In dreams we trust
Cover Art: Curbizzle
The school dance came a night early – which was how Jaune knew it was someone's dream. The fact that the night sky was completely black outside helped there, but he'd started to get good at noticing when he was and wasn't in a dream of late, and he wondered if it was something instinctual in his Semblance. An alertness. It would have been handy if that feeling extended to telling him whose dreams he was in, but he'd take what he could get. Also, it was fairly obvious when he appeared outside Team RWBY's dorm in a crisp suit and with a frankly oversized bouquet of flowers in hand.
He'd already been in the dreams of every member of Team RWBY once before but he supposed there was no reason why he wouldn't end up in their heads again, and the night before the school dance was certainly an anxiety-ridden enough time for nightmares to crop up. Ruby wasn't likely to worry since she didn't have a date, and Blake had seemed pretty calm about going with Sun, so he'd guess this was Weiss or Yang. When the door opened to show Yang in a pretty cream dress – he wondered if she'd be wearing the same one on the night – he realised it was her. Mostly because her eyes took in the bouquet and registered absolute panic.
"Um. Surprise?" Jaune shrugged and offered them, which Yang nervously accepted. He could tell she was uncomfortable. Note to self; don't bring flowers. Jaune scratched that off in his head and tried to deflect. "Nora forced them on me. I think she's got the wrong idea in her head."
He would have felt sorry for throwing Nora under the dream-bus but she wasn't there to realise it.
"Oh. Hah, yeah, that sounds like her." Yang didn't look completely convinced but she brought them inside anyway. "The others have headed out already." She pushed the red roses into a vase on the side and quickly turned away from them. "You remember I need to get there early to man the entrance, right?"
"Yep. Shall we?"
They headed out and toward the hall where the dance was being held. It wasn't the cafeteria like in Ren's nightmare, but then Yang knew the organisation of it all so her dream brought them to the right place. As they approached, he realised, with a starling suddenness, that they were holding hands. It wasn't in the sense that they'd always been doing it and he'd only just realised, but more in the sense that he knew for a fact they hadn't been one second, and then the dream had morphed their hands together the next. Yang smiled awkwardly and wormed her hand out of his, then slid past him to the front desk where Weiss was looking absolutely done with life.
"Finally! Why are you so late? You better not have been making out in our dorm!"
"No, no, no. Come on, Weiss, like I'd do that." Yang laughed and flashed him an embarrassed smile for an apology. It didn't bother him enough that he felt she had to. Yang then slid into the seat, letting Weiss stand. "I'll take it from here. You go find your knight in bright blue hair dye."
"I'll do that. Help keep this idiot in check, Arc."
It didn't look like Yang needed the help but he was fine to stand around and keep the queue orderly for her sake. It wasn't like the world existed beyond her small section of dreamscape anyway, so it was best to stick close by. Jaune didn't recognise most of the people who came up but more than a few must have recognised Yang because they were quick to chat with her. It was clear Yang knew them too, maybe from Signal, or maybe just from being that much more sociable than her little sister.
"Mmmm. Is this your boyfriend, Yang?"
"Jaune? Ahah. He's my date-"
"I guess it's true what they say about blondes having more fun, eh?"
"No. No. We're just-"
"Have you taken him for a ride yet?"
"Sammy, no!" cried Yang, flushing bright red. Jaune did too. "Sheesh, come on, this is our first date. Give me a break." Yang broke a section off the bottom of her ticket and handed it back to the girl and her date. "I'm not that kind of girl."
"I know. I know. But don't make him wait too long, yeah? Guys will get bored and move on if you don't give them something."
Jaune cringed. He'd heard that kind of stuff before – hard not to when you grew up with seven sisters. A lot of teenage girl-gossip made its way around the house, including in girl magazines that had penned articles on how to win over guys or stand out. He really hadn't thought Yang of all people would believe any of that, but maybe that was silly of him. Yang was a girl the same as anyone else, and she'd had to grow up without a mother to take her aside and explain how so much of that was nonsense.
"Don't listen to them," he told her. Yang flinched a little but did nod. "I'm not going to get bored because of something like that, and guys aren't like that. Or not all guys. The good ones aren't. of which I am." He was rambling. "Just ignore her – she's being stupid."
