders. The couple started eating their meal, switching subject on Blake’s job, and Yang took the chance to change the subject.

“By the way, I almost forgot to tell you: Ruby’s coming back next week!”

“No way, that’s great!”

Ruby was Yang’s younger sister, and also Weiss’ girlfriend. She was apparently a little genius, who won a scholarship for a prestigious college in Atlas with rules so strict that she never had the chance to even visit home. It’s there that she met Weiss, who was ironically preparing to get to Vale after her graduation instead.

They became fast friends, Ruby’s ability to befriend anything and anyone showing off once again, and fate wanted that their relationship started when the heiress was right about to move. Neither of them wanted to give up on what might have been, and settled to a long-distance relationship.

To the surprise of everyone, that actually turned out to work pretty well. They would video chat often, Weiss had the means to come visiting her too since Atlas was her hometown, and even brought Yang with her to reunite the two sisters from time to time.

This is actually how the two of them became friends and, consequentially, how she ended up being friends with Blake as well.

Saying that Blake was curious to meet that mystical genius of a sister and only person ever able to make Weiss smile, was a euphemism.

“Yeah, it’s been so long!” Yang whined “And I can’t wait for you to meet her!”

“Yeah, me too.”

“Actually, I was thinking… since Ruby’s finally back, would you like to have dinner with her and dad?”

“Huh?”

“I mean, since, you know, I already formally met your family, it’s only fair if you meet mine. But it’s not like you have to! I mean, It would be great, but it’s totally your choice, it was just an idea that I-“

“Yang.” Blake silenced the rambling blonde with a finger on her lips “Your meal is going to get cold.”

“Oh.” Yang blushed, and Blake giggled before falling back in a loving smile.

“I would love to meet them.”

Yang was a pretty confident woman, clearly, but since she learned about Blake’s past she became more nervous around her, always afraid to accidentally force her into something, or to make her uncomfortable with her exuberant personality, or reminding her of him in some way.

That was mostly at the beginning, and it took Blake some time to calm Yang down and convince her that there was no need for her to worry so much. Yang was everything Adam couldn’t even dream to be, but she would still slip un from time to time.

“Good.” The blonde smiled, visibly more relaxed.

The rest of the night went on smoothly, and at the end of the dinner Blake managed to sneak the bill.

Every date was a challenge over who would get it first, and Blake proudly grinned at her victory. Yang could only accept her defeat, but still kept the door open for her and led Blake to the parking lot and her motorcycle.

No defeat would ever stop her “gentlewomaness”.

The ride home was as exhalating as always, Yang’s bike “Bumblebee” was a jewel, but it was a little bit shorter than before as Yang willingly parked a little farther away from Blake’s building.

“I like walking you home.” Yang justified herself the first time she did that.

Blake never complained, enjoying herself that little more time spent together, walking side by side and hand in hand. It added to that lovely teenage feel that surrounded their whole relationship.

Blake loved it, and so did Yang.

The blonde went all the way in the building, walking her up the stairs and to her apartment’s door. If it was because of her chivalry nature or just an excuse to spend more time together had always been a mystery to Blake.

It was most likely both of them.

Or maybe it was because of the thrill of making out in front of Blake’s parents’ door, like it happened basically every time when they tried to just kiss goodbye.

That night was no exception.

Yang pushed Blake’s back against the wall beside her door, confident in that late-night hour, or maybe simply not caring at all about getting caught or anything that wasn’t the assault of her girlfriend’s lips.

Blake didn’t complain the slightest, moving her hands through the blonde hair and pulling her closer.

Hands started wandering through their bodies, gentle caresses making them both shiver, and Yang decided to move from the Faunus’ lips and bring attention to her neck instead. Blake gasped for air as their lips parted, and from the way she moved to expose her neck to give Yang better access, she must have appreciated the change.

“I should have brought you back to my apartment instead…” The blonde complained in between kisses.

“I know you get off to this.” Blake was able to shot back, despite her short of breath. Yang didn’t dignify that with an answer, opting to nibble on her neck, right over her pulse point, instead. “No marks!” Blake warned.

“Or else?” Yang didn’t sound intimidated “It’s not like there is anyone else around that could-”

“Hey girls!”

The couple jolted at the sudden male voice, and jumped away from each other so quickly and startled that Blake almost hit the head over the wall behind her.

“Sun!” Blake called, her tone of voice not that dissimilar from the one she used on her daughter to scold her when she did or was about to do something wrong “What the Hell are you doing here?”

She loved him, she really did, but damn his timing!

“Chill dude, I just took out the trash and thought to pay a visit to my best friend!” his tail waved around, blissfully unaware of Blake’s irritation.

“At almost midnight…?” Yang questioned with a raised eyebrow, while Blake sighed and slapped a hand over her forehead. 

Sun Wukong lived in another apartment of Blake’s same complex, and he was a close friend of hers. He helped Blake during her hard time, and encouraged her to get back in contact with her parents. They first met by chance, but after learning that she was the long-lost daughter of his neighbors he made it his mission to reunite the family.

He was a nice and sweet guy, who always offered his help and support to others just because he could, and expecting nothing in return. Still, somehow, her father never really liked him.

But in that moment? Blake definitely understood why.

“That’s how much I care!” he said, showing off that stupid smile of his “And what are you guys up to, at this time of the night?”

“Isn’t that obvious?” Blake glared at him; her eyes were so sharp that Yang feared she was about to see Sun get cut in half by her girlfriend’s gaze alone, right in front of her.

Sun looked lost for a moment, before it hit him “Oh! You just got back from a date! How did it go?”

“It was great, before you showed up.” Blake muttered, her cat ears still low pressed against her skull in annoyance.

“It is pretty late though, maybe I should get going.” Yang admitted, laying a calming hand on Blake’s shoulder before she could commit a murder “So… I’ll call you? I hoped we could watch a movie together, or something, at my place before my shift one of these days. What do you think?”

“Sounds good.” Blake answered, giving a little peck on her lips. Sun squealed, something about how cute they were, but the couple ignored him. “Text me when you’re home?”

Yang nodded and left one last kiss over Blake’s forehead, before eventually distancing herself from her girlfriend, as painful as it might have been. If it was up to her, she’d never leave her side.

“See you around, Sun.”

“Right back at ya!”

And with one last wave of her hand, Yang left. Blake’s eyes glued to her as she walked away.

“…you know I can see you staring at her ass, right?”

“Goodnight Sun.”

 


 

A cling could be heard through the living room as Blake locked the door and put her keys away.

She expected to find the place dark, silent and empty; instead, she got greeted by a faint light from the kitchen, and her father exiting the room with a warm mug in between his hands.

“Welcome back.” He greeted her with a smile, laying his cup on the coffee table (away from his granddaughter’s things of course).

“Hi dad.” Blake answered a little tiredly, moving to hug him “I didn’t think I’d see you today.” She added, headbutting and snuggling a little more over his chest.

“Yeah, I came back not long ago. I’m still too awake and energized, so I made myself some chamomile. You know your mother hates it when I move too much because I can’t sleep.” He giggled a lit, Blake joining him “Would you like some too?”

“Sure.” Blake didn’t need any help to sleep despite her, well, heated encounter not long before; she felt tired and knew she would easily fall asleep the moment she laid down. But she did enjoy spending time with her dad, especially when she was sure she wouldn’t get to that day.

Ghira made her take a seat and went back in the kitchen, returning soon after with a second mug.

“Here. And no, I added no sugar because ‘it’s already sweet enough’.” He said with an amused smile before Blake could even open her mouth.

She just smiled at his knowledge of her taste and preferences, and gratefully took a sip of the hot beverage.

They drank quietly for a minute, moving almost in sync in a show of their bond and similarities. Kali always teased them over that, saying how it looked cute and comical at the same time.

Blake wondered if Kila would take after them, giving even more ammo and smiles to her grandmother.

It would’ve been nice.

It would’ve also been nice if Kali would someday make the shift and turn from “teasing mom” to “teasing grandma” instead, but Blake had a feeling she would just be both, just like she never stopped being a “teasing wife”.

A woman could dream.

The silence didn’t last long, and soon father and daughter started a light chat, talking about their day and stuff like that.

Blake was glad to have this kind of open relationship with her parents, one where she was able to talk freely about everything going through her mind from her job, to her dates with Yang (carefully avoiding to share too many details though), to her therapy sessions.

Adam almost made her forget how it felt like to speak her mind.

“…and so I asked her to stop our meetings.”

“Are you sure about that?” Ghira let down his mug, looking concerned.

“Yes, I am. I am so happy, and everything is so perfect! I feel like I am myself again, like before…” Blake left the sentence hanging, but both of them knew what, who she was referring to “…and this way I’d have more time to spend with my family.”

“What did you therapist say about that?” Blake explained their arrangement, and Ghira seemed instantly relieved “I see. Well, do what you think is best. Regardless of what that is, I will support you. I’m proud of you.”

“I love you dad.” Blake hugged him, not sure that her words alone would have been enough to convey the affection and adoration she held for her family.

“I love you too, sweetheart.” He hugged her back, protective and loving just like a father could be.

They stayed like that in silence for a few more moments before Blake pulled back.

They exchanged goodnight, Ghira reminding her to take her meds and Blake playfully telling him the same, then she went to her room to gather her sleepwear.

But not before checking on her little girl.

Kila was soundly asleep in her bed, tucked under her blankets and hugging closely her dragon plush, a gift from Yang at their very first meeting.

Satisfied, Blake closed her kid’s bedroom door, got her stuff from her own and went in the bathroom to wash up for the night.

When she was ready, with her pajamas on and her teeth shining, Blake opened the cabinet and reached for her pills. She looked at the container in her hand, thoughtful.

Antidepressants. Her therapist prescribed them to her soon after starting to see her. They helped her a lot to get back on her feet, but did she need them anymore? If she was ready to leave therapy, if she really was healed and herself again, maybe she didn’t need them anymore… right?

I wish I had a sign.

Her phone plinged; it was a text from Yang.

 

Yang: “I’m home safe and sound! ;)”

Yang: “Goodnight gorgeous, sweet dreams <3”

 

Blake smiled lovingly at her phone.

That settled it. She quickly typed a reply, then put the pills back at their place.

Who needed them when she had Yang?

 


 

The sound of the alarm came into her consciousness like a wrecking ball, shattering the comforting realm of her dreams and imagination to bring her back to the much colder reality. Not that it was so cold anymore, but it could hardly beat the prospective of a good sleep in a warm bed, where worries didn’t exist.

But bills and rent did exist indeed, and if she wanted to keep (help)paying them, along with all of her daughter’s needs, Blake needed to get up and go to work.

Reluctantly, Blake got out of bed and headed to the kitchen where, for her delight, breakfast was almost ready.

“Good morning mom.” Blake greeted, and Kali answered with a quick kiss on her daughter’s forehead before getting back to her cooking “Dad?”

“He had an early meeting this morning. This is what he gets for choosing a political career!”

