Disclaimer: I do not own RWBY or any other series referenced in this fan-made story… but y'all 'ready knew that.
A/N: I've made three attempts on this idea, but none of them came out as I envisioned (mostly because I couldn't pick between a blonde and a… whitehead?).
Fourth time's the charm?
Sadistic Lunatic presents:
Reflection (Mirror Day)
"Though I walked from one end of the ancient ruins to the other, it was a wild goose chase. I couldn't find either a hideous monster or a captive girl.
I want to help powerless people. With that in mind, I escaped from the shackles I've had ever since I was born into the world of the "nobles", improving my skills with the sword as the Exiled Warrior. And I could come across an opponent worthy of trying my strength with in these ruins, I had such a feeling…"
- Leina Vance, the Phantom Warrior
Weiss had called it: Jaune Arc was a lying buffoon.
She had an inkling that there was no way that the bumbling blond buffoon could have met Beacon's standards. He was far too inexperienced, both in skill and mindset.
Jaune Arc was the epitome of everything that a huntsman was not.
So, when that unprincipled oaf Cardin Winchester blurted out the truth—that Jaune lied his way through his acceptance to the prestigious Beacon Academy—Weiss could not curb the righteous, vindictive glee that erupted from her chest.
"Finally," the Schnee heiress muttered and remained oblivious to the glare Ruby had thrown her, "The annoyance can leave. He never was huntsman-material."
"How can you say that, Weiss?" Ruby asked her partner. Though she wanted to berate Weiss' harsh tongue, Ruby knew that her partner would not spout such venom without reason. Her words did still sting, especially since they were targeted at the first friend she had made in Beacon, but Ruby felt betrayed, as well.
Why hadn't Jaune told her his circumstances?
Weiss, eager to list all the wrongs of the one that annoyed her the most, turned to Ruby and listed, "One: Jaune does not have the right aptitude. It has been months since classes formally began, and he still has not adjusted. Why is that? Oh yes. He lied his way into Beacon."
The very thought made her furious! But she was a Schnee, and a Schnee was no slave to their emotions.
"His very presence here is an insult to those that are here, and an even greater insult to those that have worked hard but were denied entry."
Try as she might, Ruby had no counter for such an objective point. Instead, all the younger girl could muster was a subdued, "But he's getting better…"
"Two: Jaune does not have the right skillset. The oaf lacks qualities as basic as coordination, and need I remind you of his weak constitution?"
"You don't need to resort to insults, you know…" Ruby weakly reasoned with her ranting partner.
"Three—and this is most important: Jaune does not have the right attitude." For the first time in Weiss' tirade, her face contorted in disgust. "That thickheaded try-hard has nothing but women on his mind when, instead, he could be spending more time improving himself!"
Ruby cringed and tried to defend Jaune. "Yang is boy crazy."
"But Yang has considerable skill and aptitude."
"Jaune—he's not as bad as you think." Ruby fidgeted under the piercing gaze of Weiss Schnee. "I mean-! There was that time with the Death Stalker during initiation, right?"
"That was one time Ruby. One fluke does not make a reliable statistic." Weiss would not relent. "And, as far as I can see, Ren, Nora, and especially Pyrrha could have taken down that Death Stalker. They would benefit with a much better teammate."
"Even without much training-"
"That is a severe understatement." Weiss muttered.
"-Jaune still hadn't abandoned them. And, there was that time with Cardin; Jaune had every reason to abandon him, but he still defended him and defeated that Ursa!"
"With help." Weiss reminded. "Hardly a stellar track-record."
"That's not what I'm trying to say." Ruby felt like pulling her hair in exasperation at the relentless Schnee. "It's- no matter how strong the Grimm, Jaune never ran. That has to count for something, right Weiss?"
When Weiss didn't immediately reply, Ruby felt uplifted.
'Finally', Ruby thought, 'Maybe I've gotten through to her!'
"He may have a good heart…" Weiss slowly began, as if finding it difficult to pay the blond a compliment even in his absence, "But if it were a stronger Grimm, then Jaune will die with his team. Jaune will die alongside those he wishes to protect." Weiss declared, and Ruby was unnerved by the coldness in her tone. "But if Ren, Nora, and Pyrrha had a much more competent teammate, then there is a much better chance that they will survive. This brings me back to my point: Jaune Arc is not huntsman material."
