Disclaimer: Monty Oum and Rooster Teeth own RWBY.


Chapter one: Reconnect.

From the moment he saw her she made his blood sing.

Jaune never was the best with women (despite the coaching of his father, his mother and his seven sisters) but even he knew there was something strange about his reaction. Sure he'd been attracted to girls before, he was a seventeen-year-old male and he wasn't that ignorant. But this… this was new.

She stood, talking to Weiss, the very girl he had attempted to woo the day before. Weiss, who was equal parts beautiful, intelligent and proud. Weiss, who stole his breath away with the mere sight of her haunting arctic eyes. The same Weiss who had the ferocity of a thousand warriors packed into one slight, elegant frame.

Today Weiss was nothing.

Weiss was a non-entity compared to the woman with she was speaking and it was not merely for her beauty. It wasn't that she was unattractive; in fact she was heart stopping in all her glory. Tall and lean, with a body honed to an edge just as keen as the red and bronze blade she held loosely in one black clad hand. Her hair was a held aloft in a simple ponytail, but for all that it did not detract from her looks. Her hair was crimson so profound it seemed nothing less ethereal in appearance. It was too bold, too intense for anything other than a being not born of this world.

Her features were well defined and held an air of soft, understated beauty that few could ever hope to match. And her eyes… her eyes were unlike anything he'd ever seen. They held an incredible depth, so many facets and secrets he doubted he would ever understand her fully. So much like the precious emeralds they resembled.

She was gorgeous, there was no doubt about it, but that isn't what had Jaune so spellbound. No, when Jaune looked at her he saw more than her beauty.

He heard a song of silk and steel. On his tongue was the heady taste of wine and blood. In his lungs the galvanising smell of spring and ashes. Across his body ghosted the touch of pleasure and pain. In his heart lay the sensation of victory and defeat.

She was a veritable walking collection of contradictions. As if the universe deigned to condense all its opposing forces in one mortal form. The kindness in her demeanour offset by the body of a warrior.

She was life and death. She was dark and light. She was yin and yang. She was push and pull.

She was Pyrrha Nikos and she made his blood sing.

Pyrrha had finally found him. The other, that illusive being she had searched for her entire life.

She'd caught glimpses before, in those oft confusing visions she'd received through the span of her life. Glimpses of burnished silver armour, a bulwark of strength. A shield, embossed with two yellow crescents, steadfast in defence of the light. A blade, plain but beautiful, held aloft to carve out the heart of the darkness.

Once, long ago, she would have doubted herself. There was no concrete reason for her to put so much stock in what amounted to dreams or hallucinations, was there? She knew better than that, however.

There was a reason Pyrrha Nikos was the best warrior to come out of Sanctum Academy in generations. She held no doubt she was naturally talented and she had worked hard... but there was something more. She practiced her forms, went through her katas, followed every instruction to the tee. Some would say she learnt at a prodigious rate.

If you knew her well, she would tell you it was because she remembered. Almost every action, nearly all strikes came to her with incredible ease, like a veil lifted from her mind. It was not often that she found something that she didn't feel like she had always known. And when she did come across something new her ability to learn these skills at an incredible pace is what assured her of her own, natural ability.

She did not truly understand how she had these pseudo-memories, why she felt a warrior born. She'd always known, with unshakable conviction that she would be a hunter. It was almost an inability, she had no mind to even contemplate an alternative lifestyle. She was a warrior, a fighter, a defender and a slayer. The blade had always been one of her truest, most essential companions.

One of.

There was an emptiness, a vacancy in her life that she had not been able to fill. A hole in her heart, in her soul. It was an absence that could only be filled with golden hair, the colour of sunflowers in summer. Of shy smiles, speaking of boundless humility and determination. With eyes of a blue so brilliant she felt the depth of the ocean could never compare.

And here he was. She could feel him, a draw unlike she had ever felt before. He felt like home, of comfort and rest. He felt like strength, he leant her boundless hope and faith in her self. He was a protector, the ever present woes of the world attempting to bring him down, to weaken his resolve but he stood tall. He was light, love and energy. She could feel it. He had been Pyrrha's rock, her foundation, her world. At the sight of him, the familiar veil was lifted away and Pyrrha knew.

Jaune Arc was the other and they would help each other remember.

"Did you hear that?" Jaune asks as he and Pyrrha walk through the forest. She was beyond relieved that she had managed to find him during initiation. Still, there was distinct bother for Pyrrha as she walked with her newly minted partner. She glances at him from the corner of her eye, once again trying to determine what was missing. She nods distractedly as she hears the tell-tale barks of dust weaponry.

