Jaune Arc felt like a fool, no scratch that, he was a freaking fool.
What the hell had he been thinking? Beacon? Beacon Academy, the best of the best went there! Not him, not a coward and skilless idiot. He panicked when he was confronted and was so uncool, he probably WAS the best candidate of all that teasing. The worst was just now, he thought he may have made the right call going into the cave, doing something right. Of course not. He instead managed to piss off a colossal scorpion into attacking him and Pyrrha!
Pyrrha. Oh God.
He needed to help her!
He tried to get up, only to find that he slipped back down onto his trembling knees. He punched the ground and cursed silently. He hadn't even noticed the tears cascading down his face. He hissed as they touched the cuts he had received falling through the trees. He winced as he felt a warm wetness spread down his shoulder. He wanted to scream, yell, blame someone for why he was so...so useless. Then again, Weiss had been right, he hadn't even been close to get her attention, Pyrrha had every right to pin him to the wall. She probably didn't have the heart to leave him pinned to the tree. He was a pity case. He tried his hardest and studied to get into Beacon, he thought if he knew enough, and tried his best, he could do it.
Of course he was wrong, chalk another one up for his old school title, Ol' Artless Jaune.
Unwanted memories of his past rushed up to hit him like actual slaps.
He had been staring at the shiny sword and white sheathe that had been hung up by his parents. It was just so cool, just like in the stories of knights. He loved reading those stories about, the brave, strong, dragon-slaying knights going to fight monster and save people. He asked his dad endless questions, about his dad's dad, and his dad's dad's dad. His dad would always tell him the greatest stories of his grandad and how he was the greatest sword fighter ever seen.
"Hey dad, do you think I can do that, one day? Can I be like Grandpa?" He asked practically bouncing on his dad's lap.
His father gave him a smile, and always replied, "Of course, you're an Arc! The best of the best!"
It hadn't taken long for his father to be ashamed of him.
He didn't have any ability with the sword. He read instead of practiced. He loved to climb this huge oak tree at the edge of the village and read about the monsters, and at night he would dream of whirling through them, and getting praises form his father. His dad was his idol, hardworking, strong, the coolest dad ever. His mom was also his second idol, she was beautiful, kind, loving, and of course, the best mom ever. When he started going to school, he was just another kid, playing tag, laughing, making friends. Then when bullies came, they would shove him around first and say at him.
"You? An Arc? You've got to be joking!"
"A wimp like you couldn't be an Arc! You're such a loser!"
"Arc? More like artless!"
"Maybe they adopted you!"
That jeer was the worst, even though it wasn't true. He looked just like his mom, soft ocean-blue eyes, blonde hair, his facial features came from his dad, hair mussed up everywhere, an angular face.
His few friends realized hanging with him would only get them bullied so he was left alone. When he went to his dad about it, his dad would say they were jealous.
His mom would say, "They don't mean a thing, Jaune, you are a very strong kid!"
He would smile and nod, he believed her, back then at least.
When he got into his first fight, he was bruised and beat up all over. He couldn't even landed a punch. His dad saw him and sighed, top in grades when it came to studies but the worst of the fighters. His mom was proud, but she was a mom, anything was better than nothing. One night he had a nightmare and went to find his dad, only to peek into the lit kitchen and see his dad. John was at the table staring hard at Jaune's report card. His mom was laying her hand on his dad's shoulder.
"Didn't know it was possible to swing a wooden sword and hurt himself." His father grunted.
"He's trying honey, you know he isn't strong, like the other kids." Her mother sighed.
Jaune's eyes had widened, but she said he was! Why lie to him?
"Heh, got that right. I can't believe this, the latest in the lineage, and he turns out like this, a weakling." His father muttered.
"John!" His mother said sharply.
"You know it's true! He can't do anything right! He can't even hold his own in a fight!" He father growled.
Jaune knew the conversation was over, and he scrambled into his room, curling up under the covers, hiding from his father look when he entered the room. That night the tears were his only company. He stopped coming home too much, only coming in late when everyone would be asleep. He would climb his oak tree, his knees drawn up to his chest and trembling from the cold. It was a miracle he hadn't caught any colds whenever he spent the evenings there. He would practice there and study there, it was better than staying at the library, only to have to try to escape the bullies that waited for him outside.
As the years went by, his skills got better, but the only thing he excelled at were his grades, he acted cocky, but was scared. He knew that if he acted weak, like sharks in the water the bullies would come. He had taken sword and shield fighting and after a few weeks won his first match. He was ecstatic. He told his mom and dad, hoping for praise, maybe even hope.
"Great, Juane!" His mother said, eyes gleaming.
His father grunted, and his heart sank, "Finally, you did something worthwhile..."
He grew into an teen and worked even harder, finally his sword skills got recognized. His father's mood improved slightly, and Jaune felt like things might get better.
He was considering going into several academies, and he had his heart set on Beacon. So he applied. He aced the writing portion, but his sword skills, oh man. He was the lowest of the best, barely scraping through. Everyone saw it. He couldn't be that bad at his age, could he? They laughed at him for not being able to use his hidden power, whatever that was.
