HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY! Yes I finally updated and it's for New Year. Why so late? I want to update earlier but I suffer many days of writer's block and work during December 2013 T_T
Sincerely thanks ProgKiller for Beta Reading
RWBY belongs to Monty Oum and his INFAMOUS team. XD I only own the OC that has not yet appeared in the story.
"JAUNE! GET OUT OF HERE! RUN!"
Terrible memories immediately play out just as soon as Jaune laid his eyes on the Death Stalker, a type of Grimm that looks like a scorpion. Like most Grimm, it has the black exoskeleton covered by white bonelike plates with red detailing upon its back. It eerily resembles the one from his past with the exception of the moss and grass on its claws and torso signifying that this Death Stalker had been around for a long time in the cave. The memories of Jaune's past came haunting him once more like an inescapable plague.
Inside his mindscape, beautiful green forests surrounding him. He was walking alongside his parents, holding their hands with smiles on their face. Jaune was happy, laughing in joy. This is all he ever wanted besides being a Hunter, to have the chance to make his parents proud of him and to be exactly like his father, a hero. One of the greatest day he was hoping for came true, only to become one of the worst day he never wish to experience in his entire life. As his whole body began to shake from the horrible memories going through his mind, he grabs his head with his hands as he started muttering,
"Make it stop, make it stop... MAKE IT STOP!"
Meanwhile Pyrrha was staying calm and focused on assessing the situation they are both in, not noticing Jaune's predicament.
"Jaune, we're not ready to face a Death Stalker right now. We have to get out of here!"
Not hearing any response from the blond knight, she quickly turned her head towards Jaune and finally took notice of his reaction. Pyrrha was shocked at what she is seeing. Jaune is scared, no beyond that, he was terrified. She is used to him being scared in the past, but back then was because he was not used to facing Grimm, this is a whole different level. Jaune's expression is not only showing he is terrified of the foe they are currently facing but his expression is filled with pure fear and terror, like the Death Stalker in front of him right now is his worst nightmare. She was about to shout out to him but was interrupted by a roar coming from the Death Stalker. Looking back at her foe, she notices the Death Stalker pulling back its stinger, ready to jab at Jaune, who is currently still paralyzed from fear. Pulling back her shield arm, Pyrrha immediately throws it at the attacking scorpion's tail. The shield hits the appendage connecting the stinger, making it miss its original target. The stinger instead jabs at the ground to the side of where Jaune is standing.
Jaune was shook out of his paralysis when he felt the ground rumbled. Looking up, he saw the stinger of the Death Stalker was stuck onto the ground next to him and a bronze circular shield swinging in the air back to Pyrrha's hand. He realizes what had just happen. While he was in his terrified state, the Death Stalker was about to kill him and Pyrrha had just saved his life. At that moment he felt something towards Pyrrha. No, he felt it before, but he quickly ignored it due to the dire situation they are in.
Knowing with Pyrrha on his side, he had no time to dwell in his past. He readied his sword and shield as soon as the Death Stalker pulled back its tail. It then roars in anger as it switches its target onto Pyrrha. "No! Not this time. I couldn't save them back then because I'm not strong enough. But now, I'm ready. I will make sure everyone important to me is safe even if it kills me."
Jaune gets out his shield and was about take out his sword, but the Death Stalker did not give him the time to do so, as it was about to attack Pyrrha with its pincers. Jaune reacted by quickly charging forward and bashes one of the pincers away with his shield, putting in extra force with his shoulder before it could touch her. However this leaves his back vulnerable for the Death Stalker's other pincer. Pyrrha immediately intercepted the attack with a slash from her weapon, now in sword mode.
