I do not own RWBY. That belongs to Rooster Teeth and Monty Oum, may his soul rest in peace.
Ninja In Love
Chapter 1: Literary Likelyhood
Jaune Arc was a man of many hobbies. Video games, reading, and surprisingly, fighting. However, there were a few hobbies of his that he was loathe to admit. Few people knew of them, as he liked to keep them hidden for fear of mockery and social ostracism. He got picked on enough at Beacon as it were, and he'd be lying if he said he wasn't disheartened by the fact that people kept referring to his name as a euphemism for screwing up. 'Pulling a Jaune,' was the phrase people like to use in the hallways, and many didn't even bother to hide it when he was around. Oum only knew how bad things would get if they figured out what he enjoyed doing in his spare time.
It was his sister's faults, really. They were the ones who pushed him to get into said hobbies, and while one might generously say that Jaune was a talented individual, the talents he exhibited were not ones that most would associate with a legendary hero. After all, one rarely hears of a hero going about cooking, sewing or gardening. Sure, he was certain that his teammates wouldn't mind, but he could only shudder to think about how much teasing Yang would put him through should he reveal those little tidbits to her. Weiss would certainly think less of him (if that was even possible) and while he was sure that Ruby and Blake wouldn't be giving him a rough time of it, they'd certainly be giggling about it behind closed doors.
So he kept his little hobbies hidden. If his hoodie got torn, or his shirts got a hole in them, they'd mysteriously become patched the next day. There was a little garden that someone was taking care of within eyesight of Team JNPR's dorm room, and every so often, Jaune would offer to cook pancakes for Nora instead of Ren in order to give the poor beleaguered man a break. No one was any the wiser. His scheduling even gave him a little free time to indulge his less than 'manly' hobbies as he had a free period when every other person he interacted with was in class.
There was one hobby however, that shamed him above all others. One that he'd rather die than ever reveal. It was a guilty pleasure in every sense of the term. Even during his free period, he hid himself in places he was certain no one would find him, just in case one of his teammates happened to get out of class early, or even not go at all. To him, it was a secret that would utterly destroy him socially, leaving him humiliated for all time in the annuls of Beacon.
Jaune Arc loved romance novels.
Like the others, his sisters were to blame for his love of the sappy romance novels. When he had been but a small boy, he'd been curious about what his sisters and mother seemed to be reading so happily, and one of his sisters, Cassandra Arc, had been generous enough to lend him her copy of, "Sapphire Stars," It was a novel in which a young knight working for a cruel king fell in love with his daughter and the two carried on a secret affair behind the king's back. It had drama, action, suspense, and yes, he even enjoyed the romantic parts of it as he grew older. The ideals of the knight spoke volumes to Jaune at a young age, bolstered by the tales of the Arcs of old, who seemed to encompass those ideas as well.
So it was little wonder why after that first book, Jaune found himself growing quite addicted to a good romantic read. Part of him did curse the books though, for leading him to believe such things as serenading a girl with music would help her fall in love with him, as his experiences with Weiss disproved. Still, bad advice or not, Jaune wouldn't stop reading them for the world. His collection was modest, nothing more than a half dozen books, but they were his favorites. He favored the ones that took place in the ages of Chivalry, with knights in shining armor and beautiful damsels. Although those wasn't the only ones he loved; he had a couple that had more scholarly male leads with fierce and beautiful female warriors. Either way, the tenderness between the characters was something that Jaune had always wished he could share with another. After the fiasco with Weiss however, he'd started to feel as though such a thing would never pass for him.
So he'd rush back to his books, living vicariously through the leads of said novels, enjoying the heroism and tender romanticism displayed within. As explained earlier though, it was still a guilty pleasure and he did his best to make sure that no one ever found out about it. He'd never tell a soul; not even Pyrrha! He'd rather admit to the school that he'd forged his transcripts than ever tell anyone about his most embarrassing hobby.
