Disclaimer: RWBY and all of its intellectual properties belong to Monty Oum and Rooster Teeth. I claim no ownership.

Velvet walked as fast as she could from the cafeteria. She wanted to run, to prevent anyone from seeing the tears welling in her eyes, but she wanted to retain as much of her dignity as possible. However much she had left, anyway.

Stupid Cardin.

Stupid school.

Stupid ears...

She lowered her head and tried to control the quivering of her shoulders as she continued speed-walking blindly through the halls until she reached one that was far, far away from anyone else. With the sagged shoulders of a defeated person, she leaned against the wall and slid down until she reached the floor. Then she allowed her tears to flow.

Why her?

Why did she have to be born with these Light-damned ears?

She didn't hate being a Faunus. Her mother had always told her to be proud of who she was. But...if she didn't have these ears...maybe she wouldn't be seen as such a freak.

Velvet reached up and pulled her large rabbit ears down towards her head, laying them flat on it and covering her face. There she sat, quietly sobbing and lamenting her fate.

"Um...are you okay?"

The brunette jumped in surprise and her head spun to the left to see who had snuck up on her.

Eyes as bright as sapphire met her own onyx eyes. It was Jaune, the resident goofball and Cardin's favorite victim. Awkward concern was etched onto his face. Velvet stood up and rubbed her eyes furiously with her sleeve, embarrassed that she had been caught crying in an empty hallway.

Jaune opted to speak again, "Hey, I- uh...I saw what hap-"

"I-I'm fine. Thanks, though," Velvet interrupted with her head lowered, reluctant to meet his eyes again. She made to walk past him and head to the restroom, hoping to get a modicum of solitude in there.

"'re not..."

Jaune's voice stopped stopped her before she could even take a second step. She bunched up her shoulders and replied quietly, "Really, I am..."

She hoped he would accept that and let her leave. He didn't. His response was quiet, but firm.

"No, you're not."

Velvet squeezed her eyes shut to in a futile effort to keep tears from welling up. Why was he rubbing this in her face?

"I'm fi- "

"You're not."

"I am!" Velvet snapped, her head spinning around to glare at him, finally meeting his eyes. His expression was firm, but his eyes were filled with concern. It was something she rarely saw directed at her. He, a Human, was concerned for her, a fluffy-eared freak. It was enough to break the tentative grip she had on her emotions.

The Faunus lowered her head and bit her lip to stifle her sobs. Tears began to flow down her face and her shoulders were quivering violently. Her fists clenched as she desperately tried to reassert control over herself, but it was in pointless. Her knees suddenly felt weak and she slid down to the floor, holding her face in her hands.

"W-Why...?" she managed to choke out. "Why c-couldn't you just leave m-m-me alone...?"

A hand gently placed itself on her shoulder, causing her to lift her tear-stained face from her hands. Jaune was kneeling down in front of her, a supportive smile on his boyish face.

"Because being alone...well, sucks," he said, simply. "It's not fun to sit around by yourself, just thinking about how life isn't fair. Believe me, I know," he awkwardly chuckled out.

Velvet - who's hands had lowered onto her lap - remained silent, choosing to just stare at him with captivated, teary eyes. Jaune didn't know what to make of it, so he just continued talking.

"Look, uh, Cardin's a jerk. He's just mean for the sake of being mean," he started. "It doesn't matter what he thinks of your ears. I- uh...I actually think they're...kind of...cute..."

Blood rushed to Velvets's face and she immediately averted her gaze towards her lap.

"O-Oh- um- I- th-thank you...," she stammered out. No one except her parents had called her ears cute before. To hear it from a boy who wasn't half-bad looking was a new experience.

Jaune, who's face had also turned red at his admission, grabbed Velvet's hands and stood up, bringing her up with him. All Velvet could think of was how gentle and warm his hands were. When he let go, Velvet was struck with the sudden urge to grab them resisted, but just barely. Instead, she just sniffled and wiped the tear streaks off of her face.

The golden-haired boy spoke up again, "Listen, if you ever need someone to-...I dunno, talk can always come to me."

Velvet felt her heart flutter at his offer. Everyone in their class knew Jaune as the goofy loser of the school. Right now, however, he was her knight in shining armor. Finally, she opened her mouth to speak.


Jaune smiled, "Gesundheit."

A giggle left Velvet's lips. She couldn't help it. Really, she couldn't.

"No, my name. It's Velvet."

Comprehension dawned on his face, and he smiled sheepishly. "Oh. Right. I'm Jaune. Jaune Arc."

Though she already knew that, she just nodded, a small smile on her face. There was a moment of silence between the two, where Velvet's mind raced to think of more things to talk about. Something, anything, to keep him there with her for a few moments longer. Jaune spoke up, though, interrupting her frantic thinking.

"I should probably get going, Velvet. Class is gonna start soon."

Her knee-jerk reaction would've been to grab his hand and just ask him to stay for a little longer. She didn't want him to leave, just like that. Once again, though, her self-control won out.

"Oh, yeah...I should get going, too, then," she said, trying to suppress the disappointment she felt.

Jaune smiled at her, sending her heart a-flutter again. "I'll see you around, Velvet."

With that he turned and walked away, and Velvet simply watched him. When he had rounded the corner, she reached up and toyed with one of her ears, a blush spreading across her face.

Maybe her ears weren't so stupid after all.

A/N: Whew. This one was a little more difficult to write. This one-shot was inspired by a picture by a deviantArtist named Exvnir, and my own desire to have seen this happen. Unfortunately, it didn't. I hope you enjoy it.

To those waiting for the next update of Greatness Inherited, I deeply apologize to you all. I'm really trying to get it done, but after a few sentences I get a wandering mind and end up walking away from the computer. Please, be patient for just a little longer. But do NOT review this story, asking about Greatness Inherited. That's rude.

Cover photo made by Exvnir.

Questions? Comments? Critique? Review!

KineticKaiser, out.

EDIT: I don't know if you guys get alerts whenever I "update" this, but if you do, I apologize. The constant updates are just me fixing some minor flaws and mistakes I missed.