Disclaimer: The RWBY universe is owned by Rooster Teeth Productions. I do not claim ownership, or do this for any monetary gain.
The Grimm Knight
Late evening in the Gray Forests of Patch...
"Ruby, watch out!" Jaune tackled the silver-eyed girl out of harm's way before spear-like claws pierced the spot she previously stood. Still on the ground with the blonde-haired youth protectively covering her, Ruby looked past his shoulder with a stunned expression.
"J-Jaune, Crescent Rose…it broke," she muttered, shocked at the unexpected destruction of her custom weapon. A few feet away from them, she could see the multiple fragments of metal that made up what she had believed to be an indestructible piece of metallic chaos.
Jaune would have responded, but was currently too distracted by their very much alive enemy, a Grimm creature known as Mephysto. It was an aerial Grimm with oval-shaped crimson eyes and a white-plated, scorpion-like body covered by a thick black mist. Hidden underneath that same cape of darkness was a skeletal hand whose spear-like fingers had the ability to extend well over eight feet within a second.
He'd already been grazed by one of those fingers during his descent with Ruby. And even with his juggernaut amount of Aura that was capable of deflecting Yang's most powerful blows, the Mephysto tore through it with a mere scratch. That definitely wasn't good.
Then there was the fact that Ruby's weapon, a well-made construct of extremely durable material, fell apart when she blocked one of the creature's stabbing motions.
"Damn it!" Jaune grit his teeth as he quickly picked the small scythe-wielder up bridal style and dodged away from the hovering Grimm's next attack. The extended digits swiped through the air with frightening speed and made unexpected impact with a nearby tree, slicing cleanly through the wood and producing a huge dust cloud when it hit the ground.
When the dust cleared, the two young humans were gone.
"Why were you so deep in the forest?!" Jaune asked irately as the two of them ran through the foliage to escape the phantom Grimm giving chase. He could have been relaxing at home on this beautiful night with a nice hero biography, being periodically teased by Yang who would curl up next to him while watching TV, and then eventually having to clean up Ruby's messes from her usual evening practice. Instead, he was running from a Grimm that wanted to turn him into a shish kabob.
"I wanted to test out Crescent Rose against a strong enemy. I mean, come on! The Grimm they use at school are so boring and predictable," Ruby responded with a note of frustration and cutely pouted at him.
Despite being slightly out of breath, Jaune sighed in exasperation. He then smirked at Ruby whose expression made him feel like he was kicking a puppy. Well, a puppy that was capable of kicking his ass. Luckily, he knew her buttons.
"When we get back home, no milk for you," he teased with a grin.
"What?! You can't do that! How else am I going to beat Yang in the growth department," Ruby shouted in aghast.
Jaune lifted an amused eyebrow at that. She was only ten, what part of Yang's growth was she worried about competitively? Er, then again, was milk Yang's secret to being taller than him? Maybe he should start drinking more of it, too…
The blonde-haired boy looked up in time to see the Mephysto appear in front of him with a harsh slice. He executed a swift front roll under the creature and ran to Ruby's side. He glanced at her and saw that same helpless expression from before replace the cheery one he had grown to love. His dark-blue eyes returned to the Grimm spawn that was now hovering a few feet across from them, tauntingly, as if to say, "You can't win. Accept defeat."
It was a line he was very used to hearing in his life, but he wouldn't let it apply to the girl he viewed fondly as his little sister.
"I'll distract him. Run home and get help," Jaune ordered while unsheathing his long sword.
Ruby looked at him with disbelieving eyes. "I'm not going to leave you behind, no matter what," she told him defiantly.
The Mephysto was still floating there, patiently awaiting their next action.
Jaune abruptly wrapped the brave girl in his warm embrace. "I may not be good at fighting, but I'm an expert when it comes to buying time. Just believe in me," he whispered into her ear before separating himself and giving her his most reassuring smile. "I know I'm not the most reliable brother, or even your real one by blood, but just this once, please, treat me like I am."
Ruby's silvery eyes misted with tears that gently started to fall. "I-I'll come back fast with Yang, I promise!"
Jaune shook his head at her, "I wouldn't expect any le—"
A sound like that of a knife piercing fresh meat penetrated the surrounding.
Jaune's gaze went from Ruby's horrified face down to where five crimson, skeletal fingers were protruding from his chest and abdomen, even going through the sturdy armor he wore. He looked back up in desperation.