"Gunfire. It seems some of our comrades have encountered the enemy." She muses, not breaking her stride. Without conscious thought she pushes a long, thick low-hanging branch out of the way. As she passes she releases it, only to be rewarded with a meaty 'thwack' and a startled yelp. She spins around near instantly, weapon primed but is confronted only with Jaune, laid out his back, a gash across one cheek. With a quick flick of her eyes she looks at the branch and puts the pieces together. "Jaune! I'm sorry!" She apologises, feeling truly guilty for not warning him.

"It's okay. Just a scratch!" He laughs her off, standing up and dusting down his clothes. Pyrrha tilts her head to the side slightly, scrutinising the small cut on his cheek.

"Why didn't you activate your Aura?" Pyrrha asks, confused as to why he had even allowed the branch to strike his body in the first place. Jaune gives her a blank look.


"Your Aura." She reiterates, a touch of disbelief colouring her voice.

"Gesundheit." Jaune says. Pyrrha almost laughs, until she realises he isn't joking.

"Jaune, do you... know what Aura is?" She asks levelly.

"Psch! Of course I do! Do you know what Aura is?"

She gives him a piercing look, with a raised brow and he near instantly deflates, giving her all the answer she needs.

"Aura is the manifestation of our soul. It bears our burdens and shields our hearts. Have you ever felt you were being watched without knowing that someone was there?"

"Uh... yeah." Jaune admits, face contorted in concentration and remembrance.

"With practice, our Aura can be our shield. Everyone has it, even animals."

"What about monsters?"

"No. The monsters we fight lack a soul. They are creatures of Grimm, the manifestation of anonymity. They are the darkness, and we are the light." Pyrrha says, twirling Akoúo̱, her offensive weapon, through her dextrous fingers.

"Right, that's why we fight them!" Jaune says enthusiastically.

"It's not about why; it's about knowing. Understanding dark and light helps us manifest our Aura. Everyone has some of both." Pyrrha says with a shake of her head, flipping her weapon idly in her hand. "By baring your soul outward as a force, you can deflect harm. All of our tools and equipment are conduits for Aura. You protect yourself and your soul when fighting."

"It's like a force field!" Jaune says happily. Pyrrha gives him an amused look.

"Yes, if you want to look at it that way." She concedes. She sheathes her weapons, putting both on her back. Walking up to him she looks him straight in the eyes, an odd feeling of deja vu stealing over her. "Now, close your eyes and concentrate." She instructs.

"Uhh... Okay." Jaune complies with a shrug. She reaches up, placing a gloved hand on his face. Reaching within herself, she calls up her Aura, allowing the mystical energy to flow freely up her arm. She reaches for Jaune's Aura, slowly searching for his hidden well of power.

She feels a call, a resonance within his being that could only be his Aura. Slowly she reaches forth with her own, hoping to coax his dormant strength to the fore. Suddenly, unexpectedly, her Aura surges forth, twining and pulling deeply at Jaune's own. Her eyes fly open in surprise as her essence interlaces with Jaune's, an inexplicably intricate weave forming within. Seemingly of their own volition, words tumble from her mouth.

"For it is in passing that we achieve immortality. Through this, we become a paragon of virtue and glory to rise above all, infinite in distance and unbound by death." Her bracer glad arm reaches up to palm his heart. "I release your soul, and by my shoulder protect thee."

Her open eyes discern nothing of the world around them, but are not unseeing. Visions of an age past, of darkness and desperation. Of heroes and the triumph of humanity against the forces that would eradicate them. Memories of another self, of love lost, gained and a life lived.

Similarly, Jaune finds himself in the world within his mind. Armies of men, leaders and mere soldiers alike seeking his guidance. Always at the forefront, leading the charge, whether in battle or at home. He commanded his life almost completely. Almost, except for one thing...

Pyrrha stared at Jaune, heart racing. The image of a woman, strong and fair, overlapped the reality of the growing man in front of her. He most certainly did not have the same small, deceptively petite build that she had, despite her formidable power. No, they were truly very different... except for the eyes. Bright and irrepressibly blue. They say that eyes are the windows to the soul, and these are eyes that Pyrrha were very, very familiar with.

"Joan?" She asks tentatively, hoping against hope.

Jaune stares at Pyrrha, a bright smile creeping onto his face. He could see in her the same traits seen in him. That grace, that inimitable fluidity. Her sureness and her virtue. They even looked much the same. There was no doubt in his mind.

