Here is the latest fic, to be updated every other week alongside Service with a Smile. It is an AU fic, as you'll soon find out, and focuses on someone other than Jaune for a change. Warnings ahead for foul language aplenty, though mostly from specific characters. Also, violence. There will be violence in this one.
In terms of genre, there'll be a mix. It should be humorous at times however, even if it's not intended to be quite as slapstick as White Sheep.
Yang stormed through the halls of Beacon Academy, head held high. Behind her, she could hear the stampeding set of feat which hinted at her team – her ex-team's – pursuit. She didn't have the time for them. Not now. She ducked down a corridor and hid in an alcove, biting back her anger as they rushed past.
Frustrated tears replaced it, but she shook those away and staggered out into the gardens of Beacon. Her right arm itched, but she ignored it.
It wasn't there.
Phantom sensations, or so the doctor said. Sometimes it tingled, other times it would twitch, but it was cruellest when it itched because there was nothing she could do to relieve herself. She glared down at the stump with hate in her eyes. It was a constant reminder of her mistake, of the reckless stupidity that had cost her not only an arm, but so much more.
Most people didn't speak of the attack, though the news outlets still went on about it. The whole thing ended over two months ago when Pyrrha and Ozpin had combined forces to kill Cinder Fall in the basement of the school. They hadn't known about it up top, but Atlas managed to regain control of their airship, deactivate the Paladins, and even arrest Torchwick. From there, the attack was mopped up before it ever had a chance to begin.
There were consequences, of course. Atlas and Vale were on shaky ground since the former's robots had gone on a rampage, and the White Fang had fled into the city after their defeat. Anti-faunus sentiment was at an all-time high, and a lot of people had been injured or killed. All in all, it had been the shortest and bloodiest war of the last decade. It lasted less than four hours, but completely threw the Kingdom for a loop.
It also took her arm away. Her arm and now her career…
"Yang, there you are!" Ruby jogged up from behind with Weiss and Blake beside her. Yang didn't look, but she could hear their exhausted pants. "You ran off before we could catch you."
"Because I want to be alone…"
"But Yang, I-"
"But nothing!" Her eyes flashed red and she whirled on her sister with a furious expression. "You lied to me. All of you did. You told me things would be okay, but you knew that wasn't true!"
"You knew Ozpin wouldn't let me back into Beacon!"
Ruby's face fell. "I-"
"I can't believe this. I can't believe you'd do that – after everything I did for you, after everything I gave up!" Her eyes flared red and she shook her head. "You sat at my bedside and told me everyone was looking forward to me coming back. You lied to my face!"
Ruby's eyes shimmered with tears, but Yang ignored them. Not this time. Ruby always cried when things went bad, and she always folded. Tears couldn't fix this, though. Nothing could.
Blake stepped forward. "Yang, she didn't lie…"
"Like hell she didn't, Blake. I don't want to hear anything from you. I lost an arm because of your past, because I tried to help you! The least you could have done was be honest with me."
It was a low blow, and she knew it. Blake recoiled in horror and guilt, but that only fuelled her anger. Damn right, she should feel guilty. The arm was one thing, and a sacrifice she'd have made again if she had to. She'd never turn her back on her team.
Not like they had with her.
"He didn't bar you from becoming a huntress," Weiss argued. The heiress strode before her, and looked challengingly up into her furious eyes. "No one is saying you can't be what you want to be, Yang. It's just… you've lost an arm. Things are different."
"I'm still the same person!"
"That's precisely the problem! You can't have something like that happen to you and be the same. You need time to adjust, to get used to it, maybe even to find a new fighting style that suits you, or a bionic attachment or… or something. You can't just power through this like it doesn't matter." Weiss' face softened. "You need to let it heal and to get past it. That's going to take time… maybe a year, maybe two. The headmaster told us he'd be happy to let you apply again for another year, just… not this one."
Another year, when she was older, when they'd moved on. Yang's eyes clenched shut and her teeth ground together. How could they say that? How could they act like that was no big deal? She'd lose them, her friends, everything. The whole god-damned point of becoming a huntress in the first place was to keep Ruby safe, and now her little sister would be running off ahead of her.