The spear-like extensions retracted from his body and he fell to the ground onto his knees, sword hitting the dirt with an audible thud and blood from his wounds already pooling around him. The Mephysto passed by silently, stalking towards its next prey that had yet to move due to shock. He tried smiling at his sibling to fake being all right, since he couldn't seem to form any words verbally. It was all he could think of doing to get her to react and start moving.
At that moment, he remembered a time when Summer had said that his courage and honest smiles were his greatest assets because they were contagious. She said that to him when he came home after a particularly huge failing in Signal Academy's quarterly ranking test. What he wouldn't give to exchange his so-called strengths for something like Ruby's prodigal aptitude with weapons or Yang's awe inspiring amount of physical prowess.
His hazy vision became more focused as he tried to maintain consciousness. He could see Ruby stepping back timidly from the Grimm, reaching for her non-existent weapon, Crescent Rose.
"I've got to do something, damn it! Anything!" He tried grasping at what little Aura he had left to temporarily heal his wounds and help him ignore the pain from being stabbed in several places.
It wasn't working.
The Mephysto raised its bony hand, three fingers pointed accurately at Ruby's head.
"Even if I can't save myself, the least I can do is save her before I die! That's all I want!"
Darkness started creeping into his vision, making it harder for him to see the petite form of his dear sister. His sister who just…!
"I won't let you die alone, Jaune. This isn't something you get to decide for yourself…" Ruby whispered with her eyes closed and a happy grin, hugging his frail body to hers, ignoring the dark red blood seeping into her own black and crimson clothing.
"She used her Semblance to get to me...to comfort me in my last moments..." Jaune's clouded eyes narrowed as he saw the Grimm creature turn away from the rose petals resulting from Ruby's movement. It settled its sinister gaze on them.
Even as the blonde youth's eyes steadily closed, he continued to try and pull at whatever was left of his Aura. Without knowing it, his resounding desire to save his sister awakened something deep within him, like a catalyst to an explosive reaction. His body trembled as it greedily licked at a source of foreign Aura whose roots were deeply entangled around his vibrant soul.
"I'll save her!"
Ruby gasped as she was violently thrown into the air and landed in a tree nearby. She quickly recovered and jumped back to the ground, looking around in confusion. There was no sign of Jaune, the Mephysto, or the source of knockback.
"Jaune! Where are you? Say something!" she shouted with urgency.
An abnormal, guttural howl shook the trees around her. A brilliant flash of white light blinded the young girl's vision temporarily as something collided with the tree she just jumped off, sending splinters in the air. Blinded and with her Aura exhausted, when a thick branch hit her solidly in the back of the head she was effectively knocked unconscious.
"Die! Die! Die! Die! Die!"
The Mephysto dodged left and right trying to avoid the flurry of stabs, strikes, and slashes aimed at its body. The wild combination of attacks ripped away at the black mist that hid the creature's features and allowed it to levitate.
The dark haze of protection was shredded away from its opponent's last attack, leaving it to frantically fall in its true form; a scorpion-like insectoid whose stinger was shaped similarly to a human's skeletal hand.
It pathetically tried crawling away, only to be severed in the midsection by an unruly, helmet-splitting cut of a double-edged sword.
A partially armored hand, whose skin was darker than the black associated with the Grimm spawn, grasped the Mephysto's quivering head. The owner of the appendage leered maniacally back at the creature's glowing red eyes.
The armored fist closed with a hideous crunch. The rest of the phantom Grimm's body parts exploded in a cloud of Dust, dissipating into the evening wind.
"Back the fuck off from my little sister!"
A streak of fire exploded onto the scene and impacted the shadowed, twisted figure that recently dispatched the Mephysto. It shook off the damage and walked into the moonlight to welcome its newest opponent, a girl with a raging fire in her eyes and vibrant gold hair.
She looked familiar…
"What are you?" the girl wondered aloud as she finished inspecting Ruby and laid her onto a patch of soft grass.
That's right, what was he, or who was he? How could he forget that? He was…
Consciousness came back to Jaune as he attempted to make sense of what he was seeing. Last he remembered, Ruby was hugging him tightly while he bled out and, wait, what was Yang doing here?
"I knew you'd come. Why do you look so pissed? Is Ruby all right?" Jaune noted that his own voice felt wrong. Sounded wrong; distorted, raspy, and grating in delivery.
Yang's eyes narrowed dangerously as she observed the very odd Grimm before her. She started moving into her battle stance in preparation.
