Jaune: The Strong (Volume 1)

Cherished Warmth

Jaune felt his body float in nothing. Confused for a moment, he then remembered that he fell into a Grimm-made hole after saving Ruby’s life. For someone who did a heroic thing, he managed to kill himself in the place of his friend.

“Nice guys finish last, huh Jaune? For your case, I guess you’re too good for that kind of phrase.”

Opening his eyes, the fallen boy realized he was inside a space full of darkness. That is, almost dark as there was something shining near him like a lamplight.

“Get up, lazy ass. I thought Pyrrha shaped you out of staying asleep during the worst of times.”

The being of light kicked Jaune in his side. When that didn’t work, it turned around, squatted, then farted something unsanitary. This encouraged the blonde boy to stand up with shaking arms. Dizzy from smell and lack of awareness, he mumbled, “W-what? What’s happening?”

“Finally, wasn’t willing to be your nanny for much longer. Now hurry up and get back out there. You don’t belong in a place like this.”

Jaune didn’t understand the stranger’s comment as he gazed around the realm of darkness. “But wait, where am I? Am I in…the afterlife that’s for good people?”

“What, Nirvana or Heaven? Since when did those places look as dark as this? Wouldn’t this be more Hell or Purgatory for someone like you?”

Hearing the question made Jaune put his hands onto his head out of panic. “What, really? Then why am I here? I was always trying to do good, even if I did a couple of bad things. I always tried to do the right things! Why do I deserve to be here?! ”

The being of light smacked Jaune on his head. “Stupid, I could read your mind, remember? And even without it, a toddler can tell when you’re screwing around.”

“Sorry, I just didn’t know how to approach this.” Groaning in pain, Jaune lightly grinned as he found a better idea of his situation. “So I’m really asleep. That’s you, isn’t it Lou?”

“Yeah, but that’s not important. You’re in a unique situation right now, so I suggest you get the hell out of here before you miss your chance.” The human-shaped light known as Lou aimed a finger at a red and brown light shining from close range.

“What are those things?” Jaune noticed that his own body was turning into a bright color. “Oh, I guess I’m waking up now?”

“Yep, and take my advice. Just act cool when you’re up.” Lou sat down in Indian style right as Jaune’s body reached its brightest yet. “I’ll see you out there again to coach as usual. Maybe we’ll get the chance to talk longer like this the next time.”

Aside from the ‘coach’ comment, Jaune didn’t mind seeing Lou in a better form than a necklace. Thinking of this had him realize that he wanted to know more of the entity, Lou, that he’s only known for only a day. The necklace didn’t even give any exact goals of why it chose him rather than go with his father.

When Jaune opened his eyes, his position had him realize he was lying on a soft bed inside a brown wood. With medicine cabinets lining the walls and white beds set in a row beside him, he knew this would have been one of the medical offices located in various parts of the school.

After his realization was when Jaune turned realized that his hand was warm. He saw the heat was coming from Pyrrha, who used both of her hands to cover his own. This same case happened for his other limb that involved a girl with brown rabbit ears. The bed-ridden boy remembered that the girl grabbing him was Velvet Scarlatina, an older student.

“So two girls holding your hands and trying to soothe your pain with their essence…seriously, what man wouldn’t want a beauty to try and heal you with Aura?”

Lou’s chuckling didn’t help Jaune decide on his next course of action. To his luck, he didn’t have to hurry as the girls had their eyes closed as their way of concentrating while their Auras of brown and red covered his body.

“Since you’re such a good boy trying not to push any boundaries, the only advice I can give is to make this a nice moment between you and Pyrrha. Don’t focus much on this Velvet chick, not really interested in her.”

Jaune didn’t understand what the comment about the Faunus girl was for. This didn’t stop him from smiling as he enjoyed his current position. “H-hey, what’s going on here?”

Both girls opened their eyes with their lips curving up into a smile. While Velvet’s was gentle and small, Pyrrha had her own grow wide from joy before she wrapped her arms around her partner’s body.

“You’re awake.” Words of relief had Pyrrha give the blushing Jaune a tighter hug that had their bodies make intimate contact. “I’m so glad you’re okay. If Velvet didn’t jump in to rescue you, then you would have come out with something worse than bruises.”

“You rescued me?” Gently returning Pyrrha’s hug, Jaune glanced over her shoulder to make eye contact with Velvet. “You didn’t have to risk your life for me like that.”

Maintaining her small, cute smile, Velvet had her bunny ears gently flap up and down. “I believe being fellow students of Beacon is enough.” Letting go of Jaune’s hand, the brown Faunus finished, “And after you’ve told Cardin your supportive views of my people… …I just think a kind person like you didn’t deserve to suffer a bad fate.”

“And she was even kind enough to stay and help me heal you up with Aura,” Pyrrha said as she pulled back. “Everyone else came to see you too, but they left because of the time. Velvet insisted that she stayed until she was sure you regained consciousness.”

