Author's Note: for my AU the conversation with Jaune and Ruby in "Welcome to Beacon" went slightly different where Ruby did not learn that Jaune hadn't made his weapons. (Or anyone else who would learn in the future) Frankly that conversation ruins how I'm having Huntresses/Huntsmen use their weapons in my AU, as will become obvious as you read this story.842Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡN8PatUj2pX
(Second year: First semester)842Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡOqR9TcLWys
Jaune moved with a new confidence, yet hesitant. It had been six months since he'd started training, truly training, in how to fight and use his aura. His fighting skills had improved greatly, yet his aura control was still barely above a beginner's. No sign of his semblance had shown any hint of appearing despite Pyrrha still insisting that it would come to him 'any day now.' He did believe Pyrrha when she insisted he had a very strong Aura, stronger than most. But what was the use when he couldn't control it without outside help?842Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ7Hb7sV3Q87
He was still nowhere near a fighter that anyone else was in JNPR or RWBY. In fact he didn't think he was a better fighter than anyone in his year, but at least he wasn't an embarrassment. The only thing that set him apart was his leadership, particularly tactics. He was Professor Helm's star student and had gotten the respect that came with it from most of the school. As Helm put it, "You don't need to be a great fighter to be a great leader."
Now it was time for another lesson in Aura control from Pyrrha after a good workout. According to her the physical and the spiritual had a connection and doing one would strengthen the other which is why she did both on the same night rather than spacing them out.
Sitting Indian style he closed his eyes and felt the familiar touch and tingle of Pyrrha touching his forehead and heart, and chanting the now familiar words. He felt his aura and though he couldn't explain how he could "see" it, and hers. He had found it a bit freaky at first, but now it was just normal as he felt his aura 'unlock.'
"Let's try something different today Jaune," his lover told him. "Reach out to Crocea Mors with your Aura. I have yet to see you use it to your full potential."
Jaune did exactly that, though not really sure what to expect. This kind of 'reaching' had become easier for him, when assisted by Pyrrha, but normally it was to make it protect him from an impact or heal a wound. Touching something else that was inanimate was new.
When he touched it he felt a familiarity to it which brought him back to his childhood. He couldn't help but smile as he remembered sitting in the den of his family's estate listening to his grandfather talk about the great war. He felt warmed by the memory.
"I don't understand," Pyrrha said absentmindedly. "It's like you didn't even make Crocea Mors."
Jaune was a bit surprised, not understanding the connection. "I didn't, why?"
The silence got awkward and after a minute Jaune opened his eyes to see what had happened. Pyrrha was just looking at him blankly. "Pyrrha?"
"You didn't make it?" she asked, her voice just as blank as her face.
What was he missing? "Yeah, I got it from my grandfather after he passed."
The blank look never left her face. If Jaune could wrap his mind around the concept he'd think she was in shock. After a moment she started to look at him again. "I knew you were not properly trained when you came to Beacon, but I did not realized you had not learned about how our Weapons worked. I assumed that your lack of training is the reason your weapon was so simple in design." She looked at Jaune realizing that last could be considered an insult. "I'm sorry; I didn't mean it that way."
Jaune was too distracted by the thought that there was more to their weapons than killing grimm to notice the possibility of an insult, not that he would have taken it as one. "What else is there to our weapons? Mine seems to work just fine when I fight."
"Our weapons are more than just that. Here, look at my aura and how it interacts with Miló and Akoúo̱." Jaune closed his eyes and watched finding there was an aura to both weapons, but he'd seen the same to his own weapon. What he hadn't noticed was that they were the same red color as Pyrrha's, and if he concentrated hard enough they pulsed at the same time like a heartbeat. If he looked closer still he could see small tendrils that connected all three. "Now watch what happens when I use one." Pyrrha stayed sitting, but reached back and pulled Miló, transforming it into a rifle and firing it up into the air. In all his time at Beacon he'd never watched any of the students or teachers use their weapons while looking at their aura. If he had he'd have known the difference between what they did and what he did instantly. It would have been impossible not to as Pyrrha's Aura and Miló's doubled in intensity and those small tendrils became thick and obvious to even a cursory look.
