I own neither RWBY nor FATE but I have managed to roll like three versions of Arturia and two versions of Shirou in FGO. Does that count for anything?
Ever since Ruby's aura had been unlocked there was a mental image always lurking in the back of her mind. Blonde hair and a sword. She had experienced an odd sense of deja vu much of the time. Whether it was cleaning up the house or trying a new recipe, always in the back of her mind there was blond hair and a sword. She wasn't sure why exactly this mental image stuck with her so much but every time she closed her eyes to day dream or fell asleep it was golden hair and a simple, elegant, double edged sword. She had thought about forging it to use as her own weapon but it hadn't felt right. There was very much a sense of it being for someone else. So she watched, and she waited, until the day she found the one that felt right.
The day before she had found it. Or at least she thought she had. Maybe he wasn't the one she had been looking for, but undeniably Jaune had golden hair and a simple, well made, double edged sword.
'Jaune or Yang! Jaune or Yang!' Ruby thought to herself as she sprinted through the Emerald Forest. She really wasn't looking forward to the awkwardness of trying to pair up with anyone else. At least Jaune was someone she was already friends with… didn't seem like he was that good in a fight though. Still! It couldn't hurt to team up with a friend! Maybe all he needed was a little practice. Yeah, that was it! A little practice and training and everything would be good.
"RUBY!" Ruby skidded to a stop at the panicked shout. The voice had been Jaune's, but she couldn't see him anywhere.
"Jaune? Where are you?" Ruby called, her head darting different directions looking for her missing friend.
"Ruby! Up here!" As she turned and looked up she saw Jaune Arc pinned to a tree by- OH GOODNESS WAS THAT A THREE PHASE MECHASHIFT SPEAR!? The handle looked like it could collapse down to a sword and from the parts she could see it looked like it could fold again into a lever action scout rifle. It. It was beautiful…..
"Uhhh, R-Ruby do you think you could give me a hand getting down?" She heard Jaune call down nervously as he hung limply by the hood of his, well, hoodie.
Oh. Yeah. Jaune was stuck up there as well. She should probably do something about that. "One sec Jaune! I'll have you down in a jiffy!" Ruby didn't like the look of trying to climb to get him loose between the lack of low hanging limbs and how high he was pinned. She could try shooting Jaune's hoodie to tear it the rest of the way loose, but that would be awkward. Way too high a risk of hitting Jaune or that beautiful spear. There was really only one option left to her. Yes, Ruby knew what she needed to do.
"Hold on Jaune! I've got you, just brace for impact!" Ruby reassured him as she took a few steps back and Focused. She wasn't sure where it came from but she had always had a talent for using her aura with an almost abnormal efficiency. She called it Focus, all it took was a push here and a nudge there, and she could reinforce herself with her aura beyond what it did on its own. Doing this she could push her traits that bit further beyond what aura should be capable of normally. Improved eyesight that helped make her a better sniper, slightly more strength and durability, and in this case she used Focus on her dear Crescent Rose. The edge grew sharper and harder, the steel grew stronger, and then she was ready. So with a small, confident smile and a determined nod she activated her semblance and rushed the tree. A mighty slash later while Jaune shouted… something she had missed honestly, probably something about how cool Crescent Rose was, and then the tree fell smoothly with Jaune Arc and the spear neatly perched on top of it.
"Ughhh… th-thanks Ruby," Jaune groaned from the spot where he was still stuck to the tree, weird how he hadn't freed himself yet. "Just... a little more warning next time please."
"Heh, oops. Sorry Jaune," Ruby giggled nervously as she pulled back into her cloak. She'd done something to mess up again didn't she? He was gonna get mad just like that crabby girl from the day before and she really didn't need to make another enemy when she didn't have another new friend to help balance it out and she wouldn't get to play with- she meant "assist" with "upgrading" that very nice sword and shield.