"Achilles." He says warmly, laughter bubbling his chest. With a cry she rushes forward, slamming into him and lifting him in a crushing hug. The force behind her arms turns his laughter slightly wheezy but it does nothing to repress his happiness. "Air!" He chokes out, trying to reprimand her with a look, but failing, the wide smile on his face betraying him.

As she releases him and he takes a deep breath, he is unable to halt a few small chuckles at her exuberant greeting. Her own smile is beaming and she opens her mouth to say something but then a incalculable look flickers behind her eyes; she pauses and frowns.

"Mon feu?" He asks, instantly worried by her sudden change in mood.

"You're taller than me." She says through pursed lips. Disbelief, that is all he feels for a moment. Then he starts laughing again, until he is hunched over and breathless. "Fila mou to kolo!" She grumbles at him, crossing her arms and pouting. Jaune looks up, stifling his laughter and giving her another warm smile.

He walks slowly forward, pulling her into a hug, placing his head at the crook of her neck. She relaxes near instantly, reaching up and returning the gentle embrace. They stand, ignoring the world for a few minutes, feeling nothing but the other and the synchronous beating of their hearts.

They separate, locking gazes for one moment. Pyrrha gives Jaune a sly smile, eliciting a small blush on his cheeks. She chuckles.

"Still as bashful as ever."

Jaune sighs at her, giving her an exasperated look. It is with this look that he realises something rather important.

"You make a much prettier woman than you ever did a man." He says with a definite quirk to his lips.

"I'll have you know I have always made a gorgeous woman." Pyrrha says with faux haughtiness.

"When in the world did you dress as a woman?"

"I wasn't all that keen on the idea of the war at first, so..." Pyrrha shrugs, then gives him a sidelong glance. "You aren't the only one allowed to cross-dress, Joan."

Jaune laughs sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. "It was just so much easier getting things done without wearing a dress all day."

"Hear hear." Pyrrha agrees with a laugh. "Pyrrha never has liked dresses overmuch."

"Speaking in third person, are we?" Jaune asks with a raised brow. Pyrrha shrugs, looking contemplative.

"It's strange. I am Achilles, but I am also Pyrrha Nikos. I don't really know how to describe it."

Jaune nods in reply, looking equally thoughtful. "I understand. I am both Jaune Arc and Joan of Arc." He pauses, blinking slowly. "I've just realised I am probably my own ancestor."

Pyrrha pauses, oddly startled by the thought, then laughs. "That is strange."

"With the way you look, you seem to be in the same boat." Jaune points out.

"I do look rather similar to how I used to be." Pyrrha agrees. "You however, not so much." She says, making a so-so gesture with her hand.

"Well, I think I have the same features but just... bigger I guess." Jaune gestures to himself as a whole.

Pyrrha looks at him, taking in his increased height and sighs dejectedly. "I've noticed."

Jaune snorts at her. "I never knew you were so vested in being taller than me."

"Man's prerogative." She replies instantly, then blinks slowly at what she had just said. Jaune smiles smugly.


"Wow this is strange." Pyrrha says after a few moments. "It's almost as if I was turned suddenly into a woman, but I've the experience of growning up as one as well." She shakes her head.

Jaune shrugs, stretching slightly. "It's not so bad. Jaune and Joan are rather alike, really."

"Oh?" Pyrrha exclaims curiously.

"Considering I've just become Joan of Arc reborn, I don't think it is so strange that I, as Jaune, am so alike." He pauses. "Though Jaune is much goofier than Joan ever was. That's the biggest difference, really."

Pyrrha hums, twirling Akoúo̱ without much conscious thought. "You're right. But it seems Pyrrha is a lot more serious than Achilles."

"You do seem a little less playful than before." Jaune hedges.

"You seem more so than Joan." Pyrrha says with a nod. "Somehow I don't feel all together that different."

"Neither." Jaune agrees.

"...You honestly don't feel much different as a man?" Pyrrha asks after a moments silence.

"I spent half of my life as Joan pretending to be a man." Jaune points out. "Really, the change isn't so huge. I imagine it might be a little more... strange for you, Pyrrha."

She nods. "Achilles is most definitely a man. Pyrrha is definitely a woman. Being both leaves me rather... muddled."

Jaune takes a few seconds to think. "I am more Jaune than Joan, I think." Pyrrha gives him an intense look and he elaborates. "Joan lived her life, and while I have her memories... the life I am living, right now, I am living as Jaune, does that make sense?"

"I... think so." Pyrrha says slowly. "I feel the same way, now that I think about it." She sighs. "Doesn't mean it won't be confusing sometimes."

