Disclaimer: RWBY is the intellectual property of Monty Oum and Rooster Teeth. I claim no ownership.
The sun had already set below the horizon when Pyrrha left to meet Yang. She had to cancel the usual after-school training session with Jaune and leave him with an excuse and an apology. His brief disappointment had nearly made her spill her guts.
As reluctant as she was to cancel one of her favorite times of the day and omit the truth from Jaune while doing so, she needed this. Yang was offering to help her claim Jaune before someone else could. Even if she was doing it for more personal reasons, it was an offer that Pyrrha couldn't turn down. Especially given her lack of experience in the arts of romanticism.
Arriving at the fountain, Pyrrha saw Yang sitting at the rim, seeming to be deep in thought. Her eyes were closed and her hand was cupping her chin. Pyrrha decided to make her presence known.
Yang's other hand flew up, her index finger finger pointing out. It was the universal sign for 'shut up and give me a second'. Pyrrha wasn't the least bit insulted. If her pseudo-teacher needed some time to think, she would be patient. So, she waited.
Finally, Yang sighed in exasperation and stood up so fast that Pyrrha took a step back in surprise. She fixed the redhead with accusatory eyes and an equally accusatory finger. "You failed the test."
Pyrrha blinked in confusion. "The test?" she inquired.
Retracting her finger and setting her arms akimbo, Yang nodded firmly before proclaiming, "First rule of flirting: Never let the guy ignore you!"
The confusion Pyrrha felt only doubled and she tried to stammer out a response, "But you're not-...I thought-"
Yang's face melted into her usual joviality and she waved her hand dismissively. "Relax, Pyrrha. I didn't actually expect you to pass it. But now you'll always remember that rule!"
Pyrrha had no clue how to react to such an odd start to Yang's 'class'. She had not expected to be thrown off balance so suddenly. So she just nodded carefully, already feeling wary about the rest of the lesson.
The blonde brawler crossed her arms and continued speaking, "Now, onto the first lesson!"
Another long moment of silence passed.
Yang scratched her head. "Umm...give me a second here. I didn't plan anything past that test," she said. Pyrrha shook her head in mild amusement. It figured that she didn't prepare beforehand.
The snap of fingers signaled that Yang had gotten her thoughts together. "Got it! Alright, first lesson: Playing with your hair." Yang reached up and began twirling some hair on her finger.
"This is really simple stuff," she said. "It's not too obvious but it sends the right signal. It tells the guy you're interested in what he's saying"
Pyrrha didn't comprehend it in the least.
"If I'm interested in what he's saying, why would I play with my hair?" she politely inquired. "It would seem like I'm not interested at all."
"Second rule of flirting!" Yang proclaimed, wagging her finger at Pyrrha, "Never question the teacher."
"What does that have to do- "
"Second rule, Pyrrha!"
It was a battle Pyrrha knew she wouldn't win without great cost to her patience. She reluctantly kept quiet and waited for Yang to continue.
Yang grinned victoriously and continued with her lesson. "Alright! Now, along with playing with your hair, you also gotta laugh at his jokes. Even if they aren't funny."
A contemplative pause took place.
"Especially if they aren't funny."
The female Spartan was beginning to sense a trend in the advice. A trend where none of the advice played to her sensibilities at all.
"So you want me to fake laughter? That seems dishonest." There was an undertone of hesitant discomfort in Pyrrha's voice. She was always politely amused by Jaune's attempts at humor, but they never drew out laughter from her. To fake laughter seemed mocking.
The jovial huntress shrugged and explained herself, "Well, yeah, it sorta is. But guys usually know their jokes are bad and love a girl who laughs at them. It's harmless."
The reasoning made sense, but it didn't still didn't sit well with Pyrrha. While she was fairly positive that Jaune wouldn't be insulted by false enjoyment of his humor, it would leave a sour taste in her mouth to lie right to his face like that. But if Yang, the class flirt, said it would work then she had to take her word for it.
Though hesitant to heed such advice, Pyrrha accepted it and nodded at Yang to continue.
"And make sure to touch him," Yang stated.
"Touch him as in...?" Pyrrha asked, drawing out the 'in'. Yang's wording was rarely tactful and could easily be misconstrued, as evidenced by their lunch conversation. She wanted to be sure she understood exactly what Yang was getting at before jumping to conclusions. The last thing she needed was for Yang to turn it around on her.
The mischievous look that crawled onto Yang's face told the her that it backfired, "Why, Pyrrha. You aren't hoping my advice includes some physical intimacy, are you?."
Pyrrha felt an intense fluttering in her stomach at the idea of being physically intimate with the blue-eyed hunter. She kept her body and face visibly composed, though. Yang would have to try harder than that to get visible reaction from her.
"Oh, Pyrrha," Yang said jestingly, "your body says 'not funny' but my intuition tells me 'turned on'."
