Jaune sat down between Pyrrha and Ren as he took out his notebook for History class. After seeing Weiss destroy that Boarbatusk he was impressed. He would have to tell her that at lunch today.
"What do you think the professor will be like?" Nora asked from her seat.
"I don't know… maybe he has good memory?" Jaune replied. "I mean, he teaches history."
"Oh! Maybe the teacher is a robot!" Nora exclaimed with wide eyes. "A robot has a lot of memory in their data banks and stuff, and it could maybe use Wi-Fi to get into the school's network and do research as it teaches."
Jaune looked at her to then look at Ren. The black haired teen was staring ahead towards the center of the classroom, apparently awake. He turned his sight to Pyrrha and muttered "help."
"I don't think the History teacher will be a robot Nora." Pyrrha spoke. "Would a robot be actually able to teach? Would a robot even understand what a person should learn?"
"… It would be cool though." Nora replied.
"Yeah." Jaune added.
He saw Team RWBY arrive and sit on the opposite side of the classroom, seemingly without realizing they were there. As the bell rang a girl with long ginger hair, green eyes and a black ribbon entered the classroom. She was wearing a green, black and white dress with golden accents, black and golden gloves, and black boots with neon green lines on their side. As she walked to the center of the room she locked eyes with him, seemingly analyzing him before opening her mouth.
"Salutations!" She exclaimed with a wide grin. "My name is Penny Polendina, your new History teacher substituting for Doctor Bartholomew Oobleck. Any questions?" A bunch of hands shot up. "Yes, you." She pointed at Nora.
"Are you a robot?" She asked.
"Nope." She hiccupped. "I am a real girl. Any other questions?" She pointed at another student.
"How old are you?"
"I'm 17 years old of mind." The girl replied as she clapped. "Now then, it's time to learn history."
Jaune stumbled out of the classroom while dragging Ren by the shoulder, his brain still a jumbled mess. Ren kept muttering under his breath something about "Dangerous gingers."
"Are you okay Jaune?" Pyrrha asked as she gave an unconscious Nora a piggyback ride.
"Are the citizens of Mount Glenn okay? Yeah, me neither." Jaune replied with wide eyes.
"Right, wrong question. Can you make it to the cafeteria with Ren?"
Jaune looked at the muttering Ren and then at Pyrrha. "Yeah."
And they made their way towards the cafeteria. Eventually they arrived and went to get their food.
"Hey! Jaune!" Ruby shouted as she stood on the table.
"Don't do that you dolt!" Weiss shouted equally loudly.
With that Jaune and friends walked towards Team RWBY's table. Blake was reading, Yang was eating mashed potatoes with a vacant expression, Ruby was smiling with a plate full of cookies and Weiss was eating a salad.
"Hi Ruby." Jaune smiled at her as he sat at the other side of the table with his team, with Ren and Nora letting their heads rest on the table. "Hi Weiss, you were awesome at Grimm Studies."
The heiress simply huffed and kept eating her salad, refusing to look at him. He noticed Pyrrha squint her eyes at Weiss, for some reason.
"So… next class is Combat Class." Ruby commented, making Yang snap of her trance.
"Hell yeah! Something I'm good at!" She slammed her fist on the table, making Ren shot his head up as Nora jumped out of the bench, crashing into a brown haired tall guy and making him spill his spaghetti on his uniform.
"Hey!" He growled at the drowsy Nora. "That was my food!" He took a step towards her, causing Jaune to do something he didn't mean to.
He threw a fistful of mashed potatoes at his head, soiling his right cheek as drips of Jaune's creamy goodness fell towards his shoulder.
Silence fell on the cafeteria.
"YOU!" He roared at Jaune. 'God dammit me.'
"What she did was an accident." Jaune looked at him in the eyes, swallowing his fear. "What I did… was intentional."
The brown haired brute stepped towards him, only for the bell to ring. "We'll solve this in combat class." He announced. "You better not chicken out bitch-boy." And with that he left with what Jaune assumed was his team.