"Yeah, Yeah. I know. That's Sammy for you." Yang laughed. "I think it's low self-esteem."
"It might be. Maybe she feels she needs to do that to keep her boyfriend happy. I hope it's just an internal thing and not something he's actually like."
"He's not. I knew him from Signal and he's a sweetheart."
Weiss came back a moment or two later, now with Neptune on her arm. He looked a little fuzzy in the face, a little lacking in detail, and he assumed that was because Yang hadn't fully memorised his face yet. He was still just an acquaintance.
"I'm back to take over."
"Already?" asked Jaune. "It's been two minutes."
"It's been an hour," said Weiss, incorrectly. "Neptune and I have been dancing our feet off and I simply cannot stand any longer." She smiled up at the indistinct figure. "He's a brilliant dancer. So elegant and confident. I felt like a princess."
Jaune was surprised by his own lack of jealousy. It wasn't that he'd gotten over it and more than it was hard to feel jealous of an inhuman figure. Plus, this was obviously not the real Weiss. It did act like her, though, which went to show Yang had an accurate mental portrayal of her teammate. Except when said teammate was abandoning her on a night out.
"You two should go dance as well," said Weiss. "It's what this is all about, after all. You can't not dance at the school dance."
"Yeah, yeah." Yang was grinning and took his hand. "Come on, vomit boy. You better be good on your feet – because if you step, or vomit, on mine then you're a dead man."
"You'll be surprised…"
Dancing was not a problem for him. He'd been prop and practice for seven sisters, and also learned to dance on his own alongside that. He'd even learned to tango when one of his older sisters joined a dance club and needed to practice slow dancing at home. Nichola wasn't always available with his job and needing to provide for eight children, so it often fell on Jaune to take the position, and to take the bruised toes.
This wasn't that, however. The moment they stepped onto the dancefloor the world changed. The disco became more pronounced, the lights brighter, and the walls spread out to show bars. They were in a club now, either one in Vale or maybe one back in Patch that Yang had frequented. The music had been replaced with a deep, echoing bass that shook the floor, and Yang was now in a crop top and tight jeans, with him in his jeans and hoodie. There was less dancing, too, and more frantic bouncing and gyrating. Yang had her back to him, her hips shaking, and a plastic glass in her right hand. He had one in his.
Talk about sudden changes. Jaune had experience dancing with his sisters, but clubbing was another matter altogether. Still, it wasn't like any of this was real so there was nothing to feel embarrassed about. He bounced to the music instead, trying to emulate the way Yang was moving, albeit with less swaying hips and wildly flapping hair.
Should he say something? Was there a point? Yang looked happy – and much more relaxed here than at the school dance. Shrugging, he decided to go with it. This was her dream and if she wanted to be here then so be it. Maybe that was the whole point of her dream. Maybe Yang was anxious about the dance being too stuffy and serious, and wanted a more relaxed night out.
At least this time she hasn't been abandoned by her friends to come clubbing.
The song ended and Yang turned, face flushed with exertion and skin sparkling with sweat. She flashed her pearly whites at him and nodded her head toward the bar – talking this close to the DJ's speakers was a doomed affair. He nodded back, and the two of them worked their way through loud crowds to reach a pair of stools. More proof of a dream, in his mind, because free stools at a crowded bar were pure fantasy.
"It's cool, yeah?" Yang had to shout to be heard over the music. "This place is my favourite. Cheap drinks, good music, good vibes!"
"I like it," shouted Jaune back. When Yang ordered some drinks he dreamed up some lien and handed it to the barman. "My round." It cost him little, and Yang grinned. He took the drink and clinked it against hers. "Cheers."
It tasted of nothing – because it was nothing. But then it hadn't cost anything either, so he wasn't sure what he expected. Jaune held the bottle up until the imaginary liquid inside was all gone, and then slammed it down on the bar at the same time she did hers.
The world blurred suddenly.
As in, it actually blurred. Swirled. Colours merged and twisted in on themselves like paint being flushed down the toilet. It wasn't the alcohol, but the dream itself, changing at Yang's subconscious whims. He landed on his feet, back to a wall, and it was a wall in Beacon – at the dance. They were back out the club. Before he could figure out what that all meant, he felt something hot against his lips and something soft against his body. Then Yang's tongue dipped into his mouth and he felt very little much of anything but that.
