The dance of tigers
Just a little snippet of a thought that came to me whilst writing A Grimm Tale. Expect somewhat species-ist comments from Sienna, though. She is a very vocal Faunus Rights activist.
In the apartment that she had in the upper side of Vale's residential district, she stirred from her slumber. Slowly rising from the mess of pillows and the sheets that'd tangled around her body, Sienna Khan allowed herself a look through the room, noticing that the clothes that she'd discarded earlier that morning were still on their appointed seat. She could have draped them so that they would have still been neat and orderly, yet she had not cared.
The door swung open, her personal assistant standing in the door opening. "It's time for your morning appointments, Miss Khan." The woman who entered was good at her job, even as Sienna pulled herself out of the warm and protective sheets, yawning at the sudden chill that she felt. "Get dressed and we'll be getting to the centre soon. You are to help the poor orphans for a while."
The same song and dance that had been going on for a while. The White Fang was more than just a bunch of crazed lunatics that came together to terrorize the humans, to her. In her own words, they were more of a movement to ensure that humanity would respect the Faunus, to treat them equally due to the fear of reprisal.
'As if any of the humans could do something like this! We are the prized children of this world, not the humans.'
It was one of the core tenets of her beliefs. To grow strong and to show that strength, that was what a Faunus should be like. Nothing like the words and politics that Ghira had been involved in. She shuddered a little as she stepped under the spray of the shower, washing her body swiftly with the methodical brushes of the sponge.
"Your appointment is in thirty minutes, Miss Khan." Her assistant announced, Sienna stepping from the spray, her hands brushing through her short hair, her ears leaking water still. 'One of the issues of having another set of ears is the need to brush them again.'
A spray of perfume to coat her body with the scent of her favourite flowers, she stepped into her room once more, dressing swiftly. She stepped out, the loosely flowing garment that she wore something unlike what 'Sienna Khan, High Leader of the White Fang' would wear. A set of glasses on the bridge of her nose completed the look, the ornament that she usually had at her forehead absent. 'Now I look presentable.'
As she stepped into the vehicle that would bring her to her destination, her assistant acting as the chauffeur for now, she pulled up the files on the orphanage from the information package that'd been laid out for her. "Are you sure that this is the best way? I don't do well with children." She asked, her assistant giving a soft click as a response. The set of antlers that she had growing from her forehead were beautiful, not like those hairless apes who merely thought that Faunus were but pets.
"It would project an image of warmth and care for the young ones, Miss Khan. The statistics have shown that a positive public image can dissuade the people from thinking about our more radical elements." Her assistant's voice was a higher pitch than her own, yet it was not unpleasant to the ears to listen to."So I just have to help out little orphans and have pictures taken, right?"
The orphanage was in one of the sections of Vale that had barely been touched by the refurbishment of the city in the late thirties, the Vytal treaty having ensured that the cities that made up the Kingdoms were revitalized. The poor Faunus children looked at her with their pleading little eyes, as she stepped out of the car.
"Are you going to be our mommy?" A small girl asked, the horns growing from her forehead hinting at her ancestry. Sienna felt her heart beat a little faster. "I'm just here to help. You can call me Sienna."
'It is always crucial to remain in control. Do not give the impression that your anger is easy to rouse. The public opinion is as much a battlefield as is the field of politics.' The words had been imprinted on her by her former teacher, whose skill in the art of speech-giving was something that had been notable, for a Faunus. "Miss Sienna, will you be here for us tomorrow too?"
Her heart throbbed a little at the pitiful sound of the girl's voice. It was hopeful, afraid of being abandoned. "I'm afraid I'm just here for a day but I will come back, someday." The lie slipped easy from her lips, as she shifted her stance a little, reaching out a hand. "But I'd love to get to know you. What's your name?"
The girl's eyes were wide as she looked at the hand, taking it. "My name is Sandy. The matron says that I've always got sandy hair, so it is Sandy." The hair was perhaps a mottled sandy colour, yet Sienna did not comment on that. She smiled. "That's a lovely name, Sandy." She said.
Her personal assistant followed behind her. The weapon that the woman had holstered in the holster below the suit that she wore was something of a necessity. The goodwill of the people did not extend to all Faunus. Some resisted her dominion of the White Fang.
