About a year and a half since I've last written fanfiction. Alot of school work to deal with...
Anyways, I thought I'd have a new take on the RWBY Universe. This is set around five years in the future of the events of the currently airing series. I'll do the math for you: This means that most of the characters are 22-23 years old (Ruby would just barely turn 21, assuming her birthday falls only slightly behind.)
This thing's rated T for now. Nothing's exactly explicit other than the mention of alcohol and more mature themes. No Genderbender (yet, I'll probably upload another story to do that with one of the characters soon) and no OCs in this one. Just pure imagination and the willing compliance of the hopeless cast of RWBY. Enjoy!
Pyrrha Nikos woke with a jolt.
Her eyes darted from left to right and then back left just for safe measure as she clutched her bedsheets and the truly unfortunate pillow that suffered from her firm grip. Once she relished in the safety of knowing where she was, her muscles relaxed and she heaved a light sigh to expel what tension remained. Today, a Monday, Pyrrha had little to nothing to do. She checked her schedule on her PDA once, then twice and then set it aside with another sigh, this time partly in helpless exasperation.
On the nearby bedside table, Pyrrha's digital clock read eight in the morning, the normal time at which she normally woke up for school. That aside, Pyrrha also noticed the familiarly patterned rays of light from the venetian blinds draped across the window in front of her bed that faced the cityscape. As was usual, too, Pyrrha found herself on the left side of the bed with enough space to her right for one more. Everything seemed in place there, and Pyrrha looked to the empty white ceiling of her room, mostly content with her waking... Except, only one thing did not quite match up:
Pyrrha Nikos never woke up with jolts.
Frustrated, she reluctantly launched herself off of the heavenly mattress of her apartment bedroom and shuffled over to the bathroom to wash up. She thought a quick splahs of water would cure her of her heavy-headed fatigue and dizzying anxiety to no such avail. Thus, she'd resorted to a warm shower as opposed to the cold ones she normally took to boost her immune system. Old habits die hard, she guessed.
A shower, Pyrrha found, proved a nice respite for her to spend thinking about the complexities that entertained her rather inactive life after Beacon. Thus, she'd ruminated on the other possibilities, such as cooking breakfast or watching the early morning news, but soon decided that a soothing stream of hot water would wake her best. She did not enjoy the groggy feeling of fatigue at all, and thought the alternatives a little lackluster. A huntress needed to stay alert at all times, of course.
Almost two years after their graduation from Beacon, Pyrrha found herself at a loss as to what she could do. With the world constantly shifting in around the equilibrium of power and peace, hunters and huntresses barely responded to any calls to help. Others, with a more benevolent disposition such as the modern day Cardin, decided to go to a school to teach. Some, with more adventurous cravings such as the ever ebullient Nora, preferred to go explore the great unknowns. Few, such as Pyrrha herself, opted to stay put and make sure that nothing went wrong or pursue other things other than just the senseless prospect of fighting.
On the subject of tangential interests, Pyrrha took a liking to music in the passing time after school. Jazz was her favorite, as was his, and she would teach in a nearby metropolitan conservatory during her spare time from Huntress duty, not that Huntress duty really got active these days anyway. Her selection of music, too, brought a much needed relaxed ambiance to her room as little melodies of Acid Jazz and Bossa Nova would ring in the background of her contemporary apartment. Sometimes, she wondered if her apartment was a bar for hopeless romantics and recuperating idealists, but Pyrrha took comfort in knowing that only she populated the room most of the time to begin with.
With every waking moment she spent at home, she would spend reading the new fiction corner, where she'd hoped to see a new submission of his writing if he ever chose to write again. Each time, she would click on the Vytal Times fiction corner and wait for the screen to load, only to sigh and find his name missing from the list of recently active authors. Odd stories interested her every once in a while, ones that deviated from the normal string of adventure epics that the mass public thoroughly enjoyed. But the more subtle, less violent, tales enticed Pyrrha more than anything, given that her interest in things she never once had was in the dictate of human nature.
