Well, I'm back and working again. Just as a heads up, I did fire the journalist who worked for me and plagiarised someone else's work. He actually had a chance to save his job when I called him in for a meeting. All he had to do was admit his mistake, explain why he did it, and accept an official warning. Instead he chose to lie and lie, weaving ever more intricate stories for why it wasn't plagiarism at all.

Except for the fact that I'd spoken to the woman he stole it off, and she told me that when she called in to complain he answered the phone and that he admitted it was from her work, so I knew he was lying. I fired him then and there for gross misconduct.


Chapter 11


Velvet took a deep breath and stared at herself in the mirror. She was in her boss' apartment, in his bathroom, and that felt awkward enough, but she'd been assured that it was quieter than the public restrooms and since Russel and she needed somewhere to change, his apartment was okay for that. The two had been up there with her earlier, before Russel had gotten changed and headed down with Jaune to handle the first shift, telling her to come down when she was ready.

She wasn't ready. Not at all.

But this was her job, right? Like Russel said, no matter how she felt or what mood she was in, she needed to be able to forget all about that when she started working. The people outside didn't know her and would be making their first opinions based on how she acted. It was a clean slate. A chance to be anything she wanted.

Her legs trembled.

"No, no, no," she hissed, shaking her head in the mirror. "I shouldn't feel pressured about this. If they don't know what I'm like I should feel less stressed. Not more!" She took a deep breath and squared her shoulders. "You can do it, Velvet. You can do it!"

It wasn't just her personality causing her problems, though. Her outfit hardly helped matters.

You agreed to this, she reminded herself. If you'd had any reservations, then they should have been raised earlier. No one to blame but myself. And at the end of the day she was stalling for time. It was already four minutes past when her shift officially started and Jaune would be wondering where she was. In the end it was the fear of him coming to collect her that allowed her to step out of the bathroom and towards the staircase leading down into the diner. The moment she arrived at the top the sound of custom, clinking mugs and fizzling kettles down below reached her ears, along with the loud and mumbled conversations of the clientele. It was intermingled every now and then by laughter, and that calmed her down a little more.

They were just people, after all. It was a Sunday and they were minding their own business and drinking some coffee. Really, this was far less panicky then when she'd first arrived at Beacon and realised if she didn't make friends she'd be alone for four years. At least here she didn't need to fret about being on a team that hated her.

And much like Beacon had, maybe things would just work out. Coco always said it was her fear of the worst-case scenario that held her back. With a final sigh, and a tug to adjust her unusual uniform, Velvet stepped out from behind the dividing wall and walked into a scene of pure madness.

Things were… a little different than how they usually were.

The walls were festooned with flags and decorations for one, some black flags with white skulls on them, and intricate maps of trading lanes and sea charts, along with a wooden wheel and even a fake sword crossed over another. The tables had their normal menus and condiments on, but they were served in unusually-shaped jars, and the flowers normally on them had been switched for novelty palm trees.

"There you are," Jaune said, turning to face her from his place at the till. The blonde smiled at her, the pure innocence of it clashing somewhat with his black eye-patch, long red coat and ruffled white shirt. The fake parrot on his shoulder flopped back and forth, hanging precariously from the perch it was sewn onto.

Velvet stared at him.

He flushed. "Oh right, sorry. Ahem." He coughed. "Argh! There be me crewmate, fresh from the brig."

Several customers on tables nearby laughed, and someone might have whistled appreciatively, though Velvet had no idea whether that was for him or her. He cut a dashing sight, albeit any sense of danger or roguishness was lost the moment he smiled. She was suddenly aware of more than a few people checking her out. She shuffled awkwardly and reminded herself that it was because of her outfit, not any ill intention towards her.

Honestly, it was less revealing than her school uniform. It was just unusual. She wore a white shirt under a black corset with string criss-crossing over her stomach. Her shoulders were bare, but her arms down to her elbows were not, and the fluffy shirt led into brown gloves without fingers. In lieu of a skirt, and because she'd felt awkward about being stared at, she had tight black trousers, and those were tucked into a pair of Coco's boots, black ones with gold buckles that her teammate didn't use all that often but had been more than willing to let her borrow. Though there had been a price, of course. There was always a price…

"So cute!" Coco squealed, hand on the counter and the other holding out her scroll as she photographed or recorded Velvet's first appearance. "Oh yes, this is perfect. Bun, you look amazing as a pirate."