"Miss Khan, it's an honour to have you here with us." The matron said, her voice sounding like the welcome to a state affair, Sienna's lips pushing into a small smile. "Matron... Farb, is it?" The woman nodded. "Emmaille Farb, at your command, High Leader."
She put on her smile again. "Just Sienna for now." She said, as she took the woman's hand. To show that she cared for her people, against the human disgust that came with their kind. To show that she was an ally, a person in whom faith could be placed. "I'm here to help... so, tell me where I can help."
The jobs would be picked out for her by the PR team of the White Fang, nothing that was too stressful on the system. Just something that could look good in the underground papers, to show that Sienna Khan was a merciful woman. Her eyes did not miss the flicker of fear that rushed over the woman's face. "Only a few jobs remain, Miss Khan."
"The Matron has been really busy. She said that there was this important lady coming for a visit." Sienna smiled at the girl, Sandy looking up at her. "Are you that important lady, Sienna?" Her personal assistant looked a little strained at the casual use of her first name but Sienna knew what to do. It was all a game of politics. "Do you think I am?" She asked, Sandy shrugging.
"I dunno. I'm just six, so the matron says I shouldn't worry too much." Sienna could see that the girl indeed did worry. "I'm here to help out, though." She glanced at her personal assistant, a minutely raised eyebrow enough to clue the woman in.
"That's good. Little Timmy wet the bed again." Sandy said, the matron wincing again. "Miss Khan, allow me to attend to that." Sienna shook her head. "It's what we do for our people, Miss Farb." The glib platitude was enough to soothe the worries of a woman, as the matron looked conflicted.
"Show me little Timmy's bed and I'll clean it up." Sienna didn't really think much about the tasks of a domestic nature, as she was used to far worse things for the cause. The smell of dying people really did not compare to the smell of piss-soaked sheets. Humans had been the worst offenders for smell... How they could smell like nothing at all was beyond her.
'They do not know the needs of the Faunus... We're a proud people, not... animals.'
She had grown up in poverty. She had seen how the world had been cruel and harsh against her and her kind. She had conquered her fear and brought herself to the point where she could stand TALL once more, to grow into the woman that she was.
The sheets were put in the hamper ten minutes later, the mixture of vinegar and baking soda on the mattress left to soak up the urine, as she smiled at the young boy that seemed to be abashed at being aided in this fashion. 'It is hard to find a good man who doesn't feel intimidated by my status.'
Dating as the High Leader of the White Fang was out of the question. "Ma'am, we need to go to our next appointment in an hour and a half." Her personal assistant said, the soft sigh she suppressed not suitable for a leader of a people. "Of course."
"So... What do you do for fun around here?" She inquired, Timmy looking up at her with a wavering smile on his lips. "Sometimes we play together with the humans. There's an orphanage a street away, we're the Faunus and they're the humans. We play Foo foo." The smile on her lips stiffened a little, the flare of distaste inside her growing.
'Humans and Faunus working together... playing together as if they would not see us locked in cages.' She mustered a warm smile though, even though internally, she raged. "And do the humans play nice?"
Timmy nodded, his little head with his dark brown hair and his dog ears bobbing. "They're nice, Miss Sisi." The young boy could not pronounce her name properly, so she had accepted the nickname. "There's this girl on their team that's really cool. Her name is Erbse. She's from Atlas but came to live her. Her mummy and daddy died in an accident."
The chains that would bind them together, the sweltering condition of the mines as the explosions rocked their frames. The smell of sweat and waste mingling together as they were penned up like beasts. "That's nice to hear that you've made a friend." She said, her teeth visible, a sign of her irritation and anger. "But you should remember that humans don't much like us. She'll start to dislike you too when she's a little older."
Humans always did that. They would say 'We're your friends' at first and then they would take you and everything that you owned. "Why? She's so nice." She patted the child's head, her eyes going to her assistant. "She'll be seeing you differently, because you were all born special."
