Sorry for the wait, things have been fairly heptic, but here's the next chapter, and small warning, this chapter does have one scene that would probably be considered PG-13, nothing too explicit...but warning for those few innocents.
Jaune flew through the air as a coordinated attack from Ciel and Penny sent him flying. All three were currently in the training room with the floor set to Downtown Vale; destroyed buildings and cars surrounding them.
"Fuck…" Jaune groaned as he hid behind an overturned car, above him green bolts of hardlight were flying, keeping him effectively pinned, "Church,"
"On it," Church said, pulling a video of what was happening behind him, Penny was keeping him pinned down while Ciel slowly circled around his position, chain whip at the ready.
"How's armor integrity?" he asked, looking down at his new armor, several new dents and scrapes visible on the thick metal.
"Pretty good all things considered," Church said, "93%, might need a bit of tender love and care after this though…Aura however, is down to 80%"
Jaune nodded and stood up pointing his gun at Siel and sending a grenade round straight for her, she quickly evaded and fell back as he focused his fire on Penny, who easily dodged his fire.
"Church, analyse." Jaune said.
"Ciel's down to 80%, Penny's at 99.9%"
"Let's change that," Jaune vaulted over his cover, advancing on Penny with pinpoint fire; Ciel jumped over a mound of rubble and sent her whip straight for him, he deflected it with the blade of his rifle and sent a few shots her way; she flipped away from the fire and sent the whip his way again, this time wrapping it around the weapon and pulling it from his hand. without even hesitating Jaune pulled his hammer and sidearm, firing at Ciel and slamming Penny's blades away from him as he went.
"Ciel's down to fifty, Penny's at eighty." Church said.
"Great, lets get rid of one of them." Jaune said, suddenly throwing the hammer at Ciel, she let out a pained grunt as the hammer face slammed into her chest sending her out of the ring, Jaune then turned and held his handgun with both hands as he fired on Penny, who charged him. At the last second she went into a slide and went past him, the wires of her blades wrapped around his legs and brought him down, four of the blades shifted to their gun forms and peppered him with shots until the buzzer sounded, indicating the end of the match.
"Nice one Tin Can." Jaune muttered, accepting her helping hand as he stood up. Around them the room shifted back to its original shape.
"You did good too Gunny. "She said, "I think this is the first time i've hit sixty percent!"
"And the first time I've hit the ground." Ciel muttered, walking towards her teammates, "you shouldn't throw your weapons away like that Gunnery Sergeant, that's risky."
"Risk is my middle name." he said, taking his helmet off his head, checking the blood stained scarf on his right arm to make sure it was still secure.
"Why do you wear that into combat?" Penny asked curiously. "Isn't it important to you?"
"It is," he agreed, "and it's also my good luck charm,"
"One of these days you're going to have to give us the story." Ciel said, checking her watch and letting out a huff, "and where is Master Sergeant Rhodes?"
"Still working on her armor." Church said, appearing before all of them as a full scale soldier, his form flickering slightly, "she's almost done with it, and she's really excited to show you guys."
"Once she's combat ready we can go on an excursion into Grimm territory." Jaune said, holding his hand out and activating the magnetic grips, his hammer flew from its spot on the ground into his magnetized hand, while his rifle was brought flush against his back, "test our team skills before heading to Vale."
"Are you excited to go to Vale Gunny?" Penny inquired, leaning forward.
Jaune thought about it, "just ready to get back out into the field," he said.
"Don't you have family in Vale?"
"Not 'in Vale' Per say, they live in a village outside of the city, two hour drive, one hour by bullhead."
"He also has seven sisters," Rhodes called from the entrance, walking in with a backpack slung over her shoulder, dressed in her BDU's, the blouse in her right hand, some kind of chest rig was strapped onto her, her handguns holstered at her sides, "Four older, one his age, two younger."
Ciel looked at him in surprise, "by the brothers, your poor mother."
Jaune shrugged, "my grandfather had nineteen children, so...yeah." he looked to Rhodes, "so Rhodey, you finally ready?"
"Oh yeah, definitely ready." she put the backpack on the bench, "paint for your armor by the way."