The blonde looked at a now awake Nora. "You okay?"
"Yeah, thanks, though if he tried something I would have just broken his legs." The ginger smiled at him. "Come on, you have to go kick his ass fearless leader." She said before grabbing him by the arm and dragging him out, with a now awake Ren and a beaming Pyrrha. Team RWBY quickly caught up with them.
"So Jaune…" Ruby started. "Do you by any means like Taddle Quest?"
Jaune stilled for a second. "Yes?"
"I see." Ruby replied from his side before smirking. "Ferra best girl."
"How dare you?" Jaune glared at the girl… no, child. He glared at the child. "Glacia is best girl by far."
"Whatever you say Brave." She stuck her tongue out.
"Wait, Brave?" Yang added. "As in, 'Ultimate Climax Heroes' Champion Brave?"
"HAHAHA NO. HOW COULD YOU THINK I'M THAT HANDSOME DEVIL? HAHAHA, FASTER NORA!"
"Aye-aye, captain." And with that the girl started running while still dragging him, eventually reaching the combat classroom.
It consisted on an arena with rows of benches around it and screens above the arena. Nora dragged him to an empty bench and they sat there, waiting for the rest of their team and Team RWBY to arrive. They did a minute later as a second bell rang.
Out of a door stepped a woman with blonde hair and green eyes. She was wearing a white shirt, black skirt, black tights, black heels and a purple cape. She also had black glasses.
"Good afternoon class, I'm Glynda Goodwitch, the Headmistress and Combat Class instructor." She introduced herself. "As it is our first class together I would like to ground some rules. Number 1, you may only fight on this arena. Number 2, when I call the fight, you stop immediately. Number 3, you may only spar and train battle tactics after you ask me to. Number 4, victory conditions are dropping the opponent's Aura to the red, knocking them out of bounds, or making sure they can't fight anymore. Any questions?"
The brown haired guy raised his hand, dressed in his combat attire. "Can we challenge people to fights in class?"
"Only if the other person accepts."
"Then I challenge blondie over there." He pointed at Jaune.
Miss Goodwitch looked at him and then at her scroll. "Mister Arc. Do you accept Mister Winchester's challenge?"
Jaune looked at his team. Ren looked impassive, Nora looked ecstatic and Pyrrha looked calm. He sighed and got up. "I accept."
Miss Goodwitch nodded. "Go to the locker rooms and change into your combat attire."
Jaune nodded, swallowing his nerves, and went towards the locker room.
As Jaune Arc stepped into the male locker room Ruby Rose spoke up. "He looked nervous." The kid looked worried about the blonde human. Blake simply returned her gaze to her book and kept reading.
"Do you guys think he will win?" Yang Xiao Long asked, curiosity heavy in her voice.
"No, I don't think he will." Nikos replied, making Blake lift her eyes to look at her. She looked conflicted, like she didn't like what she said.
"What do you mean?" The Schnee asked, clearly shocked.
'It's pretty easy to see.' Blake mused. 'He conducts himself with false confidence, he slouches constantly and didn't seem to be able to keep up with Miss Polendina's history teachings… but then again, most of the class couldn't either.' She flipped a page over. 'He constantly walks flatfooted, which won't help in case of a surprise attack and he seemed reluctant to fight Winchester. Even he doesn't think he can win. I don't know how he got accepted in-'
"Because he won't use his Semblance." Nikos replied, halting Blake's thought process.
"His Semblance?" Lie Ren asked, with Nora Valkyrie paying attention.
"I can't say much because I promised him, but let's say I saw him take out a Deathstalker almost by himself when he used it."
'Interesting. Someone without much experience with an incredibly strong Semblance.'
"I hope he can manage to not lose horribly." Ruby Rose replied as Jaune Arc walked out of the locker room… dressed in sneakers, jeans and a hoodie. 'At least he has a breastplate.'
He stepped into the arena and drew his blade as he transformed its sheath into a shield.
Winchester balanced a war mace on his shoulder.
