Sorry about the long wait. Got sidetracked by a few personal writing projects and life in general. But RWBY Volume 6 inspired me to finish up this chapter for you guys. The last half is probably not as well edited as I would like, but I really just wanted to get this out, so hopefully not too many errors. Anyway, enjoy!
"You're a vampire, kid."
Jaune felt a strange sense of dizziness overtake him. His hand hovered over his stomach, almost as if that would help him keep down its contents. Junior was speaking, but Jaune wasn't paying attention in the slightest.
A vampire? It seemed impossible. Vampires were a thing of folklore and legend. Distant stories that served to scare and entertain, not a consequence of stumbling on the wrong place at the wrong time. A small part of him whispered that he was foolish for thinking anything impossible after learning the things he had learned.
"Is there," he managed to breath out, cutting off whatever Junior was saying, "a cure?"
Junior huffed. "Listen, buddy, I've already given you enough free informa-"
Jaune cut him off by slamming his fist onto the desk, cracking the laquered wood. He raised his head, and Junior shrunk at his Gaze. A deep growl escaped from Jaune's throat, and the other man sunk further into his chair.
"Okay, okay, I'm sorry! There's no cure that I know of, but I'm new to all this stuff, so who knows?" Junior held up his hands in surrender and kept fearful eyes trained on Jaune's enclosed fist on his desk. Prey usually refused to meet the predator's eyes.
Jaune felt wetness on his hand, so he opened it up. Blood ran down from four gouges on his palm. The source was easy to find, as he noticed his fingernails had grown to pointed claws. The sight disturbed Jaune enough to break him out of his stupor, and his nails retracted to their normal size immediately. The wounds healed up an instant later. It had hurt, but only in a disconnected, abstract way.
There was a second of silence where neither party moved or said anything. Jaune stood up and turned to leave, but stopped and looked back at Junior, who flinched. "If you tell anyone I came here, or what I am, I'll…I'll kill you." Jaune didn't think he could go through with the threat, but it seemed natural to capitalize on the man's fear to ensure his silence. "Understand?"
Junior nodded frantically, and the juxtaposition of the his sheer terror with his earlier confidence almost made Jaune laugh. He stormed out of the room. He didn't remember the way back to the main club, but it proved easy enough to follow the distant bass reverberating through the hallways.
He opened the door to the dance floor, passing by the grunt who had led him inside in the first place. Jaune nodded his thanks, but Junior's lackey ignored it. A quick scan of the room revealed a head of blond hair in the distance near one of the bars that without a doubt belonged to Yang.
He walked over to her, who sat on a stool nursing a drink by herself. Her eyes lit up as she saw him. "Jaune!" she yelled, loud enough to be heard over the blaring music. Her cheeks flushed as she realized everyone within a dozen foot radius looked at her. It only lasted a second before they returned to drinking or dancing.
"Hey," Jaune said with some difficulty. He tried keeping his voice even, but learning he was an undead creature that feasted on the blood of humans wasn't exactly something he could get over in a few minutes.
His mood must have shown on his face if Yang's concerned look was anything to go by. "Everything okay?" she asked, worry laced in her voice.
"Yea," said Jaune, "Sending them a message just made me realize how much I miss my family." The lie came easily to him, almost like breathing. He hated having to keep the truth from her, but he wasn't eager for his friends to find out about his transformation. It was easy to think it would go smoothly, but he didn't want to take a chance on it. How would he react if one of his closest friends revealed they were a vampire if he wasn't? Jaune honestly didn't know, and that scared him enough to keep his mouth shut for now.
Yang put a hand on his shoulder. "We can leave if you want. It's getting pretty late anyway." Jaune nodded solemnly and she led him to the entrance through throngs of dancing people.
When they got to Yang's bike, it hit Jaune that Yang had drank. A lot. And even if he hadn't drank too, he had no idea how to drive a motorcycle. "Uh, Yang? How are we getting home?"
She looked at him as if he had grown a second head. "I'm gonna drive, obviously. I feel like that was pretty obvious, vomit boy."
Jaune rolled his eyes. "No, not really, since you drank, remember?"
Yang rolled her eyes right back at him in an exaggerated fashion. "My tolerance is a bit higher than a couple drinks. Trust me, I'm fine."
He tried arguing with her more, but when Yang put her mind to something, she was immovable. Eventually he gave up and got on the bike, trusting her judgement. If they crashed or got pulled over, he could hold it over her for a good long while.