"Ah, ma cherie, it'll be alright." Jaune says cheerily. Pyrrha gives him a warm smile. A loud explosion echoing in the distance has them both instantly alert, weapons drawn. Jaune turns to Pyrrha. "I think we got a little sidetracked. We should probably talk later."

Pyrrha nods in agreement, then gives Jaune an exaggerated wink. "I've a lot more in mind than just talking."

Jaune blushes furiously and Pyrrha laughs, walking gaily through the trees, swinging her hips purposefully.


"Merde! That," Jaune begins, ducking beneath the flying chunks of wood hurtling at him from behind. "was a terrible idea."

Pyrrha grunts affirmatively, jumping over a fallen log and resuming her headlong sprint. She raises her shield to the right to deflect a pincer of the furious Deathstalker behind them. Both are running headlong through the woods, doing their level best to lose the enraged Grimm that is hot on their tails.

"Well now we know that the cave probably didn't have the relic." Pyrrha points out pragmatically.

"Yes, well, sorry about this." He says as he weaves his way between the trees, trying to place as many obstructions in the beast's path as he can.

"It could be worse." Pyrrha says with a laugh, leaping over some tangling bushes.

"No doubt." Jaune agrees, rolling in order to avoid the deadly stinger plunging into the earth he previous occupied. "We aren't really doing a good job of getting away." He muses, huffing slightly. They run without communicating for a handful of minutes, focusing completely on avoiding becoming lunch for the monster chasing them.

"Hey Jaune, can you still do that thing with the shield?"

"Block things?"

"No, ass, the trick with the light!"

"Let's find out!" He yells, spinning place and grounding his footing. The giant scorpion Grimm zeroes in on his stationary profile, making a beeline to tear him apart. As it approaches it is peppered by shots courtesy of Pyrrha's rifle, slowing it down minutely. Jaune takes advantage of this, hefting his shield and focusing his Aura. He senses the myriad of channels of Dust crystals contained within and saturates them with his power, calling up an Glyph matrix for his dust spell.

The small white runic matrix he summons on his shield is octagonal in shape, with a collection of smaller geometrical shapes and runes spinning within. In a burst, an incredibly intense blast of light reflects off his shield. This light causes the Grimm to screech in pain, tripping and falling over, thrashing wildly in its temporary blindness.

"Let's go!" Pyrrha yells, surging away from the temporarily incapacitated beast. Jaune follows, making haste to get away from what he bets is one incredibly angry Deathstalker. He blinks away some spots in his vision as he runs, as even with his eyes closed the light was almost overwhelming.

"I'm lucky I have Joan's weaponry." Jaune says aloud. "I haven't really thought about it but it's rather spectacular that my old gear survived so well."

"Is it?" Pyrrha questions. "Hephaestus was the greatest smith of our age for a reason."


"I'm more surprised that I have my shield."

Jaune looks slightly startled. "That is your old shield?"

"Yes." She says with a nod. "I never did adopt a surname but I must be descended from... myself... and this some sort of heirloom."

"Good old Hephaestus really did do an excellent job then." Jaune mutters. "A shame you never commissioned a weapon."

Pyrrha shrugs, moving to jog next to him. "Akoúo̱ serves me well. I love the versatility. I doubt I'd replace it even if I were able to ask Hephaestus to forge me a weapon."

"Boys and their toys." Jaune muses, then momentarily pauses in his jog as he realises what he had just said. Pyrrha shoots him an amused glance. "That is going to get annoying." He tells her. She huffs an affirmative laugh as they move into a clearing.

Not from them are the ruins that Ozpin had mentioned earlier in the day. Standing at the entrance were Yang and the girl that had been identified to Jaune by Ruby earlier as Blake.

"Hey guys!" Jaune says brightly as they approach. Blake gives him a small, chest high splay of the fingers as her hello. Yang gives him a cheeky grin and a wave.

"Hey vomit boy!"

"Cracker." He says in reply. All three women give him a strange, sidelong look. "Firecracker." He elaborates.

"Ohhh." Yang exclaims. "Yeah, you might want to stick with that."

Jaune snorts, shaking his head and looking at all the relics. A collection of chess pieces lay in front of him. Pyrrha strides by, promptly scooping up a golden rook. "All good?" He asks Pyrrha, getting a thumbs up in reply.

"Hey, how did you know about my semblance?" Yang wonders, turning to Jaune.

"I think everyone in the hall saw Ruby toasting marshmallows on you last night." Jaune says with a grin. Blake chuckles in the background.

"You can use your semblance to toast marshmallows?" The black haired girl asks Yang, who shrugs with a smile.

