A Lancaster Valentine
Hello my friend and Happy Valentine Day! I had my friend Azure made me another commission but this time a fluffy Lancaster story and not a smut. I also want to thank Azure for making this story for me. Anyway enjoy!
CM for Mr. What-If.
Chapter One- Hearts Red and Yellow mended
The adventure that had been….
Team RWBY and their allies ranging from Team JNR to Ozpin, Qrow, and all of Menagerie can safely say it's been a rather wild ride. From being in the midst of chaos and surviving a great deal of violence whether it be from the Grimm, Salem's forces, or simply the last few allies of the fallen Cinder and co, the heroes had seen and done it all.
Eventually Salem was defeated, for good, Oscar with Ozpin in his body confirmed it with the latter as a host finally being released from the farm boy. The remaining huntsmen academies were saved and the relics preserved, kept safely out of the hands of everyone else incase anyone might be tempted to use them.
The battle was won and Grimm activity was now at an all-time low thanks to the drop of Salem's interference, kingdoms and settlements were allowed to expand over land now and the huntsmen were permitted to guard them as well as exterminate any Grimm that might get in the way. No longer being confined to the Kingdom strongholds such as the Academies Huntsmen were allowed to roam Remnant to freelance or simply aid traveling settlements.
That is where we come to the heroes of this tale; Team RWBY and JNR.
Eight long years had passed since Salem's defeat and the group of friends all but separate in parted ways and living out their own personal destinies by moving on in their lives.
Ruby and Yang, being the close knit siblings that they were traveled the world together as a huntress pair aiding new settlers and fighting off Grimm while seeing the sights.
Blake Belladonna, now officially leading the newly reformed White Fang and helping to resolve any Faunus and Human dispute through mediations of peace instead of violence. After the wrath of the formerly violent White Fang she found that people were more open to peacefully coexisting with the Faunus. She did this happily alongside her loving husband Sun Wukong.
Nora and Ren decided to simply settle down together and start fresh in rebuilding Ren's old village with the promise of starting a family. Nora couldn't be happier and Ren found he could express his love for his partner more openly now that he was free of emotional baggage.
Lastly there was Jaune himself, who decided to go solo as a now fully fledged huntsman of Beacon Academy. He acquired his dream at long last after defeating Salem with the others and now chose to travel the world aiding people like Ruby and Yang are doing while also seeing the sights and coping with old regretful memories of the past.
Two of these heroes both felt it, wondering what could have been and just if it's not too late for it to happen….
With Ruby and Yang.
Sitting on a large rock and staring into the lush green wilderness a twenty four year old Ruby Rose pondered about a particular night the scenery reminded her of. The area was much the same and the glowing white pyreflies floating around made it just that much more nostalgic. It was on a night like this over eight years ago that she walked in on Jaune's secret training sessions to an old recording of his partner Pyrrha Nikos.
Seeing Jaune in pain over his loss and regret over not saving his partner broke Ruby's heart that night. She hated seeing him anguish, in her eyes Jaune was perhaps one of the least deserving of such grief on the planet. No one really handles loss well when they felt they could've done something.
"Jaune…." Ruby voiced somberly as she huddled up with her knees pressing to her chest. She had him on her mind a lot as of late, feelings and memories stirred within the stalwart huntress reminding her how much she regretted not telling him. Not confessing how she felt to him before leaving on this worldly tour.
"Thinking about Vomit boy again, Rubes?" A teasing voice spoke out interrupting the rose's thoughts as it came closer.
A twenty six year old Yang Xiao Long entered the picture holding an arm full of apples to offer her sister. Ruby looked at her side slightly pouting before turning back to the sight of the Pyreflies roaming about.
"You could just call him by his name, Yang. I think the title 'Vomit Boy' is outdated already, Jaune hasn't thrown up once ever since leaving Beacon." Ruby voiced hearing Yang snicker as she took a seat right beside her.
"There you go with another random intimate fact only you would know about him." Yang snickered and offered Ruby an apple that she took into her hand to bite down on. "How come you never just told him right when he left how much he means to you. Could've been traveling with him and eventually knocking boots, ya know."
Ruby chuckled sadly while she took a bite out of her apple. "I didn't want to say back then. The scars Cinder left on him after….Pyrrha were still fresh, even then. Jaune was in a bad place at the time and I didn't want to take advantage of him like and make myself feel like a rebound." Ruby admitted and Yang nodded somberly before pulling her sister to her side into a hug with her arm.