When the online stories and Jazz grew too much for her boredom to handle, she waltzed over to the couch and found herself staring at the flickering television, whose plasma colored interface provided a wide variety of pointless game shows, reality shorts and the occasional drama she would follow. None of them really interested her, though. She saw enough in the last five years to justify knowing things more bizarre and horrifying than the twists and turns of the most formidable, award-winning shows. Upon reaching a show that she considered satisfactory, she sighed and slumped backwards, forcing herself to enjoy her morning's entertainment.
Pyrrha suddenly shivered from the vibration that came between her legs. Flustered, closer inspection revealed that she'd accidentally left her PDA on her lap and let it slide down without noticing. Inasmuch, she took the tingling sensation as a sign that she'd received a message from someone. A good guess would be that of Nora's incessant pestering or Blake's tired, but desperate, request to spend some time together. The contents of the message, however, would shock her entirely.
Meet at Peristylium. Will bring tea and strawberries.
Pyrrha noted the custom made flourish of a signature neatly printed at the bottom of the message in the form or a lotus. It occured, then, that Ren, still a recluse but sweeter than a peach after years of associating himself with Nora, sent said text message. For what reason, though, Pyrrha wanted to find out, and so she decided to drag herself out of the comfort of her large apartment in the center of the city to find him. Peristylium wasn't that far, anyways.
A good five minutes and several traffic lights later, Pyrrha arrived at the Peristylium, a city-state park near the center of the cit, clad in an light dress that matched the vibrant hues of the Autumn leaves and her well-pampered fiery hair with a yellow scarf around her neck and brown leather boots on her tiny feet. There, she waited for a signal, some sign that would warn the arrival and presence of her companion. Then, of course, she'd forgotten that Ren never liked announcing his usually sneaky appearances and simply stared at the eclectic crowd around her.
No matter how or where she looked, though, Pyrrha always find herself staring at young citizens who aged just barely around their late teens. She would smile with every group of four who passed and thought them pre-destined to work as a team, though not unconventionally formed as was hers. On the odd occasion where they'd gotten lost, they would politely ask her if she knew where the shuttle to whatever school it was that they would attend and she would politely answer with a small apology, as always.
Then, of course, there were some who'd boasted of going to Beacon, a school now further revered by the actions of her class and generation. Ah, how those kids seemed to brighten up her day with their stubborn pride she remembered in him! Last she knew, most traces of that wannabe persona had since disappeared in favor of a more mellow set of standards, still equally exigent. She would smile at how readily excited their spirits were, evident in their large confident strides and highly held chins, if not chests. Inside, however, she grimaced at how difficult their lives would soon become.
"You're going to Beacon?" She would muse, feigning her intrigue. "That's cool."
Each group that earned her clueless response gave its response in a variety of ways. Many responded with a polite message of thanks and a wish that her day would go well. Others, who had their egos stroked to next Tuesday, would triumphantly march their way in the direction that Pyrrha pointed them to. Nonetheless, the few that remained would spend a couple of minutes to ask Pyrrha if she had any idea of how Beacon was like. Pyrrha gave all of these few rather byzantine responses, however, leaving most of the surprise of Beacon to the wonders of their young minds. Some things were best kept that way.
Yet, every one of them shared the same thing in common: Little would those students know that she was the very same Pyrrha Nikos whose name got etched into the stone of the Hall of Graduates. She frowned at all who said that she looked familiar but could not recount the name they associated to her beautiful complexion. As for the others who had no idea to begin with, she just laughed her ill recognition off. Morals dictated that she uphold her normally humble demeanor, though. So Pyrrha tried to avoid making the point that she'd felt somewhat disappointed with how they failed to recognize her. No matter, she would convince herself, I must go and achieve greater things now. That's what he would've wanted me to do.
And so, just like that, Pyrrha had spent around fifteen minutes shifting her gaze from one interesting thing to the next, answering one posse of students only to help the next. Sometimes she wondered if she'd better teach at Beacon to meet those kids in person but couldn't come to leave her friends behind. At least, she could not let herself do the same thing he did and just leave with a grand farewell and never return. She sighed at the thoughts she felt torn between letting them go or keeping them with her to pass not only time, but life. She sorely enjoyed their presence, though one was missing, and reasoned that she had nothing to return to, which was partially true. How much she would regret this decision, she could not be sure nor did she think so Life, she supposed, would always put her in situations like this.
