Dandelions and Carnations

Chapter 1: Taraxacum/Dianthus

A typical teenager's Friday usually consists of going to school, eating lunch with their friends, reading, doing homework, going out to the mall, and generally having a good time. Jaune Arc's typical Friday usually consisted of being late to class, listening to the contemptuous whispers of his classmates, failing whatever quiz or test was on that day, getting kicked in unsavory areas, being rejected by a girl, then going to the local meadows to relax. Then again, Jaune wasn't your typical teenager. He was weak, cowardly, stupid, naive, and he had no charisma whatsoever. Unlike your average teenage boy, Jaune loved to read, he loved to draw, he loved to garden, make handcrafts, sew, knit, and even create his own clothing. In fact, Jaune seemed so feminine, that others would call him "Granny Arc" because of his peculiar interests. But there was one thing in particular about Jaune that stood out above the rest.

Jaune Arc loved flowers. Roses, myrtaceae, belladonnas, sunflowers, you name it. The scent of flowers, their elegant petals, intriguing structure. Flowers seem so delicate, yet they prove to be resilient. But above all of the flowers, Jaune especially loved dandelions. Ever since he was a little boy, his parents told him that dandelions would grant wishes when you blew on the seed heads and scattered them into the wind. Of course, Jaune never believed that was true. He knew it was a tall tale told by his parents to add to the magic of being a child. But he didn't care. If he was bullied at school, he'd visit his favorite field of flowers and pick out a few dandelions. And if he was having trouble with his grades, he'd go and pick some more. And when he got rejected by his first love, he'd pick a few more. Eventually, he had a huge bouquet of beautiful dandelions. Of course, they didn't last forever. But at the end of each year, he'd travel to the cliffs near his home, and he'd let all the dandelions go. Each dandelion carried a wish he had. Because, even if he was shoved into lockers and beat up, even if he was too stupid to earn a good grade in mathematics, even if he was unpopular and weird, even if he failed at everything he did, he could go back to that flower field and pick the dandelions. And to him, the dandelions seemed to be waiting for him. That, was enough to make Jaune happy.

After a particularly stressful and depressing day, Jaune decided he needed to relax and go to the flower field and wind down. When he arrived, he saw a lone girl sitting in the middle of a group of red carnations. Maybe it was fate, or maybe it was Jaune's own stupidity, but Jaune stepped forward and spoke up.

"Don't sit on the carnations, you'll squash them."

"..."

I should have expected this… there's no way someone would respond to something so impolite… Should I have said something cool? Jaune thought to himself, cheeks slightly flushed at saying something so rude.

"Uh… look, I'm sorry for being so blunt about it, but could you please-"

"Carnations… is that what you called them?" the strange girl replied. Standing up, she brushed off her crimson skirt and turned to face Jaune. Jaune quickly stepped back, holding his hands up embarrassedly.

"Wait no! I'm so sorry please don't hurt me I just really like this field of flowers and carnations are really pretty and you can only find red ones here in the field so I thought I would confront you about sitting on them and pleasedon'tbeatmeupIneedtogotoschooltomorrowand-" Jaune's flustered ramble was cut off by the sound of a pleasant laugh reaching his ears. He lowered his hands from above his head and took a good look at the girl. She was around his height, and was wearing a searing red skirt that matched her long, elegant hair. Her top was a maize color, and complemented her sparkling emerald eyes.

Is it just me, or does she look really pretty? Now that I take a good look at her, she is a total knockout! Just what is a beauty like her doing here? Wait, waitwaitwaitwait what did I just say? I don't even know who she is, much less how old she is? What if she's a 6th grader? An elementary schooler? Oh nononononono please I don't want to go to jail for hitting on an elementary schooler. Wait, was I even hitting on her? I don't even know anymooooooore!

By the time Jaune had been able to reign in his rampaging thoughts, the red haired girl had stopped laughing, and was looking at him with a curious glint in her eyes and mirth in her smile. She walked up to him and reached out her hand.

"Hi. My name is Pyrrha Nikos."