Blake giggled “Kila is still asleep?”

“Yes.” Kali answered “Why don’t you go and wake her up? Your tea is almost ready.”

Blake just nodded, moving to her daughter’s room.  She quietly opened the door and got inside; her little kitten was still deep asleep.

It didn’t matter how she saw that very same scene every day and night, Blake would always break in a smile, with a rush of love and protectiveness waving through her at the sight of her baby girl so peaceful and content.

Part of her hated to disturb her, but she needed to set Kila’s sleeping schedule soon; hopefully, she would get used to it and not end up with one as messed up as her mother’s.

On Blake’s defense though: she was working on it and it did in fact improve.

“Sweetie?” Blake gently called, sitting on the side of the bed, and sweetly caressed Kila’s cheek “It’s time to get up.”

The little girl flicked one cat ear in annoyance, before happily ignore her mother’s calling.

“Come on.” Blake called again, this time stroking softly that same ear. That seemed to prompt a stronger reaction.

“Five more minutes…”

“Kila…”

“Five minutes cuddles. Pretty please?”

Blake just couldn’t resist that tiny voice. She rolled her eyes and surrendered, getting under the covers with her.

“Just five minutes, okay?” Kila nodded, happily cuddling at her mom’s chest with a content sigh.

Blake held her baby close, snuggling and kissing the top of her head. She felt tired too, so these cuddles weren’t unwelcome.

Just five more minutes. It couldn’t be so bad, could it?

As it turned out, it definitely could be.

Kali stormed in in a way less careful manner than her daughter, and immediately spoke out with urgency “There you are! You’re going to be late!”

“What?” Blake blinked a few times, trying to wake herself up, and looked at the time: twenty minutes had passed. “What!”

Now fully awake, Blake got up bringing her daughter with her.

“I’ll take care of Kila, you go dress up!” Blake nodded thankfully at her mother, and ran into her room.

A few minutes later, they were all eating breakfast at the table, Blake in a too fast way for it to be healthy and probably giving a terrible example, but now it really wasn’t the time to worry about that; she didn’t have any.

“Do you remember about Kila’s swimming lesson this afternoon? I’ll pick her up on my way back from work.”

“Who did you take me for?” Kali complain, more playful than actually offended “I got this.” She said giving Blake her lunch, then picked up her grandchild “Say bye to mommy?”

“Bye mommy!”

Blake dropped a quick kiss and ran outside. She even crossed ways with Sun, but having no time to waste on his dumbassery Blake just straight up ignored him to rush to her car.

“Wow, rude much?” she heard him say from behind her, but she had no time to care. Besides, she’s been way ruder to him for much less, multiple times in fact. She knew he wouldn’t care, it actually seemed more like she wouldn’t been able to get rid of him even if she really wanted to.

A few crossed red lights later, Blake was at work, safe and sound and, most importantly, in time.

With a relieved sigh, the Faunus sat down at her desk. She had some writing to get done.

 


 

Being a journalist wasn’t exactly the most exciting and inspiring job. With modern days it became more like a race, where you competed against others newspapers and internet at the same time. In order to win that race most competitors were willing to cheat and lie, making up all kind of things just to get to the first place.

Blake was lucky enough to have a boss with moral values that asked for nothing but the truth, even if that made her job frantic. But she had a talent, she was a very fast writer, and also got a degree that, in spite of Adam’s stupid opinions, she would damn use!

If she had to be honest, journalism wasn’t her dream career; she would rather work on her own books, but her articles were a much safer gain at the end of the month. She was free to work on her personal projects when she had nothing else to do though, courtesy of Tukson, her boss.

As we were saying, she was lucky.

Yet no amount of luck seemed to work with Blake that day, as she spent all morning struggling with her writing like she didn’t in a very long time. Words just wouldn’t come out right… writer’s block maybe?

She also felt so tired…

Maybe next time she will think it twice before accepting a date the night before a working day. But what could have she done? She just couldn’t say no to her blonde; their schedules were weird enough already with Yang’s job at the night club, she would’ve taken whatever she could.

Besides, it wasn’t like she never did that before. Maybe it was just a low day.

Blake’s phone plinged; speak of the devil, it was Yang.

 

Yang: “hey, is it your lunch break yet?”

 

Blake checked the time: it was, indeed, time for her break. The fact that Yang knew before her was both sweet and worrying, especially since she had tuna waiting for her!

 

Blake: “Yes, I started my break now. What’s up?”

 

She didn’t get any answer. Instead, her phone started playing the personalized ringtone that Yang put in for her.

Blake rolled her eyes “Hello?”

“Hey there stranger”

“I do not recall giving my number and a personal ringtone to a stranger” Yang just laughed at that so Blake answer “So, why are you calling? Is everything alright, did something happen?”

“Everything is fine, I just wanted to know about our date.”

“And wouldn’t have a text been enough for that?”

“I also wanted to hear your voice!”

“Dork.”

“You love it.”

I love you

They kept being distracted by each other for a little while longer, before getting their conversation back in track with the reason of the call.

“So, does Friday sound good for our ‘movie afternoon’?”

“Uhm…”

“…you can’t, huh?” Yang’s tone fell off, already able to guess the answer.

“I’m sorry, but dad got the morning off to go out on an all-day long date with mom. I have no one to look after Kila.”

“It’s nice that your parents keep finding time for each other, I hope we’ll be like them someday!” Blake blushed at the implication, not sure if Yang did it on purpose or not “Anyway, why don’t you just bring Kila along then?”

“Really?” Blake blinked a few times in surprise “Are you sure it isn’t a bother?”

“Are you kidding? Of course I’m sure! I love that little kid, and spending time with both of you would only make me happy! We could watch a Disney movie!” the blonde chirped from the other side of the phone.

Blake smiled softly; Yang really was something else.

“I knew you liked them, but using a child as an excuse?” Blake teased her “That’s despicable!”

“Don’t act like you don’t love them too!”

The couple giggled over the phone.

“…it sounds lovely Yang.” Blake answered, eventually.

“Awesome!” Blake could see Yang light up from her voice alone “You can come by any time after lunch, my shift starts only at 7 PM.”

“Okay, we’ll see you there then. Kila will be so excited!”

“I can’t wait.” Yang said honestly “Now I’ll let you go, I’m guessing you didn’t eat yet.”

Blake’s stomach mumbled at the reminder “You guessed right.”

“Bye beautiful, see you soon!”

“Bye.” Blake’s answer was weak, due to her fluster, just like every time Yang complimented her or called her sweet things.

In the end, she only got ten minutes to eat her lunch. Good thing she was crazy for tuna.

 

Blake left her workplace more tired than ever, to the point she almost drove straight back home and forgot to pick Kila up from her swimming class.

Almost” being the key word here; her little kitten was way too important, but it still said a lot about how tired Blake was.

Maybe I should go to bed earlier tonight she thought, hoping that a good night of sleep would do the trick and renew her.

Kila happily hopped up in the car, struggling a bit with her bag (she refused to let anyone help her with it), and immediately started rambling about her activities of the day on the way back home. Apparently, she also brought with her a few of her drawings to show off her artistic skills to her friends in the changing room. They got a lot of success.

How they didn’t get wet in the process was a mystery.

Blake was happy Kila was making some friends on her own; giving her the opportunity to socialize with children of her age was the main reason she decided to sign her up. For the same reason she hoped to sign her for preschool as well.

With the help of her parents, Blake technically didn’t need to let her start so soon, but she figured learning and seeing new things, meeting new friends, could only do good to her.

Her mother didn’t seem to share her view. Kali wasn’t happy at all to share her granddaughter, even the swimming lessons took some convincing at first, but Blake knew she would eventually surrender as she wanted the best for her.

Blake only half listened to her kid, too focused on the road and too tired to split her attention, but Kila seemed happy and so she was too.

After Kila was done talking (Blake wanted to carve it on her brain that what she had to say was important and deserving of respect), Blake gave her the news about their movie night at Yang’s; the kid was, of course, beyond ecstatic.

“Really? She invited me too???” her smile and excitement were so big and contagious that Blake couldn’t help but temporarily forget her own tiredness.

“Really. And she can’t wait to spend time with the both of us!”

“Yay!” Kila brought her little fists up in the air, making Blake giggle “What will we watch?”

“I don’t know” Blake answered honestly “I guess we’ll decide there, on the moment.”

“Oh.” The kid was in deep thought for a moment “Can we bring our DVDs?”

“You know what, that’s not a bad idea” Blake smiled and ruffled her hair with one hand, leaving a tiny little scratch on her little ears. Kila laughed, pleased with herself.

Blake smiled again, pulling the car on her usual spot in the parking lot. They were home.

Kila kept stubbornly wanting to take care of her swimming bad by herself. It was almost bigger than her, but she still managed to bring the straps over her little shoulders and close the car’s door.

She did accept her mom’s hand though when offered, and held it tight as mother and daughter went on their way up the stairs and back into their apartment.

“We’re home!”

As soon as they were inside, Kila dropped her bag and ran to her grandparents. “Grandpa!” she said, jumping into his arms.

“Kitten!” Ghira picked her high up and spin, making her laugh. Because of his job he was the member of the family Kila spent less time with, so both of them always acted so happy and excited when they got to see each other.

Blake understood, so she got over the abandonment of the swimming bag in the middle of the room for this once. She just brought it back to its place, then said hi to her parents as well.

“Hey sweetheart, are you okay?” Kali asked, cupping her daughter’s cheeks. She always knew when something was wrong, it was like a superpower, and Blake knew better than try and lie to her.

“I’m really tired… I think I’ll go straight to bed tonight.” She confessed “Can you take care of Kila’s dinner?”

“Of course sweetie, no need to ask. But are you sure that you can’t hold on and eat with us? Skipping meals can’t be good for you.”

“I’m so tired I’m not even hungry, I’m pretty sure I’d feel sick if I forced myself to eat now.” Kali didn’t seem convinced, she actually looked even more worried now “…I’ll just get myself something later if I get hungry, okay?” Blake then added, hoping to be convincing enough.

It seemed to work “Okay dear, have a good rest then.” Kali got on her tiptoes to kiss her daughter’s forehead, then let her go and started to take care of the dinner.

Blake got back into the living room to share her plan with the other two members of her family. Kila wasn’t really happy about it; she didn’t get to spend time with her mom all day and now that she was home she was already going to bed?

Some convincing and her grandpa promising a bedtime story (that was usually Kala and Blake’s department) eventually calmed her down, and Blake was set free. And just in time: she really was too tired to deal with a capricious child and she was just about to lose her temper.

Blake always tried to keep calm around Kila. She knew it was human to get stressed and frustrated, and that sometimes a firm scolding with a slightly louder voice might be necessary, but she still tried to avoid raising her voice. Thanks to the help of her parents, it was easier to deal with all of this, but this time it went close.

Another thing for my sleep to fix back

Blake got ready quickly, and soon she found the sweet release of laying on her comfortable bed and under warm blankets.

It was heavenly.

Sleep never claimed her so quickly.

