The crowd was cheering her on, her walkout music was blasting through the stadium speakers, and she strode out confidently into the arena, waving at her fans.
But, all that Arslan Altan could think about, was just how fucked she was.
It wasn't her fault, really, but she knew that her next 20 minutes were gonna hurt. She was proud of just how far she made it in the Tournament, she was only ranked 11th out of the 50 or so people in the bracket, but she was prepared for her success to end at second place.
Because she had the grand honor of facing Ruby fucking Rose in the finals.
"The Fastest Girl Alive" had burst onto the tournament scene three years ago, signing up for the Mistral Regional Tournament a year younger than most of the other competitors, and winning the whole thing by a landslide. Arslan wasn't jealous or anything, no, the girl had skill upon skill, and deserved the hell out of every championship she had. She was just mad that she had to stare down that big-ass sniper-scythe.
Arslan dogged through her pre-fight routine, doing some shadowboxing and double checking her rope darts, as the 2-time champion's walkout music started.
They see you as small and helpless
The crowd went absolutely crazy at the first lyric, the deafening roar overshadowing any of the cheers she received. Arslan knew her role in this fight, to be the last step of Ruby's path to yet another title. Didn't mean she had to like it, though.
They see you as just a child
The line was a reference to her first fight, when her opponent, the previous Tournament winner, stated in a pre-match interview, laughing, "They want me to fight a child?" The highest seeded fighter was knocked out of the fight by Aura loss, without landing a single hit on Ruby.
Surprise when they find out that a warrior will soon run wild!
As the last words of the lyric were spoken, a flash of red appeared out of the opposite tunnel, rose petals flying through the air. Ruby Rose came to a skidding stop across from Arslan, gray eyes shining, and the biggest smile on her face.
Arslan couldn't help it, she smiled back. That was what she liked about Ruby. She always looked like she was having the time of her goddamn life in a fight. Her gray eyes were wide with excitement and she was practically bouncing with energy. Arslan threw a jaunty wave at the speedster, and she waved back cheerfully.
Ruby started her pre-fight routine, some bounces to keep loose and a little stretching for the crowd's benefit, as Arslan continued her half-hearted shadowboxing. Eventually, Ruby's music faded out, and the announcer's voice boomed over the microphone.
"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 39th Annual Mistral Regional Tournament Finals! Today we have a fantastic match-up of speed and skill in store. In one corner, we have the hometown underdog, who'll be attending Haven Academy in the fall, Mistral's own, ARSLAN ALTAN!"
The crowd cheered mightily for her, a thunderous applause overtaking the arena.
Arslan wasn't even paying attention to the announcer, or the crowd, as she started to get into more of a zone. Tournament fighters learned quickly to ignore what was going on around them.
Her mind went to her coaches advice for the fight. "Arslan, " he told her, clapping his hand on her shoulder, "What you need to do this match, is try your damndest to keep Rose in close quarters. She's got the advantage in medium and long range. Rope her in, and keep her there for as long as humanly possible."
She snorted. Keep Ruby Rose in close quarters.
Just like all the others who tried that. Just because nobody had succeeded yet, though, didn't mean she wasn't going to at least try. Arslan hadn't given up, she just didn't have her hopes up.
"And in the other corner," the announcer's voice boomed, "From the small island of Patch, you know her, you love her, The Fastest Girl Alive, RUBY ROSE!"
The stadium absolute exploded with noise. The floor of the arena literally shook as the fans beat their hands together and stamped their feet for the previous Champion. Ruby was soaking in the praise, waving to the crowd, and actually bouncing up and down. She reveled in the atmosphere of the Finals.
"Fighters, to your marks!"
Arslan settled into a loose fighting stance, her rope darts at the ready. She was light on her feet, ready to dodge at a moments notice. Ruby, on the other hand, simply reached behind her, pulling out a red box from under her cloak. A mechanism on the weapon was pressed, and the famous Crescent Rose unfurled into its full, six foot glory.
Arslan had to admit, the speedster cut an entirely different figure now than a moment ago. The cloak fluttering in the light breeze, intense gray eyes staring her down, and, of course, the giant scythe, came together to put on an intimidating look.
The two fighters braced a little, their grips on their respective weapons tightening. Arslan couldn't help but feel the shift in energy coming from Ruby. She could feel the Aura she was pouring into her semblance.
Any introspection was cut off, as Arslan shifted into her prepared defensive form.