"Wow." There was no comparison to what she did and what he did. His aura never connected with his sword or shield, nor did they match colors. He tried several more times to join with it, and never was close.
"I'm sorry Jaune," she said with obvious regret. "I should have asked sooner. I have been wasting your time until now."
"So I need to make my own weapon?" He asked, catching on quicker than he would have a year ago. "I always thought you learned that so you could repair them."
"That is part of it," Pyrrha agreed, "but a very small part."
This was a reminder that for all his attempts to catch up with his classmates there were still large holes in his schooling. "So how do I learn to make a weapon? They don't have classes for it at Beacon because I should have learned before being accepted here."
"I know the perfect person."
If eyes could glow, Ruby's did. "You need to make a weapon?" she asked excitedly.
Jaune knew Ruby well enough to know what she was like with weapons. Anyone who saw her for more than thirty seconds when any kind of weapon was nearby would know it. "Uh, yeah. Nothing too complicated though, okay?"
"Of course not. Why would you say that?" She was trying to act indignant and confused. Acting was not her strong point.
Jaune's eyes were automatically drawn to Crescent Rose. "Um..."
"Okay, I may have gone overboard on her," she said quickly, "but you can't argue with the results, now can you?" Ruby reasoned.
Jaune wanted to say that his self esteem was just fine, and it was definitely better than it had been. It wasn't good enough though. "Yeah, but this is my first weapon, I don't want to mess it up."
"Crescent Rose was my first too," Ruby said reassuringly. "It's not that hard."
Jaune's mind tried to comprehend how many moving parts were on Ruby's beloved weapon, and completely failed. "That's your first? How... I mean the engineering... and the parts..," his mind boggled.
"Oh, don't get me wrong it took a good two months of planning," she said rubbing Crescent rose lovingly, "but it's worth it. It's like a first love, you'll never forget it."
"How do you know? You haven't had a first love yet." Surely she was exaggerating at least a little. Then he remembered seeing how connected Pyrrha's aura had been to her weapons. Maybe not.
"Well, yeah, but that's what I keep getting told," Ruby said, this time with a true indignant tone. "If my first love is anything like Crescent Rose I... I don't know what I'd do."
"So, my weapon?" Jaune prompted.
"Well, let's start with the basic ideas. You're already trained in sword and shield, so let's keep that." Jaune nodded, happy that she was showing some restraint. "But it needs a gun. Any modern weapon needs to have close and long range possibilities." Restraint was starting to look a bit thin, but she did have a point. "And you have both a sword and shield. I bet we could make them combine into even cooler weapons." Restraint was starting to look like a memory. "Oh, and we could add Dust rounds to the gun. Use actual crystals as opposed to the powder form Weiss's sword uses. Bet that'll add some punch." Yeah, a very distant memory. "I think I could get both the sword and shield to have guns for the ultimate one-two. The shield is big enough; I could even try for a rail gun, though that would mean steel shells since Dust crystals aren't magnetic. Or maybe I could have the rounds Dust tipped?" Restraint? What's that again? "Oh, I know..."
Yeah, time to get her back on track and away from a weapon that was likely going to turn into a paladin mech if he let her. "Uh, Ruby?"
She was adorable though, and Jaune smiled at her excitement. "Simple, remember?"
"That is simple," she said reasonably.
Cute and no sense of proportions. "No, that is the exact opposite of simple."
Ruby cracked a manic smile. "Oh, you wanna bet? I can show you complicated if you want."
"I'd rather you didn't," Jaune said, knowing full well she wasn't joking.
"Okay, well the first step is the planning," Ruby said, switching gears to look at the total process, not just the end result. "We want something durable. Strong without being brittle. A bit of flexibility. It needs to be thin, and able to be properly laced with Dust so it can fold in on itself."
And again Jaune was left confused. "Uh, fold in on itself?"