The trip back to the house seemed much longer to Jaune, but that could have been because he wasn't distracted by clinging on for dear life this time. Whether by accident or by design, Yang drove much calmer, to Jaune's relief.
When they got back to the house, Yang opened the garage door with her scroll and parked inside. No noise came from the rest of the house. Everyone else must have fallen asleep already.
Jaune and Yang walked into the living room and plopped down on the couches. "Time sure does fly when you're having fun, eh, lover boy?" Confused, Jaune checked his scroll, and let out a low whistle. It was well past midnight.
"I guess it does," he said as he lay his head back on the couch and stared at the ceiling. "Thanks, Yang, for taking me out tonight. I really needed it." He meant it, weirdly. Without her help, he never would have found out what was going on.
On his left, he felt her shuffle on the sofa, but paid no heed to it. "It was my…pleasure, Jaune." The way she had said that caught his attention and he turned his head. Yang's closeness startled him, and her half-lidded eyes were locked onto his in a frightening way.
"Uh, Yang?" Jaune swallowed hard.
"Yes, Jaune?" She propped up her elbow on the head of the couch and leaned her head on her hand. Her body was turned to face him, and with her close proximity, that meant she ever so slightly brushed up against him.
"Everything's just perfect." Pink dusted Yang's cheeks, and Jaune felt his own face heat up. Jaune knew he could be dense, but he felt even he could understand what was going on right now.
Yang was drunk. There was a heavy silence that threatened to engulf Jaune's sanity. Yang leaned forward the tiniest fraction, and for one utterly terrifying moment, Jaune felt the urge to lean forward and-
The light for hallway connecting to the living room turned on. Jaune jumped from his seat and managed to land back a foot to the right of his original position. In his peripheral vision, he saw Yang have a similar reaction as she tried to scramble to look normal.
"Oh, you guys are finally home." Ruby walked into the living room, one hand using the wall as a guide and the other rubbing her presumably bleary eye.
"Yup, we're home," Jaune said. He imagined that if it could, his heart would be hammering in his chest. "As home as can be. Just sitting. Nothing else. Sitting it up. At home. Together." Jaune felt Yang elbow him in the ribs.
"Cool. I'mma get water." Jaune breathed a discreet sigh of relief. Whether due to her own social inexperience, tiredness, younger age, or some combination of the three, Ruby didn't seem to notice the general awkwardness. Dragging her feet on the floor, Ruby made her way in the general direction of the kitchen.
Yang coughed into her hand. "I could probably use some water, too." She winked at Jaune, and he barely managed to not roll his eyes and verbally agree. When they left the room, Jaune bolted to his room as quietly as he could.
He wasn't tired at all, but as Jaune lay in bed he felt sleep quickly coming to him, almost as if he had induced it by thinking about it. He didn't even have time to contemplate if that might be a new ability he had as a vampire before darkness fully took him.
Breakfast was horrible, and the reason had nothing to do with the quality of food, though the food did seem like ashes in Jaune's mouth. No, the real reason was that Yang was acting completely and utterly normal, and it was driving Jaune crazy.
Did she forget what had almost happened last night? She certainly could have been drunk enough. Did she realize that she had made a mistake and was ignoring the situation entirely? It was unlikely, since Yang tended to operate head-on when it came to most problems, but it was possible.
A hundred scenarios ran through Jaune's mind, each more ridiculous than the last. He tried catching her eye from across the table, but she seemed to be enjoying her food too much to notice.
I guess I'll just wait until she brings it up, Jaune thought, and that's assuming she brings it up at all. He tried to brush it out of his mind for the rest of breakfast, but the horrible taste of the food left him little room for happy thoughts.
After everyone finished and helped clean up, they went their separate ways for the most part. Yang, Ren, Nora, Ruby, and Oscar went out of the house, Blake went to the backyard to read, and Qrow went down to the basement for his daily fiddling with the Relic.
Before Jaune could decide on what to do, Weiss, who hadn't left the kitchen yet, came up to him. "Jaune," she said.
"Hmm? What's up?"
"How is your side?" she asked.
Jaune's eyebrows furrowed for a second. "Oh! You mean from yesterday's spar?" She rolled her eyes in confirmation. "It's fine." Weiss didn't look like she believed him, so he lifted his shirt to show her. "I'm telling the truth. See?"
Her eyes widened for a split second before she turned her head to the side with a blush on her face. "Put your shirt down, Arc! I didn't ask to see your amazi- I mean, your abs."
Jaune pulled his shirt back down, now a bit embarrassed. "Uh, sorry, Weiss."