In the car, she could smell the sweat on her body. The picture session had been nice, with several of the children arranged around her, her hands busy with the picture book, reading to the youngest of the lot. It had not stopped her from working up a sweat though. She would do her best for the cause. "A quick shower before we go to the next appointment." The assistant nodded, driving back to the apartment building, allowing her fifteen minutes for her shower. She was back in the seat once she had properly cleaned herself up, looking like the prim and proper Sienna Khan once again. "What is our next appointment?"
"The administration office." Looking out of the window, Sienna sighed. The weather was nice this time of day, even though it was only eleven. "Do we have to?" She inquired, even as she began her mental calculations about what would be done there.
Boring files stacked on boring files, all requiring the signature of one of the leadership of the White Fang. A job that she could do, thanks to the office that she held, as well as the skill in administrative efforts thanks to some online classes that she had followed.
'Somehow, I don't think that the humans ever thought that Faunus would be able to afford those classes.' Getting down and dirty in the ring with a sparring partner was something that was much more her style. She needed to fight, to be challenged, to show the world that Sienna Khan broke people with sheer physical force and ideology!
Three hours later she emerged into the public, the bodyguards that she had been assigned for the public outing somewhat less intrusive, her personal assistant at her side. "Remember that the charity ball will be in three weeks. The White Fang counts on you." The words were rote and repeated frequently. 'I can kick someone's ass three ways into Sunday, yet I can't manage something simple as a dance... What a loser I am, hah.' As a leader, one was expected to be capable of much more than the average joe.
She would undoubtedly be standing at the sideline once again, with yet another excuse about not being able to make a dance due to strained muscles. 'They're going to think that I can't dance... which I genuinely can't. Those heels... ugh.'
She sat herself down at a McSchnee, the menu in front of her something that she had known by heart. The business that catered to the masses was good enough for her. They did not care about one's species, but about the bucks that they'd be giving to the Schnee family. 'They'd be fucking poisoning the food if it'd help them earn a buck.'
Looking at the selection of burgers, her mouth salivated. "Get me a McQuack and a large fries. You know which drink I like, right?" The assistant nodded, pulling her wallet out as she got up. The ordinary tasks that had to be completed were for her assistant to do, the seat opposite of her kept open, the table at which she sat located near the back. Good enough for some anonymity and to be able to eat in peace.
She heard a soft cough from her left side. "Is that seat taken?" A male voice asked, her head whipping up, as her eyes looked him over.
'Blonde hair, hoodie with a lame bunny pattern on it, idealistic blue eyes that haven't seen a man bleed out, no overt Faunus scent... Human. Another filthy fucking human, no doubt intending to hit on me for a quick fuck of 'taming the tiger' or something to tell to his friends.' He looked doubtful though, his hesitation visible on his face.
"But if you don't want me to sit down, or whether you've got a friend coming back with your food, I can leave. There aren't any seats left, so I'll have to go and eat whilst standing." He seemed aware of the position, her eyes sliding over the crowd.
The tables and the seats were all full. Only in front of her there were two seats free, one slated for her assistant and the other...
She looked at his meal. Chicken nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs, fried with the fat of some animal. Ketchup that smelled like processed tomato jizz, with the scent of preservatives in it so thick that it nearly made her gag. A burger that was on the small side. "Sit your human ass down, boy." She said, deciding not to make a fuss about it.
'Making a scene would just hurt the cause.' Her eyes looked him over as he set the plate down, her bodyguards moving a little, getting up. "Sir, I'm afraid that-" She held up a hand to stop the bodyguard from continuing. "Let him sit down. It's not like there are other spaces free and I suppose we must be magnanimous in our graces." The bodyguard sat down.
'Why did I choose the diplomatic route?' She asked herself as she looked at him. A dopey smile was on his lips, warm and friendly and open. 'Fuck, he's looking at me as if I just gave him a puppy. No doubt imagining how it'd be feeling to have a good-looking woman like me in his smelly stinky human arms, imagining me naked already.'
"You're a nice lady." He said, as he picked up one of the chicken nuggets and dipped it into the tomato ketchup. She could almost imagine it being the soul of a Faunus dipped in the molten pit of hatred that he would have for her kind."Thank you. It is merely what a polite and civilized person would do to another." Civility seemed to be the best course of action. Too many people who could record the 'great and mighty leader of the White Fang insulting some poor teen with a bad dress sense'. It would not hurt her cause to be polite. It'd be all over Scrolltube in an hour if she did.
