A/N: I mean, what even is 6 months between updates? Or 2 years total between starting and finishing this story? Or adopting an entirely new name between the last chapter and now?
But in all seriousness, WELCOME Ladies and Gentlemen, to what is the final chapter of 'A Friendly Game' and what may well be the beginning of something much more interesting (to me at least.)
But more on that later though.
It has been a fun trip with all of you making this story, but all good things must end and I will be the first to say that this story has outlived itself well beyond what I'd expected. When I envisioned this story first, I remember thinking it would be a simple one shot full of fluff and Arkos (RIP). However it has since evolved well beyond that.
From a little one shot to a collection of randomness, to bits of seriousness, this story has come far from its origin. But again, everything must end, and this story must be done. To prolong it with another chapter of say Oobleck or Qrow versus Jaune would simply be Fan Service which I despise.
I truly hope you have all enjoyed this little story of mine whose conclusion I hope to be satisfying to everyone, and if not I apologize. (HA, NOT!)
Without further adieu, let's end this!
"YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME!" Cinder screamed, "I'M CINDER GODDAMN FALL! I AM THE FALL MAIDEN, I AM RUTHLESS, I-"
"And now you're going to stop talking." Qrow said, finally wrestling a gag around the pyromancer's mouth, "Dust, how in the hell did you convince anyone in this school you were a student?"
"FMMHPH MU" Cinder replied, now attempting to bite her way through her restraints.
"Good to know." Qrow said, dragging her further from the school.
"MMHPHPMHFGH HFGFHH EHMMULD URKUURE!"
"OW!" Qrow yelled, stepping away from Cinder as more Atlesian troops secured her, "SHE BIT ME!"
Team JNPR watched from across the pavilion as the scene unfolded; Some students surrounding the convoy of Atlesian troops and Mechs that were escorting Cinder away, eyeing the bizarre scene with wonder.
Team JNPR on the other hand...
"I can't believe Miss Fall was evil." Nora said, sipping on her soda as the aforementioned 'student' was dragged away.
"I NEED A FREAKING TETANUS SHOT NOW! I SWEAR TO DUST RUBY, IF THIS TURNS OUT TO BE NOTHING YOU ARE PAYING FOR TUITION FROM NOW ON!"
"I can't believe she thought General Ironwood wouldn't have Anti-Hacking software on his scroll." Ren quipped.
"HOW DID SHE EVEN BITE THROUGH THAT!? THAT WAS REINFORCED STEEL!"
"I can't believe she expected Ironwood to let Penny go up against me in the tournament knowing what my semblance was." Pyrrha said.
"SOMEONE GET ME A FREAKING MEDIC!"
"I can't believe Torchwick told us the full plan just because of that one nightmare he had. What was it even of? Him getting eaten or something?" Jaune wondered.
"OR THAT SCHNEE SPECIALIST!"
"Something like that," Ren said dismissively, "But whatever the case may be, at least this is all done."
"PREFERABLY WEARING A NURSE'S OUTFIT!"
"True," Pyrrha said, "I mean it'd be ridiculous if her plan worked in the first place but could you imagine if it did? One of us might have died!"
"BUT NOT LIKE A NORMAL ONE, LIKE THE SEXY KIND!"
"Nah," Nora said, "We wouldn't have died. We aren't the main characters no matter how much the writers try, we would've been fine."
"I'LL EVEN SETTLE FOR GLYN-" Qrow's screaming was finally silenced as a bolt of ice struck him in his chest.
"SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY!" Winter screamed
"What?" Both Jaune and Pyrrha said.
Ren clamped Nora's mouth shut, "Ignore her, she just says these things."
Jaune stared down at Nora who had returned to her popcorn, seemingly oblivious to the ridiculousness of what she'd just said, "Okay….." Jaune said, "Anyone want lunch?"
"Me!" Nora squealed, raising her hand and dropping her popcorn by mistake and leading her team away from the bizarre scene involving a frozen Qrow and irritated Winter.