"I'm not so sure…"

"Nonsense. You look hot." Coco ignored her spluttering denials and turned to Jaune. "I approve, boss man. You're using my teammate well."

"You know my name is Jaune. Also, she agreed to do this. I'm not using her at all."

She had, though it had been an impulsive thing and she hadn't so much thought of the consequences as she had agreed with whatever was being said. This had been Jaune's crazy idea, after all. If Café Prime were too busy being prim, proper and standard, then they needed to do something to express their small and friendly nature. Thus, themed weekends had been born.

It was a silly and random thing, but Ruby and Yang had been thrilled at the idea, and even Blake had seemed more interested than not. Weiss, who Velvet had quickly realised was something of a business advisor to her boss, had also agreed, saying that while it might seem childish it would also help to keep things interesting and inject a little variety into their reputation. She'd then laughed darkly and talked about how as the news spread on the Saturdays people would come to investigate on Sunday, quickly being roped into having a drink and thus creating a chance for Jaune to ensnare new customers. Curiosity killed the cat, or so she'd put it.

Curiosity would also sell coffee.

There hadn't been much time to prepare for this one, so Velvet had just gone with an outfit from a nearby costume store, and while it wasn't overly risqué, it did show off her cleavage in a way she wasn't thrilled with. Jaune had assured her in future that they'd have time to plan and pick their own outfits, and that he'd cover the costs. It was just that this one was in a rush, and really, it wasn't like it was too revealing.

On the bright side, she was so anxious about how she looked that she'd forgotten to be nervous about serving people, so when Jaune told her to go out and take orders and follow Russel's lead, she nodded and scurried off, eager to escape Coco's less-than-innocent gaze. At least Yatsu and Fox weren't- oh no, wait, they were over in the corner smiling indulgently and taking photos of their own. Velvet's cheeks burned, and she wished she could hide behind her metal tray.

She really hated her team sometimes. Well, not hate hate, but more like how she wouldn't have minded sealing them in their room for a few hours where they couldn't embarrass her.

The moment she stepped out onto the floor, a hand slid around her waist from the side and she flinched. It wasn't a guest however, but Russel, dressed in baggy black trousers and a shirt which showed more cleavage than hers did, dipping down to his navel and revealing much of his chest and abs. His hairstyle fit perfectly now, and combined with the red sash wrapped about his waist and trailing down one leg, he fit the pirate theme rather well. With a tray in one hand, he leaned in close.

"I've got everyone covered at the moment. The next customers that come in are yours. Just focus on handling one table for now until you know what you're doing."

"A-Are you sure?"

"I can cover for the rest," he said, barely meeting her eyes and instead scanning the tables with practiced efficiency. "No one runs before they can walk. Focus on getting things down before you try and handle everything." His eyes flicked up to where someone was trying to catch his attention and he grinned roguishly. He released and stepped past her, swaying over to the three girls and bowing low. Whatever he said had them giggling, and one of them took a long and appreciative look at his half-bared chest. He didn't seem to mind the outfit at all. In fact, she dared say he was doing better than Jaune was, and looked to have embraced the pirate theme perfectly.

She was also a little surprised he was willing to help her out like that. It was… sweet of him.

I don't understand him, she thought. One second he was being cruel, the next kind. Was this an extension of what he'd said before about a job being a job? If he had to put aside any bad mood to be the waiter he was, then maybe he was putting aside his dislike for her as well. In that way, any kindness he showed was fake. She wasn't sure if she liked the thought of that. But it was better this way. Sort of.

Better some kindness than none, right?

At least he wasn't calling her a filthy animal again, but she couldn't be sure he wasn't thinking it deep inside. Was it better to be sneered at to your face, or to never know if the person smiling at you hated your guts? I need to stop thinking about this. She took a deep breath and took hold of all those little doubts, not only about her ability to do this, but also about how she looked, how Russel was acting, and the things he and Cardin had said before. She took them and threw them away, and even if they lingered a little, she could at least pretend they didn't bother her.

Because when you were on the job, you had to leave those things behind. If he could do it, then so could she. The door to the diner opened and Velvet smiled.

"Welcome to Jaune's. Would you like a table for two?"

/-/

"She's nervous," Coco said, watching Velvet.

"Hm?" Jaune glanced up from the till, paused to take the customer's money and wish them well, then turned to Coco once the coast was clear. A part of him wanted to call her his guest, but that wasn't quite right. Coco had just sort of showed up, let herself in, and then took a spot at his counter like she was at a bar. No one seemed bothered by it so he'd just sort of shrugged and carried on like normal.

