Chapter Twenty-Four: Conclusion
This is final chapter, so I don't have much to say really except for thanking everyone who kept up with the story and still were kind enough to review. Once Blake's Mistake is finished I will have an announcement about how my schedule for the stories is going to pan out.
Hopefully you'll all enjoy the conclusion, and yes the pairing does end up together so yay! Blake's Mistake taught me a lot of things, and helped a lot to form what The Heat and Not Even Aura has become. The good news is both those stories are already mapped out. Anyway, enjoy the endings.
The only sound Blake could focus on was the clacking of Cinder's heels on the marble floor. Her amber eyes didn't leave the woman in front of her, flames dancing within the witch's palms like flickering candles. Jaune prompted himself up onto a column in the expansive vault, holding his side in pain. She wanted to rush in and finish her... but that look in her eyes, she was overconfident, and rightfully so. Blake gripped the hilt of Gambol Shroud and looked at the column behind her, coming up with a last ditch plan to at least slow her movements.
Cinder remained still, a smile creeping onto her noticeably beautiful features. This was a woman who was used to getting what she wanted. The flames grew larger, and Blake could feel the heat emanating from her aura, sweat pouring down her neck and dripping onto the floor. Within the silence, Blake could hear the beating of her heart accompanied by the crackling fire that swayed. She only had one chance. She took a careful step back and grabbed the ribbon attached to Gambol Shroud, keeping a loose grip so it untangled without trouble.
She dashed to the left, barely dodging a fireball that was thrown in her direction. Her focus was on the column, and she jumped over Cinder with a graceful flip, looping the ribbon around the column. Cinder twisted her waist and unleashed a volley of flames that trailed across the floor, melting some of the carbonite rocks.
The temperature of her semblance must have been incredible to do so – if that touched even a little bit of her skin, she would be reduced to ashes. Gambol Shroud shifted into its gun form, and Blake concentrated the fire at the bottom of the column. She jumped back to her original spot using her semblance, leaving the clone to be washed away in the flames.
The column fell in her intended direction, Cinder actually surprised by the act. Smoke flew up from where the structure collapsed, and pieces of debris crumbled next to her feet. Blake knew it wasn't over, narrowing her eyes to look through the smoke and find Cinder. She brought Gambol Shroud back into its bladed form, and hopped atop the shattered column, eyes widening in excitement as she found Cinder beneath it, a moan of pain escaping her plump lips.
"So cocky, yet you fell for a simple trick." Blake remarked.
Cinder began to chuckle, her aura rising fast as her surroundings lit up in flames. "You're the one who's full of themselves!" chunks of marble were thrown into different sections of the vault, and Blake flipped backwards in the air, barely landing on her feet.
Cinder's entire figure was shield by an orange glow, her every step melting the floor. Blake made an audible gulp, looking over to see that Jaune was unconscious. Her chances of living were very slim... a full on attack would be suicidal.
"Little girl," Cinder cooed, "Do you honestly think you can distract me long enough? I'm done playing games with you children. That power, is mine!"
Cinder motioned with her hands and shot a spiral of flame in her direction, nearby columns melting upon impact and causing some of the roof to collapse. Blake dodged the attack, but her left boot caught aflame. The sweltering heat reached her skin and she quickly kicked it off, only to watch the rest of the material become ashes.
"You missed." Blake called out.
She created another set of clones and used the rest of the columns to jump around. Cinder was good, but she had speed as her advantage. She continued with her evasion until she thought Cinder lost her movements. This would be her only chance again with the element of surprise lost – just one good hit was all she needed, something to weaken the indomitable force that Cinder displayed with her semblance.
Blake rushed in from behind, swinging Gambol Shroud toward the center of Cinder's waist. The blade contacted with her aura, clashing for only a few seconds before she was flung backwards. A trail of fire danced along the edges of the sword, the hilt becoming too hot to grasp. She rolled along the cold marble floor, her senses impaired from the sudden impact. Her sight was blurred and she desperately crawled to her weapon, hoping that some miracle would occur.
Her arm was overcome with an intense amount of pressure, Cinder's heel digging into her bare skin. She cackled in joy and admired the pain on her face. She tried not to cry out in pain, holding back any tears so as not to show weakness. She didn't want this woman to win, she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Jaune. "I'm going to enjoy killing you, though I'm surprised you gave me trouble."
