A New Perspective

Yang woke with the scattered fragments of her dream already falling apart. Bleary, she sat up and pushed sleep-tangled hair out of her face. What time was it? The massive window taking up the wall to her right was dark. Weak moonlight made it through the Atlesian lights.

Rubbing one eye, she felt under her pillow until she found her scroll. The display clock nearly blinded her, but when she squinted through the glare, she caught the time: two in the morning.


Was it worth trying to go back to sleep? She was exhausted from training, but her brain felt too keyed-up to listen to reason. She couldn't just lie here, though. Heaving a quiet sigh, she swung her legs over the side of her weird cubby-like bunk and dropped to the floor. The blue and gray stone was cold against her bare feet as she padded to the door. A walk would probably do the trick, right?

The door clicked when she eased it open. She glanced back at the beds to make sure she hadn't woken anyone up. Weiss stirred but settled, and Ruby was as dead to the world as always. Blake was…not in her bed.

Yang blinked, rubbed her other eye, and looked again. Yep, empty. This made the second time this week, but who knew how many times Yang had just slept through Blake's disappearances. The last time, she'd just taken her walk and come back to sleep, and Blake had been back in bed when she woke up in the morning.

As she stepped into the hallway, she resolved to actually look for her partner. Clearly, something was wrong. So, if she was a restless cat faunus who was probably stressing about something, where would she go?

Well, she hadn't seen Blake in any of these ornate, vaulted halls when she wandered the last time. She doubted Blake would want to talk to anyone else meandering through the halls this late, so that ruled out the cafeteria or any other common space. Training was out of the question; Blake's weapon had still been leaning against the wall. Although…her coat and boots had been missing.

The roof, then.

Her guess had been right: as the door to the roof swung shut behind her, Yang picked out Blake's silhouette resting against the railing. She took a single step and then shivered. Pajamas were not Atlesian winter wear. Rubbing her arms and regretting that she hadn't grabbed her own jacket and boots, she joined Blake at the edge of the roof.

Blake had left her coat unzipped, and there were faint circles under her eyes. Her hair was in as much disarray as Yang's despite being shorter, and as the wind blew, it got thrown across her face. Her ears, the biggest tells she had, were curled in a way that Yang knew meant she was worried about something.

"You okay?" Yang asked, ignoring how her breath frosted. Some shivering never killed anyone.

"I could ask you that," Blake replied.

"Nope, I asked first."

Her smile was as fleeting as they came. She leaned harder on the railing, her gaze focused somewhere beyond the twinkling city lights as her brow furrowed. "I…had another nightmare about Adam."

This time, when Yang shivered, it wasn't entirely about being cold.

Blake kept going, ears going even flatter against her head. "I mean, we never even checked for a body. What if he—"

"Hey, hey." Yang slung an arm around Blake's shoulders and pulled her close, partially to comfort her and partially because she was the warmest thing around. She hoped her partner didn't mind the chill of her metal arm; though the joint connecting it to Yang's flesh and bone was heated, the remainder was not. "We both saw him fall. He's gone. Gone gone."

She needed to believe that as much as Blake did. Even if she wasn't as prone to late-night wanderings through the Atlesian halls as Blake, Yang wasn't exactly sleeping soundly of late. It didn't matter that she logically knew he was dead; her stupid brain couldn't let it go that easily.

Blake's ears were still flattened. Yang pursed her lips, then tried a new strategy. "I've got the perfect distraction."

Blake raised an eyebrow.

"How about this: after we're done here, I'll take you on a tour of Patch. You can even meet my dad!"

Too late, she realized how that sounded. Blake's wide eyes only added fuel to the blush staining her cheeks. Yang stumbled through her recovery, taking her arm from Blake's shoulders and waving her hands. "I-I mean, as a native, I'm the best one to show you around, right? Plus the house is a free place to stay. And it's a really nice island, the ferry from Vale's cheap, too, and in the Fall there's really no beating it but even if we're not there at the perfect time it's still super—"

Blake's cold hand on her cheek stopped her rambling in its tracks. A smile played at the corners of Blake's mouth.

"I'd like that," she said.

The first chapter of the sequel, Odds of Survival, has been posted!