Defending against Ruby Rose was difficult, not because she was going to surprise you, but, rather, because she was going to beat you anyways. She was faster than you, could hit as hard as almost anyone, and could pull out of any combo you tried. The scythe was a weapon that required maximum discipline, and she had it in spades.
As such, there were almost no openings in any attacks. You had to respect the massive 6 foot weapon, as well as the quickness to swap between stances instantly. There was no room to move when Ruby Rose had you pinned.
Hours of looking at tape of Rose's fights led her to prepare for a first move, where she would have to move before the timer started to have a chance at blocking. It was a 50/50 shot at best, but her only opportunity to hem the faster girl in.
However, no such attack came. Arslan looked up to see rose petals filling the arena, a red blur circling around her. The petal storm began to fill the fighting circle, staying inside the barrier that protected the crowd, and wrecked havoc on her visibility.
New strategy then.
Arslan closed her eyes, and reached out with her Aura. She felt the pure energy being poured into the floor, and the general flow of Ruby. She didn't even bother trying to follow her, only preparing her instincts for the attack.
C'mon, she thought, Instincts, instincts ints-
A slight change in the hum of the Aura around her, and Arslan snapped into a different defensive pose, while leaning backwards. She felt her ropes catch onto something heavy, pulling her back slightly as a sharp blade whizzed over her face. Twisting her darts, she threw Ruby onto the ground, sending the scythe skittering across the floor, and immediately moving on the downed girl.
She started to put together a combo of martial attacks that would try to do as much damage to the hooded girl as possible. Footage of previous fights had shown that Ruby's main weakness came when she was without her weapon, though getting to that point was pure luck, as shown by Arslan here.
A quick rabbit punch impacted Ruby's stomach, making decent contact and good damage. Only 3 dozen more of those and she would win.
At the same time as she pulled away her left, her right came in for a hard hook. Much to her surprise, Ruby managed to get up out of her downed position, duck the hook, and spring back up into a driving punch to take advantage of the out of position Arslan.
Alright, Arslan thought, Just take the punch, roll out of it, and conti-
Arslan didn't even feel it as she was rocketed out of the arena, losing by ring-out.
Ruby was bouncing as she returned to her locker room. Oh, man, Yang was gonna be so impressed by her knockout punch. It was like, pow, just like Yang taught her.
She dashed into her locker room with a burst of petals, seeing her smirking, new half-sister standing with her arms crossed playfully.
"What did I tell you?" Yang Branwen asked, "I knew you were strong enough to punch when needed."
Ruby grinned sheepishly. "Yeah, yeah, you were right."
Yang rolled her eyes, ruffling Ruby's hair, "C'mon, Tai's waiting for you. Said you had some kind of special visitor."
Ruby batted away her half-sister's ministrations, before following her out into the side room, "Do you know who?"
Yang shook her head, "Nah, he didn't say. Seemed like someone important though."
Ruby hummed. It was unlike Dad to keep secrets like that, he was usually much more open. It must be someone really important.
She stepped into the room, her dad was leaning against the wall, and a gray haired man in a suit was sitting at the table with a mug in his hand. He stood up, and stepped around the table.
He looked down at the confused Ruby, smiling. "Hello, Miss Rose, my name is Ozpin."
Pyrrha stepped into the Dust shop, a little ding from the door marking her entry. She waved at the elderly shopkeeper, who was organizing some of his product at the register, and made her way to the back of the store. The man took in her obvious combat outfit, fit with holstered weapons, and her friendly approach, and correctly assumed her to be either a Huntress or a Huntress-in-training.
The Beacon Entrance exams started the next day, and she wanted to make sure that she had all the ammo she might need for the exams. She wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the exams, but she certainly wasn't going to into a Huntsmen test unprepared. Like her father always said, it was better to be safe than sorry.
As she was looking over the different bullets, determining which ones she wanted, she heard the door ring once more. Her head jerked up by reflex, the reaction trained by years of protecting her home village with her father.
Pyrrha was about to chuckle about her unnecessary paranoia, when she did a double take, seeing several armed men in matching outfits pile into the store. Pyrrha ducked against the shelf, hoping she hadn't been seen. If she was going to help the innocent shopkeeper, it would be best if she was able to position herself before making her move.
Keeping low to the ground, she made her way closer to the front, peeking around the shelf. She counted 5 men dressed in matching outfits, black shirts, red ties and red sunglasses, and one, presumably the leader, who was wearing a sharp white coat and a bowler hat.