Ruby's heart fell.
"Epepep." Weiss shushed her partner and brought upon the younger teen a serious stare. "Jaune Arc is not huntsman material. Therefore, he is not welcome in Beacon."
"I hope Headmaster Ozpin will come to his senses." The Schnee heiress continued, musing loudly. "In fact, he should. I shall have a chat with the headmaster this instant."
With that, Weiss made her way out of Team RWBY's room.
"Weiss…" Ruby tried to plead with her partner's sympathy. "You're not doing this because he annoys you, are you?"
Weiss paused and threw an unreadable glance over her shoulder.
"I do this because Jaune does not belong here." Weiss stated evenly. "Whatever you might think, this is not a vendetta. I am not so shallow. I am only looking after his welfare."
'If cruelty saved a life, then a Schnee would be cruelest of them all.'
The door closed behind the determined heiress.
Left alone, Ruby shivered.
It was suddenly very cold.
"Ms. Goodwitch shares your same opinion. You remind me so much of her."
Weiss' countenance lit up. "Then that means-!"
He cut her off with a raised hand.
"I cannot say you are wrong…" Ozpin trailed, taking a sip from his coffee before continuing, "But neither can I say you are right. Perhaps, when you are in a position of power, you may create your own rules, but as a student of Beacon, you have no say. I am Beacon's Headmaster, Miss Schnee, and I have made my decision."
The conversation with the headmaster had left Weiss in a foul mood.
"'Conditional Return'?" Weiss muttered in disbelief as she made her way across Beacon's courtyard. "He should be expelled! Driven from this school and never to return!"
Headmaster Ozpin had not been willing to divulge any more information than his tasking the blond buffoon to a month-long reconnaissance mission outside Vale's borders. Weiss had, of course, advised the renowned huntsman to reconsider; he was only putting a civilian in even more danger, after all.
"An imbecile is not allowed to make their own choice." The slighted heiress vehemently stated.
But, as the headmaster so often reminded her, it was the buffoon's choice to enter Beacon, and though it was through underhanded means, it only spoke of his resourcefulness and determination.
The buffoon, apparently, had potential—for what, not even the headmaster was certain, but as a school, it was Beacon's birthright to see that potential ignite.
Potential, the imbecile may have, but how many would have to get hurt to see that potential realized?
"Snow Angel?" A small voice called from behind her.
It was a voice that Weiss could recognize anywhere, and Weiss could only inwardly groan.
"Must I repeat myself every time?" Weiss snapped and turned around with a glare.
As expected, the blond buffoon was standing there within arm's reach.
"Do not call me that ridiculous nickname, Arc."
He flinched, likely from her tone. The buffoon appeared smaller than he normal, and Weiss could not help but feel vindicated.
So much for his confidence; his bravado was always paper-thin.
"Sorry," He apologized while scratching the back of his head in an attempt to quell his nervousness. "Hey, ah, listen, I don't know if you've heard-"
"About what precisely, Arc?" Weiss' cold blue eyes narrowed. "About you cheating your way into this prestigious academy?"
He flinched again at the blunt accusation. His hand fell back to his side and his shoulders sagged.
"When you put it that way, it really sounds horrible, right?" He grinned slightly, attempting to lighten the mood.
Weiss was not impressed. "It is horrible, Arc. Someone, somewhere, who worked just as hard as all of us that were accepted here, was denied a place because of you." She made no effort to mask the harshness of reality. "Do you think that is fair, Arc?"
She saw his jaw tighten, but still he admitted, "No." his chest lifted with the breath he swallowed, and then he gave her a pained look that did not betray all the guilt and despair he must have felt.
Somehow, his look made her feel hollow.
"Look, Snow An—Weiss," he quickly corrected himself, "I know… that I don't belong here. With all of you." His eyes shifted as if his orbs struggling to meet her gaze. "But… but I was given a chance. I don't know what the headmaster sees in me, but there has to be something there for him to give me a chance." He sighed, the weight of uncertainty pulling down his unconfident shoulders. "I… don't really intend to squander it."