"You're good Ruby, ow, just-just gonna need a second to catch my breath." Jaune reassured her as winced and stayed very still.
'Oh thank Color,' Ruby thought as she breathed a sigh of relief. At least he didn't hate her now.
"Thanks again for helping me down." She heard Jaune say weakly. Ruby couldn't help blushing and winced as she heard him groan again from his perch. Had she done that? His aura should've helped with that though, either by healing the damage or stopping him from taking it in the first place.
"Jaune why aren't you using your aura to heal faster?" Ruby asked her friend curiously as she stepped forward to check on him.
"My what?" Oh that wasn't a good sign. "Jaune your aura! The thingy that keeps us from getting hurt and makes us stronger? It's like a soul force field!"
"Pffftt, yeah I totally have one of those! I just… forgot? Oh wow that is in there" Jaune sputtered as she watched him ineffectually try to remove the spear still holding him to the tree.
"Jaune you don't have your aura unlocked do you?" Ruby deadpanned as she leaned on Crescent Rose while watching him.
"No Ruby, no I do not." Jaune sighed as he gave up on freeing himself and let his arms fall back down to his sides hanging off either side of the trunk.
Ruby patted him on the shoulder reassuringly as she reached up and pulled the spear free, setting it gently on the ground while Jaune rolled off the fallen trunk before standing up and stretching out. His hands and face were covered in nicks and scratches and honestly it was a miracle he had made it out as relatively untouched as he had, even with his armor.
"Come here Jaune," Ruby beckoned, "I can unlock your aura for you. You'll need it going forward." Ruby reached up and placed a hand on his chest and a hand on his… oh he was annoyingly tall wasn't he. "Jaune can you kneel down for me real quick? It's part of the ritual to unlock your aura." 'Please don't catch the fib, please don't catch the fib.'
"Yeah sure, no problem Ruby. Thank you!" Ha! Worked like a charm. Jaune quickly knelt down as Ruby reached out and placed a hand over both his heart and forehead. Slowly Ruby reached out with her soul to rouse his before saying the words.
"For it is through our heroism that we achieve immortality.
Through this we become a bulwark against the darkness protecting all.
Searching endlessly and uncaring of death.
I release your soul and by my hand guide thee".
As the words were spoken Ruby felt the telltale drain on her reserves as she poured her own aura into Jaune to awaken his own. A void grew to a flickering flame before blooming to a raging fire. His aura was massive! It was ridiculous, and patently unfair. Hmmph, so what if he had a lot of aura. Everyone knew it was how efficient you were with it that was more important.
As the ritual finished Ruby felt something odd happen. It was like Jaune's aura and her's were on an identical wavelength for just a second. There was a resonance and an overwhelming sense of familiarity rushed over her. This scene. Something like it had happened a long time ago didn't it? Or maybe it was a dream. The roles were reversed in the memory.
A tall redheaded teen looked up at a petite blonde swordswoman regal in nature. She looked down upon him moonlight streaming in behind her through the window of a worn shed. "I ask of you, are you my master?"
The petite blonde's face overlapped Jaune's for just a moment and suddenly in a fitting bit of symmetry the roles were reversed. Now the blonde swordsman was kneeling on the ground looking up at the petite redheaded huntress. The moment between the two stretched on. It could have been milliseconds and it could have been centuries. Ruby honestly wouldn't have been able to tell the difference, nothing really existed beyond this one moment.
The loud snapping of a branch ended it and the two split in embarrassment at their compromising position before their visitor joined them in the clearing.
-When the Search Ends-
Jaune would be focused on how oddly good he felt if he wasn't currently running for his life. Things had honestly been going pretty well. Ruby had found him in the forest so they were partners now and that was awesome. Then the cereal girl had found them in the forest and apparently she had been the one who had thrown the spear that saved him AND the snow angel that had called him cute the day before had found them and now she was partnered with the cereal girl.