Unknown to Jaune, Velvet was the brown blur that came after his unconscious body. With incredible athleticism, she was able to jump from wall to wall inside the hole until she grabbed Jaune and hauled him out of there. By then, the students held off the other Grimm long enough for the teachers to come and take care of the situation.

“Damn son, now a rabbit with arms and legs? I didn’t even want her on the roster...okay, moving on. Now I think Pyrrha here would like it if you just-.”

“I didn’t really do it for anyone’s sake,” Jaune said while trying to tune out Lou. “You can’t say that I’m a nice person if people are just going to think I did it for payback, although Cardin doesn’t deserve pity from people like us.”

Although strange, Jaune felt what he said was right. Beating the bully back with brute force wasn’t always considered a positive image. And even if witnesses might say otherwise, it was clear that Jaune wasn’t fighting for the noble intentions that Velvet was implying.

It’s this thought why Jaune didn’t understand Velvet’s giggling and Pyrrha’s smile. “Is there something wrong?”

“N-no, I just didn’t expect to hear something so honest.” Calming down, Velvet’s small laughter reminded Jaune of the golden bells that he would hear during holidays. “And to see you so humble about your fight shows a better person that most people should appreciate. If you were open like this, I wouldn’t mind being friends with you.”

Jaune felt the heat of embarrassment from listening to the kind compliment. Keeping eyes straight to hide his emotion, he watched Velvet get up from her seat and walk away while saying, “It’s getting late; I should head back to my team. And no matter what you say, you did good today Jaune. Be proud of what you did.”

When the Faunus was gone, Jaune replayed her last words in his head. Apparently, he just became friends with a person kind and thoughtful of his personality. Having trouble keeping down a goofy smile, he noticed Pyrrha turn her face away with a frown.

“Pyrrha? What’s wrong?” Fearing he said something out of place, Jaune tried to place a hand on his friend’s shoulder. When she pulled away, he felt hurt by this. “I did something wrong, didn’t I. If I did, just let me know and I’ll try to make it up to you.”

“The cause is that attitude of yours.” Taking a moment to pause, Pyrrha sighed while her bare shoulders relaxed from losing their tension. “But it’s not wrong to be that way. I just wish you took a hint on how your kindness affects others at times.”

While Jaune pondered on the meaning of this, he heard Lou sigh in the same manner Pyrrha did. “She’s right. Your Samaritan attitude is probably a chick magnet itself. What I hate is how your mother also manipulated you to not take the hints, that stupid-.”

Jaune cut out the last word so he wouldn’t get angry at Lou for cursing his mother. “Fine, tell me what I’m missing if it’ll help make Pyrrha feel better.”

“Oh no, Romeo. Since you don’t get it now, I just realized you finding out is going to ruin the magic that makes you ‘you’…if that makes sense. Besides, Pyrrha doesn’t look like she’s going to treat you any different.”

Hearing this had Jaune look up to see Pyrrha’s nervous expression. How she came to this emotion from her former anger confused the blonde teenager.

“The nurse said you could leave at any time” Pyrrha said with a hesitating tone. “Since you slept until evening, you could just eat the dinner I saved for you before heading to bed.”

Jaune felt his heart skip a beat as he didn’t know his partner did such a sweet thing for him. “That sounds nice. I’d like that, but…wait, it’s still light outside.” Glancing outside the far window to see orange light, he finished, “Isn’t it a bit early?”

“Actually, we have to sleep soon because of a new curfew.”

“Curfew?” Jaune knew there were bed times for the students. To have a sudden, strict standard was a bit unordinary. “Did something happen for the school to make one?”

“One reason might have been the Grimm attack. Then there was also how Professor Goodwitch was found swimming back to shore.” Pyrrha bit her lip before she used a solemn tone to finish, “She didn’t look happy at all.”

Jaune glanced down at Lou only to hear the necklace whistling in his mind to feign innocence. “I’m going to pay for that, aren’t I?”

“No, she told our team to have you checked up as soon as possible with the headmaster.” Sounding curious, Pyrrha placed her elbow on leg and hand under chin to get into a Thinker pose. “Really, I didn’t expect you to do so well. Those solo training sessions must have really been beneficial for you. Maybe you’re finally at the stage where we can both exchange some pointers together.”

“Alright, you’re starting to look like a reliable person. And if she ever decides to become Mrs. Arc Number 1, I could help out by using one of my one hundred techniques, especially Skill 34.”

“Will you stop trying to think we can become anything like that?”

“So it’s impossible? After that dance, there’s nothing between the two of you? Looking back is when you started thinking less of that heiress…she is still a contender, isn’t she?”

Jaune did an imaginary tight-lip that came from his inability to answer. He then noticed that his partner’s fingers were fidgeting while she looked down at her legs.