Weiss scrutinized the solemn cheat and found not even a pinch of lies. He was very sincere.
With a tired sigh of her own, Weiss decided to get straight to the point so she could leave this disgusting boy. "…why are you here, Arc?"
"I just wanted to say I'm sorry." He said. "I mean, I know how seriously you take rules and stuff, and I guess I did sort-of break an unspoken rule…" He began to babble towards the end, his nerves getting the best of him.
Weiss tilted her head. "Why do you care?"
"Because…" He trailed, his hesitation evident to the observant Schnee. "Even if you don't, well, think we are… I'd like to think we are friends."
"Do not be so presumptuous." Despite herself, Weiss could not stop the roses that erupted on her cheeks at his straightforward admission. "Once more, you are only thinking selfishly." She snarked, her words managing to help her regain her composure.
"I guess…" He admitted sheepishly. A depressing sigh left his lips and he looked around. "Well, I've gotta finish my rounds."
"Yeah." It was only then when Weiss noticed the rucksack on his back. "I'm leaving tonight. I just wanted to tell you guys, y'know?"
Weiss blinked—the only evidence of her surprise at the sudden turn of events. She knew that he would have to leave, but she had not accounted for his departure to be this soon. Still, the sooner the better, the Schnee heiress supposed.
She watched as the boy began scratching his neck with an awkward smile. There was no doubt that he didn't know how to take her silence.
After several more moments, he slowly turned. "I'll… be seeing you again soon. Take care, Snow Angel."
"Jaune," She called out to the retreating… boy, who turned around to regard her with his full attention. "If you truly do consider us as… acquaintances, then you would heed these words: do not accept the headmaster's conditional offer."
The blond tensed, and Weiss quickly squashed the guilt that erupted inside of her at the look of utter betrayal on his face. She was not wrong.
"Return to your family and forget all thoughts of becoming a huntsman."
She turned and walked away.
"Farewell, Jaune Arc."
Weiss hadn't joined the rest of Team RWBY and JNPR when they sent Jaune off that night. Even at Ruby's pouting, the heiress hadn't budged.
She had much more important matters to attend to—like her schoolwork. As the heiress of the Schnee dust company, it went without saying that she needed to be at the top of her class; preferably occupying the top-slot itself.
Obtaining such a position did not happen through indulging in meaningless activities.
Really, she wondered why Ruby was so put-off with her declining to join.
Weiss could confidently declare that she knew the buffoon better than, at the very least, the rest of her team. Even Ruby.
The stubborn oaf, simply put, would always take a course of action against her interest.
When she wanted him to shut up, he wouldn't.
When she wanted him to stay far away from her, he didn't.
When she wanted him to cease calling her that ridiculous nickname, he couldn't.
Thus now, when she wanted him to decline the conditional offer and leave Beacon…
It did not take a genius to figure out exactly what the uncooperative ram would do.
He'd be back.
With or without any words of encouragement, Team JNPR's leader would be back.
All that remained was when.
Until such time, however, Weiss Schnee decided that she would enjoy the peace and quiet to its fullest.
Weiss never realized how much an effect the buffoon's presence had on his team.
In hindsight, she really should have predicted this particular outcome.
Nora had always been a rather insane, impulsive imp. So, when dueling class with Professor Goodwitch had the mallet-wielding Valkyrie against Cardin Winchester himself, the entire class was stunned when Nora shattered his mace, shattered his will, and then shattered his legs.
"Miss Valkyrie!" Glynda lividly exclaimed. "You have taken one step too far!"
Nora turned her head towards the horrified professor with an innocent look. She was clearly deaf to the anguish cries of her victim. "But he still has his aura."
"It doesn't matter if he still has aura! You are not supposed to attack your classmate in such a manner! I will have you suspend-"
"If I may, professor." Pyrrha suddenly interrupted, staring directly into Glynda's eye. "Nowhere does it state in the rules you yourself had laid out that we shouldn't incapacitate our opponent in such manner. In fact, your instructions were not to use any lethal attack, and that the match will end either if a student's aura is red, a student is knocked out, or you deem the match over."
"Your point, Miss Nikos?"
"My point, professor, is that it is unjust to punish Nora for an oversight on your part."