A pair of dust glass-based swords appeared in both her hands, the candles that were left standing reflecting off the surface and onto her blades. Again she grinned, and she knelt down to look into Blake's face. "Before I kill you in front of your boyfriend, I want him to see you suffer." She let out a hoarse laugh.
Jaune remained unconscious to see anything.
"Blake..." His cracked voice barely whispered.
Tears dripped onto the floor, she was heartbroken that her first true love would have to watch her die in some excruciating way. Cinder dug her nails into Blake's left arm, bending it backwards until it twisted in her grasp. She let out a moan of pain and slammed the floor with a tightened fist in her free hand. Jaune crawled onto his stomach and tried to reach her, inching forward like a slug. Cinder's gaze caught him and laughed, trailing the tip of her blade near her elbow, most of the feeling in the arm now gone.
"Let's take your arm first." Cinder whispered in her ear.
Cinder raised her blade, and in one swift motion cut into Blake's flesh, severing the arm. Blood sprayed onto the floor, but the flow stopped as Cinder cauterized the wound with her flames. She would have passed out if not for her aura, eyes barely staying open. Blake could see her limb across the floor, a puddle of blood cascading across the marble. Cinder walked over to the arm and lifted it up with her blade, throwing it into the air and lobbing a ball of flame in its direction. The skin and bones were reduced to ash, leaving any chance to reattach it gone... not that she would live.
"Blake..." Jaune tried to call again.
All she could do as Cinder walked away from them was meet Jaune halfway. It took everything in her power to hold out her open palm and intertwine her fingers with his. Cinder looked back with a disgusted look, producing another flame that danced across her knuckles. She wasn't strong enough to defeat Cinder, nor was she strong enough to save Jaune from all of her mistakes... at least they would die happy and in love. She could never have that with Adam, yet with Jaune, the feeling of comfortableness he brought made her forget the agonizing pain she felt on her left side.
The flames were stopped by a wall of green light that consumed the entire room, blinding her vision with its brightness. Ozpin's silhouette took shape against it, and he tapped his cane against the marble floor in successive motions. A soft energy wrapped around both her and Jaune's bodies, a healing sensation coursing through her system. The pain was stopping, replaced by a euphoric tingling sensation where her left arm used to be. Jaune was still unconscious, but his wound closed, the gash where Cinder struck almost fading.
"I took way to long playing with that Faunus." Cinder grumbled.
"Indeed," Ozpin commented, a forlorn look overcoming his expression as he looked at Blake. "She bought a good amount of time, perhaps too much time." He released a sigh, raising his cane and pointing it toward Cinder.
"This will be our final battle... old friend."
They disappeared in a blur, fire and light colliding across the room. The foundation of the vault shook from the impact of their directed attacks. Cinder threw a bundle of flames into his direction, only for a barrier of green light to deflect it. Their weapons collided and sent a whistling sound that echoed throughout the walls. Sparks flew onto the ground, and it was clear that Ozpin was pushing Cinder back. A wave of flames crashed into the walls near the left side of the vault, blowing it into pieces and causing some of the roof to fall.
Ozpin jumped back and conjured three spherical green lights that orbited him. He looked above him and shot the orbs into the ceiling, making a large opening that allowed him to escape. Cinder followed, using her semblance to create foot holes to chase after him. A veil of smoke obscured Blake's sight, but she was beyond relieved, wrapping her single arm around Jaune's body to provide him warmth. The battle was out of her hands now, even literally. Ozpin would take care of the rest.
"Blake!" She faintly heard Yang's voice, but she was too tired to keep her eyes open – she was exhausted. Before she went unconscious, a smile crept on her petite lips, the fuzzy light that healed them providing comfort and hope.
Everything went to hell, his entire plan ruined by a few teenagers and a power hungry witch that didn't know how to execute her plans. Ironwood took out a flask with his favorite whisky inside and downed it, releasing a sigh and looking out the deck of his personal ship. They escaped marginally from the chaos that unfolded minutes ago, a fleet of Vale ships and other Atlas vessels that turned on him and opened fire. They sustained heavy damage, but he could escape to Mistral and recuperate, manage his resources and create an army in a few years' time without the help of Cinder and her flunkies.
The White Fang were all but useless.
