Jaune stared down at his cousin, who glared at him. Jaune kicked his cousin in stomach, and his cousin gasped and fell back, trying to keep his body from bleeding.
"Jaune! You're going to kill him!" Weiss gasped.
"So?" He replied.
That one word stopped Weiss cold, "Jaune…?"
Jaune glared at his cousin and pulled some gauze out of his back pocket, "Be thankful Weiss is here otherwise you would die, I would have made sure of that."
He wrapped the bloody gash on his rasping cousin's abdomen and bandaged his other wounds. Just as he finished bandaging one of the last cuts, Ozpin arrived. His hand was clenched on the cane as if he were ready to draw his blade out. He scanned the clearing before seeing Jaune and Weiss. He visibly relaxed even from Weiss' view. He strolled up to Jaune and put a hand on his shoulder.
A moment of silent communication passed between Jaune and Ozpin.
Ozpin sighed, "Take him to the infirmary but restrain him."
Jaune scoffed, "He knows better than to try anything right now, I'd slaughter him."
Weiss blinked and Jaune turned to her, "Well come on, after we drop this idiot off we hit the hay, alright?"
Later that night, Jaune was sitting in his bed going through his textbook and marking certain thing in his notebook. Weiss lay on her bed staring at him. For the moment, the only sounds were the soft breaths of their teammates, the scratching of his pencil across the pages, and the occasional random noise of nature.
"You know, staring is rude." He quipped after a while.
Weiss flushed but sat up, "I don't get it."
"Get what?" he said, putting his books down after dog-earing the pages.
"That guy was your cousin right?" Weiss said.
Jaune tensed, "No. We are not family."
"But you said-"
"Weiss, we are not family. We will NEVER be family. Family doesn't abandon you! Family doesn't find out you're alive and throw you away because they think you're just an extra mouth to feed! Family doesn't leave you to an orphanage and pretend to acknowledge and worry about you when you actually turn out to be a prodigy!" Jaune growled, his voice getting louder with watch passing second.
His fist were balled into white clenched hands, his entire body trembled with the force of his emotions.
Weiss was almost afraid to speak, "Jaune… what is his name?"
"Arthur, Arthur Legan Arc. He comes from my father's side, his brothers and sisters." Jaune growled softly.
Weiss waited as the silence pressed around them.
"I'm sorry." He murmured tiredly, "I shouldn't have snapped like that."
He looked old. Like his body was weighed down by something that he would never be able to take off no matter how much he wanted to.
Weiss was silent until, "Hey Jaune…"
"Does a family still love you even if they don't show it?"
Jaune turned to her, "What do you mean?"
"My dad wasn't exactly… very open with his affection, but he always said he was glad I was his daughter. He always said I looked a lot like my mom, but sometimes I feel that he doesn't care."
Jaune thought about it staring at the moon which gleamed from the window, "Some people aren't the best at expressing… their feelings. They try, but often they end up looking like they don't care. I am sure your dad loves you, he let you become a hunter didn't he? He could have restricted you but he didn't, letting you have the freedom of your own path, right?"
An unbidden smile twitched at the edges of Jaune's mouth as he thought of Ozpin. Ozpin wasn't good with words, but he didn't need to be, ruffling Jaune's hair to annoy him, patting his shoulder, or even just smiling at him. Jaune knew Ozpin considered Jaune his son, and Jaune felt the same exact way about his dad.
They were family.
Jaune snapped out of his reverie, "Hm? Sorry, I zoned out."
Weiss lips twitched upwards, "You do that a lot."
Jaune chuckled and threw his hands up in exasperation, "I know, it actually is rather annoying, and I am the guy doing it!"
Weiss stifled a snicker and Jaune poked her forehead.
"Hey!" She yelped.
"Don't smother your laughter, let it ring in the air." Jaune flopped on his bed with a sigh.
Weiss looked at him, "Tired?"
Jaune sighed, "You don't know...even a bit of it." Jaune got up and began to unbutton his nightshirt, "I am heading out."
Weiss stared at him, "But it's past curfew, you'll b-"
Jaune walked into the bathroom, "I won't get caught... At least, not by anyone who'll rat on me."