That wasn't fair.
And the fact her team had stood there silently while Ozpin decreed it had only hurt her all the more. All this time, in the months of her recovery, they'd been there for her, assuring her that things would be back to normal.
"W-What about what you said?" she hissed, eyes still shut. "You told me we'd go clubbing, Blake. You said we'd work on modifying Ember Celica, Ruby. Weiss… you told me you'd take me on a shopping spree once I was up."
The three of them shuffled awkwardly, no doubt wondering who should be the one to speak. In the end, it looked like they'd chosen Ruby.
"We can still do those things, Yang," she whispered. Ruby swallowed, clearly nervous. "It's just, it would be with you being a friend of the team… not a part of it."
The silence that was left behind deafened her. Yang struggled to breathe, but in her moment of quiet could hear the bated breath of all three of them. It hurt. It hurt more than anything else, more than a hot blade cutting through her arm. It hurt because it hit deeper, right in her heart.
"No." Her eyes opened, and she felt an immediate flash of anger at the hurt in Ruby's. What right did she have to feel hurt? "No. No way, not a chance. Forget the promises, forget them. I guess every little thing you said to me was a lie, huh?"
"When did you find out?" she demanded. "When did Ozpin make it clear I wouldn't be able to come back to Beacon? What was the date?"
Ruby's mouth opened and closed, but no words came forth. She turned to Weiss instead, knowing the heiress had a better memory, and that she wouldn't be so shocked she had to hide it. The other girl's face was calm.
"The first day," she whispered.
"The first day of what…?" Yang snapped.
"The first day after you were injured…"
Yang's eyes widened.
"Yang, I'm sorr-"
She cut them off with a throaty laugh. It was hoarse and bitter, just like her. "So that's it?" she asked, shoulders rising and falling. "You knew from the start. Even before I woke up, you knew I wouldn't be allowed back in. Everything was a lie." She pointed to Weiss, Blake, and finally to Ruby. "You all lied to my face."
"We didn't want to upset you-"
"BULLSHIT!" Yang roared. It was probably the first time she'd ever sworn at her little sister, and it showed in how Ruby's eyes widened and she leapt backwards. Yang offered her no mercy, striding after her and continuing on until Ruby stumbled and fell. "You say you didn't want to hurt me, but you knew full well what would happen. You let me come here. You literally let me come all the way to Beacon, and then be humiliated in front of the headmaster and Miss Goodwitch." Tears pricked at her eyes, but she wouldn't be stopped. "Do you have any idea what that was like!?"
Ruby's lip quivered. "I-I…"
"No, of course you don't." Yang stormed away, teeth bared. "There was hope at first, and excitement, too. I thought I was coming back and everything would be normal, then I had to stand there as Ozpin stared at me. He didn't know what to say either, I could tell. He probably thought you'd told me. I kept wondering why Miss Goodwitch looked at me with such pity, but I had no freaking idea. I'll tell you what it was like, Ruby. It was like your dreams breaking in front of your eyes. It's like having everything you know come crashing down around your ears."
"I didn't… Yang, we didn't know how to tell you…"
"And then, when I turned around to my team for support, to my friends, to my own damned sister…" Her hands shook, and she glared at them. "You all looked away! You left me to face it on my own, and didn't even bother to let me know, or speak out in my defence. I've never felt so alone in my life."
"We didn't know what to say," Blake finally cried. She threw one arm out, the other held to her chest. "Yang, we didn't want to do that to you, but you were injured and recovering. The last thing you needed was us dropping bad news like that on you. I… I know it was wrong to keep it going, but we didn't know how to break the news to you." She looked away. "And then… and then it was too late, and we were cowards. I'm sorry, Yang. That was wrong of us, but please believe me when I say we had the best of intentions."
"You're damn right it was wrong," she snarled. "How many times did I stand behind you? I never doubted you, even when you revealed yourself to be White Fang and ran away. I did everything I could to find you, and this is how you repay me?"
