A/N: Welcome to my first RWBY story. The initial inspiration for this story came from CeruleanSorbeltz story Caerulean. I recommend you give it a read if you haven't. The story itself is very original in its development and plot process. Anyways I hope you readers enjoy the first chapter of Not Everyone's a Hero
"You know, it's kind of hard to get to you if you have the warehouse rigged." a voice called out from behind me.
Turning around I saw a teen about my age with silver-gray hair, wearing a gray and black zip up jacket, with pants of the same design. Seeing that the person that called me out had arrived, I started retracting the wires I had woven around the warehouse back into my vambraces.
"I had to take precautions. You're the one that wanted to meet up Mercury. It isn't good to be late when you're the one that wanted to talk. But most importantly I was bored, I had to do something to pass the time." I replied, turning around to face Mercury as he walked closer to me.
I looked over his shoulder. "You weren't followed, were you?"
Mercury gave me a look that practically answered the question on its own. "Of course not. I might not be like you, Emerald, Neo, even Torchwick, but I know how to make sure I'm not followed. I had an assassin for a father after all. Also take off that mask, I already know what you look like."
I took the half mask off my face, my yellow eyes free to the world, before hanging the mask on my belt. The design behind it was based off of a Nevermore mask. I had the idea for it after noticing the White Fang use Grimm designs for their own masks. "Sorry, just a precaution in case you were followed. I don't want anyone who doesn't know me to be able to recognize my face."
Mercury waved off my concerns. "Don't worry mister Blue Hawk. No one is going to know who you are. However keeping your identity a secret for so long with hair and eyes like yours is impressive. But if anyone does somehow wander in here I'm sure we could keep them quiet." Mercury pointed at his boots, and then gestured at NightWing, the two blades attached to the small of my back. Each blade was around the same length as a dirk, as black as obsidian with a double sided edge. The interesting thing about NightWing was that both blades had a gap running through the middle which I could use to catch other people's weapons. They also doubled as pistols when transformed.
I brought a hand through my blue hair and sighed. "Navy blue hair is uncommon, but not condemning enough on its own. Yellow eyes however are much rarer, that's what the mask is for. Also please don't make killing the first option, you know I keep killing as a last resort. Bad for the reputation I'm trying to hold."
"Yeah, yeah that whole 'criminal with morals' thing you got going for yourself. A crime is a crime man, besides you've killed before. We were the ones that helped you find the people you were after. Hell we even helped with the cover up." Mercury replied.
I shot a glare at Mercury. "And because your group helped me is why I do jobs for you every now and again." I pulled one of my blades out, staring at my reflection mirrored in the obsidian colored blade. "I like having a moral code to follow. That one time was a special case. I steal and do some small crime work, but usually nothing too serious goes down unless I get a job from you people. " I put the blade back into its sheath.
"Just because you don't kill people normally, and have helped the occasional faunus and orphan in need won't change anything with the law. You're a still a criminal. They'll lock you up just like any other scumbag in Vale."
I could clearly see that this conversation wasn't going anywhere. Mercury and I were friends in a sense, but he doesn't really understand how I operate. I do what I do out of necessity, and I have a code, a set of rules I follow. One, don't bite off more than I can chew. Two, don't kill any innocents, cops, or Huntsmen. If I'm ever found killing someone then I am forever on Remnant's shit list. Three, pay off my debts. Last, but probably the most important rule, try my best to at least break even with every job. Mercury on the other hand... The group he's a part has some sort of goal they're working towards. Something big, from what I can tell.
I crossed my arms and sent Mercury a look of faux pity. "I wouldn't expect someone like you to understand the complexity behind my way of thinking."
Mercury brought a hand up to his chest, acting as if he was just shot. "Oh Athrun, you hurt me with your words. Do you truly have so little faith in me? I suffer from plenty of verbal abuse already. I don't need any more from you too."
"Knowing you, you've probably said or done something to deserve it. Emerald might yell at you less if you didn't try to piss her off all the time." I offered.
"And what would be the fun in that?" Mercury put an arm around me. "You and I both know that she wants me."
I brushed off Mercury's arm. "The chances of you and Emerald hooking up are as low as actually hearing Neo talk. Do you want my honest opinion Merc?" Mercury leaned in a little closer, curious as to what I have to say.
"I truthfully think you have a better chance with that boss of yours, Cinder, than Emerald," I softly told him.
Mercury leaned back and brought a hand to his chin. The silver haired teen seemed to be really contemplating about his chances.
"Don't give me false hopes man. Cinder is a fine piece of work. I would make a pass at her if there wasn't a chance of me being reduced to ash in an instant." Mercury shrugged his shoulders.. "Nah, I don't think it would happen, but if she did ever offer I wouldn't say no."
I was expecting that sort of answer. "Classic Mercury."
I received a cheeky smile in response.
"What's that supposed to mean Athrun? Enlighten me." Mercury said.