So after a nice meal at 'A Simple Wok,' the team decided to make a day of exploring Vale, taking in all the wonderful sights of a city that hadn't been subjected to a Grimm Invasion or Robot Insurrection.
But man, if those had happened, that would've probably looked sweet!
But seeing as either of those scenarios were ridiculous, the team contented themselves to seeing the landmarks of Vale and visit the Amity Coliseum which still floated gracefully above the city due to the Tournament being delayed on account of a security review following Cinder's capture.
It was overall, an enjoyable day.
Until Nora accidentally set fire to the library while Ren and Pyrrha went to check out several books Goodwitch had assigned them.
Some thing never change.
However once the flames were put out and Nora was detained (again), the quartet had decided to call it a day; With Ren having to bail out Nora once more, and Pyrrha deciding to sleep after having been nearly set on fire as she was helping an elderly woman leave the burning library.
And once more Jaune was left alone in the afternoon with little to do, and a bored FanFiction writer who desperately loved to toy with him.
"You are my star, you are the one, You make me smile when the world's come undone, You are the one who sweeps me off of my feet, You totally rock, You're crazy and cool, Everything's all that I love about you; Girl of my dreams you would make my life complete…" Jaune sang quietly, "God, why does everyone hate that song so much? I mean it's cheesy but it's still good."
"Something about the shippers." Ruby said, appearing beside him, "They can't stand anything that fights their pairings."
"GAH RUBY! Where do you keep coming from!" Jaune screamed with a yelp.
'I'm always around whenever the plot demands it." She said, "Anyway, I'm bored and Weiss and Yang are busy."
"What about Blake?"
"We didn't have the budget to include screen time for her."
"Anyway, so now I'm bored and since you're here we're gonna find something to do."
"Wait, what was that about screen time?"
"I dunno," She admitted, "Anyway, I was gonna go to the library but… Nora?"
"Yeah, that was Nora but wait, you and her both were mentioning-"
"So anyway, that plan's out." Ruby said ignoring him, "What do you usually do for fun?"
"I… I've been playing chess with Ren a lot recently." Resigning himself to Ruby's and Nora's confusing manner of speak.
"Laaaaaaaame." Ruby said, "But I still haven't actually seen you play yet so maybe we can see somebody else play against you."
"Wait, why don't you just play?"
"I, uhhhh…" Ruby said somewhat sheepishly, "I kinda don't know how."
"Do you want me to teach you?"
"Nah, that'd be a boring chapter. Let's find someone interesting!"
"Wait, there it is again! What do you mean by chapter!"
"Anywaaaaaaaaaaaay," Ruby said, ignoring Jaune's pleas for an explanation, "Let's go! I think I have someone in mind who wanted to play you anyway!"
"I… I... " Jaune began, "Whatever." He said with a sigh, resigning himself to his fate.
"That's the spirit!" Ruby said happily, "Now, let's Go!"
And so Jaune was once again dragged from place to place across Vale, 'desperately' searching with Ruby for any person who he could play a chess game with.
As Ruby continued to harass random citizens with this particularly peculiar request, Jaune once more reflected upon the absurdity of the situation. As far as he could remember, prior to his arrival at Beacon there hadn't been anything even close to this much of an interest in his chess skills.
While he could excuse the obsession with his hobby in a few cases such as Ozpin's, Ren's, and even Winter's begrudgingly, others still puzzled him greatly.
Especially those of General Ironwood's and the girl with multicolored hair, Neo was it? Wait, no. Numa? Whatever it was, this continued to puzzle Jaune. Especially as he still hadn't fully recovered from the Post-Game stabbing she'd given him for reasons he still didn't understand.
It still hurt to lean forward.
But before Jaune could ponder more on the whys of challenging him to chess, his concentration was once more broken on account of Ruby, currently yelling happily that she'd 'Found a Challenger Worthy of Him.'
Her words, not Jaune's.
And half-leading, half-dragging Jaune's would-be opponent towards the patient blond.