Yang felt very real where the drink had felt intangible. Maybe it was because she was the only real thing in this dream. Jaune stood frozen, overwhelmed by the sensation of it, and confused, even as he was thrown headfirst into a pool of raw lust.
Was Yang having a dream about making out with him?
Was this a sign?
One of her hands came up to take his wrist and drew it against something big and soft. Jaune's eyes widened. Was that-
And then he woke up.
Or Yang did.
Jaune stared at the ceiling with the taste of her lip gloss still fleeting in his imagination, and on his lips. His body was rigid stiff. And hard.
Why did dreams always end at the best parts?
With the dance that evening, the school had let the students have the day off – and tomorrow as well. It was expected everyone would be too tired or excited to work anyway. Breakfast was an awkward affair if only because Yang met his eyes once and then wouldn't look at him again all through breakfast.
Yep. They'd shared a wet dream. Of sorts.
He didn't blame her not being able to look him in the eye, and the best thing he could do was play dumb. He still couldn't believe Yang would be dreaming about him that way. Okay, the fact she dreamt of the dance was logical, and him as her date as well, because that was just her mind imagining the following night. The fact she made out with him, though? The fact he'd touched her-? Yeah, that was different. That was very marked, very new and, if he was being honest with himself, more than a little exciting.
That was a thought best kept to himself, though. Jaune focused instead on laughing along with Nora's recounting of her latest dream, and filling in where Yang normally would to ask questions, because she was much too embarrassed for that. On the way out, Ruby slid up to his side and tugged on his sleeve.
"Hey Jaune. Can we talk?"
"Huh. Sure. Here or…?"
Ruby glanced at Pyrrha and smiled weakly. "Privately?" Pyrrha caught the hint and left with Nora and Ren. He didn't think she thought anything untoward was up, not with Ruby of all people. He followed his younger friend around a corner and out onto the gardens, where she took a deep breath and said, "It's about Yang."
No surprises there.
"Okay. Is everything alright?"
"Everything is fiiine but… well…" Ruby looked both ways to make sure Yang wasn't within hearing distance. "Don't tell Yang I said this, okay?" He nodded. "She's super anxious about tonight. Like, really nervous."
"Okay. I mean, I'm-"
"Not like that." Ruby sighed. "Look, Jaune, you're my best friend, okay? Bestest friend in the whole wide world. So, please don't get upset when I say this but… please don't try and push anything on Yang tonight."
"…" Jaune stared at her.
"That came out wrong. I'm not saying you're the type to force anyone but… um. Yang isn't always as confident as she puts on. Sometimes she pretends to be a whole lot more knowledgeable and confident than she Is. Usually, for my sake."
He knew that. He was surprised Ruby did, because he'd always gotten the impression Yang had to mature fast and be the mother, but he'd thought Ruby oblivious to it. Yang did, too. Maybe that was something Ruby let her think because she didn't want Yang to worry.
"And I can tell when Yang is panicking about something," continued Ruby. "And she was panicking last night and this morning. Again, don't tell her I told you this!"
"I won't. I won't. Panicking about what?"
Ruby hesitated. "Let me ask you a question first. What do you think your date with Yang tonight is?"
"Two friends hanging out."
Ruby heaved a sigh of pure relief. "That's it? No romance?"
"No. I mean, I just got over Weiss and Yang and I were getting along – as friends, I mean – and I didn't want to go to the dance alone. I wouldn't be against there being something, but I'm not expecting tonight to mean anything more than a few dances and some chatting. Yang is working half of it at the front entrance, too."
"Yeah. Yeah, that's… that's good. Great, even!" Ruby's smile returned. "I'm glad. That's what Yang thinks too, but she's getting herself all worked up and suddenly afraid you want more. Like, a lot more. And Yang likes you. As a friend. You've been getting on lots lately, and maybe it'll be more later, but I don't think – No, I know she isn't looking at you like that now."
The dream last night implied otherwise. Or did it? Had that really been a wet dream, or had it been a nightmare of what she didn't want to happen? Hearing that was a blow to his self-esteem, but he pushed past it as best he could. "I'm not looking to push anything, Ruby."
