Hey all! Another chapter for you guys, fresh off the press.

Trying to get this chapter out was super frustrating. I had to rewrite it four times - FOUR - and i decided to go with the original anyways, with some modifications. If the flow seems weird, that is certainly my bad. I also had to use a (short) time-skip, so I'm terribly sorry if that irks you; it needed to be done.

This chapter begins to set up a lot of things, as well as put others in motion.

Now, before I bore you all to death, here's the chapter!

Winter had hit the island of Patch. And it had hit it hard.

Jaune shivered as he shoveled, dressed in his normal clothes – but with his onesie underneath. It proved an innovative alternative to a winter coat, and better yet, he was comfortable anywhere he went, whatever he was doing.

So long as Yang didn't know he was wearing it, he was safe. She'd finally stopped referring to him as 'Onesie Boy', and he'd very much prefer to keep it that way.

With Colors Day practically right around the corner, Jaune was beyond excited. He'd get to see his family again, and for the first time in months. His father, his mother, his sisters; all of them, hopefully. Just the thought of being together with them again made his heart soar.

The blond continued clearing the snow away, revealing the rough concrete beneath. His landlady had asked him to do this as a favor, suggesting that if he was willing to clear all the snow from the sidewalk, as well as the walkway leading up to the apartment building, he'd have reduced rent for the month.

She could of just said that she'd pay him for shoveling the snow, but the way she worded it actually did make it sound more promising. It didn't matter in the long run; Jaune would have done it anyways.

He had to get all the lien he could, if he was going to be buying Dust for experimentation. Fortunately for him, the price of Dust was at an all-time low.

Perhaps ironically, it was due to terrorism.

The White Fang had bombed a section of the Schnee Quarry about a week ago, hoping to cause a chain reaction in the Dust that was underground, putting a halt to the entire operation. Instead, the explosion opened up an expansive cave system that, right next to where the Schnee Corp. had been digging, was filled to the brim with veins of high quality Dust.

Jaune was just happy that it meant he'd be able to test his new weapon a lot more once it was completed. He'd been 'late' handing in his schematics, so it wouldn't be finished before the holiday break.

With plenty of help from a certain black leather book, he'd been able to reverse-engineer an old Atlesian weapon he'd found at a garage sale of all places.

One man's junk is another man's treasure, Jaune'd thought.

First Jaune had repaired the damn thing – got it working properly. After that he'd then modified it to suit his purposes, taken it apart, and then catalogued each individual piece; from its materials to its exact measurements. The whole process had taken a whole month.

He'd taken the schematics to Mr. Branwen before handing them over to the forge-master, to see what he thought. His exact words were:

"Kid, if you can learn to fight with that thing, you're going to give the Grimm something new to fear."

Obviously, Jaune knew it was just a figure of speech – Grimm couldn't actually fear anything – but it was high praise from Mr. Branwen regardless.

Jaune let out a sigh, watching as his breath came out in a cloud of water vapor. Two more days until the holidays began. Then it was eight days until he had to be back at Signal. Ten days total before he'd receive his weapon.

But that could wait. Colors Day came first, and to Jaune, the time he'd be able to spend with his family made it much more important.

The young man sighed, as he continued shoveling, not knowing that a pair of silver eyes were staring at him from under a red hood.

Plastic fork cutting valleys through his cafeteria food, Jaune couldn't help but sigh. The paths he'd carved quickly disappeared, cream rushing back in to fill the gaps in... whatever it was he was eating. Some kind of porridge? It had a texture like pudding, but it tasted awful – like almost anything that was healthy.

That was like one of the laws of the universe: things that tasted good were always bad for you, and things that tasted bad, were always good for you.

Jaune sighed as the food slipped through the tongs of his chosen utensil.

Seriously, maybe he should have grabbed a spoon.

Moving quicker this time, Jaune managed to take a small 'bite' of his food, and then nearly choked on it when he looked up and saw Yang Xiao Long sitting across the table from him.

"Hey, 'Onesie Boy'." she waved nonchalantly. Oh come on, he thought she was done with that!

Pounding his chest, certain that the food was going down the proper pipe this time, Jaune swallowed before giving his fellow blonde a reply, "Yang! How long have you been sitting there?"

"Just a couple of minutes. It looked like you and your food were having a moment, so I didn't want to interrupt. Especially when it looked like things were about to get... saucy."

Jaune could only stare at her with what he hoped was a deadpan expression. "That was brutal."