Everyone apart from the remnants of Team JNPR winced at Pyrrha's bluntness. On her part, Pyrrha remained unflinching even under the withering glare Glynda leveled at her.
"The student handbook clearly states-"
"That violence is only allowed in Beacon Academy when the school is under attack from external forces, or during training sessions under the direct supervision or with the approval of any of Beacon's instructors." Pyrrha once more cut off the professor, this time with a verbatim quote. "There is no such specificity as to the use—or not to use— of excessive violence, nor is there any definition or list of what constitutes excessive violence."
"And besides," Nora suddenly chirped in, "You can always use your hocus-pocus to heal 'im."
The class collectively winced once more.
"Nora," Ren called and drew a curious look from his childhood friend. "Remember to show our instructors respect."
"Oh, you're right, Ren-Ren!" Nora agreed with a cheerful nod. "Just use your white magic on 'im, Professor Goodwitch!"
"Good." Ren nodded his head in satisfaction.
"I…" Everyone's attention was drawn to Cardin's pained and shaky words. His face was red and he was sweating profusely; anyone that saw him could tell that it took all he had not to resume screaming. "I didn't… mean it. It was an accident! Someone… overheard… and it just spread." He stammered. "You've gotta… believe me!"
It was admirable that, amidst his obvious pain, Cardin fought to speak the truth. Then again, the broken teen was only defending himself.
"Oh, I never doubted you!" Nora grinned, and it was in that grin where the class learned what malice truly was. "I just really, really wanted to hit you." She bowed her head apologetically. "Sorry. I can't control my own strength."
"Miss Valkyrie…" Glynda shook her head. She could not waste any more time on this, not when she had a student to attend to. "As… as your acting team leader pointed out, you have not broken any rules. Just—class, all of you: please learn to control your strengths and refrain from any such extreme acts of violence."
There was nothing in the bubbly girl's tone that suggested she was at all remorseful for the casual act of excessive violence.
Though Weiss would never admit it outright, she had become apprehensive at a prospective match-up against Nora, Ren, and Pyrrha.
Weiss frowned when the class ranks came out.
Pyrrha occupied the top spot.
She knew Pyrrha was going to dominate every practical, but she had no idea that the redhead would remain victorious even in all the theory.
Then there were Nora and Ren who were both keeping pace with the heiress. Ren, she could believe; the green-clad teen always seemed to be reading one book or the other, but Nora?
Was that girl actually clever?
It was a tad disheartening, Weiss felt, that all her hard work hadn't allowed her to surpass the competition but, she grudgingly supposed, this was why Beacon was such a prestigious academy.
Each student appeared to be driven to better themselves, whether through strength, skill, or knowledge.
Those three, as Weiss discovered when she just happened to accidentally stumble upon them while taking a late-night stroll that took her to the training hall, were no exception.
Their motive, however…
"Jaune will come back and he will return changed. Stronger." Pyrrha declared when Weiss asked. It didn't take long for the redhead to spot her, but it wasn't like she was hiding, really…
"It was our weakness as a team that caused him to leave, so we'll need to become stronger, too."
Weiss wanted to point out that it was the buffoon's own incompetence that got him into trouble, but even she knew when to still her tongue.
There was something manic in Nora's eyes, and Weiss wasted no time in letting the trio resume their training so she could hurry back to Team RWBY's room.
It was on one lazy weekend when Weiss approached an eating Yang with a curious question.
"Jaune?" Yang tilted her head and blinked in confusion. "Why do you wanna—oh my gosh!" She suddenly exclaimed. Yang's lips stretched into a wide grin and the blonde waggled her eyebrows teasingly at the heiress. "Do you actually miss-"
"No!" Weiss vehemently denied and crossed her arms for added emphasis. "I just—it is weird how much things have changed in his absence!"
Yang remained unfazed. "Missing the attention, Snow Angel?"
"Most certainly not! And before you get any ideas!" At this, the imperious heiress struck a warning finger at the playful brawler. "I invoke number 6 of Woman Law that clearly states a woman must do her utmost to help her fellow woman especially in such case where said fellow woman is distraught!"
"…Woman Law?" Yang repeated.
'Of all the things to focus on!' Weiss blushed. "I-it is new!"