"Good. Thank you." Ruby lunged for and hugged him before he could react. "That's why you're such a good friend and why I'm happy Yang is going with you. All those other guys that asked her out just wanted to get into her pants."
"Other guys? Yang told me no one had asked her out."
"Erk. I-I mean, in the past… uh…"
"I'm not angry, Ruby. Was it a lie, then?"
"Um. Ahah." Ruby glanced away and back again. "I don't think Yang meant to lie to you. It's more… well, there were a few other guys, but they were complete strangers. Yang always got a lot of attention back in Signal. Sometimes it got ugly. Guys thought her being friendly was her leading them on, and some other girls thought she was being slutty to catch the attention of their crushes. I think there were three last week? And one yesterday, but Yang told him she had a date already."
Despite her fears, he didn't feel upset about that. Why should he? Yang had rejected a load of other people but accepted to going with him. That was something to be pleased about. Even if she only meant it as a friend. Honestly, he'd thought they'd communicated that fairly well when he asked her out, but that had been a few days ago and she'd probably had time to worry. He supposed his past performances with Weiss weren't exactly confidence inspiring.
"I promise I'll be on my best behaviour. Should I talk to Yang?"
"No!" Ruby's hands were on his chest, stopping him. "Because then she'll know I said something, and even if it was to help her she'll be angry at meee! No. Just be good tonight. Be yourself. The new you," she added, shivering at the thought of him toward Weiss. That hurt a little. "You and Yang have been awesome together lately. It's so fun. Just be more of that. Maybe Yang will like you and want to do more later, but don't be weird tonight. And don't take anything Blake says as fact!" she added. "I know she's the one who told you, but Blake is nose-deep in smut. Blake doesn't know Yang like I do."
"I suppose not. Thanks for the warning. If you're worried, you can hang out with us-" Ruby was already shaking her head.
"I don't want to get in the way. And, I mean, if you did get on like that then I'd be super happy about it, so I don't want to third wheel. Plus, I'm planning to hide from Yang all night so she can't force me to dance with complete strangers."
"You could dance with me. Non-weirdly, I mean."
"Only if she catches me." Ruby grinned at him. "Thanks for listening. You're the best!"
She sped off before he could respond, leaving Jaune alone to ponder on what it meant when a woman had an erotic dream about you, but you then found out it was because she was afraid of things going that far.
Well… I guess I'll just have to prove her wrong…
A non-romantic and anti-sexual date? A date so platonic that even a nymphomaniac couldn't possibly derive any sexual satisfaction from it? If there was anyone who could pull off such a lacklustre date, it was Jaune Nicholas Arc.
Mission platonic date was a go.
Jaune arrived at Team RWBY's door early. Extra early. He knocked on the door and wasn't surprised when Ruby was the one to answer it. She was in a red dress – no surprises there – and struggling to stand up in her heels.
"Hey Ruby. Looking unbalanced."
"Gee. Thanks. Yang, your lame date is here."
Coming early was a calculated risk but he couldn't help but think Yang would feel a little less pressured if he was on his own surrounded by her whole team. He knew the girls would all be dressed anyway, since Weiss had to go and take the early shift at the front entrance. Yang was indeed in the same cream dress as her dream, and he kept himself from giving her too obvious a look up and down. Instead, he flashed her a wink and a thumbs up. "Looking good."
"You don't look so bad yourself, mister. Did Nora pick that out for you?"
"In black? You must be joking. I'd be a rainbow if she had her way." Yang and Blake laughed, and Ruby giggled. Weiss had already left before he arrived, which he was somewhat relieved about. "I thought about getting you flowers but figured that'd be a little weird. I got you some make-believe ones instead."
Yang's lips quirked as he made a big show of holding his hands out like he was holding a big bouquet of flowers. It was stupid, really cringy, but he couldn't think of anything less likely to startle her. Sure enough, Yang grinned and accepted his flowers, holding her own hands out and pretending she was holding them. "Oh Jaune, you shouldn't have. They're beautiful. I'll just put them in my make-believe vase."
"You two are awful together," said Blake. "Truly awful."
"I think she's threatened by our impeccable humour," said Jaune. Yang's eyes sparkled.
"More like she's jealous."
"Jealous she isn't going with me, or jealous she isn't going with you?"