"General Ironwood," One of his few loyal officers called from the control panel. "We have a hail, it's from Professor Goodwitch of Beacon Academy." Glynda? Now why would she be calling... probably a last ditch effort to convince him to surrender. It was a pointless gesture.
"Allow the call."
The main screen came into focus and showed the stern expression of Glynda Goodwitch that he was all too familiar with. She was beautiful and intelligent, but now a hopeless dream that he could never pursue. "Why are you calling me Glynda, you know I won't surrender."
"I know you won't, I just wanted to know why... you never had to resort to such violence and reckless actions. Why did you never talk to me?" her voice was shaky, its usual disciplined tone wavering.
"War needed to happen – the councils are too inadequate and corrupt to care about the Grimm outside their walls. Glynda, do you really think I would continue to operate with the White Fang? They are tools, nothing more in my eyes." Her eyes trailed down, Ironwood recognizing that disappointed look anywhere. She would never understand.
"I'm sorry it turned out this way, goodbye James." The feed went black, leaving nothing but static and a knife in his heart. Things might have been different if he could've seen the world in a better light.
"Continue our course sir?" One of the soldiers asked.
"Yes, don't stop for anyone."
A sudden explosion rocked the back of the ship, throwing Ironwood onto his back. The glass of the bow shattered onto the floor, letting in a strong wind that blew any documents on the stations around the room. Alarms began to sound out, the red lights almost blinding him. He took out his revolver and checked the six-chambered cylinder to make sure it was already loaded. He liked to mix different Dust cartridges. One of his soldiers was dead, the impact launching a large shard of glass into his face. Blood trickled down his neck and dripped onto the floor... it was regrettable to see such a loyal man die.
"Sir, we're reporting multiple casualties at the stern!" The other soldier present at the station was slightly injured, a noticeable black eye under his left lid and a bruise around his right shoulder.
No student would kill his soldiers, at least none at Beacon that he could think of. Glynda's brief call was all a distraction, and he fell for it. Ironwood spun the chamber and pressed he button near the wall to close the shutters, marching through the door toward the escape vessels underneath the Iapetus. He wouldn't risk being captured, even if the enemy was weaker than him – knowing Glynda it was someone clever. All of team RWBY was preoccupied at Beacon with Cinder, including any other students that might be a nuisance to him.
The hallways were narrowed, passing the quarters and sliding down a ladder to prepare the ship. His soldier followed in earnest, wincing as he raised his rifle to make sure they weren't being followed. There was only one more hallway to traverse, past where the Paladin's were kept in storage. The ship could fit about four individuals, so it wouldn't be a tight fit, and would contain enough fuel for him to find a contact in Mistral. There was always a plan B.
"Hey big and handsome, did you miss us?" Ironwood froze mid stride, and the hammer of his revolver was pressed down. He knew that irritating voice and that smug smile... including the stench of the awful cigar brand he smoked.
Roman's cane was trained on his soldier from behind, a cocky grin planted on his lips where smoke seeped through. It made sense that Glynda would employ such a wildcard, but she was mistaken if she thought a petty thief could stop him. "Wagging your tail for the Vale Council now Roman?"
He chuckled, tapping the cigar to let some ash fall onto the metal floor. "I'm working for no one," he wryly replied. "I was just given a better deal, one that didn't include prison time-can you believe that?" Ironwood twirled at the sound of footfalls from behind, revealing a familiar short girl with mixed color hair that infiltrated Beacon.
"Roman's plaything, I heard she was formidable, but not enough to defeat me." Neo shook her head, unsheathing her blade from the parasol.
There wasn't much room to fight, and if she closed in, she would have the advantage. Thankfully he planned for such a scenario beforehand. Ironwood lowered his arm and shot the ground, the bullet releasing smoke throughout the room. The sound of his soldier being cut down by Roman did not go unheard, a necessary loss for his future plans. He brushed past Neo and used the second trigger to switch its form, smacking her back to give him enough time to escape.
Ironwood craned his neck to miss an explosive round from Roman's cane, the wall next to him collapsing into smoldered metal pieces. He continued passed the crates of ammunition and body armor toward the escape room, slamming a titanium steel door behind him and shooting the lock. It would delay them for only a minute, enough time to input the code and get in the vessel before that vixen of his charged in. The digits were simple, a little code he remembered to memorize for special occasions. The ship's main hatch opened, releasing steam from the pressurized seals. He wasn't one to abandon ship, to throw away all those lives that remained loyal throughout the years.