Blake looked away. "I know I messed up…"
"Yeah, you did!" Yang growled. She wanted nothing more than to lash out, and their pained expressions weren't helping. They had no right to act like they were the victims. They'd abandoned her when she needed them most. "Forget it. I need some time to get over this, and looking at you three isn't helping."
"No, Ruby!" The angry words drove the younger girl back. "No hugs, no words, and no acting like this doesn't mean something. It does. Just… leave me alone. Give me some time to think."
The three of them looked between one another awkwardly. Other students were staring at them now, but none dared approach. Most could probably tell what was going on, and she'd definitely been loud enough to hear. It hardly mattered. If it was going to be a year or two before she got back into Beacon, then they'd be mostly gone anyway. As would Team RWBY… as would everyone she'd ever known.
Hell, even if she got in, it would be as a first-year again. She'd be pushed onto a different team, and no doubt Team RWBY would get their own replacement. It wouldn't even be called that anymore. The last memories of her in Beacon would be rewritten with the tip of a ballpoint pen.
Weiss swallowed. "Very well, Yang. We… I can see that we've upset you. We'll give you some time. You know where to find us, and we'll always answer your calls. Even if you're not a part of the team anymore, you're still our best friend." Yang snorted at that. "If you need anything from us-"
"Then I'll find someone else," she said, pushing past.
None of them followed, but she heard Ruby sniffling as she stormed away. The tears burned at her eyes, too. She refused to let them fall. Only when she was out of their sight did she let them, and she ducked into a bathroom before anyone could see her weakness.
Damn it, damn it, damn it all to hell!
Yang's fist impacted the tiled wall, cracking the white material and sending a tiny rain of dust down to the floor. Her breath came out in harsh pants, her face soaked from the water she'd splashed against it. Eyes rimmed with red from tears stared at the damage she'd done.
"I can still hit like a truck. I can still fight. Why are they doing this to me?"
Sure, her style needed work – she knew that. What better place to learn than a school, though? It wasn't like she expected to be sent out into the field instantly, but she could at least train and get better with her team. This was ridiculous, and it left her adrift.
What was she even supposed to do with so much free time?
"This is stupid," she hissed. "This is ridiculous. I can still fight."
Maybe she needed to show them that. Maybe she needed to prove it. Yang stormed out of the bathroom and away. No one dared meet her eye.
Ozpin looked up from his desk as she entered. There was no sign of impatience, or of sympathy or pity, and she was grateful for that. He placed the papers he was signing down, gestured with one hand to the chair on the opposite side of the desk, and picked up his mug with the other.
"Welcome back. Would you care for a drink?"
"Uh, water if you have it, sir." Her anger fled as it often did around him. He was too calm to get angry at, and she awkwardly made her way over to sit down, accepting the glass of water he offered with her hand. "Thanks."
"You look like you have had a difficult day, Miss Xiao-Long."
"You can call me Yang," she said. "And yeah, you could say that. I guess I was caught off-guard."
"I saw, and for that I apologise. It was not my intent to upset you, and I'll admit I didn't expect it." He offered her a grandfatherly smile that looked out of place with how ageless he seemed. Even so, she appreciated the friendly look for what it was. "I was led to believe your team had told you my decision already. I see now that they didn't, and I apologise for being so… direct. I could have handled that better." He nodded to her. "I'm sorry, Yang."
"You didn't know, sir. You don't need to apologise." Her eyes flashed angrily. "They should have told me!"
"Yes, your team should have, but please don't hold it against them. People make mistakes. I have made more than you can ever imagine." Ozpin rose from his seat and moved over to face the window. "I have a feeling I know why you are here. I'm sorry, but I will not change my decision."
The glass in her hand cracked. "Why…?"
"Because in those mistakes I have made, I've also learned things. I have no doubt you saw General Ironwood during the invasion, and his cybernetic augmentations."
Oh, she'd seen them alright. Yang shivered and clutched the stump of her arm. Taiyang had suggested something similar for her, but the thought still frightened her. It would mean surgery, and needles and such being dug into her arm – a tool and a weapon being forged into her very flesh. "I saw it…" she whispered, hoping he wouldn't suggest the same for her.
