Patch was a beautiful island with a village on the seaside. Since it was an island, it became easier to keep most Grimm away and the place was relatively safe, and the fact some of the best Huntsmen in Remnant lived there… well, one lived there, and the other was often on missions far away and/or too drunk. Anyway, their presence certainly made the village peaceful. And with spring, the sound of birds and the color of the flowers certainly made the place livelier and even more beautiful, with colorful glowers, especially roses, covering windows and vases.
At the house of one of the Huntsmen, a seventeen-year-old girl woke up early, despite not really wanting to. Yang wasn't tired, but since the Fall of Beacon, she had no will to do anything but stay in bed. Weiss was taken by her father, and the blonde barely could blame him or her after what happened. Blake disappeared and she couldn't believe after all that they lived together her partner would just disappear without a word. Ruby was trying her best to help, but even the younger girl was suffering to accept that the life they had was no more.
She thought of Jaune and hugged her legs. By what Taiyang told her, the Arcadian queen and Jaune's mother sent as much help as they could, but he was forced to go back like Weiss, with Ren and Nora with him. He at least sent a message that he would come back as soon as he could. And she didn't want to think about Pyrrha, as they had no idea if she survived her wounds.
"Yang…" Ruby stood shyly at the door, wearing her pajamas and trying to be cheerful for her wounded sister. "Morning!"
"Morning Rubes… How are you?" The blonde girl asked, casting tired lilac eyes into her sister, which just stared back with her silver ones.
"Trying to be strong. It's not easy…" Ruby said and her sister nodded and got up, knowing that she had to do that from time to time. "A nice breakfast will help, though it's dad's cooking."
"Yeah…" Was Yang only answer, her mind drifting to happier memories.
The two girls walked towards the bathroom that was on the other side of the corridor, passing the stairs. As they walked they heard voices. One was of their father, Taiyang, and the other was a polite man's voice. This made them both stop and listen. The voice was awfully familiar, but something on it was off.
"They'll be happy to see you all again. And that's something this house is lacking recently." Their father said.
"Can't blame them. Back home have been far from cheerful too… I'm sorry… I wasn't strong enough to protect them…" The other voice said and the two girls slowly walked down the stairs, Ruby on the front and Yang behind her, hiding her right side from view.
"It wasn't you fault, or theirs… Honestly, I know who I'm blaming for this." Taiyang answered in an irritable tone. "I hope Charl do better than we did."
"Jaune?" Both girls asked as they see their friend standing with Taiyang and preparing breakfast as Ren and Nora was sitting on the table. Ruby face visible lightened as she smiled and jumping on her friend, hugging his neck.
"Jaune! How are you?! How long are you staying? Are those pancakes?"
"Nice to see you again, lil sis. I'm… trying. We probably will have to go tomorrow and yes." He answered trying to smile, but his voice was tired and he clearly had better days. The absence of his partner also was telling of his current mood. "Now sit down, I'm finishing cooking breakfast for all of us. And my sisters sent you all presents."
The two girls saw the pile of boxes in a corner, some in red paper and others in golden ones, signalizing to whom they sent it. Yang followed with her gaze as Jaune put the full course breakfast on the table, and memories of their first meeting filled her mind, memories of happier times. And for a moment it felt like they were back to those days.
"Yang, I made extra bacon and mushrooms for you. Please, sit with us." Jaune invited as he pulled her chair for her.
"I… Ruby, just bring me my breakfast back to my room…" She asked as the redhead was already eating waffles with strawberries and honey.
"Nope?" Yang asked in surprise. She tried to stare at her father but Taiyang ignored her gaze.
"Yang, please?" Jaune asked as he extended his hand towards her. She stared at it for a moment before slowly taking it with her remaining hand, her gaze cast down. As she moved from the door she expected the reaction everyone gave her, murmurs and gasps of surprise over the lack of right arm. But as she sat down, nothing of that come. What came in view was a plate with her favorite breakfast dinner.
"Thank you." She said plainly and Jaune gave her a genuine smile that worked to relive her stress and they started eating. She knew though that sooner or later they would touch the issue, so she spoke first. "Pyrrha?"