He gave a nod as she hit a button on her chest rig, instantly metallic bands started to sprout from it, covering her chest and arms in green form fitting armor, reminiscent of the old Air Assault armor, though less bulky and more streamlined, Rhodey grinned as the helmet formed around her, covering her face with a golden face plate, "eh? How do I look?" she asked.
"Sen-sational!" Penny exclaimed, "you look combat ready!"
"You couldn't just be like Jaune and put your armor on without an auto-deployment?" Ciel asked, crossing her arms.
"Oh no, auto-deployment only took an hour to fix, getting the gyro-stabilizers ready was what took so long."
"Gyro-stabilizers?" Jaune asked.
"Just watch." With a push of a button, fire shot from her feet, propelling her into the air, on her back a jetpack started shooting off at regular intervals, helping her to keep balance as she flew through the air.
Ceil watched her for a few moments, eyes wide, "Okay, that's pretty impressive."
"Better believe it sweet cheeks." Rhodey said as she darted back down. Landing with practiced ease next to Jaune.
"That's gonna give us an edge in the fights." Jaune said with a nod, "and you said the auto-deployment only took a couple of hours to rig?"
"Yep, you interested?"
"Oh yeah, but that can wait, right now we need to work on our team deployment; Church."
"Whats up Boss?" Church asked, appearing in front of them again.
"Contact the Bullhead-depot, we need a ride out to the tundra."
"Got it," Church said, winking out of existence.
"Everyone, get outfitted for artic survival, shits cold out there."
"Sir yes sir!" Penny said, mock saluting him.
"This armor is equipped with heaters, as well as oxygen reserves for high altitude flying."
"Give me a moment to go get my jacket." Ceil muttered, walking towards the locker room.
"We got a Bullhead lined up," Church said, popping up once more, "they'll be waiting at the landing pads."
"Thanks Church." Jaune said, putting his helmet back on, "we'll head for the northern mountain, heard there's been an influx of Grimm on the mountain, we can clear at least a fraction of them before the first year teams have a go."
"Sounds like a plan." Rhodey said as Ciel and Penny returned, now clad in thick jackets and pants.
"Alright, let's get a move on!"
The team quickly made their way through the academy, stopping short of their bullhead.
"Alright, first time out there, I want Tops in the air providing overwatch, Seil stick close to me and cover me as much as you can. Penny, you're out front. is everyone clear?"
"Lets get this Fuckin' 'W' boys." Rhodey cheered as she jumped into the bullhead, Penny giddily following her.
Ceil sighed, "so immature." she muttered with a slight smile as she climbed in.
Jaune stepped into the bullhead, "we're secure." he called to the pilot
The pilot gave him a thumbs up before turning the engines on, soon they were on their way to the north mountain.
"So Gunny." Rhodey started conversationally, her helmet off and tucked under her arm, "you excited to get to Vale?"
"As excited as I am for any other mission." Jaune said dryly.
"Come on! You're not even a little excited that you might get to see your little princess?"
Ciel and Penny shared a look as Jaune shook his head.
"There's no guarantee that she'll be in Vale," he said dismissively, "she may have decided on Mistral."
"Who are you two talking about?" Ciel asked.
"Jaune's girl." Rhodey said.
"Not my girl." Jaune corrected her, "an old friend i met before I became a Helljumper, back when i was just a typical grunt pulling security during my duty station."
"He pulled guard duty for her, got her sloshed out at some dive bar, almost got kicked out over it."
"Her dad wanted me kicked out, Old King Cole gave me a promotion." Jaune said smugly.
"So who was this girl?" Penny asked curiously while Ciel leaned in.
Ciel's eyes widened, "you got Weiss Schnee drunk?"
'She got herself drunk." Jaune defended himself.
"But you got her DRUNK!" Ciel emphasized.
"What's the big deal? Just some teen wanting to let loose." Rhodey dismissed.
"Have you ever met a Schnee?"
"Can't say i've had the pleasure." Rhodey said with a shrug.
"They're top tier in Atlesian aristocracy! They helped found Mantle! Winter Schnee is one of our Top specialists!"
