Breaking Through the Bottom of the Bottle


Five years after Beacon, Jaune's still going home alone as often as not. An unlikely encounter with Yang may have just the solution- drinks, company, and a hell of a lot of pickup lines. No way she'd have ulterior motive… right?


Disclaimer: I don't own RWBY. Duh.


He was cool, not creepy- though he was aware that the fact he made the distinction might itself be creepy. But he wasn't rude, and rarely crude, and where he'd been a hopeless dunce years ago he'd grown so much since then. He didn't always fall flat on his face.

Jaune Arc, you see, had become a ladies man. Or at least enough of one to have a chance.

He was a Huntsman now, but he didn't like to think of his targets as prey as he surveyed a bar. They were women, ladies, friends he hadn't met yet, and just possibly people he'd like to be more than friends with. Unlike a creep, he wasn't inclined to fantasize about them before he hit it off. He didn't know any of them- yet- and by the looks of it probably none of them knew him- yet- but that was fine. Better than fine, in fact. It was good, because it made tonight a chance for a fresh start.

Jaune took it all in the moment he walked into the bar. Huntsmen experience helped in some ways- the little attention to detail that helped identify the threats from the opportunities. That one had a ring, that one was with a boyfriend, those two weren't with any men but were probably with each other… too old, too young, too married, too big… way too big… way waaaay too big…

And then there she was- a mature sort of blonde, sitting at the edge of the bar nursing a strawberry sunrise. Flags started raising, one by one. She was alone. She didn't have a ring. She was paying idle attention to the guys, but none to a pair of lip-locked lesbians off in the corner. She might be waiting for someone, but then she might be waiting for anyone to approach. By the looks some were shooting at her, there was practically a queue of men almost willing to try- meaning they hadn't been rejected out of hand yet.

She was also, with long blonde hair, generous sunglasses, and a matching set of gloves and leather jacket that gave her an aura of maturity and deliberation, hot.

Jaune knew she was a keeper if there ever was one, and knew he'd probably only have one chance to make a good first impression. Even so, he wasn't deterred- not by the informal queue of guys trying to work up the nerve to approach her, not by her apparent boredom as she surveyed the bar, not even by his less than stellar success rate. Remembering what his father had said about confidence, and other things he'd learned since then, Jaune ignored the queue and walked towards her.

She saw him approaching, obviously. She was sitting in a spot with the best view of the entire club. But when she did- Jaune didn't hide a smirk when her mouth dropped open, just a little. Whatever she saw as he walked towards her, she seemed to like. Maybe it was the jacket. The hoodie of freshman year was long gone, but it'd also been long since replaced by a similar leather jacket that did flattering things for his form. He'd put on muscle in the years since freshman year.

Confidence, he reminded himself, and raised an eyebrow in greeting. 'I see you watching me,' he might have said. People made way as he approached, and he quite casually slid onto the bar stool beside her. He asked the bartender for a drink, gave her time to recover and close her mouth, and then showed the fruit of nearly half a decade of Huntsman experience, all for her.

She wouldn't stand a chance.

"Pardon me, what pickup line works best on you?"

A beat. Then three. And then… well, peals of laughter weren't always a bad sign. In fact, it was expected for this one, and the fact that the woman was smiling was already a plus.

"I'm sorry, were you talking to me?" she asked, just to clarify in case he'd been talking to the man two-seats down now shooting him a dirty look for cutting in line.

"I was," Jaune nodded, unapologetic. "You look like a girl who's heard every line in the book- so what's one more? Unless you want to be left alone, I mean." And this is why he wasn't a creep. He's not afraid to flirt, but also already ready to back off if it isn't appreciated, and hardly deterred as he waited for his drink and her answer.

"No, by all means," she invited, a good sign indeed as she started to smile more and leaned against the bar to look at him. "Feel free to continue," she encouraged, even as she signaled for her own next drink. "Give me your best shot, stud."

"Is it hot in here, or is it just you?"

"It's just you," she parroted back with a smirk. "Maybe you should take off that jacket. I'm sure I could find a floor for it."

He laughed, liking where this was going already. Not only open, but with the wit to flirt back? Sure, she escalated- but for now, they were just playing. Feeling each other out. He shook his head in mock seriousness. "No seriously- you should stop, drop, and roll with me. You're on fire, baby."

"Maybe I should run through your sprinkler," she suggested, wagging an eyebrow behind those shades. "You know- to cool off."

"I don't think it'd matter for a hottie like you," Jaune bantered back. "Are you around campfires much? Because I definitely want s'more," he said, leaning towards her with an elbow.

She avoided his elbow before it could contact with her right arm, but gave him a bemused stare all the same. "Better… for a drunk. How many drinks did it take for you to come up with that?"

At that he chose indignation, even as he reached to accept his drink from the bartender. "I haven't had a drink yet," he admitted. "I'm just intoxicated… by you."

That time she really did laugh. "Now I know you're drunk. You've no idea who you're talking to, do you?"

That made him pause for a bit, and reassess her. Normally the people who said that were one of three types- politicians, celebrities, or the really rich. All the self-important types, basically, who expected you to already know them.

But this one… she had nice clothes, sure, smooth leather that really accentuated her arms and hands, but hardly anything like what Weiss wore on a casual day. He was pretty sure she wasn't a local politician- he'd already met the local ones, and even protected some of their families. And she didn't seem airheaded enough to be a simple celebrity…

"I know you," he ultimately said, seeing only the blue eyes of his reflection as he looked into her shades and picked up his drink to take a sip. "You're the girl with the beautiful smile, right?"

That did make her smile, mayhaps a bit cheekily. "The best you'll ever come across," she agreed easily enough, thrilling him with hint of innuendo. "But your pickup lines still need some work, Vomit Boy."

It was perfectly timed- his eyes went wide, his cheeks went wider, and only a pre-emptive finger over his lips kept her from becoming intimately familiar with his drink. Instead, what would have gone out went back in and down the wrong pipe, sending Jaune Arc- Huntsman, Hero, and once upon a time Beacon student- bending over and coughing as he realized just who he had tried to pick up.

"Yang?!" he sputtered.

"The one and only," she smirked as she removed her glasses, somewhat smaller than her old aviator shades. "Feel free to take your time catching your breath. It's been awhile since I had that effect on guys."

Jaune coughed, and flushed, as much from lack of air as disbelief. "I- you- flirting!" he gasped.

"Oh, don't stop now," Yang encouraged, a shit-eating grin (or perhaps some other sort) on her face. "You were saying such nice things."

"I didn't know it was you!"

"Don't let that stop you," Yang urged, grinning like a hungry wolf. "No, really- don't."


End First Round



Author Note:

Typical style, typical warnings- this is a chapter-a-day fic, with a post a day. I call it popcorn style- something small each time, but frequeuent enough to get into it. In exchange for your patience, I can guarantee you a complete read since the entire story- all 32,000+ words of it- has already been written.

Sit back, watch, and leave a review if you're inclined.