"The best doctors in Arcadia are with her… That arrow missed her spine by millimeters, but whatever it was made off its like glass. It shattered in tiny pieces that are around her heart and she is in a coma. Some kind of… evil power is making her Aura stay almost in zero and they don't have any idea how to fix it." Jaune explained in a tone that told he couldn't stop worrying, but came with terms he needed to keep moving.
"And how's the kingdom itself?" Taiyang asked.
"We… aren't that great. The ultranationalists are on the rise, wanting us to close down our borders and stop helping Vale. It doesn't help Vale is less welcoming of our presence by the day. They think we're going to conquer them. Some even say we are the ones that caused the Fall." Jaune explained with a long exasperated sigh. "Heard Ms. Goodwitch is basically the one keeping everything working since the Council is too busy throwing blame around."
"No good action goes unrewarded…" Taiyang said bitterly.
"We tried to reach the other kingdoms, but all of them closed their borders some way or another. Atlas even tried to shot down the airship we sent. Can't say I blame them when everyone is afraid."
"Doesn't that attract Grimm?" Ruby asked worriedly.
"In Vale they are concentrating at Beacon, probably because of the frozen dragon. Everywhere else… The walls are having their share of trouble." Ren explained with a tea cup on his hand.
"Even us had to play whack-a-Grimm in Arcadia." Nora said in an unusual serious tone. "But be known I won against the Saber twins by twelve!"
"But Cinder is still somewhere! And Mercury and Emerald! We should be working together!" Ruby protested.
"We should, but it's likely we won't any time soon. Fear is a terrible weapon, some times more devastating than any kind of gun or blade." Taiyang said as he kept eating. "Without any clue about their true objectives and who else is working with them, we can't charge blindly against them."
"They posed as Haven students, and Cinder said over Dustnet she was from Mistral. I'm going there anyway… Pyrrha's mother deserves to know of her daughter's situation." Jaune affirmed.
"That's dangerous! Even before it was a dangerous trip!" Yang finally said, her eyes showing her worry over her fellow blonde.
"He won't go alone! Pyrrha's our friend too and I have business with their legses!" Nora affirmed in determination.
"I…" Ruby started but Taiyang raised his hand to stop her.
"You're not going. Charl invited you to stay at Arcadia until we solve this mess, and honestly that might be the safest place in Remnant today." He affirmed and the two girls stared at Jaune.
"It was not my idea. The invitation stands of course. It took me a long time to convince mom to allow me to come here, and a lot of promises for her to allow me to go to Mistral. But it's you girls who should decide about it." Jaune stated.
"I think no one needs to make any decision. The airship back won't go back before tomorrow's afternoon. For now, I think we all should relax for as long as we can." Ren suggested and everyone decided to follow with his suggestion.
Afternoon came relatively quick, as Nora and Ruby passed the day together, trying to cheer each other up, and that worked to a degree. Yang on the other hand hid back on her room on the first chance, not wanting to stare at her friends that were going to risk their lives again. She didn't know why, but Taiyang took Jaune and Ren with him after breakfast. She assumed he wanted to tell them some tale from the past but now she really didn't care.
All she could think is that Jaune, Ren and Nora wanted to go after the people that costed them everything, her arm, Pyrrha, Beacon, and all she could think was in grabbing Ruby and go to Arcadia to be safe. That wasn't like her at all and she hated herself for even thinking about it, but she couldn't see what else she could do.
"Yang?" Jaune's voice came from the door.
"Please… Not now…" She murmured to herself. "I'm not in the mood, Jaune."
"Yang… I don't want to go tomorrow without speaking with you." He said with a determined tone and Yang got up and opened the door, in reality also not wanted to see the boy go like that. They both sat side by side on her bad.
"Is there anything I can say for you to stay with me at Arcadia?" She asked, without looking at him.
"When I started Beacon… I always thought we would simple have four amazing years and graduate, then travel the world as Hunters until I'd have to assume the throne. I'd give everything for this dream of mine to come true… But… I can't just sit down and accept what happened." Jaune justified.
"Jauney… sometimes bad things just happen…" She said as she stared at her stump.
"Yes, bad things happen. But this applies to earthquakes, storms, toasts falling butter side down… But not… this… All of this was because a few people decided to make this happen… And I can't just sit down in relatively safety when my kingdom, my people, my family and my friends are in danger! What happened in Vale can happen in Arcadia." Jaune said and Yang felt anger building inside her.
