I really have nothing else to say right now, so get on to the story
Disclaimer: RWBY and Bleach do not belong to me. They belong to their respective owners.
Chapter 01: A Fairy Tale Beginning
[Date: January 20th, 0080 U.T.I.]
[Location: Shiroibara, Anima; Near Lake Matsu]
"Okay, me and Ishida are in position. What about you?"
[Mission Type: Search and Destroy]
[Mission Rank: A]
\Renji and I are in position. We are directly where the Queen Lancer is being held.\
[Objective: Kill the Lancer Colony and Destroy Hive]
[Status: Still in Progress]
"Good. As long as we don't make any sudden movements, I think we'll be good."
"Why are you whispering?"
"...I don't know."
"Then stop it. We have comms for a reason," Uryū Ishida points out, indicating the white/blue earpiece nestled around his left pointed ear.
Ichigo Kurosaki grumbles under his breath. "Killjoy..." he muttered. He then places a hand over his own white/orange earpiece on his right ear. "Oi, Rukia, how are things on your end?"
\Let's just say that I've finally get to see the 'bee' part of 'the birds and the bees',\ Rukia Kuchiki said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. Ichigo can hear the poor girl gag. \Disgusting...\
\Remind me to never watch one of those nature shows again,\ Renji Abarai bemoaned.
\Anyways, how is your side, Ichigo?\
"Well," Ichigo started, looking around the corner to see a large group of Lancer drones swarming around the wall several meters away from Ichigo and Uryū. "There is a quite a haul here. I have no idea what the Lancers are up to, but something tells me that they're not making gross, black honey."
He could hear Rukia give a chuckle. \Well, they can keep that. I prefer my honey orange and sweet.\ Ichigo gives a grin. Too bad he didn't get to see Uryū's own. \Okay, I can see a drone leaving the Queen. Renji and I are gonna get ourselves prepared. You guys be ready a few minutes.\
"Okay, you guys be careful," Ichigo said, with care.
\You, too. Uryū as well,\ Rukia said and the line goes dead. Ichigo sighs to himself. Silence fell, the only sound being the low buzzing of the Lancer drones. Ichigo glances over to his partner, who stood quietly against the wall and his arms cross. His face gave no emotion, but Ichigo can't help but feel that he may be internally seething. Not surprising.
"Ishida..." Ichigo said, gaining the paler male's attention. "I'm sorry." Uryū looked at him perplex until it dawned on him what he was talking about.
"Oh, that." He takes out a handkerchief to wipe his glasses. "It's alright, Kurosaki. Things happen." Ichigo could tell from the sound of Uryū's voice that he was getting tired. Ichigo as well. He didn't need to look at his Scroll to know that it's now evening, meaning they have been at this for nearly five hours.
"I know, but it was my fault," Ichigo said. "I'm supposed to the leader and yet, well, you know."
"Well, you're probably just stressed out," Uryū said as he replaced his glasses. "It wasn't that long ago when you accepted the guard mission in Atlas."
"Yeah, maybe," Ichigo said, almost quietly. Uryū looks on in worry. He was no fool. Far from it. He had noticed the times where Ichigo had stay up all night, sometimes with a book and sometimes a few papers. He's very dedicated, if nothing else. But, with the new year starting soon, it'll be a lot tougher than before. And team IURR is dealing with a lot more than what they should in their current year. While sometimes, the assignments were a breeze, there had been times that one had really tested their limits. This being one of them. The Lancer colony were giving them a run for their money and they're almost at wits end. The failed attempt yesterday did little/no good to their nerves. "Oi, Ishida, I'm sorry."
Uryū pushes his glasses. "Really, Kurosaki, I already told you, there is nothing to apologize about."
Ichigo shook his head. "No, no. I have to. You've planned long and hard to go about this assignment and I screwed it up."
"Kurosaki..." Uryū started, but Ichigo kept talking.
"I know that I can be very hot headed and impulsive at times and I know that we could pull through, but, there is always a lingering thought that seems to appear in the back of my head again and again and...and..."
