A/N: Here's chapter two. I was actually surprised with how fast I was able to put out this chapter, and thanks to Dongyrn for beta-reading the chapter.
If I may brag about myself for a moment I would like to point out that my ability to keep my presence concealed is nothing to laugh at. I'm currently at the coordinates Mercury gave me, a rundown bar in one of the ghettos of Vale, surrounded by faunus from the White Fang, and one self proclaimed criminal mastermind. The beauty of it all is that they have no idea I've been watching them for the past fifteen minutes. It feels good knowing you can keep yourself hidden from so many faunus. Hiding from humans is pretty easy in most situations, but faunus are trickier due to their heightened senses.
I could have shown myself to them immediately, but I thought it would be better to observe how well my partner and the White Fang are cooperating.
"Holy dust! You mutts are useless. What does a man have to do to get at least decent help these days. I'm not even asking for good, just decent."
And it is as poor as I expected it to be. I'm genuinely surprised that the members of the White Fang are just taking this verbal abuse from Roman. The man is a blatant racist and likes to flaunt his authority. If he feels like he's superior to someone then he'll let you know. That kind of attitude isn't something that would mix well with the White Fang's ideology. They might somehow be business partners through Cinder, but I thought they were proud enough to at least demand respect from the orange haired schmuck. Not that he would have listened.
"And where the hell is the kid? He was supposed to be here an hour ago."
'I am here, and it's fifteen or maybe twenty minutes ago you prick. Not an hour.'
I watched as Roman called a couple White Fang members over to him. He wasn't talking as loudly so I couldn't quite hear what he said, but I don't think I need to. The man was obviously mocking me. He pulled a piece of blue paper out of his pocket and pointed at his own hair, afterwards he started throwing his arms out in an attempt to mimic my use of wires. I should have felt insulted but I was too amused by how ridiculous Roman looked. The White Fang members he was talking to also seemed as if they had no idea what the bowler hat wearer was trying to do.
Might as well make myself known. I've seen enough.
"Roman, it isn't nice to talk about people as if they aren't there." My voice echoed through the bar.
Heads turned to look towards my position, gazing up at me as I calmly sat on top of one of the many supporting beams connected to the ceiling. It was slightly unnerving to see that multiple weapons were now trained on me, but I managed to keep myself relatively calm, and the mask should help with any facial cues that could have given away my false bravado.
I jumped down from my perch and gazed past all of the White Fang in the building. Solely focusing on Roman.
"As much as it pains me to say this, you can all put down your weapons. This is our guy," Roman told the White Fang. I didn't miss his look of disappointment though when he had to give the order for me to not be riddled with bullets.
Roman was looking as smug as ever. Both hands on his cane. Orange hair glossy like usual, a bowler hat, and a pristine white suit. Who does he think he is, a mob boss?
"Well well well, if it isn't my favorite mask-wearing pain in the ass. Tell me something Blue Hawk, do you enjoy making me cringe everytime I look at you? That outfit of yours is disgusting, and that mask," Roman pointed at my face. "Trying to look cool? Haven't you heard, masks are for comic book characters. You look stupid."
'Don't stab him Athrun, you're supposed to be keeping him from getting hurt.'
"Well unlike some I like to keep my identity a secret. It's actually nice to be able to walk along the streets of Vale in the morning without worrying about cops being after my ass. But your love for the dramatic seems to have overpowered your common sense if you had any in the first place. Now look at you," I gave Roman a once over, my lips curled into a sneer. "A poor excuse of a man, hiding in the shadows like a rat."
A couple jeers, and snickers could be heard from the surrounding members of the White Fang, which pleased me and annoyed Roman even more.
Roman, turned his back to me to address the small crowd of faunus around us. "Shouldn't you all be, I don't know… working right now?!" He exclaimed, causing the surrounding White Fang members to disperse in a mass of grumbles. "Idiots, the lot of them."
I pulled up a chair, letting myself get comfortable. "Roman, no need to be so rude. They're working with us on this operation. Maybe it would be better for you to treat them with some respect? They might actually want to work harder."
Roman slowly walked closer to me. "Maybe if I was surrounded by competent individuals I would be just a tad bit nicer. That includes you." He retorted, holding two fingers close together in an attempt at scaling how useful we were. Judging by the almost nonexistent gap between his fingers then I would have to say on a scale from one to ten we would be maybe a fifth of one whole point. That's a generous guess also.
"Well this 'useless' individual is going to stick around because he has a job to complete. I'm about as thrilled for this whole arrangement as you are, which isn't much at all. But Cinder had me come here for a reason." I waved my hand as if I was disregarding him. "Maybe instead of blaming others you should look at yourself for your failures."