Weiss cleared her throat. "Anyway, I just wanted to check up on you. You need to be more careful." With a raised eyebrow, she crossed her arms. "You've been especially reckless lately, and it's not healthy."
Jaune clenched his fist. He felt anger boil up within him and red tinted his vision. He tried to push it down, but he couldn't help speaking up. "All we ever do is waste time around this damn house, waiting for Ozpin to finally speak up. Of course I'd be impatient!"
Weiss stood there with her mouth open. "I'm...I'm sorry, Jaune. I didn't mean anything by it. Is everything okay?"
The heat in Jaune's stomach rose to his chest. It felt like he was looking at the world through red-tinted glasses. He took one step forward. Weiss took one step back. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath in, reveling in the fear saturating the room.
When he opened his eyes, the sight of Weiss' terror hit him like a punch to the gut. The heat fled his body in an instant and the red in his vision washed away. He took another step forward, this time hesitant. He raised his hand to reach out, but Weiss flinched and he pulled back as if he were stung.
"Weiss?" he asked in a small voice. She took another step back. Jaune looked down at both his hands and was stunned to see them shaking. He wrapped them around his middle and walked backwards until he bumped into the dinner table. In a low voice, without looking at her, he said, "I'm sorry."
He turned and ran around the table, exiting the kitchen and then the house. He thought he heard Weiss call his name at some point but he ignored it. He had to get away before he lost control and did something he would regret. Before he...hurt Weiss. The thought was so alien he couldn't even comprehend doing such a thing in his current state of mind.
Jaune stopped running and took deep gulps of air. He wasn't out of breath, but it was instinctual, and the repetitive action calmed him. The cold air stung his skin and he hoped it would help keep away the fire he had felt within.
His scroll beeped with messages from Weiss, but he dared not look at any of them. Instead, he dialled up the Emergency Only contact. Again, it rang a few times before abruptly ending without giving him a chance to leave a voicemail. Just like last time, he waited a few moments before receiving a message from the mystery number.
From: Emergency Only
Meet me at the crime scene of your attack.
Where you almost became a midnight snack.
We have so much to discuss, you and I.
You'll just have to trust that I will not lie.
Please be there right after the sun sets down.
Until then, feel free to walk around town.
Remember, I'm only trying to help.
When you see who I am, you might just yelp!
Jaune almost crushed his scroll in his hand right on the spot, but he knew it would be more trouble than the quick moment of satisfaction he would get. He briefly considered ignoring the message, but it was his only real lead. In the end, his only real choice was to follow the instructions.
Now that he had a chance to think, he noticed the dark grey clouds covering the sky. There was a general discomfort to being outside, but it was nothing compared to the weakness he had felt when he had been directly under the sun yesterday.
Jaune didn't want to go back to the house and risk Weiss still being there, so he figured he'd roam until he was supposed to meet with with his unknown benefactor. There were plenty of food places he passed by, but he knew it wouldn't fill his hunger, and it would taste ashen anyway. At the corner of one intersection, he saw a library that was relatively small. Of course, he was used to Beacon's vast collection, so most other libraries would seem small to him.
Figuring there might be some books on vampires or the supernatural stuff in general, he meandered in. The gentle quiet through him off, and he didn't know why. It took him a minute of roaming the aisles to realize it was because outside on the street there had been a constant background noise of people and cars bustling about. Peace washed over him, and for the first time in what seemed like forever, he relaxed.
There were no books about vampires or even supernatural folklore in general, but Jaune didn't let that bother him. He'd probably have to visit the Atlas Academy library sometime soon, since any relevant works would have the highest chance of being there.
Instead, he sat down in a dimly lit corner and read some comic books he hadn't had the chance to catch up with since Beacon fell. He hadn't realized how many issues he had missed, and it took longer than he expected, but the passage of time was welcome.
Jaune stepped out of the library a bit more mentally refreshed than he had been when he walked in. Reading had been a nice reprieve from not only his recent transformation, but also the general unrest he had felt since getting to Atlas.
The sky had a darkened considerably. It was almost time for his meeting from what Jaune could tell. As he was about start heading to the site of his attack, he facepalmed. In his rush to get away from the house, he had left Crocea Mors in his room. He was going into an unknown situation unarmed and with no Aura or Semblance.
Judging by the sun, he had some time left, but not enough to retrieve his sword and get to the meeting place. He had to make do with what he had, which was his fists. He growled. But with no Aura, I can't hit as hard.
Or could he? It was time for a quick test. He jogged to the nearest alleyway and spotted a dumpster. Making sure no one was looking, he reared his fist back and scrunched up his face. This was going to hurt. A lot.