"Are both combatants ready?" Miss Goodwitch asked, getting a nod from both of them. "Begin!"
Winchester charged at Arc with a horizontal swing, which the blonde tried to block with his shield, only to be knocked back, making him drop his flimsy stance.
"As I thought." She heard Winchester speak as he prepared an overhead swing. "You are just like those Faunus animals, strong when they are with their buddies but weak when they have to step up to the plate." He swung down his mace, with Arc blocking with his shield and being forced to his knees as Winchester hit him with another overhead swing.
'A human racist. Who would have thought?' Blake narrowed her eyes. "I hope Arc beats him." She muttered, low enough for no one but herself to hear. She looked up at the Aura displays, Arc was in the orange just by blocking and Winchester hadn't even taken damage. 'Kind of difficult when he is so outclassed though.' She found herself cheering for him internally.
Then something happened.
Winchester had swung down his mace quickly, only for Jaune to jump to the side faster than Blake could have done normally.
That seemed to stun everyone except Arc, who quickly went in and swung his sword at Winchester's exposed legs, causing his Aura to drop about 10% and for him to get furious. He swung his mace towards Arc.
Blake held out a gasp as she saw Arc's Aura in the yellow. 'How did he regenerate it so quickly?'
"Yeah! Fearless leader! You can do it!" Nora Valkyrie cheered and then another thing happened.
Jaune Arc blocked Winchester's swing with no problems, killing its momentum. He then grunted pushed with his shield, knocking the racist back.
"Apologize to the Faunus." She heard Arc speak in a low tone. "They are a people who have gone through a lot, they don't deserve our scorn." She hid her smile behind her book as, with that tone of voice, she knew only her, Miss Goodwitch and Winchester listened.
"You are defending those terrorists?!" Winchester growled as he prepared to charge. Arc simply sighed and did something which caused shivers down her spine.
He turned his shield back into a sheath and grabbed it as if it was a second sword. He twisted his blade into a reverse grip and got into an impossibly low stance… The Prowling Panther stance. Her stance. But that was impossible, only two people knew that stance. 'What's going on?' She thought. Her instincts were telling her to run away. They told her she was compromised, someone knew about her. She was going to be found out!
Then she looked into his eyes. They were wide with fear, reluctance, amazement, anger… and determination. They spoke to her. Here this human was fighting for the Faunus' dignity… her dignity. This human was living proof humans could coexist with Faunus if he was prepared to use his own body to attack a racist in the name of the Faunus. If he could accept the Faunus… then others could… then her dream wouldn't be a false hope.
So she did something she had never done. She refused to listen to her instincts… "You can do it Arc!" And stood up, side by side with a human to cheer for another.
That was all that was needed. The floodgates opened as soon Nikos, Ruby Rose, Yang Xiao Long and Lie Ren joined in cheering.
Jaune had never felt so strengthened. Not when he first transformed into Brace, nor when Pyrrha cheered for him against the Deathstalker. He was amazed with himself. First he dodged with ease Winchester's attack, then he got an attack in and blocked Winchester's next attack.
But then he heard him say those horrible things. Jaune never had anything against the Faunus. His family and he always donated money to their local Faunus association back in his hometown. His favorite teacher was a Faunus. The local baker was a Faunus. Hell, most of his sisters' romantic partners were Faunus.
So he felt offended by those words. People like him were the reason the White Fang got violent in the first place. Now he complains they retaliated after being ostracized even after winning the Faunus Rights Revolution? He asked him to apologize… but he decided to keep insulting the Faunus.
Flashes of protests, rallies, retaliation and fights flashed through his mind, telling him the best form he could assume to deal with this person. A black silhouette got into a low stance with two blades so he imitated it. He turned his shield back into a sheath and reverse-gripped Crocea Mors. Then he heard them.
"You can do it Arc!"
"Yeah Fearless Leader! Beat his ass!"
"You can do it Brave!"
"Come on Jaune!"
"Do it Vomit Boy!"