"Velvet," she explained. "She's nervous."

"It's her first day on the job," he said. "She's bound to be nervous."

"Were you?"

"Well, yeah…"

"You don't act it."

He took that as the compliment she probably hadn't intended it as, and smiled. "I had someone help me out," he said, thinking of Ruby and their first awkward meeting the night before he was to open. "She was as weird and goofy as me, but something about what she said helped me relax. I was still a little weird at first, but I guess after some practice I just got used to it."

"Used to serving people?"

"Used to talking to people," he corrected. It was a weird epiphany to have, but it was the closest to what he'd been through. "Honestly, if you'd met me before then I probably wouldn't even dare talk to you."

Coco smirked. "Oh? Too sexy for you?"

"Too female." He said. She barked a laugh, and he continued after a moment's pause. "I was never good with talking to girls, and I'm probably still not. At least in terms of flirting, anyway. But just talking, holding a conversation? I was bad at that, too. I was never any good at making small talk."

"And working here changed that?"

"Pretty much. My first real customers were an old couple walking by. The woman talked and talked for five minutes or more and I just sort of did my best to keep up." He hadn't done a very good job, but she'd been pleased he'd tried, and indulgent with his mistakes. "After that, I just found that other people were talking with me as they ordered their drinks or sat down. Then I had to meet my suppliers, who would also chat while their workers got the stock ready for me to take away." And he'd been awkward there, too. Terribly so. "I got better after a while, but there's no magic to it. I just ended up talking to so many people that I learned how to hold a conversation without feeling awkward."

"Practice makes perfect."

"I guess so. It's just that before this I was always too much of a coward to try. I held myself back because I was so afraid of messing up, and that meant I never gave myself a chance to succeed either." He looked over to Velvet, who was wringing her hands nervously, but talking to her new customers as best she could. "She'll get over it in time. Nerves are normal. But then, you knew that. You're just trying to cover for her."

Far from being embarrassed at having been caught out, Coco laughed. "Guilty as charged."

"You don't need to point out she's nervous so that I'll not be hard on her. I know she isn't going to be the perfect employee without a little time to grow into it."

"Guess you've seen right through me."

"I guess so."

Or rather he'd finally noticed all the different ways she was meddling on Velvet's behalf. There were only so many times you could be tricked before you started to wise up. Coco already had her fair share of victories.

And speaking of victories, it really felt like today was one for him! The diner was packed once more, maybe even more than it usually was, and while there were a lot of familiar faces there were new ones, too. Many were still huntsmen and huntresses, but there were a few civilians, albeit looking out of place. He saw a few people admiring Velvet, but it was more for her outfit than any lecherous intent, and there was even two of the professors from Beacon – Port and Oobleck if he recalled – who were in a corner sipping coffee and reading one of the maps on the walls, a sea charter map he'd bought from the docks. Since it was standard fare for any ship, it had been fairly inexpensive.

It had been surprisingly fun to dress the place up, and Team RWBY had helped – mostly because it was less work and more just having a good time. Ruby had been enthusiastic, but Weiss was the one with the cooler head who held her back from going too wild. As it was, the ship's wheel was her biggest concession and it hadn't cost too much since it came from a scrapped ship and it would have been going to the recycling plant otherwise.

Sterling would find out about this, no doubt. He and Café Prime. The big question would be whether they could do anything about it. They could probably afford to mimic him and dress up their stores, but the issue was that it became much harder for them because of how many they had, and how many employees they were dealing with. Russel and Velvet had been agreeable, but it was easy to imagine if you had to expand that number by ten or twenty that there would be some people who weren't. They might cause a fuss or complain or just look miserable while they were working.

He couldn't afford to give out free drinks like they could, but he could afford to dress the place up. Novelty flags weren't expensive, nor were the outfits they'd rented from a little place down the way. The old lady running it had been more amused than anything and it hadn't taken long to alter the sizes to fit the three of them.

Honestly, it left him feeling a little giddy to have gotten the one-up on them, especially since he hadn't needed to give away free stuff to do it. He kept looking towards the door to see if Alexander Sterling returned, but he hadn't shown his face since the first time. Instead he saw two more familiar figures, and their eyes lit up when they saw him, or more precisely his outfit. They laughed loudly and pushed past the tables to reach the counter.

"I didn't believe it when Boris told us," Melanie said. "I told him he'd been smoking too many spices."