"Y'know, I've studied a lot about the different kind of Grimm out there, and I've never heard of one that could talk before," the buxom blonde stated. "Now, I'll give you ten seconds to explain how you know my little sister's name and why she's passed out, then, if you're cooperative, I'll give you an extra five to tell me where my cute little brother is as well." The blonde's gauntlet weapons, Ember Celica, chambered its shells loudly. "If you don't participate, well, all bets are off."
"This isn't funny, drop the—" Jaune's words caught in his mouth when by happenstance he caught his own reflection from the blade of his sword.
It clattered to the ground.
Yang raised a fine eyebrow at the speech-capable Grimm who took a knee sloppily after dropping its long sword. She was actually expecting a challenge, not a quick surrender. The majority of its body was composed of the bony plating characteristic of the Grimm species, but assembled in a way where it looked like an exact replica of a gothic themed knight's set of armor. The exposed portions between the jagged plating were made up of the Grimm's black flesh. It looked like it could put up a damn good fight.
However, it was interesting that this one had an eerie ghostly-blue set of slanted eyes visible through its bone-plated helmet. She thought all Grimm had red when it came to those snippets. Then there was its choice of equipment…
"Hey, why do you have Corcea Mors? Answer me, damn it!" Yang demanded furiously. Her eyes became even more fevered, and her hair seemingly in flames. "You better have not touched Jaune, or I'll kill you ten times over!"
Her threat met complete silence for longer than she thought necessary. She spit at the dirt and pulled her right arm back. If this stupid set of armor wouldn't respond to her words, maybe it would to her fists.
Jaune didn't know what to do. He wasn't even sure what he was now. Tonight's events were too much for his addled psyche, and the feeling of uncontrollable rage gnawing at the edge of his sanity wasn't helping. There was only one possible course of action, at least until he figured out what was going on with his body and how to control it. Looking past the fuming form of his elder sister, he inwardly smiled at the serene face of Ruby.
"I can't stay here."
"Hah!" Yang burst forward with amazing speed and unloaded all her ammunition into the right-handed straight punch she threw at the armored Grimm's mid-section.
However, using the white shield of Jaune's weapon set, it blocked her punch at the last second with impressive reaction time. The shield was now emitting wisps of dark energy that radiated familiar power.
"Huh? No way, Grimm can't use Aur-aahhh!"
Her body flew back at an upwards angle, sailing over the canopy of tall trees due to her enemy's counter. The soulless creature somehow absorbed the force of her attack into the shield and reversed the damage back at her. Worried for her unconscious little sister, and more than a little ticked off, she fired Ember Celica to halt her flight so she could return and continue the encounter.
"Sorry, Yang." If this were under better circumstances, Jaune would have rejoiced at finally being able to land a significant hit on his brawler of a sister.
The boy-turned-Grimm hurriedly picked up his shining longsword, gave one last glance back at Ruby, and tore off into the deeper foliage that would lead out of the confines of the Gray Forest.
To Be Continued…
Author's Note: Yo, fellow fanfic readers! Above is my attempt at spreading an idea or, if the response is good, starting up a RWBY fanfiction myself. Herein you will have found your favorite-to-hate tropes and sloppy development (quite possibly because there aren't enough cares in my shits to give).
In this prologue, Ruby is ten, making Jaune and Yang thirteen years old. Here's some details concerning this story's version of Jaune that I wanted to note, if this story does continue.
- is an adopted member of Ruby & Yang's family.
- still pales in comparison to his sisters combat-wise, but has a less self-pitying attitude and is more motivated to protect others despite his lack of comparable prowess. I'd like to think of him as a combination between a knight and combat medic, basically a type of Paladin. Still toying around with the idea...
- has a Grimm form as one of his Semblance abilities that changes his appearance to that of a gothic-plated knight, similar in design to Fate/Zero's Berserker. However, where there is black under-armor, it's pure black body instead. Also, the armor is less ornate and more jagged in appearance since its plate is made of the same material as the Grimm's bone protrusions. I'm not much of an artist, but I'll try to sketch it sometime. For now, just picture that Berserker armor with off-white coloring reminiscent of Grimm bone.
I don't want to stick too much with canon until they hit school, mostly because, well...there isn't a lot of mechanics and extensive material to work with. There's a bunch more interesting fan speculation than actual fact. But that's why we like this whole fanfiction shtick, right? Make up our own content at will. Such a novel idea!
If there isn't much of a response, I'll just detail what my thoughts were, in hopes that someone else can take the torch and adapt it in a much better flow and style. Since, after all, I'm not a writer. I'm a fanfic reader at heart.
Shout-Out to: Devil May Cry 4 and Fate/Zero.