He smiled at her, brilliant and guileless. Sienna's face showed none of her internal thought processes, as she tried to process that smile, running it through the filters of what she knew of human behaviour, the smile as broad as it could be as if it were something of an invitation to her. 'He can't be that stupid to not know what...'
"So, eh... my name's Jaune, Jaune Arc. Sweet, short, rolls off the tongue, ladies love it or so dad said." She raised an eyebrow slowly, her eyes meeting his own with that stare of near-incredulity. 'Is he... hitting on me?'
The thought of any human hitting on her for anything but a short encounter between the sheets was an incredulous things. Even with the glasses she wore and the rather nondescript outfit that she wore right now, she was still a Faunus woman. She lived and breathed the White Fang, as it was. "Are you really trying to pick me up?" She asked, her voice carrying an undertone of frost.
'No doubt he is just practising his lines on some filthy faunus mutt. Doesn't he see the ears? Doesn't he know that we're like a disease to his kind, nothing but cheap labour or some easy thrills?' The anger inside her rose, about to erupt. "No, no! I was just... Just trying to make conversation. Mom said that strangers are friends that you just haven't met... oh, wait, eh... yeah, that's it. Strangers are friends that you haven't met yet."
'What fantasy world is he living in?' Sienna asked herself, a dark cloud on her face as she looked at the gormless bastard that had just said something so naive to her that it almost physically hurt her. He was disarmingly smiling at her, like it was something that he knew was right. To smile at her, a faunus woman. Older than him by... what? Ten years?
"And you think that it is right to use a pick-up line on me? A Faunus?" He said, his face showing confusion. "It's a pick-up line? But dad... Dad said..." She groaned audibly. This boy was challenged, no doubt. "The name's Sienna. Sienna Khan."
A blank look on his face. Clearly he did not recognize it, even as she gave a laborious sigh. "Miss, your food." The woman said as she set the tray in front of her, the plastic tray with a burger for herself set at Jaune's side. The personal aide looked at Jaune as if he were something disgusting, her eyes carrying the frustration of the struggle against the Humans. "You're sitting here, human." The woman said in a snappy tone.
He looked up at her, cowed no doubt by the way that she had spoken. "I... I can leave." The chicken nugget half-submerged in the ketchup looked like a forlorn vestige of respect, drowning in the sea of hatred. "I was just... just trying to get to know Sienna here. She looks like a nice lady." The personal assistant opened her mouth, yet she forestalled that. "And what, does exactly, make me look like a nice lady?" She questioned.
Her tone had been sharper than before, her voice sounding more hostile, yet she could not help it. "No weapons on his form, Ma'am." One of her bodyguards whispered at a barely audible tone, her Faunus ears sharp enough to pick it out. "He seems harmless, yet we are ready to drop him if it is needed."
"Your eyes. You look like someone who loves what they do a lot. They just blaze with a... y'know, fire? If that's possible." She could not suppress the hint of being pleased from showing through, her ears twitching a little. "You look like a woman who's got it all together. A business lunch with your boss and two of your co-workers." The bodyguards seemed to stiffen a little, even as Sienna let her gaze switch between the two of them. "How interesting." She said neutrally.
"Well, I should get going. I've got a meeting to get to. I'm going to be a Huntsman."Sienna wasn't sure whether to take that as an out for him or not, his eyes looking guarded. 'It'll serve him right, dying by the hands of a Grimm... Such fools who can't even recognize a great leader when they see them...' "Have a very pleasant day, Mister Arc." She said, her voice containing no trace of her frustration or anger. He smiled at her. "Ah, do you happen to know where Maurice Pale's shop is?"
'Forger of documents. Able to make copies of travel documents for cheap prices, non-discriminatory in nature. Unsure about his loyalties.' "Third street on the right corner of Vytal Promenade, look for a small shop with a blue signboard." She heard the bodyguard answer, giving him a questioning look. The brilliant smile on his lips was enough, as he seemed to have gained a brighter mood than before, if that was even possible. The tray he picked up and walked with towards one of the walls, leaning against it.