"Uh… hi. The name's Jaune Arc. Short, sweet, rolls off the tongue, ladies love it. At least, I think they do. I don't know, I haven't used it on any girls yet."

"Oh, and am I not a girl to you?"

"N-no, that's not what I meant by that at all! I meant that I haven't said that line at all yet, and really it's a stupid line so-"

"Jaune, it is quite alright. I was trying to make a joke."

"Oh… um…"

Jaune and Pyrrha stood around awkwardly, both of them uncomfortable with the silence. In an attempt to break the ice, Pyrrha spoke up.

"So, Jaune, could you please tell me more about these carnations?"

"Dianthus caryophyllus, carnation or clove pink, is a species of Dianthus. It is probably native to the Vale region but its exact range is unknown due to extensive cultivation.. It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 80 cm tall. The leaves are glaucous greyish green to blue-green, slender, up to 15 cm long. The flowers are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme; they are 3–5 cm diameter, and sweetly scented; the original natural flower colour is bright pinkish-purple, but cultivars of other colours, including red, white, yellow and green, have been developed. Some fragrance-less carnation cultivars are often used as boutonnieres for men."

"..."

Pyrrha blinked once. Twice. She was in shock; Jaune had just entered some strange trance state and rattled off a bunch of facts without hesitation.

"Jaune, that was…"

"Weird? Unusual? Strange? Uncool? Yeah, I know. I'm a flower nerd, and that's like, the lamest type of nerd to be."

"No, no! Quite the contrary! I am quite amazed! I would like to hear more about these flowers. Which one is your favorite one?"

"Well… I really like dandelions."

"Then tell me more about dandelions! Oh, and while you are at it, those roses over there are very pretty! And those sunflowers are simply beautiful!"

Pyrrha grabbed him by the arm and pulled him further into the meadow. Her eyes were filled to the brim with excitement, and her smile was so wide it threatened to split her face in half. And Jaune, while knowing nothing about this girl, and knowing nothing about her past, felt like he had known her for all of his life. His lips curved into a small smile, then grew into a big grin, and kept going until he was absolutely beaming.

"Yeah. I'll tell you all about the flowers."

In that small field of carnations, in that small section of Vale, on that small section of the universe called Remnant, a boy named Jaune Arc had learned what it was like to share happiness with someone else. And he chatted away the daylight with his brand new friend.


AUTHOR'S NOTE

Hi. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of "Dandelions and Carnations".

This is a romance with plenty of action and adventure, because what is RWBY without the gun swords?

I do have something laid out for chapter arcs and length. The first arc is going to be relatively short because I don't believe I should spend tooooooo much time on the intro. Every chapter should come out within a week of the last chapter released.

As for my plan, here is what I have so far.

The Promise Arc (Chapters 1 through 7-8) [Est. Length: 1.2k - 2.5k words]

Beacon Academy Arc (Chapters 7-8 through 13-15) [Est. Length: 10k words]

Vytal Festival Arc (Chapters 13-15 through 20-?) [Est. Length 7k words]

Year 2 Arcs (Chapters 20-? through ?)

Year 3 Arcs (Chapters ? through ?)

Graduation Arcs (Chapters ? through ?)

?

As you can see, I have a rough draft of all the work I plan to do for this story. Each arc should be around 7-8 chapters long, but since I'm not too sure what to do for the Vytal Festival I can't really lay out my plans for any arc after. Beacon Academy is where most of the relationship building and the plot development are going to occur, so expect longer chapters for those. Promise Arc is going to be short and sweet, and Vytal is when a lot of the action is going to be happening, so while the chapters are going to be long, they won't be super long. Year 2 and 3 will have multiple arcs, and Graduation will also have multiple arcs. Chapter lengths for those are unknown, as I don't know what content I'm going to put into them. Graduation may be the last arc, but I'm not quite sure about that, so I'll keep on updating it whenever I finish up my plans.

Hopefully my author notes won't be as long as this one is.

Thank you for reading and see you next week.