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In the Closet

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“This has to be it.”

Heavy bass rattled the average, two-story house in an otherwise quiet neighborhood.  Despite the late hour, the front doors stood wide open and people were visible through every downstairs window.

“What gave you that idea…?” Weiss muttered, and Yang shot an amused look over her shoulder.

“Seriously, Ruby.  Where’d you find her?”  Yang motioned at the white-haired princess, who scoffed and crossed her arms, but Ruby beamed.

“We’re lab partners!

“By choice or…?”

“By chance!” Ruby proclaimed before leaning into the surly girl’s side.  “The professor put all our names into the computer, and the computer decided we were meant for each other.”

Weiss scoffed again, but she dropped her arms to her sides and waved a hand at the front door crawling with students.  “Is this really your idea of ‘fun’ on a Friday night?” she asked, raising her voice to be heard over the music.

“Uh, duh,” Yang said at the same time Ruby said, “Not really.”  Yang gasped at the response before smiling and patting Ruby’s shoulder.  “You can’t spend every Friday night tinkering.”

“But I could…” Ruby mumbled as they walked up the front steps.  Yang shook her head while leading them inside, but she noticed the gaze Weiss sent Ruby’s way before asking, “What do you tinker with?”  Knowing that Ruby’s answer could last the rest of the night, Yang chuckled and looked around the entryway.

Music blared from giant speakers in the living room, where all the furniture had been pushed to the walls to open up space.  Even so, people packed the room like sardines in a tin can, shouting to be heard and drinking out of red, plastic cups.  Across from the living room, the dining table had been requisitioned for drinking games, and the crowded kitchen kept the drinks flowing.

Yang waved at two boys from one of her classes but motioned at Ruby and Weiss when they gestured her over.  Once they nodded in understanding, she searched for other familiar faces.  Several more current or former classmates dotted the crowd, but her gaze didn’t stop until she spotted a slender brunette standing near one of the living room windows.

Even from across the room, separated by a sea of strangers, her bright, intelligent amber eyes were clear as day.  And her faint smirk, as if she knew something the person speaking to her didn’t, got Yang’s heart beating faster in no time.

“Hey, it’s the girl you have a huge crush on!” 

Ruby blatantly nodded across the room, so Yang quickly averted her gaze.  Her cheeks warmed when she noticed Weiss look at her, then look into the living room.  “What girl?” Weiss eventually asked, and Yang grabbed Ruby’s hand before she broke every rule of etiquette and pointed.

“The one by the window,” Ruby said instead.  “The pretty one with dark hair.  Her name’s Blake, and Yang’s had a huge crush on her for...like forever.”

“I don’t have a ‘huge’ crush on her,” Yang argued, her cheeks burning even more when Weiss searched for the girl matching Ruby’s description.  “I just think she’s pretty, and smart, and wouldn’t mind getting to know her better.”

“She’s really nice!  At least, she was when we had that psych class together.”  Ruby shrugged while Weiss turned back to them.  Or, more specifically, turned back to Yang.  

“You knew she’d be here.”

“W-what?” Yang asked before chuckling.  When Weiss arched one brow, however, Yang added, “I mean, I might’ve heard her talking about it with someone, but I didn’t know for sure she’d be here...”

“So you dragged your sister to a party just so you’d have the chance to talk to her?  Then your sister dragged me?”

“I know you’re happy about that, princess.”  When Weiss pursed her lips but said nothing, Yang rolled her eyes and waved both hands in front of her.  “And of course not!  I wanted to hang out with my sister and check out a cool party.  Is that a crime?”

Weiss scoffed and, for a moment, looked like she would call Yang out on the lie.  Her blue eyes slid to Ruby instead, and she casually waved one hand while saying, “Well, since you’re both here, why don’t you talk to her?”

“You’re kidding, right?” Yang asked at the same time Ruby giggled and said, “But Yang doesn’t talk to Blake.”  Weiss’ brow furrowed at the response, so Yang added, “I mean, I would , but she’d obviously busy -”

The word hardly left Yang’s mouth before Blake separated from the person she’d been speaking to, looked around the crowded living room - her amber eyes briefly glanced over Yang - and made her way towards the entryway.  Considering Yang was still standing in the entryway, having not found much room or motivation to move since arriving, Blake was headed directly towards her.