 


 

Blake crawled back inside her apartment, tired and disappointed.

“Mommy!” Kila greeted her, too overjoyed seeing her mom back earlier to notice her bad mood.

“Hi sweetie.” Blake managed a smile and a sweet pat on her head, not having the strength to pick Kila up as usual.

Kali entered the room with a raised eyebrow “Not that I’m not happy to see you, but what are you doing here?”

Blake was never home for lunch, and even if it didn’t seem like anything to worry about to anyone else, Kali knew her daughter. She was too diligent to just randomly take half a day off.

“Bad day, can’t focus, no use to stay there.” Was the minimal explanation

“So, you just came back home?” That was unusual.

“Me and my boss both agreed that changing environment might do me good.” Kali raised her eyebrow even more, not believing a word of that. “…he kinda forced me to take what’s left of the day off and rest.” Blake finally admitted with a whiff “Said that it should ‘restart my brain’, and that I can afford it.”

Kali’s featured relaxed; now that was much more plausible “I always said he was a good and smart man.”

Blake didn’t have time to reply, that the door opened again and Ghira came in with a sight.

“Grandpa!”

“Wow, both of you here by lunch? I that witchcraft?” Kali teased, happy to have the whole family home though.

Ghira gave her a questioned look, surprised to see Blake as well, but let it go to answer the question “The meeting got rescheduled, so here I am.” He picked Kila up, who was expectantly waiting at his feet with raised arms “I would’ve liked to know before, but I can’t complain when I get half of the day off to spend with my family!”

Ghira kissed his grandchild’s cheek and stroke one of her ears, making her laugh as she answered by stroking his beard. Blake smiled at the sight; maybe that was the mindset she should aim for.

It was weird to eat all together, for lunch, in the middle of the week. And it was even weirder that Kali decided to celebrate the event with plenty of food, the abundant lunch typical of their weekends, but it wasn’t so bad. They got to chat, and spend some quality time together as a family; that was hardly a bad thing.

Blake also had to rethink the quantity of their food, since it was finished with no big deal. Sharing so little meals with her dad did, she always forgot how much the man ate despite his size being a clear reminder.

It was after eating, Blake was drinking some tea and enjoying some peace as Kila played with her grandpa, when Kali went in action “You know, you never told me how your date went the other night.”

Blake sighed. She didn’t need to keep her relationship’s details a secret to any of them (well, except some, maybe), but she knew how much her mom loved the juicy ones.

Kali never meant to be noisy, Blake knew that; she just liked to either have something to tease her daughter or help her deal with. She was a mom after all, and she had no doubt Blake would have done the same in the future.

Knowing full well that opposing any resistance was futile, Blake just went along with it, enjoying the memory of her night out with Yang.

“Wait a second… so she invited you to have dinner with her family?” Kali asked with sudden excitement.

“Yeah… what about it?” Blake said, confused at the sudden change of mood.

“Come on, aren’t you excited? It’s a big step! Did you pick an outfit yet?”

Maybe she should have seen it coming “I don’t know? Is it so important?” Blake asked then, with a slight uncertainty in her voice.

Maybe it was important. Yang did dress up to meet her parents after all.

She was so cute and nervous…

“Oh dear,” Kali dramatically sighed, getting a raised eyebrow from her daughter “of course it is!” she announced then, in between excitement and urgency “Let’s go shopping, right now!

“Wait, what?”

“Just the two of us, like old times!” Kali continued, deaf at her daughter’s protest “Remember your first date with Yang? You were so nervo-“

“Yeah, got it!” Blake stopped her before she could turn out any more embarrassing memory “Are you sure?”

“Of course! It’s been a while since we had some old-fashioned mother-daughter time bonding! It’ll be fun!” Kali clapped her hands, already looking forward it. “What do you say?”

Blake, on the other hand, was more worried “But how about-”

“Ghira can look after Kila.” Kali answered, already knowing the question “Come on, we’ll have a great time! And you deserve a nice new dress!”

“I don’t know…”

“Didn’t your boss say you needed to take a break? An afternoon out seems like the ideal!”

“…sure, why not.” she surrendered, offering a tiny smile “Let’s do this!”

“That’s the spirit!” Kali said, then kissed her Blake’s forehead “Go get ready, there are tons of shops out there waiting for us!” she announced excitedly, before heading to her bedroom “It’s been too long!”

Blake calmly finished her tea, before following the example. She grabbed her purse and her phone, genuinely smiling at the prospect of some quality time with her mom, but there was something bothering her. A voice deep down, telling her that she didn’t deserve it.

Blake scrolled her head and forced it away, full intentioned to enjoy her free time with her mom.

 


 

Her “mother- daughter” afternoon didn’t go as she expected. It started great, no argument here… until they set foot outside of their apartment.

Then, it magically turned into a “mother-daughter plus Sun” one.

When he learned about their outfit hunting for Blake’s imminent meeting with Yang’s family (there was no privacy in that world!), he insisted to join in and help. Kali had a soft spot for the boy, being the one who sent her baby girl back to her, so she enthusiastically agreed to have him with them.

And that’s how Blake Belladonna found herself in a changing room, almost drowning under all the clothes Sun and her mother threw at her.

Definitely not how she expected the day to get going, but she had to admit: Sun had a good eye for style and colors.

Blake looked around, trying to navigate through the chaos of clothes, when a bright shade of purple caught her attention. She delicately untangled it from the other clothes to give it a better look.

It was a simple dress, with a flare out skirt, and the sleeves appeared to be tailored to hang off of the wearer’s shoulders. It gave the dress an almost casually sophisticated energy. It looked good, and Blake liked it; she only hoped it would look good on her too.

Kali and Sun were still happily discussing the various outfit options for Blake’s night when she stepped out of the changing room. The dress hugged Blake’s torso perfectly, flaring out at her hips and ending mid-thigh. The sleeves, as she had thought, hung off of her shoulders elegantly.

Both Kali and Sun watched in awe as Blake gingerly added a twirl.

“Oh honey, you look beautiful.”

Sun whistled “Yeah Blake! If you weren’t taken, I would hit on you in a hot second!”

Blake playfully slapped his arm “Sun!”

“I’m joking I’m joking!” he tried to defend himself, but he was still smiling.

“I think we found the one.” Kali said before the two of them could go any further.

Blake stroked the edge of the dress, feeling the soft material between her fingers. It felt nice, right. “Yeah, I think we did.”

“Now the only thing you need is the perfect pair of shoes to match it!”

“Are you sure?” Blake hesitated “I already got my dress, I don’t need-”

“Sweetheart, it’s okay. We can afford it, and you deserve nice things. You never get anything for yourself, love yourself a little!”

Blake looked a bit conflicted as she thought about it, but eventually yielded “Okay mom.” She just couldn’t win against her “Thanks.”

Kali just hugged her daughter “You’re welcome.”

Soon the two hugging women found another couple of arms surrounding them “Well, then… at the shoes shop!” Sun dramatically announced then, pointing a finger at the air, already dragging mother and daughter to their next location.

“I need to change back first.” Blake pointed out with a raised eyebrow.

“And pay.” Kali added, in sync with her daughter.

“…after you changed and payed for this dress!” Sun added then, pointing to the unknown again with unaltered enthusiasm.

“Dork.” Blake was still giggling when she changed back.

Maybe it wasn’t such a terrible day, and a break was exactly what she needed.

 


 

Friday couldn’t come too fast.

The next couple of days didn’t turn out any better than the one before, sadly. Blake still felt tired all the time without apparent reason despite her strict sleeping schedule, writing was hard and frustrating, and not even Yang’s occasional sweet text could do a thing about it, to the point that the Faunus didn’t even bother replying sometimes.

Yang knew about this weird bad mood of hers, Blake told her, so aside from worries she didn’t mind too much and respected her need for space. She only hoped that a relaxing and domestic afternoon together might be able to do the trick. Bad weeks happened to anyone, nothing that some quality time with your loved ones couldn’t fix, right?

Blake hoped so too, but she was mostly grateful to have such an attentive and caring partner now. Being able to feel bad and get the space to sort it out was new and incredible for her.

Yet, Yang’s emotional intelligence was so high that she seemed to always know what to do to help, even in those weird bad days. She was far more intelligent than people gave her credit for in general, so much more than just a “stupid blonde barista” stereotype.

Blake didn’t feel like she deserved all that comfort and support from such an incredible girlfriend, even if it wasn’t working as well as usual. Especially now that it wasn’t working as usual. Was she being difficult?

No no, it’s feelings we’re talking about, it’s not like I can control them. She reasoned.

Exceptions happens, ups and downs are part of life, it’s okay.

So, it’s been a couple of tiring and confusing days, but when Friday did come though, it luckily did with a better mood.

Blake took the morning off to let her parents have their date day without worries, taking the chance to rest some more too, and woke up later than usual.

Kila seemed to enjoy her that extra lazy morning as well, but once awake their movie date with Yang seemed to be the only thing in her mind, and even a much stronger fuel to her energy than any sugar or coffee could have ever been.

And that’s why, after waking up in an almost empty house, the kid thought it was her duty to immediately wake up and share her excitement with her mom.

“Mommy!” Kila yelled entering, after a little struggle reaching the door handle, into Blake’s room. “It’s Friday! Yang day! Wake up!!!”

Blake knew better than fight her hyperenergetic baby. “I’m up, I’m up!” Despite the rough awakening, Blake did feel better than the previous mornings. Maybe taking it easy and rest some more really was all she needed, Blake thought while sitting up.

Kila immediately jumped in Blake’s lap and hugger her.

That, and some time with my baby girl.

Kila giggled as her mother returned her hug fiercely.

“We gotta go! Hurry!” Kila frantically tried to get free from her mother’s hold, unwilling to waste any time that they could be spending at Yang’s.

“Kila, it’s too early, we’re going after lunch.” The little girl pouted and lowered her ears, disappointed in having to wait more to see her adored Yang “…but until then we can do anything you want; I’m all yours!”

“Ye!” the kid cheered, raising her arms and ears both.

It’s not like Blake didn’t find time to spend with her, she loved her daughter too much to let it happen, but it was never before afternoon, Blake’s morning being usually dedicated either to work or other kind of “adulting” task.

So, Kila was more than happy to have some extra time with her mommy all for herself, and didn’t waste any time to tackle her and start a “fight”. They ended up spending more time playing than they thought, with Kila playing some kind of hero and Blake the nefarious villain.

As much fun as it was though, Blake stopped them to get breakfast before it was too late; skipping a meal wouldn’t be ideal after all. Kila opposed a little bit of resistance, enjoying their game far too much to stop for something as boring as breakfast, but the promise of her favorite was enough to bribe her.

In the kitchen, mother and daughter cooked “side by side”, the little girl insisting into wanting to help, so Blake kept her busy with little tasks and, eventually, the choice and placement of the toppings for their pancakes.

It has been a while since the last time Blake made them, always too in a rush and used to her mother cooking for them all, but she had fun getting back in the kitchen, even for something as simple as them. She only hoped they’d turn out good.