"Starting to wonder if we're not drunk as well," Miltia added. She looked him up and down and whistled appreciatively. "Not bad. Not bad at all."

"Say something."

"Make it hot."

"If you can," Melanie teased.

Was that a challenge? He didn't normally like the idea of letting the twins get to him – any more than they already did, that was – but since he was already feeling cheerful over the day's success, he wasn't about to back down in the face of that. He coughed, struck a pose, and leaned one arm on the counter before them.

"Arghh! Welcome to Jaune's. I'm Captain Jaune, lord of this here ship. What can I do for two fine ladies like yourselves?" He finished with a roguish smile and a wink, and waited for their response. Miltia and Melanie stared back at him for a few long seconds, before Melanie sighed and placed her forehead against the counter.

"My dreams are shattered."

"How can a pirate be so limp?" Miltia asked.

"You're like the pussy-cat of the sea."

"So sad!" they said in unison.

"A-Alright, let's not go that far," he stammered, his voice going back to normal. "What was wrong with that? I thought I looked pretty good in this."

"You do," Miltia said, looking him up and down again. "It makes you look damn good. The problem is every time you open your mouth, that image is shattered."

"You're too nice," Melanie explained. The white-dressed twin drew up a stool and sat on it. "I'm starting to think you couldn't be angry at someone if you tried. Pirates are meant to be dastardly rogues and that coat makes you look like a swashbuckling king of the sea. Thing is, the dastardliest thing you'd do is serve someone an uneven cake slice."

Coco sniggered from nearby, and it only turned into a laugh when he shot her a betrayed glare.

"It's okay," Miltia said, and he wondered if it was weird that he didn't even flinch when her crimson claws tapped his shoulder. "We're used to it by now. You're a nice guy."

"Is that so bad?" he asked.

"Nice guys finish last."

"Which would normally be a good thing for us, except that pretty much no guys finish last where we're concerned." Melanie winked at her sister, but the joke went over his head. She saw it and sighed again. "See? You're adorably innocent, but that doesn't gel with the pirate look. If you captured me on the high seas and threatened to make me walk the plank, I'd die laughing. You're like a puppy. You can bark and bark, but no one's going to be afraid of you."

Jaune sulked a little at that, not quite feeling as tall and powerful as he had a moment before. The twins noticed and rolled their eyes, but Miltia did flick his nose before he could start moping. "Don't pout," she said. "That's not a good thing for any guy to do. We're not saying you suck or something, just that it doesn't suit you. Look at us. Could you imagine the two of us in a school uniform and giggling in a corner as a good-looking guy walks by?"

He couldn't. In fact, the more he thought about it the more he imagined the two leaning out to cat-call the guy, or maybe sharing a quick look before they hunted him down themselves and made him scream for mercy. He laughed at the image.

"See? That's what we mean. We're bad girls. We'd look out of place trying to be good, and you do the same the other way around."

"At least when you talk, anyway." Melanie said. She looked him up and down again. "If you keep your mouth shut, a girl can dream."

"Does that mean we're not supposed to be friends, then?" he teased. "Since I'm a nice guy and you're bad girls, after all. You should want nothing to do with me."

The two girls in question shared a look between them, before they each leaned forward to lay a hand on his chest. He backed up instinctively, but they'd caught him between a coffee machine and the till and he swallowed as they leaned close, their eyes lidded. He was suddenly far more aware of the dark shadows of makeup around their eyes, and the way their lips glistened.

"I wouldn't say that," Melanie crooned. "Girls like us are always looking for your kind."

"It's practically a tradition," her sister echoed.

"After all, bad girls like us tend to corrupt nice guys like you."

"Do you want us to corrupt you, Jaune?" Miltia asked. She breathed warmly against his neck. "Do you want us to show you just how bad we can be?"

He swallowed audibly, his face bright red. Even so, he'd hung around them enough to know where this was going. "Y-You're teasing me."

They smiled in unison, and spoke in it as well.

"Are we? Are you so sure?"

Jaune continued to blush, and looked away in defeat when they started to laugh, it being echoed by Coco. "Very funny," he said. "Let's all have fun at my expense. What are the two of you doing here anyway? You sent one of your guys earlier for your order."

"Can't we come just to see you?" Melanie asked.

"Yes, and you're doing so right now. I'm asking what the occasion is."

"Wanted to see you in fancy dress."

"I'm not sure I believe that," he said.

"Are you accusing me of lying?"

Jaune smirked at her. "Isn't it what a bad girl like you would do?"