“She’s coming over!” Ruby whispered, her tone holding a fraction of Yang’s panic while Blake weaved through the packed room.  Blake smiled or nodded to several people she passed, but none of them hindered her progress.  Before Yang decided whether she should run out of the house or pretend to have an enthralling conversation with Weiss, Blake was in front of them, looking just as beautiful and unattainable as ever.

“Hey Blake!” Ruby called out, and Yang immediately glared at her.  As soon as Blake turned towards them, however, Yang threw on a smile and waved.  The awkward wave captured Blake’s attention, and an amused smile slipped onto her lips before she focused on Ruby.

“Hey Ruby.  How are you?”

“Good!”  Ruby bounced and swung her arms with the answer.  “We just decided to get out tonight,” she added while nudging Yang’s elbow, sending Blake’s gaze back to her.  

“Uh, I’m Yang, by the way,” Yang blurted out, sticking out her hand but internally cringing when Blake’s amusement grew.

“I know who you are.”  Blake shook Yang’s hand as that amusement flowed into her eyes.  “We have class together, remember?”

“Right.  Of course.”  As soon as Blake let go, Yang shoved her hands in her pockets and chuckled.  “I just didn’t know if you recognized me.  Since I usually sit in the back and...wear different clothes...”  Yang trailed off when Blake’s brow rose.  “Anyway!  Great seeing you.  I’m just going to -”

Yang waved at the kitchen and walked that way without finishing the sentence.  She made the mistake of glancing over her shoulder though, and Blake was most definitely watching her walk away, still with that amused smile in place.  So she did the worst thing imaginable and waved, then turned and accidentally ran into a blonde boy hurrying past, knocking the cup right out of his hand and then watching in horror as it splashed all over him.

“Hey!”

“I’m so sorry!”  While he looked down at his wet shirt, his arms raised and eyes wide, Yang quickly grabbed a roll of paper towels off the counter.  Rather than hand them over, however, she stepped back, looked him up and down, and threw on a smile.  “Actually, why not just lose the shirt entirely?”

His brow briefly furrowed, and he looked down at his chest before letting a pleased smile slip onto his lips.  “You think?” he asked, and Yang nodded.

“Definitely.  It’s hot in here anyway, right?  And you obviously worked hard for these -”  Yang tapped the back of her hand against his stomach.  “Why not show them off?”

After considering the suggestion for several seconds, he grinned and pulled his shirt over his head.  Blessed with a front-row view of his chiseled chest and sculpted arms, Yang stepped back and flashed an ‘ok’ symbol.  Feeling more of the room’s attention directed their way, she glanced to the side before whispering, “You have some admirers,” and nodding at a group of girls standing near the door.

“Tonight just got way better,” he hummed to himself, swinging his dirtied shirt in one hand while approaching the girls.  Yang chuckled and watched him go but averted her gaze the instant she noticed amber eyes upon her.  Blush immediately reappearing, she swung her arms - casually - and searched for someone else to talk to.

Of course, in a house full of people she knew or quasi-recognized, only strangers stood in her proximity.  Well, strangers, her little sister, and her little sister’s annoyingly smug lab partner.

“Good job, Yang!  You talked to her, at least.”  Ruby offered a high-five with the congratulations, which Yang begrudgingly accepted while Weiss nonchalantly leaned into Ruby’s side.

“Let me get this straight.  You can convince a random boy out of his shirt, but you can’t form two sentences for the girl you like?”

“That’s what happens when Yang’s around Blake,” Ruby replied before giggling.  “It’s a disaster.”

“That wasn’t a disaster.”  When Ruby made a face and Weiss quirked a brow, Yang waved her hands in front of her.  “It wasn’t!  I just wasn’t prepared; I can talk to her no problem if I’m prepared.  You know the Xiao Long charm works on everyone.”

Ruby nodded at the claim, but Weiss crossed her arms and, even worse, smiled.  “Ok,” she agreed before her gaze flitted to the side.  “Well, she’s heading upstairs now.  Why don’t you ‘prepare’ yourself and go work some of that charm on her?  Unless you’re full of it, of course.”