"You can use it to cook just about anything if you really want. I've heard that steak-a-la-Yang is pretty great."

"We'll have to try it sometime." Pyrrha muses, sidling up to the group. Reaching out she offers a hand to Yang. "Pyrrha Nikos." She says with a smile. Yang gives her hand a firm shake, coupled with a grin. "Yang Xiao-Long, nice to meet ya'."

"You too." Pyrrha says, before turning to Blake and repeating the gesture.

"Blake Belladonna." Blake says, giving the proffered hand a shake.

"Nice to meet you." Pyrrha says, before pointing to Jaune. "This lump is Jaune Arc."

Jaune looks at Pyrrha indignantly, before puffing out his chest. "Jaune Arc, scion and heir of the noble house of Arc, greatest of the clans in the north." He says stuffily, holding his composure for all of a second at the group's incredulous faces. "Every time." He says, wiping the tears of laughter from his eyes. He turns back to Blake. "S'up, I'm Jaune."

Blake looks pretty amused, giving him a grin. "S'up." She says blithely. Jaune is surprised when Blake's bow twitches slightly and her head snaps up, eyes narrowing. "Yang, isn't that your sister?" She asks. Yang's swings her head around to watch the falling form of her little sister.

"Heeeaaaads uppppppp!" Ruby yells as she falls, flailing wildly.

"I got her!" Jaune says, taking off in a sprint.

"Go long!" Pyrrha yells to Jaune, who snorts at her attitude. As Ruby approaches the ground, he gathers his Aura around his back, seeing if he had kept his old semblance. Much to his pleasure (and relief) he had. Two great, opalescent feathery wings of white Aura sprout from between his shoulders. Jumping with all his momentum accompanied by some massive wing beats he soars through the sky, intercepting the airborne Ruby. Ruby stares up at Jaune, looking equally startled and awed. As the reach nearer the ground, his wings once again beat furiously, allowing him to land in a moderate slide, kicking up some dirt and debris.

"Touchdown!" He yells over his shoulder to his partner.

"You can fly?" Ruby asks breathlessly, causing Jaune to switch his attention back to her, nothing that seemed rather envious. Jaune chuckles a little sheepishly, putting the young scythe wielder back on her own feet.

"Yeah, pretty much." He admits.

"That's awesome!" Ruby cheers, fist pumping enthusiastically. "You have to take me some time!

"Sure, crater face." Jaune says with a wink. Ruby looks torn between celebrating going flying and being angry at him for calling her an offensive nickname. She settles for a sulky pout. As they walk back to the group, he notices with no small amount of amusement that Pyrrha had magnetised many of her rifle rounds and has them arranged mid air to form a definite '7'.

"A seven?"

"Your landing was a tad off." Pyrrha explains with a grin. Yang chuckles at the both of them, before turning to her little sister.

"Ruby!" The blonde haired warrior called.

"Yang!" Her little sister replied.

"NORA!" A young mans voice called out behind them, startling the group. A series of excited whoops and hollers echo through the forest, often accompanied by bangs and explosive sounds. Not a minute later a flailing Ursa stumbles from behind the trees. It stiffens and falls prone when a pink burst of dust appears from its back. Along with this dust came an orange haired young woman, who was currently poking and prodding the obviously dead Ursa.

"Aw I broke it." She said despondently as a green clad teenager came into view.

"Nora," He huffed. "Don't ever do that again." He looks up only to notice her apparent escape, having dashed inside the ruins without so much as a how-do-you-do.

"I'm queen of the castle! I'm queen of the castle~!" She sings exuberantly, dashing to and fro, posing with her newly acquired relic.

"No-ra!" The green clad man calls again, his voice getting her attention, causing the girl identified as Nora to come to a salute.

"Sorry Ren!" She says loudly, gesturing for him to come and join the group. Soon enough both have approached, and some small introductions were made. Some being the keyword. Ren was quiet and polite. Nora was energetic to the extreme, her personality was so ostentatiously bubbly it was almost overwhelming.

"So, what exactly are we waiting for." Jaune asks, looking around at the assembled group.

"Weiss." Ruby says instantly.

"Your partner?" Blake asks with a sympathetic frown. Ruby nods, a little glum.

"It'll work out sis." Yang consoles, throwing an arm over Ruby's shoulder and pulling her into a sisterly hug.

"Speaking of Weiss, where is she?" Jaune prompts, looking over at the suddenly sheepish Ruby, who slowly looks up. Far above them a Giant Nevermore circles slowly. Narrowing his eyes, Jaune spots the white speck dangling off the end of a claw.