"It would be impolite if things had escalated." Sienna spoke, a difficult expression on her face as she did so. Her gaze remained on the young man, shaking her head slightly. "Humans... I'll never understand their curiosity or their foolishness." Her personal aide seemed to be conflicted moreso than she, even though the encounter with the young man was put out of mind nearly immediately as the food demanded her attention.
She pushed the thoughts of the human out of her mind immediately, focusing on the goodness that was salty fries and the burger. This was the life of someone who led one of the most influential organisations on the face of Remnant... Burgers and fries and all the calories burnt off before dinner with how much stress she'd be under.
The bar had been most hospitable to her kind, the bartender having been an old ally of the White Fang, his wife having been a member of the old guard of the White Fang. She could see that the seats were mostly filled up, the members of the public that were already there drinking paying no mind to yet another Faunus joining the crew. With her hand tapping the counter, she waited for the bartender to come, his greying hair tousled a little with the signs of gel starting to fade. The claws that tipped his fingers were the only trait that showed for him, his eyes meeting hers. "The usual, Si?" He inquired.
Her work ferried her between Mistral, Vacuo and Vale. Atlas was generally a no-go area for the White Fang due to the climate there being hostile to their kind, so she knew well the things she could expect. Four months of Vale with a bit of time in Mistral later on. 'I would love to be able to go home... but my duty calls.'
"The usual, Mar." The man poured her the drink she preferred, the ice clinking in the glass, the heavy liquor that she smelled so strongly wafting from the glass, as he added some of the liqueur that gave it the special taste that she craved. Tipping it back in one go, she gave a soft whoop. 'Fucking humans with their alcohol tolerance being worse than shit.'
There would be no getting shitfaced drunk for her, no sudden desire for her to throw her lunch up again. She could only feel the anger inside her burn, the pleasant fuzz of the fog of alcohol settling in bringing her to a point where she could just forget and be 'Sienna Khan, single woman', again.
Her bodyguards were sat in the bar, the members of the public allowed here mostly loyalists to the White Fang and their Faunus agenda. Her presence was welcome, yet not remarked upon. Any human reporter that would come close would find themselves barred. Drinking was not a way for her to forget… but to dull the ache that she felt.
Every night, she drank. The feeling of liquor going down was something that was just as great as an orgasm. 'And to think that Ghira was abstaining from all of this and still managed to lead the White Fang.' As the next shot slid down her gullet, she could feel the warmth seep in. It was the crutch that she needed to keep on going, to unwind a little from the stresses of the day.
As she stepped out of the bar, she caught sight of someone coming her way. Bodyguards pulled themselves into their combat mode, their eyes looking over the young man that came stumbling their way, her hand rising to stall them.
The hoodie was up, the blonde hair poking out, the eyes hollow in their gaze. She could see that he had been affected by something, even as she stepped into his path. He didn't even seem to notice, ploughing right into her, his larger form hitting her, and through the problem of alcohol, her balance was not enough to keep the two of them upright.
She hit the ground first, his weight on top of her. "Miss Khan?" The bodyguards hoisted him off her, her back feeling a little sore, even as the human realized what he had done. "Sienna? Ah, sorry! I wasn't paying attention to where I was walking." Her internal thoughts were pretty astute on that comment. 'Of course you weren't looking. None of the humans look at the Faunus as anything but mere bugs.'
"It's alright." She said, even though it wasn't. He looked at her, the bodyguards still clamping their arms around his, restraining him. "Are you alright, though?"
She would live, her back having suffered worse collapses than that. It was just an additional bruise for the morning to take care of. "Yes, but you seem troubled." He looked haunted, as if his dream had burst like a bubble. The teenager's face seemed to twist in an expression that was both fear as well as failure, as he took a deep breath. "He wouldn't do the transcripts. Said it was because of being too close to the deadline for entry. I paid three hundred Lien for that… all to be ripped off." The way that he said it showed some anger, Sienna feeling an emotion well up inside her. Pride. The man had obviously taken the human's money and gotten away with it. The business that he was in wasn't exactly legal.