Right on queue, Ren broke her chronic onset of loneliness. Instead of simply materializing out of thin air, as was his norm, however, he gently tapped Pyrrha on the shoulder and followed her quick spin with a cheesy smile. He'd kept his long hair, only occasionally trimming the spots he deemed imperfect or extraneous, and tied most of it into a long ponytail that draped backwards and fell to just about his waist. If one added long sting of hair on his beard, almost everyone would mistake him for another one of those South East Wise-men.
She smiled. Oh, how that boy never grew out of his tender habits.
"It's always nice to see you Ren."
"Let's take a seat over in those chairs," the green-clad Asian suggested. "We could use a nice, vibrant view."
Since their graduation, Ren had become ever the artisan gentleman she always thought him as, even in their early days as a team. Even now, while they walked, he had a feminine way to his silent steps and a gentleness about his conditioned movements, each intentional and graced with the elegance that she had not seen in men before. There was a joke around Beacon at the time that Ren was a girl the whole time, to which the South East man had politely declined, and Pyrrha had almost believed in it. Her encounter with him in the shower one tiresome day when she was barely awake and went to the men's room instead, however, taught her otherwise.
"How've you been, Ren?"
"I've been better," the ponytailed artist replied in his soothing tenor voice. "Nora's been up an about on Recce with some other hunters and huntresses lately and apparently forgot our policy about not calling me at ludicrous hours in the night. Other than that though, I'd say I'm doing okay. How about you?"
"I'm holding up alright," Pyrrha slowly nodded her head as she took a womanly sip from the Ren's hand-crafted porcelain cups, "nothing's really happening for me since it's gotten peaceful around here."
"Yeah, gets kind of boring sometimes, doesn't it?"
Nodding served enough of a means to respond to Ren's question, Pyrrha knew that much. Any more and she'd given too much for him to work with. Regardless, the two spent a while talking of banal things that mutually entertained both Beacon Alumnus in a stupid kind of way: They rooted their conversations to things that would not mention any of the darker moments of their time in Beacon. And when the subject of school did come up, they focused more on discussing the rumors of Qrow and Ozpin and even Port. Here, Pyrrha learned of the myth behind Oobleck's caffeine fascination, surrounding his hyperactive speech with an incredulous means of comprehension. Inasmuch, she laughed away at how dumb the idea was and returned to avoiding discussion of Beacon.
Eventually, their conversation came to a halt as a comfortable silence washed over them. Pyrrha had noshed on more than half of the strawberries and Ren had consumed more than half of the tea he brought. A fair trade, Pyrrha supposed, that each would indulge their own guilty hunger for sweet fruit and mint-saturated tea, respectively. Though she'd rather that they return to distracting each other from a topic that would inevitably rise and evoke some less than flattering memories, she enjoyed the silence she rarely shared with another person... Until her companion broke it with a rather startling, but strikingly true, observation.
"Thinking of our fearless team leader again?"
"You're pretty easy to read when your concerned eyes give you away like an open book," Ren grinned. "Anyone can tell."
Pyrrha's head recoiled backwards as her shoulders rose just the slightest, holding a hand over her open mouth to hide her obvious surprise. Was it that obvious? Either that, or, surely, Ren spent too much time to know her that frighteningly well.
"I wonder how he'd be if he was still here," she eventually murmured through the sweetness of the strawberry she just ate.
"Older, wiser, goofier," Ren conjured from the lassitude of his freshly brewed lotus tea that seeped through his taste-buds and down the back of his throat. "That's how I imagine him to be."
The image of him in a more mature disposition came through Pyrrha's mind. Two years since she last saw him or heard any trace of him and now her imagination ran wild with all the things that he'd gotten himself into reinforcing her most bizarre fantasies. Two years could do wonders to men and women, Pyrrha knew, and the change she could expect may come to shock her more than her nightmares or restless nights filled with a yearning lust for his reassuring presence: As much as she would deny it, no matter how much she'd satisfied his crave for him, she still craved for him all the same.