Yang scoffed at the challenge, but her heart beat abnormally fast when she saw Blake walking upstairs alone.  “I would,” she said, only tearing her eyes away when Blake disappeared from the upstairs landing.  “But I don’t think we’re supposed to go up there, and I don’t want to look like I’m stalking her or something.”

“As opposed to leering from a distance.”

After rolling her eyes, Yang turned to Ruby and jerked a thumb in Weiss’ direction.  “Of all the people you know, you chose her?”

“I think she’s fun!”

Weiss’ eyes widened - that was probably the first time she’d ever been called fun, after all - so Yang rolled her eyes again and looked upstairs.  As much as she hated to admit it, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to share a few words in private with the girl she’d been trying to talk to for forever now.  Besides, the Xiao Long charm just worked on that random boy.  Maybe it wouldn’t abandon her this time, like all of the previous attempts before this.

“You know what, fine.”  Weiss and Ruby quit smiling at each other and turned towards Yang as she took a deep breath and nodded.  “I’ll talk to her,” she added.  “Then you’ll see that I’m not a disaster and I can talk to a girl I like.”

“If you say so…” Weiss muttered while Ruby patted Yang’s shoulder, slightly shoved her towards the stairs, and said, “You can do this!”  With those encouraging words buoying her leaden feet, Yang took another deep breath and raced up the steps two at a time.

Compared to the crowded rooms downstairs, the upper level was dark and lifeless.  The deafening music had no issue making its way up there, of course, and the bass had no problem shaking the walls, but the slightly muted effect meant that Yang heard her heart beating in her ears as she reached the empty hallway and seriously questioned this decision.

Already forming an excuse for being up here alone, she spotted the only open door in the hallway, and noticed someone holding it ajar while reaching inside.  “Looking for the bathroom, looking for the bathroom…” she muttered under her breath as she tentatively inched forward.  Every step coincided with the urge to retreat downstairs, but imagining Weiss’ triumph and Ruby’s pity spurred her onward.

By some miracle, she didn’t run.  Instead, she reached what turned out to be a linen closet and saw Blake reaching for the rolls of paper towels on the top shelf.

“Hey, need some bathroom?” Yang asked, but shook her head when Blake dropped back to her heels and turned around.  “I mean help.  Need some help?”

Yang could have stuffed the entire roll of paper towels in her mouth for the flub.  Fortunately, Blake smiled, sending Yang’s heart rocketing into the stratosphere, and said, “Sure.  If you could?”

“Being tall finally comes in handy,” Yang joked while Blake let go of the door and stepped into the closet, out of Yang’s way.

“Just don’t close the -” Blake began as Yang joined her, only to sigh when the door clicked shut.  “Door.”

“Oh, sorry.”  Yang spun around and tried the handle, then tried again when it didn’t budge.  Grimacing at the new situation, which was admittedly worse than re-introducing herself to someone she already knew, she slowly turned around and nervously chuckled at Blake’s flat expression.  “Ah.  Now I see why you didn’t want me to close it.”  

One of Blake’s brows lifted ever so slightly, so Yang clapped her hands together - too loudly in the enclosed space - and looked around.  Linens and extra toiletries crowded the shelves, including the not-so-innocent paper towels that dragged them into this mess.  A solitary light bulb bathed the small room in bright white light, illuminating just how little space separated them.  She’d only ever been this close to Blake when passing each other in class, which was for the best considering the proximity was scrambling her already-frazzled thoughts.

“Ok, so it’s locked,” she said.  “No problem; we’ll just call someone to let us out!”  When Blake didn’t immediately move, Yang pulled out her phone, clicked the power button, and cringed.  “Uh, any chance your phone’s not dead?” she said while showing Blake the black screen.

“It’s downstairs.”

“Perfect.  Once you get it, you can come back and let me out.”  Finally, Blake cracked a smile, and Yang’s heart soared.  “Anyway, this isn’t bad!  Eventually, my sister will wonder where I am and look for me.”

“She won’t think you just left with someone, like a shirtless blonde?”

In the midst of shaking her head, Yang noticed Blake’s knowing smirk and cringed again.  “What about you?” she asked, waving that subject away.  “Are you here with someone?  They’ll look for you, right?”

“Unlikely, considering he’s showing off his abs to random girls.”

“Ah, boyfriend?”  