With all the force he could muster, Jaune punched. His fist dented the steel inward. That's the only observation he could make before searing pain blanked out anything else from his mind. Through sheer force of will, he tried to push the the sensation down. His trembling hand was a bloody mess, and he saw a few of his knucklebones sticking out. Trying to move any part of his arm was excruciating. His whole arm was most likely broken in a dozen places.
But he had dented the steel. And the dumpster's walls weren't thin either. Jaune didn't know how much force was needed for something like that, but it was definitely enough to cave someone's chest in. Even someone with Aura would find a huge chunk of their reserves depleted from that.
So he wasn't defenseless. Or attackless, he should say. His defenses were something to be desired. At least his regeneration was already taking effect. Within a minute his hand was as good as new. It was morbidly fascinating, Jaune had to admit, watching his skin and bone reconstruct itself from nothing.
With a little more confidence, he set out to the meeting spot. It took a bit longer than he expected, since he had to backtrack a few times, but it worked out in the end. The sun dipped just below the horizon as he rounded into the alleyway. Despite the sky's orange hue, the alleyway was extremely dark.
A shiver ran down Jaune's spine. He felt a throb on the side of his neck, as the invisible bite marks remembered their place of origin. This was where it all went wrong. Just being there made Jaune uncomfortable, which was probably the intention of his mystery contact.
No one was down the far end of the alley, and no one was behind him. He looked up to make sure no one was watching him from the nearby rooftops. Step by shaky step, he trudged further into the alley.
He passed by the spot where the woman had pinned him to the ground. He passed by the spot she had been...feeding. He kept going for another dozen feet, but he saw that the alley stopped in a dead end further down.
Jaune waited. A minute turned into five minutes, which turned into an hour. Jaune's patience was wearing thin. There was only so long he could sit with his back to a building. The sky was dark now, and the alley looked exactly how he remembered it.
With a deep sigh, he got to leave, when he heard something land behind him. "Sorry for the wait, blondie, but another appointment kept me."
Jaune spun, hand ready to draw a blade that wasn't there. A figure completely cloaked in shadow stood a few feet from him. It wasn't just the natural shadows in the alley, either. It was like looking at a silhouette come to life. Only the figure's dark green eyes were visible.
"I'm glad you stuck around," said the figure in a calm voice.
Jaune huffed and rolled his eyes. As if he had a choice. "I want answers."
The figure chuckled heartily, the eyes disappearing for a moment. When they returned, there was a spark of amusement in them. "And I've got them. But you won't like them."
"I don't care," Jaune said. "Talk. Now."
"My, my! All that anger has built up over the past few days, hasn't it?" Jaune felt a beastly growl escape him in response. "Calm down, kid. I'm on your side. For now."
Jaune punched the side of the building next to him, cracking the stone. "I said I don't care! Tell me what's going on or I swear I'll kill you." He had already threatened to kill two people who had tried to withhold information from him, and he found it easier the third time.
The figure laughed. It was hard to tell, since all the body parts melded together in the darkness, but it looked like they were holding their gut.
"What's so funny?" asked Jaune in a low voice.
The figure took a breath after they stopped laughing. "Sorry, sorry. I don't mean to laugh at your little intimidation display, and I'm sure your Gaze worked on Junior and his little lackey, but you can't kill me."
Jaune took a step forward. "And why's that?"
In a rush, the shadows that clung to the figure fled away as if in fright. Jaune watched them scurry in every direction until they were out of sight. When he looked back, the figure was completely visible, even in the darkness of the alley. Jaune's eyes widened and his mouth hung slack.
"Because I'm already dead," said Roman Torchwick, looking as alive as ever.
Jaune knew if he had a heart, it would have skipped a beat. "How?" he asked. The one word question was all he could manage.
Roman grinned. "You see, kid, when people die, usually they're feeling some kind of emotion. A lot of the time, that emotion is hatred. And sometimes, very rarely, that that hatred is so powerful that their spirit lives on."
A week ago, before he had learned about the supernatural, Jaune would've said it was impossible. But it wasn't a week ago. "So, what, you're some kind of ghost?"
"No, blondie, that's just ridiculous. I'm a revenant." He said it like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"What's a revenant?" Jaune asked. He subtly shifted so he could run away if he needed to. Roman was dangerous enough when he had been alive. There was no telling what abilities he had gained.
"Long story short, I died wanting revenge so badly that it brought me back. Revenge is what drives me now."