"Touché." Melanie didn't look upset at having been caught out, but the two of them did sit back down and give him a chance to catch his breath. "We came by because we heard a little rumour about you getting into a dick-measuring contest with someone."

"Excuse me?"

"Café Prime."

"You mean I'm in competition with them," he said. Dick-measuring, really… "Yeah, I am. They tried to draw people away by offering free coffee. I'm pulling them back by doing themed weekends where we dress up and decorate the place."

"You going to keep doing that?"

"If it works out," he said. It was so far, so he figured they'd try next week as well.

"What Melanie is trying non-so-subtly to hint at," Miltia teased, "is that she's wondering why you didn't come to us for help."

Jaune blinked. "Decorating?"

"Dealing with your problem. Sheesh, you're lucky you're cute." She rolled her eyes. "We could have helped you out, you know. You're under our protection."

"Yeah." Melanie's smile faded. She shot him a look that was equal parts offended and hurt. "Why not ask us? We could have gone over to see this guy who threatened you. We could have had this sorted out quickly."

Miltia put one finger in her mouth and pulled it out, making a loud popping sound. "Short and sweet," she said, smiling viciously. Despite that, her eyes were still narrowed as she watched him. Maybe he was going crazy, but it almost felt like the two were displeased with him…

Were they upset because he hadn't thought to ask them for help?

Were they… jealous?

He had a feeling asking them that would earn some very negative responses. Whether they'd be true or not was up in the air, but they'd certainly make him regret asking in the first place. He laughed out loud, feeling a little lighter for their concern. Miltia and Melanie stiffened, their eyes turning to slits, but he spoke before they could be offended and stomp off.

"It's not that I don't trust you two," he said. "It's just that I wanted to handle this on my own. I can't go running to you whenever something goes wrong, can I? What kind of person would that make me?"

"Hmm…" Miltia hummed and narrowed her eyes, clearly deciding whether she trusted his words or not. "I suppose independence isn't an unattractive trait."

"In moderation," Melanie added. "You should still rely on us a little. You'd be lost without us."

"Especially for something as big as this. You don't tell a lamb to fight off a wolf. Café Prime is a little bit bigger than you. It's hardly a fair fight."

"Maybe not, but it's a fight I'm stuck in," he said. "If I can't beat them, then what's to say I can beat anyone else who opens up? I need to do this on my own. Besides, it's not like they're doing anything illegal to me so I don't want to do anything illegal in return." Jaune made the hint so obvious that even Coco probably picked up on it, if she didn't know who the Malachites were already. She wasn't a first year, after all. "I want to beat him at his game."

Miltia hummed again and watched his face. "Almost," she said.

"What?"

"I'd give it a seven," Melanie added.

"Maybe an eight."

"I think you're being too generous."

"I think he needs it."

"Maybe so." Melanie sighed and looked back to him, finally deigning to let him enter what was already a one-sided conversation. "Alright, we'll let it go for now. We'll give you your chance to prove to us how manly you can be."

"I'm not even sure what you're on about," he said. "Why do I need to prove anything to you?"

"But we're still upset you didn't at least tell us first," she said, ignoring him. "A guy comes into your shop and threatens you. I don't care if it's business or not. If someone threatens you, you tell us. Got it?"

"Alright, alright, I get it."

A small fist settled in his collar, dragging his face down. Melanie and Miltia did not look happy.

"A flippant attitude doesn't suit you," Miltia hissed, her claws tickling his cheek. "It just pisses me off. Let's try again. When someone threatens you. You tell us. Got it?"

He swallowed. "G-Got it."

"Good." She smiled and released him, and he rubbed his neck warily. "We don't like being left in the dark, Jaune."

"Especially with a venture like this," Melanie said, in full agreement with her sister. "We had to hear about this from blondie. That wasn't nice. A good friend would have told us himself. He would have let us know so that we didn't assume something bad had happened."

Miltia nodded along with her sister, the two clearly annoyed with him. He wasn't sure how he'd missed it before, to be honest. He could understand it to a degree, though. Now that they'd pointed it out.

"I'm sorry for making you worry about me," he said.

"Worry!?" Miltia rocked back in her seat. "W-What?"

"Who would worry about you?" Melanie snapped.

"Not us. We weren't worried."

"Why would we be?"

"Arrogance isn't attractive either," Miltia said. "Tch. It's a bit egotistical to think beautiful girls like us would worry about someone like you."

"I think he's getting too big for his pants, Miltia."

"Idiot."