Much to Blake’s relief, they did (she wouldn’t have been able to deal with a pancakeless disappointed Kila), and soon both of them were eating at the table, their food accompanied by some juice for Kila and tea for Blake.

Kila stuffed her mouth with pancakes, followed by big gulps of her juice to help her swallow.

“Slow down, or you’ll choke.” Blake warned.

The rest of the morning was spent doing whatever pleased Kila, from playing to drawing, everything together. It felt really nice being able to spend all morning together without worries for once.

When lunchtime came, Kila was still too busy with her art to help in the kitchen this time around, so Blake let her be and went to cooking on her own. Considering how much harder lunch would have been to deal with Kila around, it was a blessing.

Blake barely turned on the stove when her phone screen light up.

 

Yang: “Just had lunch, you can come whenever ;)”

Blake: “We have to eat yet, I’ll text you when we’re on our way”

Yang: “👍”

 

Blake put her phone down, and moved her gaze to look lovingly at her Kila; the little girl was in deep focus on her drawing, her little tongue sticking out in concentration.

Their morning together has been lovely already, and the thought of joining Yang soon filled her heart with joy.

This is going to be an amazing afternoon.

 

Kila might have been distracted before, but she wasn’t stupid. She remembered perfectly the “after lunch” deal, and wasn’t afraid to hurry her mom again as soon as they sat on the table.

“We can’t make Yang wait!”

So they ate, cleaned up, washed and dressed up, and when Kila filled her little bag with her favorite movies, Blake knew her time was up.

“Hurry up!” she whined, pulling her mom to the door.”

“We can’t go anywhere without the car, can I go grab my keys?”

Understanding the importance that those keys held to reach her goal, Kila mercifully granted permission, and Blake hurried to her room (Kila wasn’t the only impatient and excited one after all).

She quickly scanned the room and found both car’s and apartment’s keys on the nightstand beside a picture. Blake couldn’t help but stop a moment to look at it: it was a picture of her and Yang’s first date, a selfie to be precise.

After hearing Blake complain about not having the chance in years, Yang took the opportunity for a perfectly clichés of a first date and took her to the local amusement park. She even won her an oversized teddy bear, that featured in the picture. That was probably the start of that teenage feeling that distinguished their relationship, and that clearly hadn’t worn off yet.

Blake smiled softly at the memory, put the picture back to its place and then headed off, knowing better than making Kila wait any longer. Inside the car she sent a text to Yang, and they were on their way.

 


 

“Kitty!”

Yang didn’t even have the time to fully open the door that Kila already spotted and slipped in to go after the little furry animal.

“Kila, you can’t just enter someone else’s home like that!” Blake tried to scold her daughter, only to get spectacularly ignored in favor of Yang’s new pet.

In retrospect, maybe Blake should have seen that coming and tell Kila about the animal beforehand.

“I’m sorry Yang, she’s usually much better behaved than that.” She sighed.

“I know, it’s okay.” Yang reassured her “I can’t even blame her; Ember truly is adorable.”

Yang let Blake in. The two of them found Kila trying to get Ember’s attention, but the kitten felt too threatened and found refuge on a higher shelf.

“Get down!” Kila whined.

Ember didn’t.

“So… are you gonna ignore me too, or will you let me do the greetings properly?” Yang raised an eyebrow and gave Blake a smirk.

Blake rolled her eyes, but didn’t hesitate to get Yang into her arms and kiss her. She didn’t let the moment last though, as she had a daughter to look after and scold for her rude manners.

Kila was still struggling after Ember, uselessly jumping to reach the kitten that now felt much more at ease knowing she was out of the kid’s reach.

“So, that’s how it is!” Yang began, dramatically, catching Kila’s attention “You see a cute little kitten and suddenly I don’t exist anymore? I’m wounded!”

“No!” Kila’s little eyes widened in fear, and immediately dropped her chase to go hug Yang’s legs.

“You don’t love me anymore!” Yang kept her act, complete with cracking voice.

“No!” Kila held tighter “I love you!” she said, desperate for Yang to know that she still adored her.

Yang dropped her act and picked her up, getting face to face.

“Hi” Kila smiled, a little anxiously.

“Hi.” Yang said back.

“I’m sorry… forgive me?” the kid asked, with the best kicked puppy (kitty?) eyes she could manage.

“Awww, of course I do!” Kila’s face lightened up, all fears and anxiety to lose her friend falling down, and immediately tightened her tiny arms around Yang’s neck. “I can’t stay mad at you. But you have to promise me that from now on you’ll always greet people properly, and wait for them to let you in before entering her homes. Deal?”

Kila nodded fiercely on Yang’s neck, who then returned her hug and held her tight.

Blake watched the whole scene with a smile and a warm heart; she had the tendency to do that every time her daughter and her girlfriend were together.

She couldn’t help it! The just looked so cute, and Yang was so good with her…

How bad was it to think that she’d make a great mother?

Yang let Kila down, while the kid complained and asked “why kitty didn’t like her”.

“Sweetie, it’s not that Ember doesn’t like you, you just scared her. You see, she was abandoned, and so it takes her a little while to warm up around people. You just need to be patient.”

“Poor her.” Kila looked up at the kitten, that was still at comfortable distance from them all “I’m sorry Ember.” She apologized. Ember seemed to look back at her with sad eyes of her own. “Who would do something like that?”

“Yeah, who.” Yang mumbled, more to herself than to the kid.

Blake knew a reference to Raven when she saw one, but before she could even offer the tiniest bit of comfort (A squeeze, or a smile), Yang already moved on.

“How about I show you how to befriend her?” she offered cheekily. Kila lit up and enthusiastically agreed. “Blake? Wanna join us?”

It was just so pure and sweet. Blake couldn’t once again shake away that feeling, like they were a family. Maybe they already were, in a way.

Gods Belladonna, you got it bad.

“Sure.”

Kila stepped aside and watched intently Yang approach the kitten. Ember sniffed the still hand offered in front of her, and recognized the care of her owner when it softly scratched under her chin. Then, unprompted and on her own accord, she jumped and climbed onto her arm and reached her shoulder. A little purr rose, and Ember returned Yang’s petting by nuzzling her cheek.

“I see you two got along well.” Blake was impressed; from what she knew, Yang must have got her for no longer than a week after all. 

But it was nothing compared to Kila’s amazed expression, she was speechless!

“How did you do that?!?” not for long though.

“It’s only a matter of trust and respect: don’t chase her, let her be, and she’ll come to you. It might take some time but don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of chances!” Yang winked at mother and daughter both.

Yang kept telling tricks and tales from her short time coexisting with Ember, and eventually all three of them were on the floor to play with her.

After getting used to them and building a little trust, the kitten was ecstatic to have so many playmates.

If Yang had to be honest, she didn’t think that Ember would have warmed up to her guests so much so soon. Apparently, she had to think again.

Not only the kitten accepted pets and plays from both of them, but when later Kila settled on the floor, back on the couch and ready for her movies, Ember choose her lap as her place to rest.

Kila’s face was priceless, the embodiment of joy and “internally screaming” at the same time.

Yang set up the DVD, the snacks ready on the coffee table, turned off the lights and joined Blake on the couch.

And now, with the couple cuddled up and the kid gently petting the kitten on her lap, they were ready for their movie.

“You good?” Yang asked, one arm over her shoulder holding her close.

“Yeah.” Blake nuzzled closer “This is nice.”

“Yeah. Yeah, it is.”

Yang smiled and pressed “play”.

 


 

By the end of the movie, Ember was fully asleep, and Kila on her way there too, lulled by the end credits’ soothing song.

“It’s been so long since I last watched Beauty and the Beast.” Yang commented. She let the roll credits be so that the tunes would fill up the room.

“Lucky you, Kila makes me watch it at least twice a week, she’s obsessed!”

“There are worse things to obsess over, she has good taste at least.”

“I guess you’re right.”

They peacefully listened to the music in silence for a little while longer before Yang spoke up again “I talked to Dad and Ruby, they said they’d love to meet you and asked if next Wednesday night works for you. If you’re still up for this, of course!” she nervously added.

“Wednesday is fine. I can’t pass the chance to meet the woman that has Weiss wrapped around her finger!” Blake added jokingly.

Yang snorted “I should arrange a double date so you can see how bad they are!”

Weiss was such a strong and strict woman, it was hard to imagine her being all lovey-dovey. When Yang first introduced them Blake actually thought she hated her because of that exterior (that, and her family being known for being remarkably racist, despite knowing Yang would have never been friends with a person like that).

Weiss didn’t hate her of course, but it took her a little while before warming up to her and become the close trustworthy friend that she was now.

She’s been a little jealous though when Blake became Yang’s new “bestest friend”, jealously that evaporated the moment the two of them finally started officially dating and Weiss, her words, “got back to her rightful place”.

“One thing at the time, let’s meet your family first.” Blake said with a peck on Yang’s lips.

“Can I come too?”

Blake and Yang blinked a couple of times, then simultaneously turned towards the unexpected tiny voice that just spoke up.

Kila looked sleepy enough, rubbing an eye with her hand and stirring her cat ears, but still lucid enough to overhear and caught up on their conversation apparently. 

“Sweetie” Blake started “this is a grown-ups dinner, you wouldn’t have fun.”

“But I wanna meet them too!”

“And you will, just not this time. I need to meet them on my own before I can introduce you. Do you understand?”

Blake wasn’t lying. Aside from the “official family introduction” thing, in which bringing her own daughter right away might be a little too forward, she needed to know that these people were safe.

It wasn’t like she didn’t trust Yang or her family, Blake knew for a fact that they would have been nothing less than great, but her mom instinct was simply stronger.

Kila couldn’t understand anything like that, reasonably, and wasn’t pleased with the answer “But I came today!”

“It’s different, Yang invited you!” Blake said, rougher than she intended. The bad mood that seemed to follow her all week and that Blake thought that morning was finally gone, was slowly rising back, along irritation and impatience at her daughter’s demands.

“Fine!” Kila shot a challenging look at her mother, then turned to Yang “Can I come too?”

“Hum…” Yang, who awkwardly stayed out of the discussion until that moment, was taken aback from the sudden involvement.

Blake, on the other hand, didn’t like it at all.

“Yang, don’t.” Blake said with decision before the blonde could even come up with an answer, her eyes never leaving Kila’s “I said no, period.”

“It’s not fair!”

All the mess woke Ember up, who wisely decided to get out of the way while Kila threw a temper tantrum.

“Kila, stop it.”

“NO!”

It was rare for her to act like that, and on these occasions Blake has always been able to handle it with calm, patience, and understanding. But, may be it the adding up of that stressful week, or maybe of her single parenting experience all together, or maybe even how important it was that event to her, that wasn’t one of these times.

And for the first time, Blake did the one thing she swore to herself she would have never done to her child: she angrily yelled at her.

“That’s enough, you’re grounded! You won’t come there, or anywhere else until I say so, and that’s definitive! Understood?”