"Who says it can't be both?"
"Cringe," groaned Blake, bow pulling flat. "So very, very cringe. I can't stand this any longer. I'm going to go find Sun and hope the punch is alcoholic. Ruby, please try not to get corrupted by them. I'd like at least one sane team member."
Poor Ruby looked horrified to be left with them. He didn't blame her.
"So," said Jaune. "You're looking after the entrance, right? Do you want me to help with that at all, or would you rather I leave you to it?"
"You might as well go in without me. I'm just taking names off a list. It'd be weird having you hover over me." He didn't personally think so, but then she might have been worried about her nightmare becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Being seen on a date with him was one thing, but having former friends confront him over being her boyfriend was another.
"Fair enough. I guess I can keep Ruby company. Unless she managed to find a date?"
Ruby glared at him.
Yang laughed. "Nope. Not that I'd have let anyone. I mean, a seventeen year old asking her out when she's fifteen? Yeah, you better believe I'd make a stink. Sorry, Rubes."
"It's not like I wanted to go with anyone anyway!" Ruby continued to glare his way, likely for his putting her on the spot. He shrugged back apologetically. It was her fault in a sense, because he was putting the spotlight on Ruby to make sure Yang didn't feel put on the spot. "Can we go already? We're ready, aren't we? I want to get this over with." Yang took a spot on Ruby's left. Jaune, surprising her, took a spot on Ruby's right, and the two shared a quick grin before taking each of Ruby's arms between them. Ruby groaned. "I'm not a prisoner being escorted!"
They made it to the hall in good time, and Weiss was there taking names. Unlike the dream, she looked relaxed and professionally amicable, and her a glass of punch at her side. Her lips pulled up a little at seeing Ruby's suffering.
"The prisoner has arrived, I see."
"You too, Weiss? Why!?"
"Not like I was letting her escape this," said Yang. "Want me to take over?"
"Yes. I'd best go find Neptune. He fled almost the moment we arrived."
"Really?" Yang's smile fell. "Did something happen?"
"I'll be sure to tell you when I find out. Please excuse me."
Yang took her seat like in the dream, but this time he didn't hover around to bother her. Instead, he and Ruby went in, though Jaune did loop back to grab a glass of punch and bring it to Yang at her desk. She looked nervous on seeing his return, then surprised by the punch, and then all smiles again, relief and appreciation mixing together. "That's sweet. Thank you."
"No worries. Ruby and I will be over by the back." He pointed so she'd know where to find them. "Do you want me to check if Weiss is okay?"
"Mmm. Better wait for me for that or she might get the wrong idea. Wait for me and we'll look together."
"Good idea. See you soon."
Yang waved, far more relaxed than she had been before. "See you soon, hot stuff."
Ruby was relieved to see him come back as well, though that might have been more so she didn't have to feel awkward being stood on her own. "You're doing good," she said. "Though you didn't have to throw me under the bus!"
"I didn't want Yang to feel too pressured."
"Yeah. It's my fault for asking. Ugh. She's happy, though." Her smile returned. "I think she was just worried you'd act like you did with Wiess, and you're not so she's fine."
"Is this something that happened before?"
"A couple of times, yeah. Guy friends in Signal would wrestle and play with her and they'd be the best of friends, then puberty would hit and suddenly it's all awkward. Yang just wanted to be friends but they'd always make it weird." Ruby's shoulders slumped. "I remember the worst was her best friend. He accused her of leading him on and Yang… Yang cried for a week."
"It didn't always happen that way," she was quick to say, "I just think she panicked because you're new to being a close friend, and you fancied Weiss before. I told her you weren't like that but he was blonde as well. Might have set off some memories."
"Got it. I'll be on my best behaviour."
Ruby leaned into him a little. "You already have been. I was serious earlier. I'd actually be really happy if you and Yang got together for real."
"Let's not jump ahead of things. This was always just meant to be us hanging out."
The two of them chatted for a bit, mostly about comics and games and the things they both liked. Ruby laughed and pointed to Sun and Blake in the midst of it all. Despite Blake saying they were opposites, they did look good together – though he personally thought Sun could have put a little more effort into his outfit. It was seeing her and Sun dancing that made him realise Weiss and Neptune were nowhere to be seen, but before he could comment on that Ruby zipped into the crowd and away. "Wait, what-?"
