Chapter 12

Downtime Pt.2

Jaune bolted up, awake, only to collide with some solid object. He fell back onto his bed as he nursed his forehead.

"Son of Oum, that-"

"hurts." A feminine voice continued.

He slowly opened his eyes and as surprised as he was, he saw his new formed partner sitting right next to him. She had her left hand on her forehead as she rubbed it, her face showed that it was rather painful.

"Morning Pyr-" He was abruptly stopped when he was pulled into an embrace.

Jaune's mouth hung open as his arms fumbled through the air, unsure as to where to put it.

Calm down. Remember what dad told you. Wait…never mind. Don't remember.

He aborted the memory as he slightly remembered something obscene that came from his father. He remained in such an awkward state until his red haired partner released him from what could've been his death. He then began to sat up, much to his body's delight.

"You scared us back there." She said as she stared at him.

Confused and disoriented, it took several silent moments of recollection before he remembered. The gears within him started to work, from the big jump at the start of the initiation to the nerve wracking dogfight between him and a Nevermore. He shook his head lightly, partially out of disbelief but mostly due the pounding headache that he was having that seemed to worsen due to the act.

"Yeah. Kind of remember it now." He said sheepishly while rubbing the back of his head.

"Sorry if I gave you the scare."

She smiled at him warmly. He noted that she was no longer in her armor but in the regular Beacon Academy uniform. A white wall was on his left and a red couch could be seen on the far right of the room. He also realized that he was in some sort of ward or clinic. Beeps resounded from the nearby medical apparatus that was connected to him via several cords. To that, he scratched his head.

"Umm…what's with all the cords and what time or day or month is it?"

He watched her stifle a laugh. He smiled as she covered her mouth. Normally, he would've been offended but he knew that his question could arouse some bit of laughs. But he couldn't help it seeing that the first and second time that he had experienced total aura exhaustion left him in a state of comma for at least three months and the next left him in the same state for at least a month. It was one of the many reasons why he was forced by his family to stop his training to become a huntsman and to instead work to maintain their estate and family business.

"Well…" She started as she wiped a tear from her eyes.

"The doctor says that it is to monitor your vitals since you have used up even your reserve aura pool. And as for the time, day and month..." She patted her chin with her index finger as she mocked ponder.

"I'd say it's seven in the evening on a Thursday of the month of June."

Jaune sighed, relieved. It seems like he was only unconscious for at least eight hours or so.

"In the twenty seventh year of the new calendar." Pyrrha added but a lot more serious than before.

He was shocked that he had been unconscious for three years. His mind went into overdrive as he tried to think the many scenarios that might have happened and how Pyrrha still retained her youthfulness of a seventeen year-old despite having three years fly by. Jaune could've sworn that he had seen his ancestors, the warrior king, Roland, the master tactician, Julius which was his great-great grandfather and heck, even the great pacifist, Abraham Arc. Of course, it was accompanied by the flat lines and long extended beeps that emanated from the nearby apparatus.

"Jaune! Jaune! That was just a joke! Snap out of it!" Jaune felt Pyrrha shaking him but the light was calling to him.

Grandpa Wash? Is that you? He inwardly gasped as he spots another figure who stood beside his long deceased grandfather

Grandma Carol?

His heavenly vision was interrupted when a smack reached his ears. He then noticed that he was facing sideward instead of forward and that a throbbing, hot pain was erupting from his right cheek.

"You awake now little bro?" Jaune was stunned out of his death trance as he turned to look at the indigo eyes of his fellow knight.

"Sheesh, didn't know that the Arcs are so easy to scare." Cardin chided as the rest of his friends entered the room.

"Well…try living in my house with seven sisters, let's see if you could survive without being scared half to death." Jaune retorted as he waved at the newcomers.

Cardin chuckled. "I'll keep that in mind."

He then moved aside to allow the others passage. The first face to come up was that of Ruby's followed by Weiss, Yang then Blake. Nora and Ren maneuvered and placed themselves behind Pyrrha who was still sitting on a stool. Everyone was wearing their uniforms which told him that his was probably sitting inside his locker or in the information booth.