It was for this reason that Jaune Arc was currently hiding in a small, hidden nook in Beacon's Library, gazing suspiciously around as though he were some sort of smuggler hiding from the police. The area he'd found a while back when looking for good reading spots, was a secluded corner that Jaune assumed had been a mistake in building as it was off to the side of the main library, hidden from view by bookshelves and such. It was only about ten feet by ten feet or so, just enough room for him to lay out and read. Even the entrance was in a good spot for him, letting him see the shadows of anyone approaching so he could quickly hide his latest novel from view, replacing it with an innocuous comic book that no one would be surprised to see him reading from.
The blond Hunter-in-Training had managed to even sneak in a beanbag chair for more comfortable reading, as well as a reading lap to illuminate the darkened corner of the library for easier reading. Relaxed, and sure that no one was nearby, (In fact, the library seemed empty save for him and the librarian at her desk) he opened up his book, "Shining Steel" and flipped to the dog-eared page that he'd folded in order to save his place.
"His arms wrapped around her thin frame, gazing into her blue eyes as the moonlight illuminated her pale, silky skin. Silence lay between the two of them, but no words needed to be spoken. The young knight's heart was beating rapidly in his chest, but it was different from battle. It was the best kind of suspense, the anticipation of something incredible. Her lips, full and red, inched closer to his own, pulled by a force that neither of them were capable of denying. He could feel her heart beating quickly as well, but by how her hand rested against the back of his head, pulling him closer, he could tell that she felt as he did, eager and willing to take the next step..."
Jaune smiled as he read on, feeling his own heart pounding in his chest as though he were taking place in the story. He fervently wished he could feel as the knight in the story did, the sweet anticipation of being with a loved one under the silvery light of the moon. If anyone could read his thoughts, he was certain he'd die of embarrassment, but he couldn't help it. The hopeless romantic within ate it all up. Lips still upturned in enjoyment, Jaune flipped the page and read on…
Blake Belladona loved the library. It was her home away from home, and she spent just as much time amongst the bookshelves and the tables of the library. Her love of books was a well known thing, especially her Ninjas in Love series. Sure, people decried it as 'smut,' but she quickly corrected them. It was art! Just because there were some intense...love making scenes, but it didn't make it smut! However, she got tired of people judging her love of the books, so she found herself often reading her favorite series of books hidden within the Library. Seeing how she also loved solitude, the beautiful cat Faunus loved her favorite spot in the Library above all else. The Nook. The small, hidden, most likely a mistake in building corner of the library that hid her from view and gave her a small modicum of solace.
Although it appeared to her that she wasn't the only one who enjoyed that little peaceful place; someone had left a beanbag chair there. She wasn't going to complain, a comfortable seat with which to read on was certainly welcome. She'd definitely have to thank whoever it was that put it there, as well as the reading lamp. Thinking on it, she'd have to contribute something to the little Nook too, just as a thank you to her mysterious benefactor and fellow book lover.
Today had been a grueling day. Combat class had seen her forced to fight against Cardin, which, while not a tough fight, was certainly a draining one what with his attitude. He thought he was a greater man than he actually was, always trying to impress everyone. She managed to completely thrash him, humiliating him, but his glare that he gave her at the end of the fight made Blake think twice about crossing paths with him. The last thing she needed was him of all people finding out that she was a Faunus. He was a well known racist, and she did not want to have to deal with his harassment.
Professor Port's class wasn't any easier. He was annoyingly boring as per usual, filling the student's heads with constant drivel in which small nuggets of wisdom might be gleaned if one was insane enough to actually want to listen. Luckily she sat nearby Weiss, who took meticulous notes, and after having convinced her, allowed her to copy off her notes. She was happy that the Schnee heiress was actually quite kind, when one managed to delve deep enough. Still, the entire period went on far too long and she felt exhausted when it was over.
