A/N:Hello to all my readers. So yeah, once again the delay on this chapter was longer than anticipated. There are a few reasons for that, one being that I spent some time up in Sydney for RTXaus (which was awesome). I'm not too sure how I feel about this chapter, simply because I had actually already written it on wordpad (eww, I know) because I no longer had access to word. Long story short, wordpad wiped my document, and I lacked the enthusiasm to re-write it while volume 3 was still going. Seriously, so many bombshells and game changers! Anyway, now that the volume is over, I feel more inclined to write, so (hopefully) expect more work to come from me this year. I'll be returning to my other stories, namely 'The bonds we share' and 'Beacons of Hope,' however I do have two more fics I plan on writing (one that's going to be really fun, if you're in to Scott Pilgrim) and probably more one shots. Well, that's enough talking for now. Enjoy this chapter, in which more plot is being added, along with a new girl entering the race! (Short chapter is short, I know, I'm sorry ;_;)

Emerald Sustrai was many things. Liar, thief and cheat certainly came to mind when she thought about all she'd done with her life. While it wasn't what she had set out to be, fate had a funny way of messing with her. The simple fact of what she'd become didn't discourage her, especially now that she could live day by day without wondering where the next meal would come from. Indeed, Emerald Sustrai was many things; however, courtesy of her latest assignment, happy was not one of them.

It had begun with the way Cinder had called her name while looking out the window in her dorm. Something about the slight smirk on Cinder's lips as she said it brought a sense of dread. Perhaps that was too harsh a word for it, but it didn't exactly strike confidence in Emerald to say the least.

"Emerald, I have a task for you. It's of the utmost importance," Cinder had said with a tone that balanced between playful and serious. The sinking feeling Emerald had only grew because of it.

"Of course, what would you have me do?"

It was bad enough that Cinder insisted on her becoming 'friends' with Ruby and her team, having to deal with their insufferable cheerful attitudes; but this? This was a whole other level. It didn't help that Mercury could do nothing but laugh his ass off when he heard what Cinder had ordered Emerald to do.

"Gradually get close to the blonde boy in Pyrrha Nikos' team."

'Get close to!' Emerald fumed loudly in her head, sitting on the rooftop, a foul mood clearly expressed on her face. Now not only did she have to befriend the little red girl, but she had to get close to the blonde boy whose name neither she nor Cinder had bothered to learn! It seemed pointless to her. The boy was of no use to them, something she had vocalised when given the order.

The fresh palm print on her cheek said otherwise, its light sting still reminding her of her place. Cinder's reasoning was simple; the boy was closely tied to several people of interest, and getting close to him could provide them an insight of their enemy that being simple friends with team RWBY never could. The fact didn't do anything to lighten Emerald's mood, which was of far more use than she would have expected.

The little her team knew of the boy involved his interactions with one of their more notorious targets. This involved his apparent training session with the red-head in question. Admittedly, it wasn't a lot to go on; but, it would suffice. So she sat, angry and miserable on one of Beacon's many rooftops, conflicted on whether the boy not showing up would be a good thing or a bad thing.

Jaune had only recently returned from Vale that day. It had been a rather eventful one at that. Pyrrha took it upon herself to make sure her team was awake bright and early, claiming she had their day planned out as promised. After a slower start than the girl from Mistral would have liked, she had lead her team to Vale.

While there, the four had taken part in a small variety of activities; from visiting the impromptu market place that would be set up once a week, to having a small picnic in a local park. Ren and Nora had taken the chance to break off from the other half of their team from time to time, while not wandering too far, in order to spend some time together. The two found it a nice change of pace being able to openly act as a couple, now that their friends were aware of the truth. This left Pyrrha spending most of her time with Jaune, which she absolutely, one-hundred percent did not plan for. Nope, not at all...

In all honesty though, Jaune had enjoyed the team-outing that had more or less been an unofficial double date. Though he would never call it that, less the others find out that Pyrrha got a 'second date.' However, the down side of it all had been the simple fact that the day had left him a little tired. Accompany that with the nauseating flights to and from Vale, and one could forgive Jaune for being a little reluctant to partake in any training for the day. Fortunately, Pyrrha was happy to give him the night off.