"James lost his arm partly because of a mistake I made. Not wholly, and we were both to blame, but I was at least partly responsible." Ozpin sipped from his mug and looked over his shoulder to her. "He was the General of the Atlas military at the time as well, but even he took a year off work in order to recover and re-learn himself."
Yang glowered at the floor.
"There's no weakness in being injured, and nothing to be ashamed of. When our leg is broken, we must rest until it is strong enough for us to walk again."
"I can fight, sir. I'm not broken."
"No, you are not," he said. "You are injured, and that is a crucial difference. With enough time and training, you might learn to account for your injury, and when you do, you will come back all the stronger." He sat back down and levelled his eyes on hers. "However, until such a time as you have been allowed to heal both physically and mentally, and until you have trained to fight with your disability, I cannot accept you back into Beacon. I'm sorry."
And that was it, wasn't it? Yang's anger surged, but she bit down on it, knowing it would be no use against him, and that nothing he'd said was technically wrong. It wasn't his fault. Ozpin hadn't lied to her, nor misled her. Not like her team had.
"Please," she begged. "Give me a chance…"
"I'm not saying take me back, but give me a chance to prove myself capable." Yang stood and stared into his eyes. "A test, a fight, something. I can do this, I swear – but you can't dismiss me without even letting me try! Please, I… I just want a chance to prove myself."
Ozpin tapped his fingers on the desk. He watched her with an emotionless gaze.
"And if you were to fail this test, you would accept my decision?"
Her eyes widened. He was going to agree…? She'd thrown the idea out in desperation, but she'd never expected him to consider it. Yang's head bobbed up and down furiously. "Yes, I promise. Just give me a chance and I'll prove it." She grinned. "I'll prove I'm still up for the fight!"
Ozpin hummed and leaned back, opening a drawer on his desk. He rummaged around in it for a moment, before he pulled forth a manila folder and let it fall atop his desk.
Yang watched it warily, waiting for his task.
"It would not do to have you face anyone in combat. I cannot accurately gauge whether you have recovered enough or not based on a single fight, and some might take it easy on you due to your injury. On the other hand, some might have been too much for you to defeat even if you were at your best, and thus would not make for a fair impression." He paused. "You said you are ready to fight, no?"
"How do you feel about continuing the fight against the White Fang?"
Yang's eyes flashed red. Her hand, which had settled on the edge of the desk, gripped tight, causing the wood to crack and fracture. The White Fang… Adam… her breath came out in a harsh snarl.
"I see that the name evokes a response," Ozpin said politely, ignoring her accidental vandalism. "As you may or may not know, the White Fang fled into the city after their defeat at our hands. While the attack was certainly quashed, many of them remain at large, and are using the rising anti-faunus sentiment to bolster their numbers. We are worried that this matter is not yet solved, and after the recent events, the Council are desperate to do what they can to protect the people. Vale has been harmed, but we shall not be harmed again."
"You want me to hunt them down?"
"To a degree…" Ozpin pushed the folder across the desk. Yang picked it up and opened it, but didn't really bother to read through it. "A lot of people were injured in the attack, but you may not have realised that over three quarters of those were in the emergency services."
Yang winced. "Damn…"
"They did their jobs to protect the people, and the State will care for them and provide for everything they might need – medical or otherwise. That said our hospitals are still at maximum capacity, and our police forces at a minimum. This is not a good time to have rogue elements of the White Fang running around, especially if Adam Taurus is still nearby to organise them. The White Fang are more dangerous than the average criminal, but less dangerous than the Grimm, at least in this state. With negativity so high, our huntsmen and huntresses are already stretched protecting our borders. I can't afford to bring them back, but the consequences of them being allowed to act unimpeded could be devastating. The city is very much a cauldron of problems at the moment."
And that's where she came in…? Yang tried to hide her panic, but it was hard. She was only one girl, and if Adam was still around, he'd kill her. Even so, she couldn't show that fear. If this was what was required of her, she'd do it.
