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Yang isn't really doing anything when Blake comes in.

There are certainly things she should be doing: a worksheet for her Dust theory class, an essay for her class on the history of Huntsman, a whole lot of reading. She is simply choosing to ignore all of it, instead half-trying to sleep and half-listening to the music in her headphones, splayed out across a bunk. Not necessarily her bunk, just the nearest and most stable top bunk. She’s been feeling a little off lately, and she’d figured maybe a few hours by herself, relaxing while everyone else is out of the room, might help.

It hasn’t helped so far, and now, as Blake pushes open the door and comes into the room with a sigh, Yang’s much-coveted alone time is coming to an end.

Without sitting up in the slightest, Yang raises a hand and waves vaguely in Blake’s direction. In her peripheral vision, she sees Blake hesitate for a moment before waving back. Yang is ready to roll over, stare at the wall, and dedicate a little more energy to trying to sleep when Blake reaches up and takes her ribbon off.

It’s not entirely unprecedented, of course. Blake takes her ribbon off at night these days. Yang has seen her ears before, plenty of times. Only, she’s never just taken it off in the middle of the day before. As Yang watches, Blake’s ears flick, rotating—stretching them out, Yang realizes, and then considers how uncomfortable it must be to have them tied up all day.

Yang turns onto her side, facing into the room, and slips off one side of her headphones. Blake tosses her ribbon onto her desk and sets her book bag in her chair, reaching up and running a hand through her hair with another sigh. She kicks her shoes off under the desk and starts to dig through her bag. Yang—Yang just watches.

Blake is really, really pretty. She looks tired right now, circles under her eyes dark and heavy, but that makes Yang want to hug her more than anything. Mostly, she’s just pretty. Her jaw is sharp beneath brown skin. The lights in the room are off, and the afternoon sunlight from the window brings out the gold in her eyes, reflecting from across the room. Her sleeves are rolled halfway up to her elbows, and her forearms flex with the way she’s digging through her book bag, wiry muscle standing out against the white fabric of her shirt.

Yang has noticed all of these things before, is the thing. She is, notably, very gay. She had noticed that Blake was pretty on their first night at Beacon, noticed it again and even more clearly in the Emerald Forest, has probably noticed it every single day since then. But there’s something different today, now that Yang is finally taking the time to really look. Blake has her ribbon off. She hasn’t glanced up at Yang since she came into the room. She’s…

She looks comfortable. Yang thinks that’s the difference. Blake isn’t relaxed—Yang doubts she’s ever relaxed in her entire life—but she’s comfortable, and she never has been before. She hasn’t looked back and caught Yang’s definitely-staring-at-this-point gaze. She isn’t flattening her ears against her head, trying to hide them away the way she does sometimes after her ribbon is off and before they turn the lights off to sleep. She’s comfortable, in their room, in front of Yang’s eyes, as herself.

Blake finds what she’s looking for—some book, definitely not for class—and straightens up from her bag. As she looks up, her eyes meet Yang’s. Before she says a word, Yang can feel her cheeks start to turn pink.

“Hi,” Blake says, raising an eyebrow. Yang swallows hard. Her face is burning.

“Hi,” she says back, sounding totally normal. Blake smirks at her, amused. Yang rolls onto her back and carefully returns her gaze to the ceiling. “You don’t usually take your bow off,” she says. There’s a moment of quiet.

“Is that okay?” Blake asks. Yang jolts up onto her elbows, staring at Blake.

“Yeah!” she says. “Yeah, of course. Of course. I didn’t mean it wasn’t.” Blake nods, but her relaxed expression has faded, eyebrows drawing together in a frown. “I was just, um, you’re really pretty without it. That’s all.” Blake blinks at her. “Not that you weren’t pretty before! Uh…”

“Quit while you’re ahead, Yang,” Blake says softly. There’s the smallest of smiles on her face.

“You got it,” Yang mutters. She looks at Blake for a moment longer. Blake holds her gaze, unafraid. Yang realizes that she’s developing a problem, here.

She likes Blake. She really, really likes her.

Blake is the first one to break eye contact, picking up her bag and moving it to the floor. She settles into her desk chair, opening her book, and Yang lies back down, removing Blake from her line of sight. She still feels off, but it’s starting to feel kind of nice.