Choosing the grunt closest to her to surprise first, she hopped back a few feet. Pyrrha knew that fighting in a Dust shop was an explosion waiting to happen, so she wanted to make sure she could pull this fight outside. And she had the perfect way to do that.
Counting to three, she took a deep breath, and started sprinting at the chosen grunt. He had just barely managed to see her and jump in surprise before she was on him, kicking him directly into the chest, and riding the momentum through the glass window.
Kicking the man to the side, Pyrrha gathered herself in the street in front of the shop, before turning back to see all the men staring at her in a combination of amazement and confusion. She reached to her sides, pulled out her sword and shield, and prepared for them to come to her.
"Okaaaaay," the white coated man started slowly, "Get her."
Each of the grunts dashed out of the store, pulling out their own matching cleavers. Pyrrha wanted to laugh. Their form was awful! They were holding the weapons far too tightly, and at way to high of an angle. They had no chance of getting any amount of reach from their weapons, and were very poorly prepared to swing.
As the first one managed to get close, Pyrrha moved. She ducked his first blow, sweeping her leg as she moved up to tip him over, before rising to her feet and launching him back with a sharp axe kick to the back. He flew across the street, tumbling into a nearby building, as Pyrrha continued onto the rest of the grunts.
The remaining 4 assailants circled around her, as she held her weapons at the ready. The all started to move at the same time, and Pyrrha reacted accordingly. She threw Akouo at one man, impacting him sharply in the chest and incapacitating him for the moment. Using her Polarity, she pulled the shield into the other man approaching from her behind, driving the shield into his chest just as powerfully as the first.
The shield landed directly into her waiting arm as she readied her sword for the remaining two. The two men met her at the same time, swinging their cleavers in near harmony. Unfortunately for them, it was nowhere near enough to defeat the spartan, as she stepped forward into the one slash, forcing the blow aside with her shield, and allowing the other to barely miss. While the first man was off balance from the force of her block, she rotated, planting her foot, and sent him flying with a donkey kick to the stomach.
As he flew away, the other man approached quickly, readying another slash. Pyrrha didn't give him the chance, however, as she jumped into him, catching the grunt off guard, and kicking off his face, sending him flying back towards the Dust shop. She flipped through the air, landing directly on top of the one incapacitated grunt, who was trying to stand back up, before throwing her shield at the other man who had just stood back up.
She stepped off the unconscious man, caught her shield, and faced the leader once more.
The man in the white coat walked around the unconscious man she had flipped over, before looking at the girl with a grudging respect.
"Well, Red," he started, "As exciting as this night has been, I believe now is when we part ways."
And, with that, he lifted his cane, opened the bottom, and shot an explosive at her feet. Recognizing the threat, Pyrrha tried to roll out of the way, but wasn't quite able to escape the blow before it sent her tumbling a few feet. She looked back up once she regained herself, seeing the man already near the top of a ladder to a nearby building.
Pyrrha cursed to herself, if that man could get up there that quickly, he must have good enough control of his Aura to power his stride. She would be fighting someone who was better than, if not equal to, her. She poured her own Aura into her legs, chasing after the man up the building.
She reached the top of the roof, just in time to see the man in the passenger bay of a Bullhead, holding onto a handle bar.
He shouted over the roar of the engines, "End of the line, Red!" He reached into his pocket, and threw an object at her. It rolled over to her feet, just in time for her to notice that it was a red Dust crystal, and she was too late to jump away before the flare he had shot impacted the crystal.
As the dust settled, she was amazed to find herself perfectly fine, and right where she just was. A quick glance to her right revealed her savior, a stern looking blonde woman with a riding crop in hand. She lowered the shield in front of them before sending Dust missiles at the Bullhead with a flick of her wrist.
They impacted the ship sharply, rocking the flight of the Bullhead, and Pyrrha started to assist as well. She reached out her own hand, pouring as much Aura as she could into her semblance, trying to help prevent the ship from flying away.
It was working at first, until a new woman stepped in the shadows of the passenger bay. She gestured with her arms, and fiery projectiles started to head directly for them. The Huntress next to Pyrrha was pulled off the attack, blocking the objects, but Pyrrha held strong, sweating from the exertion of holding the VTOL in place. The Huntress needed to deal with this woman fast.
The two parried a few more blows, before the shadowy woman did something, and glyphs appeared at their feet. The Huntress gasped, pulling the two of them away from the explosion that occurred a moment later, and taking Pyrrha's focus off the ship. Without either of the two women holding the ship back, it flew off into the distance before they could even react.