"Kurosaki, sh," Uryū warned with an edge of urgency. But Ichigo kept going.
"Every time I felt something might go wrong, my emotions seem to take over a bit more than usual and I couldn't control it. But I can't help it. I don't know why but lately I feel like-" Ichigo was cut off mid-sentence when Uryū clasp a slim hand to his mouth.
"Ichigo, quiet!" Uryū hissed as quiet as he could. When he sees that Ichigo stopped, he slowly removed his hand. "Do you hear that?" Ichigo's brown eyes darted around, trying to see what the Quincy was talking about. Ichigo doesn't really hear anything, except for the buzzing of the Lancers, which sounds closer than before. Very close...too close...
"Fan-fucking-tastic..." Ichigo mutters as he and Uryū start running away from their spot, a large swarm of Lancers hot on their trail. The duo runs around corners, pillars, over bumps, and anything in their way.
"Ichigo Kurosaki, this is the second time you've botched a mission plan in the matter of 24 hours! I can understand every once in a while, and during training sessions, but this?!" Uryū exclaimed.
"Yeahyeahyeahyeahyeah, I got it, Ishida. Now, shut up and run!" Ichigo interrupted. Other than a glare from his bespectacled partner, he didn't say another word.
"Ichigo, Uryū!" a familiar female voice called as Rukia and Renji appear from around the corner and joins the other two on the run.
"Lovely day for a run?" Ichigo joked.
"Not funny!" Rukia ducks as a Lancer tried to get her. She aims her right palm at it and a fire ball was fired and blasted the Lancer to smithereens. "What was that?! What happened to the plan?!" Rukia questioned her leader.
"It would gone accordingly if a certain someone paid attention!" Uryū seethed looking at Ichigo.
"IT WASN'T MY FAULT!" Ichigo interjected. From the look Rukia and Uryū are giving him, they don't believe a single word. "I've been on edge lately, okay?! I'm sorry!"
"How about we do less arguing and more running?" Renji advised as though he is talking to children. "I've been stung by normal wasps before and I don't plan on seeing what it's like to be stung by a wasp Grim!"
Ichigo gritted his teeth, trying to think of a way out of this mess. He looks back to see the angry swarm still tailing them. He turns back ahead to see a light at the end. The exit, but it's so far.
Then, an idea came to Ichigo. "Oi, Ishida! Do you still have any Fire Dust crystal, uncut maybe?" After some searching, Uryū pulls out an uncut red crystal.
"What are you planning, Kurosaki?" Uryū asked, though dreading the answer. When it comes to Ichigo and his ideas, 90% of the time someone is hurt, either Ichigo himself or one of his teammates.
"Drop it," Ichigo said.
"What?" Uryū asked with a raised brow. What is he...?
"Drop it, NOW!" Ichigo repeats with more urgency. Uryū promptly complies, dropping the crystal to the hive floor. Ichigo stops and turns around towards the oncoming swarm.
"Ichigo, what are you doing?!" Rukia wondered, she, Renji, and Uryū stopping just a few dozen feet away from the exit. They see Ichigo bring out his smaller blade, Tensa, in pistol and removes the dark red handle. He then replaces it with a green one. Wind Dust ammunition. Seeing the danger, the rest of Ichigo's team high-tailed it once more. Ichigo aims at the Fire Dust, pulls the trigger, and starts running as well. As if in slow motion, the Wind Dust ammunition makes it's way towards the red Dust just as the swarm is drawing near and the team almost to the exit. After what seem like an eternity, the bullet made contact with the crystal...and follows could only be described as spontaneous combustion as a large fire roars to life.
The team was blown out of one of the hive entrance by the explosion before they could be severely harmed by the flames that successfully engulfed the hive. The four carefully gets up as they watch the fire raging and killing any Lancer drones. Three out of the four sees it as a train-wreck, while one on the other hand...
Ichigo whistles at the sight. "Well that worked better than I thought it would. Maybe too much." His comment was answered with a hard punch to the head by Renji.