"You will find victory!"
He felt a surge of power enter him as he narrowed his eyes. If he was honest with himself… he was still a little afraid of Winchester. He had completely destroyed his stance at first and he wasn't sure if he would do it again… but he remembered the wise words his grandpapa had told him on his deathbed. 'Bravery isn't the act of not feeling fear. Bravery is acting for what's right in spite of it.' He charged as Winchester charged at him.
His body moved on its own. It was like he had years of conditioning running through him. He simply avoided the mace by sidestepping for a moment to then slash at Winchester's stomach while he spun, hitting that same spot with his sheath and hitting it again breaking Winchester's Aura as it shined brown for a moment before he fell.
"Ha! Take thaaaat." Jaune managed to say before blacking out and falling to the ground.
He woke up to the sound of a door closing. He looked around for a bit, realizing he was in an infirmary of sorts. He looked out the window, the sun setting, giving the sky an orange tinge as darkness quickly swallowed the day.
"Jaune Arc." He heard and his eyes were drawn towards a pair of amber eyes, almost shining in the darkness that was setting itself on the room. He squinted at her. She had black hair with a black ribbon and the female uniform.
"Blake right?" He asked, with her nodding. "Oh, uh, thanks for cheering for me during the fight. What happened after I blacked out?"
Blake looked at him in the eyes with a neutral expression as she closed the distance, sitting on the bed beside his. He seemed curious. 'Time to test my theory'. "No problem, you were trying to shut that racist up so I decided to cheer for the morally superior person."
"Oh, that." Arc scratched the back of his head. "I kinda got angry… I come from a pretty tolerant town, a lot of people I interacted with during my childhood were Faunus so I got angry." He frowned and she saw no deceit in his eyes. "People like him are the reason the White Fang turned violent."
Blake nodded. 'He seems trustworthy enough… god I hope this doesn't backfire.' "What's your opinion on the Faunus as a whole?"
"I'm sad they have to deal with discrimination." Jaune replied, with sadness and anger in his eyes. "Even after they were promised better rights and a fair world they are still ostracized… I guess I would like to help them if I can you know?"
Blake nodded, feeling a little more confident in this. "Do you have any Faunus friends?"
Jaune blushed a little. "Uh no, I knew a lot of them but I never really had friends back home, human or Faunus… nobody wants to play with the small sickly kid you know?"
Blake could see resignation in his eyes and took a deep breath. "How would you feel about having a Faunus friend now?"
He smiled. "It would be awesome… do you know any?" He looked completely oblivious to what Blake was getting at.
She sighed. 'Of course the first human I can kind of trust in has to be the densest guy on this side of Remnant.' "Arc." She gained his attention as she pulled up her hands to pull at her ribbon, taking it apart and showing her cat ears to him. "I'm the Faunus I'm talking about."
He blushed as he looked away. "Sorry, didn't notice, good disguise." He smiled at her. "And of course I would like to be your friend Blake." He pulled up his hand and offered it to her. "Jaune Arc, short, sweet, rolls of the tongue. Ladies love it!"
Blake smirked as she shook his hand. "Do they?"
Jaune laughed. "My mom does!" This caused to share in his laughter.
'Weird… I haven't laughed like this ever since I joined the White Fang… coming to Beacon was the right choice.' She tied up her ribbon and got up. "See you later Jaune." She waved at him.
"Bye Blake, kinda sad you have to hide who you are though." He smiled at her gently, causing her to get a warm feeling in her stomach.
"Yeah… hopefully I won't need it in the future." And with that she left, smiling as she went her way, happy that she now had someone who knew her secret, that weight off her shoulders.
Well, I haven't updated this in ages. At least you guys get a longer than usual chapter!
Brave Kid: Thanks.
Dragon Lord Syed 101: Well… you got Ruby's reaction this time.
HikariHoshinoAsakura: It's nice to see you like this.
Obsidian Nova Arc: Thanks. The Gashats will come later.
Anyways, tell me what you think!