Both Yand and Kila stared at her speechless. Neither of them had ever seen Blake act like that. Kila’s widened eyes quickly replaced surprise with tears. Blake, slowly coming back to her senses, seemed to look more and more horrified as she came to the realization of what just happened.

“Kila, I-” but it was too late, and the kid ran away to hide in Yang’s bedroom, crying. Blake stood still, shocked.

“…Blake?” Yang asked timidly, helping her sitting to the couch again “Are you okay?”

“I… I don’t know. “ she answered honestly; everything she just said kept running in her head. She sounded just like him.

“You’ll go wherever I say, when I say it, and that’s definitive!”

“What have I done?” she said, panic increasing upon those similarities. Kila’s cries could be heard from the other room, not helping the cause “I went too far, she didn’t deserve that!” Blake’s eyes filled with tears as well “Why did I talk to her like that? I should have been more patient, what kind of mother am I? Now she’ll hate me, or worse, fear me!”

“Woah, woah, woah, slow down!” Yang put her hands on Blake’s shoulders, stroking them in what she hoped was a comforting gesture “As much as it was unexpected from you, it’s not that bad, I swear. Do you really think you’re the first parent to lose her cool? That doesn’t make you a bad mother, I swear.”

“I still shouldn’t have done it. Gods, I swore to myself I would have never done that!” Blake punched a pillow in frustration “…I need to talk to her.” She tried to get up, but Yang promptly made her sit back down again.

“You do, but not now.” The blonde said before there could be any protest “You need to calm down first, both of you.”

“B-but she’s there, crying, all alone!”

“And that’s why I’ll go take care of her. You just stay here and cool down; when you’ll both be okay, I’ll let you go.”

“Doesn’t your shift start in like,” Blake looked at her watch “twenty minutes? And you have to get ready too, there’s no time!”

“I can afford being late once in a while: Junior needs me too much to fire me!” Yang joked, then her cheeky grin softened once again “Besides, family is more important.” Blake wasn’t sure her reddened face came from crying now “Leave it to me!”

Blake looked down, ashamed that Yang needed to step up at all “I don’t deserve you.”

“Of course you do.” Yang sat up and left a kiss over Blake’s forehead. “See you in a bit.” She left for her bedroom.

Blake often blamed herself and said things like that before, but she never quite believed them as much as she did this time.

 


 

Yang softly knocked the door before sneaking in. Kila was sitting to the ground, her back pressed to a wall and her knees hugged to her chest, as if trying to make herself even smaller than she already was. Ember was snuggled up beside her, sadly mewing in seeing her new friend in distress.

“Hey.” Yang started carefully. Kila’s eyes looked up at her, filled with tears “Can I sit here with you?” The kid sniffed and nodded.

Yang sat to the ground and Kila naturally leaned into her, still crying. Afraid to ruin what she achieved so far, Yang didn’t dare to say a thing and comforted her in silence, waiting for the little girl to speak up unprompted.

“Mom never yells at me.” She said, sniffing “Why was she mean?” she asked then, with genuine confused and heartbroken expression.

Yang inhaled deeply; she needed to choose very carefully what words to say and how to say them.

“Honey, your mom didn’t mean to. She feels really bad about it.”

“Really?”

“Of course! I would never lie to you!”

“Why did she do it then?”

“Because nobody’s perfect, not even your mom.”

“But you are!”

Yang giggled “I’m flattered, but trust me: I’m not. Sometimes I get angry and yell to others, like your mom just did. Actually, it happens more often with me!” she added, sheepishly.

“…mom still loves me?”

“Of course she does, with her whole heart! Even if she lost her temper.”

Kila said nothing, thinking about what she said. She seemed a little more reassured, but still too afraid to get back.

Maybe she just needed a little push. “…you should talk with mom, don’t you think?”

Kila stayed silent again, her big blue eyes doing the talk for her. And they said she wasn’t ready yet, but close.

“…can I show you something?”

Kila nodded curiously, not expecting such offer all of a sudden, and Yang effortlessly picked her up. The woman opened her wardrobe, revealing a mirror on the inside of its door and, hanged on it at adult eye level, a piece of paper.

Kila instantly recognized it. “My art!” she said, pointing at it excitedly.

“I told you I’d keep it forever!” Yang grinned at the child in her arms “This way I can look at it every day!”

Much happier than before, Kila clutch at Yang in a tight hug that the blonde was more than happy to return.

“So… are we ready to get back to mom now?” Kila said nothing but nodded vigorously, and the two of them returned to the living room.

Blake stood up from her seat the moment she saw the door opening. She wasn’t crying anymore, but her red puffy eyes didn’t lie.

Yang put Kila down, who timorously stepped closer to her mom.

“I… here, I got your things. Just check if that’s all, and we can go.” Kila took her little bag, opening it. Sure that there was nothing missing, she nodded, closed it again, and grabbed Blake’s hand. As much as the unusual silence was worrisome, at least that was a good sign.

With the newfound truce, Yang walked them to the door “Text me when you’re home, alright?” she asked, raising a hand at Blake’s cheek and leaving a sweet caress with her thumb.

Blake leaned for a moment in the touch, laying her own hand over hers. “Thank you Yang, for everything.” Their lips met for a quick peck. “Say bye to Yang?”

“Bye Yang. Thanks.”

“Of course sweetheart.” Yang ruffled Kila’s hair, with her usual particular attention and care of her kitty ears. She knew how much Kila enjoyed that. “Be good.”

Said their goodbyes, the two Beladonnas were on their way home.

The drive back home wasn’t a cheerful one. Kila was still upset, and Blake was so overwhelmed by guilt she didn’t dare to say a word.

Blake knew she needed to talk to her, their whole relationship could get at stakes if she lost her daughter’s trust, so she stopped Kila from getting out of the car after they arrived home.

“Kila… let’s have a little chat, shall we?”

The little girl sighed, ashamedly looking down “I’m sorry for making you mad.”

It wasn’t an easy conversation. She needed to apologize and acknowledge being wrong without cracking her image of authority, she was still her mother after all, and as much as Kila was intelligent it was still a hard concept to grasp about. A parent never makes mistakes at their baby’s eyes.

But how could Blake not try, when her words and body language looked so familiar? Her heart almost broke when Kila told her how much she scared her.

“Oh, sweetheart.” Blake caressed her cheek, and pulled her in for a hug “You should never be scared of me.”

Kila was a smart girl, and eventually understood the situation (Blake had a feeling Yang talking with her first might have helped with that) and forgave her, but even so she couldn’t just erase her feelings, and she shouldn’t have to.

Blake’s always fully respected Kila’s feelings, and this time again she was sure to explain her how it was okay if she was still upset. That meant she could explore and process her feelings in a healthy way, but it also meant that others could caught up on them.

“Others” being Kali.

During the night the tension was palpable, and it didn’t take long for her to address them.

Blake was having an after-dinner cup of tea when her mother approached her “What happened?”

So, Blake told her the whole story from the beginning, from Yang’s invite over to her talk with Kila, all without hiding her guilt and self-disappointment.

Kali didn’t seem to share that opinion though.

“Talking with her was the right thing, you did good!” She praised her with a smile, but Blake kept looking down.

“Did I? I feel like I’m doing everything wrong.”

“Sweetheart, all  parents feel like that. No one is perfect; you made a mistake, but you tried to fix it and that’s the important thing.”

Blake showed a tiny smile “According to Kila, Yang said something like that too.”

“Well, then Yang is even smarter than I already thought.” She said.

 


 

That was her worst day so far.

Trying to get up was a futile effort, bed and blankets engulfed her, and her consciousness was nowhere to be seen. So, Blake decided to call sick and take the day off. It’s not like it was a lie, she wouldn’t have been able to write anything anyway if the days prior were of any indication.

Blake had no idea what time it was when someone knocked at her door, waking her up.

“Sweetheart… can I come in?” Kali didn’t wait for an answer, slipping right in. Blake didn’t mind; she wouldn’t have had the strength to argue anyway. “How are you feeling?”

“Tired.” She answered honestly.

“Don’t you want to eat something? It’s almost lunchtime.”

“I’m not hungry, I think I’ll just stay here and rest.”

Kali’s eyebrows furrowed, not liking that answer “Are you sure? You skipped breakfast already, it’s not good for your health.”

“I’m fine.” Blake hissed, betraying her annoyance “Forcing myself to eat won’t do me any good, I just need to sleep it off. Trust me; I know myself.” Her voice waved a bit in her last sentence.

“…okay.” Kali conceded, knowing it was better to back off for the moment. She leaned in to kiss her daughter’s forehead “I’ll save you something, just in case you change your mind.”

Blake sighed in relief seeing Kali had no intentions to press on. “Thanks mom.” she murmured with a smile.

“Mommy?” a little voice called from the door. Soon Kila was climbing the bed to sit close with her mom and grandma “Aren’t you coming?”

The little girl didn’t seem to be angry anymore. Blake felt a huge weight off her chest, like she was finally able to breathe again.

“I’m sorry sweetie, mommy doesn’t feel good today.” The relief was good, but not good enough.

“…is it my fault?” the fear in Kila’s eyes was enough to wake Blake up, at least for a moment.

“Of course not! This has nothing to do with you, I promise.” Blake said, her eyes locked in the kid’s bright blue ones. Kila nodded, relieved. “I just need to rest, and I’ll be as good as new!”

Without a word, Kila moved closer and circled her tiny arms in a tight hug “Hugs make everything better!” Blake smiled at the sound of her own words coming from her child, and hugged her back. After a few moments, Kali circled both of them, securing her whole world in her arms.

“…come on Kila, let’s leave mom to rest.” Kila nodded, left one last kiss at Blake’s cheek, and followed grandma to lunch waving goodbye.

Blake waved back.

She was happy Kila went through her harsh feelings and felt good again; she only wished her hugs felt as good and loving as they normally did.

Blake ended up spending all day in bed, lacking the strength to do anything but sleep and maybe play around with her scroll.

She had full intentions to skip dinner too, but her father got in the way.

The door cracked open, and Ghira entered holding a tray. “Hey sweetheart” he said, leaving the tray on the nightstand “How are you feeling?”

“Still tired.” Blake said, her eyes closing again.

“You should eat something then; I’m sure it will help you.”

“Dad,” Blake whined “I already told mom, it’s worse if I eat and I don’t want to.”

“But you ate nothing all day, that can’t be better.” He countered “…please?”

Blake sighed “Fine. I’ll try.”

“That’s my girl.” Ghira smiled, before a look of uncertainty came back to his face “You know, I was thinking… why don’t you call your therapist?”

Blake’s eyes narrowed and her ears pinned back “What?” she asked in a warning tone.

“You’ve been down for a few days. I just thought, maybe she could help?”

“That won’t be necessary, I’ve got everything under control!” she spit back, crossing her arms.