Jaune glared at Roman and squared his shoulders. "I won't let you hurt Ruby."
The confused look on Roman's face gave Jaune pause. "Red? Why would I want revenge against her? No, no, I want revenge against those who forced me into the situation that killed me in the first place."
Yang's mom had killed Cinder, so there was only one other person he could have been talking about. "Salem."
Roman smiled knowingly. "Sure. Either way, I want nothing to do with your little hooded friend. In fact, I'd love for my undeath to be kept secret, just as I'm sure you'd like yours to be as well."
Jaune didn't like the implied threat, but he nodded. It would be best for everyone if they didn't know. Whatever this new world was he had found himself in, he wanted his friends as far away as possible from it. The last thing he wanted was to add to the already long list of problems their teams needed to deal with.
"Fine. I don't like it, and I don't like you, but if you'll give me answers, then fine." It wasn't like was helping Roman do anything criminal.
"Well, then, here's to a beautiful, but purely business, relationship." Roman held out his hand. Jaune hesitated, but reluctantly shook it, though the sensation of actually touching Roman felt as if he would pass through him if he squeezed hard enough. Almost like a ghost.
"First off," started Roman, "you're welcome for dragging your sorry ass home that fateful night after I found you here unconscious. And for sending you Junior's way for some info."
"Thanks, I guess" Jaune said begrudgingly.
Roman shot him an annoyed look. "Secondly, do you know how long it took me to come up with that riddle? Rhyming instructions in a specific verse is not easy." That didn't seem easy to Jaune, but neither did it seem necessary in any way whatsoever.
"And thirdly, you have to realize that none of this supernatural mystic mumbo jumbo shit is an exact science. I'm still learning as I go along, but still. Sometimes, there's no rhyme or reason to it. Things just happen with no explanation."
"With that being said, you're situation is pretty easily explainable."
"Yea," Jaune said, "I get it, I'm a vampire. How do I-"
"No, kid," Roman interrupted, "you're not." Jaune scrunched his face up in confusion. "At least, not in the literal definition. Vampire is an umbrella term. It has subcategories. And the specific subcategory you are, is incubus."
"Incubus?" Jaune asked. "That sounds familiar."
Roman nodded and pulled out a cigar. "You're most likely thinking of succubus, the female name for it. The woman who turned you was a succubus, but since you're a guy, that makes you an incubus."
A flame appeared in Roman's hand with a snap of his fingers, and he used it to light his cigar. After taking a few puffs, he grinned. "There's some perks to being a revenant. Anyway, incubi and succubi differ from other vampire types because they're part demon. That's why you don't instantly puff into smoke when the sun hits you, why your body changed to be more attractive, and why you'll generally find it much easier to seduce people. Things like that."
Scenes from last night flashed from his mind. Had he unintentionally made Yang do that? A shiver of disgust ran down his spine. "How do I become...human...again?"
A flicker of pity flashed across Roman's face. "As far as I know, this is permanent. Sorry, kid."
Jaune clenched his fists. "Are you...are you sure?"
Roman nodded and took another drag of his cigar. "Transformations like ours are usually permanent. I won't say it's out of the realm of possibility, but if a way exists then it's not common knowledge."
"So my Aura and Semblance are just gone now?"
"Yup. Vampires and demons are soulless creatures. Though not the same as the Grimm, who lack any life essence whatsoever. There's a distinction." Roman took a last puff and flicked his cigar onto the floor.
Jaune felt like crying, though he tried to keep it off his face so Roman wouldn't see. He had just found his Semblance, and now it was stolen from him, probably for good. The fiery anger in him washed away. He was left with a cold longing to curl up in bed and never get out.
After a minute of silence, during which Roman graciously let him gather his thoughts, Jaune spoke in a low voice. "Tell me about incubi."
Roman dipped his head once in a nod. "Well, in addition to everything I said, you have some new abilities, some of which you've probably figured out. Enhanced strength and accelerated healing factor are the obvious ones. You're eyes can now project different powers, known as Gazes. Your eyes will glow different colors for each Gaze. Don't know all of them, but violet is for seducing and red is for intimidating."
Jaune remembered those unholy red eyes that trapped him in place when he was turned. That was why he couldn't move or fight back.
"Some things are you'll have to find out for yourself, since not all incubi powers are known. One things that's true for all vampires, as you should know from pop culture, is drinking blood."
"I won't," Jaune interrupted, "ever do that."
Roman's expression said he thought otherwise. "You're gonna regret that if you keep it up. Starving yourself of blood will really mess with your body. And malnutrition will be the least of your problems when you start having rage frenzies and attack everything in sight."