"JauneIsawyouflyearlierhowdidyoudothatwastheresome-" Ruby began to ask multiple questions at once that Jaune had to stop her with an outstretched palm.

"Alright Rubes, one at a time." Jaune pleaded as he chuckled.

Suddenly, he was reminded of the younger twins who seemed to have the same level of enthusiasm. He watched as Ruby breathed slowly and restrained herself.

"We saw you fly earlier then you took on that Nevermore. What was that?" She asked but her want to ask more questions was visible as she literally shook on where she stood.

"That was an aura cinstruct." He started but the raised brows within the room were a sign that they would like to hear the full details.

I guess it's safe to tell them anyway. He told himself.

"My family, the Arcs are known for many things. Among them was their ability to manipulate their aura into actual suits of armor although a bit transparent." He watched them as they listened attentively.

"In my case, I chose to take it up a notch. After years of training, I was able to master the use of my aura to the point that it allows me to project my aura into any solid shape, form or even being. In short, aura constructs."

He heard several 'ohhs' from the group and a whistle from Cardin.

"But there is a condition for it, I can't summon or manifest anything that I haven't seen or have interacted upon." He added.

"The Astral Knight." Everyone in the room looked at Cardin as he leaned on the wall.

"The what?" Yang asked the buffy knight.

"It's an old tale passed down to every generation of knights." He explained to which Jaune nodded in agreement.

He too was told of the said ghostly knight by his father.

"Long story short, a man gets killed in battle, returns as a specter or revenant…" Cardin looked at Jaune for confirmation.

"Revenant...I think."

"Right. Then starts to fight alongside the living ranks of his house but eventually passed on as he was assured the safety of his family." Cardin concluded.

"The story says that the greatest torment for a warrior is that knowing that his duty is unfinished. It serves both as a warning and a motivation for all knights." Jaune added.

"Sooo what does that have to do with Jaune?" Nora spoke up in her usual quirky manner.

"Well, it's just that he has almost the same ability as the said knight, in exception of course to inhabiting the living's bodies." Cardin explained which earned a gulp from both Ruby and Nora.

"Nonetheless, what he did saved us all." Blake said.

"Not to mention catching me when I fell…" Subtle streaks of pink were evident on her cheeks as she maintained her stoic demeanor.

"For that I am grateful to you." She said.

Jaune shook his head saying that he only distracted it long enough for them to deal with the Deathstalker and that it was his duty as a fellow student and as an Arc to help those in need. But Ren rebuked his claim reasoning that he had singlehandedly slayed the giant Nevermore. Their conversation then moved to that of the teaming where he learned that Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang were all put into the same team where Ruby was the leader. Cardin on the other hand, was also put into a team alongside his fellow knights in the Winchester family where he was given the task to lead. As such, it came to be a pleasant surprise when he was chosen to be a team leader and on his team were his partner, Pyrrha along with Ren and Nora.

One of Beacon's medical staff entered and told the group that the visiting hours were finished and that all students were to head to their dorms in exception to one who would accompany Jaune. The announcement earned seven groans of disappointment as Cardin, team RWBY and NR were ushered outside. Jaune sighed, relieved that he was spared by Ruby's and Nora's constant probing on his semblance. He then laid back on his bed.

"The doctor says that you'll be discharged tomorrow morning." Pyrrha said as she scooted the stool closer to him.

"That's good, I thought that I'd be forced to spend all four years in this room. That will drive me nuts." He replied which earned a good laugh from her.

An uneasy silence settled between the two. For the first few minutes, both waited for the other to speak but as minutes turned into, possibly hours, they forced themselves to find something worthy of their attention. Pyrrha grabbed a weapons magazine from her bag which she also offered to Jaune. The blonde on the otherhand, began to space out as he stared at the white ceiling above him. Several random thoughts ran around his brain as if a pack of Ursa's trying to search for their next prey.

Well…awkward. He thought to himself as he assessed the situation.

Alright, first things first, try to find something that you both had in common. Maybe training? No, that mind end up opening some old wounds or something. Sports? Wait, I barely knew the word. Okay…how about the weather? That's a classic conversation starter. Wait! Bad Jaune! How the heck can I talk about the weather if we're stuck here in a confined space!

