Written from the perspective of Weiss Schnee
Summary: Weiss agrees to a simple meeting with Jaune: an afternoon watching the clouds.
To DeltaNovember: This is how you do a REAL 'looking at clouds' RWBY fic. #getrekt bitch.
This is not a date.
It's a simple meeting between two friends, nothing more. It's a meeting between two friends who are not very close nor particularly distant. One of the friends just happened to be an attractive, highly-sought after female who has endured literally hundreds of marriage proposals and interviews from suitors coming from every spectrum in elite society. Sons of great generals, heirs to fabulously wealthy companies, members of nobility and distant relatives of royalty… The other a doofus who was, by some miracle, declared a male by doctors at birth.
There is absolutely no romantic chemistry between us. Jaune Arc and I are just friends. So there was no reason to decline his invitation to watch the clouds. Together. Just as friends.
And so we laid on the grass, on our backs, in our school uniforms, after Professor Port's class, just the two of us, watching the clouds. The afternoon was cool and breezy. The clouds moved at a noticeable, but still slow, pace. Clouds are condensed air of suspended water in the atmosphere who sometimes assume shapes that people often identity as animals, things, or people.
I saw a snowflake. It was rather refreshing.
"I think I see a triangle," Jaune said beside me. He held his hands out, attempting to trace the outline of the shape with his fingers. "I think it could also be a lop-sided square. Then again, maybe it looks more like a pineapple…"
"For someone who invited me cloud-watching, you're really awful at it."
"Ouch." Jaune brought his arms to his sides and stared skyward. "But I can't really deny it. I keep ending up on my back so many times during mock duels and training sessions. Became a sort of habit to look at the sky when I'm feeling down."
I snickered at the joke.
"That's clever," I admitted. "I'm actually surprised you came up with it."
"Came up with what?"
"You know… you look at the clouds when you're feeling down… and you're flat on your back watching the clouds…" I turned my head sideways towards Jaune and he turned his towards mine. "Wasn't that a joke…?"
"If it is, I don't get it."
Well that figures. Jaune the Ever-Dense Doofus might be an appropriate epithet for his tombstone. I would gladly pay for it to engraved with an accompanying statue to go along with it. Perhaps one where he is attacked by pillow-shaped Grimm with sharp fangs gnawing on his socks.
I looked back towards the sky.
The clouds moved so gently. Like they were pillows tumbling through the air. To us they appeared like giants, so above us and our petty ways. Money, race, creed… what's it to them? They're clouds! We must be as insignificant as tomorrow's weather. They go where they please and think of nothing.
I envy that.
"Where do you want to go?" I turned my head to ask Jaune.
"Huh? You're actually asking me a question?" I'm sure the look I gave him was one that looked very, very angry. "W-well… I didn't expect you to actually initiate a conversation… but, um, I guess…" Jaune looked away from me. "I guess I'd like to go far?"
Jaune closed his eyes. "Maybe I'd go to one of the uncharted continents and make myself a small cabin with a small farm. Away from all my problems. I mean, don't get me wrong, but it kind of sucks to be alive right now. Four kingdoms on the verge of war. Faunus terrorism acting up. Crime syndicates running amok. Your dad's company exploiting the poor and vulnerable to mine dust… uh, scratch that last one, uh… my mom's always on my case about grandkids…"
"You think you can run away from all your problems?"
"Well no… but it'd be nice to try and get away from it all. Leave everything behind and just start over in a new world in a cabin with some sheep and chickens… maybe a cow… okay, it's a stupid idea." Jaune covered his face in shame. "A ridiculous dream."
"I don't disagree. It's a romantic idea to just run away from it all. And it is a difficult time to be alive. Sometimes, even I'd like to run away like one of those clouds up there. Be untouchable." I mused.
"Life hurts," he replied. "What do you see?"
"I see a snowflake," I answered. "It's melting."
"Are you going to disappear?"
"I'm not going to run away. It'll take more than a storm to scare a Schnee. You and I both come from a noble lineage. Aren't you just running away from your responsibilities?"
Jaune thought for a moment.
"If those responsibilities don't make any sense to me or make me happy then shouldn't I just run away? I mean, I love my folks and all but I can't see myself being a lord of a castle or a great general leading armies." Jaune pointed upward. "That cloud sort of looks like my shield."
My eyes followed his finger. "I guess it does kind of resemble it."
"I want to protect those I care about," Jaune said quietly. "I think what's what the clouds are trying to tell me."
"I think you're looking too much into the cloud thing, buddy."
"You're probably right, as usual," Jaune said before he went quiet. After a few moments, I asked him a question.
"Would you die for those you care about?"
"Yeah," he said without skipping a beat. "Even if I'm across the world and someone needs my help, I'd come running." Jaune laughed. "I especially owe Pyrrha for all that training she's beat into me. I'd cross time and space to help her."
"What about Ruby? Blake? Yang?"
"I'd help them all out. What's wrong with dying to help a friend in need?"
"Aren't you scared?"
Jaune paused a moment.
"Every battle I'm terrified. I know I'm weak. My endurance sucks, my speed is slower than hamsters, and I've got the strength of a baby kitten. It's just dumb luck and people saving me that I keep living. But all it takes is one bad block or a lousy landing and bam! Dead."
"You value your life lowly."
"It's worthless compared to the lives of my friends."
"It seems like a stupid thing to throw yourself away for. You should spend your life building a family legacy or fortune to pass onto to your descendants." I thought back to the Schnee family residence, White Castle, which was an elegant display of our wealth and nobility. I saw my father seated at the head of our grand table. "A 'legacy that would last a thousand generations'..."
"That sounds like it'll send a bad message. That a life only finds meaning if you use it to advance yourself to get rich or powerful. I think it's better to be an idealist and die for something noble than get rich to call yourself noble. Try and be benevolent."
"You think it's better to die an idealist than live?"
Jaune closed his eyes.
"You know, now I think I am scared of death after all." Jaune began laughing. "Isn't it funny? We all are going to die someday and I'm worried about getting to live a few heartbeats longer."
That comment made me sad.
"You know, a storm is coming." I looked towards the clouds and saw the familiar patterns I once read in my father's study. It was a book on weather patterns of Vytal.
"Cumulonimbus clouds are forming. We might have thunderstorms tonight." My finger gently followed the outline of the clouds before tracing the predicted air current patterns. "It'll be difficult to get any sleep tonight…"
"You can sleep with me tonight if you're scared."
"Don't push your luck."
"Okay," said Jaune and he said no more.
The afternoon sky went from blue to orange as the sun set behind the mountains. The clouds had began to drift in denser packs like rippling waves. I laid beside Jaune on the grass. The grass was cold but I could feel his presence beside me.
It wouldn't hurt to ask.
"Hey Jaune," I said softly. "If you ever decide to go to one of the uncharted continents…you know, to build a cabin and have a small farm with sheep and chickens and maybe a cow away from all the problems of the world… do you mind if… I mean, would you mind if… if I came with you?"
My face and his were a breath apart.
I received a friendly answer.
Author's Notes: This is not my preferred premise.