Jaune "Ironhide" Arc

Chapter 3

-Jaune-

"Locker 217, locker 217." Jaune muttered with a mildly annoyed frown as he tried to find the locker with his gear "Where the hell are you?" he was positive he hadn't had this hard a time finding his locker before to put his gear away and given that he'd actually met Ozpin he wouldn't be surprised in the least if the man had the lockers moved around overnight for his own amusement.

"No, no, no, no, no!" he heard frantic horrified whispers as he looked over to see that Atlas girl from yesterday, Weiss, checking various jars of Dust, looking more and more frantic, more and more outraged, as she went through them. To make matters worse, for him, he saw locker 217 proudly standing right next to Weiss and her open locker.

"Excuse me." he stepped by her, showing the locker ID number as he began to open the container to get his gear, noting that the girl seemed to be torn between an outraged tirade and a small breakdown. Damn his bleeding heart, "Are you alright?"

"What do you think!" Weiss snapped her head at him even as he saw another vial of dust cracking upon being opened. That sent off all sorts of red flags as no dust containing glass, no matter how shoddy, should be that brittle.

"Those aren't the vials you used, are they?" he crouched down to look at them, it being the only answer that made sense to him given her history with the substance, her reactions to the vials breaking, and just how brittle they were.

"I used my own personal vials I always have." Weiss's hands had barely a tremor as she poured what she could of the dust into her weapon, adding the rest to extra reloadable chambers for the revolver like rapier, before looking despondently at the excess dust left in the broken container, "High quality glass crystal, tempered to be durable as possible. These…these aren't what I used."

"You think someone replaced them with more brittle ones? Why?" Jaune had heard of assassination attempts on the Schnee family but didn't want to make random guesses or accusations.

"If I had to guess I'd assume my father." Weiss spat, the apparent need for someone to vent to overriding her indignation from yesterdays interaction, that or she just hadn't recognized him yet. "If it was a White Fang assassination attempt, they wouldn't be this…subtle. They'd take the chance to make a big showy display of my death." The fact that she said that so calmly honestly scared the ever loving fuck out of him "But my father hated that I want to be a Huntress, and hated even more that I chose to study at Beacon rather than Atlas where he could keep an eye on me. I'm positive that he's the one who replaced my vials, hoping to sabotage me just enough that I do something to get thrown out or fail and have to come crawling back to him."

"Sounds like a bastard." Jaune admitted as he started feeding slugs into his revolver "My dad took away my own gear when he found out I was coming to Beacon, Ozpin had to loan me these for the entrance exam."

"Why?" Weiss raised a skeptical eyebrow as he finished loading his revolver, holstering it as he prepared some quick loading tools.

"No idea." Jaune admitted with a wry grin as he finished getting his weapons and basic cuirass prepped "But he always refused to train me. Trained my sisters, he and mom had training, aunts, uncles, etc. etc. But never me. Never got an explanation and at this point I couldn't give a damn. Every day I'm here, away from him and his obstinate pain in the ass interference, is a win for me and a loss for him so he can take his opinions, he can take his decisions, and shove them right up his ass." He raised a bottle of water towards her in toast, "So to shitty dads and their shittier decisions, may they stew and suck on it!" The area was tense for the briefest of moments before Weiss let out a rather unrefined laugh, unable to stop herself thanks to the unexpected absurdity of his toast. He'd take it as a win.

"Doesn't answer what I'm going to have to do with all of this." Weiss gestured to vial after broken vial. One for each Dust type that had a third of the jar left with no way to seal them back up given the jars shattered upper nature.

"Might I give some advice?" Jaune sat down as he inspected what she had, both in the jars and her locker.

"Go ahead." Weiss sighed as she leaned against the locker, having seemingly accepted that she couldn't get him to leave now that he'd butted in and gotten her to laugh. She was apparently smart like that.

"First you could try being a bit nicer to people, get them to want to be your friend. It'll be another win against your old man if you have people who genuinely want you here for you and not his money." He began as she considered it, the point of getting one up on her dad apparently being a helpful way to start breaking her bad habits he saw yesterday. "Second, when it come to the Dust, I have two suggestions. You could do one, both, or neither."

"I'm…I'm listening." Weiss was apparently starting to relax now, her expression showing a wary respect and intrigue, maybe she saw him as a Kindred spirit.