"Jaune, you can't just go! Let people like uncle Qrow, auntie Charl, people other than us save the world!"
"I need to, Yang. I can't lose more than I already have."
"And what you know about losing! My partner left me! They cut my arm off! What you do know about losing something!" She yelled in despair then put her hand on her mouth realizing what she said.
"I lost my partner too… The school I loved, the friends by my side. I lost the smile the girl I love used all the time." He said and then she felt his forehead on hers, his hands holding her own.
"Jaune?" She turned to stare at his eyes.
"You haven't smiled at all since I arrived." She gasped briefly and hid her face on his neck.
"I always wanted to live a life where I didn't know what tomorrow would be bringing over… And where that would be a good thing. But now I'm afraid of what tomorrow will bring… What tomorrow will take from me…" She confessed and Jaune hugged her gently. The sensation calmed her down instantly.
"That's why I'm going. I need to be sure that tomorrow bring us good things again." He said softly and she stared at his deep blue eyes again.
"Promise me you'll come back, you idiot." She said pleadingly and he nodded.
"I give you my word, and an Arc never goes back with his word." She nodded and put her hand on his face.
"Now, what about that part where the girl you love had her smile taken?" She asked without breaking eye contact.
"I have been in love with you since that month I spent here, sunshine. At first I didn't act on it because of the distance between us. But I… I was planning on getting you on a date after the Tournament and tell you…" Jaune confessed and she nodded again, then gently pecked his lips, just for a brief second.
"Me too… I mean, I probably have been in love for as long as you, but I was trying to deny it at first. To think we were too different before realizing that maybe we aren't that different, and the differences we have made me realize how much I love you… But now…" She finally stared at the stump where her right arm was. "I'm broken…"
"Yang… I'm in love with you. I know you're strong and you will stand again. I know I won't be here in every step of the way, but you can count on me." He said, kissing her back, a little longer but ever so gently. "I won't give up on you. So you can't give up on yourself."
They kissed, at the same time and with the same passion. The sadness in their hearts came out as tears, and that made them kiss more passionately and needy, his arms around her waist and her left hand holding on his hair. They would stop for a few moments to breath than resume it, and when Jaune realized it he was lying on her bed, Yang straddling him, her eyes flashing an inviting red as she caressed his face now. He caressed her face back and she seemed to enjoy it, though neither were smiling.
"Jauney, I want two more promises of you." She asked as she gently kissed him again.
"You just have to tell me." He answered.
"Awesome. I want you to spend the night with me, and only to leave when I can't see you going, otherwise I might just hunt you back, and I can kick your butt with one arm, sir knight."
"Your father would kill me." Jaune answered, but Yang knew he was going to agree.
"Not for as long as I'm so close to you."
"Then you have my word." He said and she nodded, kissing him again.
"You're not going with the prince." Taiyang answered as he helped Ren with the dinner. "You're going to Arcadia with yang, enter the Hunter's School there and then in three years you'll be a Huntress."
"But the people that did all this won't wait three years! And why Jaune is going?!"
"Jaune have permission of his mother. You don't have mine. Rubes, I know you want to do what's right, and honestly, you're not wrong. But this is no fairy tale with happy ending waiting, it's real life! And it's up to us adults to save the world right now, not you children!" He said more in concern than anger. "In fact, I'd prefer none of you would be risking your lives out there so soon."
"Pyrrha is hurt, sleeping. It's like she was taken from us and we'll take her back! Jaune and Pyrrha and team RWBY are the family we never had and no one mess with our family!" Nora proudly declared.
"I make her words mine." Ren added simply.
"Dad, what good I'd do staying in Jaune's home? I can make a difference out there!" Ruby almost begged.
"Ruby… I lost your mother, I can't lose you and Yang. I'm happy your heart is in the right place, but now is not the time. You don't even know how to control this power of yours, and at least in Arcadia you can have the time to be all you can. I'm sorry Ruby, but that's final." Taiyang said and Ruby looked at her feet.
"I'll go check on Yang." Ruby said as she walked upstairs.
"Sir, I know you worry about her, but Ruby is not a child anymore." Ren suggested and Taiyang sighed and nodded.