"How new?" Yang narrowed her eyes skeptically. "I mean, I'd like to think I'd be first to know about it between you and me, snow princess."
"My name is Weiss!"
"Sure. So, who wrote it?"
Yang didn't miss how the red on Weiss' cheeks deepened.
"Can we please stay on topic?"
"Soon after you tell me who came up with 'Woman Law'." Yang countered with a teasing smirk. She already had an idea; she just needed confirmation…
"…did." The Schnee heiress uncharacteristically mumbled.
"I said I did, you deaf blockhead!" Weiss' entire body blossomed with the color of embarrassment. "I wrote it after reading that insufferable list called Man Law!"
"Only you, princess…" Yang guffawed at finding out the hilarious truth. "Only you would turn a sexist list into a competition." She shook her head mirthfully. "Why were you reading up on Man Law, anyway?"
"It's none of your business what I do with my spare time!"
Yang was surprised that Weiss hadn't bitten her tongue with how rapid her rebuttal flowed.
"I'mma take a guess that it has to do with our probationary lady-killer."
"Silence means yes." Yang grinned triumphantly.
The deceptively perceptive blonde entertained the idea of the heiress perusing what it was that made Jaune act the way he did, and stumble on the Man Laws. It was highly probable that it was the word 'law' that caught the rule-obsessed Weiss, hook-line-and-sinker.
"Rule number 6…" Weiss pleaded.
At that point, Yang had to pity the heiress. It seemed as if she would burst into tears at any moment—or turn her into a beautiful pincushion. Or whatever it is Weiss Schnee would do when pushed over the edge.
Yang relaxed. "Why ask me?"
Weiss inhaled deeply and took several more seconds to school her features, the red on her skin receding to return her back to her usual pallor.
She quietly cleared her throat.
"Because I cannot ask those three, and while Blake does not care enough, Ruby cares too much." Weiss grimaced at the thought. "I do not think Ruby wants to hear me speak of the nimrod ever."
Yang snickered. "And here I thought you were people-dense."
"I am not." Weiss sniffed, offended. She also resolutely subdued the urge to comment on her teammate's vocabulary. "I will have you know that I have taken numerous lessons in social psychology and behavioral science growing up—among other disciplines!"
"Well," Yang massaged her nape and murmured, pointedly ignoring Weiss' admission of having a boring childhood.
As amusing as it was to see the normally cool heiress lose it, Yang decided she already had enough fun at her friend's expense for one afternoon. She'd save the rest of the teasing for the evening.
What did she think of him?
"Jaune's a likeable dork with good intentions." Yang concluded after some thought. "It's pretty clear that he's compensating for something, but underneath all that bluster, he's a pretty cool guy. Eeeexcept for that one time." The brawler frowned at the memory. "That time, he was a jerk."
"Which time was that?" Weiss asked, overcome with curiosity.
"Eh, remember how he and I got lost in a dense part of the forest one night?"
"Yes. I recall how he came out first, screaming, while you chased after him. And then you pummeled him."
Her blonde teammate was literally blazing with fury.
"Yeah, that." Yang grimaced. "I may have gone overboard, that one time..."
"Are you not going to divulge what transpired?"
"Er," A drop of nervous sweat trickled down the brawler's nape at the inquiring heiress' demanding tone. It seemed not even Weiss was immune to the urge to gossip. "To cut a long story short, and I mean it was a long-"
"Quit your stalling." Weiss prompted impatiently.
"We were lost, it was pitch black, Jaune asked me to make a light, I didn't know how," Yang quickly stammered and then paused. "He kinda plucked a strand of my hair and what happened next is kinda blurry."
Weiss blinked, her mind quickly processing Yang's confession and coming up with a stunning conclusion. She resisted the urge to pinch the bridge of her nose. "He turned you into a torch."
"Pretty much." Yang scratched her cheek sheepishly. "We did get out in record time. Had plenty of time to spare before curfew, too."
"That idiot truly has a death-wish."
"He did apologize though." Yang defended. Thinking back on it, she felt guilt creeping up her spine; Jaune was screeching apologies while she had chased him, cried his apologies as she pummeled him, and gave an apology again after he had recovered. He had also, in his typical awkward way, presented her with a peace offering that was a bottle of her favorite shampoo… "Ugh, now I feel guilty."