"Are you nuts?!" Renji said. "You nearly cooked us too with that stupid move."
"Well I didn't see you coming up with great ideas at the moment!" Ichigo argued back.
"There are better ways to go about these things, Kurosaki," Uryū pointed out, clearly frustrated, his normally calm demeanor absent for the moment. "And sending nearly the entire forest in hellfire isn't one of them."
"Hey, at least it worked out in the end, right?" Ichigo tried to reason, which only earned an aggravated growl from his Quincy partner.
"Du bist ein Dummkopf," Uryū muttered in his hands with great exasperation. Ichigo rolled his eyes at this. He has learned long ago the meaning of the sentence, despite still knowing very little of the language of the Quincy. But, their victory was cut short by a rumbling sound from the burning mound. It squirmed and pulsated as something tries to get out.
"Oh, shit," Renji cursed.
Bursting out of the hive, black gunk and pieces of the structure flying, was the Queen Lancer. It screeched in rage as it start its attack on the four. It swoops down at the team, but they managed to flip their way out of its path just in time. The Queen Lancer starts shooting projectiles from it's abdomen at the four huntsmen-in-training. Uryū was the fastest to act. He creates a dome of light over himself and Rukia, protecting both from the projectiles. Meanwhile, Ichigo uses his large sword to shield himself and Renji, the latter occasionally uses his Semblance to drive away stray shrapnel.
"This isn't getting us anywhere." Renji said. Ichigo glances over to his other teammates to see how they're holding up. They look okay, that light shield of Uryū's going strong. But Ichigo knows it's not a permanent solution.
"Rukia!" The petite woman turns to her leader at the shout of her name. She sees him make a sign with his hand. She then turns to her pale teammate. She could tell that holding up this shield is very tiring for the young Quincy, seeing a sheen of sweat and a more pallid complexion on his face. Still, he's going on strong. Rukia places a hand on Uryū's shoulder, getting his attention.
"Uryū, when I say 'now', disable the shield. Okay?" Rukia said. Uryū nods. "1...2...3...Now!" Uryū brings down his shield as Rukia raise her arms as she shoots a blue fire/lightning attack at the Queen Lancer, successfully stunning it and stopping the barrage.
The Queen hissed as it recovers from the shock, obviously irritated. It releases it stinger to aim at Rukia, but Uryū manages to swoop in and got her out of the way. The stinger hits the ground where Rukia was. Ichigo takes out Tensa and shoots the stinger at where it was embedded in the ground and amber-colored resin formed, sticking the stinger in place.
"Alright. Ishida, up!" At the call, Uryū leaps in the air, using his light platforms to get higher towards the Grimm. As he goes up, the Queen Lancer tries to kill him with more bony projectiles, but Ichigo and Renji were able to shoot them away with their bullets. With one more big leap, Uryū was well above the large Lancer before he goes down with a kick and hits the Grimm square in the torso. The Queen Lancer landed heavily on the ground, dirt and dust in the air. Before it could get its barrings, Uryū (back in the air) shoots an arrow laced with Ice Dust, trapping it in the ice crystal. From above, Renji and Ichigo comes down with their swords. Similar to a guillotine, their swords make contact to the large Lancer's torso, cleaving through. The Queen Lancer gives an agonized screech before it went silent, unmoving.
The golden light of the setting sun shines on the fading body of the fallen Queen.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Guardians of Remnant ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
The mission was successful, however dysfunctional. After making sure there is nothing left of the Lancer colony, team IURR made their way back to Shiroibara to confirm the success from the tavern, an often routine Huntsmen would make when accepting a mission. After eating a well-deserved meal and reassuring everyone that a forest fire isn't raging, the team make themselves comfortable in their room at a nearby inn to relax after a job well done...
"What the hell, Kurosaki?! Why didn't you follow the plan?" Uryū scolds as paces around their temporary room.
"I said sorry, okay?!" Ichigo says defensively.
"Tch," Renji huffed, him sitting indian style on the foot his bed, just next to Ichigo's. "So much for the Grimm Reaper of Beacon Academy."
