Blake came to Beacon with no expectation other than escaping her previous life. Other than that primary driver, she had no idea what to expect from her new home. Would she be behind the other students? What did the curriculum look like? What types of people would she be surrounded by? Would it be worth the time? Would it help erase her past?
After the battle with the Nevermore - and the entire selection process, really - she determined that Beacon's training methods were...unorthodox. Most schools shied away from throwing unskilled and unprepared fighters into a forest full of Grimm - at least, she liked to think so.
But Beacon's methods served a purpose. The new arrivals now had partners, teammates, and a good idea of what they were in for - meaning that they had no idea what they were in for. Today was no exception.
They were supposed to start regular classes today. Instead, they were split off with their partners and shoved into small rooms containing nothing but two folding chairs, two bottles of water, and two pieces of paper with their names at the top. No instructions, no time limit - just two relative strangers locked in a room together.
"So...what're we supposed to do?"
Sighing at the question, Blake watched Yang fold and unfold her hands, looking just as uncomfortable and restless as Blake internally felt.
At least Yang seemed friendly and agreeable - definitely better than some of the other options in the incoming class of huntsmen. In the forest, Blake avoided the more obnoxious students like the plague, knowing that being paired with someone holding an ounce of Faunus hate would have her on the next ship out of Beacon.
But Yang was...different.
"I guess we go through these questions," Blake answered, gesturing towards the papers they held in their hands.
Dozens of 'get to know you' questions were printed on the page, which they'd already determined were the same for each of them. Likes, dislikes, fighting styles, school history - the types of questions Blake loathed answering on a normal day, much less to a stranger. Even though Yang seemed like a nice person, Blake was a long way from giving out some of this information.
"Ok, I'll go first!"
Leaning back in her chair, Yang gave Blake an easy smile while turning the paper around and pointing to her name at the top. "I'm Yang," she began, her smile growing when Blake unwittingly smiled at the joke.
"Blake," she answered, playing along with the idea that they hadn't already met and taken down several Grimm together.
"Nice to meet you, Blake!" Yang replied, before glancing at the paper in her hands and reading the next question. "Uh, I grew up in Patch with my dad and sister - I think you've met her. She wears a lot of red, talks super fast, and has a weapon bigger than she is?"
After playfully considering the description, Blake nodded.
Again, Yang's smile grew at Blake's participation - displaying a genuine appreciation for Blake's willingness to play along with this little charade.
But now it was Blake's turn to respond, and she looked at the page while thinking through her options.
How much did she want to reveal about herself right now? Honestly, nothing. She didn't trust strangers.
Even though Yang wasn't a complete stranger, she was still an unknown. And even the people you thought you knew best could find ways to surprise you...
Yet Blake stared at the page while words stuck to the tip of her tongue. For whatever reason, she didn't want to outright lie to Yang. Maybe because Yang seemed so honest and genuine. Maybe because Yang felt...safe - which was the most dangerous trait to believe in.
Blake didn't want to lie, but she didn't want to be honest…
In the midst of her deliberation, she felt rather than saw Yang stand up - and the next second jumped out of her seat when a fist whizzed past her left ear.
"What are you doing?" she asked from her new position on the opposite side of Yang, her heart pounding while Yang chuckled and crumpled her sheet of paper into a ball.
"I figured you'd be quick!" Yang said, tossing the balled paper towards Blake - who calmly stepped out of its path and frowned.
"So you tried to punch me to prove yourself right?"
Again, Yang laughed. The sound brought out a strange feeling for Blake - part happiness, part amusement, and part annoyance. What if she hadn't gotten out of the way in time? A blow with that much power probably would've knocked her out or given her a serious concussion.
But maybe Yang never intended to land the blow - maybe she aimed to miss, knowing that Blake would react to the perceived attack in time.
From Yang's grin, Blake somehow believed the latter to be true.
"Icebreakers are boring," Yang explained, raising both fists and rolling to the balls of her feet. "Let's dance."
"Dance? But there's no -"
Blake didn't have time to finish the sentence, as Yang flew towards her with surprising speed and agility. Another fist shot past Blake's ear when she spun around the attack just in time - again ending up opposite Yang.
Now Blake understood that Yang didn't mean actual dancing - she meant fighting. She wanted to fight in this tiny room when they were supposed to be getting to know each other.
Maybe Blake miscalculated her choice of partner. Maybe Yang's friendly demeanor masked a serious flaw?
Another fist sped towards her, and Blake again spun around the attack - but this time somehow ended up spinning directly into Yang. As arms locked around her - a stronger grip than anything she'd felt before - Blake squirmed and only felt vice grow tighter.
"Learned that in a bar fight," Yang said in Blake's ear, not sounding at all affected by the effort of holding Blake in place. "Guy tried to knife me."
The response sounded like a clear lie, so Blake huffed in disbelief. She could imagine Yang in a bar - but partying the night away, not getting into fights. But disbelief wasn't going to get her out of this vice grip - ingenuity was.
Briefly ending her struggles, Blake turned her head towards Yang - finding lilac eyes that somehow maintained their warmth regardless of this circumstance.
"Really?" Blake asked, making sure to sound as interested as possible.
"Yeah!" As suspected, Yang was more excited to spin her tale than fight, and her arms loosened ever so slightly. "He thought he could -"
A breath of air suddenly passed Yang's lips when Blake landed an elbow in her side and broke away from the hold. Moving across the room so the two chairs separated them, Blake felt a smug smile pull at her lips.
Yang thought it was fun to spin tales? Blake could spin tales too - the real kind.
"Learned that from a statesman's personal bodyguard," she explained. "He thought he got the drop on me - arrogance never pays off."
