Summary: In hindsight, she should have expected it. They'd spent so much time saving each other, and they'd grown closer as a result. And yet, here she was, proving that he could still surprise her.

After Tomorrow



Ever since the world ended, Jaune Arc wondered what peace was like.

He remembered what it used to be. It was the stroke of his mother's hand as she tucked him into bed. It was the booming laugh of his father as he reached down to ruffle his hair. It was the joy of his younger sisters as they played hide and seek. It was the mischievousness of his older sisters, dragging him along to the mall to be their bag boy.

It was helping a young, red-cloaked girl up from a self-induced crater. It was being rescued by a girl who'd end up being a martyr. It was messing around, all eight of them, be it at the library or the cafeteria. It was flaunting in a dress and dancing with his team, all while helping an heiress pursue another.

Jaune Arc remembered what peace used to be. And then the world ended. And then he forgot.

Ever since the world ended, Jaune Arc wondered what peace was like.

Once the world ended, he knew what it wasn't. It wasn't seeing a blonde break the the leg of another. It wasn't seeing a puppet be torn into shreds before his very eyes. It wasn't a fleeting kiss before being launched away in a locker. It wasn't sitting motionless in the med bay, clutching a headpiece to his chest.

It wasn't a message from the fallen, thanking him for her death. It wasn't him helpless, watching the ones he loved fall into peril. It wasn't looking into the eyes of the devil as she mocked his partner's final moments. It wasn't him watching as she walked past him, spear primed to kill another.

Jaune Arc had forgotten what peace was like. But he hadn't forgotten what it wasn't.

Ever since the world ended, Jaune Arc wondered what peace was like.

He was so far removed from remembering how it felt, that at times he wondered if he'd even be able to recognise it ever again.

And then, he did.

His first experience of it was a gasp of air, as he felt her chest rise and fall beneath his fingertips. The feeling was foreign to him, but still he desperately clung to it. She'd woken, they'd exchanged a few words, and then she'd gone and stabbed a man with a Queen Lancer. Though her words towards him still had bite, what mattered to him most was that she was alive.

His second experience of it was the sound of her footsteps as she made her way towards him. It was the night before they ventured to Atlas, and she'd found him in Haven's courtyard, swinging his sword while listening to a ghost. Rather than stopping him, she instead stopped the recording, much to his chagrin. Summoning her knight in front of him, all she said was that sparring would yield more experience.

His third experience of it was her voice, a light melody in the darkness. She was out on one of Atlas Academy's many balconies, singing to herself. She sung of her loneliness, of her disinheritance, of everything that plagued her mind. He sat himself beside her, closed his eyes, and listened. She did not stop singing. He did not stop listening.

His fourth experience of it was her body shielding his, her teeth clenched together as the big man (what was his name - Hazel?) tore through her ice barriers like paper. Yet still she formed new ones to replace the old, stubbornly ignoring his pleas to escape and leave him to die. He'd already transferred what was left of his aura to her, so he was useless to her, a noose around her neck. Still she refused, holding on well past her limits until help arrived in the form of Raven Branwen.

His fifth experience of it was a harsh strike across his cheek. Her fury was unabated as she shouted at him against a wall, cursing him for his foolishness. She screamed at him to value his life more, because if he died, then he would be leaving them all behind. He would be leaving her behind. Jaune Arc would never forget the expression she made that night. Jaune Arc would ensure that she never made that expression again.

He felt peace many more times after this, his sixth, his seventh, his eleventh... he stopped counting after a while. And as he felt it more often, he began to realise that each instance had something in common.

And when she pressed her lips against his under the watch of Beacon Tower, he wondered if it was the same for her, too.

Ever since the world ended, Jaune Arc wondered what peace was like.

In downtime when left to his own thoughts, he would wonder what peace would be like when the world was brought back to life.

Maybe it would be Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie restoring Kuroyuri, encouraging people to come back to the fallen village.

Maybe it would be Blake Belladonna disbanding the White Fang, going on to work for equal faunus rights away from its tainted name.

Maybe it would be Yang Xiao Long leading the Branwen tribe, fulfilling the role her mother once had.

Maybe it would be Ruby Rose finally fulfilling her wish of becoming a huntress, one who youth of every age would clamour to get an autograph of.