So when it came time to go to Professor Oobleck's class, she found that she simply couldn't bring herself to actually go that day. His speech was far too quick and hard to follow, and she wasn't the only one who wondered how the hell he got a teaching license. He was quite the Hunter, for sure, but as a Professor, he leaved much to be desired. For that reason, Blake decided to instead take the period off and for once, hide herself in her favorite nook and read some Ninjas in Love. The Library was unsurprisingly empty, as most students didn't have that particular chunk of time off of class. Blake quietly made her way to the corner of the library, but not before exchanging greetings with the librarian.
Her footfalls were silent, not out of purpose, but simply out of force of habit. As an ex-Infiltrator for the White Fang, old habits were hard to break and moving stealthily everywhere she went was one of those. Her Faunus nature also helped in remaining quiet. As she approached her favorite spot of the library, she noticed something that stopped her in her tracks. There was a light, faint but still visible, emanating from the nook, as though someone were using the reading lamp supplied within. Was her reading companion occupying the nook as well? Well, perhaps they wouldn't mind sharing the space. It was just big enough for two people, and perhaps she could even talk about their favorite reading material!
Blake stepped forward purposefully, ready to greet a possible new friend, and stopped once more when her gaze crossed the corner separating the nook from the rest of the library. Sitting on a beanbag, book in hand and a smile gracing his face, was Jaune. This was a surprise, especially since Blake knew that Jaune was an avid reader of comic books, but what was in his hand was an honest to goodness novel! Her surprise however was only increased further when she noticed the title of the book in his hands. "Shining Steel," was one of the first romance novels she'd ever read while she was still with the White Fang, a beautiful piece of work. It wasn't quite the masterpiece that Ninjas in Love was, at least in her opinion, but it was still a very lovely impressive work to be fair.
Romance novels though? She never expected Jaune of all people to enjoy romance novels, but it was certainly a heartening prospect. They actually had something in common, something that they could talk about. She didn't dislike Jaune, not in the least, but they never really interacted too much. She knew he knew of her Faunus nature, and the fact that he treated her no differently and no less kindly than before was certainly a plus in her book. Still, they never really talked a lot, and Blake wasn't against the idea of befriending him further, and if this was something they could talk about, she'd be glad to find someone else who enjoyed reading.
"Jaune?" Blake spoke up, letting a small smile grace her lips.
She swore she never saw Jaune move that quickly before. So quickly, in fact, that the book literally seemed to have vanished from view in a split second. "B-B-B-B-BLAKE!" Jaune shouted in shock, his face going pale. "W-w-w-what are you d-doing here?!" He squeaked out, blue eyes glancing back and forth in surprise.
"Was that...'Shining Steel?'" Blake queried, raising an eyebrow.
"N-no-I mean, what's that?!" Jaune looked extremely nervous, his hands behind his back.
Blake wasn't normally a malicious person, nor did she really enjoy teasing, but in the given situation, she couldn't help herself. "Oh? Then what exactly was that?"
"It...was..a...comic book!" Jaune replied unconvincingly, laughing nervously.
"Really? Awfully thick for a comic book...what's behind your back?"
Jaune gave another very unconvincing laugh, shrugging in what he assumed was to be a nonchalant manner. "N-nothing! J-just relaxing!"
"Then let me see your hand." Blake murmured, trying hard to keep her smile from growing wider. She was staring to understand Yang's enjoyment out of teasing the poor blond boy. It was almost...did she dare say, cute?
Jaune, still nervously chuckling, slowly withdrew his right hand from behind his back, holding it out empty-handed. "See? N-nothing!"
"And your other hand?" Blake continued to smirk, leaning against the wall of the nook.
The young man sighed and put his right hand away before pulling out his left hand and holding it out empty handed as well. "T-told you, I've got nothing!"
"...Both hands." Blake demanded, unable to keep herself from smiling wickedly and knowingly.
Jaune groaned and after a few moments of pausing, pulled out his right hand to join the left, holding it open with nothing inside of it. "A-alright, there's nothing there, and I really should be going now..." He slowly got to his feet and began to shuffle around Blake, keeping his back to her.