"I've heard that some vampires stave off starvation with blood pellets, but eventually you'll have to feed. The only question is if you're in your right mind when you do." Roman took off his hat for a moment to run his hand through his hair. "It's not like you have to kill anyone or infect them with vampirism to drink a little blood."
Jaune grunted. That was true, but it was the principle. He didn't want to sneak around at night, attacking people. It was inhuman and repulsive. And he couldn't very well ask to drink someone's blood. That was just creepy.
"I'll figure it out," he said. "Anything else? Or can I go? I have a lot to think about."
"Oh! My apologies for holding you up, dear sir," Roman said with the heaviest dose of sarcasm Jaune had ever heard. "How very rude of me." Roman rolled his eyes. Shadows slowly slithered to him from around the alley and started crawling up to cover him.
"Yeah, you can go. But you owe me a favor." Jaune shot him a glare. "Don't worry, my end goal is the same as yours, remember? Oh, and watch out for any vampire hunters. I hear there are a few who came to the city after you were attacked." Without waiting for a response, the darkness consumed Roman until he was only a silhouette. He closed his dark green eyes, melded with the rest of the alleyway, and was gone.
"Asshole," Jaune muttered under his breath. As quickly as he could without running, he hurried out of the alleyway. No need to stick around longer than necessary and be reminded of that horrible night.
With no immediate objective, Jaune started on his way home. Sneaking in would be difficult, but it meant he could avoid talking with Weiss. And if Jaune was being honest with himself, he didn't have the energy to talk with anyone else while putting up a happy front.
The talk with Roman ran through his head as he walked. If there was a way to reverse this, Ozpin might have known. The former headmaster wouldn't respond to anyone, however, so that option was out. The only other people he could think of that might know anything about the supernatural would be Qrow and Professor Goodwitch. Even if they did, it was highly unlikely they knew about a cure.
Yang's mom might also know about vampires. Salem and any of her high ranking lackey's probably knew, also. Those options were out of the question.
Are they, though? asked a treacherous voice in his head. Desperation makes people do crazy things. And you're desperate.
"Shut up," Jaune whispered as he scrunched up his face in anger. He wouldn't stoop that low. He couldn't. He would find another way. No matter what it took, he would find…
If you're going to find a way no matter what, doesn't that include all the options? buzzed the voice. Like Raven? Like Salem?
"SHUT UP!" Jaune screamed. He had stopped walking without thinking about it, and stood there panting.
"Jaune?" said a voice across the street. A voice he recognized. Jaune's head shot up, eyes wide with panic. He was not ready to see Weiss again. There was a side street to his right, and without a second thought, he bolted.
He got halfway to the otherside when a black glyph appeared beneath him, freezing him in place. Straining against his bonds only hurt Jaune, and he feared if he pulled hard enough he could leave his feet behind.
The clicking of Weiss' wedge heels got steadily louder as she walked up behind him. Each sharp noise made Jaune cringe. As impossible as it seemed to discern emotion from that one sound, Jaune could've sworn he heard the anger in her footsteps. She circled around him so he could face her.
"Do you realize," Weiss started, "how long I've been looking for you?"
"Uh, for my sake, I hope not long," Jaune said, keeping his eyes lowered.
In his peripheral vision, Jaune saw Weiss cross her arms. "No! I've been at it since you barged out of the house. I practically searched the whole city." The ice in her eyes sent a chill down Jaune's spine. Even worse was the guilt he felt bearing down on him.
"I'm not done," she interrupted. Her voice was no longer on the verge of yelling, but there was still fury laced in it. "First you scare the crap out of me, making me think you're gonna attack me or something."
Jaune put his head in his hands. Just thinking about what he had almost done made him want to run away again, but Weiss still hadn't released him. His fingernails sunk into his scalp, and he felt the tears building up.
"Of course, there was no way you could've done anything before I beat your senses back into you," Weiss said. "You're not even remotely close enough to my level for me to be worried. I was just...surprised is all." With a start, Jaune realized she was trying to ease his guilt.
Slowly, Jaune's hands slid down his face as he met Weiss' eyes for the first time. Concern, not anger, was etched into her features. "Weiss, I'm so, so sorry. I was just so angry, and my control slipped, and I honestly don't know what I was thinking, and-"
"Jaune!" Weiss said, stopping his rambling. "Jaune, it's okay. You didn't do anything. I shouldn't have been as...scared...as I was. I don't know what came over me either." With no external signal, she dismissed the glyph holding him in place. "Just...please, Jaune, tell me what is going on with you. I want to help."