"What, did you think a weapon like Ember Celica or Coco's massive Gatling gun really folded that small without help?"
Um, yeah. "I didn't really think about it, to be honest."
Ruby sighed dramatically. "I'm going to have to go to basics with you, aren't I?"
"That would be a safe bet, yes," he confirmed.
"Alright. Some metals take to dust better than others. Magnesium takes dust pretty good and iron takes it the worse. Generally speaking the more dense the metal is the less it will hold. With me so far?"
"Uh... Dense metal bad, light metal good," he simplified.
"No because too light and it won't hold up to anything," she corrected as if he was a slow student, which he was. "Can you picture your sword made out of pure aluminum?"
"So we go with metals that are somewhere in-between?" Jaune said, incorrectly thinking he knew where she was going.
"Sometimes. We can also go with an alloy, but I went with a third option." She pulled out her collapsed scythe. "You can't really see it around the paint, but here," and she transformed the scythe into its weaponized form. "Look at the blades."
Jaune did, and saw subtle gradients in the metal. It was actually quite pretty. "It's called pattern welding," Ruby advised. "It's not really an alloy so much as multiple metals forge welded into a single piece. It gains the benefits of all of the metals and is stronger than they would be if actually melted together as an alloy. It's like a laminated piece of wood. It also means the lighter metals will hold the dust better than the alloy would have while the sturdier metals will still give its full strength."
"My dad has blades like this," Jaune noted, "but the patterns are a lot more visible."
Ruby nodded her head in agreement. "Yeah, they can be made to be brighter with the proper treatments. For non-dust uses it's mainly for looks now days. In ancient days before we could forge metals hot enough to separate impurities and make pure metals, which is where the process originated."
This was really starting to look more complicated than he thought it would be, and it had looked complicated to start with. "So, do I have to do this forging, or can I have someone else make the parts and just put it together?"
Ruby smiled at him. Now that they were away from the design and gotten to what he needed to know the smile had lost a tad of the manic quality. Only a tad though. "That depends on how strong of a bond you want with your weapon. I forged my own, so did Yang. That's why we can more or less transform our weapons with a thought. I'd recommend it."
"This is going to take a long time, isn't it?" Jaune asked with resignation.
"Oh, making it won't take that long," She reassured him, followed by a dose of reality. "Learning how to make it will. I'll do the design for you," she said with a returning gleam in her eye that made Jaune nervous. "To save you time, of course."
Yup, that was believable. "Riiiiiiiight." Ruby's smile wasn't subtle. "I'm going to have a rocket launcher popping out somewhere if I let you do that, aren't I?"
"I promise," She said as if negotiating a land deal. "I'll keep it to a single gun no more powerful than Crescent Rose."
He was going to limit her more than that. "In her rifle form. No high impact sniper rifles that will fling me all over the place."
"Aaah... That's no fun," she pouted.
He wasn't done yet. "And I get final say on it. This is going to be my weapon. I'll need to be able to use it, not you."
"I'm going to make sure you love it," again she let loose that smile. "Trust me."
He didn't, quite, groan.
Yang and Pyrrha did the actual training on how to do the forging. For multiple reasons, most of them obvious, Beacon had its own forge. When asked why Jaune needed help they gave the story that his training hadn't included it and his last weapon had been put together with pre-ordered parts. That reason was usually frowned at, but accepted. Pyrrha had trouble with the deception, but since it was mostly true she went with it.
Meanwhile Ruby was in her element. She hadn't designed a weapon in years. Not seriously at least. She had a few sketches here and there of course. She decided early that his sword had to have the least amount of changes from what he was used to so only gave it two forms; gun and sword with very few moving parts and minimal use of dust for the transformation. That allowed for the blade to be made with almost none of the lighter medals that wouldn't hold an edge well. The barrel was going to be an aluminum alloy though which was the best there is for dust use, allowing it to nearly disappears when in its sword form. It's what Coco's Gatling gun used for its barrels in fact for the same reason.
For a moment Ruby was lost, her imagination working through the process of taking Coco's handbag apart so she could find its inner workings and how it accomplished such an amazing transformation. The things she could learn!
