Chapter 1: Huntsmen and Archivists Work Together?
Timeline: Between Event Horizon & Romance Dawn
Yang stretched her arms above her head as she eased into her bed. No class, no young Professor Port stories, just her and her lovely bed all day with no distractions. Life was hard for a Huntress-in-training, she liked to think she deserved at least this one day. Now of course she still had to get in her regular training, but other than that there was not much she had to do. Oh yeah, Yang was all about the lazy days.
Blake was caught up in her book below, while Weiss brushed her hair. The blonde's first thought was to the location of her sister, but she got an immediate answer.
The sound took its first victim, Blake hissed and flopped off her bed, while the resulting wind knocked Weiss off her chair. Yang, however, was always cool-headed. She was the only one ready for the impact, unfazed even as her hair blew back against the typhoon. For at the Xiao Long household, such an occurrence was normal.
The perpetrator, her baby sister, stood in the doorway. Eyes wide and mouth agape. The stage was hers, the attention of the crowd solely on her. Her most passionate fan was the first to voice her excitement.
"Ruby!" Weiss screeched, "what is the meaning of this!?"
Ruby stammered, blubbering incoherently as she switched her gaze between her teammates and the hallway. "You've gotta pee?" Blake quirked an eyebrow.
Ruby violently shook her head, to the point that Yang thought her head would pop off. Ha, that was funny. Ruby already ran around like a headless chicken, imagine if her actual head came off?
"Uh... the sun? A turkey!" Wow, Blake's guesses were way off the mark, "A house? Racist propaganda?"
"Ruby Rose, speak clearly!" Weiss bitched, "how are we supposed to know what you're saying!?"
"Oh come on Weiss, isn't it obvious?" Yang said confidently.
The sagely blonde hopped off her bed, brushing herself down upon taking the helm. She observed her hyperactive sibling with a rub of her chin. Erratic state, hyped up on sugar - she had too many sweets this morning. Meaning she found the stash Yang hid. But that wasn't why she was so excited.
Short of breath, unable to say anything, and a face so red it put her cape to shame. Undoubtedly what she saw got her heart going, and she was screaming inside with pure joy. As Ruby would. Thank god, she doubted anyone could survive Ruby's deathly wail.
So, with all these factors…
"Ruby saw that super badass dude on TV that she's been gushing about for weeks named Jaune Arc who is an explorer from the Archivist Company and she wants us to help her go talk to him because he's on campus right now."
And Ruby took a calming breath. "Yup, exactly!"
"How on Remnant did you figure that out?" Weiss deadpanned.
"Experience, honey," Yang grinned, "Now come on, let's go find the adventurer!"
The four girls poked their heads out from behind a wall. "That's him?" Blake asked.
Yes it was! And he was so cool!
He wasn't doing much, just looking about as he strolled through the courtyard. But his strut was with confidence, experience - of a man who had stared death in a face and said 'not today'. A mature curiosity was about him as he explored, as if quickly uncovering the secrets behind the walls of Beacon Academy.
Could there be anyone more awesome?
"Hey, watch where you're going!" Someone barked, Jaune accidentally running into them.
"Wow, he's kind of a klutz." Ruby's traitorous bookworm friend dared to insult. No one could have seen that guy coming, just because Jaune was distracted didn't mean anything!
"Blake, don't be mean!"
Blake raised her arms defensively. "Hey, I'm just repeating what I've seen. Didn't you say this guy was... I dunno, cool?"
He was! Did she not hear the stories?
"He looks like a normal dude," Yang said, "Kinda plain actually. Not even that cute."
"Looks can be deceiving, Yang!" Ruby argued, dodge rolling into a nearby bush. Followed quickly by her teammates, they conglomerated together, ensuring their target would never notice them. The young girl's head poked out of it, branches and leaves sticking out of her hair as her eyes stayed glued to the adventurer.
"He was the guy with Professor Oobleck on Grey Island. He beat that Merlot guy!"
"Its this guy?" Blake's eyebrows rose.
"My sister was part of the recovery team that cased the island after his defeat," Weiss added, "Their reports say this man fought over a hundred bandits by himself. Sounds like media fluff if you ask me."