"I can't, Weiss."
"Why not?" she asked with a hint of frustration in her voice.
"Because I-" A swell of raw emotion formed a lump in his throat, stopping him from continuing.
"Because what?" Weiss asked. "Because it has nothing to do with me? Because I won't understand? Because-"
"I can't lose you!" Jaune blurted out. Ragged breaths escaped his lips. That wasn't what he had intended to say, but it had come out of him unbidden. Three images ran through his mind. Weiss getting speared. Getting attacked in the alley. Failing to use his Semblance. There were no more second chances for his friends.
"I can't lose anyone else," Jaune said is a lower voice once his breathing had evened out. He couldn't handle another death like Pyrrha's. He wasn't strong enough.
"Oh, Jaune," Weiss said, pity lacing her voice. She enveloped him in a hug. "You need to learn how to start caring for yourself instead of just others, you dunce." Jaune wrapped his arms around her involuntarily. The top of her head was perfectly nestled under his chin. He felt a sob slip through the veneer of his facade, and Weiss tightened her hug in response.
Jaune felt a pang of hunger. It felt like he hadn't eaten in days. He remembered what he was, and realized that he really hadn't. His proximity with Weiss was suddenly a horrible idea. He wanted to push her away, but he couldn't bring himself to. Instead, he gently grabbed her forearms and held them. She looked up at him, confused but curious and unafraid. So very unafraid. What a mistake that was.
Without even thinking about it, Jaune slowly pushed her until her back hit the wall and he loomed over her. The look she gave him made her look absolutely delicious.
"J-Jaune?" Weiss said, a fierce blush coloring her pale face.
"Weiss," Jaune said, not even recognizing his own voice. "For reasons I can't explain, I need to bite you."
"I'm sorry, Weiss," Jaune said, "but I'm just really hungry, and you look so damn good right now." Weiss didn't have a response for that. She just stood there with her mouth agape.
Jaune pushed up her left arm up above her and pinned it to the wall. He brought the other up to his mouth. He screamed at himself internally, begging himself to stop, but he wasn't in control of his own body anymore. All that drove him was his need to devour something.
With a gentle hiss, he sunk his fangs into her wrist. Weiss sucked in a breath through gritted teeth. The part of him that was still horrified held back enough so he only just pierced her skin. Blood oozed out at a slow, but steady, rate. Jaune eagerly drank the viscous nectar.
Warmth dripped down Jaune's throat, and for the first time since turning, he felt good. He pushed up closer to Weiss' body, sensing the rapid beat of her heart. He locked eyes with her. Her look were glazed and she bit her bottom lip.
After half a minute, Jaune felt satisfied with his fill and lifted his mouth from her wrist. He wasn't close to being gorged, but it would be enough to last him another few days maybe. He didn't want to take too much blood from Weiss, either. Leeching off of her too much could be a detriment to her health.
The bite marks were barely noticeable, and only a small trickle still flowed from them, but it still hurt Jaune to look at them. He met her eyes hesitantly, expecting disgust and fear. Instead he found a questioning look.
"Weiss," he said, "I'm so sorry. I don't know what came over me. I mean, I do, but I didn't think it would make me do something like that. Please don't tell any of the others, cause I promise it won't happen again and-" She held her hand up to cut him off.
"I think I'm owed an explanation now, don't you?" Jaune winced. He hated to admit it, but she was right. As much as he wanted to do anything except tell her about his turning, there was no way to avoid it now besides lying. And the last thing he wanted to do was lie to his friends again.
Jaune sighed. "Yeah. I guess it all started two nights ago when-"
"Finally found you!" a voice said, interrupting Jaune, which seemed to be the new trend in Atlas. "And it seems just in time, too." At the end of the side street stood a shadowy figure. They wore a long cloak that covered most of their body. The only defining feature was a gloved hand that held a silver dagger with a blue handle.
"Who're you?" Jaune asked, taking a step forward so Weiss was behind him. It hit him that they were both unarmed at the moment.
"Ma'am, please step away from him," said the stranger, completely ignoring Jaune's question. "He's related to a string of grisly murders across the city and I'm here to take him down."
Weiss began saying something, but Jaune beat her to the punch. "I have nothing to do with those," he said as he took a few more steps forward. This must have been one of the vampire hunters Roman had warned him about. If he could clear up this misunderstanding now, maybe he wouldn't have to worry about them anymore. "Actually, I-" The stranger lunged forward, knife first, forcing Jaune to dodge to the side.
