Here we go.
Important Note – the votes are in as to the future of Staffroom Chronicles. I'm pleased to say that it was pretty unanimous 300 -50 or so, in favour of putting Staffroom Chronicles onto an "update when I have an idea" rota. And introducing a new story in the place of this one!
So, starting on the 29th Feb – the new story "Not this time, Fate" will be released. I hope you'll all check it out!
Cover Art: Exvnir
Chapter 13 – I ain't afraid of no Ghost.
It couldn't be… it just… couldn't…
Pale hands tore at cupboards, bright eyes watched on in horror, the figure's entire frame shook with barely supressed agony.
"I did say you were running out of ice-cream," the lone man in the room said, idly flicking through a few pieces of paperwork. "Like three days ago, you've only yourself to blame for this."
It couldn't be… it just… couldn't…
She turned to face him, eyes flicking between colours as she looked towards him for aid.
"It's ten in the evening," the lazy man complained, rolling his eyes in a way that made her want to poke them out. "There's not even anywhere I could go to get you any, the Bullheads to Vale are closed."
She clapped her hands together, eyes widening as she drew forth tears with ease. These weren't fake ones either… this was a deadly serious matter after all. She would have to use all her strength, all her cuteness, all her -
Bastard! Neo stomped one foot down, crossing her arms as she glared at him. He would leave her to die? In this moment of need?
Sure she could use one of her favours on the matter, but she was saving those for something particularly emasculating.
"Just hold off til morning," he said, apparently not hearing the absurdity of his request, "the cafeteria will be open then. Much better than trying to break into it anyway."
"W-wait, Neo, No!"
Ruby yawned as she doggedly trekked down the halls of Beacon, one hand coming up to scratch her chin. What a night to get a detention with Miss Goodwitch… she'd only been sleeping during combat class, then woken up shouting about Jaune and whipped cream.
Miss Goodwitch was totally overreacting.
Not to mention keeping her in detention so late? Where was the fairness in it all? She had to get as much sleep as possible so she could put in growing time. After all, Yang slept like the dead, for twelve hours a day if she could get away with it.
Beauty sleep had worked for her, and by the Gods, it would work for Ruby too!
She'd make it work…
Still, at ten on a weekday the hallways were pretty much dead, especially considering tomorrow was Friday – which meant the older students were getting an early Thursday night, just so they could stay up later for the weekend. Ruby didn't quite understand that, but Yang assured her she would when she started clubbing.
Though if clubbing always involved gunfire, smashed glass and bartenders thrown through windows? She might consider giving that a miss…
It was while she was lost in her thoughts however, that something sounded from nearby. An ominous click-clack, drawing ever closer. Ruby swallowed lightly, reaching back for a weapon which wasn't there, even as silver eyes dashed about. Shadows seemed to close in on her, like the eerie tendrils of some hidden Grimm.
Okay… it was nothing bad, it was just dark – and a little scary… and the heavy breathing wasn't off-putting in the slightest. Nor the fact that the clicking was getting closer to her, like really fast!
Deep breaths Ruby, you're a Huntress, a hero! You're not scared of something in the dark, you're not scared OF the dark…
Something white flashed before her – a streak of white. She might have thought it a student, but a second later the apparition vanished, a sound like tinkling glass echoing around the girl as she stood still in the middle of a corridor.
"Nope!" Ruby repeated for what must have been the tenth time, rocking back and forth in Weiss' arms, even as the white-haired girl awkwardly stroked her hair.
"C'mon sis, you think you saw a ghost? Pfftt…"
"Yang!" Weiss rebuked, "whatever Ruby saw clearly disturbed her, you could stand to be a little more sympathetic."
"You're right," the blonde sighed, sitting down on the bed and wrapping an arm around Ruby's shoulders, "I'm sorry you're such a scaredy-cat sis."
"Oh come on Weiss-cream, it's a joke, besides Rubes is used to it." This time the older girl picked their leader from the heiress' arms, pulling the girl into her own lap. "Sorry to say Rubes, ghosts ain't real – so there's no need to scared."
"Your sister's right," the sound of pages turning came from the other bed, even as Blake felt the need to add, "for once."
"I know what I saw – and heard!"
Yang rubbed the back of her head with a laugh, even as she refused to meet the determined girl's eyes. Really, a ghost, in Beacon? The school was filled with super powered teens, surely any kind of ghost would have been caught by now. Or seen by someone else, at least.
"It's clear to me that Ruby isn't going to be able to sleep like this," Weiss sighed, pointing at the shaking girl, "we're going to need to prove that ghosts don't exist, once and for all."