"You let her get away," complained Yang, walking over. "Damn it, Jaune."
"I didn't realise you were coming." Clearly, Ruby had, and taken the chance to run. Either to escape being made to dance, or to give them some alone time. "That's surprisingly sneaky of her."
"Nah, Ruby acts innocent but she's a sneaky little thing when she wants to be. Don't be fooled into thinking she was an angel back home. I had to force her to clean her room, and you wouldn't believe the lengths she'd go to if it meant avoiding eating vegetables."
Jaune laughed. "I kind of want to hear more about that some time."
"Oh, I'll tell you. But only if you tease her incessantly."
He stuck out a hand. "Deal."
Yang looked surprised, then elated, taking it and shaking before pushing in to stand next to him leaning back against the wall. He pointed, and she followed, spotting Sun and Blake and laughing to herself. "They look good, don't they?"
"Yeah," he agreed. "But I think he should have dressed up."
"Mm. Me too. I can tell he really likes her so I don't think it's laziness. Maybe he just thinks that really is fashion."
"Or maybe it's money issues," said Jaune. Yang hummed, eyes widening.
"Maybe it is. Damn, I feel nasty now. Yeah, maybe that's him doing his best with what he has. Not everyone has a solid family situation behind them. Nice catch." Yang took another sip of her punch. It wasn't alcoholic. He could tell from the taste. "Kind of a relief this is all working out to be honest. I was nervous something would go wrong with the music, or the drinks, or that there'd be people complaining."
"You and Weiss have done a good job."
"Nah. Coco had most of this sorted before we stepped in. We just dotted the i's and crossed the t's."
"Do you want to dance?" asked Jaune.
"I can if you want to."
"But do you want to?"
Yang smiled weakly. "Kinda not. It's not you. This just really isn't my kind of thing. I should take you out to a club sometime and show you what a real dance is."
He had a feeling he'd already experienced it, and it sure wasn't bad. "Well, you can hit me up if you ever want to. I wouldn't mind hanging out again if you want."
"Yeah. I guess we could." Yang looked down at her drink and then to him. "Are you okay with not dancing? I'm happy to go a few rounds if you like. I just won't be that good at the slow stuff."
"It's fine, Yang. All I wanted tonight was the chance to hang out and talk." He flashed her a smile, and Yang returned it. "I'm having fun just hanging out."
"Geez. You can be smooth when you want to be. Where was all this with Weiss?"
"Lost under a haze of idiocy. I had this unrealistic expectation that if I got with Weiss, everything would work out. I'm kind of glad she never said yes because I don't think I'd have known what to do. It wasn't love. It was… I don't know what it was. A distraction? Desperation? Something unhealthy."
"Speaking of Weiss-cream." Yang pointed. Jaune followed her finger. Weiss was stood alone, glass in hand, and she looked upset. Jaune swore. "Yeah," said Yang. "My thoughts exactly."
"Do you want to go see if she's alright?"
"Alone? What will you be doing?"
"I'll go find her date and have a word."
Yang looked almost too pleased for a moment, and like she wanted to join him in kicking the guy on the floor, but then reality came back and she said, "Don't do anything silly or you'll get kicked out. But yeah, I'll make sure she's okay. Text me if you need me."
Finding Neptune wasn't hard. There was a whole balcony where those who didn't want to dance or didn't want to hang out had retreated to, and Jaune found him there leaning over the railing with a nervous look on his face. It was so different to the dream at this point, but then Yang, in her anxiety, hadn't really considered that other people might have similar problems. To her, she'd assumed Neptune and Weiss would have an ideal date, and that obviously hadn't happened. Dreams were selfish like that, it seemed. They were always focused inward.
Listening to Neptune's excuses, he couldn't help but feel even more irritated. They were so banal. So stupid. Not being able to dance? Embarrassment at the thought of being laughed at? Jaune might have had more sympathy before, but here he just turned the asshole around and shoved him back toward the open door. "Go and dance with her or I'll tell Pyrrha about this. Yeah, Pyrrha Nikos, my partner. She happens to like Weiss as a friend, and if she learns you did this then let's say she might be incentivised to focus on you in the tournament."