To be fair though Pyrhha, the cereal girl, had seemed kinda bummed out about when she found out that he and Ruby had been partnered up. Hmmm… maybe she and Ruby were friends or something? He'd check later and see if there was anything that could be done at least. The snow angel had seemed really excited about pairing with Pyrrha though. They'd probably get along great if they had some time to get to know each other. After all it was just like Mom said, strangers were just friends that you hadn't met yet.
The problem right now is he had in a brilliant stroke of genius luck stumbled across a solid lead for the location of the relic they were hunting. The only problem is the cave in question ended up being a devious trap holding a massive scorpion Grimm inside of it. Now they were all running like crazy through a forest full of other murder monsters while trying to escape an even bigger murder monster.
"Does. Anyone. Have. Any. Ideas?" Jaune panted as he maintained speed. He should've collapsed minutes ago if he was honest with himself. Whatever this aura thing was it was REALLY nice. He was running faster and longer than he ever had before and every lingering bump, knick, and scratch he had accumulated in the past week was completely gone. There was something else too, an odd sense of deja vu like he should be able to do something more with this energy but he wasn't sure how. For now though it was time to run for his life.
"I think I might!" Shouted the snow angel whom he had been informed was Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee Dust Company. "I'll need a moment to do it and for someone to hold the deathstalker still though!"
"Alright then," Jaune acknowledged, some plan was better than no plan after all. "Pyrrha! Shield out and get ready to face it!"
"Got it!" The red headed spartan shouted back. Out of the corner of his eye Jaune caught a glimpse of something odd. It looked like her weapons flew into her hands rather than her making any concentrated effort to grab them. Jaune waved the observation away with a quick shake of his head though. There were more important things to be doing at the moment than satisfying vague curiosity.
Jaune reached down and ripped his Crocea Mors from its spot at his hip and expanded it. Not even bothering to draw his sword, he gripped Crocea Mors in two hands while turning to face the creature. It hit him like a freight train. A claw swung out and knocked Pyrrha away sending the amazonian huntress flying and in this moment something within Jaune crystallized. A flash of memory from something he had never done and shouldn't know. In a moment of pure thoughtless, senseless panic he gathered up his aura before releasing it explosively through his limbs, empowering his body.
The deathstalker was stopped cold for that brief moment as it hit Jaune's shield. He held his stance even as he dug a furrow into the ground with his heels as he was pushed back and the scorpion's back half lifted up and off the ground from sheer momentum before gravity took hold slamming the beast back down. Weiss took advantage of the beast's stunned state, using glyphs and dust to create great bonds of ice and stone holding the monster in place.
"Ruby!" Jaune called desperately to his partner, as he pointed at the deathstalker's most dangerous natural weapon. "Take out the tail while it's restrained!"
He never heard a yes or any other sound of acknowledgement from his partner but Jaune caught a glimpse of rose petals, blinked his eyes, and then the red reaper was standing on the other side of the beast and the beast's stinger fell, lodging itself in the thick carapace of the deathstalker's head.
Taking the moment, hands on his knees, to catch his breath Jaune looked to the rest of his party as he tried to figure out what to do next. "Well it's stuck for now, what should we do? Run? Kill it?" Jaune asked as he gestured to the Grimm struggling ineffectually against its bonds.
"Better to kill it now," Weiss asserted. "We don't know how long the bindings will hold and we have it at our mercy right now anyway."
"True but how would we even go about killing it?" Pyrrha offered as a counterpoint. "None of our weapons have been able to pierce its shell. It might be better to get away now and complete the mission. If we're lucky maybe it will still be here when initiation finishes and we can send a professor to finish it."
"I sincerely doubt it will stay trapped that long," Weiss argued with her partner. "Even if we do manage to escape there's a good chance that when it gets loose, not if, it will hunt down and kill someone else who isn't expecting it or ready."
"Well how do you expect us to actually kill it then?" Pyrrha responded, frustration leaking into her voice.