The Death Stalker pulled back both pincers and was about to squash both Jaune and Pyrrha at the same time, luckily both of them jump away just in time to avoid from what almost be a near death attack. But the Death Stalker isn't done yet with its assault as it was about to attack with its stinger, aimed once more at Pyrrha. Jaune saw what it was about to do and quickly unsheathed his sword. Next he pushes Pyrrha away with a shoulder bash lightly before almost instantly block the stinger attack with his shield. Due to the force of the Death Stalker's attack, it breaks through Jaune's hold of his shield, sliding off the shields surface before hitting the ground full force but this works for Jaune as well as. Jaune let out a growl when the attack connects with his shield but with a quick spin, he stabs his sword into the appendage connecting the stinger. This results the Death Stalker roaring in pain as it pulled back its tail along with Jaune, removing him from the ground as he still grabbing hold of his sword that is still stuck in the tail.
Jaune realizes what the Death Stalker was about to do next, "Ah crap." Quickly looking at Pyrrha, he shouted, "Pyrrha! RUN!" Just as soon as he said that, the Death Stalker flung its tail forward with so much force that it removes Jaune's sword out of its tail along with Jaune into the air.
When she saw Jaune being flung into the air, Pyrrha shouted worriedly, "JAUNE!" Knowing that without Jaune or anyone to support her, she did the next strategic option in the battlefield. She ran. The Death Stalker sees this and immediately roars in anger as it quickly gave chase to its prey.
What most people usually do when they got flung high into the air by a large scorpion Grimm would be either shouting their hearts out until they ran out of breath due to fear of death or panicking while trying to find something to break their fall or at the very least, lessening the damage they might suffer once they reach the ground. Jaune did not do any of those at this moment, oh no. In fact he was busy putting down a list of should and should not do when facing a Death Stalker in the future. The fact the memories that haunt him did not help him at all if he was alone, but Pyrrha was there and he owes her his life twice. One for saving him from the Death Stalker stinger and two for helping him break out of his terrified state. He knew that if he was alone, he would've died. For many years he tried to forget or at least push back the dark memories into the deepest corners inside his mind, hoping that they would not resurface ever again. But from the event he was in a while ago has proven that it was impossible. Jaune curses himself for such weakness he do not wish to have. He would trade this weakness for the motion sickness if he could help it.
Jaune fought back the urge to cry, he hated crying. He had already cried a lot back then, back when he was weak, when he couldn't save them. Just then a voice came playing inside his head, "Knowing your own weakness does not make you weak, it means you just have to put a lot of effort to overcome it. If you can't do it alone, get someone to help you out. Besides, getting help from others is not weakness, but strength. Never forget that."
"Yeah, I should." Rubbing away the tears before looking determine, "I got friends now, we just have to do it together." Turning around to look for something to break his fall, he unexpectedly saw a dot at the top side of his vision. Looking up he saw that the dot is falling from the sky. "Huh? What's that?" Jaune curiously focus his sight on the dot, he saw that the dot was mostly black and red. As he got closer to it, he found out that it was a person, no, to be more specific it was a girl and she looks a lot like a certain young girl he knows. Jaune was skeptical to believe that the person falling is who he thought she would be as he sweat drop at the thought, "You gotta be kidding me." True to his assumption, it really was Ruby. She was falling down in fast speed, in shock and waving her arms around in panic.
Jaune shifted his shield into sheath form and places it onto his belt following by sheathing his sword before maneuvering around in the air, making him look like he was upside down. As he gets nearer to the falling Ruby, he holds out his free arm and catches her in mid-air by grabbing hold of her stomach.
"HUH?! WHAT?! "Ruby was shock when she felt something grab hold of her. Looking up, or down depending on her current position, she saw that it was Jaune who was holding her closely to him.
Jaune said: "Hold on". He then maneuvers around once more while carrying Ruby so that they are now in an upright position. Looking down at her, he grin, "Hi Ruby."