Jaune soft footsteps echoed in the hall. He was dressed in his classic black hoodie and jeans.
"My mind is a damn mess right now." Jaune grumbled, hands shoved in his pockets, "When will they get the message I don't want to come back? I was never even there in the first place..."
He made his way to the hospital wing and pulled open the door shutting it softly behind him. He walked over to the bed his cousin was laying in. His cousin's face was bathed in moonlight as he stared out the window at the moon. Jaune dragged a chair to the far wall from the bed, and sat in it facing his cousin.
There was silence. Their faces glowed in the muted moonlight that bled through the thin curtains.
"Well?" Jaune began.
"Hand it over."
"Why should I?"
"Because we all know, you're going to hang around like an annoying fly, grumbling and groaning over whether you should give it to me. You ultimately will hand to me, and we both know my answer." Jaune said, leaning back in his chair, "You've run this goddamn charade dozens of times and every single time it's the same thing. I beat you up and send you back."
Arthur pulled a scroll message at Jaune. Jaune caught it and read it over.
"Same as last time." Jaune sighed, "Your parents are idiots."
"Shut up! You wouldn't know greatness if it bit you! You refuse to be a part of the family legacy that any self-respecting Arc would follow! You're the idiot!" Arthur yelled.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah..." Jaune said waving his hand in an offhand manner, "You said all this before."
Jaune read it and typed his response, "Okay, there. You can leave whenever you're ready." Jaune got up and looked at him, "Oh and if you decide that it would be worth another trip to annoy me, I will rip off your arms and beat you with them, got it?"
Jaune walk out the room and left.
Weiss woke up to sunlight floating through the room. Jaune was sitting in his bed dozing lightly. His mouth was slightly open and a pen was hanging loosely form his hand. His blonde hair was flaring with the gold sunlight. Weiss giggled at how defenseless he looked while he slept. He mumbled she quietly picked her scroll and snapped a quick photo. The next thing she knew Jaune was yawning and stretching.
Weiss hurriedly stashed her scroll and saw him rub his eyes, "Mornin'" he yawned sitting up and clasping the blanket to his chest.
"When you'd get back?" Weiss asked.
"Where did ya go?" Nora asked practically bounded of her bed.
Jaune glanced at Nora, "Nora why don't you go wake up Ren?"
"Okkaaaayyy fearless leader!"
Jaune sighed as he grabbed his nightshirt and slipped it on, "Damn I forgot to get the leadership changed, well I can't really be bothered today, it's too nice outside, plus I have tutoring later."
"Tutoring?" Weiss asked, then she remembered, "Oh yeah with that Iz girl, right?"
Jaune looked mildly surprised at this, Jaune glanced up before chuckling mildly, "Oh yeah right, I forgot to tell all you guys, I have an hour tutoring gig with this girl named Izzy."
Ren shrugged, "Explains where you've been for an hour every Saturday."
Weiss blinked, "Mind if I watch, she sounds interesting."
Jaune made his way over to the bathroom, "Just another first year, she's pretty smart and nice, you should meet her sometime, so yeah I guess you can join."
Jaune slipped into his usual seat at the lunch table as he began scooping some warm cereal into his mouth. He sat with his chin propped in his hand and swallowed his cereal as he finished chewing. Nora was still choosing what to eat and Ren was chewing on some bread. Weiss was with Nora.
"Hey Jaune!" Ruby called moving over to his table, she waved at Ren who, nodded in her direction.
He smiled, "Hey Ruby, what's up?"
She sat down and began eating, "Not much do you have any plans?"
"I have tutoring at 10, but other than that, I usually just train and laze about." He answered with a shrug.
At this point Yang, Blake and Pyrrha joined him at the table.
He grinned, "Hey guys."
Tucker and Velvet sat down at Jaune's sides he punched Tucker lightly in the shoulder, "Good to see ya, and you too Velv."
Velv mock pouted, "Why am I always mention second?"
Tucker grinned, a mischievous glint lighting up his eyes, "Maybe because I am just so much awesomer than you!"