“Why would my boyfriend be hitting on other girls?” Blake asked, an amused smile picking up the corners of her mouth when Yang’s eyes widened.

“Oh, uh, because...he’s not a great boyfriend?  In which case, I recommend an upgrade.”  

“Do you?”  Blake smiled and shifted closer, her eyes never leaving Yang’s while Yang’s cheeks warmed.  “Any recommendations?”

“Uh…”  Half of Yang’s brain screamed at her to suggest herself.  The other half was too distracted by how pretty Blake was to properly form words.  “Anyone you want?” she eventually got out.  “No one will turn you down.”

Blake lifted a brow at the response but, right when she opened her mouth, Yang turned away and tried to pace in the miniscule space.  There wasn’t room to properly pace, of course, so she just turned left, then right, then left again.  “Ok, so no one’s coming to get us,” she mused while willing her cheeks to cool down.  “That means we just have to wait until the party’s over, then make a huge ruckus so someone hears us.  That’ll only be a few hours, right?  In the meantime, we’re just...stuck here.”

Five minutes ago, being locked in a closet with Blake would have sounded heavenly.  In reality, the back of Yang’s neck prickled with nerves, her heart beat almost painfully fast, her mind raced even faster, and her mouth felt exceptionally dry.  The expanding silence only made her more uncomfortable.  She needed to say something - anything - to keep things from getting really awkward.

“You have to admit though, this is totally the beginning of a slasher movie.”  She could have smacked herself when Blake’s brow rose, but her mouth just kept moving.  “You know, two young, attractive girls get stuck in a small room, then a serial killer slams a knife through the door and we start screaming.”

Even more horrifying than that hypothetical scenario was the fact that she brought it up at all.   Fortunately, Blake’s surprise quickly morphed into hardly concealed amusement.

“Then we fight them off with feather dusters and spare towels?”

“Exactly.”  Yang nodded and sighed in relief.  “Although, the plunger’s probably the best weapon in here.”

Having already gestured at the least romantic item in the house, Yang smacked her forehead when Blake looked that way.  She forced a smile when Blake turned back to her, as if she actually wanted to talk about plungers while trapped in a closet with a brunette beauty, but internally cursed her charm for failing her again.

“Is that your weapon of choice?” Blake asked, and her subtly delighted smile grew when Yang foolishly nodded.  There was no coming back from this, Yang had just decided when the lightbulb above them flickered, clicked, and then went out.

“This is better...” Blake muttered to herself as they were…plunged…into darkness.  Yang could make out Blake’s silhouette in the light filtering underneath the door, but any details - such as Blake’s surely unamused expression - eluded her.

“At least it’s quieter in here, right?” Yang said, though her heart was more than willing to make up for the muffled club music.  “They always crank up the volume so loud.  Makes it hard to think.”  She thought she saw Blake nod, and possibly hum in agreement, but her mouth kept right on moving.  “If I ever throw a party, I won’t play music at all.  Just imagine all the awkward pauses, like freshman orientation only worse.  Of course if there’s enough alcohol, maybe it wouldn't be so bad.  Or maybe that’d be worse.  Drunk college students at a silent party?  Who knows what they’d do.”

“Do you always talk so much?” Blake eventually asked, and Yang grimaced.

“Uh, only when I’m nervous.”

“Don’t tell me you’re scared of the dark,” Blake replied, her light laughter making Yang’s cheeks warm.

“N-no!  Of course not.”

“Then what’re you nervous about?  Afraid I’m the serial killer?”

Yang chuckled, but that laugh trailed off when Blake’s eyes seemed to flash in the low light.  “Uh, no,” she said instead.  “Pretty sure I would’ve heard about a string of campus murders.”

“Every killer starts somewhere, right?  Wouldn’t you like to be my first?  I promise you’ll enjoy it…”

The low, suggestive tone made Yang’s cheeks burn so hot that they probably glowed.  “U-uh,” she stammered while backing into the shelves behind her, hoping another inch of space cooled her warming skin.  “I guess…if you think I’ll enjoy it, then…maybe it wouldn't be so bad.”

She was pretty sure she just agreed to let someone kill her, which should be alarming in most situations, but her heart soared when Blake laughed.  “Everyone thinks you’re so charming,” Blake added while inching closer, erasing the negligible space between them.  “But you’re actually just plain cute.”