"Oh, hurry, he's getting away!" The girls were on the move again, from bush to pole, from bench to rooftop they followed him. Normally people would give them strange looks.
But by now it had become as normal as 'Ah, Team RWBY is up to something stupid again'. And so they often went ignored. Ruby watched as someone talked to him, directing him somewhere. He seemed friendly, easy to approach…
As he crossed the corner, team RWBY hugged the wall, Ruby clenching tightly on her notebook. It trembled in her hands, and she swallowed hard as she fought for the courage to turn the corner and call out to him.
Come on, Ruby! You're an awesome Huntress-in-training with the awesomest team in school! It's just a guy! You've fought giant monsters! This is easy right...? Yeah!
"Weiss, you do it!"
"What? Why me?"
"You're good at talking to people! I-I can't! What if he thinks I'm weird?"
"Everyone thinks you're weird."
"N-no they don't..."
"Ruby," Yang placed a consoling hand on her shoulder, "even Dad thinks you're weird."
Oh god, she was right, this was going to end horribly! Ruby could already sense it. It felt just like that time Uncle Qrow came home drunk, wearing a speedo and leading a herd of sheep with a jar of peanut butter. It was a recipe for disaster!
But she had to get his autograph. Yeah, there were lots of other adventurer autographs she wanted, but she didn't bank on her chances meeting them. But Jaune Arc was here for some reason. And who knew for how long that would be!
"F-fine, if you won't help me, I'll do it myself."
"You should be doing it yourself in the first place!"
The four dashed around the corner, chasing their target around the courtyard. He seemed to have no indication that they were there somehow. Such were their abilities as skilled Huntresses.
"Okay, so here's the plan," Ruby said as she gathered her girls in a huddle, "Yang and Blake will go to the left and flank him, cut off his escape route. Blake, use your ribbon to restrict his movements. We'll make sure he can't escape -"
"Rubes, this is getting creepy." Yang said.
"Then Weiss will catch him with a chokehold."
The heiress crossed her arms snootily. "What kind of fighter do you think I am? Make your barbarian of a sister do it."
"She's right. I'm so rough that if I so much as breathe on her, Weiss's dainty ass'll break like porcelain."
"Come on, you guys!" Ruby tried to keep her voice down, "There's no telling when he's gonna get away!"
"Right, well minus the choking part, we'll hold him up until you come out to talk to him. But you have to do it, okay?" Yang said.
"Uhhh... yeah, easy-peasy. Haha..." Ruby held a weak thumbs up. She watched as her friends went, leaving her alone against the wall. To her thoughts, and her book.
Okay, she could do this. He was just a guy.
A super awesome guy not much older than her who got to be a cool adventurer. If Ruby had not wanted to be a Huntress, she surely would have become an Archivist. Maybe she didn't know much about history and stuff, but hey, she could learn that in the field, right?
Sure, he wasn't exactly well known for being a skilled fighter. And no matter how it was sliced, Ruby liked her chances beating him in a fight. But that's not what adventuring was about. He and his team was rising through the ranks of the company, and they couldn't be pushovers if that was the case.
Just how many different places had he gone to? The wide plains? The huge deserts? Had he delved into the deep regions of the ocean? Ruby squealed inside just thinking about it.
Would her team be like that one day? Go on epic adventures, discover new places and create memorable stories? Huntresses only had to look forward to killing Grimm. Which she didn't mind, she'd be more than happy saving people.
But... Ruby couldn't deny that the idea of being an explorer was just as exciting. At least, if she could never go on one, she could get his autograph and in some way she'd be along for the ride too.
She had to go now. Ruby clutched her book to her chest and took several deep breaths. "Okay Ruby, ready?" She whispered, "Okay… here I -"
Ruby held in a shriek as she jumped, looking to her right to spot someone leaning against the wall, looking right at her. She stammered helplessly. "Y-y-y-you..."
"I kinda saw you and your friends following me," Jaune rubbed the back of his head, "Thought you were going to attack me or something... um, I'm Jaune."
His name. He'd just given his name! Without her having to ask! Was she sweating? It was summer, right? Because there was no way she could be sweating unless it was blisteringly hot outside.