"Which makes it more understanding that the girl needed to unwind."
"Is that her scarf?" Penny asked Jaune quietly as Ciel and Rhodey dissolved into their usual bickering.
Jaune nodded, 'Yeah it is, gave it to me when I was trying to get her out of Terra Vista." he smiled slightly,'I haven't gotten in contact with her since then...lost my scroll and didn't memorize her number."
"Well maybe she'll be in Vale!" Penny cheered hopefully.
"One can hope.' Jaune said softly as the intercom blared to life.
"We're five minutes from the dropzone, get ready, air Grimm are bad so be prepared to Jump.
Jaune and Rhodey jumped to their feet, putting their helmets on while Penny and Ciel put on their jackets.
"Pilot, open the hatch," Jaune ordered, "Rhodey, get out there and keep them off so we can land."
"On it boss." Rhodey sounded off, jumping out as soon as the hatch was open, the steady staccato of her handguns sounding quiet beside the engines and wind.
Jaune scanned the forest, "Land in that clearing there!" he called to the pilot.
The Bullhead quickly dove, levelling out barely a foot from the ground.
"Hit it!" Jaune snarled, jumping out with his rifle at the ready, Ciel and Penny right behind him.
Jaune scanned the sky, smirking when he saw Rhodey in a Dogfight with five Griffons, "head up the mountain!" he said to his other teammates, "Ciel, keep our back secure!"
"Got it." CIel said as Penny took point, her blades out as they began the trek, before they even reached the tree line they were attacked by a pack of Beowulves and Creeps.
"Right flank!" Jaune called, firing his rifle as Ciel turned, her dust-infused whip flying through the air and striking a Creep across the face, catching it on fire.
"Penny, the beowulves are trying to flank us! Get on it." Jaune shouted.
"Righty-o Gunny!" Penny chirped, dashing off to the left while Jaune and Ciel went back to back.
"Maybe this was a bad Idea." Ciel said worriedly as she brought her whip back in.
"First live combat op?" Jaune asked as he slashed a nearby beowulf with his gun, cutting it from shoulder to hip before blasting it away with his rifle.
"Just treat it like a simulation you don't want to lose," Jaune said, "we got your back."
Ciel nodded slightly and twisted the handle of her whip, blades sprouted down the length of it,with a flick of her wrist it shot out and wrapped around a beowulf's head, with a tug the head was severed; For a few moment she was lost in the veritable blood bath her whip wrought upon the Grimm, barely aware of the fact that Penny had dispatched the Beowulve's and was now thinning out the Griffons from the ground while Rhodey strafed what Grimm she could before returning to her Dogfight.
"Break!" Jaune commanded as he rolled to the side, Ciel following in a backflip, her eyes wide as she saw the large stinger that had hit where they had been just a moment ago. The deathstalker shrieked as Jaune peppered it with rifle fire, retreating ever so slightly as Ursai advanced, every now and then he would suddenly dodge or dive to the side, obviously heeding church's warnings.
"We need to-" Jaune started, only to be hit to the side by a giant paw.
"JAUNE!" Ciel shouted as the gargantuan soldier shattered three trees, she began to run towards him, only to be stopped by the advancing Grimm; Once again she unfurled her whip and swinging it around her in large arcs, slashing through muscle and meat with every stroke, twirling through the Grimm like a cyclone.
"On your left!"
Rhodey's warning saved her from being impaled by the Deathstalker, who had once more advanced towards them, pincers snapping angrily as it's tale darted forward once more.
This time Jaune's hammer saved her from an untimely death.
The Helljumper had reappeared only moments before, his armor slightly scratched and dented from his trip through the woods, but the strength of his upswing tore the stinger from the tail and sent it flying through the air to impale a Griffon that was chasing Rhodey.
"Aim for the eyes!" Jaune snarled out, his sidearm in his hand as he fired at the Deathstalkers head, his hammer flashing out every now and then to cave a Beowulves head in or to slam one of its pincers out of his way.
Penny charged in, half of her blades biting into the chinks in the bone armor of the Deathstalker while the other half fired on the few remaining Ursai.