"I'm not sure but I know we can think of SOMETHING!" Weiss bit back.
Jaune watched the play-by-play between the two awkwardly as he stood unsure of what to say to defuse the situation and lacking any ideas of his own to contribute. Luckily he was saved by his pint sized partner, "I have a plan you guys. Jaune we'll need you to do that thing you did with your shield again, the super strength."
"I honestly have no idea how I did that," Jaune confessed as he rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment. He heard a crack from behind, they didn't have much longer until the monster got free.
"Jaune," he straightened at the sound of Ruby saying his name. "I know it's a stretch but do you think you could do it again if you have to?" Jaune was about to say he couldn't, but there was something about the way she looked at him. Jaune stared into bright silver eyes not simply grey but possessing a genuine metallic sheen like a polished blade, both wide and innocent and simultaneously hard and resolute. This amazing girl who really shouldn't be bothering with him believed in him one hundred percent. There was only one way he could respond to that.
"Yeah... yeah Ruby, I think I can if I really need to." Jaune nodded as a wave of calm washed over him. He could do this, whether or not he had the ability was pointless. After all he had already done it once and they needed him to do it, so he would.
Ruby nodded back with a smile on her face as she took Jaune's hand. "Weiss, can other people stand on your glyphs?"
"Yes if they need to, I can propel them forward as well." Weiss nodded, leaving behind any issues she had with the awkward duo and her partner by the wayside until the danger had passed.
"Good, I need one directly above the nail by about twenty feet and one to give me a boost towards the overhead one. Pyrrha, I'm gonna need you to keep this thing busy and try and hold it still as much as you can while we do this. Can you two do that for me?"
"YES." Both girls spoke in unison as Pyrrha readied her shield again and took Jaune's former position at the beast's front, taking potshots at its eyes while Weiss readied her glyphs.
In that moment Jaune went from torn between embarrassment at a cute girl holding his hand and fear at being potentially eaten to wonder as his entire world shifted to fluttering shades of crimson and whitish gold. Ruby had used her semblance and taken him along for the ride. It was an amazing almost indescribable sensation as their very beings scattered into hundreds of rose petals before Jaune felt himself get dragged along like the ball in a demented pinball machine. Ruby rushed the first glyph slamming against it before the recoil rocketed them upwards to the second, in a rebound that he could feel in his nonexistent bones. They hit the second glyph at speed and as they began to rocket down towards the deathstalker Ruby ended her semblance, spinning Jaune and throwing him down as hard as she could.
Jaune gripped his shield tight with both hands once again as he reached for that familiar feeling in his soul and gathered up as much of his aura as he could and sent it outwards explosively through his body. Jaune glowed a brilliant white-gold and slammed the edge of his shield down on the stinger as he made contact with the beast that had managed to free three of its limbs. There was flash, a sickening crunch, and the deathstalker slowly began to dissipate, its stinger coming out of its bottom jaw. Jaune hit the ground, his body locked up and still holding his shield in a death grip as he processed the fact that yes indeed, he was still alive.
He wasn't sure who started first, it might have been one of the girls and it might have been him, but someone let loose a giggle. After a snort of incredulity from Weiss another was released, and then another, and another, another until the whole team was rolling on the floor in hysteric laughter as they came down from the adrenaline high of the fight and realized that not only had they all survived and were out of mortal danger but had even defeated a giant deathstalker.
"Holy crap that was amazing!" Jaune cheered as he turned to his team. "Those glyphs and that stuff you can do with dust are so cool, and you Ruby! Does it always feel like that when you go fast? That was the most intense experience of my life!"
"Of course it was impressive," Weiss said with more than a glimmer of pride. "The Schnee family semblance is not only passed down through all blood related family members but is both powerful and incredibly versatile."
"Heh, I don't think what I did was all that special." Jaune heard Ruby mumble as she pulled her hood up and hid back inside her hood shyly. Well that just wouldn't do.