"And how are we going to achieve that?" Another turned page from Blake.
"Why, we need to go out and hunt down the cause of this, of course! Be it student or ghost." Weiss struck a pose, one hand held to the sky, the other on her hip. Ruby seemed to go still in Yang's lap at the suggestion, though she did look a little cheered at the idea of finding out the truth.
"Ha ha," Yang laughed, "we don't need to do that though. Everyone knows ghosts aren't real, no need to go looking late at night, right?"
"Hmm? I thought you'd be up for a little late-night truancy," Blake queried with a smile, amber eyes seeming to glow in the low light. "Could it be that you're a little scared yourself?"
"Pfft, no! I just don't want to lose out on any sleep." She wasn't scared at all, her? Yang Xiao-Long? Ha, what a joke! "Whatever, you want to hunt ghosts? Let's go!"
"See, no ghosts. We done yet?"
"Yang, it's been literally two minutes," Blake sighed, "also, why are you holding onto my shoulders like that?"
"No reason," the blonde laughed nervously, releasing Blake and stepping away, "just keeping close, in case you need me or get scared."
"I'll be fine," Blake sighed, "I'm fairly used to doing stuff like this, mostly from the White Fang."
"Will you two be quiet?" Weiss hissed from nearby, face appearing from the darkness, her torch held below – illuminating her face in a hellish vision. Yang seemed to swallow a yell, though for Blake – who could see perfectly in the dark to her faunus heritage – it just looked like Weiss was a little brighter than usual. "How are we supposed to find this ghost if you keep making noise?"
Yang didn't bother to answer, instead pantomiming a zipping motion across her lips, even as Weiss sighed and walked away – Ruby close in tow. Yang thought that a little unfair. After all, Rubes was her sister, and was meant to come to her for support. Of course, when Blake made to move after them, Yang was quick to keep up.
Really, what a waste of their time. A ghost, late at night, walking through the halls? How was she supposed to get the prerequisite eight hours when this was going on?
If Professor Arc saw her tomorrow, and she had bags under her eyes? Or – worse – bed-hair… she would never live it down…
Weiss would never live it down!
Because Yang would kill her.
"This is the corridor I saw it in," Ruby whispered, making sure she was safely hidden between Weiss and Yang. That way when the ghost came for her, one of those two would be the first to fall. She could then use her semblance and make a run for it!
Blake would be fine; she was cool like that.
"Well there doesn't appear to be anything here now," Weiss whispered – even as the others started to calm down.
The sound reverberated down the corridor, followed be a muffled crash and clatter. The four girls flinched with each one, eyes as one drawn in the direction of the cafeteria. After a few seconds the echoes halted, the corridor buried in shadows once more.
Four sets of eyes met in the dark. The dim illumination of Weiss' torch the only thing between them.
"Well, I didn't hear anything – let's go."
"Not so fast Xiao-Long," Weiss sighed, catching the girl before she could leave and dragging her in the direction of the cafeteria.
"Shit," Jaune whispered as he tried to dodge around the falling kitchenware, blue eyes struggling in the darkness as he bumped through yet another door. How the hell he'd ended up in the supply cupboard rather than the cafeteria proper, he had no idea.
Maybe he'd taken a wrong turn at one of those ten pitch black crossroads he'd come across. Ugh… my kingdom for a faunus.
He had to find Neo though, before someone else did! Before Glynda did! Or Cinder! Before anyone did!
Maybe it was through this next door?
The four members of Team RWBY paused upon entering the cafeteria, though they did flinch slightly when the heavy doors slammed shut behind them. While the dim light from the shattered moon sent dusty beams of light through the windows on the left side of the hall, the right – where the kitchens lay, was shrouded in darkness.
"We are not alone," Blake said slowly.
"W-what does that mean!?" Yang gasped, appearing behind the girl and leaning so heavily on her shoulders that the faunus girl nearly tripped over.
"Yang, please," Blake hissed, pushing out of the girl's hold and stepping aside, "I just mean we're not alone. Someone else is here, calm down. Ghosts aren't real."
"Then don't say shit like that!" The blonde whispered back. "Seriously, `we are not alone,` that's like... designed to terrify!"
"So you were scared Yang?" Ruby asked, looking up towards her older sister with a curious expression.
"No," the older girl laughed back, "don't be silly Rubes – I just didn't want Blake to scare you is all. So we're here, no ghost, what's say we call it quits?"