The final look of the sword would be nearly identical except for a hand guard and trigger which would actually improve his grip and make thrusts second nature. To transform into a gun the sword's blade would split down the middle and open by sliding along the cross guard, remaining parallel to each other, and revealing the shortened rifle barrel in-between. The hilt would bend to a forty five degree angle to make firing it an easy action. This simple of a transformation would make changing between the two forms take less than a second allowing for some truly frightening combinations. Ruby was a bit impressed with herself on its design.
And Jaune said she couldn't keep it simple.
She still wanted to make it into a rail gun. With the blade in that position it would be easy, but Jaune used his stupid Veto rights.
For his shield she had other, slightly more complex, plans. Magnesium had a great ability to flex under impact and was light enough to have a heavy amount of dust, so it was going to be highly featured allowing for more options on how it could fold and a mundane ability to spread the impact throughout the shield preventing dents, mostly. Like the original it would transform between a heater shield and a scabbard, but she was going to add in a few more forms as well.
First was a forearm shield. It was simple, really. Have the shield open half way and fit on the arm ninety degrees from normal with the point towards his hand. As it opened it would round inwards slightly including the point to give a decent level of protection. It would be good for when he was moving quickly, and give a resting spot for his gun when he needed to fire it with more precision since the positions of the blades would prevent him from holding the barrel with his hand.
It would maintain the scabbard in that form so he would have a place to hold his sword if he needed to. Ruby couldn't really think of a time when that would happen, but it was best to be prepared right? Because of the shortening of the shield when in that form the end of the blade would stick out slightly. She could change that, but Jaune had been very specific; it was to be as simple as she could make it.
Yup, that's her story and she's sticking to it.
That's why she set it up so the blade could be pulled in from the top hiding the hilt and extending the blade farther out the bottom turning it into an armored forearm sword that just happened to maintain its ability to change into a gun.
That was as far as Jaune let her go with it. She had plans of adding aluminum to the hilt so it could turn into a spear like Pyrrha's. Ruby had thought he would like that one! And then that would allow for a truly awesome extended punch action when it was set as an armored forearm blade. Something about "no training with that kind of weapon," he'd said. As if he didn't have a perfectly good teacher for that.
She had to work on him for a few days just to get the armored forearm shield. She had so many other ideas but if even the spear was out, what was the point? She sketched out the other ideas anyways. She showed how the sword could change into a staff with a single edged blade on each side. No dice. She had tried to change his mind about the rail gun, which he had flatly refused, so obviously the Dust crystal rounds were out.
Sooooo many ideas. Eventually Yang proclaimed him competent enough to start on his weapon, and at that point arguments were useless. The creation process had started and the planning was over.
Ruby had been right. The actual forging of the blade didn't take nearly as long as learning how to do it. The only thing he hadn't expected was Pyrrha once again opening up his aura and having him concentrate on his aura as he forged the weapon's individual parts. He thought it would be hard, but in less than a minute he could feel the metal react to his aura, and soon it was drawing his aura into itself without him trying.
It tired him out faster, but he was fascinated. After the first piece was completed he didn't need Pyrrha's help to add his Aura to the process. It came as second nature.
Multiple techniques were needed to make the weapons, and it took over a week to get them all to work together. Each day he was more aware of his aura. On the last day he started putting the parts together under Ruby's direction, and he couldn't believe how emotional of an experience it was. When they were done, he was all smiles as he looked over at his team who had watched with anticipation, and at Ruby who looked like a proud parent.
"What's its name?" Pyrrha asked as the last part was put in place.
Jaune looked at her and smiled. Filo," he said as he indicated his sword, "and Timo," he finished indicating his shield.
"Want to practice with them?" she asked. At that moment Pyrrha, Filo, and Timo were all that existed and he wanted nothing more than to feel the freedom he sensed in his weapons.
"More than anything," he said, feeling whole when he hadn't known before there was a piece missing.ns 184.108.40.206da2