"Yeah, he was pretty torn up about it. Probably wished he'd be the one to do in Cinder too. You remember he said he wanted to go alone to do some soul searching, right? Well that was eight years ago, Rubes. Time to either let go of him or just make your move, otherwise you'll never know what could've been." Yang advised and Ruby nodded starting into the scenery.
The last time anyone saw Jaune Arc was after he said he'd take his personal journey around the world to help find himself. Ren and Nora kept them all informed that he was thankfully still alive and well after sending them letters of his travels.
"I don't know." Ruby mumbled when Yang heard her scroll vibrate with a call.
Picking it up she saw that it was Weiss who was calling them, deciding to sit back up and leave Ruby to herself the blonde babe got up and went into the forest to answer it.
"Yo, Weiss. How's it hanging?"
"Splendid all things considered, but who I really wanted to talk to was my old partner Ruby. No offense." Weiss explained with a courteous stoic smile.
"None taken, and Ruby's turned off her scroll for some reason, probably because she's kinda down in the dumps right now after taking a trip into memory lane." Yang explained and saw Weiss's softening stare as the blonde turned the scroll's camera screen in Ruby's direction.
"Arc must've really meant a lot to her." Weiss noted with a somber tone as she looked at her brooding partner.
"Yeah, she regrets not telling him anything on how she felt right before he went on his solo journey. Think it's too late to try and patch them together? I mean it's been eight years at this point she's still like this, Jaune himself has to have moved on by now, right?"
Weiss shrugged unsure of how to answer. "Who knows? But! I can't stand seeing my partner like this, not if I'm able to do something about it." She puffed up defiantly with a determined face.
Yang smirked and turned the scroll camera screen back to herself.
"You thinking what I'm thinking, Ice Queen?"
Weiss nodded. "I am, it's time to get the gang back together. I'll start setting up a reunion party back at my place beginning Friday at the end of this week. Can I trust you to make it there with Ruby on time?"
Yang nodded with a growing smile on her face. "We'll be there, but are you sure Jaune will be? I know Ren and Nora can convince him, but he seems a little iffy on visiting anyone these past eight years."
Weiss gave a reassuring nod to Yang. "I know he will, Jaune and Ruby are more alike than they think. They'll want to come no matter how remorseful and broody they can both get. Besides I'm sure the Flower Power couple will be able to convince him anyway."
"Alright, it's a plan then. We'll meet at your ridiculously large mansion to have a good ol Huntsman school reunion. Don't let me down, Weiss."
"Likewise." With that Weiss hung up and stood by her desk opening up an array of holo projected screens containing the contact information of every Huntsmen in their year that they considered to be close friends.
From her team of RWBY, Coco's team CFVY, Sun's Team SSSN, to Jaune's Team JN_R. Weiss froze at the missing letter 'P' and felt a bit stiff at the reminder, Pyrrha meant a lot to Jaune and to this day keeps blaming himself for her passing. Weiss could truly feel for the boy, but it's been eight long years and right now Ruby is hurting over him much the same way he's been hurting over Pyrrha.
"Time to move forward, Arc." Weiss said to herself and brought up Ren's Scroll number. "And we're all going to be pushing you to do that, just so you and my dunce of a partner can finally be honest with each other."
"Hello? Weiss is that you?" Ren's voice picked up as his face appeared on the screen. Much like his late father Ren bore an elegant mustache goatee combination signifying his maturity in age. The silly magenta stripe in his hair stayed though.
"Hey Ren. Glad to see you again, me and the girls were wondering if you and your crazy wife can help us with something." Weiss began with a growing smirk on her face.
In no time at all Friday came and with the Beacon Reunion party being held at Weiss's manor.
Within the spacious ballroom there were familiar faces all about standing with and chatting to old friends of school's past. From Coco and her team, all dressed fashionably in formal clothing, to Sun's unruly informal manner of dressing, to finally RWBY's four main girls striving into the center of the room on a red carpet.
Yang wore her lovely strapless yellow dress, Blake wore an elegant shimmering black gown with her bow gone, Weiss surpassed them with a pristine elegant light blue dress similar to her outfit at the ball years ago, and lastly Ruby walked in with her short lovely red and black dress that she wore to Beacon's school dance ages ago.
"Gah! I still hate these things." Ruby cursed as she stumbled in her high heel black shoes, much to the laughter of her teammates. "Ha ha, keep laughing, you three. Just help me up."
Yang pulled on Ruby's hands lifting her to her feet as the four started looking around to see if any sign of Jaune was present.