"No, not yet," Weiss nodded towards the kitchens, "we should split up an-"
"I know I didn't just hear you say we should split up Weiss-cream – have you even watched a horror movie before?"
"We're huntresses Xiao-Long, we fight monsters," Weiss sighed, grabbing Ruby and leading her away, "grow up a little."
"I'm a grown up," Yang grumbled as she was left with Blake, "right partner?"
"Uh… sure, why not?"
Yang could only sigh, rubbing one hand across her head as she stepped back and turned on the torch on her scroll. They couldn't all be blessed with night vision, and she'd be damned before she was left in the pitch black in a totally not scary abandoned cafeteria.
"Watch out behind you by the way," Blake offered, damning Yang to turn around and point the flashlight in that direction.
A leering face looked back, bright yellow with dark shadows in every crevice – the monstrosity, filled with teeth, was but a few scant inches from her face.
Yang didn't scream. Didn't have time to really. It was as though her mind wanted to, but the breath she wanted to take for it got caught somewhere en route, even as her heart stopped, took one look at the situation – and then decided it was out of this shit.
"Hnnnnn!" She didn't scream… but she did let loose a low keening wail. As her mind crashed, rebooted – failed start up, and required a manual reinstall.
"Oh never mind," Blake shrugged, the grin on her face telling more than enough, "it's just the statue."
"I hate you so much."
"Ghosts aren't real Ruby," Weiss lectured as the two girls made their way towards the kitchen area, "they're just products of an over-active imagination, fear, and outside stimulus. Like hearing a lamp fall over, and assuming it was pushed by something. There's always a rational explanation."
"Y-yeah, I get that Weiss… I just, wanted to make sure it wasn't a dangerous intruder – yeah."
That was definitely her story, and if anyone wanted to suggest otherwise? Well, they could talk to Crescent Rose, and he wasn't a good conversationalist.
He only knew one word, even if it was the coolest word in her opinion. It was a real argument ender!
"A good thought Ruby, this could be a thief – or worse." And if that was the case? Then it was definitely up to them to stop the criminal. That was just what they did.
"I see something," Ruby whispered – pointing towards the edge of the kitchen, where a dim light seemed to come from the distance. Weiss met her eyes, even as the two began to creep forward.
Okay… now he was really lost. The kitchens were an absolute nightmare to navigate, a veritable maze of ovens, fridges and… well, maize. Not to mention watermelons. Why the hell did they have so many watermelons!?
What was the purpose?
There was a light at the end of the tunnel though. Or rather, at the edge of his vision. It looked like the sort of light an automatic device might make… much like a fridge or freezer when opened. And it didn't take a genius to figure out which sugar-crazed, multi-coloured, bed-hogging, bath-stealing, vindictive piece of work that might be…
"I'm coming Ne-"
No one would quite find out whether he meant Neo, or whether he'd had some strange relationship with Neptune in the past. One that could never be recounted, for what happened in Vacuo – stayed in Vacuo. Because, before he could finish his words, his foot stepped atop a watermelon – the fruit sliding to one side – even as his body slid to the other.
Metal gave way with a clang, before a loud gloop echoed.
This is not my day…
Neo's ears perked up as she heard the noise, eyes narrowing in the dark as she considered the figures approaching her. They were loud, so damned loud. Still, she was too close to her goal to leave. She needed more time…
She could only carry four boxes, and there were eight different flavours…
Damn it, she needed more time!
"-ghosts not real." A voice drifted to her ears, even as her lips pulled back into a wide grin.
Blake was busy inspecting one of the cafeteria tables when she heard her teammates, their voice audible to her faunus ears. Though she supposed anyone could have heard them, with the high pitched scream they gave off.
Feet thundered on the floor, white and red figures – though both looked pale enough to classify as white, fleeing towards them.
"Ghost!" Weiss screeched, as Ruby hurtled past them, so fast thanks to her semblance that Blake was nearly blown from her feet.
"Weiss," Blake sighed, "there's no such thing as- hrk." Her words were cut off as Yang knelt down and hefted the faunus up by her shins, bending Blake over her shoulder so that her head fell against Yang's back. The blonde then nodded once and chased after her sister, Blake bouncing in tow.
Idiots, Neo snorted to herself, chuckling silently in glee at their reaction. Seriously, ghosts? What a bunch of kids – though she had to admit, it had been satisfying to see such a reaction to one of her illusions.
Right then… definitely strawberry and chocolate… maybe banan-
Something… dripped… from nearby. The sound drawing her attention from the glorious treasures before her. Seriously, she thought she'd been rid of them.
