"Do you wanna try that new place tonight? The one across from the airship station?"
"Depends...do they have any seafood?"
"Uh, I dunno." For a split second, it looked like Yang might actually look up the menu on her scroll, but then she did what she did best - shrugged and laughed. "If they don't, we'll go down to the harbor and I'll catch you a fish myself!"
The response made Blake laugh - the uncharacteristic sound drawing Yang's eyes and a blinding grin.
"Sounds like a good deal," Blake answered, meeting Yang's gaze as they walked side-by-side through the hall.
"Yeah? Then we have a...a date?"
At the question, Blake shot the quickest glance Ruby's way before nodding.
"Great! Let's go later then?"
When Blake nodded - again after a quick look Ruby's way - Yang grinned and swung her arms as they headed out of the practice rooms. Ruby, meanwhile, felt her brow furrow as she looked between her teammates.
Blake and Yang had become more of an 'item' recently, which meant they were glued to each other's hips at all times. Ruby didn't mind the constant interaction, and she loved that Yang was so happy, but it had made things a little...awkward? And she didn't know why!
"We're going to return these!" Yang called out behind her, easily raising the heavy practice dummy in one hand. "Meet you at the room!"
While Blake and Yang split off to the equipment room, Ruby watched them go while continuing towards the dorms with Weiss.
"They sure like spending time together, don't they?" Weiss commented as they walked across Beacon's grounds.
Ruby's mind kept coming back to how happy Yang was, so this was a good thing. But she hadn't talked to Blake about it yet, so it had become this weird, kind of uncomfortable subject between them. They used to laugh and joke about Yang all the time (mostly at Yang's expense), but now Blake remained tight-lipped - like she didn't want to accidentally say the wrong thing. But what could possibly be the wrong thing?
Whatever Blake's reason was, it made things awkward. So, not only was Ruby concerned for Yang's happiness, but she wanted her friend back!
"Hey Weiss?" she asked as they approached the tall building that served as their temporary home.
"Think you could get Yang out of the room for a few minutes when they get back?"
As soon as Ruby made the request, Weiss looked at her - for a brief moment in surprise, but it wasn't long until realization dawned.
"You're finally going to talk to her?"
"I'm going to try…" Ruby answered before realizing something important - mainly, that she'd never mentioned this nagging feeling to Weiss. "Wait, how do you know?"
"You've been staring at them for the past few weeks. It was either you wanted to talk to Blake, or you're in love with one of them - or both of them."
When Ruby's eyes widened at the suggestion, Weiss laughed and shook her head.
"But yes, I can distract Yang so you two can talk - grimm knows you both need it."
Ruby hadn't realized she was being so obvious, but she still grinned at Weiss' willing participation in this impromptu plan.
"Thanks, Weiss!" she said, skipping into their dorm room and tossing Crescent Rose onto the ground.
"Don't mention it."
While Weiss stored Myrtenaster and picked up Crescent Rose to carefully lean against the wall, Ruby hopped onto her bed and used the next few minutes to think of what she wanted to say. Which was...a really great question. What did she want to say? What was her ultimate goal? Besides fulfilling her duty as a little sister?
Unfortunately, answers were few and far between today. By the time Yang and Blake walked into the room - still chatting amongst themselves - Ruby had figured out exactly nothing in terms of how to have this conversation. She knew it had to happen, but...she wasn't exactly a wizard with words, ya know? That was Yang. Yang could have this conversation, no problem. Although Yang would probably threaten violence or something...
Maybe Ruby should hold Crescent Rose? But Blake was really hard to scare...contrary to the 'scaredy-cat' term.
"Hey Yang?" Weiss asked - way before Ruby was ready. "Can you come with me to turn in these assignments? I think at least one partner needs to be there."
Holding up the stacks of paper they'd finished up last night, Weiss smiled when Yang nodded and reached out for the forms.
"Sure!" she said before smiling at Blake. "We'll leave when I get back?"
With that answer, Yang happily grabbed her and Blake's copies of the assignment and followed Weiss out of the room. While closing the door, Weiss winked at Ruby for...encouragement, most likely.
Which Ruby needed. Because as soon as the door closed, the most uncomfortable silence took over the room...
Maybe it wasn't that uncomfortable, but it was pretty uncomfortable for her. It was like...there was this giant topic they both refused to talk about.
Until now! Because right now, at this very moment, they were going to have…'the talk.'
(Ruby was pretty sure it was called 'the talk,' but she'd confirm with Weiss later.)
"Hey Blake?" she asked, jumping down from her bed and immediately regretting the decision. Standing in the center of the room, she felt about a billion times more awkward. But Blake looked cool as a cucumber as she turned around from her dresser.
As soon as those amber eyes landed on her, Ruby felt her resolve run away. She tried to catch it, but most of it was gone in a heartbeat. Something about Blake's eyes...it always felt like she was reading your thoughts...
"I was hoping we could...talk," Ruby pressed forward, silently congratulating herself for making it this far. Apparently, she cared about Yang's happiness more than she thought!
"Sure." Leaning against one of the bed posts, Blake gave Ruby a small smile. "What do you want to talk about?"
"It's - I just...I want to talk about Yang." When Ruby mustered out the words, Blake's ears twitched - probably in surprise, maybe in annoyance - it was hard to tell sometimes. "And, you know, like...your relationship."
"Our...do you - really?"
