Hey guys, Myareska here with my first ever fanfic! Well, first one I've actually published anyways, but that's besides the point.

RWBY has been something I've come to love over the past few years since its inception, and I honestly feel like its world has so much potential, so here's my take on the life of one Jaune Arc. This is going to be slightly AU, as Jaune is going to start off as a student at Signal for the first bit of this fic. It might be quite some time before we reach anything canon, but i hope you guys will enjoy the ride!

Now, to the beginning!

Signal Academy: one of Vale's own intermediate-level combat schools. Situated on the island of Patch just off Vale's coast, Signal teaches its students a variety of disciplines, not excluding wilderness survival, hand to hand combat, weapon-based combat, Dust handling, and Aura manipulation.

Many graduates of Signal Academy go on to pursue careers in either law enforcement or the military. However, Jaune Arc wasn't the type of person to settle for second best; He wanted to be a Huntsman, like his father, and he was going to be one of the best.

If only his grades were better...

The hunter aspirant let out a heavy sigh as he absentmindedly made his way 'home'. Home being a small apartment suite that had been cheap to rent, yet close enough to Signal that walking wouldn't take an hour or two out of his day. While living alone in the apartment required nearly his entire monthly allowance his parents granted him, financially, it was worth it. Otherwise, taking a ferry from the mainland to Patch and back every day was very taxing for both his wallet and his time.

...And on his stomach. Being motion sick sucked.

Jaune had always wanted to go to Signal himself, as opposed to one of the other combat schools Vale had. Signal had been where his dad had gone, after all, and Jaune's father was one of the best Huntsmen he knew. Sure, if you spent enough time on the internet, you see stories and hear rumors of the feats of many a Huntsman or Huntress, but to Jaune, the Huntsmen in the news broadcasts or plastered all over magazines didn't feel real.

His dad did.

The blond couldn't help but shiver as a chilly breeze hit him, as if to remind him that fall was nearly over. It still hadn't snowed, thankfully, but in the past three years, Jaune had learned the weather on Patch could be... unreliable at best. It could be bright and sunny one moment, then there'd be flurries the next. It wasn't unusual for the weather on Patch to be completely different from mainland Vale, either - something to do with the ocean currents or something.

Maybe it'd be prudent to invest in a warmer coat before the seasons began to shift?

Jaune shook that thought off immediately as he began the short ascent up his apartment complex's stairs. He couldn't afford to make any unnecessary purchases. He'd just have to grab one of his old coats from home when he went back for the holidays.

Until then, he figured, the cold would further strengthen his body and mind.

Heh, yeah. That sounded about right.

Upon reaching his floor, Jaune spotted something... peculiar as he proceeded to walk down the hall: a small cardboard box sitting right outside his door.

A package for me?

Instantly his thoughts went back to home, and he wondered if perhaps his mother, being the thoughtful person she was, had sent him a winter coat preemptively. She was always prepared for anything and everything. Jaune supposed she needed to be, having eight children and all.

The blond picked up the package, elated to find that on closer inspection it had indeed been sent from home, but Jaune was ultimately curious as to what it contained. It was too small to be a winter coat, even if it had been forced inside, and it had an odd weight to it. After fiddling with his keys for a moment, the boy let himself in.

Jaune strode forward, gently placing the box on his bed - in case it was fragile - before heading into his bathroom to have a shower. Whatever was in the box, it wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.

...He hoped.

The hot water did wonders in soothing the aching pains from sparring earlier. Jaune poked and prodded at a bruise on his collarbone, wincing at the pressure he put on the minor wound. Not having his aura unlocked had always taken its toll in practice fights, but he understood why his father wanted to put that off for as long as possible.

He was becoming a better fighter by not having to rely his Aura, but it put other students head and shoulders above him in their combat scores. Fights between two combatants with Aura were worth much more than a practice match between two students who did not have their's activated.

Not that the boy thought he could easily beat someone just because he had Aura, no. Jaune wasn't exactly the best fighter at Signal, but he certainly wasn't the worst; he likened himself to being at the middle of the pack. While he was at the top of the students who hadn't had their Auras unlocked, odds are he'd lose if he went up against even the last place student among those who had their aura unlocked.

He was just happy the students without Aura had to use practice weapons. Otherwise his wounds would be a lot more serious, if not fatal.

Finished with his shower, Jaune toweled himself off before getting into his onesie, the comfortable blue fabric soft against his skin. It was likely he wasn't going to be leaving the apartment until he had to head out for classes the next day, so in his eyes, it was perfectly acceptable to get into his pajamas at five in the afternoon.

Now he was comfortable.

Grabbing the knife he kept under his pillow – a good habit for a Huntsman, according to his current teacher – Jaune carefully cut the tape that sealed the package.

First thing out of the package was a letter, addressed to him from his mother, as he'd expected. She'd never liked sending lengthy messages through scrolls, so ink and paper was what Jaune had become accustomed to receiving from her. With the proximity to the Color Holidays, he'd been expecting one anyways.

