"…but your time at this school will prove that knowledge can only carry you so far. It is up to you to take the first step."
With that, the tall man in green, now identified as Professor Ozpin, walked calmly off stage, his brief speech sending murmurs across the student body. Whispers of the mysterious headmaster's glances and how he seemed to be somewhere else were passed from person to person.
Lie Ren, scribbling away into a faded notebook in the corner, sat isolated from everyone else in the room, peaceful amidst the thousands of bodies and countless voices echoing around the room. It didn't bother him that no one was seeking him out, or talking to him; he was comfortable slipping in and out of social spheres without leaving too large a mark, and it was almost natural that he would find himself around those like him.
Glancing up, he made a mental note to eventually ask this girl her name. The bow wearing girl had also come to this corner to read, both tucked away from the louder, less composed students. He had seen her before, on the shuttle in; he had been writing another set of haiku there, and she had been reading not far off. During the turbulent last ten minutes of the airship ride, she had staggered to sit down at his bench, neither one breaking the silence or becoming any less engrossed in their hobbies.
Just before the doors opened and the students began milling out, she bent over and pointed at his most recent work:
A soft wind echoes
Through the valley, with petals
"Not bad," she remarked before stepping away. "You might want to try other forms of poems, helps add more variety and such."
Now here they sat, listening together to the room as it shifted from voice to voice, commotion to commotion. In that section, a foursome of tough looking males shook hands and exchanged names; further along, a girl in white waved her arms at a blushing girl clad in pink; and across the room, two blondes and two red heads chatted casually, nodding and laughing together.
Ren closed his eyes, massaging his temples as he tried to quell what anxious blood snuck its way into his veins, already sending flutters into his stomach. It's okay, you're fine… you're secluded enough to avoid conflict, you've gotten through orientation, you… maybe have a friend? Okay, maybes still count, if anything she'll find someone else to hang out with…
The boy snapped out of his reverie, casting an eye to his possible companion. He heaved a sigh, hoping she wasn't thinking he was crazy. "Um, yeah, it takes a while to get the ideas flowing," he responded, doing his best to hide the stammer he felt for sure would pop out and ruin the conversation. To drive his point home, he leafed through his notebook, shuffling loose papers to look like he was searching for old writings; he even pushed his glasses further up his nose for good measure.
Finally, he shrugged, returning to his previous page. "I, uh, usually keep a sheet of prompts in here, but I guess I, uh, left it in my other things." Hoping to divert the attention elsewhere, he cleared his through before adding to the conversation. "What about your book? You've been reading it since we got here, what's it about."
Amber eyes flicking back down to the pages, she flipped one, smiling to herself as she ran a thumb over the sweet smelling paper and ink. "It's a story about a man, with two souls that are fighting over his body. One wants to lead him to a happier, peaceful life, but the other soul is of much more… malicious intent, and just wants a host to use for his rampant desires and – HEY!"
Ren's head shot up, not expecting his friend to suddenly yelp like that. Her normally calm demeanor was preplaced with one of anger and disgust, and Ren quickly saw why – the book she had been holding now had pink splatters on the pages, some staining the ink as they widened. Ren followed her eyes up to see who the culprit was.
A girl with short, spunky orange hair, her pink clothing standing out like an eyesore, stood with a hand over her mouth, a half filled glass wet with some pink cocktail in the other hand. She immediately started blubbering out an apology, frantically wringing her hands and trembling.
"I'm so, so sorry, I didn't see where I was going and I really, REALLY didn't mean to trip, I'm just looking for people to talk to! I guess I tripped and now your book is ruined and I'm never going to make any friends and now –"
The girl in black rolled her eyes, holding a hand up for the girl to stop. But she didn't; the girl in pink was lost in her own thoughts, rambling on and on about how sorry she was and how she felt SO bad. "SHUT UP!" black-girl yelled, finally making her book's accidental assailant look up. Other eyes followed, with a few people in the area not expecting the quiet girl to suddenly shout like that.