Roman's hand tightened around his cane. Made me wonder if I might have pushed him too far, I couldn't help it. The guy just rubbed me the wrong way. Brings out my inner Mercury I think.
"My failures? Please, I have been stealing dust from every corner in Vale. If anything my operations have been a huge success. I don't need a smart mouth kid that's not even a part of the big leagues to be telling me how to do my job." Roman barked. I had to quickly stand up so I wouldn't fall over when the orange haired criminal so rudely knocked over my chair with his cane.
"I enjoyed that chair."
"And I would enjoy nothing more than popping a cap or two in your face, but we all can't get what we want sadly. The sooner you learn that the sooner you can grow up." Roman said sweetly.
I crossed my arms and cocked a brow his way, not that he could see it but he probably gets the message. "Trust me I know, because right now I would love nothing more than to make you shut up. However, I feel like that even if I sew your mouth shut," I released several wires from my vambraces and stretched them out with my hands, before reeling them back in. "You would still find someway to talk."
Roman dramatically shook his body to show me how threatened he felt by my words, which was not at all. "I am just terrified. How about I give you a small lesson, kiddo? You see, it isn't smart to make empty threats to someone who has far more connections than you and could use those connections to silence you." Roman drew finger across his neck, as if I didn't already get the message.
"Please, you wouldn't kill me for the same reason why I can't bring myself to fix that thing you call a face." I said as I brushed past the crime lord. His cane found my arm and held me in place.
Roman wasn't done talking yet though, much to my personal disappointment. I had fun messing with him earlier, but now I'm finding myself to be annoyed more and more by just being in his presence. Actually being around Roman might just be a danger to my health now that I think about it. My stress levels seem to skyrocket when I'm around him. Doesn't that like shorten my lifespan or something? Not good.
"Oh no, you're not getting away that easy mister. What do you mean by that?" Roman asked.
I let out a small sigh. "Neo. If I seriously hurt you then she'd get sad, and more importantly she would then proceed to kick my ass so hard I wouldn't even be able to feel the blade slide through my ribs when she inevitably stabs me." I brought a finger to my chin. "Actually she would probably beat me to the point where I could just still feel pain, so my death does remain painful."
"Don't be talking like you actually care about what she thinks." Roman remarked, his eyes narrowing.
"Hey, just because I'm an asshole to you doesn't mean I'm an ass to her. She actually treats me well when I'm not being tossed around. Unlike the companion she associates herself with." I unhooked myself from Roman's rubbing my arm. That cane of his is really hard.
"Listen kiddo, there are only a couple things that I actually care about: Myself, making a profit, and Neo. She doesn't have too many people close to her and even less people that she considers a friend. How you ever made it as one of them I'll never understand, but..." Roman stared at me, and I mean really stared at me. Not the creepy stare but the stare that lets you know he is being completely real with you. "You do anything that messes with those things and I will end you."
Its very rare to see this side of Roman. The not so egotistical dick-wad side of him. It actually makes me almost respect him. Key word being almost. I don't think I'd ever be able to genuinely respect the man.
"Roman, one of the last things you have to worry about right now is me hurting Neo. I already told you she could beat me without a problem. On a more serious note I do view her as a genuine friend." I replied, losing my sarcastic edge.
"As long as we're clear on that note then I think I can leave you alive for a little while longer. If I kill you without reason then I'll have to come up with a believable backstory as to why and then get Neo to believe me. That's the hard part." Roman said, turning his attention back to the White Fang and barking out orders.
An idea sprang to mind in that instant. Now it wasn't a good idea, but I couldn't help myself. Roman and I seemed to be moving towards almost cordial levels of conversation and that just doesn't feel right to me.
"That's good. If you decided not to kill me yet then does that mean you're also over the whole scenario where I, um, acquired some free dust you decided to provide me?"
A smile morphed on Roman's face as he slowly redirected his attention to me. Not a pleasant smile either, it was one of those smiles you wore to try and strike fear into the hearts of your enemies. It was a smile that promised pain, sadness, agony, and many other negative results. Currently this smile was directed at me.
"You know what, Athrun-"
"Blue Hawk while we're working Roman, the White Fang don't know my actual name yet. I would much rather keep it that way." I interrupted. In return for my input I found a cane pressed snugly in my chest. Roman's finger was on the trigger ready to fire a dust round point blank.
'Huh, I might have egged him on too much this time.' I thought as I watched Roman play around with the trigger of Melodic Cudgel.