But it could all be rebuilt.
The door exploded, a piece of debris scrapping across one of the wings. He was only given a few seconds until Neo rushed him, thrusting her blade into his abdomen. He parried the attack with his revolver, the metal grinding against steel. She jumped back and launched a high kick, but he dodged, firing a bullet behind her that sent flames up the back of her leggings. With that distraction, he punched her in the gut, sending the girl flying across the room.
"Damn, I thought I knocked her out." He grumbled.
"There's still me Jimmy!" Roman fired another explosive.
He brought up his revolver and blocked the explosive, taking the brunt of the damage. If the round hit his ship, there would be no hope in escaping. Neo grunted in pain but sat up, dusting off her shoulders with an ever present grin. Ironwood grit his teeth, aware of his chances against two Huntsmen-level fighters... he could kill Roman, but that would enrage the girl, endangering his escape in the process. It only took a few seconds to raise the shielding on the vessel, giving him plenty time to exit the ship before it crashed.
His eyes darted to the end of the room, the handle for the hanger door in plain view. Ironwood tightened his grip around the revolver and lifted it at the ceiling, knowing full well the next bullet in the chamber would create a mist of ice that would freeze the area.
Neo pushed Roman aside, her blade raised above her shoulder in an attempt to stop him. The bullet shot through a pipe and released more steam, the air becoming crisp as ice spread throughout the room. She slipped on the floor and slid across the room past him, giving him the seconds he needed to pull the handle.
The hanger door rose with a creek, sucking all of the air out of the room within seconds. Neo tried to grab hold of something, her small arms grasping the nearest pipe. Ironwood hopped into the ship and typed away at the control panel, watching as Roman navigated over to his partner in a desperate attempt to save her. The engines revved, and the Dust containers were full, having more than enough fuel to reach a safe haven. He could sail the rest of the way to Mistral if needed.
The ship turned at a sharp angle, one of the wings scraping against the iron walls. Sparks flew onto the floor and caught fire near one of the busted pipes. Through the cockpit, he smiled, looking upon Roman's twisted face as he grabbed hold of Neo's wrists and whispered into her ear. There were two mounted machineguns on the ship, so he flipped off the safety and focused the reticle right on their bodies. The thief Roman Torchwick would no longer be a pain in his ass... except they let go, both carried off by the gust.
Their deaths were so anticlimactic.
He paid no heed, guiding the ship out of the hanger and into the night. Ironwood flicked the lights on and was blindsided, his face instantly going pale at the sight of hundreds of other ships already blockading his escape. He lost control, the weight of the vessel being pulled down to a large destroyer floating below. On the deck, was Roman Torchwick and Neo, giddy smiles on their faces, but what triggered him was the sight of Glynda. She was using her semblance to pull the ship down until it safely landed in the middle.
There was no escape now, any chance he had of reorganizing a coup in Atlas or Vale's council all but gone. Ironwood chuckled, realizing how ironic it was that of all the people to capture him it would be the woman he once loved... no still loved. Or maybe it was destiny.
"James," Glynda all but whispered, "Its time to come out and face the results of your demons." He nodded, exiting the ship with both hands up. Vale military officers pinned him to the ground and handcuffed both arms, hefting him up so he could stare one last time at her beautiful eyes.
"I'm sorry, Glynda." Ironwood mouthed before he was dragged away. His Voracity was no match for the ambition of a couple of teenagers – or maybe that was always meant to happen, perhaps he never wanted to be successful.
His mistakes were too much to bear.
Ozpin narrowly sidestepped a spiral of flames over his shoulder, his dark suit burnt in the process, leaving a hole near his elbow. Most of his aura maintained the effect of the damage from her flames, whereas most people's skin would have been reduced to blackened ash. The barrier around him flashed in intervals from the impact of each of her attacks, lighting up the top of Beacon's tower. He launched a few energy blasts in her direction which she dodged, materializing her Dust blades to close in on him in the corner.
He brought up his cane and blocked the initial thrust, both their weapons screeching from the impact. She leaned forward so he could feel her flames, the heat causing him to sweat profusely onto the debris he stood on. Ozpin wretched his right arm forward and kicked her in the stomach, shooting another volley of energy that struck directly in her face. Cinder almost toppled over, clenching her gut and kneeling – both their auras were low from the intense exchange.