"Think he's already here? Or arriving fashionably late?" Yang questioned while scanning around searching for him.
Then both Ren and Nora, both clad in elegant formal wear, walked up to them bearing welcome smiles on their faces.
"Knowing Jauney I'd say it's a bit of both." Nora snickered as she clung Ren's arm closely.
"Do you really think he'll be here? I'm not too sure he'll arrive." Ruby voiced with growing anxiousness until Ren waved her down in a calming manner.
"He'll be here, Jaune can be forgetful quite often and he doesn't always send a letter to remind us of his status until we receive the next one a month later. We did send him the invite along with our most recent letter stating how important to us it'll be if he shows up." Ren explained.
"But we know like the back of our hands grabbing the weapon hilts of our awesome weapons before driving them into a Beowulf's skull!" Nora added excitedly earning a collection of laughs from all around.
Ruby wasn't convinced, in fact if anything she was more uncertain than ever. All around she looked she saw cheerful older classmates standing by and talking with one another, some of them being surprise couples like Scarlet and Neon Katt.
'Jaune, where are you?' Ruby thought in quiet sadness until both doors of the ballroom opened up catching everyone's attention, especially Ruby's.
Everyone Looked to see the tall form of a man clad in a white hooded outfit bearing leather armor around his waist and chest with a pair a gauntlets on his wrists and a familiar gold and white sword strapped to his back. His face appeared to be shrouded until he took a few more steps forward and pulled back his hood revealing a masculine blue eyed face with lengthy blonde hair partially tied back into a wolf tail.
"Hey everyone, what'd I miss?" He grinned cheerily with a toothy grin indicating that it was indeed-
"Jauney!" Nora cried out and rushed forward at him in an attempt to hug him ignoring his pleas of terror! She ended up tackling him into a loud impact of energy resulting in a crater forming on Weiss's marble floor!
"My floor!" Weiss choked out appalled as Nora sheepishly shrugged guilty after pulling Jaune up to his feet.
"Ooooh, that brings back memories alright." He said woozily as his crowd of friends, barring Weiss and Ruby, closed in on him ready to greet him after nearly ten long years.
Nora and Ren were the first to pull their former leader into a big family hug telling him how much they missed him. Blake then came up and formally shook his offered hand just before thanking him for all the work he did for defenseless Faunus villages. Weiss, after recovering from the shock of her devastated floor, simply offered him a courteous bow of respect and offered him a smile.
….Slugged him right in the face with a heavy left hook surprising everyone. The hit made him flinch only slightly and knocked him off balance a bit, yet it didn't seem to hurt him. This surprised everyone even more so, namely Ruby, Jaune quickly shook it off and nodded back to her in approval.
"Okay, I'm pretty sure I deserved that one. Just not sure why though." He voiced feeling his aura instantly repair the damage while Yang gripped her left arm in slight pain after the stinging numbness of hitting his body.
'What the hell did I hit? Is he made of rocks or something?' She thought gripping her hand then staring him fiercely in the face.
"Why? Oh big deal really except for the fact that you just up and disappeared off the face of the planet for ten whole years. I've been wanting to do that to you ever since, apparently you didn't care how worried we'd all be for your wellbeing. Some of us more than others." Yang answered and stood aside allowing Jaune to take in the sight of Ruby Rose, standing there beautifully in her red dress.
Jaune looked at her a bit dumbfounded for he was taken back for her maturity and beauty after being nearly a decade apart. She was no longer the adorable hyperactive weapons nerd that didn't socialize well with people, she was in fact a full fledged woman now and an elite huntress at that. Her hair was longer, around her shoulders even, her figure was filled out perfectly in both strength and femininity. Her face was done up in a light degree of make up and lipgloss, and her eyes shimmered brightly in hues of silver the longer he looked at them.
"Jaune…" Ruby said feeling equally dumbfounded as she took in his appearance; he was tall, built like an adonis, and looking like a dashing hero straight out of a fairy tale book. Jaune grew into a handsome grown man now and no longer the same dorkish knight he used to be, the same way she aged in a tall regal beauty clad in red.
"Ruby, wow, you look….beautiful. I almost couldn't tell it was you." He commented in awe making her blush and causing Ruby to avert her eyes bashfully.
"Aww, that's so sweet." Nora gushed quietly as she stood alongside Ren and the others watching the scene like it were a soap opera.
This intimate moment was being watched by everyone around them, and Ruby started to feel it was getting too uncomfortable to continue talking to him right here.