"Where are you going?" Weiss asked when her companion kicked off her chair and stood.
"To ask Pyrrha what's a good 'welcome back' present for Jaune."
"You think he will return, too?"
"Ice Queen," Yang grinned confidently, "The only way to stop Jaune from coming back is to kill him. As it so happens, Jaune's an idiot, and idiots never die."
"Are you… lonely?"
Yang paused and regarded the heiress curiously. She had half the mind to resume teasing Weiss, but there was something in her friend's tone, with her eyes downcast and hand gripping an emptiness on her chest, which made the brawler consider her sincerely.
"Nah." Yang smiled. "Like this, I can look forward to meeting my friend again."
"I'm a victim! You want to know why I despise the White Fang? Why I don't particularly trust the Faunus? It's because they've been at war with my family for years. War, as in actual bloodshed. My grandfather's company has had a target painted across its back for as long as I can remember. And ever since I was a child, I've watched family, friends disappear. Board members... executed. An entire train car full of Dust stolen. And every day, my father would come home furious. And that made for a very difficult childhood."
"I don't want to hear it. I only want to know the next time that something this big comes up, you come to your teammates. And not some... someone else."
It had been more than a month since… Jaune had departed.
A lot had happened in that time, the most notable being Weiss' discovery that not only was Blake a Faunus, but she was a former member of the terrorist—that is, activist group White Fang, the same group that tormented her family.
It was a bitter pill for the Weiss to swallow, not only as the heiress of the Schnee Dust Company, but as a member of Team RWBY. It hurt her that Blake had not trusted them with her secret, though the logical, pragmatic part of Weiss understood why.
It still hadn't lessened the blow of the betrayal but, at least, it built a bridge through which Weiss was able to cross and meet Blake Belladona on the other side. Indeed, through much deliberation, Weiss had come to the conclusion that her past no longer mattered.
Instead, Weiss was more scared to lose her friend.
She wondered if, maybe, this was what Pyrrha, Nora, and Ren felt when it was revealed that Jaune had cheated his way into Beacon. Weiss had come to realize that she had been… petty, to put the action mildly, when she held that fact against Jaune.
Much as she found him an annoyance, the scraggly dork had his own reasons, Weiss was sure.
That did not mean Weiss had changed her mind about the aptness of Jaune as a future huntsman. Weiss still firmly believed in her conclusion.
Pyrrha, Ren, and Nora had mellowed and began hanging out with Team RWBY again, no thanks in small part to Ruby's efforts to engage the trio. Weiss had learned that it was Jaune that asked their team leader to look after his team—to make sure they'd be okay in his absence.
That was… admirable of him. Even as he left in disgrace, his thoughts were still filled with his team.
Weiss had learned a lot about the Jaune Arc she had refused to see, hidden beneath all his annoying pretense.
The first thing that came to Weiss' mind as consciousness slowly returned to her was that she would deploy every single lawyer under the Schnee Dust Company's employ and sue the living daylight off the driver of whatever dust-forsaken vehicle had slammed into her.
Retribution would be delicious.
'What happe—oh right.' Weiss groaned as the memories flooded back.
Nora had started a food war.
A series of splattering sounds made Weiss reflexively wince, and she hesitantly opened her eyes.
She was glad she did, because there she saw that her team had triumphed!
Ruby was panting as she stood before the colorful trio of Pyrrha, Nora, and Ren who were stuck to the far wall of the dining hall following her attack.
"L-like I said…!" Ruby inhaled deeply and stood up to her full height. "Justice is deli-"
Weiss winced as a watermelon broke on the back of Ruby's head.
"Ambush!" Ruby yelled and spun around before gasping.
Weiss, too, was as stunned as everyone when their eyes came upon the new entrant.
"Better not make such declarations until all's accounted for, Ruby."
Jaune Arc casually joined the fray with a wide grin.
"Jaune!" Ruby squealed and suddenly disappeared.
"Wh-" Jaune could barely react as a red missile slammed onto his un-armored stomach—incidentally splattering the last melon he held—and tackling him into the floor. "Ruby!"
"Yoooou're baaack!" The young girl sang to her dear friend.