Ciel twisted the handle of her whip again, this time the coil went rigid and shortened until she was holding a quarterstaff, with deadly precision she sent bolts of lighting out of the end, hitting three of its eyes before she flipped over a Beowulf and slammed her staff into it.
"Alright guys get back. Air support coming in, danger close." Rhodey said over the comms as she came in low and fast, Jaune and Ciel backpedaled fast, still engaging the other Grimm while Penny used her blades to quickly withdraw while Rhodey Flew over, three compartments opened up on her chest rig, dropping several baseball sized orbs. They hit the ground and blew up with enough force to make Ciel cover her eyes, Jaune started on, impressed at the amount of fire, "how much were those Fire Crystals? Retail value." he asked as he watched the Deathstalker and the last remnants of the Grimm disintegrate.
"For the glorious atlas army? Nothing. For the average citizen? Four hundred lien a pop."
Jaune laughed, "and they call us wasteful." he scanned the immediate area, "looks like this area's clear, everyone form up on me."
Ciel let out a breath she didn't know she was holding and sat down on an overturned tree.
Rhodey landed at a walk, stopping right by Ciel, "good job there Clockwork." she said to the girl, "you were pretty handy with that Whip."
"Thanks." she said with a weak smile, her hand shaking as she ran it through her hair, noting absently that her beret had fallen off, "that was nothing like the Simulations."
"It never is." Rhodey said sympathetically, holding her hand out, "Come on, Gunny's gonna want a debrief on this location before we go to the next one."
Ciel nodded and gratefully took her hand and stood up.
"Chin up kid you did good." Rhodey said, giving her butt a slap as she strode over to Jaune.
"Hey!" Ciel exclaimed, turning a blushing furiously as she stalked after Rhodey, "there was no call for that!"
"What? Do good, get a slap on the ass, it's tradition."
"It's inappropriate and bordering sexual harassment!"
Jaune watched on in amusement as the two bickered, 'At ease." he commanded as Penny rejoined them, handing Jaune his rifle, "Thanks Tin Can, now, not too bad a job out here. Ciel, you need to work on situational awareness, you were almost hit several times because you were too focused on the beowulf in front of you, Rhodey, good call with those fire crystals but we can't rely on them all the time, next area don't bust them out until we need them."
"Just as well, used up half on that deathstalker."
"Penny." Jaune said, looking to the bubbly girl, "Keep doing what you're doing."
"Alright, it's a bit of a hump to the next site, stick close and be ready, they may try and meet us before we get there."
Four hours later.
Ciel sighed as she stepped out of the steamy bathroom, clad in a simple tank top and shorts, the day had ended well, with seven grimm infested locations completely cleared. They had worked well as a cohesive unit and had suffered minimal casualties and all were working on separate things, Jaune had gone to the armory to fix what he could on his armor and paint it, while Penny had left with her father for their weekly dinner, and Rhodey-
-Ciel looked up to where Rhodey was standing next to the window, a cigarette in her hand, she was dressed in a wife beater and a pair of baggy pajama bottoms.
"Must you smoke in the dorm?" she asked pointedly.
Rhodey smiled and flicked the cigarette out of the window, 'Sorry, forgot not everyone's copesthetic with that." she said, sitting down on her bed, her back against the headboard, "you alright? That Ursa got a pretty good shot on you."
Ciel rolled her shoulder, wincing when the skin around the claw marks stretched, "I was about to go to the Infirmary to get it checked." she mumbled.
"No need for that, I can check it for you." Rhodey said, motioning for her to sit down in front of her.
"I think a Certified medic would be better."
Rhodey pulled her wallet out and then pulled out an ID, "got certified after I crashed at the Tung Shao pass." she said.
Ciel hesitated, then sighed and sat down on the bed, her back to Rhodey, "it's not too bad." she mumbled as Rhodey reached into her bag by the bed, pulling out a med kit, "superficial really."
"Well you're right about not too bad." Rhodey said softly as she pulled out some alcohol and a cotton ball, "but Grimm claws are notoriously dirty, if you're not careful it'll get infected." she poured a bit of the alcohol on the cotton ball and then began dabbing the wound.