“…right. Sorry for intruding.” the apology felt practiced, as if he expected such an answer. Ghira gently caressed her shoulder. “Have a good rest,” Guilt hit Blake immediately, “you’ll need to be well and charged for Yang’s dinner after all.” and that was the final blow.

“Goodnight.”

The door closed and Blake reluctantly checked her scroll. Yang’s contact came up again and again in all its notifications, through missing calls and unread messages.

Blake sighed, passing a hand through her hair. She really didn’t have the strength to answer Yang at the moment, but she knew she didn’t deserve to be ignored like that.

The phone lit up again, Blake’s fingers ghosting through Yang’s name, still unsure if she should press the call button or not, if she was able to or not.

Eventually, tiredness won. Blake turned off the device and threw it off unceremoniously on the nightstand.

“She doesn’t need to see me like this.” She tried to rationalize.

She doesn’t need me.

 


 

The following days weren’t better.

Days passed, one by one, too slow and too fast at the same time, and with no sign of improvement. It didn’t look good, but Blake kept swaying away her parents and their worries like they were nothing.

Both Kali and Ghira knew that she was lying, that she wasn’t okay, but they were too afraid to contradict her after what happened the last time. So, they settled with trying to be as supportive and helpful as they could.

Meanwhile, Yang’s texts and calls kept getting ignored, the blonde’s frustration showing as the number of her notifications lowered, but even that was nothing compared to Kila’s confused worry.

The little girl had no clear idea of what was going on, only that it was bad and she didn’t like it. Out of everything, giving such stress to her young daughter was what made Blake feel guilty the most, but even that wasn’t enough to prompt a change in her behavior.

Blake didn’t know what was dictating her feelings and actions, or maybe she did know and was just in denial; either way, it was stronger.

What was even stronger than that though, was Kali’s resolve the day of the dinner with the Rose-Xiao Long family. To say it with proper terms, Kali accepted no bullshit from her daughter and refused to leave Blake alone until she was washed and ready for the night.

Despite feeling better and accepting that she wasn’t invited, Kila was still sad she couldn’t have dinner with Yang and her family too that night. To mitigate her disappointment, Kali and Ghira organized their own special dinner out. It wasn’t the same, but Kila was only happy to spend some more time with both of her grandparents, and after a few recommendations from both parts and a quick goodbye, Blake was alone in the apartment.

Blake stood in the middle of the living room, wearing her beautiful new dress, but for some reason it didn’t feel as good as it did at the shop days prior. She tried to ignore the feeling, along with her rising nervousness.

Blake wished she could just go out and get over with it, but it was still too early, so she sat to the couch and tried to relax.

Phone in her hand, she mindlessly scrolled through random social medias before checking Yang’s contact again. The text with time and location for their dinner was the only one she answered to, and she did so just with a thumbs up emoji.

Yang didn’t even question it, apparently too happy and relieved to receive a somewhat positive answer after that one-week long radio silence. Maybe she thought she’d get her answers after meeting her.

But what kind of answers could Blake even give her? What if she confronted her in front of her family? She wouldn’t, would she?

No, she would never, Yang was too kind and respectful to do something like that.

But what if she took her aside to question her privately?

She wouldn’t leave her family alone for too long though. Sweet, patient Yang, would be more than willing to wait until the end of the night, even a few more days if Blake asked her to.

Yang would do anything she needed to keep everybody comfortable.

She was so selfless, and kind, and caring… and everything Blake wasn’t.

I can’t do this.

Guilt and anxiety mixed up in full panic as Blake started her retreat with taking off her brand-new heels. She was about to do the same with her dress, when she heard a knock and the door swung open to reveal Sun.

“Yo Blake, Kali told me it’s date night! Are you excited-what are you doing?” all of his giddiness disappeared as she was caught red-handed, like a cornered animal.

“Sun, go.” Blake coldly ordered to her friend, zipping her zipper back up, but Sun was having none of it.

“What? No! Your mother just told me you were ready to go, and this is what I find? Is everything okay, do you need help?”

“I need no help, I’m not going anywhere.”

“What do you mean you’re not going???”

“You heard me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get changed.”

“I’m not excusing no one! What is going on Blake, let me help you-“

“No!”

“I’m not leaving you like this, deal with it! I’m you best friend, it’s my job to-“

“No, you’re not!” Blake snapped “You keep interfering in my life like it’s your business, but it’s not! You just keep getting in other people’s lives because you don’t have your own!”

Sun’s pained expression almost made her take it all back, but she didn’t have enough emotions left in her to feel regret.

The blonde closed his eyes, inhaled deeply, then smiled. The saddest smile she ever saw him wear.

“You’re not yourself now.” he didn’t bother saying anything more.

With the same foreign and disarming calm, so much unlike him, he left, leaving Blake alone with her thoughts and all the pain they brought her.

 


 

Blake stared at her phone, still somewhat expecting for Yang’s contact to appear despite never bothering picking up before.

After the whole dinner fiasco, Yang’s called her incessantly again, and reasonably so. Blake’s parents came home to a find their daughter curled in a ball with her ringtone playing at full volume.

Yang was a stubborn patient woman, but even she gave up after a few days of no answers. A selfish part of Blake wanted her to go on, keep looking for her and worrying about her, but she couldn’t in all conscience blame her. Not that she had the strength to.

Blake didn’t hear knocks on her door, and Kali didn’t wait for an answer to let herself in. Parents privileges, she guessed.

“Hey sweetie… I brought you some tea?” she said, a silent question behind it.

Will you get some?

Blake just shrugged her shoulders, not bothering moving, and yet it was the most positive response they could get out of her.

Kali left the temptations-filled tea tray aside; with some luck, Blake might ingest something that day, with tea still being a little weakness of hers. What she didn’t know was how, if Blake decided to drink it, it would’ve have been just to feel the hot beverage burn inside.

“How are you feeling?”

“How do I look like?” Blake’s voice was filled of unhidden annoyance. It sounded so much like the pained teenager about to run away that it both hurt and scared Kali.

The older woman bit her lip down, shaking the memory away; it wasn’t helpful.

“…can I lay down with you?” Blake shrugged her shoulders again, an incredible show of positivity for just one day, and Kali didn’t wait any longer.

Kali positioned herself behind her daughter, close enough she could spoon her if she wanted to, but far enough to give her space. The poor mother just hoped to be able to bring some comfort.

They stayed like that for a little while, in silence.

“This is no use.” Blake sighed “You don’t have to stay here, you can go now.” She added then, curling deeper into herself.

“Sweetheart,” Kali tentatively moved a hand over her shoulder. Blake let her. “I want to stay. I love you.”

Now Blake roughly moved her mother’s hand away “You’re lying!”

“I’m your mother, I will always love-”

I don’t deserve it!” Blake snapped “I’m bad, I don’t deserve it, and you’re making it worse!” tears fell from her eyes, but she made a quick work to wipe them without being noticed.

“Blake,” Kali took her face in her hands, fearlessly forcing her to turn around. Her hesitations disappeared in front of her baby’s pained face “I don’t understand. You have a gratifying job. A family who loves and stands for you. A beautiful girlfriend-”

“Ex-girlfriend.” Blake bitterly corrected her “She’ll never want to see me, this, again. Not after what I did to her.”

“…a girlfriend,” Kali pressed on “that fully supports and adores you, for the better or the worse. And last, a wonderful daughter that you’re raising to become an even more wonderful woman. Why are you so unhappy? What else could you be asking for?”

“I don’t know!” Blake hit a pillow, frustrated “I don’t know! I know my life is beautiful, I know that a lot of people have it much worse than me, but I feel bad anyway! And I feel terribly guilty about it.” She tried to calm down, to breath, unwilling to shed one tear in front of her mother “And the worst thing is how bad Kila must be feeling because of me. I failed her, mom, I’m failing her!”

Kali hugged her without hesitation and Blake held or her dear life, letting herself be a child even for just a moment. Her mother held her close, pained to see her daughter like this “What can I do to help, please tell me. Anything, and I’ll do it!”

Blake let herself believe or a moment that she had a chance of saving, that she was worth it. But she wasn’t.

“Just leave me alone.” She murmured instead, hiding again in a ball under her covers.

Kali, like any mother, desperately wanted to do something. If only she could bring all the pain away from her baby girl and bear it herself in her place, she would do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, things didn’t work this way and she had no such power.

She knew that pressing her daughter now would only make it worse, and so she got up and left like asked. On the other side of the bedroom’s door was Kila, her bright blue eyes filled with worry.

“Hey kitten… what are you doing here?”

“…is mommy okay?” she asked with soft voice, shyly, as if she wasn’t allowed to ask.

Kali picked her up, giving her a squeeze and a kiss over her temple “She will be. You’ll see.”

“Are you sure?” Kila believed in her mom, but the fear to be wrong and that it was her fault ate her alive. She did reassure her once about it already, but after so long it was getting harder to believe.

“Oh, sweetheart.” Kali squeezed her even tighter. Seeing so much fear in the kid was heartbreaking “Of course. Your mom is strong, and I believe in her. She’ll be back on her feet before you know it, trust me!” she said encouraging “Now come on, let’s go make dinner together. Shall we?”

“Okay.” Kila’s eyes stayed on her mom until the door closed.

Blake’s heart broke again.

She’s wrong.

Tears fell down freely, as there was no one around to hide them from this time.

I’m failing her.

 


 

3 AM.

It’s night, and despite owning a silent digital alarm clock, Blake was still able to hear the passing of seconds.

Time felt slower, yet it passed in the blink of an eye without notice, without processing it. It was the worst kind nightmare: the indefinite, the uncontrollable.

Blake sighed as she checked her phone again for texts or missed calls, then looking at the time again as if the clock on her nightstand was just a liar.

It wasn’t.

She put the phone back again, when a sudden timid pling caught her attention. Suddenly fully awake, Blake clumsily clung back at it once again.

“Yang?”

20% battery left.

Just a reminder to charge her phone. Figures.

Blake felt stupid for believing that Yang actually tried to send a text again after all the unanswered ones that laid in their chat already, ignored.

And then she sighed again, it seemed the only thing she was able to do nowadays, even sadder this time as she tried to sit up. She wanted to do at least one productive thing, and put her phone on charge.

Where did I leave the charger?

Checking on near her clock and finding the space empty, Blake assumed she must have dropped in on her other nightstand, the messier one on the other side of the bed.

Blake checked that one too, blindly going through keys and papers and other random things she should have cleaned up already, when she found it. Satisfied she got her first accomplishment done in days, she immediately connected the cable to her phone to fast charge.

She was ready to get back into bed and not sleep, when something else caught her eye in that mess of a nightstand: a picture. Blake carefully, lovingly took it with care, and a nostalgic look in her face.

It was the picture of her fist date with Yang; symbol of all the happiness she had just a few weeks before, of everything she was and everything she lost.

Driven by something she assumed was boredom and awareness that she wouldn’t get any sleep, Blake sit up and moved to her mirror.

The soft city lights peeking through the window were more than enough to see her reflection, even if she didn’t have her night vision. They shone through her figure, showing the shell of the woman she was and was supposed to be.