"I wish all of you could be children for a little longer. It's unfair towards you."
"Awww, thanks Mr. Yang's dad! But we'll be fine as long as we stick together!" Nora prompted happily.
"Heh… Summer said this when we graduated. I'll go check on Yang. She had been down for a long time, but I think you guys had a positive effect on her."
Taiyang got up the stairs and found Ruby and Zwei staring inside Yang's room, the girl with a blush but giggling happily. He approached them to find a scene most fathers disliked to think about their daughters. Jaune was sleeping in yang's bed, with the girl on top of him under the sheets, and some items of clothing were scattered around.
"Arcadia is about to be short one prince." He murmured and was about to move against the boy but Ruby and Zwei stood on his way.
"Dad, let her be. Look at her face!" Ruby shout whispered and Taiyang noticed that a small smile was gracing her face, something neither had saw for weeks. And he hated to admit he always hoped his daughter would find a nice boy like Jaune to be together. "Besides, you always said we were your princesses. Now Yang might become a real one!"
"Fine, fine. I'll kick his butt when you're not looking." Taiyang said and Ruby pouted at him, but she closed the door slowly and they both left.
Yang called for them as she left her room. She woke up with Jaune already gone, and she was actually glad for it, since she wouldn't allow him to go nowhere after they finally confessed to each other. As she walked around the empty house she found Ruby's note to their father and read it. She decided to go with the rest of team JNPR to Mistral and a little pride filled her heart, as did a little fear for her sister.
The brawler felt guilty for allowing her little sister to go while she stayed back and she stared at her hand. She them fought the tears threatening to escape her eyes and rushed to the door and stared at the road ahead. Clenching her first she took a step outside the house, something she hadn't done since arriving and took a deep breath.
"YOU ALL BETTER BE SAFE! YOU ALL BETTER COME BACK TO ME OR I'LL BE REALLY PISSED OFF!"
She took another deep breath and finally felt her body relaxing. She stared at the sky for a while and prayed to whatever forces governed Remnant for their safe return. As she turned back, she saw the training equipment her father made of wood and approached them, standing in front of a standing log wrapped in hopes and punched it slightly with her left hand.
"You all better wait for me." She said as she kept punching the log.
A.N.: The next segment might be changed when Volume 4 arrives.
Days had passed since Jaune, Ren, Nora and Ruby left Patch to Mistral. Taiyang was unable to reach them on time and had been moody since, but he was happy that Yang herself was training again, trying to recover her physical conditioning. What he didn't know is that Yang had a plan and he wouldn't like it in the slightest. So now she was trying her best to be on top game again.
Except things weren't going as she wanted. Once again she forgot she didn't have her right fist and when she tried to hit the log with it she lost her balance and fell on the ground, punching it with her remaining hand and cursing Adam Taurus. She planned to find him and give him back in double what he did to her. Ripping his arms and punching him with them were very high on her to do list.
"Your temper is your main weakness."
Yang turned to the voice and saw someone she never expected to see again
Raven Branwen. Her mother.
"What are you doing here? If you come to play mom and daughter you're seventeen years too late, and if you come to play master and pupil I don't need you, I have dad." Yang said as she got back up and returned to punch and kick the log.
"Your emotions aren't your weakness. Your anger is a weapon that used right can give you an edge over your enemies. And believe me, there's many. Not just the new Fall Maiden." Raven said without moving from the bench she was sitting. Yang groaned but didn't turn around.
"Go away. Go back to play the lone wolf and leave me alone." She asked and Raven stood up.
"You're going after the young prince and Summer's daughter. Both are going straight to the mouth of the lion. I wouldn't dismiss any help right now."
"Help? Help?!" Yang turned around. "You know what could've helped? If you didn't leave on your own playing 'dark hero'! And don't tell me you were busy protecting the world of threats I don't know! If everyone had told us what was going on, maybe this never happened!" Yang said as she pointed to her arm.
"Life is no fairy tale. Things don't go as easy, or black and white, as you'd like to be. Take your former partner for example. A White Fang member that betrayed her own. And then she left you." Raven statement made Yang's eyes glow red.
"Don't talk about Blake. You don't know her. You don't know me."