"The Council had to move fast, and I'll admit that I aided them with more desperation than I should have shown." He nodded to the folder. "We collected individuals of a specialist skillset and formed a new paramilitary police force designed to hunt down and deal with the White Fang, and any other terrorist elements deemed too hostile for the average officer. This was to be the Vale Special Police and Recon unit."
"The VSPR," Yang whispered, running her fingers over the four letters embossed on the front cover. Above it was the image of a bird in flight with a set of scales hanging from its beak.
"The VSPR was created for that purpose, but they have… struggled of late," Ozpin admitted. "What they certainly have in the quality of their staff, they lack in a leader. Originally, we placed someone from the police force in charge, but he was unable to adapt to the demands of the position. We tried again, but the second Captain also quit, citing that she struggled to form a working relationship with the other members of the task force. Both were civilian officers, which I believe was our mistake."
Yang nodded, but kept silent. It wasn't something that was advertised all too often, but she knew that it was difficult for huntsmen and non-huntsmen to work together. It hadn't really happened to her, but it was just why so many in the business formed relationships, and even married, other huntsmen and huntresses. Whether it was fear over people who were practically super-human compared to you, or just the stress of the work being incompatible, most civilians didn't mix well with them. It was never cruel, not like it could be with the faunus. It was more like you'd smile and talk to the neighbours, but you'd never be invited to their birthdays, and they never expected you to invite them to yours. It was as though you lived in a different world, but shared the same space.
Dad had lived in Patch for twenty years now, and while everyone was cool around him, he'd made sure to point out that it hadn't always been that way. There was a reason their house was out in the forest on its own.
"I guess you need a huntsman or huntress for it, to be honest," she said. "I mean, the people working for it are huntsmen, right?"
"In a way..." Ozpin hesitated. "They certainly have huntsman training, and their auras are unlocked. I fear you are right, however. It was probably hard for them to take orders from someone so much weaker than they, especially when it was against people the previous Captains had never fought and might even struggle with. The police often don't like huntsmen interfering in delicate investigations, and huntsmen are less than pleased when the police bring bureaucracy and regulation into our affairs." He shrugged. "It was always going to be awkward. That's where I think you could come in…"
She wasn't dumb. She could put two and two together.
"You want me to work with the VSPR, don't you?"
"No. I want you to lead them."
Yang's eyes almost fell out of her head. What the-? Sure, she'd asked for a test, but run a police force… that seemed a little beyond her ability. She was only a student. "Isn't this a bit much?" she asked. "I don't know anything about leadership, and how long would this test even take?"
"Hm, I was thinking six months," Ozpin said.
"Six months! But that's too long."
"Hear me out, Yang. I understand you want a faster solution to your current problem, but I shall sweeten the deal. All I ask from you is that you lead the VSPR for six months successfully, and that you help it bring in good results." Ozpin smiled. "If you achieve that, I'll not only allow you back into Beacon, but I shall push you up to the second year – allowing you to re-join Team RWBY."
The complaints she'd formed died in her mouth. He'd… he'd let the team come back together? She bit her lip, uncertain what she thought of that. Right now, she didn't want to even talk to them, but she knew that wouldn't be the same in half a year. Hell, she'd cool down in a few days – depending on how fast those three apologised and grovelled at her feet. Six months would be about how long the school year was, too, which meant she'd come in right at the beginning of next year.
"I'd be able to go back on the team?" she asked. "You promise?"
"I would not lie to you. However, should you falter or decide you cannot do this, you must accept my decision to withhold you from Beacon until at least twelve months has passed. This is the chance you asked for. I will not give you another."
Yang swallowed, but there was an undercurrent of excitement running through her now. She had a chance, and more than that she had a direction. Her eyes lit up and she slapped the folder shut in her lap.
"I'll do it. I'll turn them into the best fighting force they can be, and I'll prove that I'm strong enough to be a huntress."
"I hope you will, Yang. No, I believe the correct term would be Captain Yang Xiao-Long." Ozpin pushed a sheet of paper across the table. "I will need you to sign this form in agreement. It also mentions how should you fail, resign or be removed from your post, that you will accept my decision for your recovery. You might like to read throu-"
"Nah, that's fine." Yang checked it over briefly, and once she was happy with it, signed her name at the bottom. With a grin, she stood up, knocking her chair back. "I'll prove I can do this, Ozpin. Keep that spot on Team RWBY open for me. I'm coming for it." Yang marched to the elevator, a wide smile on her face.