Blake couldn’t help but compare her present self on the mirror with the happy smiley Faunus in the picture. They didn’t even seem the same person.

How did everything go so wrong? How did she manage to fuck up so badly?

Deep down she knew the answer. She should have been an idiot not to have realized it by now, but it was something she wasn’t ready to face yet, let alone accept.

Blake looked down at the picture again, at the love and happiness that she so longed to have again but were lost forever.

…No.

She may not have been ready, but she couldn’t keep running away like that. She owed it to all the people around her, she owed to herself, to try.

But she couldn’t do it alone.

With more determination that she felt in days, she clung the dear picture to her chest, her heart, and walked out. There was someone she needed to talk to.

 

Blake knocked at the door soundly, uncaring of the late hour. She did it again, harder, and didn’t stop even when she heard mumbles and footsteps from the other side, too nervous to stop.

“Yeah, I’m coming! Dude, whatever your problem is I bet it can wait-Blake?” Sun stood in front of her, the tiredness immediately disappearing from his eyes to be replaced by worry “Are you okay?”

“No.” she answered, honest for the first time. Not that she could’ve hidden it, with the wet on her cheeks and the new set of tears ready to fall from her eyes “Can I-” a hiccup “Can I come in?”

“Of course.” The man opened the door wider to let her in. He gestured for her to take a seat on his couch, which she reached with an unsteady walk as he closed the door with his tail.

He then took place beside her “So… what’s going on?”

Sun’s never been good with silence, always talking and forcing conversations out of her, but maybe that was exactly the kind of push she needed this once. Maybe there was a reason Blake reached out for him in that moment of need.

Not that she thought she deserved his help “How can you be so nice with me? After I’ve been so mean?”

Sun looked taken aback, but his confusion quickly left space for his usual dumb confident smile “Well, that’s easy! You’re always mean to me!”

Was it meant to be a joke or not, it didn’t make Blake laugh.

“Sun, I’m serious! You know exactly what I’m talking about, and you know that wasn’t our usual friendly banter. You just wanted to help me, and I pushed you away and insulted you. I didn’t treat you right, yet you still opened that door for me. Why?”

“Blake… I don’t know what to say. You’re my friend and you need me, period.” the seriousness felt so wrong within Sun’s features, so unusual and unlike him. Blake haven’t seen it in so long, and she wasn’t eager to remember the last time she did “So, why are you here?”

She decided to drop the argument for the moment, and focus on the reason of her presence “I fucked up. I fucked up real bad.”

He nodded, in a silent encouragement to keep talking, but Blake just fiddled with the pocket of the jacket she hurriedly wore before coming there, and showed her photograph right in front of his face.

“Hum… nice picture?”

“What do you see?”

“…a nice picture of you and Yang?” Sun tried, not understanding.

This, Sun,” she explained “is a happy person, an okay person.” Blake moved it to hold it beside her “And this,” she pointed at herself “is not okay.”

Silence filled the room as Blake secured the picture back in her pocket with care. Sun was too stunned to say anything.

“…I am not okay.” Blake admitted, out loud, for the first time “I want to, but I’m not. And I don’t know what to do.” Any semblance of composure was gone by the end of the speech, and Blake was barely able to get the point across before the crying started.

Despite his effort and good intentions, Sun was no master of empathy and emotions; but he knew when someone needed a hug, and he could do that much.

After the dam had broken, Blake spilled out everything. Everything that happened, everything she felt, everything she thought. She didn’t miss a thing, letting it all out in a much-needed talk, and cry.

And Sun listened, and comforted her in silence all along, with an attention and sensitivity she didn’t give him enough credit for.

She told the tale, and after hearing herself it wasn’t that hard to figure out where and how it went all south.

Quitting meds and therapy had been such a stupid choice.

“Blake, I know you better than you care to admit, and I know what you’ve been through.” Sun spoke gently, holding her close enough to bring comfort but not so tight to make her feel trapped. She internally thanked him for that. “And if someone knows how serious depression is, that is you. Then, why did you do it?”

“I don’t know.” Blake untangled from Sun’s embrace “I think… I think I just wanted to be like everyone else. Normal people don’t need medications to feel fine! Everything was so great, I was so happy… I figured that must have been the last step, that I was done.”

“That’s probably the most stupid thing I ever heard you say.”

“Hey!” she playfully slapped his shoulder.

“It’s true! You’re smarter than that, this is not how it works and you know it!” he scolded her with a note of playfulness in his voice “And for the record, us ‘normal people’ (not that you aren’t though) have bad days and feel bad too! I got my fair share of miserable moments, trust me.”

Blake let out a tiny laugh “Sorry, but I find that hard to believe.”

“Well, I wasn’t exactly great after you pushed me away last week, for example.”

That tiny smile, just born, died on her lips “Oh, Sun, I’m so sorry!” she thought she ran out of tears already, yet she was able to feel them coming back “You didn’t deserve any of that! You do have a life, and every day you decide to use it to help others. This isn’t sad, it’s incredible.”

“It’s okay, I forgive you.” he hugged her again “And thank you.”

There was that part of her still saying, in a familiar low voice, that she didn’t deserve forgiveness. Blake tried to fight and push it away, but it wasn’t easy.

“…you’re too good, and forgiving.”

“And you underestimate what’s happening to you.” Sun shot back “You explained, I understood, and I forgave you.” he pulled away to look at her “And I bet Yang would say the same, if you only talked to her.”

Blake ashamedly looked down “I don’t know if I can do that.”

“Don’t you love her?”

“Of course I do!” she said, not even realizing what she just admitted “And that’s why I shouldn’t! She deserves so much better than me. Someone without such a heavy baggage, in needs of meds to be happy, or-”

“For fuck’s sake Blake!” Sun wasn’t known for his patience, but such exasperation was new “Everybody has baggage, it’s what makes us human!-or Faunus-you know what I mean!” he waved his hands around, but didn’t let himself lose the thread “People have things they just have to live with! A diabetic needs insulin, shortsighted needs glasses, the list goes on!” he took a deep calming breath “Your need for therapy and antidepressants doesn’t make you broken Blake.” He tried to explain, empathetic eyes focused on her.

“But-“

“But even if you were,” the same eyes shoot her a look that promised troubles if she dared to say what he thought “you don’t get to choose for her. Yang doesn’t even know… she deserves to.”

“Do you really think she’d accept it, and forgive me?”

“Does it matter? It doesn’t change that you have to talk to her; that’s the only way to know for sure.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” She sighed in resign “When did you get so wise?”

“You always underestimated me!” he joked, dragging her in a side hug. Seeing her like this must have awoken Sun’s ‘big protective brother’ side, she lost the count of all the hugs she got.

Blake basked into these shows of affection and support though, so he must have been into something.

“You really are my best friend… fuck, now I really am depressed.”

“You know, I’d be offended if it wasn’t such a good sign!” Blake giggled and Sun stood up “Come on. How about I make some tea before I send you back safe and sound?”

Blake sniffed one last time and nodded, before giving him a smile “Thank you Sun.”

 


 

Blake wasn’t completely sure what to do next. Part of her wanted to talk to her family as soon as possible, afraid that if she went to sleep all her resolve would disappear, but it was still the middle of the night (early morning?). She didn’t want to wake up her family.

Luckily, the choice was already made for her.

When she got back into her apartment the lights were on, and her family already reunited in the living room.

“Blake!”

Apparently, Kali woke up at some point, went to check on her and, finding no one, immediately informed Ghira, and accidentally woke Kila up because of the panic. They were trying to decide if it was better going to look for Blake themselves of call the police, all while trying to keep cool to not scare the little girl.

It was a relief none of that was necessary.

Having to do the same talk twice in the same night wasn’t easy for Blake, but the mixture of feelings already sorted out with Sun and the need to speak in a simpler way for Kila (her daughter deserved to somewhat know what happened) made it a much more short and bearable talk than the first one.

That didn’t spare her from shedding more tears though, unfortunately.

Useless to say, her parents were glad she was finally opening up to them and fully supporting for her recovery. Kali was this close to scold her for the stupidity of her actions, but Ghira stopped her since “she had enough for one night”.

Blake was grateful, mentioning how Sun already got the job done, and getting a pleased hum from her father. Maybe he was finally starting to get a liking for the guy.

Kila was eager to support her mom as well on her own way, and didn’t waste time to do so. “We can sleep together!” the child suggested cheerfully “Would that help?”

“Yes sweetie, great idea.” Blake only managed, welcoming her in her lap with a watery smile.

“You can count me in if you want,” Kali said, encircling her own daughter’s shoulders “just like when you were little. No judging.” She tried to joke, but her voice and smile were too soft.

Didn’t matter how much they’d grew up; children would always be their mother’s little cubs.

“As much as I’d love to join too, I doubt any of the beds could fit us all.” Ghira awkwardly scrubbed his neck “But I could still camp on the floor to be all together.”

“Dad, you don’t have to.” Blake tried to argue.

“But I don’t want to be left out!” he replied with fake outrage.

“Like a sleepover!” Kila was delighted, and Ghira laughed as softly as his deep voice could manage.

“Yes little one, just like that!” then he moved his gaze back at his daughter “What do you say?”

Blake didn’t need to vocalize her answer; it was already clear in the way she held and let herself be held by her family. The best, most loving and understanding family she could have ever asked for.

Blake could only hope that Yang’s reaction would be similar to theirs.

 


 

It took several days before Bake contacted Yang again.

Besides the time needed for her to gain the courage, and mentally prepare herself for a much possible rejection, she also needed to straight up her mind a bit to be able to hold the conversation. A few more days wouldn’t hurt at this point, and Yang deserved to talk with a Blake at a better state of mind, the best she could afford.

Ghira and Kali also pressed her to call her therapist and anticipate their next appointment, but luck wanted her pre-scheduled appointment to fall that week already.

Doctor Magnus wasn’t happy to hear about what happened, and heavily scolded Blake for acting in such an irresponsible way. She also made her go back to weekly appointments, like when she first started, re-prescribed her medication, and highly encouraged Blake to call Yang and be honest with her as soon as she could. At least if she wanted a chance to fix that mess she made.

That woman had great passion for her job, and cared deeply for her patients. Despite being her own foolish choice, Blake missed her that during the last month. And she also knew she needed that talk and encouragement before she would be ready to confront Yang about what happened, about herself.

No amount of talks and preparations would have made it easy though.

Blake stared at her phone for fifteen minutes before settling for a simple text.

 

Blake: “We need to talk. Can you come over?”

 

Despite her thoughts, the answer came almost immediately.

 

Yang: “Oh, so now you can talk”

 

Ouch. Not the best start.

 

Yang: “Be there in 20”

 

Well, at least she was coming. Maybe there really was a chance to fix their relationship!

Blake spent the waiting in silent agony. Her parents left with Kila to give them some privacy, but in that moment she wished they never left; being alone with her thoughts wasn’t the best lately.

A knock at the door startled her, and with practiced fast pace Blake went to open the door.