"How could you leave me?" A distant voice calls accusingly. Jaune turns to look slowly at Ruby.

"I said jump!" Ruby calls out.

"She's gonna fall." Blake says, not sounding unhappy about that prospect in the slightest.

"She'll be fine." Ruby denies.

"She's falling." Ren informs dryly.

The entire group turns to look at Jaune. "What?" He asks, feeling uncomfortable.

"Go catch her!" Ruby exclaims. Jaune frowns at her, putting his hand on his hips.

"Isn't she your partner?"

"Yeah but I don't have wings." Ruby retorts. Jaune blinks slowly, shuffling his Aura wings slightly.

"Oh, right." He says lamely, before his face colours slightly in embarrassment. He promptly turns around and dashes toward the falling form of Weiss, who is still high above him. As she grows closer he flaps his wings, rising gustily straight up into the air. Eventually he reaches her, catching her in his arms much like he did Ruby. He chuckles when he notices her flushed features, possibly from the wind or her current predicament. The descent is relatively slow, and Jaune sets Weiss down gently as they both reach the earth in a few airy flaps.

"Thank you." Weiss says stiffly, looking embarrassed and a tad peeved.

"Don't worry about it." Jaune waves her off. "Let's get back to the group." He says, quickly turning around to rejoin the gathering hunter initiates. Jaune walks next to Pyrrha, leaning in to whisper. "Amour, quand le Deathstalker retourner?" He notices out of the corner of his eye that Blake's bow twitches once more, before she turned to face Pyrrha and Jaune with a look of intense curiosity.

"I'd say it should be back-" Pyrrha begins, as a gigantic series of crashing and splintering noises interrupt her musing. "right about now." She finishes as the previously blinded Deathstalker tore into the clearing with wild abandon.

"Great, the gangs all here, now we can all die together!" Yang cheers sarcastically.

"Not if I can help it!" Ruby says determinedly, before cocking her weapon and dashing off toward the Deathstalker. Jaune is stunned, incredulous at the stupidity of a junior hunter attempting to engage a Deathstalker at close range, one on one.

"Ruby!" Yang yells, startled by her sister's foolish actions. "Ruby, wait!" As Ruby reaches the Deathstalker she is promptly knocked back, but seems unharmed, if a little shaken.

"D-Do-Don't worry! Totally fine!" She turns around shooting the Deathstalker once to boost her speed before sheathing her scythe and making a run for it.

"Ruby!" Yang runs forward, Pyrrha not far behind her. Jaune takes off after them and almost trips when Weiss blurs by with incredible speed. Above them the Nevermore roars, before unleashing a barrage of pinions to skewer everyone in a huge area. The pinions catch up to Ruby, pinning her cloak to the ground, allowing the Deathstalker to quickly gain ground. Yang lurches forward, heedless of the deadly projectiles hurtling toward her, intent on saving her sister. Pyrrha dashes in front of her, causing her to come to a sliding halt as she protects them both, deflecting all nearby projectiles with her sword and shield.

"Ruby, get out of there!" Yang screams desperately, fear building in her chest as she watches her helpless sister and the monster not twenty feet away from her.

"I'm trying!" Ruby yells, tugging feverishly on her cloak. The Deathstalker raises its giant, golden pincer in anticipation to spear the young girl in front of it.

"Ruby!" Yang calls out in anguish, reaching vainly for her sister. Ruby flinches, bringing up her arms in a pointless attempt to preserve her life, one last ditch defense against the Grimm that was about to end her. A series of cracks, hisses and groans echo around her and she is startled when she doesn't feel the sudden, excruciating pain of her imminent death.

"You are so childish!" Weiss scolds, watching an obviously shocked Ruby open her eyes uncomprehendingly.

"Weiss...?" She ventures, noticing the sizeable wall of ice surrounding them. Weiss plucks her rapier, smoothly sliding it out the construct of frozen water.

"And dim-witted, and hyperactive, and don't even get me started on your fighting style. And I suppose I can be a bit... difficult... but if we're going to do this, we're going to have to do this together. So if you quit trying to show off, I'll be... nicer." Weiss says, making deliberate eye contact with Ruby, doing her best to convey honesty and understanding. Ruby nods, beyond relieved at the turn of events.

"I'm not trying to show off. I want you to know I can do this." Ruby says quietly. Weiss gives her a considering look.

"You're fine." She returns softly, walking away.

Yang runs forward, noticing Ruby muttering something to herself under her breath. "Woah!" Ruby yelps as the Deathstalker causes the ice to crack, doing its best to remove it's frozen stinger.