A slight blush creeping to her cheeks, the bookworm addressed the girl. "Look, I get you're sorry, and I know it was an accident." Looking over the few pages that had been splattered, she sighed. "You didn't ruin it too much… still legible, but this is still one of my favorite books." Eyeing the remorseful girl in pink sternly, she narrowed her eyes. "Just watch where you're going next time, got it?"
The orange haired girl nodded slowly, obviously still apologetic. "I'm sorry," she said again, hand nervously behind her head. "Uh… what's your name? Can we be friends, or something? Like to make up?"
"Blake," Ren's friend said, hoping to return to her book. However, pink girl had other plans.
"Oh, that's a pretty name!" she shouted, visibly brightened and back to her bubbly nature. "I'm Nora! I really like this school, I'm sooooo excited to start here, aren't you? I can't wait to start combat classes, those Grimm won't stand a –"
"ENOUGH!" Blake yelled again, moving her book to avoid the drops of drink spilling from Nora's cup; the girl had gotten too excited, and her hands were moving dangerously fast and must have forgotten the beverage they were holding. She froze as Blake now stood glaring at Nora.
"What's your problem?! I asked you to be more careful and here you are, even messier and more careless than you were before! Don't you listen to what anyone tells you! Why would I want to be friends with someone so wild and careless, you're going to get us all killed out there!
"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try and fix the damage you've dealt, before I lose it even more." Blake then stalked off, taking only two steps before turning her amber brights on Ren. "You coming, Poet Boy?"
Ren sighed, not really wanting to have to get and move. The girl in pink stood with her head hung low, thoroughly embarrassed and blushing a deep red. He hated to see people like that, but didn't want to jeopardize whatever friendship he might have had with Blake. Standing up slowly, he faced the shorter Nora to try and make her feel better. "Listen, I – oomph!"
Someone accidently bumped him from behind, not enough for him to fall, but enough to make him stagger forward and lose his glasses. "Shit!" he cursed, diving immediately to dive to the floor, keeping his eyes down as he searched for them to no avail. "What the hell…?"
"Here, I caught them before they hit the ground," Nora said, handing him the thick rimmed spectacles as she crouched down at his eye level. "Didn't want them to break becau – " Her eyes widening told him that she had seen past his usual disguise. "Hey… weren't your eye's blue befo –?
Ren snatched his glasses away, already blushing as he shoved them up the bridge of his nose before stalking after a slightly confused yet apathetic looking Blake. The two walked off in silence, both ignoring Nora's calls to differing levels of success.
Ren breathed a sigh of relief, glad he recovered his precious glasses before someone not his most embarrassing feature. Contacts made his eyes itch and water up excessively, so his parents had gone out of their way to find a set of glasses that would make it look like his iris' were a nicely normal shade of cerulean blue.
If anyone figured out my eyes were pink, Ren thought with a shudder, it would be like elementary school all over again…
Didn't see that update coming so quickly, huh? Well, I really, REALLY wanted to do Ren's chapter because hey, I have a lot ideas for my favorite character and I wanted to flesh those out pretty quickly while I had time. I'm particuarlly glad to see where his relations ship with Nora is going, and exploring how different he and Nora are thanks to not having each other all those years.
Anyways, as far as this story is going, I see many events being slightly canonical, yet following a remarkably different pace. As you can tell, JNPR's different structure has a rather large effect on their interactions with Team RWBY, and many relationship dynamics are going to be different from the show, which won't change who gets partnered with who so much but definitely changes how they interact).
Also, I think getting this chapter out made me a bit more excited about this series, so while I may only update on a weekly basis or so, I doubt I'll let too much time go on between chapters. I might get a part time job if i'm lucky, which might not affect my writing times, but that's just a precaution to all you readers that I'm not just a lazy college student on break, I'm a responible lazy college student on break :)
Keep on Writin'!