"Yeah." Jaune grinned sheepishly at the girl beaming up at him. "I'm back."
As if those were magic words, the spell that kept everyone in place broke and they all rushed towards the scraggly blond.
"Welcome back, Jaune!" Pyrrha greeted happily and offered a hand to help her leader back up to his feet.
Jaune took her hand and smiled gratefully. "Thanks."
"Presents!" Nora grinned as she bear-hugged the blond and lifted him off his feet.
"N-Nora!" Jaune gasped as he felt a rib creak.
"Aaaaaaaagh!" A voice from above came, growing louder until a blur crashed onto the floor. Yang shakily stood up and dusted her clothes before realizing where she was. "Oh, you're back, Jaune!"
"Did you just fall from the sky?" Jaune blinked in disbelief, causing the brawler to chuckle heartily in reply.
"It's good to have you back." Ren said, and beside him Blake nodded.
"Thanks guys." Jaune was blushing at all the attention. "It's great to be back."
"As expected, I see that you didn't heed my warning." Weiss commented, drawing everyone's attention.
"Hey there, Snow Angel." Jaune greeted.
"Don't call me that!"
"Sorry," Jaune grinned sheepishly. "Force of habit."
"Mr. Arc." A stern and familiar voice called.
It killed the warm atmosphere instantaneously.
Weiss suppressed a shiver at the chilly tone and inwardly pitied the recently-returned Jaune as, sure enough, Glynda Goodwitch strode into the room with her trademark glare and riding crop. "I thought I instructed you to proceed to the headmaster's office to give your debriefing, did I not?"
"You did."Jaune answered, shrinking in on himself as he did so.
"And where are you now?"
"In the dining hall?"
"Not at the headmaster's office." The professor swiftly corrected. "Honestly, how are you unable to follow such a simple instruction?"
"Ah, in my defense," Jaune began before he could stop himself. "You never said that I had to report to him immediately."
Everyone, apart from Nora, winced. The hammer-wielding lunatic merely cheered.
"Mr. Arc." The professor's eyeglasses suddenly gleamed and masked whatever emotion it was she felt. "I see that not even your journey has instilled discipline on you." She raised her riding crop towards Jaune. "Should the headmaster permit your return, I see that I will need to engrave the value of discipline upon your body!"
Once more, everyone winced, but Yang, unable to contain her thoughts, soon joined the snickering Nora.
"Ms. Goodwitch, please." A calming voice suddenly called, and the headmaster himself joined in. "Mr. Arc must have been anxious to reunite with his friends. Let them have this moment."
"But headmaster." Glynda appeared to stress his title. "Protocol dictates-!"
"That the headmaster's decision is final."
"…You're treating them like children."
"They are children, Ms. Goodwitch." The headmaster reminded. "Come, let us speak about this without interrupting their reunion."
"Very well." Glynda glanced at the gathered teens and sighed, waving her riding crop purposefully. All the furniture and damaged structures were instantly repaired. "Children, next time, please do not play with your food." She regarded Jaune coolly. "And welcome back to Beacon, Mr. Arc. I look forward to seeing you in detention."
With that, both professors left.
Yang broke out into a snickering fit as soon as the double doors closed.
"That's gotta be a record, blondie." The brawler grinned and threw an arm around her fellow blonde's neck.
"What is?" Jaune groaned, feeling all his tension dissipate now that the professors were gone.
"Not five minutes back and already you're causing trouble!"
Everyone broke into a laugh at that. Jaune truly was a misfortunate soul.
"It's—it's not my fault!"
Weiss could not agree more, but she was more grateful that she wasn't given detention. To have that on her record was simply unbecoming!
"So, where've you been all this time?" Yang asked her captive.
"Er, I don't know if I'm allowed to speak…" Jaune trailed off meekly, and then shivered. Why was everyone looking at him like that!
"Come now, boss-man," Nora sidled up to Jaune's other side. Her eyes gleamed with the promise of pain if she would not get her way. "What's a secret or two between friends?"
"Uh…" Jaune started sweating bullets.
"If it makes you feel any better," Ruby spoke up optimistically, "We'll tell you ours if you'll tell us yours." She caught Blake's look. "We've told Pyrrha, Nora, and Ren, so we can tell Jaune too, right?"
