A/N: So I had a little bit of extra writing time, and lo and behold, another story pops out. Smh. Oh well. I really enjoyed writing this, let me know what you guys think. After all, I've tortured Jaune enough in my other stories, I think I'll give him this one.
This'll probably be updated... a little more sporadically than my other stories.
Qrow pushed open the doors, ready to get completely smashed after another grisly mission that separated him from the things he didn't want to leave. Plopping down on the nearest stool, Qrow placed his hands on his head, telling the bartender to give him the strongest thing they had on stock.
Glasses clinked and the person behind the bar walked up to the man, placing a shot glass in front of him quickly, neatly placing a coaster underneath.
"You seem like you've had a rough day." The voice was tinged with a bit of amusement, but also shaded with thin concern. Qrow raised his head up, taking a look at the man who was serving him. Muscles tensed and eyebrows raised, Qrow took in the guy—no, the boy—that was standing in front of him, a soft smile on his face. A shock of blonde hair covered his head, the boy donning a neat vest and button down, a tie to complete the outfit.
Qrow inhaled noisily, scrunching his nose before snatching the glass in front of him, downing it in one gulp, used to the fire that stuck to his throat. Or at least, he was supposed to, but damn was that strong.
"What's it, cough, to you, cough, anyways?" Qrow hacked a little, blinking away the tears in his eyes. "What was that?"
The boy grinned, tapping a bottle right beside him. The liquid inside seemed darker than anything the seasoned Hunter had ever seen, the bottle unlabeled.
"You asked for the strongest stuff we've got. That was it." Qrow looked at the bottle cautiously, still not sure of what to make of it.
"What is it?"
A golden eyebrow raised upwards, his lips quirked. "Liquor." The boy said dryly, lifting up the bottle in an unspoken question. Qrow hesitated, before nodding once, allowing the boy to fill his glass up once more. The boy expertly tilted the clear glass bottle, the dark, almost viscous liquid falling neatly. The boy wasn't looking at the glass, but Qrow sure as hell was, and he swore that the liquid seemed to be steaming.
The drink finished pouring, the blue-eyed boy pushed the glass forwards, flicking his wrist a little as if to say enjoy.
Qrow gingerly picked up the glass, eyeing it suspiciously before looking up at Jaune, who had a mysterious smile on his face. Learning his lesson beforehand, Qrow started to talk before he downed the drink.
"So what's a kid like you doing bartending in a place like this anyways?" Throwing his head back, Qrow tried to ignore the strength of the liquor, which seemed to punch him in the throat. Jaune turned a little to grab another glass to clean, as well as to hide the amusement that colored his face.
Shrugging, the boy turned back around. "I wanted to go to Vale. Wanted to get into Beacon, become a Hunter, help people, but…" The boy shrugged again, Qrow pretty much categorizing it as a habitual tic the boy had. "I didn't make it in. And I didn't want to go home so…" Spreading out his hands, he gestured to the bar. "Here I am."
Qrow was finally able to keep the drink down, his fingertips already feeling a bit buzzed, which was strange for a seasoned drinker like him.
"Hell of a lot less dangerous." Qrow commented, gesturing once again for the boy to pour him another drink. The kid nodded, picking the bottle back up.
"I guess. It just sucks you know? Sometimes you don't get what you want in life but… I don't know." Again the shrug came out. Qrow watched the boy as he handed him the drink.
"It just feels like things went right anyways." Qrow finished for him, placing his lips on the glass. The bartender nodded, smiling a bit.
This time Qrow took his time with the drink, sipping it slowly to appreciate the taste that was hidden behind the vicious kick it had.
"I've got two nieces." Qrow spoke, eyes blinking a little blearily. The boy didn't say anything, just nodding, letting the man speak his mind.
"I worry about them. A lot. Even though I try not to look like it." The Hunter waved his hand around, dismissing the boy's offer for another drink for now.
"They're training to be Huntresses and… I know what it's like out there. It's dangerous." Qrow struggled to find the words to express himself. "I'm scared they won't be prepared."
The black haired man gestured to his glass, finally allowing the boy to pour him another. Silence reigned for a little while, as the boy and the man faced each other. The boy held a finger up.
"Actually, I have something that might help." With that, the boy ducked beneath the counter, bringing up two or three bottles, placing them on the counter. Qrow squinted at them, trying to read the labels, but realizing that his sight was just out of focus enough to prevent him from doing so.
With practiced hands, the bartender tipped over one bottle, then another, then another, into a metal mixer. Taking out a slice of lemon, he squeezed it in as well, before shaking the mixer vigorously, grinning while he did so.
With almost a sort of grace to it, the boy opened the mixer and poured the drink into a new glass, before handing it to the gruff Hunter, who looked uncertain at the mixture. Looking towards the boy was no help, as he just pushed the drink closer to Qrow, waiting expectantly.
Sighing, Qrow threw caution to the wind and took a large gulp, letting the cocktail slide in.
The mix, which was supposed to be cold, felt warm. Qrow could feel his heart beating in his chest, and the headache that seemed to constantly accompany him seemed to slip away. Placing the drink down, Qrow blinked hurriedly, as if trying not to tear up, this time from emotions that he so carefully hid away.
A hand rested on his shoulder, which Qrow traced to find was the boy bartender's. Another soft smile was on his face, reassuring the man.
"You're their uncle." The boy started, "It's perfectly alright to worry about them. But you have to keep in mind, if they've been accepted into Beacon, they must be pretty exceptional Huntresses."
Qrow gave an uncharacteristically watery smile. "One of them got in two years early. Ruby." The boy's smile only grew, nodding.
"Even better. They're probably super talented then."
"Very talented," Qrow gave a low chuckle, taking a sip of the drink again. "So what, just don't worry about them?"
"Actually, worry about them a lot." The boy said, catching Qrow off guard. "Because you're their uncle. It's just what you have to do. Worry about them, but know that whatever they face, they can handle it. 'Cause they're your nieces."
It was different advice. Something the tired and drunk Hunter didn't expect from a boy who seemed the same age as his two nieces. But for whatever reason, he took the advice to heart. Staring at his drink, Qrow nodded slowly, picking himself up.
"Thanks for the advice kid. Appreciate it." Pulling out some lien to pay for the drinks, Qrow hesitated, before placing a little more than necessary. The boy nodded in thanks, scooping up the lien and pulling out his bar rag, wiping the place down.
As Qrow continued to walk towards the exit, he stopped, turning back to the boy, who was putting the bottles he had taken out back in their places.
"Hey kid," Qrow called out, catching the bartender's attention. "What's your name kid?"
Qrow nodded, filing the name away, sure to remember the bartender who helped him with his troubles.
"You might not be a hunter Jaune," He shouted, "but you're still helping people." And with that, Qrow flung the door wide, leaving a happy Jaune standing beside his bar.