As Blake’s warmth brushed across Yang’s skin, Yang blushed harder than she ever had in her life.  “I can be charming sometimes…” she muttered towards the floor, silently wishing that that charm didn’t disappear every time Blake was near.  Even worse, the closer Blake was, the less charm or general ability to function Yang possessed.

“I have an idea,” Blake added before Yang even attempted a response.  “Why don’t we play a game?  I’ll hand you something; you close your eyes and guess what it is.”

Considering the alternative was trying to appropriately respond to being called cute, an impossibility in Yang’s current state, she nodded and said, “Sure.  I’m down.”  Closing her eyes seemed pointless in the dark closet, but she obliged and held out both hands.  Blake rustled around the shelves for several seconds, at one point moving so close that Yang’s breath caught in her throat, before setting something soft and light in one of Yang’s hands.

Before spitting out the first response that came to mind - speaking without thinking wasn’t working for her right now - Yang felt out the size and slightly rough texture of the small piece of cloth.  “A washcloth,” she said once confident in the answer.  “Hopefully, a clean one.”

“Hopefully,” Blake replied before taking the washcloth and rummaging around for something else.  Several seconds later, something heavier and plastic landed in Yang’s palm.

“Shampoo or conditioner.”

“Which one?”

Even though Yang couldn't see Blake’s smile, hearing it was enough incentive to play along.  Considering she couldn't read the label for the answer, she popped open the cap and lifted the bottle to her nose.  “Clearly a girl’s,” she added when a strong floral scent permeated the closet.  She then squeezed some onto her fingers and rubbed it around.  “Definitely shampoo.”  

“I’ll take your word for it,” Blake joked while taking the bottle and returning it to the shelf.  Yang, meanwhile, made a face at the soapy substance on her hand.  

“Uh, think I can have that washcloth again?”

“Got your fingers sticky already?” Blake teased while handing Yang the washcloth.  Yang froze at the suggestive remark, which was something she would have said if she was capable of saying anything, then slowly wiped off her hand and nervously chuckled.

“You know, in class you seem a little more…reserved.”

“Are you disappointed?”

“N-no!” Yang quickly added.  “Definitely not.  Just…surprised.”

“That makes two of us.”  Once Yang had cleaned the shampoo off her hand, Blake took the washcloth and tossed it onto a shelf.  “Is this how you imagined your night going?”

“No,” Yang admitted.  “But I can’t complain.”

“Better than fighting off a serial killer with a plunger?”

A somewhat-witty response flitted within Yang’s grasp, but words left her when a soft, warm hand covered her own.

“…please tell me that’s your hand and not someone else’s.”

“I actually just found it on one of the shelves.”  Yang instinctively jerked away, so Blake laughed.  “I’m kidding,” she said while retaking Yang’s hand.  “I didn’t realize you’d be such a scaredy-cat.  But I guess it’s hard to get to know someone through observation alone…” 

“Yeah, that’s…”  Yang’s focus drifted when Blake’s fingers intertwined with her own and gently squeezed.  “That’s -” she tried again, but the sentence disappeared when Blake lifted Yang’s hand to her hair.  

Those raven locks were even softer than Yang had imagined.  Without light to see by, every corner of her mind zeroed in on how it curled and fell around her fingers.  The moment was torn straight from Yang’s daydreams, complete with her heart racing, her skin tingling, and Blake faintly leaning into the touch.  

“Any guesses?” Blake asked, snapping Yang away from spiraling fantasies.

“Your, uh, your hair,” she answered, tenderly pulling away and blushing bright red.  “It’s nice,” she added for seemingly no reason other than to embarrass herself further.

Blake hummed before refinding Yang’s hand in the dark and, as Yang’s heartbeat spiked to dangerous levels, lifted it to her cheek.  Yang hardly processed the warm, smooth skin under her palm before Blake moved her hand lower.  

As soon as Yang felt Blake’s lips underneath her fingertips, her pulse reached a level that might make her pass out.  Then Blake parted her lips and took one of Yang’s fingers into her mouth.

“U-uh…” 

Yang’s mind stopped working altogether when Blake’s warm, wet tongue slid across her finger.  Then those inviting, beautiful lips, which she’d spent far too long daydreaming about, wrapped around her finger and sucked.  