"One is offer to fill up other people's dust weapons since you can't save this stuff." He gestured to the jars, "Might be a good way to start making friends. Other option," he went to his locker and started pouring out various jars of protein powder and vitamin pills into Ziploc bags "is that you can rinse these out and pour them into here. They won't do long term but could make for a grenade or something in the field. Just toss and shoot yeah?"

"…Improvised ordinances?" Weiss gaped at him, "You're kidding right? I fight using a rapier, I'm supposed to be a symbol of elegance. That-"

"Is the complete opposite of how you were raised an expected to be?" he offered with an amused grin as Weiss paused before taking a bunch of the small jars, Jaune having had several small containers for various vitamins and medicines "I'll make a few and offer the rest. Do you need any?"

"These are just basic cast gear and a standard revolver, they don't use dust augmentation sadly." He shrugged before pointing over at Ruby and Yang who had just walked in and saw him talking to Weiss, "But I do know their gear does use Dust. Might be a good way to start making up for yesterday since that was an Accident."

"I…I…" Weiss began, trying to stay in control before slumping over with a resigned sigh "You're right." She studied him for a moment before she gave him a couple improvised grenades, Gravity and Fire, "Stay safe out there, that's an order, understood?"

"Understood Captain." He gave her a cheeky grin, "Commander Arc is on the job?"

"Arc huh?" Weiss stood up with her cases as she studied him before smirking "And Commander is a bit much. Private maybe but definitely not Commander."

"Oh, you're cold." He gave her a pout, placing a mock wounded hand to his chest.

"Make a 'Weiss Cold' pun and I'll freeze you to that bench." Weiss scoffed, the corners of her lips twitching as she made her way over to a wary looking Ruby and Yang.

"That…wasn't what I expected." Hearing a new voice, he turned to see a familiar looking redhead poking her head from around the corner where she had apparently been hiding, sending Weiss a confused glance.

"What was?" he studied her with a frown "And why do you look so familiar?"

"Maybe you saw me in passing?" the girl tried awkwardly. He could tell it was something more, but he'd let her keep her anonymity if she wanted.

"Maybe." He shrugged as he found a way to attach his makeshift dust ordinances to his belt "And you never told me what you did expect."'

"I…" Pyrrah seemed torn as she studied him before glancing back at Weiss, apparently making a decision, "I'm from some circles of a similar level as Weiss Schnee runs. When I arrived yesterday, she found me and spent a good bit of time trying to convince me to be her partner for the Beacon teams, going on and on about how advantageous it would be for the both of us."

"Maybe she just wanted someone she could relate to." Jaune suggested with a shrug as he got up, not caring if the redhead was apparently from some ritzy circles even as she froze to consider that "Anyway, I'm gonna go head down to the cliffs. Good luck with the exam, yeah?"

"Y…yeah." The redhead said softly before shaking her head and sending him a beaming smile that made him feel like he should have sunglasses, "I'm Pyrrah by the way, Pyrrah Nikos."

"Jaune, Jaune Arc." He shook her hand with a smile before heading down to the starting point, falling in line with a calm looking guy with pink eyes and the man's clearly very energetic orangette friend. Being a jungle gym for the apparent 'queen of the castle' as she bombarded him with questions about his opinions on sloths wasn't how he expected to spend any part of his day, but he'd dealt with weirder with his sisters so…meh.

-Pyrrah-

Shield out, Pyrrah flew through the air, smashing through multiple trees to slow momentum, her shield and aura tanking the blows as she slowed down before she was able to enter into a roll and land on a sturdy branch. Snapping out her weapon in its riffle form, she looked through the scope, eventually spotting the two candidates she was considering as a potential partner. The first, to her admitted self-surprise, was actually Weiss after the comment made by Jaune earlier. The thought of Weiss feeling out of water, of trying to be her partner because of their similar past, of wanting someone she could relate to? Someone who could understand her? Well, she'd be lying if she said it didn't strike a chord. The second was that boy, Jaune, who apparently didn't recognize her at all. It was refreshing to have someone look at her as Pyrrah, not the invincible girl, not the goddess of victory, just Pyrrah.

"Well, there's Weiss." Pyrrah spotted the only person at the entrance exam wearing all white with matching hair descending on a platform of Glyphs, a small girl in red and black with an absolutely massive Scythe landing so close to the Schnee heiress she would be stunned if they didn't become partners. "I suppose that leaves…" she spotted Jaune landing not too far away from her "there you are. Well, Pyrrah, time to get a partner."