"Have you decided to give up Cinder?" Ozpin huffed out.
Cinder spit out blood from her mouth and wiped her chin, releasing a chuckle. "Not when you're about to die." She clambered up and raised her weapons, her pants coming out at an uncontrollable rate. She was pushing herself past her limits, and without the power of the maidens, Cinder would essentially be no match for his power.
"I received news that General Ironwood has been captured, his forces all but defeated – and most of your Grimm have been pushed back." Ozpin grew uneasy, Cinder sneering in his direction. She lifted up her arms and slammed the ground. A roar blew across the academy, knowing in an instant what type of Grimm had been summoned.
"You can die here with the rest of your students!" he redirected his power around the barrier, enforcing it with all his strength. The sound of wings flapping closed the distance, and the Dragon unleashed a wall of flames that consumed the entirety of the tower.
Such a powerful Grimm would take a bevy of skill Huntsman and Huntresses to take down. Most of his energy was consumed fighting Cinder, and when the flames decided to subside, he might not be able to block another ferocious attack. When the barrier was clear, he released a breath and looked over at Cinder, her arms still trembling from her earlier injury. The Dragon rested its feet into the roof, its talons digging into the metal until it was seated behind her.
"She'll give me plenty of time to absorb the maiden's power. Unless you think you can kill both of us now?" Ozpin grit his teeth, using his cane as a support to not fall over from exhaustion. She now had the upper hand.
"A dragon Grimm, are you shitting me?" Qrow cursed. He looked around for Ruby, knowing full well that Cinder was battling Oz at the top. Even if she hadn't taken the maiden's power yet, Ruby's silver eyes would be their ace to take down that enormous Grimm. He rushed over to the main building and looked for a hole caused by their battle.
Qrow hopped down and used a column to slide down into the vault, spotting Ruby and the others with a Vale medic. Blake Belladonna was on the ground, probably unconscious. A compression pad was wrapped around where her left arm used to be, and next to her was Jaune Arc. They did a hell of a job distracting that beast, but their fight was over.
"Ruby!" Qrow called out, surprising the others.
She glanced back and waved, a few tears in her eyes. "Uncle Qrow, their going to make it!" Yang patted her on the back and wiped the tears from her tiny lashes.
"I know you're sad right now, but I'm going to need you to straightened yourself out... right now I need those silver eyes." She blinked a few times in confusion and looked over to her teammates.
"What about her eyes?" Yang questioned, a protective tone in her voice.
"There's too much to explain right now," Qrow barked, scaring the blonde. "If you want to save Beacon and end this once and for all, then you'll come with me Ruby." There was a silence in the vault, yet Ruby stood from where Jaune and Blake laid, unsheathing Crescent Rose.
"Let's go..." She answered with hesitance.
"I won't let anything happen to her Yang, I promise." He reassured his niece and grabbed Ruby by the waist. He instructed her to make way for the top of tower using her semblance. They had to move fast.
Their movement was slightly hampered by his weight, but they made considerable ground, already close to the very top. The dragon's malicious hate could be felt – though it could have been Cinder's aura. Qrow latched his scythe into the wall and urged Ruby to move ahead of him. They were wasting too much time climbing the tower.
"Are you sure?!" Ruby yelled against the wind.
Qrow unleashed a grumble and looked down to admire the view. He wasn't the greatest of fan of heights, even if he could fly using his semblance. "Just go, I'll meet you up there, and trust your aura!" She tilted her head again in confusion, but used her semblance to run up the tower.
When she was gone from his sight, he let go and transformed into a crow, flying high above the tower to take in the majesty of the dragon Grimm. It was huge, its tail wrapped around the spire like those seen in fantasy novels. He could make out Cinder's form closing in on Ozpin, his body hunched over in pain. He could take care of her, but it was Ruby that would have to face her heritage and use the silver eyes to kill the dragon Grimm. If not, she would die.
He nosedived into the chaos, morphing back into his human form and changing his sword into a scythe. Cinder barely parried his surprise attack, the blade cutting into her side until it left out the front. Blood sputtered form her mouth and she collapsed, the wound staining the ground. The dragon roared and brought up its claws, until Ruby stopped it with Crescent Rose. Cinder tried to use her last strength to stab Qrow, though he expected the rush, lopping off her right arm with his scythe. He kicked her in the stomach and launched her body right under Ozpin's watch.