Maybe it would be Jacques Schnee losing control of his company to its rightful heiress, who'd then lead them towards a better future.

Maybe it would be the seven of them getting together every year in front of Pyrrha Nikos' grave, where they'd celebrate how she lived.

Maybe it would be Jaune Arc as the new headmaster of Beacon, ensuring that everyone in his school would know of Pyrrha Nikos' legacy. Maybe it would be spending his time by the statue of her in Beacon's entrance hall, telling her that Cardin Winchester's kid had enrolled and that he was really fighting the urge to make his life a living hell (he'd say he was joking of course - Pyrrha Nikos never really did grasp sarcasm). Maybe it would be him guiding the hunters and huntresses of tomorrow towards a world where no one had to willingly walk towards their inevitable demise.

And maybe, just maybe it would be the end of every school week, when Jaune Arc would hop into the fastest bullhead to Atlas, just so that he'd be able to see his three most favourite girls in the entire world.

Maybe that's what peace would be like in the future. Who knows? Jaune Arc sure doesn't.

Ever since the world ended, Jaune Arc wondered what peace was like.

And now that the world was reborn, he's positive that he now knows the answer.

Peace was five feet in height and held a whole lot of snarkiness. Peace pretended to be annoyed by her teammates' rowdiness, but deep down she enjoyed their presence. Peace had a wonderful singing voice, lulling him into fitful bouts of sleep without nightmares. Peace was amusing to make fun of, and would pinch his cheek until he apologised. Peace would laugh at his stupid jokes, partly out of obligation and partly because she liked having him around. Peace was there for him when he was weak, and was there to celebrate with him when he was strong. Peace would do anything save him, as he likewise would.

Peace was the sleeping face before him, her expression free of woe and her body draped in sheets.

Last night had started as somewhat of an awkward, clumsy affair that ended with clothes being strewn all over the place and the both of them becoming a tangled mess of limbs. It had been a haphazard mixture of desperation and ecstasy, out of want and need and whatever laid in between.

And Jaune Arc had never felt more alive.

The morning sun streaked through the room's open window, partially illuminating her face. She looked like a… what was that term he'd used long ago, snow angel? He internally winced at the cheesiness, but couldn't deny that the term had its merits. She did look rather angelic with her hair loose around her, no longer held back by her ponytail. He reached forward, tucking a few loose strands behind her ear. She grumbled incoherently and grabbed his arm, wrapping it in hers with a content sigh as she slept.

He laughed to himself but abruptly stopped, confusion marring his face. How long has it been since he'd laughed so freely? It felt like a lifetime ago. Hell, it may as well have been. It had been a much simpler time back then, back before the knowledge of maidens and magic and relics and gods - and don't even get him started on the whole silver-eyed warrior thing. He could barely even explain how his own aura and semblance worked for crying out loud.

But for now at least, all of that was done. Everyone was free to do as they pleased without the worry that tomorrow may never come. In fact, they were free to think of what to do after tomorrow. The possibilities were endless, to say the least. When one has all the time in the world, how do they decide on what to do first?

Well, one thing did come to Jaune Arc's mind.

Besides, his feet were feeling pretty warm.

He leaned forward, the distance between them going from inches to centimetres as he pressed his lips to her forehead. As he drew back, the woman before him began to stir. One eye opened first - her scarred one - and then the other. Diamond sleepily blinked in and out of existence before she took his captive hand to stifle her incoming yawn. He couldn't help but roll his eyes at that, how cute it was notwithstanding. Then, after a pregnant pause she released his hand, bit her lip, and waited.

He smiled.

She smiled back.

Ever since the world ended, Jaune Arc wondered what peace was like.

And as he looked into her eyes, without a shadow of a doubt, Jaune Arc was sure of it.

Peace was Weiss Schnee.

"Marry me."

"I love you, too."

After Fin

"So you can drag me through hell, if it meant I could hold your hand." Bring Me The Horizon - Follow You

Author's Notes: I finished catching up on RWBY a few weeks ago and wanted to write something. And as you can see, that "something" turned into "somethings". Anyway, yeah. White Knight for life.

- Narutochaos22