Jaune blinked, suddenly faced by a new kind of anger, albeit one that seemed somewhat less focused than before. Both of the girls glared at him, but they seemed more offended than genuinely angry.

"But you just said I should tell you so you wouldn't think something bad had happened."

"Yeah," Melanie said, "But that doesn't mean we're worried about you or anything."

"You just make good coffee and cakes," Miltia agreed. "It's nothing more. We'd find a way cuter guy to spend our time with if you were gone. It wouldn't even bother us. It's not like we have to spend our time here or anything."

"It's not like-" Melanie paused and glared to the side. "What's so funny?"

"N-Nothing," Coco gasped, face buried into her arms. Her shoulders were shaking. "Nothing – snrk – at all."

"Bitch," Miltia snapped. "Mind your own business."

Coco only laughed harder, slamming one fist down on the counter.

"So yeah," Melanie said, ignoring Coco. "Don't get the wrong idea, bucko. You're our plaything, nothing more. We'll look after you right now, but don't get ahead of yourself. It's not like we're actually concerned about what happens to you. One day we'll get bored and -poof- we're gone."

"Right. I get it." He didn't, but it was the safe answer. He decided to change the subject. "You said that Yang told you? Since when were you three friends?"

"Since never. Mutual enemies make for alliances, though."

"Mutual…?" Jaune only had to think for a second before he sighed. "Please don't do anything crazy against Café Prime. I'd like to not read the newspaper and find out several huntresses firebombed the place or something."

"Nah. We'd be way subtler than that."

"Or something," he stressed. "No shenanigans. Not unless they do it to me first."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever." Miltia's dismissive tone made it apparent how interested she was in sticking to my demands. She looked back to Coco. "Alright shades, what part do you play in this? Don't think we didn't hear you listening in. Friend or foe?"

"Neither." Coco grinned when they raised their eyebrows. "But my teammate just started working here, so I've got a vested interest in this place not being pushed out of business."

Miltia's smile turned vicious. "Mutual enemies?"

"Very mutual."

Jaune groaned out loud, leaving the three to it as they discussed in what ways they were going to try and get back at a perfectly innocent company for the actions of one man. He'd have liked to stay and keep an eye on them, but it was time for Russel's break and he needed to go out and help Velvet before she was overwhelmed. She was coming on okay, but there was no way she could manage the whole place on her own, and Russel was overworked as it was. He could only hope Miltia, Melanie and Coco didn't get up to anything while he wasn't watching.

He didn't feel very confident about that…

/-/

"It's around here somewhere."

"Are you certain?"

"Of course I am." The girl huffed and struck an indignant pose, though the smile on her face gave her true feelings away. It always did. "Since when have I ever led us wrong?"

"Recently?"

"Ever."

He could recall a few times, but he wisely chose not to mention any of them. Ultimately, it didn't matter. Wrong or not, he would follow as he always had. "Why are you so interested in this place, anyway? Unless I'm mistaken, you hate coffee."

And for that he felt nothing but relief. She could be bad enough normally, and he dreaded what a sudden dose of caffeine would do to her. His companion didn't notice his horror, of course. She continued on, tugging on his arm as he followed close behind.

"I don't like coffee, but I keep hearing people talk about this place. Plus, pirates!" She yelled the last word as if it explained everything, and with her it sometimes did. "Where else am I going to find pirates in Vale? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

"I'll take your word for it."

To his surprise, the girl pulling him along paused, and they came to a quiet stop in the middle of a crowded street. Rather than crash into them people parted on either side. He tried to see her face, but she kept it away.

"Hey…" she whispered.

"Hm?"

"You'll come as well, right?" she asked. "We'll go together?"

The young man chuckled, as if the answer should have been obvious. To him, it was, and he nodded his head.

"Of course, Nora. Like always."


My oh my, there certainly were a lot of people determined this was going to be a cross-dressing situation for some reason. No, I went with a themed café. I used to visit one when I was a student at university, and they would have a different dress-up motif every Saturday. Those days were always busy and the people who worked there were really energetic about it, having more fun on those days than any other. It was a good atmosphere.

Either way, Jaune has fended off the first broadside from Café Prime. Can he continue to do so? Will Velvet figure Russel out? Will the Malachites ever get what they want? Will Pyrrha ever show her face in a significant role?

Find out next time.

Apart from that last one. Find out later.


Next Chapter: 16th January - Edit: I originally put wrong date as 9th. My apologies.

P a treon . com (slash) Coeur