Pyrrha took a breath, letting the excitement of the evening catch up to her. She turned at looked at the woman looking crossly at her. Pyrrha had never met a Huntress before, as she and her father were the only ones to protect their village.
"You're a Huntress!" Pyrrha exclaimed, letting her glee show on her features, "May I please have your autograph?"
"I hope you realize that your actions tonight will not be taken lightly, young lady."
Pyrrha, despite her outwardly calm demeanor, couldn't help but cower a little, as the older Huntress circled her chair, lecturing her sharply. The woman had been going for a few minutes now, once she was placed in the interrogation room.
The room itself was rather intimidating. Drab gray walls, a metal table bolted to the floor, and similarly uncomfortable metal chairs. A single light hung above the table, covering it with a harsh fluorescent glare.
The Huntress' voice shifted to a more caring tone, "You placed yourself in others in great danger."
Pyrrha's fear shifted to frustration at the condescension, and her shoulders broadened, "But, ma'am, they started the fight!"
The woman continued on, ignoring the outburst, her voice gaining anger again, "If it were up to me-"
Luckily for Pyrrha, the door opened at that moment, revealing an older man in a black suit and a green scarf.
"That's enough, Glynda, I'm sure you've frightened our guest enough."
The woman, Glynda, huffed, stepping aside to allow the older man to walk through. He tapped his cane with each step, though Pyrrha noticed that he put almost no weight on it. A weapon, perhaps?
He set his can against the table, and sat down in front of her, meeting her eyes. Pyrrha felt herself sharpen her posture instinctively, meeting his gaze. His eyes were...kind, in a grandfatherly way, but looked intently into her own eyes.
"Pyrrha Nikos…" he began in a faraway tone, almost as if she wasn't there, "You have silver eyes."
"Uhhh…" She did have silver eyes, it was the one thing her father said she took from her mother. But why would he start with tha-?
"So!" He punctuated, snapping the conversation away from his non-sequitur, "Where did you learn to do this?"
Pyrrha shook out of her confusion to see the Huntr-Glynda standing next to the man holding a Scroll with video of her fight.
"Uhh, my-my father taught me." Pyrrha chided herself for her lack of eloquence, she was going to Beacon Academy, well, was applying to get in. A huntress-in-training needed to be prepared for anything life could throw at her!
The man raised an eyebrow, "And why would he do that? Surely there are much safer things to do than to learn to fight like that."
"W-well," Pyrrha stuttered, stopping herself, taking a breath, before starting again, slowly. "Well, my father was our village's Hunter, and I wanted to be a Huntsmen like him, and so he trained me so that I could attend a Huntsmen Academy."
The man continued, "So, you want to slay monsters?"
"Not exactly," Pyrrha responded, flushing at the raised eyebrows her answer got. "I mean, yes, killing Grimm is part of the job, but I really liked how everyone looked to my father to protect them. I-I wanted to protect people like that."
"I see." The man concluded in a satisfied tone. Was that what he was looking for? Was this some kind of test?
The man broke the silence once more, asking, "Do you know who I am?"
Pyrrha shook her head, "No, sir, I don't."
The man smiled kindly, "Well, I am Professor Ozpin, Headmaster of Beacon Academy."
Pyrrha's eyes bugged for a moment, before she could collect herself. The man whose school she was applying to was interviewing her! Professor Ozpin chuckled a little at her reaction.
"I take it you know what that means?"
Pyrrha couldn't nod fast enough.
The man reached into his pocket and pulled out his Scroll, tapping for a few moments, before pulling up a page. Was-was that her picture?
"I see you are planning on taking the entrance exam tomorrow, you wanted to attend my school?"
Pyrrha snapped back to Professor Ozpin's eyes, a wistful smile reaching across her face, "More than anything."
He snapped his Scroll shut, placing it back into his pocket, and stuck his hand out to Pyrrha. "Well, okay then. Welcome to Beacon."
AN: This is a story that takes the general archetypes of team RWBY and JNPR and flips them around.
The changes are as follows:
Ruby: The Champion (Pyrrha)
Weiss: The Serious Friend (Ren)
Blake: The Princess (Weiss)
Yang: The Outlaw (Blake)
Jaune: The Goofy Friend (Nora)
Nora: The Runaway (Jaune)
Pyrrha: The Silver Eyed Warrior (Ruby)
Ren: The Abandoned (Yang)
As a story note, Ruby does not have Silver Eyes, Pyrrha is the only one who has them.