"Stick it," Ichigo growls, flipping the Faunus off. The latter only rolls his eyes.
Uryū seats down on his bed next to Rukia's with a sigh as he pushes up his glasses to grip the bridge of his nose. "School is going to start back up in a couple of months. It will be our penultimate year before we graduate and become full-fledged Huntsmen. As this team's leader, you should work on keeping a leveled head if you wish to-"
"Ugh, yes, I got it. Now, can it with the lectures," Ichigo bemoaned. "Last thing I need is another Byakuya hounding me about my leadership skills."
"Colonel Kuchiki," Renji corrected.
"Whatever," Ichigo said. He then mutters, "Pompous ass."
Rukia, sitting on her bed seiza-styled, hears this and gives her team leader a heated glare at the disrespectful jab. "Back to the main issue, like Uryū said, we had a great plan to take care of the Lancers and their Queen." She pulls out a sketchbook and flips it open. "I even drew them out to make them more understandable." She shows her teammates what she drew, which depicts her and her teammates as poorly drawn bunnies and the Grimm as poorly drawn bears.
"Sorry, Rukia, but I'm going to have to give some credit on Ichigo's part. Nobody can understand your poor drawings," Renji admits. An angry vein pulsed from Rukia's head as she threw her sketchbook like a Frisbee at her childhood friend, hitting him between the eyes. The book ricochets off from Renji's face and flies towards Uryū, who catches it. An argument soon escalated among the more hot-headed three. Uryū sighs at the sight, having to have grown used to it. He then chimes in to stop their quarrel. After just a few minutes, the four quieted down.
"One more year, huh?" Renji wondered.
"It's kind of surreal, isn't it?" Rukia asked. "We're just starting our third year, true, but it really dawned on me that we're almost there. It really won't be too long until we can become real Huntsmen." She smiles. "It's kind of nerve-wracking."
"What about that thing Old Man Oz talked about before we left?" Ichigo asked Uryū.
"I am assuming that you are referring to Prof. Ozpin's proposition of us graduating early at the end of the year," The Quincy says as he places the sketchbook on the nightstand and pushes up his glasses with his left index finger. "There is a possibility, provided that we accept the offer and pass the honor exams."
Renji gives a laugh. He moves so that way he can be seating at the headboard. "Come on, look at all the things we've accomplished. We dealt with missions that even the fourth years couldn't handle. And that was in our second year!" He leans back, draws up a knee, crosses his other leg over it, and puts his hands behind his head. "I think we're more than qualified."
"Yeah," Ichigo said. He glances down on his right hand as he flexes it. "It feels like it was just yesterday that we were assigned as teammates. We've been through a lot, seen a lot, and learned a lot. We've fought different kinds of Grimm, caught a lot of bounties, and saved many lives. I have no doubt that we're ready." A memory of a harsh storm entered his mind. He shakes his head to be rid of it.
Uryū adjusted his glasses with a huff. "I don't want to hear you saying that you've improved since freshman when your ability to follow protocol are leaving a lot to be desired, Kurosaki." Another silence fell among them, the other three staring at their paler teammate. The silence was broken, this time by Rukia laughing, falling sideways on her bed holding her sides.
It wasn't long until the rest, excluding Uryū who blushes, started to laugh as well. All the while, a full moon shines through the window. From a tree outside, a black-furred feline was perched on a branch, watching the group. It laid comfortably, purring, swishing its tail, and lazily blinking it golden eyes. A bird flying off caught its attention. It was a crow.
Back into the room, the laughter has quieted down. Ichigo wipes away a tear that had form from the guffaw and he glances at his teammates. His friends. The friends that he had made over two years ago.
"Guys...I'm sorry for everything in the few days," Ichigo said. "I don't whats going on, but I'm been a little bit on edge lately. Maybe it's because of this mission or maybe the upcoming year...or...maybe…" He stopped he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looks to see Rukia smiling warmly at him.