"D-damn you... how did I not smell t-the stench." Cinder mumbled between coughs. Ozpin knelt by her side and grasped her left hand.
"You didn't know about Qrow's temporary powers, or the bad luck it brings." She looked over at the Grimm, seeing it pushed back by Ruby Rose – it was as if the dragon couldn't find the will to attack.
"So I die... a pathetic woman?" Blood dripped from her lips, accompanied by a look of defeat. She would die from her wounds shortly, Ozpin knew this, so he decided to give her comfort before she died.
He extended the last of his aura onto her body, a swath of green light covering Cinder head to toe. She had no strength to lift her head, but she glanced up at Ozpin, the fire in her stare all but dissipated.
"A genuine smile would have made you lovely." Ozpin remarked. Her lips curved as both eyelids shut, all life from Cinder Fall vanishing in one long second. Her life was snuffed out like a stray candle by the wind, and the dragon collapsed, becoming a hunk of withering ash before Ruby could strike the final blow.
It was over... Cinder Fall was dead and Beacon still remained.
Blake's eyes fluttered open, her vision still dazed from the medicine in her system. She looked around the hospital room and attempted to lift her left arm, only to feel a nub in its place make a slight movement. Her vision returned slowly, and to the right of the bed was Jaune, lying on the covers asleep. She remembered everything that happened... Cinder severed her arm, but what about Beacon? She tried to sit up, but a sudden pain rushed up her back and into the left side of her body. The IV attached to her arm rattled, and a nurse walked in with an excited look, rushing out to probably get the doctor.
"Blake!" Jaune almost gasped.
"Jaune, how long have I been out, what happened?!" He chuckled resting his warm hands onto hers.
"Calm down, you don't need to get worked up, I'll explain everything. You've been out for a week now, and yes, Ozpin and Qrow defeated Cinder... she's dead." Blake let out a sigh of relief. She was defeated, it was hard to imagine after everything they went through.
"Where are the others...?"
"Right here you doofus," She barely had a chance to look at the door when a ball of red collided into her. Yang and Weiss converged around the bed, forcing Jaune out of his chair and into the corner.
"Do you know how worried I was?!" Yang shouted.
"From the look on your faces, I almost feel unwanted." Blake joked, earning a punch in the shoulder from Yang that slightly hurt.
"You should have waited for us," Weiss berated, "but we're glad you're safe... even if you lost an arm." Weiss closed in to give her a tight hug.
"Um, guys, don't hog her." Jaune said from the back of the room.
"Don't worry, we'll give you plenty of time to have some fun." Yang teased, earning a moan from both Weiss and Ruby. She couldn't hide the blush on her face.
"Glad to see you're okay Miss Belladonna." Professor Goodwitch commented from the door. Behind her Professor Ozpin stood from afar, his right arm in a cast. It didn't stop him from sipping on some coffee.
He walked beside the professor and stood by Jaune, giving him a short nod. "I'm here to give you a little clarity on what's occurred this past week, Miss Belladonna." She was glad to have seen her friends alive, but she would be lying if she wasn't a little bit curious to know the fallout.
"I would love to hear everything."
"Very well: As I promised Adam Taurus and the White Fang, the Vale Council has agreed to meet with the organization and make some negotiations. Their approval has grown in mass since word of their heroics at the siege of Beacon spread on the news, so I'm sure it won't be a problem." Blake couldn't help but develop a large grin.
"You really did it Blake." Yang encouraged.
Ozpin coughed into his fist. "Yes, it's quite impressive. I'll give you updates as the process begins, but you must also know that General Ironwood was arrested on capital charges. He has been sentenced to death in three years, along with Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai." Ironwood would be given death, a punishment that not even she thought was just. By the look in the headmaster's eyes, he was conflicted by the decision.
"Cinder Fall died atop the tower while Miss Rose deposed of a very large Grimm, which I'm amazed still happened. As for Atlas, they have denounced Ironwood's stance and are currently restricting their military. Everyone is moving on, which leaves me to my final point... about your missing limb.
She instinctively looked down. Her training would come to a halt for several months from the recovery and adjustment alone. Would she even be allowed to continue studying? It wasn't impossible to not still train, there were many Huntresses and Huntsmen with missing limbs or blindness.