"As I was about to say before I was so rudely interrupted. You know, Athrun, I was starting to think we might have just maybe come to an understanding." Roman lowered his weapon for a little, which allowed me to relax, but it was all for naught. Because the moment I thought I was safe, he lifted the cane and just pushed it harder against my chest. "Nope, No relaxing my boy. Now that you so kindly reminded me. You did end up hurting my potential gains after a heist once. I knew there was a good reason why I despised you. Hurting profits is one of my three offensives punishable with death, which you have done."
Roman leaned in close to my face. "So how are you going to convince me not to blow a hole in your chest cavity?"
"Because it wasn't even a full crate's worth of dust and you just said I was one of Neo's few friends. You wouldn't want to take that away from her. Also Cinder would be upset, I think?" I offered weakly.
Roman lowered his cane, and started massaging his head with his free hand. "Just get in the damn Bullhead. We're ready to leave." He said, gesturing towards the Bullheads waiting outside.
I complied without a smartmouth comment this time, making my way outside the rundown bar and into the Bullhead. Roman followed after me, causing us to sit awkwardly next to each other in the confines of the airship, as it lifted off and flew towards our destination.
"Alright so here's how things are going to go down. The White Fang have already started loading up all the dust at the site. I'm going to make sure they don't screw up, and you're going to stay out of my way." Roman told me as the Bullhead got closer to the site.
"Stay out of your way until you ask for me to come save you, you mean," I shot back. I stood up from my seat and approached the pilot.
"Let me out here." I said.
The pilot nodded before opening up the side of the bullhead.
"And what do you think you're doing? We're not quite at the site yet," Roman barked.
"Don't worry about me Roman, I'll be at the site. If anyone wants to interrupt your operation I don't want to be seen with you when you get off the Bullhead. I can watch from the sides and jump in once trouble starts brewing. Surprise them," I replied.
"Fine, do what you want. I hope you fall on your face during your landing."
I didn't even respond as I let myself fall out of the airship. Free fall is an amazing experience. The wind whipping through me face relieves me of my worries, and helps me relax. It's especially nice knowing that I won't end up as a blood splatter on the ground below. I spotted a crane right in front of me, and my landing strategy was formed.
Wires erupted from both of my arms and attached themselves to the crane before reeling me in. Both of my feet firmly planted on the side of the crane, and once I found a firm hold on the structure I unattached my wires. My position gave me a decent overwatch over the heist location and I could see members of the White Fang loading up crate after crate of dust into large shipping containers. The problem with such a high vantage point was that while I could see everything, I was also quite visible.
Dropping down from my vantage point I opted for the roof of a nearby warehouse. It should suit my needs well enough.
Just in time too. Roman's Bullhead just arrived, the dust thief walking out as if he owned the place, classic Roman style, barking out orders. If I had to guess he was saying something along the lines of "Hey you animals, get a move on, we're not the most inconspicuous bunch of thieves at the moment." Something like that. His eyes constantly roaming until he finally caught sight of me. Seeing that I was at the site he continued ordering around the White Fang without giving me a second glance so as not to give away my position to any potential onlookers.
"Well seeing as if he's here and-"
A sudden flash of movement caught my eye and the next thing I saw was Roman being held with a sword to his neck by a girl dressed in black and white, a bow on her head. Surrounding members of the White Fang training their weapons on the intruder.
'I spoke too soon. Of course something was going to happen.'
I prepared to move, but the girl reached up and unraveled the bow, revealing a pair of cat ears. I was curious. I expected police, maybe some sort of Huntsmen if anyone was to interrupt the operation, but a faunus? Why would she try and stop Roman and the White Fang?
"Brothers of the White Fang! Why are you aiding this scum?" The girl's question echoed across the docks.
Roman chuckled a little which caused the faunus girl to bring her weapon closer to his throat. "Oh kid, didn't you get the memo? The White Fang and I are going on a joint business venture together!"
"Tell me what it is or I'll put an end to your little operation." The girl shot back.
The roar of more bullheads arriving caused the girl to look up with a shocked expression. That small distraction was all I need.
My right arm extended out and the black garbed girl's sword arm was snared by my wires. I pulled sharply causing the blade to vacate the area around Roman's throat. The criminal then proceeded to shoot at the girl's feet with Melodic Cudgel, sending her flying back.
I dropped down onto the docks and stood beside Roman while he dusted off his suit.
"You know you could've stepped in earlier. Having a blade to your neck isn't that comfortable." Roman quipped at me.
I unsheathed NightWing, holding a blade in each hand. "Sorry Roman, I was just imagining that it was my blade at your throat. Took me some time to exit my fantasy." I replied cheekily.
"Brat." Roman turned his attention back to the faunus girl and proceeded to unleash a salvo of high powered dust rounds at her.