"There's nothing to apologize for. We were all on edge, in a way. Even Uryū," She joked. They see said boy rolling his eyes, but they also see a smile. "Remember, Ichigo: We're here for you. We've always been." Ichigo could feel a sense of calmness from her words, a serenity he holds dear. He looks over at Renji and Uryū, both had gone up walked to him and Rukia, seeing them giving him honest reassured looks.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Guardians of Remnant ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
The bell over the door jingles as Ruby Rose entered the Dust Til Dawn shop. "Hi," She greeted the old shopkeep. The man grunted a friendly hello back. "Do you have the latest issue of Weapons Magazines shelved yet?" Shopkeep nodded with a chuckle and gestures over to the rack of magazines at the back of the store. Ruby beamed a smile. "Thank you!" Shopkeep gives her a nice smile as she makes her way to the magazines. While the girl in red doesn't always buy something from his store every time she comes here, her sweet and innocent nature always brightens up his day. Sometimes, he wonders why she would come to his little shop just to read when there are better places, like Tukson's Book Trade, a bookstore. In the end, he grew to enjoy her company.
Ruby nearly snatches up Issue #228 Weapons Magazines and flips it open, eager to see its contents. It's no surprise that Ruby is a big weapons dork. She would squee at any weapons she sees and ask the owner of their abilities and names and the like, much to the amusement to most people. She'd even gush as her sister's gauntlets. Everyone at Signal Academy would occasionally tease her about it, but she paid no mind to it. It is true, after all, she won't deny it. Ruby hopes to one day meet the Father of Modern Day Huntsmen Weaponry himself, Oetsu Nimaiya.
She then takes out a pair of red headphones and turned it on, playing some metal-esque music while she reads the articles. She was so engrossed at the inner workings of a halberd-gatling gun that she hadn't noticed that a few hours has passed and that it's night out. This is a common occurrence for the old shopkeeper, he just doesn't have the heart to interrupt the girl. Sometimes, he would wait at most an hour after closing time to tell Ruby it's time to go. She would apologize greatly for taking up so much time and then leaves after thanking the man. Neither Ruby or the shopkeep were ever worry for her safety about walking at night. After all, Ruby is adept at sensing people's Auras and who would mess with a girl who wields a high caliber sniper-scythe.
Unfortunately, this kindness proves to become a detriment on the shopkeeper when a well dressed man with a cigar and cane, accompanied by a group of men in black suits and red sun-glasses, entered the humble store. Also, Ruby is fully engrossed in the magazine that she can't sense them and the volume of the headphones were set on high, thus she can't here them. However, the loud music does gain the attention of one of the men in suits stealing powdered Dust.
Ruby hums to the song as she flips a page to an article about one of Nimaiya's first works. She was then interrupted by a rough grab of a hand to her shoulder and pulls her around. The girl in red gives a soft gasp at the action. She notices a man in a black suit, a black fedora and red glasses. His mouth was moving, but she couldn't hear what he was saying. Seeing her confused, the man motions to his ears. Ruby was still confused for a second before she realizes her headphones are muting the man out.
"Yes?" Ruby asked, putting down her red headphones. "Did you need something?" If the guy wanted a magazine from the rack, there are much nicer ways to go about it than manhandling someone.
"Put your hands in the air!" the man demanded, pointing his red-bladed sword at her. The sudden command made Ruby flinched back in surprise.
"Wh-what? Why?!" Ruby asked, even more confused than before. What's going on?
"No more questions. Hands up and against the wall, now." the man commanded, inching the blade closer to her for emphasizing. Still very perplexed at the change of atmosphere, Ruby looks around the store. She notices several more men in the same clothes as the one currently holding her at sword point at different aisles taking Dust crystals, powder, bags, and the like. She also sees the nice shopkeeper currently at gunpoint another one of those men. Getting all of these thoughts together, she came to one conclusion.
"Are...are you..robbing the store?" Ruby asked the man.
"Yes!" he shouted in frustration.
"Oooooh..." Was all that Ruby said before smirking.
Next Chapter: Chapter 02 To Beacon Academy