With that, the blonde knight decided it would be best to find a place where he could be alone with his thoughts, giving him a chance to contemplate over the ever looming question he would inevitably have to answer. With no training planned and his partner taking the rest of the night to go over notes, the roof seemed the most logical choice for such isolation and serenity. As he claimed the staircase towards his usual training grounds, he didn't expect to find anything unusual; Certainly not the stranger who greeted his sight when he opened the door.

There was something about the green-haired girl whom was sat on the roof that caught his eye. While to most, it may have been said shade of her hair, or the way it contrasted nicely with her skin. Other's attention might have been more drawn to her style or her figure. Not Jaune though. There was something else that had caught his eye, something that was off.

The girl, whom he vaguely remembered seeing Ruby speak with on one occasion or another, had a rather annoyed, potentially even angry expression on her face. It seemed out of place with the background provided by the sun as it slowly drew closer to the horizon. He hadn't realized he'd been staring until the girl turned to face him. Her expression didn't chance, no sign of shock or a fake smile. Just the same annoyance that she had before he'd arrived.

"Hey, are you..." he began to ask, only stopping due to her annoyed expression hardening. "Uh, right, sorry. I'm just gonna... um.. yeah," the Arc said as he slowly turned to walk away, wisely deciding she had no interest in talking. The girl sighed as he turned to leave, catching his attention enough so that he would notice her gesturing for him to take a seat opposite her. "You sure?" he asked hesitantly.

"You obviously came up here for a reason. Don't let me stop you," she said, her tone seemingly distant. With a short breath of contemplation, Jaune decided that it probably couldn't hurt if he just sat there. After all, she didn't seem like she was interested in talking, and he'd only come to the roof to think. So he sat, a small distance away from the girl to feel less intrusive. Time passed as Jaune tried to keep his thoughts on track. Try as he might though, they kept heading in the direction of the girl sitting several feet away from him. He knew it wasn't his place to pry into other's business, especially when he didn't know the person, but he couldn't help but feel he should do something to help.

"So... nice evening?" he said, though he didn't sound to confident in the way he said it. There was a small pause before any response came.

"I suppose," the girl said dryly.

"You're one of Ruby's friend's, right?" he asked, trying to diffuse the tension a little.

"I... guess," she said with a small sigh. "It's not like I hang out with her, but we've spoken a few times."

"Oh, I see. Well, I'm Jaune."

"I see. You're one of Ruby's friends too, right?" she questioned with a raised eyebrow, to which the blonde nodded. She turned to face forward again, rolling her eyes a little, "Emerald."

"I see. That's a nice... yeah," the knight said, faltering at the end as she seemed to be annoyed further. The two fell into silence once more, for a time. Eventually, Jaune let out a sigh as he looked to Emerald again.

"Do you want to talk about it?" he asked, giving in to his natural curiosity and concern.

"About what?" Emerald asked without any shift in emotion.

"I don't know. Whatever's on your mind," he replied with a small, uncomfortable shrug. Emerald shrugged and looked away, easily suppressing the desire to smirk. 'This is easier than I thought it would be,' the girl thought to herself.

"Let's just leave it at annoying teammates," she said with a slight edge in her voice, imaging Mercury getting a kick out of her misfortune. Jaune gave out a short, two syllable chuckle.

"Can't say I personally know the feeling, but I have a general idea," he offered, remembering how dysfunctional team RWBY were a while back.

"That so?" Emerald asked sarcastically, before sighing, acting as if she regretted coming off rudely. "Sorry, I'm just... not in the best mood," she said with some level of remorse.

"It's okay, I get that. There's no need to be sorry," he shrugged apologetically, understanding that he probably should have left her be, all things considered. "I'm the one who should be sorry for bothering you after all."

"You're fine. I suppose having someone to rant to can help every now and then," she said with an eye roll as she looked over the horizon once more.

"Well, feel free to rant away," he said with a small smile.

"I'll rain-check that," Emerald said quickly, "... but... I might take you up on that later," she added. With that, the two fell into silence once more, neither moving for a long while.