"From what I know about you there are a couple things you take great joy in," I began, making my way over to one of the walls of the warehouse. "Boots, women, and pissing off Emerald," I quickly listed off.
Mercury nodded his head a couple times, seemingly satisfied with my observation. "You know me so well, but you forgot that I love to kick people's ass."
"I didn't think I would have to mention that one. Please forgive me, kicker of ass." I dramatically bowed towards him, which got a light chuckle out of the gray garbed teen.
"Now are you finally going to tell me why you called me out here?" I asked.
"Well Athrun, Cinder has a job offer for you," Mercury stated.
"Details Merc, I need details. I could have guessed on my own that Cinder was offering me another job," I told him, wanting to hurry the process along.
"Hold your horses, I'm getting to that." Mercury said, making his way to my position and placing a hand on my shoulder. "I'm just going to start off by saying you might not like the job." I was about to interrupt, but Merc held a finger up to silence me. "Let me finish before you decline. First off the job isn't anything that bad. It's a large scale dust robbery and we just want to make sure things go smoothly. There's been some interruptions in the past so Cinder wanted some insurance that the operation is a success."
"Alright, dust robbery. Nothing new, I've done that before, I don't understand why you would think I would have a problem with that, even if it's on a larger scale. What's the issue?" I asked.
"You'll be working with Roman," Mercury began.
I cupped my chin, "You were right. I don't like the job. I don't even think if I was offered eighty percent of the spoils would I find it worth it to work with that ass-hat." I turned around completely prepared to leave the warehouse through one of the windows. We were on the second floor so it should be easy enough for me to just jump out, but Mercury caught a hold of me before I could leave. I looked down at his hand holding my arm. "What is it?"
"I'm not done talking yet. I know you two don't like each other, hell I don't like him! But I was assigned to get you on board for this job, and I don't feel like getting roasted by Cinder, figuratively and literally because you and Roman can't play nice," Mercury remarked.
"What's stopping me from leaving?"
Mercury chuckled lightly, but let go of my arm. "I'm well aware a little grip like that wouldn't hold you but…" The silver haired teen kicked out his legs a couple times. "You and I both know who would win in a fight."
Mercury wasn't wrong. I've never beat him in one on one combat the couple times we've sparred while I was doing either a robbery or some other type of assignment for the group he was a part of. I'm not sure as to how I would stack up to the rest of his group, either. Emerald has a fighting style that slightly resembles mine based off of her weapons, so I may have a chance against her. I know I don't have a chance against his boss Cinder despite only seeing her in passing, there's a reason why she can keep someone like Mercury so well under wraps. Neo… Well Neo has already used me for what I like to call acrobatics practice, not fun.
The fact of the matter is that fighting Mercury one on one wouldn't end in my favor under these conditions, so option two, running.
"Who said I would have to fight you? My semblance would make it pretty difficult for you to chase after me. Once I'm out of this warehouse I'd be gone." I retorted, prepping the wires loaded in the vambraces around my wrists.
"Neo's calling in her favor for this one."
And just like that, I was stopped from leaving. Sometimes I hate following my rules.
"Shit, why did I think it was a good idea to offer you guys favors in return for your help." I said, pinching the ridge of my nose in annoyance.
"Looks like someone listens when the munchkin is involved." Mercury joked teasingly.
"You know that's not the case. I gave each member of your group one favor from me for your assistance in my personal matters, and I follow through on my promises." I looked Mercury in the eye. "Remember I'm a 'criminal with morals'. I also don't feel like being tossed around by her next time I see her, so continue with the details."
Mercury grinned before continuing. "You'll be helping Roman and some members of the White Fang steal a large, and I'm talking about really large shipment of dust from the Schnee Dust Company. No other problems with this extra bit of information?"
"Besides Roman, not particularly. I am surprised that the White Fang is involved in this. From what I've been able to understand they've been getting more and more radical in their approach towards humans. I didn't think they would ever willingly work with one, especially someone like Torchwick. So far this robbery is sounding anything but simple," I replied..
"Under normal circumstances I'm certain that the White Fang would never work with him, but Cinder has ways to make people cooperate with each other," Mercury said with a knowing smirk.
'I don't doubt it.' From the little I do know about Cinder I can tell she's not someone I want to piss off. "Anything else I need to know?"
Mercury put a finger to his chin for a moment. "Nope, I don't think so. Just make sure everything goes smoothly. If shit does start to go down, then make sure Roman at least makes it out. Cinder needs him still. You'll be meeting up with Roman tomorrow a couple hours before the heist at these coordinates." Mercury handed me a piece of paper with what I assumed to be the location I was to meet one of my least favorite people. "After the mission is complete you'll be getting on a bullhead that will take you, Roman, and the dust you stole to our location where you will be compensated for your work."
Now that last little bit of info piqued my curiosity. "Why would you bring me back to your location? Wouldn't it be easier and safer for me to be given the lien or whatever form of compensation for my services on the bullhead and drop me off somewhere? That way less people would know where you're keeping the dust that's been stolen, less loose ends that way," I told him.