"Wow, it is a very pleasant and comfortable temperature outside right now." Some random guy unhelpfully said out loud.
But there was no time for him, the adventurer had called to her with his manly voice. "So, is there a reason you were following me?"
Yes, this was her chance. She had to do it! How did this go again?
Will you marry me? No, that was for a wedding! I'm sorry for your loss? No one was dead! You may kiss the bride? Why was she back on marriage again!?
Her eyes were as wide as they could be, staring up at the young man as her heart raced faster with each passing moment. It felt like the angel of death had swept by to steal her breath, the murderous jerk. Couldn't he see she was having a bit of a mental breakdown?
Ruby held out her book, staring at him hopefully and yet still unable to get the words out. She prayed he could read her mind...
Did she say mind reading? With but a second to reconsider, Ruby decided that was absolutely the worst idea ever. Abort! Mission restart!
His eyes widened in surprise. "Wait, an autograph?"
Oh thank god. Ruby nodded vehemently.
"Oh wow," Jaune rubbed his neck as he looked away, "that's just... wow. How do I say this?"
Oh no, had she offended him? Maybe he didn't do autographs? Was she being rude? Had she screwed things up? Ruby trembled where she stood, almost in tears from the panic. Her social anxiety got the better of her again. Why? Every time she wanted to talk to someone, she just never could! Now he'd think she was a creepy stalker and never want to talk to her again.
"Here you go."
Ruby hadn't even felt the book or pen leave her hands, and her eyes stared at the signature. Not charming or delicate. It was rougher and messier than she expected.
But that didn't take away from it at all.
"Its kind of a weird feeling, you know. You're the first one to want my autograph actually. That feels... kinda awesome."
Wow, he sounded so wholesome. And yet by the way he looked away, it was obvious he was just as caught off guard as she was. Not at all like the picturesque rugged hero that was impossible to approach.
"T-thank you," Ruby beamed, her heart easing, "I really like adventure stories, so I thought what you do is cool." Ruby's eyes stared at the ground, unable to meet his, "I don't get to go on big adventures like you. I'm just a Huntress-in-training."
"Well what's wrong with that?"
Ruby looked up at him, lost for words. Thankfully Jaune was quick to explain himself. "Huntresses protect the world. I couldn't do my job if there was so much danger everywhere. I'm not as strong as you guys so... we kinda rely on each other, right?"
Yeah... that made sense.
It was pretty cool now that she thought about it. They were pretty much on the same team. The Huntsmen protected the world, and the Archivists discovered the world. They worked separate, but at the same time right alongside one another.
Her smile grew bigger.
"So keep doing what you do, um...?"
He smiled. "Okay Ruby, thanks for being my first. See you around."
And he went off, Ruby immediately panicked. Not thinking before she called out again, when her turned around she paused, shyly drawing a circle in the ground with her foot. "I dunno if its possible, but maybe… could I…?"
He seemed to grasp what she wanted to say before long. "Well, I don't know the hoops I'd have to go through but... if its possible, then yeah, I'll take you one day."
"Why not?" He smiled, That'd be kinda cool right? An Archivist-Huntress team up?"
Yeah it would be! It totally would be! Then Jaune was gone before she could say anymore. And just as his form was out of sight, her teammates came from around the corner.
"Okay, so we looked but couldn't find him. Its like he just disappeared..." Weiss stated. She waved her hand in front of Ruby's big dumb smile, the girl quivering on the spot. "Ruby, are you okay?"
Ruby's squeal set off the nearby alarms.
Welcome all to the partner fic of the Event Horizon series, Side Quest.
This is where all ideas I have, or others suggest, that are pointless in the main timeline, go. I have a huge plethora of things I wanted to put in EH, but then the fic would just be a big drag fest.
I'll try to keep this as its own consistent timeline. Most of it will have occured between the end of Event Horizon and the beginning of Romance Dawn. If its any different, I'll be sure to note it before the chapter.
Now of course, the interactions with Team RWBY are not done yet. This was primarily just a Ruby meets Jaune chapter.
But what of the other girls? Do they have something to say to our hero?