The surprise in Blake's tone was reassuring because it meant she actually couldn't read Ruby's thoughts.
"Yes," Ruby answered, praying she wasn't messing this up. "I wanted to talk about Yang and your...intentions with her."
For a split second, it looked like Blake wanted to laugh, but when Ruby didn't giggle or smile, her expression turned serious.
"Oh - ok, sure. Of course." Suddenly looking like she didn't know what to do with her arms, Blake folded them across her chest before unfolding them and clasping her hands together. "What do you want to know?"
This was it - the huge elephant in the room that neither of them talked about. Ruby'd just pointed to it and said, 'Hey, look at that elephant!' Of course, she did that while having no idea what to say next, but the best plans were made on the fly!
(Weiss never agreed with that, but she'd see the light one day.)
"Uh, well, like - so I saw this show once," Ruby said, doing what she did best in times of stress - rambling. "It was about this different culture in like...Vacuo or something. I actually think it was supposed to be in the future? Anyway, part of the show was how people couldn't get married unless they proved themselves to their wife or husband's family."
When Blake's ears flicked in surprise, Ruby hurried onward - having no idea if that was a good or bad sign.
"I dunno why, but that's just how it was - in the show, at least. I remember one guy really wanted to marry this girl, so he like...learned all these crazy fighting moves and kicked a bunch of butt. And then this other guy - he was like, from super wealthy family - and he gave all his money away to prove he loved this girl."
"Wait -" Blake cut in, finally stopping what might've become an episode-by-episode review of the entire series. "Are you saying that you want me to beat up a bunch of people? To prove that I - to prove my feelings for Yang?"
"What?" Briefly confused about how Blake had drawn that conclusion, Ruby shook her head and waved her hands. "No! Of course not! I guess - uh, well, I just...I love seeing Yang happy, and I know you're the one making her happy, but like...I don't want her to get hurt. She's really important to me."
That seemed like the best thing to say because it was the truth. And, after looking at Ruby for a long time, Blake relaxed into a smile and nodded.
"She's really important to me, too," she said. "If you're asking me how much I care about her...it's...it's a lot, Ruby. And I have no plans of hurting her - that's the last thing I ever want to do. She deserves to be happy."
Satisfied with that answer, Ruby giggled - feeling incredibly relieved that she finally heard the words from Blake directly.
"Good!" she said, nodding all the while. "And like, I also don't want you to think you can't talk to me! I miss when we'd like...joke about her and stuff. I know she's my sister 'n all, but you're my friend. I miss...I just miss talking to you."
Raising both hands in an imploring gesture, Ruby felt a wave of happiness wash over her when Blake smiled - not at all upset or embarrassed about the conversation Ruby'd dreaded for a long time now.
"I'm sorry," Blake replied instead, her ears broadcasting the apology as much as her words did. "That's my fault. I was really self-conscious about what I might say because I didn't want to make you...uncomfortable."
"I won't be uncomfortable!" When Blake raised a brow in disbelief, Ruby backpedaled from the claim. "I mean, as long as you don't give me like...super personal details, I won't be."
"Deal," Blake replied with a smile that made Ruby beam. "Those will go to Weiss then."
Spotting the familiar playful smirk, Ruby groaned and gave Blake's shoulder a light push away from her.
"As long as Weiss doesn't tell me!"
After both of them chuckled, a few seconds of silence fell over them - this silence being much more comfortable than the last.
"Thanks for talking to me," Blake finally said.
"Of course! Oh! And now we can say we've had 'the talk!'"
The thought made Ruby bounce with happiness, but Blake's face fell in confusion.
Before Ruby could explain what 'the talk' meant, the door opened and the other half of their team walked back in.
"Done!" Yang proclaimed before extending one hand and smiling when Blake reached out to take it. "Ready to go?"
Ruby smiled at the happy couple as they headed for the door, but Blake suddenly stopped and let go of Yang's hand.
"Hold on," she said, rushing to the side of the room and quickly rummaging for something in her luggage. After finding what she was searching for - an old notebook - she stood up and handed it to Ruby.
"Proof," she whispered before backing away with a smile, allowing Yang to take her hand again and lead her out of the room.
As soon as the door closed, Ruby looked at the notebook and found that it was...just a plain classroom notebook. It looked vaguely familiar - like maybe she'd seen Blake use it for class before.
Flipping it open, Ruby discovered that it was full of notes. But, when she looked closer, she spotted something else scribbled, scrawled, and meticulously printed in the margins of every page. There were little sketches of Yang - sketches of Ember Celica - jokes that were most definitely Yang's crappy puns - names of shows Yang loved - Yang's birthday - a list of gift ideas - direct quotes - and more.
The entire notebook was basically an encyclopedia of Yang information cleverly hidden amongst class notes.
"How'd it go?" Weiss asked, drawing Ruby's attention away from a page towards the back of the book - where Yang's name was written within a little heart.
"It went -" Glancing at the page one more time, Ruby grinned and flipped it shut. "It went really well! She really likes Yang."
Weiss huffed at the comment and walked over to the desk. "I could've told you that…" she muttered while pulling out her own notebooks to start on homework.
As Weiss did that, Ruby glanced again at the notebook in her hands.
Maybe it wasn't beating a bunch of dudes up or giving away a life's fortune, but it was proof that Blake's feelings were real.
Plus, Blake was kind of a teenager! Look at her name and Yang's written in the same heart together!