"Well you see…" Mercury scratched the back of his head, probably in an attempt to find the proper phrasing for whatever was coming next. "Cinder said she would like to talk to you after the heist so you're going to be coming back with Roman."
That set off red flags all over. In a business like this and with a group like the one Mercury is a part of, being brought back to their location can only mean so many things. A couple of those things involve my body drifting in the waters of Vale.
My body must have tensed up, or there was just some sign of nervousness or paranoia in my eyes, because Mercury's eyes widened as he held up his hands in a sign of peace.
"Hold up Athrun, calm down. I can tell you right now we aren't planning on offing you after this mission. It's the truth."
"Then why bring me back? All the other times I've been in contact with all of you it would be at a neutral meeting point, what changed?" I asked, not yet believing Mercury. Ready to use my semblance to run at any moment. I refuse to be used and then disposed off like an empty dust cartridge.
"I don't really know, but I can tell you one thing if Cinder wanted you dead after this job we wouldn't need to bring you back to our base to do it."
Despite being told that I could be killed wherever if Cinder wished it, I couldn't help but relax a little. Why? Because what he said was true, and the honesty behind his words weren't missed. "That's supposed to make me feel a lot more secure? Thanks Mercury," I joked.
Mercury slapped me across the back. "Not a problem, but seriously, Cinder only wants to talk. Don't ask me why, because I don't know. What I do know is that I am ninety-eight percent sure she doesn't want you dead, and seventy-two percent sure she won't do anything harmful. You still have your uses, and Cinder isn't one to throw away a valuable asset. Killing you would probably hurt team dynamic a little bit too."
"Mercury, are you telling me you would be upset if I died? I knew you weren't faking being my friend." I said lightheartedly, wanting to get him to continue talking.
Mercury stared at me for a couple seconds. "Well, kind of. You've definitely grown on me a little bit. If we do end up having to kill you for whatever reason I'd be slightly upset, but I'd get over it eventually."
'Ouch, so don't count on Mercury trying to bale me out if I'm in trouble with his boss. Can't really blame him though, I'd probably look out for myself if I was put in that situation.'
"Our resident mute though would probably be more upset than me. She's taken a shine to you it seems. Other than Roman she tends to hang around you the most whenever you're around. Cinder values Neo's skills and fighting ability and if we did kill you she'd probably be pissed and wouldn't want to work for a bit. She might even stab some of the others working for us to vent her frustration. That's bad for productivity, so you're worth more alive than dead right now. And most importantly…" Mercury trailed off for a little bit. "Cinder still has her favor you owe her. She wouldn't kill you before using something like that. So consider yourself off limits until that's used up, and as long as you don't spill any beans about what we've been doing."
I scoffed lightheartedly. "Like I actually know what you guys are up to."
"Who knows, one day you just might be brought into the loop." Mercury quipped.
So what I've learned from all of this is that I'm most likely not going to die sometime tomorrow, and most likely won't be disposed off as long as I keep doing what I've been doing. For now at least. If I do find myself in deep shit with them, then there's a small possibility of getting Neo's assistance but I can't count on it.
"Haha, I truly doubt that Merc, besides I like my style of living right now. If that's all then I'm going to be heading out." I said, pointing at the window.
Mercury just waved me off. "Yeah cya, just don't be late, you hear me?"
I gave Mercury a deadpanned look as I pushed past him, and hopped on the ledge of the window. "I don't want to hear it from the one that was late today."
The next moment I jumped out the window and threw my right arm out, releasing a line of wire that attached itself to a billboard, swinging me around and on top of the roof of a corresponding building. I looked behind me, giving Mercury a final wave farewell before activating my semblance, blinking away in a small blue flash.
It didn't take me long to reach the front door of my apartment. A nameplate saying 'Athrun Crocell' was visible on the front of the door. Taking out my keys I let myself into my home.
It wasn't anything fancy. Just enough for one person to live comfortably on his own. A simple one bedroom and bathroom apartment with a small kitchen, and something akin to a living room. Perfect for just my lonesome self. I made my way to the bedroom, stripping off my silver shin guards, vambraces, and my trusted blades. I proceeded to change out of my black and dark blue long sleeve shirt, and matching pants. Opting for a pair of basketball shorts and a simple white tee. I hung my clothes in the closet and put my more delicate equipment in the dresser besides my bed.
I plopped down on my bed and let the sheets surround me, content on letting sleep's gentle embrace take hold of me. I had a feeling that tomorrow was going to be a long day, and not just because I had to work with Roman. Might as well get as much rest as I can. I'm most likely going to need it.
A/N: This chapter was a pilot chapter of sorts so it's a little shorter than my usual target range of 4-5 thousand words. Subsequent chapters will be around that length. As of right now the story does not have a beta, so I apologize for any errors I missed during editing. Please let me know what you liked or disliked, thank you ^.^