'The human doesn't seem to know that his kind treats us like thieves and robbers no matter what. They treat their own kind like thieves would, taking all that they have in order to get ahead.' The way that he looked, so pathetic and weak, was amusing to her. "What will you do now, little human huntsman?" She asked, as he looked at her. "I wanted to enter Beacon, y'know… Be a hero, save the damsel, return home a victor." The hope in his voice seemed to fade slowly.
"Now… I don't know." She felt pity well up inside her. 'This isn't how you should feel. He's just a human, he's the scum of the earth.' "How would you like it if I got you into Beacon?" She inquired, the hopeful look on his face something that she would have loved to see from anyone but a Human teenager. It seemed so trusting, so silly… so… hopeful.
"You can do that?" He asked, moving forward, yet the bodyguards restrained him. 'I damn well can do that. It's not like the signature of Sienna Khan, High Leader of the White Fang is worth nothing. If I say 'Yay', they'll have to make an exception…' A look of cunning came to her face. "How about we go and retire to my office?"
'Someone ought to be around still… and the paperwork for Beacon isn't that hard to get a hold of. Plenty of initiates come from Beacon Academy, after all. A signature here and there to add legitimacy to it… a bit of fraud with the dates and the like and well… if pressed, I could just say that I signed it in order to get rid of another human in the deathtrap that is Beacon Academy.' Her eyes looked him over, the hopeful look in his eyes morphing into something else.
Eyes looking at her always looked at her body. Her whole form, petite and slim and womanly in the right aspects, chaste in the manner that a leader should be… yet a subject of crappily edited pictures of her face on some model with big breasts and a loose vagina.
There was care in those eyes, something that she did not expect. "You'd do that for me, now?" He asked again, her head nodding. "Get the car. We're getting this human into Beacon."
As she sat in the office at three in the morning, finishing up the final scrawl on the paper, she let out a long sigh. The work had been a bit tougher than she expected, with several of the stamps having to be requisitioned from the archives. 'Whoever made vetting huntsmen so difficult? It's like they want to save human lives or something.'
"Jaune Arc, seventeen, trained privately. Signed by Sienna Khan." She said, the form perfectly filled out. She turned it to face him, a pen in her other hand. "Please sign here, for legitimacy." She didn't make a copy. Copies got you busted for fraud much easier than just the paper version. His messy handwriting made for a barely passable signature.
"So… What do I owe you? I mean, you can't be doing that out of the goodness of your heart, right?" She looked at the calendar on her Scroll, checking the date for the admission to Beacon and then the appointments that she had. "A favour. To be collected at a later date." She nodded.
Her eyes fell onto the documents for the gala that had been organized to be held as a goodwill thing towards the filthy humans and their machines and murder-tools. Dancing would be a requirement, yet…
"Do you dance?" She inquired, as she kept her eyes on the date. Three weeks would be a little short to learn how to dance but she was not going to squander a chance if this boy knew how to dance well.
"Yeah? I mean, I had to learn. My sisters were really fond of dancing." Sienna ruminated on that bit of information. 'Dance instructor is a job that a Faunus would not usually get into. It takes years of training to be able to coach someone in how to do a dance. This might be a good way to get more out of that favour than just a mere bit of pity for a kid who's down on his luck.'
She would blame the alcohol in the morning for altering her decision-making skills, but her eyes flared with amusement. "Teach me how to dance and owe me a favour and I'll hand you these papers, Jaune Arc."
'What can a silly little human teenager do against the might of the White Fang, led by me?'
Just something I wrote to distract a bit from A Grimm Tale. I hope you've enjoyed it… and there may be a next chapter coming too. The Sienna X Jaune part is going to be a tough one to write, but it'll be interesting at least. She's a very opinionated person with her own worries in this universe. Annnd she is pretty awesome in the Adam short that was released today. A chain weapon, eh? Guess I was pretty on the mark with the weaponry. Reminds me a bit of Blake's Gambol Shroud, so I guess that she's combined Adam's weapon and Sienna's weapon, if she looked up to them for a while. The relationship between Jaune and Sienna won't be picking up swiftly, though. She's rather opposed to humans, yet does not deny that they have their uses. Al Leave a review if you've enjoyed reading the story!
Leave a review if you've enjoyed reading the story!