Ruby thus far could say today is not a good day for her. Why? Because she got partnered with a cold-hearted heiress. At first she was glad Weiss came back for her, then proving the heiress that she would not slow her down by showing the heiress that she could be a speeding bullet. Then came the Beowolves attack, she knew she could take care of the whole pack by herself but was force to leave by the very same heiress who burn down the surrounding forest area due to Ruby's 'attacking out of turn'. Ruby is angry with her current partner because she wouldn't admit that they were lost, always acting like she was perfect. At that time she really wishes that she can swap her partner for Yang or Jaune. After getting sick of not knowing the direction to go to, Ruby gets an idea when she sees a big bird nearby. She manages to convince Weiss to hitch a ride on the bird. Except it was not just any bird, but a humongous size Grimm Nevermore bird. Like other Grimm types, it too has the white bone structures except it only covers the upper front of its head. They somehow manage to hitch a ride on the Nevermore only to hit a snag, they did not think ahead of a landing strategy. Weiss points out that it was a bad idea, but Ruby just told her they will be fine. The heiress argues with the younger girl for a while before Ruby suggests they should just jump. Weiss points out that she was insane for that suggestion but Ruby was long gone before Weiss even finishes her sentence.
"Okay, maybe this isn't such a good idea after all," thought Ruby as she continues to fall at high speed towards the earth.
However in just a few meters nearing the ground, she got grabbed in mid-air by someone. Ruby was shocked that she was not only stop falling, but looking at the person who caught her surprises her even more.
"Hi Ruby" Says Jaune grinning.
Jaune replied, "Hold on tight for a moment." Ruby blushes but follow his order anyway, hugging him tightly. The directory they were heading was another part of the forest surrounding a huge clearing, as they flies closer to the trees, Jaune move out his free hand and grabs on a tree trunk. Swinging around before letting go of the tree trunk, he skids on one of the branches before stopping right near the very end. Jaune then let out a relief sigh before looking down at Ruby who is still hugging him tightly, blushing lightly. Now that they weren't in the air and in danger of crashing into the ground, Jaune felt warm and safe but most of all, the embarrassment of being hugged by a cute girl is too much! "Um… Ruby… in case you didn't notice… you could let go now."
"Huh?" looking around, Ruby finds out that they were no longer in the air and are now sitting down on a branch of a tree. "Oh, eh…" She lets go immediately, still blushing. She slowly muttered, "Thanks."
Jaune quickly regained his composure, "You're welcome. So, how did you manage to get yourself into this situation? You know, falling from the sky thing?"
Ruby responded with a cheeky smile, "I could say the same thing to you. What a coincidence for us to collide with each other at the same time, in mid-air no less."
Jaune snorted, "Well I got flung by a Death Stalker when I was…"
BOOOM! Jaune got interrupted by an explosion coming from another side of the clearing. Both Jaune and Ruby turn to look towards the direction of the explosion before he started saying, "Huh? What the…?"
Now that they were no longer in the air, Jaune could see the whole clearing more clearly now. There's the temple with the relics, except the relics looked like… "Chess pieces?" He notices Blake and Yang standing in front of it. They are looking at the direction the explosion originated. An Ursa then appeared into the clearing, seemingly crying out in pain before finally slump onto the ground, dead. On its back was a familiar girl who was happily riding the Ursa but immediately turn 180 degree after finding out the her ride is dead. Another familiar face then appeared behind them.
Jaune smirked, "Well what do you know, Nora and Ren."
"Awww it's broken," whine Nora looking at the fallen Ursa. Ren meanwhile was trying to catch his breath when he arrived, looks like he had a hard time riding on the back of the Ursa with Nora all the way here. "Nora…" Ren started while trying to catch his breath, "please… don't ever do that again." As he turns to look at Nora, she was already gone. Ren started looking around him funnily. Jaune saw that Nora was standing on the temple ground now, looking at a castle piece very intensely.
"Oooooooh~" Nora pick it up and starting singing, "I'm QUEEN OF THE CASTLE~ I'M QUEEN OF THE CASTLE~" while playing around with the castle piece and doing cheerful poses with it.
"NORA!" Nora stops her cheerful actions by a loud shout by Ren. Nora giggles for a moment before cheerfully replying to him, "Coming Ren."