"I'll take that as a compliment." she lazily plucked a grape from his tray popping it in her mouth, but he didn't care; curse the foul tasting fruit.

...Grape soda was okay though.

"Anyways... what's up?" Yang asked while chewing.

Jaune, over the past month, couldn't help but notice that Yang had been... more friendly towards him. He didn't want to read into it as being more than it was, but he still blushed at the thought that she might be interested in him. Obviously, though, that was impossible.

He didn't care what anyone said about her tomboy-ish personality; Yang was a girl. Quite the attractive one too, Jaune might add. Although that was probably understating it.

"Not much. Just tired; I've been spending a lot of time studying recently, so I haven't been getting much sleep. The cold's been bothering me quite a bit too." Seeing that she was done with the first one, Jaune tossed her another grape.

Yang seemed pleased with the small fruit she caught in her hand, and gave Jaune a light smile.

"I'm not a big fan of winter either. What have you been studying for though?" Yang asked with genuine curiosity, before Jaune noticed her eyes widen in panic, "We don't have any more tests before the Color Holidays do we?"

Jaune couldn't help but laugh at that, "Nah, we don't have a test or anything. But I'm studying up as much as I can on Aura."

"Despite not having yours unlocked yet?"

"I just want to be more prepared for when it is." Jaune smiled. "Which is going to happen on Colors Day."

Yang gasped at that. "You mean you'll be able to spar with me?"

"… Maybe I should ask my dad if we can postpone it."

Yang laughed heartily at what she assumed was a joke - he seriously considered it though - and Jaune shared in her laughter. He grabbed another grape and motioned to throw.

Before he could toss it however, Yang held a hand up, signaling for him to wait. She looked around, checking to see if anyone was watching, before she turned back to Jaune with her mouth held open. Really? In the middle of the cafeteria? She wanted him to throw it right in her mouth?

Well, he supposed there was nothing wrong with that.

His toss was a bit off, but Yang hardly had to move to catch the grape. Munching on it quickly, she started talking again: "You know, when you walked into class that one day wearing that onesie of yours, I'd thought to myself 'Gee, doesn't he look like an idiot.' But recently, you've been proving myself – and anyone else who thought that – absolutely and utterly wrong."

Jaune's face flushed lightly at the memory. Yeah, he had been doing exactly that, hadn't he?

"You answer nearly every question, every class, save for a few that are simple enough anyone would know the answer - even those I'm certain you leave for the others." Yang leaned forwards, her expression deadly serious, "I think you know a lot more than you're letting on, so honestly, I think I may have... misjudged you in the past."

Jaune met her lilac eyes, and he could tell that what she said was what she truly felt.

"I... I don't think you're right. You never misjudged me, I think I've just... changed." he countered.

Silence had reign for about a minute, before Jaune's eyes fell on one final purple offence.

Jaune reached out for the grape – the last grape – and prepared to throw it before pausing.

Maybe it was time to test something he'd read about in the book? Ballistics, it had been titled? In an effort to learn more about how he was going to use his weapon, he'd studied it extensively.

Well... the table they sat at was probably one and a half meters wide. The cafeteria had a vaulted ceiling, and Jaune knew from the outside that the rest of Signal was roughly three stories. If he aimed for the roof, slightly closer to Yang than himself... Ah, screw it.

He leaned back, and swung his arm fully, the grape soaring high into the empty space above them. He saw it slow as it reached the peak of its flight, before it started it's descent towards his receiver.

To Jaune's amazement, Yang was prepared for it – and she didn't have to move an inch as it fell right into her mouth with a quiet 'plop'.

They sat there in silence for about half a minute, as Yang finished chewing. Jaune felt like saying anything would completely ruin the moment.

Finished with the grape, Yang finally spoke, "You know something Jaune?"

"What?" She was going to ruin the moment, wasn't she?

"That last throw had a really good arc."

"Oh, come on!"

Hate me later, but I think puns are incredible.

Now, before you go there's something I must mention. It's a word, and it's plural.

It's pairings.

So far, nothing has been confirmed, and it is likely nothing will be until later. If you guys want to suggest pairings, go right ahead - i'll certainly consider all of your opinions. But if you are going to suggest something, please don't freak out if your pairing isn't the one that's represented in this story.

I already kind of have one in mind, but that's subject to change, and you are the one's who can change it. Let me know in a review, or PM me. My inbox is always open. (It cannot be closed... it is also very empty)

Until next time!

Updated: February 3/17