"Maybe he doesn't have any to speak of!" One guy had yelled.
"Are you a rat or moose or something? You don't even know how?" Another had laughed.
"No, he is a demon! We better get him out of here before he attacks someone!" One called.
His eyes widened in shock and fear as they all picked up wooden sword and grinned maliciously at him.
He ran out of the hall and climbed his tree, shaking in fear. He reached into it and pulled out his old, tattered story book. He lost himself in the stories he had memorized word for word. Smiling at the adventures of real heroes and running his fingertips over the childish illustrations.
When he got his acceptance letter, he yelled an elated "YES!"at the sky at the top of his lungs.
He got in and beat his own record for getting home.
"Mom? Mom! I got in! I did it!" He yelled.
"Oh that's excellent, I knew you could, I just knew!" She said kissing his cheek.
"I'll give him a week in there, at most, before he runs away." His father grunted seeing his swordsmanship score.
The airship was torture. He had moaned and acted like a total loser. And landing was the worst. He ran into the nearest trashcan and let his meager lunch come up for air. He washed his mouth out at a bathroom and swallowed some mints. No excuses for bad breath, his mother always said.
(Flashback within flashback)
"Maybe you can find a nice girl." His mother said semi-jokingly.
"Mom!" He whined grinning.
What hurt him was his father doubling up in laughter, he thought his dad might be joking, but the words spoken next hurt him the most, "As if he would be wanted?!"
John's tone was amused, but serious, he wasn't joking at all.
His mother yelled at his father for the first time since that night, and much more viciously. His father realized she actually wasn't joking, Jaune had let his bangs fall over his eyes, forcing back his pooling tears. Twelve years of bullying had made him able to do that. His father didn't even say anything, and held his head high at his wife's anger, stubbornly refusing to back down.
(End of flashback within flashback)
Meeting Ruby was awesome, he might of made a real friend, but he had long since given up on anything more than that. She was quirky and cool, not to mention she made a giant mechanical scythe! Then he had to show off his hand-me-downs, oh wait, precious 'family heirlooms'. He wished he hadn't, he thought bitterly as he glared at his shield with the mark of the double crescent moons.
Of course, he thought Weiss might actually be praising him, only to see her visibly annoyed at him. He grinned sheepishly. Yep, he nailed it.
Yep, he got nailed.
By a spear.
To his locker.
Whoop-de-freaking-do. He knew it, he kept up his facade though, though his smile was much more fragile and closer to breaking. His eyes burned with unshed tears.
He hadn't been close at all.
The second time and it wasn't any better, what the hell was a landing strategy?! The same spear snagged his hoodie and he was left hanging, speared to a tree. He heard Ruby approaching, and he felt hope, only to see Weiss too. She saw his legs and her eyes widened in horror before she abruptly turned, sighing sadly if he may add, and went with Ruby.
He almost let out a sob of despair right there and then. He was that bad? He was so repulsive that she would go with someone who she clearly disliked, just so she wouldn't be saddled with him? Pyrrha came and he fully expected her to rip the spear out and walk away as if he wasn't there, but she acknowledged him. Good enough for him, useless as he was.
Unlocking his aura was too cool. He felt a power rush through him, healing him, he could already tell he could activate it when ever. It was like bringing a power out from within, a really cool knight concept he loved reading about. When the cut on his cheek healed, and she said he had a lot, he almost started dancing in joy. He knew he could make another friend, so he smiled and thank Pyrrha for helping him. She cared, was kind, and deserved so much better that Jaune Artless.
He began to cry in earnest. He hadn't in years, but this was too much. He was so disappointed. In himself, in his lineage, in everything he believed in. He had enough. He let his aura activate and heal his cuts and bruises, and sat there, maybe a monster would come and eat him, better than hanging around. He heard Pyrrha call for him faintly and he rubbed his eyes, and stood up.
She deserved better, she didn't need or morel likely didn't want him.
He was a pity case, and he didn't need to burden anyone else.
He smeared some blood on the ground as if he was much more injured and made drag marks into the grassline. He let a few drops of his blood drip on the skid marks before letting his aura heal him fully.
And used his aura, he pushed himself to his feet and shot though the forest like a bullet. A crazy, hysterical laugh escaped him as tears blurred his vision. He would run away it was what he was best at, he would fail, get himself expelled and then Pyrrha would be happier with a new partner. Ruby, well she was probably being polite, he shook his head, what a fool for thinking they were friends.
He ran as far as he could, trying to find monsters, only to have them run when he arrived. He was still glowing with aura, he deactivated it but even then they just ran from him. He yelled in rage and chased them down. He drew his sword and stabbed one in the head. His aura flared out as whirled through the ranks, his mind on autopilot as he blocked, stabbed, slashed, and weaved. Was he so useless that the gods didn't even find him worth being killed? Goddamn it! Damn it! DAMN IT! He kept going until he realized he had accidentally killed all the monsters.
"Dammit." He cursed.
He walked deeper into the emerald forest, farther away from his desperate partner.