Ruby is barely on her feet when Yang lifts her in a tight, relieved hug. "So happy you're okay!" Yang says, ignoring the burning of tears in her eyes. Ruby returns the hug, doing her best to reassure her shaken sister. When the ice cracks again they both start, before looking uneasily at the thrashing beast.

Behind them, as Weiss is walking past, Jaune has an idea and turns to his partner.

"Hey Pyrrha, you have a spare vial of red?" He asks. Pyrrha doesn't answer, merely raising one eyebrow in question whilst she reaches into a pouch at her side and then tosses him a small metal vial.

"Cheers." He says, popping it open. Weiss pauses, looking at him.

"What are you going to do with that?"

He winks at her. "Just watch." He says, putting his shield on his back. With a deft flourish, he hefts his blade and holds it flat, sprinkling the dust down the length of the blade evenly. Once it is empty, he pockets the vial and closes his eyes. With a low hum and burst of his Aura, the sword ignites in a roar of yellow-white flame. "Ruby, Yang, get clear!" He yells, taking off in into the air, in the equivalent of a giant leap. Yang and Ruby both scramble away as he glides over the half-frozen Deathstalker, his blade leaving a blazing white-gold trail in its wake.

He lands behind the beast and turns sharply, facing it once more. With a deep breath he calls his Aura, moulding it to summon a large runic matrix around him. At his feat lay a huge octagonal shape, once more filled with runes and small geometrical designs. Pulling on his Aura sharply, he drains a huge chunk to fuel the spell, using Crocea Mors as the focus. With a elegant spin, the blade is pointed to the earth, held aloft in a poised, two handed grip. His wings flare as he yells an inarticulate cry, plunging the burning blade deep within the ground.

From the buried blade all around him cracks form in the earth, spewing up dirt and grass in gouts of flame. The earth crumbles, the grass turning black as more and more golden fire spews fourth from the innumerable crevices now found in the ground. He quickly takes to the air, escaping the devastation he caused. The Deathstalker scrambles and roars in pain and fury as the spell starts to take its toll. The more it struggles, the more it sinks into the scorching hot, loose dirt. Within moments it is firmly stuck in the ground, its roars growing weaker as it is roasted alive by flames contained within the earth. It barely moves when the ice shatters and falls apart, melting in great wisps of steam as it comes into contact with the superheated ground.

Jaune glides casually over to a slightly stunned looking group, bar Pyrrha, who looks mostly satisfied.

"You owe me a vial of red." She informs him casually.

"I just torch a Deathstalker and that's the kind of reception I get? Feeling the love, Pyrrha."

"Don't get used to it." She says dryly.

"What spell was that?" Weiss cuts in, her eyes alight with curiosity.

"Consecration, an old Arc family technique." Jaune tells her.

"I wasn't aware the Arc's practiced much magic." Weiss says with a raised brow.

"Most don't get into much traditional magic, but almost everyone picks up a few family techniques." Jaune says with a shrug. "I am a bit atypical in that I'm primarily a caster and not a swordsman, as opposed to the other way around."

Weiss cocks her head slightly to the side, as if considering the Jaune in front of her. "Hmm."

"You can check me out later, Snow Angel." He ignores her indignant sputtering, jogging back to the collected group and pointing upward. "That thing's circling back, what are we gonna do?"

"We'll break it's legs!" Nora yells loudly, pointing dramatically at the flying Nevermore.

"Ok, well, that could work if we could get to it's legs." Jaune says with a grin.

Blake points at Jaune. "How draining on your Aura is it to use those wings?"

Jaune flairs his wings, inspecting them casually. "Barely anything." He says, getting a variety of incredulous looks. "Pulling them up and putting them away is by far more draining; I'd walk around with them out all the time but people tend to stare."

Ren makes a 'hmm'ing noise, inspecting Jaune. "You think you could fly one of us up there."


"So someone needs to go with Jaune to crash the Nevermore." Ruby thinks aloud. "Any ideas?"

"Well I have a few spells that I could use as back up." Jaune shrugs. "But I think someone that can correct their course after I throw them at the Nevermore would be best."

Pyrrha sighs, shaking her head when Jaune looks at her questioningly. "I don't have the ability to change direction mid-air."

"I do." Blake interjects. "I can get on top of it."

"Me too." Yang shrugs lightly. "But I think Blake's a better choice. I'm probably a lot heavier."

"I knew those boobs would come back to haunt you someday." Ruby says ominously. Yang snorts, ruffling her sisters hair.

"Worth it."

"Ok. Blake, lets go crash that bird." Jaune says with a grin. Blake rolls her eyes but walks toward him.