"The fuck do you think you're doing? You're going to be attracting too much attention to the operation!" I hissed at him.
Roman just continued to fire off more rounds at the girl. "The operation is already blown kid. Just do your job and I'll try to make sure we make it out with as much dust as possible."
"Fine." I grumbled out. Transforming one of my blades into it's pistol form I shot an incoming object that I caught out of the corner of my eye. Which turned out to just be a banana peel.
'A banana peel?' I was feeling insulted that someone threw a banana peel and not something actually dangerous like a dust grenade.
Tracing back the trajectory of the banana peel I saw another individual on top of one of the rooftops. Blonde hair, and a tail. Most likely a monkey faunus. Lifting up my weapon I was happy to note the evident 'Oh shit.' look on his face before I opened fire. Forcing the man to take cover.
"Roman, get the White Fang to latch the dust onto the Bullheads. I'll hand our other intruder. Do you think you can take the girl?" I asked.
"Don't be giving me any orders." Roman replied. However, he was already moving to intercept the faunus girl.
With Roman handling one of our intruders, and the White Fang finishing up loading the dust that just left me with our last unwelcome visitor.
I heard footsteps come from my left and turned to see the man, a staff poised to strike. I blocked with one on blades, and shot off a couple more rounds with my transformed pistol. The blonde twirled his staff blocking all of my shots. Before moving back on the offensive.
Switching the pistol back into NightWing's bladed form. I faced my opponent both blades at the ready. Good thing too because I needed both of them to defend myself. The money faunus' fighting style flowed. Each movement transitioned to the next without effort and I could tell he had some sort of training.
I caught his staff with my blades bringing us to a deadlock.
"So, nice mask you got there. I'm guessing you won't just back off and leave the dust behind will you?" the blonde asked me.
"Sadly no. My employer would be really upset, and from the little that I do know, I don't want to be on her shit list." My foot shot out, and hit the monkey faunus in the knee cap causing his right leg to collapse. I pushed the advantage by hitting him across the chin with a spinning hook kick sending the faunus stumbling to the ground. "Thanks for the compliment on the mask though." I finally said.
The monkey faunus rose back up to his feet carefully, observing my movements. If he doesn't want to make a move that's fine by me. I attached my wires to NightWing's two blades and I threw them at him. The look of surprise on his face told me he wasn't expecting that sort of attack and he dove to the side to avoid getting hit. The faunus rolled back to his feet and rushed me.
'Perfect.' I reeled back in my wires. Watching as my weapons flew towards my opponent's back. Something must have clued him in on my plan because at the last moment he slammed his staff on the ground and vaulted over me, aiming a kick at my head that I barely managed to block with my vambraces. NightWing having returned to my hands, I slashed out forcing the faunus to back off as I pushed the offensive.
None of my strikes were landing, but the blonde haired faunus wasn't able to find a gap in my attacks either. I knew he would slip soon under the pressure of defending against two weapons though. Eventually he did slip, applying too much pressure to his back leg I delivered a powerful cross slash that caused my opponent to stumble back a little bit.
I wasn't done yet. I released a thread of wire from my left vambrace that wrapped around his wrist. I pulled him back towards me and landed a right hook across his face.
I spared a glance to see how Roman was holding up against his opponent and it seems like he was doing well. The girl seemed to be frustrated and that frustration was evident in her attacks. It made her more predictable and Roman was abusing that to the fullest, blocking and parrying all of her strikes while landing small blows in between her assault, slowly but surely whittling away her aura.
I walked towards the monkey faunus. "I would really appreciate it if you could take your friend and leave. You shouldn't be involved with stuff like this." I told him.
I felt something wrap around my ankle, looking down I saw that it was the teen's tail.
I was pulled of my feet and received an elbow to the gut. The faunus wasn't done, he twirled around and smashed his staff across the side of my head sending me flying back in the direction of Roman.
"I was really hoping I could've smacked that mask right off of your face." I heard him call out to me.
Standing back up I transformed both of NightWing's blades into their pistol form. "Not happening." I opened fire.
The monkey faunus ran behind one of the surrounding dust crates for cover forcing me to stop shooting. My rounds don't have the same explosive power as Roman's but I don't want to accidentally blow up this side of the docks due to an unlucky stray bullet.
I cautiously approached the crate, flipping over it ready to bring my blades down on, nothing? A whistle from my right was the only warning I received but it was enough. I lifted up my right arm blocking the attack with my vambrace. I saw another object approach me from the left which I blocked with one of NightWing's blades. Staring at me was a smirking monkey faunus.