The knight's frantic rant continued as he tried to think of the best source of action. But due to his silent, in depth discussion with his own self, he failed to hear the redhead yawn as she finally feels her fatigue creeping in.

"Jaune?" The blonde turned to face the redhead who was looking at him full of determination.

Oh boy, is she mad because I left her to deal with the Deathstalker? But I was practically thrown away. Then again, maybe if I used my semblance then I could've just taken the hit like a pro and ended that scorpion right there and then but the-

"I have a request."

A slap? A punch? A kick?

"Sure Pyr, fire away." He replied with feigned confidence.

"Can we…ummm…like…"

For Oum's sake Pyrrha spit it out! What do you want us to do? Play a deadly hide and seek game with me as hider and you dressed in a hockey mask with a spear? Electrocute me to death just like what Juno did to me when I sat on her school project? It was good that I lived but damn it still gives me the tingles.

"Can we spar again every so often? You seemed like a great match for me so…" She rubbed the back of her head as she averted his gaze.

Jaune sighed internally with relief. Thankful that he won't be forced to receive a few hits from a champion such as her without the right to block or parry. But due to his own mind being occupied, he had not noticed the pink streak on her cheeks.

"Sure! I'd like that too. Plus, we could exchange pointers seeing that you're actually the Minstral regional champion." He said enthusiastically.

She smiled warmly then excused herself to retire on the couch directly opposite to Jaune's bed. He knew it was futile but he tried anyways. He told her to take the bed seeing that he had already recovered and him to take the couch. He was met with great opposition, one that greatly rivaled his mother's. Still, the result was fairly obvious. Jaune was stuck on his bed as he was assaulted by guilt for letting a girl sleep on a lousy sofa.

So much for chivalry. He thought as he slowly forced himself to sleep.

Bonus

Ozpin's hands trembled as he repositioned his monocle. He couldn't believe what he just saw on his data pad. He was in the brink of thrashing out in his office when a small voice within him called reason spoke to him.

No, believe in him. You saw potential in him anyway. The tiny voice told him as he grabbed his mug of, this time, hot coffee.

The mug trembled slightly as he calmed himself through each sip.

"Can we…ummm…like…" Pyrrha Nikos's hesitant voice filtered through the data pad.

The headmaster halted all advances on his coffee as he watched the scene unfold. Everything that he had done, from cheating death in the universe one up to challenging the watchers for him to earn the right to create his own, new universe.

"Can we spar again every so often? You seemed like a great match for me so…" Ozpin watched as she rubbed the back of her head.

He noticed that she constantly tried not to make eye contact with Jaune. The huntress in training was obviously flustered by the lighter shade of red that could be seen on her face. The huntsman gripped the ear of the mug tighter as he hoped that the blonde would finally notice the subtle signs of Miss Nikos's infatuation with him.

"Sure! I'd like that too. Plus, we could exchange pointers seeing that you're actually the Minstral regional champion."

The veteran warrior felt something snap within him as he heard the words roll out of the young knight's mouth. Veins popped out from his forehead as his usual fair complexion slowly turned to red. His coffee spilled onto his desk as the mug that contained it shook wildly in his hand.

Outside of his clock themed office, Glynda walked towards the professor's office. She wore the fanciest dress that she could find in her closet which was a black strapless dress. She held to wine goblets in her right and a bottle of champagne which was at least fifty years old. As she was about to enter the room, the hallway was filled with a very rare sound that resembled the mixed howls of a Beowolf, an Ursa and a Goliath. It was quickly followed by the sound of furniture being thrown about as well as papers being ripped to pieces.

"Damn you Monty! Even in this alternate universe you still play your silly, dense, hard to get games!"

Glynda froze at the sound of Ozpin's enraged voice. She sighed as she decided whether or not it was wise continue. Shaking her head, she began the long once again walk through the desolated halls and back to her personal chambers. There would be no celebration tonight as it seems.

Why not let Arkos be? The blonde professor silently asked the all-knowing Oum as she shared the grief of her silver haired half.

Just updating this pet project of mine. Anyways, Merry Christmas folks!