It was almost like every other time, before a date, when Blake would eagerly go to open and find her Yang leaning at the side of the door… if it wasn’t for her expression.

Where once would have been eagerness and love, was now a blank unimpressed face. The mast fell for an instant when Blake got in her sight, but Yang was quick to get it back on.

It wasn’t surprising, Blake didn’t exactly look like her best self.

“Hi Yang.”

“Blake.” The blonde nodded politely, her voice kept even.

“Thank you for coming. You look well!” Blake tried. She didn’t know what to say, and nervousness kept building and building inside her.

“I guess…” Yang wasn’t of any help, still keeping that even voice and wearing that unimpressed mask.

Blake had no idea what the blonde might be thinking, if she was even considering forgiveness at all or if she just wanted closure about what happened, but that didn’t matter now. Yang accepted to see her, she was there, and that’s all that mattered.

Blake let her in, inviting her to take a seat with her on the couch, followed by some painful seconds of dead silence.

Exactly what she feared.

Yang did her the favor to break it. “…how’s Kila?” she asked with genuine interest and care.

“Oh, Kila’s good!” Blake jumped immediately at the opportunity to start conversation “She’s always drawing you, you know? I think she misses you.”

“I wonder whose fault is that.” Yang muttered, looking away.

Blake tensed at the snappy comment. She knew she deserved it, but it still hurt.

Yang must have noticed, as she shot her a regretful look before sighing “Blake, what am I doing here?”

Blake closed her eyes and took a deep breath, mentally preparing herself for what was about to come. It was now or never.

“I need to tell you something. And if after hearing it you’ll decide to leave and have nothing to do with me anymore, I’ll understand.” That took Yang’s attention.

“What is it?” she cracked a little smile “I hope you won’t tell me you’re a single mom living with her parents, because that’s a no-go for me.”

Blake giggled, more because of her nervousness than Yang’s stupid joke, but hearing her joke at all was reassuring “That, and…” Blake took a deep breath. She could do this “remember when I told I see a therapist? How it helped me recover from… from him?” Yang’s eyes were focused on her, her body leaning forward in attention “I… I didn’t tell you everything.”

“What do you mean?” Yang’s anger was completely left aside, worry and curiosity being much stronger.

“Everything that happened left me with anxiety and depression. I need to take medication for it, and if I don’t… it’s not good. That’s what happened when I stood you up. I thought I was good, tried to go off, and… it was such a stupid choice. I’m still dealing with the consequences now.”

Sudden understanding flashed over Yang’s face “That’s why you’ve been acting all weird all of a sudden.”

“Yeah… but I’m not telling you this to justify myself. Whatever the reason, I did wrong, it wasn’t fair to you, and I’m sorry.” Blake bowed her head in shame. It was hard to confront how she acted with lucid mind “I’m telling you because you deserve the truth, you deserve to know who I really am:” Blake inhaled sharply “someone who’s going to need meds, and therapy, forever. They help me stay in control of my life, and if that’s too much for you… I’ll understand.”

It was done, she did it. It was a hard talking about it, but it was right.

Now it's on Yang.

“Okay.” The blonde said, with furrowed eyebrows, as if in deep thought. Blake was ready for rejection when she talked again “But for what reason should I want to leave you?”

Relief and surprise overwhelmed Blake, and she leaned in to kiss Yang. She didn’t know if it was right of her, but Yang didn’t seem to mind as she kissed her back, and that was all the reassurance she needed.

Blake broke the kiss, and her mouth moved without her consent “I love you.”. Blake’s eyes widened when she realized what she just said, but she couldn’t bring herself to deny it. It was the truth after all. “You don’t have to say it back!” she added instead, in some sort of compromise.

“…it hurt, when you disappeared on me like that,” Yang started “especially the night with my family. But what hurts the most now is knowing that you’ve been suffering all this time, alone. It hurts like Hell, and you know why?” Blake shook her head “Because I love you too.” Yang smiled, such a tender and loving and compassionate smile “Now, com’here.” Yang scooped her in her arms in a close embrace, and kissed her temple. “Next time, just call for me.”

Blake nodded, snuggling up in her collar “I love you.”

Things were going to be okay. They were going to be okay.

 


 

“So, how’s life been going?”

“Wonderfully.” Blake smiled back at her therapist, happy to be finally able to speak those words honestly again.

Things hadn’t been easy in the last few months. Yang forgave her after their talk, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t still deeply hurt by what happened, both of them.

“I see, and with Yang?”

They had to work hard to fix their relationship, Blake even more to make up for how she acted, and that even without considering her own personal journey to get better after her spectacular fall down.

“We’re fine. More than fine actually.” But they made it. They fought and worked together, pulling though the adversities, and get out of it closer and stronger than ever! “She’s with Kila now, she offered to take care of her while I’m here. They’re supposed to pick me up later to go to the movies together.”

Blake smiled dreamily. She really didn’t understand parents who complained about having to be around their kids; she couldn’t wait to spend time with her baby girl.

“A family outing, huh? How cute!” Dr. Magnus said with a slightly teasing voice.

Blake didn’t even try to argue “We’re also planning to have dinner out together afterwards, it’ll be fun. Kila was so excited!”

“And she’s not the only one!” the older woman giggled “I’m glad to see you’re having fun again; you seem really happy.”

“I am.” Blake really meant it. She had everything she could have wished for; how could she not?

“Speaking of families, how about Yang’s? Did you meet them eventually?”

Blake let out a dramatic sight “I did. I was so nervous,” That was putting it lightly. She couldn’t remember being so anxious since her talk with Yang; she was mortified “but they seemed understanding.” Taiyang in particular if she had to be honest. Blake was on the verge of tears as she explained and apologized countless times, but the man just gave her the most compassionate look and a hug.

In retrospect, she should have probably seen it coming; Yang did tell her what happened with Summer and Raven after all. That family went through so much pain, they knew it too well… but they also knew forgiveness, and unconditional love.

Their session went on, changing from one topic to another in a relatively light chat, as the therapist eased her into harder themes and questions, one of these being her job.

That was another place Blake had to go and explain herself, and where her shameless luck showed up again as her boss heard her out with understanding. He just pressed her to finish everything she left aside, get back in track with her schedule, and everything was forgiven. Most people would have just gotten fired instead (the fact she’s one of their best writers might have played a part too though).

A cheerful song suddenly started playing, startling both women and making them abruptly interrupt their conversation.

“I’m so sorry!” Blake apologized as she rushed to answer her phone “Yang, what are you-“

“Mommy!” a higher-pitched voice, definitely not Yang’s, talked instead “We’re here! Are you done yet? We gotta move!”

Another voice joined Kila’s from the background “I’m so sorry hon, I couldn’t stop her!”

“No one can.” Blake sighed “I’m almost done sweetie, bee good and I’ll see you soon!”

A cheerful, and hears-breaking, “Yay!” could be heard as Blake closed the call and put her phone back in the purse.

“Looks like our time is up,” Dr. Magnus said with an amused smile “I wouldn’t want to get in between your kid and her family night out.”

“I’m afraid so.” Blake said in a mix of exasperation and fondness “So, will I see you in a week? Does same place same hour work for you?”

“How about we do two?”

Blake stopped, in the middle of getting her things to go, with a surprised look on her face “Huh?”

“I was thinking we could get back at our previous ‘once in two weeks’ arrangement, if that’s okay with you?”

“Really?” Blake couldn’t contain her smile in front of another piece of normality getting back to her.

“Of course! Think you can handle it?”

Things were good. Really good.

“Absolutely.” Blake answered, with zero hesitation and a confident grin. She got her notebook and the two women scheduled their next appointment.

“See you in two weeks then. Try not to mess it up!” the therapist said with playful voice, proving how she didn’t believe that was going to happen at all.

“No promises!” Blake joked back, then softened “Thanks doc.”

The older woman just nodded and started preparing for her next patient as Blake left.

Right outside of the studio, a pair of pretty girls was waiting for her.

“Mommy!” Kila happily greeted her from the top of the head of a very awkward Yang. The blonde was trying to get a hold of the little girl, worried she might fall, but Kila just shoved her off, looking almost insulted that Yang would even consider she could lose her balance at all.

Eventually Yang had to give up, but still kept her arms wide and ready to catch her.

“What are you doing up there?” Blake asked, badly hiding her amusement.

“Someone just discovered a great love for climbing.” Was Yang’s deadpan answer “And apparently, I’m her favorite mountain.” She sighed.

“I can see all!” Kila on the contrary seemed very pleased to look down at everything.

“I bet it!” Blake laughed, booping her kid’s nose and making her giggle. Then she moved to give Yang a quick kiss, the blonde carefully leaning down to return it. “Ready to see the movie as well?”

 “Ye!” Kila bumped her fist up, startling Yang for a moment with her change of balance.

“Honey, careful please!”

“I want chips and orange juice!” Kila demanded, happily ignoring Yang’s worried pleas.

“Just don’t overdo it.” Blake warned.

“Mommy’s right kiddo, you wouldn’t want to feel sick and skip our dinner at Burger Arc, would you?”

Kila shook her head, looking serious and deeply understanding “I want the fish burger!” she stated with such conviction that it sounded like the answer to all the questions and problems of the world.

To be fair, not many places made fish burgers, and Blake had to admit these ones were pretty good. Maybe they were the answer to all.

“And you’ll get it.” Blake sweetly ruffled Kila’s air, mindful of her ears. “As long as you don’t fall off Yang and hurt yourself, of course.”

“No!” That seemed enough to convince her to accept Yang’s hand to support herself, much to Yang’s relief, who shot Blake a grateful look.

The blonde sometimes seemed even more of a worried wreck than Kila’s own mother. Blake wasn’t sure if it was just how Yang was, her unconditional love for the kid, or terror for what Kila’s family would do to her if anything happened to their little girl.

Probably all of the above.

“Now if that’s settled, our night out officially starts now!” Yang announced raising her fist, with Kila immediately following the example. The blonde was rubbing off on her already, and Blake couldn’t help the warm feeling that the mere thought gave her.

“Come on Blakey, don’t leave us hanging!”

Blake rolled her eyes, raising her own fist to the air anyway with a smile “Yay?”

“Yay!” Kila rejoiced, clearly satisfied “Now go!” she ordered pointing her finger to the air. She giggled when Yang started to move forward.

Blake’s heart warmed at the sight of her two favorite girls; everything considered, she was happy. There was no hardship she couldn’t overcome, no pain that wasn’t worth getting though for her family.

Yang turned back, noticing Blake was still behind, and offered her free hand “Are you coming?”

She was also lucky, Blake thought as she accepted the hand and interlaced their fingers “Sure.”

Yang just smiled down at her, bringing her beside her, and picked up the pace.

She was definitely lucky, she thought as she looked at her girlfriend; Yang was still by her side, and would always be. Blake wasn’t sure she deserved it yet, but she was working hard to.

After all, Yang gave her a second chance; and she wasn’t going to waste it.