"Alright, how are we going to do this?"

"Trapeze style, I'll carry you upside down." Blake nods and Jaune jumps into the air. Blake jumps up after him, flipping lazily through the air and Jaune catches her with crossed arms by the knees. "Thank you for choosing Arc airlines! Please keep any pointy objects away from the captain's goods at all times." Jaune says as they gain altitude. Blake snorts below him, but angles her blades away from the body of her aerial escort.

As they fly upwards at a decent speed, the Nevermore obviously sees them approaching. Apparently, it isn't happy to share the sky and speeds toward them. Jaune flies toward their avian foe and Blake readies her weapons. When they come within range, Jaune flares his wings and soars upwards. "Get ready!" He yells as he angles backwards, falling into a large loop. He swings Blake in a huge, summersaulting arc, building up momentum before he releases her, sending her careening toward the flying Grimm. As Blake comes near, the Grimm banks in an attempt to dodge but Blake intercepts, using a clone jump to land on the back of the beast.

With a roar, the monster slows, doing its best to dislodge the unwanted passenger. Blake does an impressive job of keep her balance whilst simultaneously cleaving the back of her foe with a multitude of sweeping strikes. As she distracts the bird, Jaune has an idea. Flying upward, he goes far above the airborne battle below him. Once he feels he has reached a sufficient height, he calls up some of his waning Aura reserves, forming a magical matrix on his shield. With a soft glow, the shield absorbs the matrix, fortifying it for the next few minutes. Angling downwards, he goes into a full dive, shield propped with both hands in front of him.

Blake is having a hard time dealing significant damage to the damned bird, all her strikes either bouncing off the matted feathers or leaving superficial wounds. And the Grimm is growing more agitated, intensifying its attempts to dislodge her from its back. She is running out of ideas to hurt it when she feels an Aura flare above her. Looking up, she watches as Jaune dives toward the beast. With all the force of battering ram, Jaune smashes into the the skull of the Nevermore shield first, cracking the mask and causing the beast to jerk violently downwards. Blake is thrown off the Nevermore by the force of the blow, sending her falling through the sky.

Before she can really start to panic, Jaune catches her and they watch as the stunned Nevermore plummets toward the ground. They fly down as quickly as Jaune's weary body allows, landing not long after the Grimm. The beast had managed to right itself to some extent, landing with flared wings in a series of short, unsteady hops.

"Now!" Ruby yells, apparently instigating an attack plan that had been formulated when Blake and Jaune were in the air. Ruby zooms forward, scything a leg from beneath the Grimm, causing it to squawk and wobble unsteadily. Ren mirrors this action, gun-blades out, whipping them in flurry of cuts on the other leg. As the beast gets ready to fall Yang dashes forward next, unleashing a flaming, corkscrewing, jumping uppercut to the Nevermore's jaw. The force of the blow lays the monster out on it's back, falling over, wings splayed and clawed feet haplessly in the air. Pyrrha braces herself, shield up and Nora jumps on her. Simultaneously jumping as Nora fires her hammer, the orange haired girl is sent skyward and the ground beneath Pyrrha explodes outward from the force.

Nora giggles excitedly the entire way up, calling a warcry as she reaches the apex and firing her warhammer. In a series of flips she builds up speed and power until her weapon meets the chest of the Nevermore in a mighty crack. The sound of shattering bones fills the clearing, as the Nevermore gives a gurgling, pained roar. The force of the blow causes a deluge of black blood to spew fourth from the throat of the downed Grimm.

Jaune whistles at the well planned carnage, sweeping his gaze over the collected victorious initiates.

"Do you think we pass?"

His only answer is Blake's soft laughter.



'Mon feu.' = 'My flame.' in French.

'Merde!' = 'Fuck!' in French.

'Ma cherie.' = 'My dear.' in French

'Amour, quand le Deathstalker retourner?' = 'Love, when will the Deathstalker return?' in French.

'Fila mou to kolo.' = 'Kiss my ass.' in Greek.

I used google translate, if anything is wrong, feel free to provide a correction and I'll edit that right in, along with a written thanks in my next chapter. :)

I just had this idea and couldn't resist. I know I have a lot of stories going on, but I thought I'd get my foot in the door on this one.

I had the idea of the cant that Pyrrha uses to unlock Jaune's Aura being more than it seems at first glance in 'Students of the Fourth.' Paired with me having an itch to do something with Pyrrha's inspired character being Achilles and you have this story.

I honestly don't know where it is going to go, so any and all updates will occur when ideas for plot come to me. It definitely won't be one of my focuses, though.