"Nrgho…" a voice droned, even as the tiny girl turned to look at the six-foot mass of dripping slime and ooze, which was reaching out towards her with one perilously dripping hand. It reeked of something like dead animal, and behind it spanned a trail of liquid, shimmering in the moonlight.
Once more it moved towards her, arm coming ever closer.
"For crying out loud," Jaune Arc sighed as he tried to ignore the strange smell coming from his form. Just his luck to trip into a vat of cooking oil, and then – even when he'd pushed on to find Neo? She'd taken one look at him, and bloody teleported out. She hadn't even taken any of the ice-cream - the reason for this mess in the first place!
A quick trip to one of the communal showers had helped to wash off as much of the gunk as he could, but even then he had a feeling he'd be smelling funny for a few days. Then again, better that, then being found by the Head Chef come the morning…
Yeah, the kitchen might not have come out of the disaster very well.
"Neo," he called as he pushed his way into the room, "I brought you some of the ice-cream you just abandoned." Hell, after what he'd gone through, he'd be damned if he wasn't going to at least bring something back. "Neo?"
Huh, that was odd. Normally when he entered the room she'd answer with a heel to the head. Training, she called it… he couldn't help but think it was psychological conditioning. Since if he arrived with ice-cream, the attack would be absent.
Cheeky bitch was training him to bring her ice-cream… well damn it, he wouldn't be trained to act like a do- oh… his blue eyes looked down to the carton of ice-cream he was wielding like a weapon.
Neo, it turned out, was actually in the bedroom. That might have been typical enough, had she been sprawled across his bed in a sleeping position designed to prevent the entry of any other person. But no… she was actually sat in the centre, rocking back and forth in her pyjamas.
Pink eyes met his, both the same colour for maybe the first time he'd ever seen, though with a quick blink, one became brown. She attacked before he could react, the instinct to dodge coming into his brain, but her hands wrapping around his neck sooner. With an awkward squawk he fell onto the bed, being dragged deeper into the blankets as she attached herself to his back like a limpet.
The rocking started once more. This time, his frame also being dragged along as the girl nervously clutched him.
Ugh… I bet no one else has to put up with this…
Blake let out the sigh of the damned, trying to tilt her neck to work the sore muscles. She'd have liked to massage and work out the kinks herself, but for the fact that each of her arms was currently occupied.
Weiss had the left, attached to it like some kind of barnacle, her legs mingling with Blake's beneath the blankets. While on the right, Yang had the limb smothered between her breasts – and couldn't she just feel the blonde's heart hammering.
Something twitched below the blankets, and Blake sighed as she considered their fearless leader, Ruby Rose. Who was currently huddled beneath the older girl's knees – peeking out from her hiding spot, even as her shivering frame caused Blake's entire body to shake.
This entire chapter was pretty much conceived by TLau18 by the way, from start to finish. So thanks to him!
Just to reiterate, Staffroom Chronicles won't die – nor is it going on hiatus. As a fic which has no plot, other than to be a random set of omakes – it's sometimes hard to think up material for it. Therefore, keeping it on an "update every 21 days" rota, was a nightmare.
I'll still write for this, whenever an idea takes my fancy. But for now it will be removed.
Not this time, Fate will come out on the next instalment instead.
On another note – we've reached the next goal, and from March 1st, I will update every 14 days, instead of 21. This will change how things work, more details as we get closer to it.
. com (slash) Coeur
Not this time, fate - Pairing Secret - Jaune x ?
Genre: Action, Romance, Humour (A more serious fic though, expect humour to a degree similar to Professor Arc, at most)
When Jaune woke up back in his house with his sisters and family, all he could do was sigh. Every time he died he was forced to start over again, and this was what... the eighteenth time? Thirtieth? Well sod to it all! If it doesn't matter how hard he tries, doesn't matter how much he fights - then maybe… for once… it's time to just kick back and have fun. Fate can find someone else to be their bitch.
After being repeatedly re-incarnated in an effort to save Remnant, Jaune decides to take a holiday. For one loop he'll throw fate to the side, and do what he wants for a change! No Beacon, no White Fang and no damn responsibilities.
Follow a carefree Jaune doing his best to have fun and use his knowledge for his own benefit. But fate is a tricky mistress and isn't easily denied. And sometimes even the most innocuous actions, can lead to what fate decrees. Also... can Jaune remain aloof and uncaring, as all his friends are drawn into ever-increasing danger?
Can a Knight, ever truly hang up their shield?
Beta: College Fool