"But I can't da-"
"Then sway, you idiot. But do something!"
He couldn't stay and watch when Weiss' eyes lit up, and her frown softened. To him, it didn't feel right that she'd give him a second chance after what he'd done, but it wasn't his business and he didn't have any say in it.
"Wanna hang around outside?" asked Yang. "You look upset."
"More annoyed than jealous."
"Yeah, I know. I'm annoyed too. Idiot shouldn't have put her through that. I mean, can't dance. Who cares? Weiss would have happily taught him if he asked ahead of the dance, and it's not like she'd dump him because he isn't perfect." Yang took his wrist and drew him out the open doors. There were already a few couples out here and there, most of them kissing or slipping off to take their dates somewhere more comfortable for the night. Yang made to sit on a patch of grass, but he stopped her, and then took off his suit jacket and laid that down. "I didn't realise you were such a gentleman, vomit-boy."
"Your dress is too light a colour to be sitting on grass."
"Heh. True. Thanks." Yang sat and brought her knees up to hold them, then patted the ground beside her. They shared the jacket, side to side, hip to hip. "That was cool what you did back there by the way."
"Hating Neptune's guts?"
Yang snorted. "I meant helping Weiss."
"Oh right. Yeah. I totally did that for her sake and not because I wanted to throw him out a window." He was rewarded with another laugh. "But it's fine. I meant what I said about moving on from Weiss, and even if I don't think he's good enough, it's not really my say."
"It's not," she agreed. "Not mine, either, or I'd be holding his feet while you get his shoulders." Yang mimed a tossing motion. "And off into the Emerald Forest he goes." They laughed for a little bit, then grimaced when the wet sound of kissing reached their ears. "Ugh. I didn't think about this spot properly."
"Yeah." Jaune raised his own voice. "Maybe they should take it to their room!"
The bushes rustled. The noise stopped. Yang looked horrified, then burst out laughing. "I can't believe you just did that!"
"Hey, it worked."
"Hi mortified, I'm-" A hand covered his mouth. Yang was grinning.
"No dad jokes. I draw the line. So, you've been pretty cool tonight." Yang was smiling, but there was a weariness to it. "Let me guess, Ruby talked to you."
Jaune winced. "No."
"You're a terrible liar." Yang let go of his mouth. "I'm not angry at her, though. A little embarrassed but… ah…" She shrugged. "More at you hearing about that. Ruby worries too much. It's not like I was really panicking or anything."
"It's fine. I said before we're here tonight as friends."
"We are. I've enjoyed it. I am enjoying it."
"As a friend?"
"Yes." Yang watched him for any sign of disappointment or hurt. There was none, and she visibly relaxed. "That's not bad, though. I could see going out with you again and maybe testing the more than a friend angle. It just wouldn't be like this."
This time, he thought he understood. "Stuffy?"
"Yeah." Her face scrunched up. "I mean, seriously. This is way too formal. What am I even supposed to do if I like someone? This isn't the kind of place I'd ever want to do a proper first date. It'd need to be somewhere with a club, and some drinks, and maybe a movie."
It was his turn to feel better, and to relax. Yang's dream hadn't just been a sign of her not liking him, but also a sign of her not liking the situation. A school dance really was too formal an occasion for someone like her, and her dream as good as proved it.
"Well, like I said, if you want to go dancing sometime-"
"I do." Yang interrupted him immediately. "I've enjoyed myself. You've been a lot more on the ball lately too. Fun to hang around, especially now I don't have to worry you'll start salivating over Weiss. I think it'd be cool to hang out more and see if anything happens. No promises, though. It might just be friendship."
"That sounds great. Even if it is just that. I either end up with a friend I can hang out more with, or something more. It's win-win either way."
Yang was smiling brightly. "Glad you think that way. We should-"
The top floor of the CCT exploded outward, shattering and raining glass down on the area like snow. Whatever Yang had been about to say died in her mouth, especially as an alarm played, and Goodwitch and Ironwood raced for the building.
Not thrilled with this chapter. The dream feels too blunt and too obvious, but the downside of having a daily update schedule is that sometimes you write a chapter you're not happy with and can't go back and re-write it all because of time constraints.
Still, the ending is a necessity as a gateway into the dreams of the antagonists.
Next Chapter: 21st March
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