Jaune had another chill running down his spine, he was so glad that Nora isn't his partner. He then stops for moment before realizing he was missing something… or someone. "Wait a minute…" Just then a loud roar and a huge booming shockwave happens on one side of the trees revealing Pyrrha running towards the temple ground while being chase by the Death Stalker. Pyrrha skillfully dodges the scorpion Grimm's pincer attacks. When she saw Jaune standing on one of the tree branches she was glad that he was safe. She shouted, "Jaune!"
"Pyrrha!" Jaune replied with a shout before thinking, "SHIT! That's what I was forgetting!" He realizes he had forgotten about her and the Death Stalker after the whole commotion with Ruby, Nora and Ren.
Just as he was about to jump off, he heard Ruby saying, "Wow." She then jumps off the branch and landed safely on the ground. He sees that she was happy to be reunited with her sister Yang, calling each other names cheerfully and was about to hug each other, only to be interrupted by Nora. This scene makes Jaune sweat drop. Looking back at Pyrrha, he was about to jump off the branch to help her, a loud flaming explosion came out of Yang making him slip and fall on his butt on the branch.
"I can't take it anymore! Could everyone chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again"! Jaune saw her eyes turned red and flames surrounding her, this makes Jaune scared shitless as he gulps in fear.
"Note to self, NEVER EVER piss off Yang." He then saw Ruby pointing up in the sky. Jaune turn his head to look up and almost had his jaw drop. A Nevermore is flying high in the air and it was HUGE! Jaune blinks his eyes for a moment as he notice a white figure grabbing hold for dear life on the Nevermore's talons. He realizes that it was Weiss. "Well… that kind of explains why Ruby was falling from the sky at least." He heard the group below calmly talking about her falling. Jaune once again sweat drops about how they were being so calm about this. Looking back up, he notices that Weiss has lost her grip on the Nevermore and is now falling at a high speed. "Guess it's up to me." Jaune positions himself on the branch, focuses on the falling heiress and times his jump. He waited for a few more seconds before jumping off the branch, arms stretch out. Weiss landed perfectly onto his arms, surprised. Jaune says cheekily, "Just dropping in." The heiress looks down then looks back at Jaune eyes wide before quickly gripping his neck, making him blush at the contact. As they fall onto the ground, Jaune bend down his legs to minimize the impact on his legs but still could not help letting out a small grunt when he landed. He ignore the slight pain and look at Weiss, "You alright?"
Weiss eyes was closed when they were falling but when Jaune asks her about whether she is fine, she opens her eyes and finds out that she is still holding onto him tightly. She immediately lets go by pushing Jaune off with a blush on her face before slowly replying, "I'm fine."
Jaune just roll his eyes as he knew she would do that, "If you say so then, Snow Angel." Jaune stood up and was about to go off to assist Pyrrha when he heard Weiss muttered something. Jaune turn to look at the heiress and asks her, "What?"
She glances back at him for a moment before showing her appreciation, "Thanks."
Jaune grins before replying, "You're welcome." Turning back to look at Pyrrha, noticing that she is still running away as the Death Stalker is relentless in his pursuit after the redhead. "Tsk." His eyes went wide when he saw the Death Stalker smack Pyrrha with a lucky shot. The force from the blow sends her flying towards the group standing in front of the temple. Jaune quickly runs towards Pyrrha before diving forward to catch her. Pyrrha landed perfectly into his arms as they both slide backward a few inches off the ground.
Pyrrha turns her head around to look at who caught her, only to notice it was Jaune. She started blushing due to finding out who caught her and because of the physical contact with the blond knight, "Thanks, Jaune."
Jaune winks at her, "Hey we're partners after all. I would look bad if I didn't do anything." Helping her getting up, he turns to look at the group. "Hey guys."
Ruby gives him a double thumbs up, "Nice catch Jaune."
Nora replied cheerfully, "Hey Jaune!" Ren just nods at him with a smile.