"I suppose..." Blake nodded and then declared. "Only if he tells us where he's been."
Jaune blinked at that. "Did something happen while I was gone?"
"Many things happened, imbecile." Weiss rolled her eyes. "It wasn't like you were gone for just one day."
"I broke Cardin's legs!" Nora gleefully supplied.
"Weiss kept you in her thoughts." Yang teased.
"I did not!"
"Did she?" Jaune asked hopefully and turned to the fuming heiress.
"Are you deaf as well?" She hissed.
"Ah…" Jaune deflated. Whatever sadness he felt didn't last long as he suddenly perked up with an infuriating smile. "You can admit that you missed me later, Snow Angel."
Weiss exploded. "WHY YOU-!"
Pyrrha cleared her throat loudly, cutting off the tirade that everyone knew would follow. "Everyone, maybe we should first change and give Jaune more time to settle in before we ask a debriefing. It is clear that he does not want to speak of it at present."
"Really?" Ruby pouted.
"Jaune's been slowly shifting the topic." Ren explained.
"He was?" Yang frowned uncomprehendingly.
"Ditto on confusion." Jaune nodded emphatically.
"He's not that clever." Weiss added.
"Be that as it may," Pyrrha started, though her eyes remained trained in Jaune's and silently told him that she was not fooled. "I, for one, would like secrets to be shared while adorned in cleaner, comfier clothing."
"Oh, fine." Yang finally pulled away. "I'm giving you 'til later, lady-killer. Don't make me wait long."
"I am so confused…" Jaune whined, only to bite his tongue as Nora suddenly hefted him on her shoulder. "Urk!"
"C'mon, let's go! I can't wait to show you what we've done to your bed!"
"Wait, what did you do to my bed?" Jaune exclaimed. He had no doubts that the 'we' was composed of Nora and the mayhem that followed in her wake. When Nora didn't answer, Jaune turned to Ren and Pyrrha for an exclamation. "Guys?"
Ren shook his head while Pyrrha offered with a giggle. "Well, you're about to see." The redhead turned to Team RWBY. "We'll go on ahead. Farewell!"
"Catch ya later!" Yang grinned.
"See ya!" Ruby waved.
"Likewise." Blake nodded.
"Oh gods," Team RWBY heard Jaune exclaim from the hallway. "Motion sickness! I think I'm gonna-!"
They tuned him out and tried not to imagine what happened next.
"Weiss?" Ruby asked.
"The mule is still calling me Snow Angel!" She muttered.
"Aww…" Yang cooed teasingly. "Someone's happy."
"I am not!"
"Group hug!" Ruby cheered.
"Not with your dirty clothes you're not!"
A/N: Several weeks of story in the making, couple hundred words at a time x_x
Dunno if I'll ever write the crossover portion to this, so I'mma just gonna out it: Jaune spent a month around Gainos, where he stumbled upon the Phantom Warrior and the rebellion, somehow managing not only to survive but also to end the Queen Claudette's tyranny.
Leina, in particular, instilled in Jaune the conviction to fight—that he doesn't need any deeper reason to become strong other than simply the want to protect, as she herself had realized.
Also, Jaune may or may not have been exposed to one or two or three or more pairs of boobies-per-day throughout his (mis)adventure, most of the time accidentally ie during battle. Praise the combat-skirts; it could be worse (or better, depending on how you look at it).
(Queen's Blade is totally my guilty pleasure anime)
Anyway, had to cut Weiss' POV short, so the second half's gonna come whenever time permits. Here's a teaser of what's to come:
Reflection (Mirror Night)
"I told you so, headmaster. He is not suited for Beacon. This? This is your fault." Weiss coldly accused the tired man. "Why in Grimm's bane did you allow him the opportunity to come back!"
Ozpin glanced at the distraught girl.
"I saw something in Mr. Arc. I saw potential. I saw in him the potential to find a peaceful solution to the conflicts of this age. I saw in him the capacity to inspire peace, and not propagate more war. You and I—nearly all of us in this line of work and in this school—we are here because we know nothing more than fighting and grief. Jaune Arc is different. In Jaune Arc is the naïve desire to become a hero."