I was forced on the defensive as the teen released a torrent of blows from his gunchucks. Freaking gunchucks! I've never been on the receiving end of such a ridiculous weapon in my life! The worst thing was is that it was highly effective. I would block the initial strike from my opponent's weapons but he would then release a salvo of buckshot at me from point blank. Very annoying.
The Faunus was starting to grow confident if the ever present smirk on his face was anything to go by. 'Not gonna happen buddy.' A plan formulated in my head. It most likely wasn't a good one, but it could work. I blocked one of my opponents gunchucks with the blade in my right hand, moving my head to the side slightly to avoid the gunshot that followed, and then pushed forward close to my opponents core. The faunus swung his free weapon at me but I turned myself to the right and let my back and aura take the hit. It still hurt like a bitch and I felt my aura drop a good amount but it let me get in position.
I forced myself down near his core and shoved my left elbow deep into his solar plexus. The satisfying "Ugh" I heard let me know my attack connected right where I wanted it to. Twisting around him I slashed across his chest, back, and then grabbed his tail.
From my personal experience, a faunus' animalistic features usually have really sensitive nerve endings. Very useful bit of information when you want to make sure one of them stays out of a fight.
Squeezing down hard, I heard a very masculine, and by masculine I meant quite feminine, yelp escape from my captives mouth, before pulling back, making him gasp in pain. I bashed the flat of one of NightWing's blades against his head, knocking him onto the ground, groaning in pain.
I looked over at Roman and sure enough it looked as if he was done with his opponent as well. The faunus girl on her stomach, Roman's cane poised and ready to fire at any moment.
Making my way towards the crime lord I placed a hand on his shoulder. "Leave them. We have the dust, let's just get moving. Killing would bring too much attention." I told him.
"Listen kiddo, I get that you don't like the whole killing thing but you'll have to get used to it. Pests like these." Roman pointed towards the fallen faunus girl. "Are bad for business. They're like roaches and keep coming back so excuse me and let me get on wi-"
Roman and I both turned our head towards the source of the new voice. The owner being a young girl in red and black with a scythe.
"Oh you've got to be kidding me!" Roman hissed.
"Friend of yours?" I joked.
"Another nuisance is more accurate," he replied, turning his attention to the red haired girl. "Hello Red, isn't it past your bedtime?"
I saw another faint silhouette behind the girl dubbed 'Red' so I nudged Roman's arm to grab his attention. "There's another one behind her." I pointed out.
"Grr," Roman grunted firing off a shot from Melodic Cudgel, knocking down the scythe wielding girl while she was distracted by her companion. Which caused Roman to laugh wickedly in response.
"You found amusement from blasting a young girl. What else do you find funny, kicking puppies?" I asked him, disappointment evident in my voice.
"Ugh, you're such a buzzkill."
The sound of weapons being drawn brought our attention away from each other, as a girl with orange hair jumped from the ceiling, with multiple swords floating behind her connected by wires.
I couldn't help but feel apprehensive. Something just felt off about this girl.
My feelings were justified, because in the span of mere moments she defeated a swarm of White Fang henchman, and shot a damn laser beam. A damn fucking laser beam! At two bullheads, cleaving through them like a hot knife through butter. If that wasn't a clue to cut our losses and take what we could, then I don't know what is.
"Roman we need to leave, now!" I yelled at my current partner.
"For once I think we agree on something." Roman said, running in the direction of the Bullhead that was supposed to transport us.
I was following right behind Roman until I heard a couple 'Schlick' noises behind me.
That strange girl planted her blades in the last Bullhead carrying out the dust.
'No you don't.'
I threw both blades of NightWing and severed the wires that allowed the girl to control her blades, before reeling the blades back to me and sheathing them. With the Bullhead freed, it flew off to wherever it was Roman was hoarding all the dust. My job complete I ran into the last remaining Bullhead. Roman closed the hatch behind me.
I looked at the orange haired criminal, panting. "Huh, I'm surprised you didn't leave me behind." I managed to say.
"Don't make me have any second guesses kiddo." He retorted as the Bullhead flew away.
"So, where are we dropping you off?" Roman asked me.
I took off my mask, seeing that it was just me and Roman in this specific Bullhead, and the driver was too preoccupied with flying to catch a look at my face. "Same place as wherever you're heading. Mercury said that Cinder supposedly wanted to talk me."
Roman's eyes widened a little in surprise. "Well, I would say it was nice knowing you kid, but that would be a lie." Roman snarked, placing a hand on my shoulder.
I brushed him off before giving him the bird. "Thanks, asshole."
A/N: Let me know what you liked or disliked in a review or PM me any questions you may for reading and I hope you enjoyed the second chapter of Not Everyone's a Hero.