That comment wasn't even graced with a thought. Eager to divert from the racy direction the conversation was taking, Pyrrha bluntly changed the topic. "You didn't answer my question."
Yang's face made it clear that she wasn't done with the topic. Not by a long shot. She conceded, though; silently agreeing that they needed to get back to the lesson at hand.
"It's just some light stuff," she explained. "Just touch his arm and his shoulder and whatnot. You gotta make the conversation feel more intimate.
A small smirk crossed Yang's face as she loosed one last jab. "But not too intimate, Pyrrha."
An exasperated sigh was Pyrrha's response. Internally, though, she was surprised at how sensible the advice was. She already had a tendency to establish light physical contact with Jaune anyway, so to keep doing so would be easy. Pyrrha hoped that whatever else Yang had to say was just as sensible.
"And that's pretty much it!"
Her hope instantly died a fiery death.
"That's...it?" she tentatively asked, half-expecting it to be a joke.
Yang nodded proudly, "Yup. That's it."
Pyrrha felt completely underwhelmed. Surely it couldn't be that simple. "You can't be serious," she deadpanned.
"Oh, I'm serious," Yang nodded again, her grin not faltering in the slightest. "I don't think Jaune's ever been hit on in his life, so you really only need to use the basic stuff to get his attention."
"If that's all there is to it, then why did you have me come all the way out here to the fountain? You could have taught me all of this in-between classes." The redhead was clearly unamused by the situation.
Yang scratched the side of her head as a contemplative look took hold of her face. "Huh, I guess I coulda done that." The grin made a fast reappearance, though, "Sorry about that, P-Money."
"What does 'P-Money' eve- "
"Welp! You've got what you need. Go and reel in your Prince Dorky!"
Her hand slapped down on Pyrrha's shoulder and then she started walking back to the dorms, leaning her head back onto her hands.
Pyrrha knew she should be annoyed by Yang's casual disregard for her time, but her easy-going nature snuffed any irritation she might have felt. She decided to just be grateful towards Yang for her help. If her advice ended up bringing Jaune to her, then she wouldn't care in the slightest about wasted time.
The next morning arrived at Beacon, as it always did. In Team JNPR's room, four people were preparing for the day. On the boy's side, Ren was standing next to his bed fully dressed while Nora was bouncing on it, and waiting for Jaune to finish struggling with his socks. On the girl's side, Pyrrha was pulling her hair back into its usual ponytail
As she finished tying her hair up into its signature style, Pyrrha thought about the next few days ahead of her. She highly doubted that Jaune would fall head over heels for her after a single day of following Yang's nonsensical advice, but that was just fine. She just needed him to notice her as something more than a partner. She could wing the rest from there.
Nora's suddenly head popped through the makeshift curtain that split the room in two. "Hey, P-Money~! Ren and I are gonna go get some breakfast already! 'Kay, bye~!"
Before Pyrrha could even decide what to say - it was between 'okay' and 'what does P-Money mean?' - Nora was gone, presumably with Ren. That meant it was only her and-
"Wait, guys! I'm almost- !"
Pyrrha finished placing her ringlet around her head and got up to make sure the clumsy boy hadn't hurt himself too bad. She poked her head through the curtain and was met with the sight of Jaune flying flat on his face. His right foot had a sock slid on halfway, making it clear to her what had caused his fall.
"Are you alright, Jaune?"
Jaune's response was muffled,"Yeah...I'm cool..." He picked himself back up and dusted off the front of his blazer. The only indication that he had fell was a red mark on his forehead.
"Perhaps it would be safer to sit down and pull your socks on." Pyrrha offered playfully. Jaune just smiled sheepishly as he sat down and finished sliding his sock on, then reached over to grab his shoe. "Why's Nora in such a hurry anyway?" he asked as he pulled it on.
"If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that it's because the cafeteria is serving atlas toast today," Pyrrha answered.
Jaune, finished with tying his shoe, stood up and started walking towards the door. "You'd think she and Ruby were sisters," he said jokingly as he walked.
"-you also gotta laugh at his jokes. Even if they aren't funny."
This was it, Pyrrha told herself. Just laugh naturally at the joke. Let him know you think he's funny. She took in a silent breath and-
Jaune, who's hand was only inches from the door, froze at the sound of the slightly creepy laughter. He slowly turned his head to peek at her over his shoulder with confused and slightly fearful eyes.
Pyrrha felt her cheeks burn with embarrassment.
'That did not come out as I intended' she thought to herself.
Finally, Jaune decided to break the tense silence. His voice was hesitant as he spoke, "Are you...um...are you alright, Pyrrha?"
Pyrrha nodded slowly and responded. Her usual confident tone had become unsure and slightly strained, "Y-Yes, I'm fine. I just...thought your joke was...funny..."
Another moment of silence passed between the two.