Ciel hissed in discomfort, but stayed as still as possible, "I thought my Aura would have healed me."
"Hmm, maybe from a wound from a tree branch or another huntsman, but Grimm wounds tend to make our aura work slowly, or not at all." Rhodey explained as she gently blew on the wound, the cool air soothing the irritation from the alcohol and making Ciel shiver.
"I wanted to apologize." Rhodey began again as she pulled some gauze squares and medical tape out, "for how I treated you and Penny when we first started out. Wasn't exactly welcoming was I?"
"You were...unprofessional." Ciel said carefully.
"Hmm, I would have said that I was a bitch, but I"ll take what I can get." Rhodey said as she taped up her wound, "neither of you deserved that from me."
"Well, I wasn't exactly welcoming to you or Gunnery Sergeant Arc, so I can understand."
"Hard to believe that was only about a few weeks ago." Rhodey chuckled as she pressed the tape down, her hands slowly massaging the girls shoulders, "all patched up." she whispered.
Ciel closed her eyes as she began to relax under Rhodey's ministrations, "hmm...thank you Master Sergeant Rhodey."
Rhodey smiled and leaned in, Ciel shivered once more as Rhodey's breath tickled her ear.
"You don't need to use our ranks." she murmured, gently raking her fingernails down the girls back until her hands were able to rest easily on her waist, "i'm not sure what Jaune Prefers but a simple 'Rhodey' will work for me, or even Amy."
"Your first name is Amy?" Ciel whispered, slowly leaning back into Rhodey.
"Mhmm, Amy Elizabeth Rhodes." Rhodey Purred,one arm coming up from under hers, running lightly over her collar bone.
"Elizabeth." Ciel hummed, "so proper…" she gasped slightly as Rhodey's hand went to her throat, gently applying pressure to the sides.
"Don't…" she whispered into her ear huskily, "call me Elizabeth"
"And what if I do?" Ciel challenged, her eyes barely opened as she let out a slight moan as Rhodey increased the pressure on her neck; her other hand coming up to wrap around her stomach.
"Well then I'd have to punish you." Rhodey stated, she moved her head slightly as Ciel turned hers, sapphire eyes lazy as her own hands came up to cover Rhodey's, their lips were mere centimeters apart as Ciel whispered breathily.
With a slight growl Rhodey captured Ciels lips with her own, her grip tightening slightly as Ciel grasped her hands, there was barely any hesitation in either girl as as the kiss became heated, with a grunt Rhodey rolled them over and pinned Ciel's hands over her head as she straddled the specialists waist, once again catching the girls lips in a searing kiss before moving to leave a trail of kisses down the girls neck, nipping at her jugular as she did.
"Elizabeth." Ciel said breathlessly as Rhodey slowly let go of her hands and ran them down her body, her left hand once again going around her throat while the other bevan to roam down her thigh,
Ciel whimpered slightly, pressing her body as close to Rhodey's as she could as her hands came down to wrap around the Faunus, "Elizabeth." Ciel struggled out, making Rhodey growl again, with a sharp SMACK! She slapped Ciels ass, making the girl buck slightly in surprise and pleasure.
Without warning Ciel rolled them once more, so she was the one straddling Rhodey, who looked surprised as Ciel leaned forward and kissed her once more, hands roaming over the pilot's lithe frame as Rhodey sat up, ravaging the specialist's neck.
"Elizabeth.' Ciel mumbled into her hair before letting out a hiss of pain and pleasure as Rhodey struck her ass again, in response Ciel raked her nails down Rhodey's back, making her give out a sharp cry.
Instantly Ciel's eyes widened, "did I hurt you?" She asked worriedly, "I'm sorry I-Mmph!" She was cut off as Rhodey once again captured her lips, her hands going down to the waistband of Ciel's shorts, Ciel instantly gripped her hands "w-wait…" she commanded shakily.
Rhodey stared into Ciel's eyes, gone was the girl who had been so sure and confident of herself, always on time and in control, nary a hair out of place; now she looked uncertain and vulnerable, with mussed hair and bruised lips.