"Hey Jaune." They said awkwardly, finally freeing their wrist from Ruby's iron-grip.
"Hey Velvet." Jaune replied.
"LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!"
"The following will be a grueling gauntlet the likes of which you've never experienced!" Ruby said excitedly, "An epic showdown between two grand-masters of chess!"
"Not really a grand-master." Velvet said.
"In which only one will emerge with their pride intact!"
"You are really assuming a lot more pride in this game than I have." Jaune quipped.
"What follows will be an epic five game rumble in which-!"
"No." Both Jaune and Velvet said simultaneously.
"Three games?" Ruby now asked sheepishly
Jaune shook his head slowly.
"Getting warmer?" Velvet said with some awkwardness to her tone, she normally wouldn't mind but she did actually have things to do today and couldn't afford to spend too much time here. Especially over something as trivial as chess.
Ruby gave an elongated sigh, "Uggggggggh, Jeez." She said, "You guys have no showmanship I swear."
"BUT OKAY!" Ruby said, continuing her exaggerated tone, "A grueling ONE GAME TOURNAMENT IN WHICH EVERY MISTAKE COULD HOLD THEY KEY TO EITHER VICTORY… OR DOOM!"
Ruby bowed as Velvet gave a weak but polite clap, "Yay?" She said, trying to feign excitement so as not to make Ruby feel bad.
It did not work.
"Just start this stupid game already." Ruby said, taking a seat beside the two with a pout writ across her face.
Jaune faced his opponent with a shrug, "Ladies first?" He said, unsure of how to proceed without angering Ruby.
"Thank you," Velvet said, "But I insist."
Jaune was about to argue but out the corner of his eye, he saw Ruby's pout deepen. "Thanks." He decided instead, not prepared to deal with a grumpy Ruby today.
J: Pawn F2 to F3
"So…" Jaune began, trying to find something to fill the silence, 'You play chess too?"
Velvet shrugged, "A bit." She said, "I never went to any tournaments but I played against by parents a lot when I grew up, and Yatsuhashi has played with me recently so I've stayed at least somewhat sharp."
V: Pawn E7 to E5
Jaune immediately saw what Velvet was trying to do and, if he was quite honest, he appreciated the attempt to end the game quickly but he couldn't simply let it en-
Wait, why couldn't he?
Jaune's expression blanked for a moment before a smile crept across his face, "Why didn't I just do this before?"
J: Pawn G2 to G4
Velvet blinked, there was no way in Remnant Jaune had done that by accident. The bunny-faunus glanced up towards her blond opponent with confusion in her eyes, "Did you grab the wrong piece by mistake?" She asked, Velvet wasn't so competitive as to use a screw up like this to her advantage over something so small, "If you'd like I'll let you move it ba-"
"Trust me, Velvet." Jaune said, "I know exactly what I'm doing."
It took a moment but it finally seemed to click in Velvet's mind, "O-Oh Oohhhh." She said quietly, "I see. Are you sure?"
Jaune nodded, "Absolutely."
"WILL YOU GUYS JUST KEEP PLAYING ALREADY!" Ruby yelled, beginning to be annoyed by the pause in an already notoriously slow game, "Jeez, I'm starting to remember why I never learned how to play this dumb game."
"Oh, don't worry Ruby, this game is almost over."
"Wait, but it's not even your tu-" Ruby began to say.
V: Black Queen to H4, Checkmate
"Checkmate I guess." Velvet said, unsure of what had just happened herself.
Jaune meanwhile released an overdue sigh of relief, "I'm free…" Jaune thought to himself, "I'm free…"
"What?" Ruby asked, "But… Weiss said… You… But… I… Four Turns and… WHAT!?"
"I'M FREE!" Jaune screamed to the world. No longer the chess master, that title was now (questionably) in the hands of Velvet!
No more random challenges!
No more blackmail over a surprisingly trivial thing!
NO MORE CHESS UNLESS HE WANTED TO PLAY!
"AHAHHAHHAHAHHA" Jaune cackled, "I'M FREE!"