The worried boy hesitantly pointed towards the door. "We should- uh...we should go get some of that atlas toast before Nora eats all of it."
"Yes. We should," Pyrrha agreed eagerly. If he was willing to drop the matter, then she was all too happy to oblige. As the both of them left the room and made their way to the cafeteria, Pyrrha was mentally reviewing the disastrous start of Yang's advice. She said to fake laughter at his jokes. Pyrrha did exactly that. So why did it fall so flat?
'It's fine, though,' Pyrrha told herself. 'I just have to avoid laughing falsely from now on. I was never comfortable doing it anyway.'
There were other, simpler things she could still try. It's not like playing with her hair could fail as badly as forcing laughter.
Yang was quick to fix Pyrrha with a bright smile and a thumbs up from across the table as soon as she sat down. Pyrrha nodded and smiled in return. Something must have been off about her expression, though, as Yang quirked a brow at her. Pyrrha only shook her head in response. Now wasn't the ideal time to talk about what had happened in the room. She would much rather enjoy her breakfast in peace.
Before she could start eating, Yang's foot reached from under the table to tap at her shin. So much for a peaceful meal.
The redheaded Huntress looked up at the blonde. Upon seeing that she had gained said redhead's attention, Yang shrugged her head to the right. Pyrrha turned to her left and was met with the sight of Jaune happily conversing with a peppy Ruby. She turned back to Yang and quirked a brow, not quite seeing the big deal. It's not like one breakfast conversation would end with Ruby declaring her undying love for Jaune. Another jerk of the head in the pair's direction indicated that Yang wasn't as patient as her.
Pyrrha tossed one last wistful glance at her food before turning to Jaune and lightly tapping his shoulder. He turned to look at her and she attempted to engage him in conversation with her. 'Attempted' being the keyword.
"One second Pyrrha. Sorry." He gave her an apologetic smile. Pyrrha, ever patient, just smiled back and nodded. As he turned back to talk to Ruby, Yang's foot came in contact with Pyrrha's shin again. Though a little harder this time.
The redheaded amazon jumped slightly at the hard contact and she spun her head to fix her assailant with an irritated look. Yang returned the look with equal intensity.
"First rule of flirting: Never let the guy ignore you!"
Oh. Right. Pyrrha turned back to Jaune to grab his attention again, but she hesitated. She didn't wanted to be rude and interrupt their conversation when Jaune had clearly indicated that he would be with her momentarily. Trying to steal away his attention in such an obtuse way was childish.
That didn't change the fact that she wanted his attention, though. She just needed to be sly about it. Her mind raced to think of a way to grab his notice without being overt about it. The gears in her mind turned furiously and she suddenly began wondering why he hadn't already ended his conversation with Ruby as she was thinking. When he said 'One second, Pyrrha', she understood it to mean he would be wrapping up his conversation to talk to her. Did he want to talk to Ruby more? Was she already second fiddle to a girl two years her junior? That wasn't good. She needed to switch his attention over to her immediately.
Her usual forward demeanor screamed to be used while her mind was still stuck on subtlety. The conflicting thought processes smashed into each other and one idea popped out from the mess. In her haste to put a stop to the storm going on in her head and to get Jaune to look at her, she grabbed the idea and implemented it immediately.
With speed and precision born from years of training, Pyrrha's hand shot out and grabbed one of Jaune's atlas toasts. The moment she retracted her hand, atlas toast secured within it, Pyrrha's common sense returned and informed her that she had done something stupid.
It also informed her that the silence that had enveloped the table was likely her fault.
All eyes had noticed the sudden and unexpected theft of the food item from the least probable source. Yang was staring slack-jawed at Pyrrha and Jaune was looking straight at Pyrrha's face with wide eyes - hoping to find an answer written there. Pyrrha herself kept her eyes locked on the soft bread locked within her grip, unwilling to meet anyone's eyes. Her cheeks burned crimson and she desperately tried to classify the unusual feeling that blossomed in her chest.
Ah, yes, 'mortification'. She was mortified. But she had clearly grabbed the blonde swordsman's attention. She just needed to play this off and mitigate the damage.
"I-um...I have your toast..."
"...Y-Yeah..." was Jaune's hesitant reply.
A loud slap courtesy of Yang's hand meeting her own face resounded over the table.
This was going to be a lot harder than she thought.
A/N: And Chapter two is now out. I apologize for the wait everyone. I had briefly written myself into a corner in this chapter and had to do heavy revisions. But enough about my excuses.
Atlas toast: I'm sure you're wondering what the Dust 'atlas' toast is. Well, it's french toast. But France doesn't exist on Remnant so I grabbed another region's name and slapped it in front of toast.
P-Money: Shout out to shikshiinjr again for being the only one to recognize this reference. It's a reference to Matt the Mammoth Rider's RWBY recaps. I highly suggest you check them out on Tumblr.
I hope you enjoyed the chapter everyone.