Velv huffed, amusement glinted in her eyes, and "You wish you were half as awesome as I am!"
They both squabbled, and Yang rolled her eye as everyone began to chuckle, the thought was pretty much the same between all of the people, 'God those two need to get together.'
Then they stared at Jaune, he sighed and hurriedly ate the rest of his breakfast before responding, 'What?' He glared exasperatedly at all of them, 'Those two are denser than rocks!'
Right then a voice broke in, "Hello Jaune."
Jaune froze, humor in his face dying a swift and painful death, he turned to see his evilly grinning cousin.
"Why the hell are you here?" He hissed standing up so fast that the table shook.
Tucker and Velvet turned and saw who it was, they both stiffened and glared at Arthur.
Arthur flicked off some dust off his shoulder pads, "If you must know, our family-"
"Your family! I don't associated with bastards like you!" Jaune snarled angrily.
Arthur huffed, but continued on heedlessly, "-decided to enroll me here in the hopes of convincing you to come back to where you belong."
"Was my message not clear enough?" Jaune said mockingly, "Idiocy seem to run down your branch of the family."
Arthur eyes flashed angrily, "As eloquently put as it was, our family isn't going to 'fuck off' Jaune. You'd best accept that sooner or later, you will be brought home."
Jaune smirked coldly, "Yeah as if your bitch-ass skills can do shit about it."
Everyone at the table was frozen (except Tucker and Velvet), they had never heard Jaune swear so much in a single exchange. Arthur temper visibly flared and he pulled his hand back slightly getting ready to jab Jaune in the stomach when there was a loud crack.
He looked down to find Velvet's foot against his ribs and he yelled in pain, "You little bitc-"
He didn't even finish as Tucker's fist crashed against his jaw and he was sent sprawling.
Jaune laughed, "You alright cuz? You just got your ass handed to you."
"Shut up you freaking bastard!"
Jaune put a hand over his heart, "Oh! Oh my poor heart can't take such language!"
Arthur grumbled, "I wish."
"Who the hell are you, you look a lot like Jaune!" Ruby blurted.
Arthur scoffed for a second before composing himself, "My name is Arthur Legan Arc. This daft idiot, of a cousin is the only reason I am here, otherwise I would rather be at home learning from my private instructors."
Jaune sighed and sat down, "Here we go, enjoy listening to how much of a disgrace I am guys, I am out." Jaune said as he got up and left, Tucker and Velvet following him out with a glare in Arthur's direction.
No one had noticed how the lunchroom had gone silent.
It took all of about ten minutes for Teams JWNR and RPBY to want to strangle Arthur.
He said Jaune was unworthy of his bloodline, how a spoiled child like him could so blatantly refuse his family's summons. How he didn't know true pain and he was a slacker. Everyone knew there was no way he couldn't know true pain, the flash of exhausted despondency and pain that sometimes flitted through his eyes proved that. He looked like a haunted man, unable to let go of a past that nearly killed him. Ren's hand were twitching as though he was about to draw his stormflowers, Nora had a dark look on her usually cheerful face and she glared and cracked her knuckles, Yang was expelling body heat that wasn't normal, Ruby was almost vibrating with anger, Blake had her book in front of her face to hide the angry scowl she was hiding, Pyrrha was just about ready to turn him into jackass-on-a-stick, and Weiss had gripped Myternaster so tightly, she just might have dented the hand to the contours of her hand.
Yang broke first - (which was really not surprising) and using her aura - literally lit him on fire.
He began to scream and drop on the floor rolling before activating his own aura and pushing the flames off of him, he leveled a dark glare and opened him mouth ready to curse, but Ren had elegantly flipped over the table and dropped a scissor-kick that had sent him skidding across the floor. Weiss flipped the chamber to ice on her sword and flicked it in his direction, causing him to be frozen to the floor. He broke his restraints was about ready to brawl with all of them when Goodwitch came in and waved her crop threateningly.
Weiss, Ren, and Yang were about to be assigned detentions when Jaune who had run back in hearing a commotion began to tell her it was his fault. Arthur protested and said the two teams were insane while said teams were yelling it wasn't Jaune's fault.