“So…are we still sleeping together?” To Jaune’s guilty delight, Pyrrha seemed to have her lips where they appeared full and held a deep color of blood. “I just want to make sure since you didn’t seem all that comfortable with the idea.”

For some reason, the idea sounded great even if there were still a lot unresolved. Some part of the boy wanted to ask if there was more going on, especially when he didn’t have an idea of the ‘correction’ that Cardin and Sun mentioned earlier.

However, Jaune was tired and thinking a good night’s sleep was what he needed to tackle any of the future issues. It’s this incentive why got out of bed and stood in front of Pyrrha. “After all that’s happened, I think going to bed is the best idea. Should we go?”

After Pyrrha nodded, the two teenagers left the room together. Along the way back to their dorm, Jaune heard Lou cackle, “You sly dog, making excuses just to be with her. Now, in what position will you be using tonight in bed, Jaune?”

Breathing deep, Jaune felt the same warmth from yesterday surround his entire body. Quickly opening his eyes, he saw that Pyrrha was hugging him again as they were both under the covers of their bed. To see this for the second time in the morning had the boy wonder if it was okay for the two to be like this.

“Morning hero,” Lou said with a happy tone. “Not my fault this time, but it looks like you two are nice and comfy again. My gods and goddesses, you wouldn’t believe where your hands were from time to time.”

Jaune silently groaned at the same time Pyrrha came closer as her grip tightened. When he resisted, he saw that his sleeping bedmate slightly whimpered like an abandoned puppy.

“Come on, it can’t be that bad, you ungrateful brat. Taking what you get is my next lesson for ya! Live life like a man; stop being such a wimp!”

For once, Jaune didn’t feel the need to disagree as Pyrrha’s hug, even company, gave him a new form of happiness. Feeling bold, he scooted close and pulled his partner’s head closer to his chest. He felt happy to feel his bedmate unconsciously snuggle closer with a smile.

“Feels nice, doesn’t it?” Lou sighed as if he was sharing the same joy Jaune was having at the moment. “Now if only you could take the next step. I guess you’ll need to grow up a bit before that. Maybe you should go after that party girl. What was her name, Yang? She’s definitely been on more than one rodeos.”

This was when Jaune felt the need to protest. Yet, he couldn’t as he was distracted by something hard that hit the room’s floor. Taking off the covers on his head, he noticed on the ground was a gray sphere blinking red.

“Yeah, that’s a grenade. Just return the ball back to those assholes, Jaune.”

Lou’s calm comment had Jaune quickly pull Pyrrha off before jumping out of bed. On the floor, he picked up the grenade and threw it out of the room. Grabbing his nearby shield with pjs on, he ran towards the door to close it and brace his shield against it right as the sound of popping confetti blew up in the hallway.

Even if the ordinance was harmless, it still would have caused some kind of discomfort. This was apparent as loud shouting and moaning came from outside. Quickly, Jaune peered out to see people in white and gray uniforms turn the corner of the hallway with cringing movements. Feeling wary of this, he noticed Ren and Nora run up from the other side of the hallway.

“Guys? Did you see that?!”

“Yeah Jaune, we did!” Nora exclaimed. Jaune noticed that the topless Ren came with Nora from the same, unknown location. “Oh crap, it looks like it what’s happening in the city really did start to affect Beacon.”

“The city? What’s happening over there?” Jaune saw Nora give their dorm room a cross face.

“She didn’t tell you, did she,” Nora sighed right as Pyrrha came out of the room. Jaune looked at his partner to see her guilty expression. Feeling he needed to hear it from her, he asked, “Pyrrha, what’s Nora talking about?”

“A rumor that is becoming too real for our Kingdom.” In her red tank top and white shorts, Pyrrha sighed as she closed her eyes to think. “After that attack in the city, the White Fang was found to be the culprits for the Grimm’s arrival. Precautions for this involved Atlas’s military having a presence within the city of Vale.”

Jaune didn’t feel safe to hear this, more anxious of the situation. Nora seemed to have the same feeling as she added, “Yeah, and we just found out that more of those military guys are going to come over soon. It looks like they’re going to start running things around here with the same things they’re doing in the city.”

The blonde leader feared the worst as he already had an idea of what Atlas’s military was going to do. Pyrrha confirmed this by stating, “Then they’re going to restrict the freedom of the Faunus. I can’t believe it, they’re really going to blame the entire populace rather than stop the organization causing this? Why isn’t the Council stopping this?”

“That’s the thing, Pyrrha. They’re the ones who are going to let General Ironwood and his students become involved with those activities.” With his bullshit-lacking tone, Ren crossed his arms with a grimace that infected the faces of his teammates. “It looks like what you and Jaune experienced is one of the many things to come too. I suggest we get ready for the other things that may happen soon.”

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