Last she remembered, he made a promise to return. Promises were meant for friends to keep right? Did she think him more of a friend, though? He would be back soon, Pyrrha told herself. There's no way he wouldn't, and when he did, Pyrrha would do all that she'd regretted not doing before.
"I suppose you're right."
Whereas Pyrrha's heart raced as she suddenly sat upwards from her slumber, Blake, a girl still of many mysteries, woke with a calm smile on her face and a topless, exhausted Yang beside her. The two had just enjoyed a rather... Interesting night, what with Blake's fetish with her dark and old past: Yang played the master and Blake her slave as were all faunus back in the day. One need only imagine the rest.
It was an interesting experience to see how pleasuring the particularities of relishing her long since forgotten past seemed in the context of their frivolities. Many people had since suspected such weird things of Blake's interest before in their jokes but little did they know how accurate they were despite Blake's deceiving giggles of embarrassment. The giggling part, she'd learned from spending much time with Ruby in their shopping trips to more modest clothing and nerdy bookstores to boot. Deception, however, still ran deeply in her stream of consciousness.
Like Pyrrha, she took a shower. Though her thighs felt a little sore from all the pain and pleasure from the night before, sharp hissing could only do so much to mitigate the embarrassment of remembering how utterly sinful last night was before shoving the thought out of her head. Blake could only thoroughly wash her body to rid herself of the guilty pleasure from the night before, but no amount of soap would indefinitely scrub her clean of her depravity. That, she'd probably never change and might not have to worry about if Yang kept woke with a massive hangover and no means of recollection.
By the time she'd finished, her body had shivered from the massive difference in temperature between the water with which she cleansed her body and the cool air from the strong conditioning unit by the upper left corner of the living room. Blake put on her clothes with little to no hesitation before looking back at Yang's still sleeping figure, hoping that she would not wake up before the former left the house. Yang needed the sleep, after all, and Blake could do some good with time away from the drunkard at the coffee shop downstairs. Besides, she promised to go shopping with Ruby today.
Avoiding the scrutiny from the regular citizens of the city proved difficult for a faunus even in the present day. Not many opted to accept the proposed doctrine of non-discrimination, and still many rogue elements of the white fang existed to terrorize the now stronger civilization of Vytal. Whatever it was that Blake knew once concerned the organization, though, would never truly perish, even if it slowly died away with time, and she understood that much. By then, hopefully, nobody would make the same mistake, but Blake understood human nature too well to believe in such an idealistic future.
She nearly tripped over the stairs to the coffee shop entrance from how occupied her mind was on things she had no reason to concern herself with. Regardless, she shook her body from head to toe to wake herself up enough to make her order before shuffling herself to scrutinize the lounge for available seats. To her delight, she found Ruby, with her hood on, tucked into the corner seat by the glass barriers that separated the comfort of the cafe from the harsh, autumn city gale. She retrieved her order and sat herself down on the chair opposite of the younger girl.
"Good Morning, Ruby."
"Morning, Blake." The tired petite replied, silver eyes scarred by the eye-bags she refused to cover with make-up.
Blake took a mental note of the rasping nature of Ruby's normally ecstatic voice, rounded out by the cheerfulness compliments of the massive intake of baked concoctions galore. Though her kitty ears, as Yang affectionately referred them to as, subtly twitched in concern, Blake's face hadn't shifted from it's dreamy expression, left over from, well, Blake no longer wanted to think about that.
"You don't look so good."
However, it was Ruby who first raised the same point about Blake and her entranced, empty eyes, softened from their once sharp and acute feline forms.
"Rough night," Blake smirked. "I could say the same about you."
"Yang said she'd be home late. Waited until she would, 'cause she normally just gets drunk out of her mind and then comes home early at eleven. But she sent me a text message at one saying that she'd stay over at a friends house instead... I wanted to watch a movie with her too..."
"Do you know where my sis went?"