"Ruby, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that was the coolest thing I have ever experienced and I just hit a deathstalker at three hundred miles an hour." Jaune encouraged his silver eyed partner. "Weiss, Pyrrha you both think her semblance was cool too right?"
"I suppose in this particular instance the dolt has proven herself to be both capable in combat and in possession of a potent semblance." Weiss hedged as she begrudgingly complemented the reaper.
"Well I think she performed splendidly," Pyrrha asserted as she smiled at the two. "Ruby's semblance is both impressive and versatile as is your own Jaune. The both of you also showed solid minds for battlefield tactics, you should both be proud."
Jaune blushed a red to match his partner's cloak at the unexpected praise before his mind locked on something the amazon had said. "Wait my semblance?"
"Yes, is that not the ability you used to fight the deathstalker?" Pyrrha responded.
"I… maybe? I'm not sure. It might be but… that doesn't really feel right."
"Maybe it's because your semblance can do more than just that Jaune." Ruby piped up from Jaune's right. "We can try working on it later?" Ruby asked as she patted him on the back with a small smile on her face.
"If you two dunces are done flirting we still have to finish initiation," Weiss groused from off to the side as she began walking again. Ruby and Jaune looked at each other before each of them turned the other way blushing, Ruby once again retreating into her hood as Jaune scratched his cheek.
"It's not like that!" Ruby whined at Weiss' retreating form before chasing after her.
Jaune was about to follow after the others when he felt a reassuring hand on his shoulder before he turned to face the other redhead in their group. "You did perform well Jaune, I told you you had the makings of a leader." Pyrrha smiled before the two of them went to chase down their respective partners.
-When the Search Ends-
"Ruby Rose, Jaune Arc, Weiss Schnee, and Pyrrha Nikos. You will be team RASN (Raisin)."
Ruby couldn't believe it, she had been made team lead! They had just finished with the time assignment ceremonies. Her sister had made her way onto a team with Blake and two other people Ruby hadn't met yet. They seemed nice though! Apparently the boy with the black hair was Yang's partner and Blake had partnered with the hyperactive ginger.
Still though it had been a long day, unpacking and showers could wait for the morning all she wanted was to hit the hay.
That night Ruby dreamed a different dream. She was tall, far taller than she was now and her hands were empty. When she went into combat she summoned to her hands a bow or two swords, beautiful and simplistic in design, one as dark as onyx and the other a bright ivory, yet still her hands felt empty. She walked and searched, and searched, and searched but still these hands would not hold anything. Even then with hands achingly empty and a hungry heart she searched on and on forever until the time she would find what she was looking for. His dear king, _rtu_i_
That night Jaune began his own dream. One of a girl who had pulled a sword from a stone. One who fought and fought and fought, giving up all that which made her human to be the perfect ruler. One who was deposed and then saved by another. One who waited, and waited, and waited, and still she would never be held. But that was ok. She could wait for the one who was everything to her. She would hold on for eternity and a day because one day her hands would hold him. The one named S_r_o _m_y_.
So any of my active readers will notice that this is not another Lazy Days snippet like I said and I am a damn dirty liar lol. In all honesty this is a project I've been excited about for a little while now and have been storyboarding for a few weeks. Unlike My Own Worst Enemy which is a crack oneshot and Lazy Days which is a snippet collection I fill in when I feel like this actually is a planned story. It'll probably be about five or six chapters total, and will alternate with Huntsman of the Digital Hazard.
For housekeeping I will admit that my postings might continue to be erratic for a little while. Work has been crazy lately with us being super busy and people keep quitting or getting fired so don't worry I am still writing. It's just taking longer for me to get chapters out and I can't guarantee having something ready every single week.
Alrighty, that should be about it. I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter of When the Search Ends. I'll admit I was a bit nervous about this one since I'm typically not big on the fated or star-crossed lovers tropes. I hope you all have a wonderful day and don't forget to love each other.