Blake smiles and nods while Yang smirks before saying out loud in a sarcastic tone, "Great, the gang's all here. Now we can all die together."
Jaune was about to reply to Yang's sarcastic comment but got interrupted by Ruby saying in confidence, "Not if I can help it."
Jaune's eyes went wide, hoping that she is not going to do what he thought she would be, "She wouldn't."
Yang tried to stop her but Ruby runs off with a war cry, taking out Crescent Rose and was about to launch herself towards the Death Stalker with the weapon's recoil only to be stop by Jaune who almost immediately grab her cloak and pull her back towards the group. "Gaagh!" Ruby voices out when being pulled back with the force that Jaune is using. Ruby turns to look at Jaune, "Jaune! What…" her words stop immediately after looking at the face Jaune is making, showing fear. She cannot tell why nor get to ask why due to him holding her down with both hands on her shoulders.
"NEVER CHARGE HEAD ON AGAINST A DEATH STALKER! Especially not alone! You got it Ruby?!" Ruby is scared of his reaction so she quickly nods her head multiple times. Jaune took a deep breath, calming down a little, "I'm sorry, Ruby. I can probably guess what you are capable of. But charging head on towards a Death Stalker is basically signing your death warrant. Crescent Rose cannot break through the Death Stalker's armor, at the very least not without help."
Yang gives Jaune a grateful look before muttering, "Thank you." She then gave Ruby a bear hug before giving her some warnings the next time she did something stupid again.
Everyone then heard a loud roar coming from the scorpion as it quickly rushes towards the group. "Tsk." Jaune cursed, "Damn it. It would be great if someone could stop that damn thing or at the very least stall it."
Weiss started looking smugly as she walk a few pace forward. Giving Jaune a glance, "I'll handle it."
Jaune was about to respond but was instead met with a blur flashing figure moving so fast towards the Death Stalker before casting a glyph. The next thing he knew the Death Stalker is now encased almost completely in half with ice. Both Jaune and Ruby could not help but let out, "Wow."
"Hey, Weiss," The heiress turns to look at Jaune, "You! Are! SO COOL!" He blinked before adding, "Uh… No pun intended of course." The comment make Ruby giggled a little. Lastly he gave her a thumbs up before saying, "Good job."
Weiss blinks and almost immediately blushes a little at the compliment but just crosses her arms while looking to the side, "Hmmph"
Jaune just roll his eyes at her reaction. This time a loud sound coming from the sky immediately caught the whole group's attention. Everyone look up to see the giant Nevermore circling back towards the group.
Jaune sarcastically says, "Well isn't that just great."
Weiss walks back to the group and then voices out, "Look, there's no sense of dilly dallying. Our objective is right in front of us."
Ruby then says, "She's right. Our mission is to grab an artifact and make it back to the cliffs." Weiss nod and smiled. Ruby continued, "There's no point in fighting these things."
Jaune grins at that, "Run and live huh? I could get used to that." He then move inside the temple and pick a castle chess piece while Ruby pick a knight chess piece. He turns to look at Ruby, both of them smiling at each other at the same time. Just as soon as they move out of the temple ground, everyone notices the ice that is currently holding the Death Stalker at bay is cracking up.
Ren points out, "Time we left."
Ruby looks back at the group, "Right. Let's go."
As almost everyone started moving, Jaune look at her for a moment before thinking, "Hmm, Ruby might prove just to be a good leader after all." He started grinning, "So much for normal knees."
Pyrrha was running ahead when she notice Jaune hanging back for a while, grinning like an idiot.
"Jaune!" This caught his attention, "What's wrong?"
Jaune looks at Pyrrha with a grin, "Nothing, just a random thought. Let's go." Pyrrha tilted her head with confusion and then nodded before joining the others.
Focusing back on their objective, Jaune knew they are not getting back easily. So he steeled himself for the upcoming battle.
Author Notes: As always please leave a review and I hope the story is satisfactory for you all to read. Thanks.