Yang wished she could see it - oh, how she wished she could see it - but all she could do was stare in the darkness and start squirming when her body strongly reacted to the sensation.  By the time Blake pulled away, releasing Yang’s finger with a sinfully arousing pop, Yang felt too breathless to do anything but stand there like a statue. 

“Do you need a hint?” Blake eventually asked.

“Please,” Yang said, struggling to stay still when every fiber of her being wanted to pull Blake closer.

“Ok,” Blake said, her amusement returning as she stepped forward and trailed a hand down Yang’s side.  “Every day, you walk into class looking gorgeous.  I smile and blatantly check you out; you blush and do that adorable little wave before hurrying to the back of the room.  Now we’re stuck here, so you can’t just run away, and you’re even cuter than I imagined, and that makes me really, really want to kiss you.”

“That seems fair,” Yang whispered, and Blake laughed while weaving her fingers through Yang’s hair, sending a shiver down Yang’s spine.

“I think that seems fair too,” Blake agreed before backing Yang into the shelves while pressing against her.  One of Blake’s hands settled on her hip, the other on her shoulder, but Blake stopped here and asked, “You know what to do now, don’t you?”

“God, I hope so…” Yang sighed.  Feeling Blake raise herself on her tiptoes, Yang leaned in and met her halfway, their lips perfectly finding each other in the dark.

For a moment, Yang felt Blake’s smile, but that disappeared as soon as it became obvious that Yang could at least do one thing without making a fool of herself.  Blake’s arms wrapped around her neck, one hand grasping at Yang’s hair while simultaneously refusing to let her get away.  

There was nowhere for her to go even if she wanted, and she definitely didn’t want to leave.  Instead, her hands gripped Blake’s hips and pulled Blake into her.  The horizontal wood shelves dug into her back and legs, but the discomfort hardly registered when she was so enraptured by keeping up with Blake’s hungry kisses.  

The pounding bass from downstairs, the cramped space, the darkness - all had seemed like inconveniences until then.  Now, they spurred Yang on, encouraging her to take as much as Blake was willing to give.  As their lips parted, the kiss seamlessly deepened, and the closet heated up in tandem, Yang sensed no hesitation from Blake.

Just as Yang wondered where Blake’s boundaries were - because she’d yet to meet any resistance - light and music flooded their once-private closet.  The two of them pulled apart - their lips separated, at least - and Yang squinted into the hall.  

Standing there, one hand still on the door, was Weiss.  Behind her, a surprised-yet-ecstatic Ruby flashed an enthusiastic thumbs up.  “There you are,” Weiss said, smirking at Yang before turning to Blake. “Was that long enough?”

“Maybe another half hour?” Blake replied, and Yang’s brow rose when Weiss nodded.

“Wait.”  With Blake’s arms still wrapped around her neck, Yang motioned between Blake and Weiss.  “You know each other?”  

The look they shared answered that question, but Blake released her hold of Yang in favor of twirling a finger through her hair.  “We might have a class together,” she admitted, working her magic on Yang’s thoughts once again.  “And let’s just say we...bonded over mutual interests.”

“Or frustrations,” Weiss huffed before smiling at Ruby.  “Why don’t you tell me more about your projects while they...finish that.”

Blind to the implication, Ruby beamed at Weiss - literally making her blush before everyone’s eyes - before grinning at Yang.  “See you later then!” she said, adding a wave before taking Weiss’ hand and leading them back downstairs.

“Uh -” Yang got out before Blake pulled the door shut, plunging them back into darkness.  “Wait,” she added while Blake’s arms wrapped around her neck.  “What just happened?”

“You’re a little oblivious sometimes, aren’t you?” Blake teased as her fingers curled into Yang’s hair and tugged ever-so-pleasantly.  “I got Weiss the cute lab partner she wanted.  She helped me get a minute alone with you in return.”

Question after question flitted through Yang’s mind, but none of them made it into existence.  She licked her lips instead and cleared her throat while lightly returning her hands to Blake’s waist.  “Is the door still locked?” she eventually asked, and smiled when Blake’s laughter filled the small closet.

“Of course.  Now…where were we?”