"She drunk called me. That's all I remember of her last night. Sorry." Blake answered the first part about the drunk calling truthfully but feared that Ruby might prod too much and find out where he sister actually is. She would need to keep the nature of their clandestine relationship darker than Ruby could possibly find, lest the latter freak out at how strange her older sister really was.
"I'm worried she probably got stuck with some really crazy guys..." Ruby finally whimpered.
"Well, she's smart like that, so I'm sure she figured something out," Blake replied, masking what cheeky grin the irony brought to her normally neutral face.
Blake closed her eyelids to let the vapor from her tea to loosen the muscles in her forehead as she inhaled the sweet aroma of ginko. Just as she was about to take a sip, though, she jolted at the sudden flash of light from the darkness of her closed eyes, slamming the cup of tea back onto the table. At first, she'd thought she'd gone insane as she eyed each and every other customer and found them staring in her direction. She soon realized, though, that they weren't staring at her, as Ruby's eyes were fixated, in horror, at something across the street.
"What was that?"
Both girls turned to face each other with the same question slipping out of their mouths, now agape. Blake's ears twitched again as they responded to the presence of the unfamiliar, as they always had, and alerted their host of the suspicious nature of whatever supernatural had happened. Sure, they lived in a world where often the truth seemed far too strange to accept as hallucinations and, hence, have reason to shove every last hunter and huntress into an asylum. But sudden glows of blinding light didn't exactly occur all that often, even if the cities were based around towering obelisks of light.
Without another word, the two girls leapt from their seats and drew their licensed weapons. Blake swept right as Ruby cleared the left side of the crowd until all that was left was the pattern of a butterfly's wings in the form of empty space on the street. The nearby law enforcement officers came rushing over to set an isolated staging area for the two girls, who promptly presented their Huntress I.D. Badges and kindly requested for crowd control. Once they deemed the nearby area safe for investigation, the officers gave a curt nod to the girls.
"Keep those people at bay," Blake commanded, "I'll go check it out."
"Why do you get to check it out?"
"Because you're better with people," the snarky kitty deadpanned.
"Oh that's real funny, Blake. Gee, thanks. Hey, I'm team leader you know, you should let me go!"
Blake ignored the string of complaints that came from the still short stacked girl and made her way to the source of glowing light. On another day, at another time, she would have the time to deal with the still immature young girl's antics but she valued the safety of her accepting citizens over the estrogen fueled whining of a close friend of hers. For now, the most important thing for her to do was to see what had happened, lest she come mere seconds to late to catch another accomplice of Torchwick's or otherwise.
A quick turn of the corner told Blake nothing and the subsequent once-over had all but convinced Blake to loosen up and disregard the flash as an environmental anomaly, much like the many others the city had experienced over the last few weeks. Feline instincts, however, never settled for an incomplete search for what potential mystery that lay in wait. Certainly, curiosity would guide the cat to the next corner and the next, until her ears twitched in annoyance instead of mental alertness. Try as she could, though, Blake could not ignore the itching urge to sweep the entire district that gnawed at her tired mind.
Just as she turned to leave, however, she made a double take when she noticed a black sigil pattern blazed across the concrete wall on the far right side of the intersection at which she stood. Now intrigued, Blake followed her directional feeling from her gut and scampered forward to the sigil and turned right. At eye level, she could not see anything, save for the wall of the next alley intersection. However, her eyes had travelled downwards and widened immediately as she jumped at the truly haunting shock from what she saw.
No, Blake gasped, no, this can't be.
Blake stared at the collapsed figure before her. Clad in a stainless steel set of armor with an augmented version of a signature sword and shield lay a blonde, long-haired man with some stubble under his chin, unconscious. The scheme of the armor, shimmering under the near chrome exterior aesthetic and adorned with decorative carvings of noble royalty past, had matched the general thematics of one belonging to a key figure in the first Vytal war: A figure, unsurprisingly, that begun the famous bloodline of one her long lost comrades. There was no mistaking who this was but only what he had become.
"You'd better call Pyrrha. There's something she should see."