"I-i havent...i've never…" she whispered haltingly.
Rhodey smiled softly and brought one of her hands up, cupping her cheek, "its okay." She said, giving her a sweet peck on the lips, "we can go as fast or as slow as you want."
Ciel took in a deep, shaky breath, "can...can we just...lay down?" She asked hesitantly, now that the adrenaline had worn off and the cloud of lust was lifting, she found that she was tired, and even more unsure of herself.
"Of course." Rhodey said, gently guiding her back until they were both laying down, with Ciel curled up on Rhodey's chest and Rhodey keeping her arms firmly around the smaller girl.
"Sweet dreams clockwork." Rhodey sighed in contentment.
Jaune stood staring at his armor, currently laid out in front of him and completely painted black, with red and yellow trim, "looks good." Church said, popping into existence, "really screams 'Helljumper'."
"That's the point," Jaune said as he sat on the bench and pulled his guns to him, a can of spray paint in one hand as he began painting over them, "what time do we depart tomorrow?"
"0800, general Ironwood commissioned a special bullhead to take us early. He and the rest of the contingent will leave three days from now." Church shook his head, "still don't get why we have to leave early."
"Dr. Polendina wants to go early to set up his lab, doesn't want to be separated from his daughter, and the general doesn't want her to be on her own."
"Still. You would think the general would just move the departure up a few days instead of sending a single team ahead."
"Best not to question it." Jaune grunted, leaning back to stare at his now painted armor and weapons, "go ahead and switch off church."
"Got it boss." Church said, winking out of existence.
Jaune slowly reached over and untied the scarf from his arm, looking at the silky white piece of cloth as he let his mind wander.
"So what's your name?"
Jaune looked at the girl between himself and squints, she was around their age with long snow white hair and piercing blue eyes, carefully Jaune looked around the crowded ballroom before back to her, "Sergeant Jaune Arc ma'am." He said.
"And I'm squinting." His friend said with a smirk.
The girl blinked and gave a soft laugh, "I'm actually surprised the both of you answered." She said honestly, "usually the troops assigned to guard me don't talk."
"We aren't the most conventional of soldiers ma'am." Jaune said.
"Yeah, the way we got our ranks is proof enough." Squints chuckled, earning him a sharp nudge.
"How did you get your ranks." She asked curiously.
"A ballroom like this isn't exactly the right setting for that story ma'am." Jaune said carefully.
The girl crossed her arms, fixing a cold glare on him, "my name is Weiss, and if this isn't the proper place then take me somewhere that it is."
Jaune and squints shared a look,"well then, follow us princess." Jaune said, giving her a challenging smirk as she puffed up in indignation.
Jaune looked up, his hand clenching around the scarf, "yeah tin can?" He asked, sparing a look behind him where Penny was standing quietly by the doorway.
"Its almost curfew, we need to get back to the dorm." She said with her usual cheerful voice.
Jaune nodded and stood, "alright then, lets go."
Penny watched Jaune as he walked down the hall, his posture was stiff and rigged, "gunny, are you sad?" she asked timidly as she began walking beside him.
"What would give you the Idea that I was sad?" Jaune asked her with a raised eyebrow.
"You looked deep in thought when I walked into the room." Penny said, putting her hands behind her back. "And you looked...melancholy…"
Jaune smiled sadly, "you're too observant Tin Can," he muttered, "I was thinking of Ms. Schnee...we were...very close."
"Were you two...together?" she asked uncertainty.
"No...we weren't...but it doesn't matter, she's still a close friend."
"Why don't you call her?" Penny questioned.
"Lost my scroll during Terra Vista, no contact information, and the Schnee Dust Company doesn't exactly take kindly to people asking for contact information of their heiress."
"Well hopefully you can meet her again!" Penny said excitedly.
Jaune smiled, "Hopefully." he mumbled as he got to their door and unlocked it, "hey Rhodey, you and Ciel...what?" he asked stupidly, looking at the two girls sleeping in each other's arms.
"We can share beds?" Penny asked curiously.
"I...it's...special circumstances, that we will not be discussing tonight.'