"Uh…! Let's to talk somewhere private, away from prying eyes." Ruby said the last part to her gawking teammates and friends earning a soft chuckle from Jaune as she took his strong right hand and led him away.
"Besides, I got a lot to say to you personally that's been waiting ten years." She added in a more grim serious tone that unnerved him.
They got to a more secluded part of the ballroom and entered one of the guest rooms of Weiss's mansion. Nobody else was around for what would surely be a rather heart wrenching moment. Ruby stood by one of the long arching windows looking out into the icy blue nature of Atlas. Jaune stood close by her wondering what he should say and how to say it, until she spoke.
"Why? Why did you have to vanish for ten whole years, Jaune Miles Arc?" Ruby asked heatedly turning her back to him.
Jaune felt a bit of shame within himself for treating his friends like total strangers for that long a time and spoke.
"I...I did it to get stronger, Ruby. That was my main objective in traveling the world. I wanted to grow more, learn more, and become more than I was." He confessed causing Ruby to turn around and face him with an incredulous tearful look.
"But Why?! Why was that so necessary after we defeated Salem, Jaune? Cinder is dead, her allies were defeated, and the White Fang stopped being a terrorist organization. What else was there to be strong for?"
Jaune peered up looking straight into her glistening silver eyes with conviction and guilt.
"During our journey, the one where began chasing Cinder and her cronies after Beacon fell. I always felt like I was useless, Ruby. I had none of the skill you and Ren possessed, none of the strength Nora had, and nothing to offer beside being just a useless damsel in distress. Even being the 'Planning guy' wasn't enough for me nor anyone. Our fight with Tyrian showed me that." Jaune confessed to a curious and worried Ruby and continued.
"Our enemies were a lot stronger, inhumanely so, and despite awakening my semblance during Haven all I could do was buff everyone's auras. Not my own. I was still a deadweight and can only be considered a walking charging station healing nurse for everyone else, never a warrior that hold his own. Heck, even Oscar came along farther in his few weeks of training than I ever did. Despite that he was just the host of Ozpin I couldn't help but resent him for it." He added bitterly then started forming tears in his fierce blue eyes.
"I felt disgusted for hating him when he did nothing wrong, but the worst of all was when we had our final battle against the witch. You and your team fought against Salem alongside everyone else including Ren and Nora. Me? I was knocked out cold thanks to a sneak attack by Hazel and Mercury. When I woke up, all of you were victorious and fought the good fight officially bringing the world to a more peaceful place whereas I sat back feeling humiliated and useless in the end. Everyone was cheering for you four and praising you for being the world's heroes, I was just ignored like I should be considering I held no real importance in that final battle. It was then that I decided….to just leave. Not to put it all behind me, but to train, to go out into the world and train like I should've done before I ever thought of coming to Beacon Academy. I left and didn't know when I'd ever be back to all of you, but I tried my best to constantly keep in touch. That's it right there, Rubes. That's the reason; just one pathetic guy trying to better himself and find some semblance of usefulness in the world."
Jaune finished and everything was quiet between him and Ruby for what felt like the longest minute in the world until Ruby walked up to him and-
Her right hand came streaking across his face stunning him and leaving a red mark on his cheek. Jaune was very surprised to two reasons; one being that Ruby really managed to bypass his defense and hurt him. The other being that two warm trickle of tears were streaming down her cheeks with red puffy eyes.
"You IDIOT!" She sobbed and choked up. "As far as reasons to leave everyone for years that was by far the stupidest one I've ever heard, Jaune. You behaved like a whiny eight year old not coming to terms with his own strength and left all of us because of it!"
Jaune rubbed his cheek and despite feeling guilty for the pain he caused felt he needed to fire back. This time with the whole truth.
"Ruby….I was weak and unprepared like crazy when...Pyrrha fell so long ago, I wanted to be prepared for anything if something happened again! I-I'm not strong enough go through it again! I can't stand to risk losing another girl I loved!" Jaune blurted out leaving Ruby stunned and frozen there in place.
"What?" She quietly asked still in stupor and awe as she felt her beat faster by the second.
"It wasn't just for my ego or my insecurity, it was because….I wanted to be the one protecting you and keeping you safe. I couldn't go through what I did with Pyrrha with you, Ruby. Not you. You always inspired me to be better, to get stronger, and be the leader you believed I could be. In my darkest moments following our journey you picked me up and dusted me off with a chipper smile on your face. I felt like I was in a dark place that was cold and unforgiving, but whenever I was with you it was like there was a warm light shining down on me. That's when I knew what it felt like; I fell in love with you. The main reasons I didn't act on those feelings was because I wasn't sure you'd felt the same, and given that it was a time of war and survival I was sure you wouldn't care to have a boyfriend. Especially not a weak one like me."