"I know enough of you to know you're not ready to fight. I know you enough to know you can't do anything."
"SHUT UP!" Yang exploded and tried to Punch Raven, but the woman dodged the attack and hit her left arm with her sheathed sword, leaving a bruise.
"And now you could've lost your remaining arm. All because of your temper. If you don't learn how to proper control it, how to unleash your anger in the right moment, you won't return home, and you'll lose your sister, your father, the Arcadian boy. And I actually like him, you know. Despite his aunt." Raven added and then they heard the sound of a bullhead approaching. "You have another visit; one I'd rather not met. At least, not yet. Ask her about your weakness and she will agree with me. And remember, sometimes you can't count with others."
With that Raven opened and disappeared, leaving a very frustrated Yang behind. The brawler turned to her training log again and started punching it in frustration. As she punched it harder and harder with her left fist she heard the sound of it cracking under impact until a powerful punch broke it in its base and the log fell down.
"Good showing, Xiao Long. If you could control that temper of yours, you'd be a better fighter than Taiyang." She turned to see Orimura Chifuyu standing there, and a woman with long purple hair and bunny years by her side, wearing a dress and holding a suitcase.
"Someone just told me the same." Yang said as she calmed down.
"Oh. Someone I know?"
"I think so." Yang said as she sat on the bench and took a bottle of water. "It's nice to see you again, Chifuyu-nee."
"I'd hit you for that, if I was still at Beacon, but by what Taiyang was complaining with me, I think I'll let this slide."
"DAD!" Yang yelled and got very red.
"Relax. We all like you after all. But don't hesitate in punching Jaune when he deserves." Chifuyu added and Yang tried a small smile. "Besides, I come with a present."
"She means I came with a present!" The Faunus woman said as she spun and showed the suit case. "I'm Shinonono Tabane! Nice to meet you, Yan-yan!"
"Yan-yan?" Yang asked surprised.
"Ignore this side of her. Tabane might not look like the role, but she's actually one of the most brilliant scientist in Arcadia." Chifuyu said and Tabane pouted very like Ruby would.
"Awww, don't be mean, Chi-chan! I'm actually the brightest genius in all Remnant! And I'm here to prove with this!" Tabane opened the suitcase and Yang's eyes widened at the sight.
It was a bionic arm painted gold, her own crest on the forearm like a tattoo of sorts, and she recognized a gauntlet similar to Ember Celica on it. The blonde girl took a step forward and touched the cool metal for a moment.
"This… Is for me?" Yang asked unsurely.
"Yes! Jaune-Jaune asked me for it, and Charlotte said it would be my top priority. But they didn't allow me to add all the cool features I wanted…" Tabane lamented like someone just refused to give her ice-cream.
"If we left you unchecked you would have added something either dangerous or inappropriate." Chifuyu justified.
"The struggle of the genius. Anyway, this one is the best prosthetic in the whole Remnant! Years ahead anything Atlas could do! It doesn't even need Dust to work, it's powered by Aura alone!" Tabane said and Yang once again had to fight some tears.
"I wouldn't be thanking us just now. There's a… problem with this." Chifuyu stated and Yang stared at them confused. Tabane took what looked like a metallic cup from the suitcase.
"This is the interface unit. Once installed you can change prosthetics on the fly and it will connect to your nerves so you can control them like you would with your old arm. But to connect to your nervous system we can't use anesthetics or painkillers. And the first setup tends to be… unpleasant." Tabane said and Yang stared at the device.
"Unpleasant is taking it lightly, Xiao Long. It will send signals through your nerves, including pain signals, and it will be the worst pain in your life. But it'll be just this one time." Chifuyu explained and Yang hesitate for a second. Then she remembered her sister and friends out there.
"I'll do it. I can take it." Yang said and the two women traded a brief stare.
"Very well. Let's go back to your room to do it." Chifuyu decided.
"I'm not so sure about it." Taiyang said as Tabane cleaned Yang's stump to prepare for the interface.
"It'll work just fine. Tabane might be an airhead for everything else, but when it come to her creations, she goes beyond expectations, including in the safety part." Chifuyu tried to calm down both Taiyang and Yang with her words.