As expected, Yang laughed - taking the answer as a joke. But the battle didn't end there. The next second, Yang planted a foot on one of the folding chairs and jumped - leaping towards Blake in a frontal attack.
It was the most blatant and easily-avoidable attack, which was why Blake jolted in surprise when she rolled out of the way and suddenly found herself staring at the back of the second folding chair.
Somehow, Yang grabbed the chair mid-leap and would have leveled Blake with it if this hadn't been a 'friendly' fight. Instead, Yang left it in Blake's path as a clear mark of another 'win.'
"Crashed a wedding trying to find someone," Yang answered, grinning proudly while setting the chair on the floor and backing several paces away. "Learned these chairs are pretty versatile. Except they break after one or two uses."
Rolling back to her toes, Yang bobbed in place while waiting for Blake's next move - all with that smile set in place.
"Fighting at a wedding?" Blake asked, surprised that that's the story Yang decided to go with.
"Mob wedding," Yang explained with a shrug. "Couldn't be helped."
The elaboration made Blake laugh, both enjoying and still surprised by the situation. It seemed to have no purpose other than passing the time, but it was better than going through the questions on that paper.
"I find it hard to picture you getting involved with the mob," Blake replied, running her ribbon through her fingers while pinpointing a means of attack.
"There's probably a lot of things you can't picture me getting involved with," Yang responded with a wink before waving Blake forward. "Come on - I'll show you."
Again, Blake smiled and shook her head - finding it impossible to be annoyed by Yang's banter.
"What did I say about arrogance?"
"Uh...do it?" Yang joked.
Blake hardly managed to shake her head before Yang pounced on her opportunity - or what she thought was her opportunity. Leading with her foot in a textbook roundhouse kick, Yang gave Blake the perfect window to duck and wrap a ribbon around her other foot. One good pull and she crashed to the floor.
Blake didn't approach, however, knowing better than to grapple with Yang in close quarters. Instead, she smirked while Yang easily spun herself back to her feet.
"Learned that infiltrating a maximum security building," she said, hearing a verge of pride in her tone.
"Maximum security, huh?" Yang asked, rubbing her side before raising her fists again. "Whatcha stealing?"
"Wouldn't you like to know," Blake teased in return. She felt bad about hitting Yang, but it looked like the girl was a glutton for punishment - confirming Blake's suspicion that Yang was actually a tank.
"I'm guessing Dust."
It was supposed to be a 'lie,' but the guess made Blake's ears straighten in surprise as she went flatfooted.
"Dust's the only thing worth stealing these days," Yang answered with a smile that contained not one ounce of judgement. "Guess the only question is - were you working alone?"
For a long time, Blake just stared - unsure how to respond to that question. It was a 'joke,' so she could say anything - anything would make the moment fall behind them. Instead, she froze - worried that Yang could see right through the bow tied around her ears.
"Bet you were working with some reconfigured trash compactors," Yang finally added with a chuckle. "I've heard those things are deadly, if you have them at your disposal."
Letting out a surprised laugh at the horrible joke, Blake shook her head and glanced to the side when the door opened. One of their professors, a stern-looking woman with glasses and a perpetual frown, strode inside and immediately found them.
"That's all for today," the woman said, her eyes scanning the chairs strewn across the room. "I hope you two feel more acquainted now."
When Blake caught Yang's eye, Yang smiled and nodded.
"Yeah, those questions totally worked! I feel like we know each other a lot better now."
When their professor looked in Blake's direction, she smiled and nodded in agreement with Yang's response. Accepting their answer, the woman gave one nod before turning on her heel to leave the room.
"Good. Real lessons begin tomorrow - come prepared."
Without another word, their professor left them behind - likely to release the rest of the partners from their forced icebreakers. After sharing another glance, Yang shrugged and pushed the chairs back into place.
"Guess we're done then," Blake said while Yang put the room back just how they'd found it.
"Yeah, guess so." Dusting off her hands, Yang smiled at Blake and nodded towards the door. Taking the silent cue that it was time to leave, Blake willingly followed Yang into the hall so they could make their way back to the dorms.
Blake's mind was still reeling from the 'class' they'd just shared and the masked disclosures she'd made. Fortunately, it felt like Yang had already written off the entire episode and was content to move on to whatever came next.
"Hey, maybe sometime we can dance for real."
"The last time I danced was with my dad - I was five," Blake replied - her way of saying it was unlikely she'd be dancing again anytime soon. But when the answer made Yang laugh, Blake turned towards her in confusion.
"Nothing -" Shaking her head, Yang stopped her laughter and put on a straight face. "It's just - you didn't even pause before answering that question."
Yang kept walking down the hall, but Blake stopped - realizing that Yang was right.
She hadn't paused. She hadn't thought anything of revealing that personal information - about her childhood, no less. She just answered. She just...trusted Yang with that information.
From her spot up ahead, Yang looked over her shoulder and smiled - another kind, accepting smile that seemed too transparent to be fake. Feeling another smile appear, Blake hurried to catch up, ready to walk back to their dorm together.
Surprisingly, she did know Yang better than when they'd been forced into that room. Yang wasn't only kind and genuine - those were just surface traits. She was also insightful and intuitive. Somehow, she knew Blake didn't want to answer those questions, so figured out a different way for them to break the ice - with a dance. It was unexpected and unorthodox, but that seemed to be Beacon as a whole.
Contrary to Blake's initial hesitations, she might really like it here - and maybe, just maybe, she'd found someone she could trust. That didn't mean she had to trust Yang fully, but she needed to trust Yang a little bit.
Maybe she already did trust Yang a little bit...