As soon as Jaune finished he felt Ruby's right hand gently clap his chin in the feeblest slap ever, Jaune looked at Ruby and saw that she had calmed down and held his collar tightly within her hands.
"You were never weak, Jaune. Not once did I think of you as helpless or a burden." She peered up at him with watery silver eyes and tinged cheeks. "It...has always been the other way around, I always felt inspired by you. You never backed down from a fight, never cowered from a challenge you didn't understand, always made the smart calls and thought of the best ways to coordinate our teams. Even back in Beacon I always felt you inspired me to be the leader I aimed to be!" Ruby confessed making Jaune fluster at her reveal, but what really hit it home was what she said next.
"I always, and still am, in love with you, Jaune. I never cared how strong or weak you were, I just cared about having you here closeby because I love you and never want to see you sad again." Ruby confessed in a heartfelt tone.
Jaune suddenly felt all the dots in his connect at how foolish he was being, and how much Ruby truly meant to him. Everything she said she meant with utmost sincerity that truly made his ten year long quest seem foolish and juvenile. Both their faces were blushing heavily after that heartfelt moment of honesty between them and the tension was only broken when Jaune asked one simple question.
"So err, should we kiss now?" He asked causing Ruby to bust out in a fit of giggles quickly dispelling the dramatic tension earlier.
"Yes, let's. I know I've been waiting way too long for it." She replied with a sweet smile and leaned forward at the same time as Jaune's face did.
In the moment of contact between the two pairs of lips both Jaune and Ruby felt the spark erupt between them through their hearts.
Jaune pulled Ruby in closer deepening the kiss while Ruby received him with just as much passion, the two of themlocking lips and basking in each other's embrace unaware of the door behind them splintering open.
Out spilled Blake, Yang, Nora, and Ren while Weiss stared appallingly at another destroyed piece of her property. Ruby and Jaune broke off from their loving kiss to greet their teammates with annoyed scowls until they started laughing together.
Ruby held onto Jaune's shoulder as she doubled over bursting into a fit of giggles until she noticed Jaune tensing up and looking right above him.
"Hold up." He quickly said and brought out his sword from his back to swiftly slice through the ventilation shaft just above their heads releasing the four members of Team CFVY onto the others!
"Hey watch it with that thing, would you? You nearly cut my beret off!" Coco complained as Ruby walked over to the window sill with a disgruntled.
"You better come out too or else I'll grab my Crescent Rose mark Three and go hunting on all of you!" She called out leading to the entire group of a panicked Team SSSN piling in through the balcony outside the window sill. Sun looked guiltily at them while waving up a peace sign.
"Oh come on, did anyone actually not eavesdrop on us?" Jaune asked seeing shrugs and shaking heads.
Nora launched at Jaune again, once more making him yelp in panic until she wrapped her arms around his neck in a headlock rambling a very incoherent slur of 'Thank yous'.
"I owe it to ya this time, Fearless leader! I made a bet with Blake and came out on top! Now I'm richer because of it." She squealed secretly very happy that Jaune and Ruby are now an item.
"By like at least fifty lien. Not exactly rich, Nora." Ren commented deflating his wife's enthusiasm a little bit.
"I just did it for the sport, of course I had faith in you two coming together." Blake added coyly.
"Then why did you make bets with all of us? You have to be out at least a thousand lien, Blake!" Yang puffed feeling steamed as Jaune simply stared gawking at all his friends around him.
"You all were betting on us?!" He screeched indignantly in a rather comical manner.
"You guys are such dummies." Ruby commented as she wrapped her arms around Jaune's arms while everyone joined them for a laugh.
And so the group of heroes and friends returned to the party drinking punch, catching up, and dancing the night away.
Jaune and Ruby never let go of each other while they slowly danced around together on the ballroom floor in each other's arms. Ruby rested her head against his chest smiling peacefully as Jaune rested his atop hers feeling the weight of his self perceived failures fade away with the Red Rose in his arms.
A future worth staying together after an altar ceremony and honeymoon wasn't far off and will soon tie the pair of Lancaster together for eternity.
Yang dubbed it the 'Marriage between Vomit Boy and Crater face' right before being chased around by the pair.
AN: This has been a Valentine's commission for Mr What If. Thanks for reading.