"Wait, you lost?" Ren asked.
"Yup." Jaune said, hiding a smug smile away as he faced his team. Ren he noticed was surprised but calm about the situation. Nora… Had an oddly knowing look about her… Something felt off with her…
Pyrrha was beyond confused.
"But… You were doing so well? You beat Ozpin!" Pyrrha chimed in.
"Yeah, but Velvet beat me so… She's better I guess?" He said, suppressing a snicker.
"But, I-I what!? That's so anticlimactic, you just lose the final game, what is this?!" Pyrrha said, growing increasingly angry.
"Listen, I don't know why you care that much." he began, his smile starting to break through. Forcing him to turn away, "Ultimately this was just a chess game, it wasn't that high of stakes."
"But…' Pyrrha began.
"I knew this every time I played that I'd eventually lose to somebody. I tried my hardest and I lost, that's all there is to it."
"Listen, I know it's anticlimactic, but that just how these things go sometimes. You win, you lose. You're the best, then someone replaces you. These thing, they just sorta…" Jaune said, trying to find the exact word he was looking for.
A/N: God, I love trolling you guys. And if you're expecting an amended ending, too bad. Anticlimactic or not, I find this end really funny so…
"So it's done then?" The cloaked figure asked.
"Yes, Cinder has been arrested and we saw to it that the rest of the timeline has been adjusted as well." Nora said, kneeling.
"Excellent," The figure said, "With this done, our work here is nearly done."
"Was this really all necessary?" Ren asked.
The figured turned to Ren with a scowl writ across her face, "Absolutely." They said firmly, "I have existed in far too many realities wherein disaster strikes and happy endings are made impossible. So our mission, though it may seem trivial, ultimately serves a far greater good than I hope either of you realize."
Nora nodded in affirmation while Ren hesitated, "You… You said multiple realities… Just what did you mean by that?"
The figure smiled, "Clever boy," They said, "Ultimately, I am a ghost among realities, not truly belonging to any. But always present in the darkest versions of a given universe. Even this world, so incorruptible as it may appear, has a darker version to it. One which I desperately hope you all needn't bear witness to."
"But why us then?" He prodded further, "If what you've said is true, why did you change our world in particular?"
"I simply can't bear to watch the sadness of so many worlds corrupt those within them." The figure said, "A long time ago, I made it my mission to create a web of worlds in which the happiness that was robbed from those I've seen could begin to return anew."
The figure's smile faded somewhat, "This world of Remnant is not the first place I've visited tragically, however I have resolved things here better than most. Ultimately, there lies an infinite sea of worlds I must rescue people from, and an infinite sea of misery and despair that stands in our way. So, I'll ask you again, you who've helped me steer this world from a wretched fate, will you two stand with me to safeguard this place? Will you join us in our mission?"
Ren glanced at Nora who smiled, "Yes." The ginger-haired girl said.
Ren remained silent for a moment, thinking of the implications of the figure's words, "Absolutely." He said after a tense pause, "But… You said us? Who exactly is us?"
The figure removed their hood with a smile, "Miss Valkyrie, Mister Lie" She said, motioning to two figures at their side, "I'd like you to meet Agents Tachibana and Akame. Two of my more... Seasoned assistants. Welcome to the Requiem Initiative."
A/N: Oh how could I resist?
That's right boys and girls, The Requiem Initiative is here and their sole purpose the the creation of worlds where happiness and romance may flourish!
In other words, the breeding grounds of sappy FanFiction.
So watch out, a new player has entered the game, but who is their leader?
Find out NEXT TIME ON A Friendly Gam-
Oh, right. This is the finale.
Ahh well, I'll probably write more stories eventually. And rest assured, when that happens The Initiative will be there to ensure that sappiness will survive. Maybe some Akame Ga Kill? That section of this website seems to be lacking in sappiness and abundant in Grimdark FanFiction...
We'll see, but for now ladies and gentlemen...
I bid you all one final adieu.