"It will take a few month Miss Belladonna, but I've arranged for an old friend to construct you a prosthetic arm so you may continue to train in Beacon." Her mouth remained agape in shock, but it quickly twisted into a smile.
"I'll leave you with your friends now, please get some rest." Ozpin nodded back to Jaune and exited the room with Professor Goodwitch. It would be strange, but at least she would be given another chance.
"They say you should be able to leave the hospital in a few days," Yang said, pulling out one of her favorite books. "Is there anything else you want?" She looked past her at Jaune, beckoning him to come over.
"If you and Jaune can get me some food, I would highly appreciate it – preferably fish." They all let out a chuckle, leaving her with a blush.
"You're the top story right now kids, mind if I get an interview?" Jaune froze at the sound of his sister's voice. Reese was also in the doorway with Olive, a mixed expression of happiness on both girls faces.
"Jaune you sure know how to pick em," Olive teased, walking over with a bouquet of flowers and some chocolate. "How you feeling Blake, you and Jaune are a bunch of heroes!" Olive tossed a paper into her lap and read the headline: Teenagers topple Atlas Conspiracy! She would have preferred a better headline and less drama.
"Thank you, I guess."
"Oh don't be so humble Blake," Reese added.
The rest of the hour was spent catching up with everyone, and eventually the rest of JNPR came by to visit. It was nice seeing their faces, and even Sun and Neptune came by at the tail end of visiting hours. She wanted them all to stay, to ease the boredom that her rest in the hospital room would provide. She didn't want to sleep anymore, she wanted to get up and train, or read a book in the garden.
"See ya Blake, we'll come by later tonight!" Yang said before she forced everyone out.
"Don't forget us!" Sun and Neptune both shouted.
"Blakey, you better sit tight, me and Ruby will come up with a replacement arm that will include rocket launchers and thermal scanners!" Nora yelled as Ren let out a sigh and dragged the girl away.
"Are you coming Jaune?" Pyrrha asked outside the room.
"Yeah, just give me a minute." She smiled, closing the door to give them some last minute privacy. The gesture was appreciated, and alone time sounded great after getting ambushed by all her friends.
Jaune said nothing, walking back over to her bed and sitting in the lone wooden chair by the railing. Again he directed that toothy smile of his until she reached out to grab his hand. He blushed, gripping it until they both were comfortable with the warmth.
"I'm sorry, Blake." Jaune whispered.
"You need to stop apologizing, it's not your fault that my arm got cut off." She looked into Jaune's bright eyes and smiled, feeling the most relaxed she's felt since the beginning of school. Still hard to believe it was all over.
"Yeah but, I should have been stronger, and I plan to do so-I won't ever let something happen to you again..." Blake struggled in her bed and kicked the sheets off until she was sitting upright and facing Jaune. The only thing hiding her curvaceous body was the loose fitting hospital gown.
"Jaune, you're already strong enough for me." She cupped both cheeks and pulled him closer, resting her lips onto him and exploring his mouth.
Jaune pulled away for breath, a trail of spit dripping from his lip. "Do you know what both of our mistakes were?" He asked with a light chuckle.
"Yes... that we didn't stay together, that we ever doubted each other. That I never confessed my love for you sooner." He pulled her into a hug, Blake losing the battle of holding back her tears.
People made mistakes, but she wouldn't make the same one with Jaune. They would always be together, through life and death. Her last mistake would be not planning the future ahead of them, especially the number of kids they would have.
Wow, that's it, so weird. Finishing this story is strange, but I finally completed Blake's Mistake. This series went through some ups and downs, and I understand why it lost some readers over time. Thankfully I learned from this, and have been applying this to my other stories and future ones. The mistake I made (see what I did there?), was turning this simple romance story into something a lot more complicated. Which is why I'm about to make another announcement in here and on the story this new decision will effect.
The Victim, which is going on right now, has left me with some doubts, so I'll be putting a poll on my profile to decide its fate. The question is, should I retool the Victim and make it a more personal story? My plans would include cutting out some of the latter chapters that include Camo wreaking havoc in Vale and killing a council member.
It could be more focused on Jaune's difficulties in Beacon and dealing with his personal issues. Otherwise I don't think I can continue the story and where it's going, at least not currently.
Once again, thanks to everyone who supported my first major story despite its flaws, I love you guys, you really got me through this!