"The interface will attach itself with nanotubes to your bone, then artificial nerves will connect to yours. It will itch at first, then… well, then pain beyond words, but it'll be brief, just a few seconds at worst." Tabane said as she finished cleaning the stump. "I'm sorry I couldn't perfect the system, but as my treat, I'll make a prosthetic that will look like a real arm for when you decide to take Jaune-Jaune on dates."
"Thanks, Tabane. I'm ready." Yang said with a small smile.
"Alright. Here we go!" Tabane said as she inserted the cup and it tightened itself in Yang's arm, an itchy feeling starting.
"Well, that's not so baAAAAGH!"
Yang shouted as Tabane, Chifuyu and Taiyang held her as she trashed around, a mix of sensations coming from her arm, freezing, burning, puncturing, all kinds of pain coming from there. Her eyes glowing red, her hair like it was on fire and an utter desire to make it stop. And as soon as it come, it ended with no remaining feeling coming from it. Yang breathed hard and stared at the device, a yellow light pulsing in the rhythm of her heartbeat.
"And done. You're really strong! It took only five seconds for the connection!" Tabane celebrated as she reached for the artificial arm. "If you feel any discomfort let me know."
"Shouldn't we wait for…" Tabane simply attached the arm as Yang was speaking. "Never mind. So how I do it?"
"As you have always done." Tabane said and Yang was about to protest, but her arm moved naturally.
"Woah… This is amazing!" She said in amusement as she tested each finger and the carbon muscles. "I can actually feel the movement! I wonder how much I can lift with this baby!"
"As much as your other arm can." Tabane said with a smile while Yang deflected. "I'm a genius so I wouldn't make the mistake of making your arm stronger than what your shoulder can take. If you tried to lift a truck with it, it would rip your shoulder off. But the strength of your new arm will grow with you. On the other hand, your hand has the pressure power of an industrial bender. Basically, you can crunch any nut… or steel pipe on your way."
"Ohoho, I like it already!" Yang said as she put her left hand over her right one, and felt a surprising feeling. "I can feel my hand touching the prosthetic!"
"Hehehehe! I'm not the number one genius for nothing! Your new arm has several sensors that send signals to your brain. Pressure, heat, cold. We wouldn't want you to be unable to sense what your arm is doing. But it also sends pain signals, if there's something strong enough to damage your arm."
"It's made of a special Arcadian alloy, so few things can damage it." Chifuyu warned. "It doesn't mean you should be reckless again. We don't want to have a tin girl walking around."
"I'll." Yang said before hugging the two women. "Thank you!"
"Yang, you're pretty strong as is!" Chifuyu said and the girl eased on the hug.
"Now, to test the special features!" Tabane said cheerfully.
"Oh no." Taiyang said while Zwei barked happily.
"Yang, please!" Taiyang begged his daughter as she finished packing things on her backpack.
"I'm going to find Ruby and the others, dad. And if they're biting more than they can I'll bring them back." She said as she checked her new arm and fixed her outfit, the same she used in the infiltration mission that now felt it was so long ago.
"Then promise me you'll be careful." The man asked and yang hugged him, kissing his cheeks.
"Arc's promise." She said with a small smirk and the man groaned.
"You're not an Arc yet. And I'm unsure if I even want you to be." He said and she giggled briefly.
"You like him and you know it. Don't worry, I'm just going to give them a hand." Taiyang groaned again.
"You're fine if you can say those lame puns again. Just be safe. You can't call me if anything goes wrong." She smiled and jumped on her bike, glad that her father was able to recover it from Vale.
"I won't take any unnecessary risks. I think I learned my lesson." She said as she showed her bionic arm.
"I'd rather you didn't take any risks at all. But if I couldn't keep Ruby here, I know I won't be able to keep you." Taiyang said and she winked at him.
"We'll see each other soon, dad. And this time, everyone is coming back safely." She finished as she put her helmet and turned the engine on. "See ya!"
Zwei barked and chased the bike for a few meters while Taiyang observed his other daughter leave. As she entered the road and the woods, a raven took flight in the same direction.
A.N.: And that's it for now. I hope Volume 4 to be as good as the second half of V3, and that they show us lots of story. Of course, now I expect them to keep killing characters off, GoT style. No one is safe!
Except I'll riot if they kill any main characters again. They can finish Neptune off if they have to.