"Jaune!" Weiss said from further down the street.
"Hey!" Jaune cried indignantly, "that could have hit me!"
"Quiet, you damn vampire," said the stranger in a low enough voice that Weiss couldn't hear. "I will not allow you to claim any more victims."
"I'm telling you that's not me!" Jaune said with a hint of exasperation.
"Like I'd believe you, you damn beast." The stranger attacked again, swiping at Jaune's torso. They were fast, but Jaune's vampiric speed and agility proved to be faster. He had only been like this for two days, however, and he wasn't used to it. After a particularly narrow miss, Jaune misjudged the location his next step and stumbled. The stranger dove in and swiped with their dagger.
Jaune raised his forearm to block, trusting his healing to take care of any damage, but when the blade sunk into his flesh, an explosion of fiery pain wracked his body. A primal scream left Jaune's mouth. On instinct, he lashed out with the injured arm, knocking his assailant and their weapon a good distance away.
Spasms coursed throughout Jaune's left arm. The burning sensation didn't subside, and Jaune didn't feel the telltale sign of his healing. What was that dagger made of? Jaune wracked his brain to remember any vampire lore about weaknesses, but the pain and the threat of attack was making it hard to think.
The stranger got up from where they lay. The slowness of their movement told Jaune they had been injured by his attack. The stranger pulled something from within their cloak and pointed it at Jaune. He didn't have time to get a good look, but he rolled to the side just in case.
His instincts proved a lifesaver again, as a crossbow bolt sunk into the pavement where he had been standing. The stranger fired another shot, but Jaune grabbed a street sign next to him and heaved it out of the ground, swinging it to deflect the shot. He had a strong hunch that those bolts would hurt as much as that dagger had.
"Jaune, heads up!" Weiss yelled. A white glyph appeared beneath him. Jaune had almost forgotten Weiss had been there. Without her sword, however, she was relegated to a support position. Unfortunately for the stranger, Weiss' Semblance made her the best support anyone could ask for.
Jaune dropped the sign and took off. He had expected the world to blur, but instead it almost felt as if he teleported in front of the stranger. His already outrageous speed, coupled with the boost from the glyph was a scary combination. Jaune felt his fingernails extend into claws. With a powerful swipe, he lashed out.
The stranger had good reflexes and tried to dodge, but Jaune was too fast for them to get away completely. He clipped their arm, and they yelped out in pain. The stranger jumped back. Jaune didn't let off on the offensive and sprung back at them. He let loose a flurry of blows in a rush. Only about half managed to land, but each held the force of a moving car.
After taking a few hits, the stranger slashed wildly, forcing Jaune to back off. Blood dripped down onto the floor from within the shadowy cloak. Jaune had scored a hit somewhere. It also meant that their Aura was depleted.
Ragged breaths came from within the stranger's hood. "This...this isn't over. For you or your thrall." At the last part, the stranger looked at Weiss. "I won't be so easy to trick next time." Without waiting for a response, they turned and fled.
Jaune knew that would be a problem in the future, but he didn't give chase. He didn't even know what he would do if he caught them. A wave of pain made him sink to his knees. His left arm was still trembling from the knife wound.
The rapid sound of clicking heels announced Weiss' arrival next to him. "Are you okay?" she asked as she knelt down.
He grunted. "Not really. Whatever she cut me with, my healing isn't taking care of it." At least, not at the usual rate. He could see the cut mend together at an agonizingly slow speed. It was barely even noticeable.
"How did she cut you, though?" Weiss asked. "Your Aura should have blocked it. Unless you weren't paying attention again."
It hit Jaune that he still hadn't explained anything to her. Losing her as a friend was still a very real fear, but after biting her and getting attacked by the vampire hunter, there was no other choice. A long sigh escaped him. "Sit down, Weiss. This is a long story."
Well, there it is. I really hope you guys liked it. I was planning to have Jaune's vampirism be a mystery for longer, but the natural progression of the story just really didn't allow that. There was no way no one was going to notice some weird things happening with Jaune.
Also, I'm not a big fan of OCs too much, but I will use them when I feel like I need to. The vampire hunters are not one of those times I feel the need to. At the very least, the one we meet this chapter is not an OC. I'd love to hear your guesses as to who it might be, though I didn't really leave any obvious clues. Good luck!
As always, reviews are always welcome, even if it's just to say hi or good job. Or even bad job, I'll take anything, honestly. Gonna get the next chapter out for my other RWBY crossover fic first, then I'll be back to working on chapter 3 for this one, so keep an eye out!