She'd do it.
She'd prove them all wrong.
Headmaster Ozpin watched her leave, and then watched the door click shut. With a sigh, he placed down his mug, and then removed his glasses, to rub at the bridge of his nose. "This is for the best," he told himself, voice tired. "She will come to understand that in time."
It never made it any easier.
Yang could hardly believe her luck, even as the Bullhead landed in Vale, and she took a taxi in the vague direction of her destination. Being in charge of a police unit, and some kind of specialist one at that? It was insane. It was way too much of a shift for someone like her, and she'd admit to a little bit of nervousness, but it excited her at the same time.
"Fighting against enemies too strong for normal police, but too weak for huntsmen," she whispered, reading over the basic idea once more in the folder Ozpin had provided. Sure, the suggestion she wasn't good enough to be a real huntress rankled, but it wasn't like the other members of her team would be fighting those kinds of people, either. This was just to prove she'd be good enough, and it was enough that she had the chance at all.
He could have sent me off on some other kind of task. At least here I still get to have a go at the White Fang. Who knows, maybe I'll find the bastard who took my arm.
The thought filled her with equal parts fear and anger, and she tried not to dwell on it. She hadn't been good enough with two arms, so she very much things would be any better with one. Still, she'd find him one day. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but when she was strong enough, he would fall. In the meanwhile, she could just feel pleased at taking out some of his other operations.
Her scroll beeped, and Yang fished it out idly, struggling with her single hand as she laid the folder in her lap. It was a message from Ruby, and for a moment she considered not opening it. She'd sent them all a message explaining what was going on, but she hadn't spoken to them in person. Didn't see the point, really, since all they'd do is be horrified at the idea of her fighting in her condition.
As expected, the message was a response to her one earlier. Less expected was the tone.
That's great! I bet you'll be amazing as a Captain. Make us proud, and I bet everything will be back to normal before you know it. We're rooting for you.
Ruby, Blake and Weiss.
"Huh, that's weird." Yang rolled the message down with her thumb, but there was nothing more. Why was her team suddenly being so supportive, when they'd been so against the idea of her trying to be a student less than an hour before? It wasn't like this work was any less dangerous. In fact, it would be more so, especially with one arm. Why the sudden shift?
Something was up there, but she didn't have the time to think about it.
"We're here, Miss," the taxi-driver called.
Yang nodded and climbed out, tossing him some lien and a little extra as a tip. At any other time she'd have ridden on her motorbike, but that was out of the question now. Just another thing she'd lost. She shook her head, dispelling the melancholy, and looked at the building which housed the VSPR.
It was a large, walled compound in a uniform light grey colour. There was a high wall with a metal gate, behind which lay a few vehicles and a garage entrance. There were several vehicles inside, some unmarked, and others the same colour as typical squad cars. To the side of that, the main building was fairly functional and not in the best of shape. It had a set of steps leading up to a main entrance which was mostly glass, and then some blank walls with small windows beside it. Several of those were smashed, but the loose glass had all been cleared up.
"I guess they've not had time to repair anything…" Yang checked the folder just to make sure it was the right place, since there wasn't any signage on the outside.
Maybe they hadn't had the time to clean up or put signs up, not if they were only a month or so old and they'd been busy tracking down the White Fang. Sure, the place wasn't as snazzy as what she'd expected, but it made sense. Other police departments had been around for a lot longer, while this building could have been an abandoned office block before the VSPR took over. The signage was just something she'd have to get fixed, since how could people come to deliver evidence or info on the White Fang, if they didn't even know where they were meant to take it? Yang shook her head and walked calmly up the steps, only to hesitate at the door.
She looked down at herself. She didn't exactly cut the image of a police officer, let alone a Captain – and she was probably going to be in charge of people older than she was. She sighed, suddenly aware of just how rough she looked in her dark-grey cargo pants and brown jacket. There would be a uniform somewhere inside for her, but she had a feeling it wouldn't be the right size. She'd only been in the job for a day, after all.