'Dearest Jaune,

I do hope things are going well over at Signal. Your father is out on a mission right now, and your younger sisters have been spending a lot of time out of the house as of late. It's been pretty lonely here at home. I've had a lot of time to myself recently; time to myself means time to think, to reflect. I certainly would think you're working as hard as you can, right Jaune?'

There was a slight sting of guilt at that. Jaune had indeed been working hard, but results were hard to get – and what really mattered.

'But don't forget it's important to take breaks. Don't work yourself to the bone like I did in my youth. Oh, you should have seen what I was like when I was younger. I was quite the little warrior myself. It's how I met your father, actually. I attended Beacon Academy the same year he did, and though we were on separate teams, we bonded.'

Jaune blinked, re-reading the last sentence a few times. He'd never known his mother went to Beacon - he'd never considered it.

To him, she was always just 'Mom': the woman who would take him and his sisters to primary school, the same one who watched on, teary eyed as he rode the ferry to Patch with his father. Now he was doubly sure that Beacon was where he wanted to go - not only did his father go there, but his mother too. Thoroughly interested in what other knowledge the letter contained, he continued reading.

'I'd promised myself that I would tell you this story when you've become a full-fledged Huntsman, but I've had a change of heart, so to speak. Did you know I had a sister? My baby sister couldn't help but follow in her big sister's footsteps. She'd shattered any records I set, got higher grades – she was better even than your father, and was I ever bitter about it. We had a falling out during my fourth year at Beacon. But she was still my sister. And then one day, years after me, your father, and my sister graduated, I went to apologize, to reconcile... and she was gone. I think you were six years old yourself then.

She'd died. I couldn't continue being a Huntress after that. I was only a shell of my former self. You and your sisters and your father became what I lived for. Our house was my new battleground, not the Grimmlands.

My sister had left me in her will. I was to receive her 'journal'. She left one of her most prized possessions for her 'dear sister, who'd always been her inspiration'. In my grief, I couldn't turn my eyes to it; couldn't bring myself to flip open its cover, and read what she'd once written. I'd stored it in the attic, and it sat forgotten for ten years. I had to let go.

I retrieved it just a day ago, when I was doing some cleaning, and decided that what was contained would be for a Huntress' – or a Huntsman's – eyes only. I believe it will do a lot of good in your hands.

Love, your mother, Alabaster Arc.'

Jaune let out the breath he hadn't known he'd been holding. His mother had been a Huntress? He'd had an aunt he'd never known?

Hands shaking with anticipation, Jaune set the letter down on his bed, reaching deeper into the cardboard box. When his hands came back out, they had clutched in their grip a leather backed notebook, the lettering on the front long since worn. Taking in a deep breath, Jaune flipped to the first page.

The black ink stared back at him, seemingly eager to impart its knowledge. Jaune scanned through the 'table of contents' if one would call it that. Listed were topics like Dust Alchemy, Calibrations and Range Finding, Ballistics, Weapon Maintenance and Crafting, Bestiary, Aura – The list went on, and the topics were varied.

This isn't a journal, was all that Jaune could think. It was a textbook: one handwritten by his Aunt. And unlike anything else he'd ever read, he was enraptured by it.

Flipping to the first topic – Dust Alchemy, something Jaune might have considered boring just from the title – he began to read the first entry.

'Burn Dust – Un-ground and uncut, has explosive properties. Ground, it can work as a primer or a fuse, or when mixed with other types, as a 'booster'. Yet to find a good use for cut burn crystals aside from embedding or engraving. Recipes on pg.13, 14.'

Curiosity not yet sated, Jaune flipped to page thirteen. Then to the next page, and then the next.

He continued flipping pages. There were roughly thirty pages of Dust recipes alone.

This was the edge he needed. The knowledge in this book alone would be able to make him a much better fighter - and eventually, a better Huntsman. Moving to his desk, he sat down with the book in hand and started doing something he had hardly done in his three years at Signal.

Jaune Arc started studying.

The young Arc stretched one hand high above his head, attempting to suppress a yawn with the other. He was almost done. Just a few more pages and he'd have finished the section on 'Dust Alchemy' as it was referred to. Dust Alchemy? The entire section told him pretty much everything there was to know about Dust – or at least, everything he needed to know, according to his aunt.

There were little stories along with the notes, neat little tidbits that made him smile: such as the time Alabaster – his mother, only referred to by name or as 'my dear sister' – accidentally mixed Burn Dust with a little bit too much Shock Dust, and split a lab desk in two.

He had to be sure to ask his mother more about her sister. After reading all this, she must have been quite something.

...Or maybe he shouldn't. He didn't want to stir up any harsh memories.

Turning to look out the window, Jaune noticed the sun was just about to dip below the horizon, and decided it was time to hit the sack. Slipping his mother's letter into the notebook to serve as a bookmark, he started to make his way over to his bed, only to freeze his tracks.

Jaune knew three things.

One: He was exhausted. He'd spent a long time reading, after all.

Two: The sun set in the west. His window was facing east.

Three: He had class today.

"Oh no."

Mr. Branwen was going to kill him.

Well, what do you guys think? Feel free to leave a review.

Next Chapter: Actual dialogue, and Signal Academy in the flesh.

'till next time! :D

Updated: January 17/17