The cat Faunus gave a smile that could be very accurately described as a 'cat smile,' and with almost blurring speed, she slid around Jaune, grabbing something that had been stuffed into the waistband of his pants. She ignored Jaune's strangled cry of panic and gazed down at the object. She had been absolutely correct. It was "Shining Steel." She turned to Jaune who'd gone pale as a sheet, holding up the novel. "Doesn't look like any comic book I've ever seen..."
Jaune dropped to his knees, clasping his hands as if in prayer. "Please, please, you can't tell anyone, I'm begging you Blake!"
Blake rolled her eyes. "Come on...it's not that bad. Romance novels are great, there's no shame in liking them."
"You don't understand!" Jaune cried out, "For a guy, it's humiliating! My social life already sucks with how much I suck in combat, but if people find out I like reading romance novels...I'm screwed! People already make fun of me and use my name as an insult! Please, Blake, I'm begging you! I'll do anything!"
Blake sighed and tossed the book up in the air nonchalantly, catching it with ease. "Look, Jaune, if it's that big of a deal, I'll-" She stopped. Jaune...liked romance novels? "Do...do you have more of these?"
Jaune looked nervously around, wringing his hands. "Er...maybe?"
"Tell me the truth, Jaune." Blake chastised gently, smirking again.
The blond sighed and hung his head on his knees. "Six of them."
Blake nodded, deep in thought. "Hm...interesting..." If there was something that the cat Faunus was slightly sad about, it was the fact that she had no one to talk about her favorite series with. No one else in Beacon seemed to enjoy Ninjas in Love. This might be a chance though, to find someone with similar tastes to chat with for once. "Alright. Here's the deal."
Jaune heard the soft thwumph of something hitting the ground near his kneeling form and he looked to see a black book with gold text near by. The title was "Ninjas in Love." He picked it up and stared up at Blake with a curious look. "Wait, huh?"
"You like romance novels, right? Ninjas in Love is my favorite series of romance novels. I want you to read that and let me know what you think of it, and I say nothing to anyone about your hobby. Not Yang, not anyone. It'll be our little secret." Blake explained, putting one arm akimbo, holding Jaune's novel in the other hand.
"I...I could do that. Sure. I've never read it before, but I'm willing to give new things a try. You say it's good?" Jaune looked less panicky than previous, staring at the novel curiously.
"The best." Blake confirmed.
Jaune got up off the ground and affixed Blake with a nervous grin. "Sure. I'll try to finish it by the end of the week. Sound good?"
Blake nodded. "Works for me. You can start now, if you'd like. Oh, and if you don't mind, I want to borrow this," she held up "Shining Steel," "It was one of the first novels I read, and I'd like to read it again."
"Sure, not a problem. Glad to see someone else who enjoys it." Jaune seemed much more relaxed.
"Oh, one more thing." Blake added.
"Did you add all this stuff here?" Blake asked curiously.
"Yeah...I kinda use this place to read my novels when I'm on my free period in between classes." Jaune sheepishly scratched the back of his neck.
"Oh. Well, thanks. I've made some use of it myself. I quite like this little area."
Jaune nodded. "I-I can leave if you'd like..."
Blake shook her head. "No, it's fine. I don't mind having a reading partner, to be honest."
"Thanks. You can have the beanbag chair, if you'd like." Jaune replied.
Blake smiled. "Thanks Jaune. That's...gentlemanly of you."
With that, the two sat down, Jaune against the wall and Blake atop the beanbag chair, and the two began to read, both of them diving into their respective fantasy worlds of love, and drama.
Little did either of them know that they'd soon be experiencing such events firsthand…
Author's Note: There ya go, the first chapter of Ninja In Love! Knightshade for the win! Hope you all enjoy this, as I stayed up WAAAAAY later than I should have finishing this, on a night before work. Why? 'Cause I love you crazy folks! I hope to keep entertaining you all, and look forward to a new Moonlit Sonata hopefully soon!
And as always, remember to leave a review!