What am I getting so worked up about? These guys probably know I'm coming, and that I can't possible have a uniform. I just need to make a good first impression. If they see me hovering outside here like a nervous schoolgirl, I'll never live it down.
And she might not earn their respect either, which would be worse. Yang took a deep breath and let it go, eyes hardening. One arm or not, she was still Yang Xiao-Long, and she'd be damned if she was going to be scared away by a glass door. Her hand lashed out, grasping the bronze handle, and she pushed it open.
I need to be confident, calm, and in control. Ozpin put me here as a test. I've got to show him I've got what it takes. So thinking, Yang strode through the door with a cocky grin on her face, and even managed to hold it when there wasn't a single person to greet her, nor even anyone behind the receptionist's desk. She could hear people a little deeper inside, along with what sounded like a television. She waited in the entranceway for a few seconds, and then cursed herself silently.
Why was she waiting here like she didn't have permission to enter on her own? This whole building was pretty much under her control now. With a nervous laugh, she stepped deeper in, pushing open another glass door and stepping into what looked like a common room of sorts. There were several couches, some with uniform jackets slung over the back, but it was the three figures slouched on one that caught her attention.
They were watching the television, though not – she noticed – the local news or anything else related to their work.
They were watching a game show.
Okay, work ethic looks a little low, but what do I know? Maybe these guys are on their breaks. Either way, this is a good chance to introduce myself and make an impression. Yang stepped towards them, intent on catching them off-guard from behind. Sadly, it wasn't to be – for right as she was about to announce herself, there was the sound of a hand-dryer going off, and a door to a nearby bathroom opened.
"Oh, are you our new Captain?" a male voice asked. "I heard we were getting one today."
Ah crud, she'd been spotted. The other three turned to look her way, but Yang spun around before she could, at least determined to introduce herself to this guy and take control. "That's me," she said. "Headmaster Ozpin of Beacon put me in charge of… YOU!"
"Huh?" The guy blinked back at her, about her age or maybe a little older, with grey eyes and silver hair. The cocky smirk the bastard always wore was quickly replaced by panic, and he held his hands up to try and placate her. "Oh shit, it's you!" Mercury Black yelped. "Wait, wait, it's not what you thin-"
He didn't get any further on account of the fist that rocketed into his jaw. Whatever one might say about her only having one arm, it didn't do much to weaken her punches. Mercury sailed back, crashing into and over the receptionist's desk, with only his robotic legs showing.
He groaned pitifully.
"Huh, why did you hit Merc?" one of the others asked.
Yang spun on them, eyes wide. Melanie and Miltia Malachite, and beside them, Hei "Junior" Xiong. Three people, four including Mercury, who had not only worked with Torchwick and Cinder, but also been convicted and sentenced alongside them. All of them were in jail, or so she'd been led to believe. She staggered back, eyes wide.
"W-What the hell is this?" she yelled. "What are you doing here? Where is the VSPR!?"
Junior coughed awkwardly.
"We are the VSPR." he said, wincing. "Uh, surprise?"
So, here is the next fic, and one not focused on Jaune for a change. Just a quick note here to draw attention to the AU nature of this in the sense that Cinder lost, and Beacon didn't fall. This is important because it means that a lot of the S4 reasons for Yang's trauma aren't present. Yes, she did lose her arm, but she didn't lose Blake and Ruby – which would have been key factors in her S4 misery. As such, while she will show some similarities with the Yang from that season, it won't be the same. It will be something in between S3 Yang and S4 Yang.
On the VSPR, what it does and it's members, more will be revealed next chapter.
On Team RWBY, yes, they are arguing at the moment, but I tried to make the reasons "why" clear. RWB were worried the truth would push Yang into a depression and make her recovery worse, and then got trapped in the white lie, unsure how to break it. This isn't a fic about bashing people. They're apologetic, but Yang is just too angry at the moment to hear it.
Next Chapter: 29th August
P a treon . com (slash) Coeur