Generally the larger part of the entire cafeteria was silent, but the arguing parties were loud enough that Glynda snapped.
"Quiet!" She barked.
"Who saw what actually happened?" She demanded.
Villanueva stood up, "I did."
He calmly made his way over, "All I know is that Jaune left before the fight actually started."
Jaune glared at him, everyone else stared at the two.
Jaune sighed, "Still this altercation was my responsibility. I should have told my team to ignore him, and yet they didn't die to my lack of forewarning. I'll take full responsibility as team leader."
"Hey wait a minu-" Yang began.
"Yang, shush." Jaune cut her off.
Glynda gauged Jaune. She had known him since he was a boy, and though she wouldn't like to admit it, she looked at him like a nephew. The look in his eyes had always made Glynda worried. But she had noticed that even within the few weeks in Beacon, the pain was slowly ebbing and fading. She inwardly grinned, glad that Jaune was doing better - healing, even if it was just a bit - ever since he got here.
"Are you sure you want to accept full responsibility?" Glynda asked.
"For everyone but that idiot over there." Jaune responded pointing over his shoulder at Arthur.
"Shut up, you ass!" Arthur growled.
"Language." Chided Glynda.
And that was how Jaune found himself cleaning desks and wiping down chairs while Arthur was stuck in the great outdoors weeding plants. Jaune stifled another laugh at the look of indignant rage when he heard what he would be doing. He was about to spew some bullshit about being below an Arc's dignity when Jaune slapped a hand over his mouth and told him to shut up and here he was a mere student.
He almost threw a tantrum over that.
Port was grading papers whole keeping a focused eye on Jaune's progress, just to make sure he wasn't slacking off, he offered encouragement, "You, my boy, are a diligent worker! Not to mention Ozpin was practically singing you praises."
Jaune shook his head and smiled, "We both know he doesn't do that Peter, he just smiles a lot and mentions that I am a good kid."
Peter rumbled a laugh, Jaune couldn't help but laugh with mirth.
That's one thing Jaune appreciated about living with Ozpin, along with getting a dad, he had uncles and aunts in the form of teachers.
Jaune laughed as his friends reprimanded him for taking all the blame. He shrugged and said it was worth it, he didn't care about physical labor. Nonetheless, they all glowered at him as he rubbed the back of his head and chuckled nervously. Right then they rounded the corner to the lunchroom and he noticed four familiar boys against the far wall.
Cardin was leaning over a quivering Izzy as she clutched her bag close to her chest. He was grinning and bracing his arm on the wall, effectively trapping her.
Jaune waved his friends on and made his way over.
"...t wasn't really an option, little miss." Cardin said, "Fork over the assignments or else-"
"Or else what Cardin?" Jaune cut in smoothly.
Cardin whirled, "You?!"
"Yeah me, you harassing my friend?" Jaune growled menacingly.
Cardin backed away, "N-no...We..."
Jaune grabbed Cardin and stared at him, "Let me tell you something. You want to actually make it far in the hunter gig? Learn to do the goddamn work yourself. You don't learn how to deal with different grimm, you die. You do stupid plans that haven't worked in the past, you die. You don't learn how to use dust, you die. So let me offer you this warning, I will spread word the word that if anyone gets even remotely bullied by you, they should come to me. You bully anyone, even someone I haven't met, but I find out? I will rip out your guts and rearrange them, and then we will see how you like shitting out of your mouth, got it?
Cardin nodded frantically and dragged his team away.
Jaune turned to Izzy, "Hey Iz-"
He was promptly glomped by the girl as she gattling-fired "thank-you's" at him.
He blushed a furious red and patted her awkwardly on the back.
Several people were leaning against the wall and peeking from the corner at the two embracing each other.
"Ohhhh, Weiss you've got some competition!" Yang giggled.
"SHUT. UP." Weiss couldn't completely smother the scowl, she didn't even understand why she was mad.
"They look cute..." Ruby and Pyrrha cooed in tandem.
"I know!" Squealed Nora.
"Why am I even here?" Ren said.
"I know!" Hissed Tucker.
"Shut up and let us girls have our girl stuff time!" Velvet growled.