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Nightmares of Time Gone By

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Pyrrha danced from foot to foot outside of Jaune’s room. Taking a deep breath and letting it out, she rapped on the door, a small smile coming to her face as she heard him rush to answer.

"Something wrong?" he asked. It wasn’t a strange question, seeing as it was halfway through the night and she was in the boy’s dorms. He still invited her in, something in her demeanor giving away that something was troubling her.

"Just a nightmare," she said.

"So you came all the way from the girl’s dorm to me because…?" he said. He threw up his arms as soon as he said it, a bright smile overtaking his face. "Not that you shouldn’t. I mean, the team captain should be available at all hours for anyone. It’s just that it’s really hard for someone to sneak from the girl’s dorms to here because of the monitors."

Pyrrha felt her smile widen as she took a seat on the couch of the room Jaune shared with Ren. Jaune continued to ramble for another minute or so, trailing off as he saw her relax.

"Was it a bad nightmare?" he asked. Pyrrha nodded, her smile slipping as she drew her knees into her chest. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"No," she replied. Silence stood between them. "Maybe."

"You don’t have to if you don’t want to."

"It’s just stupid nightmare. I really shouldn’t have bothered you," she said, getting up.

"Hey," Jaune said, stopping her. "It’s not stupid. And I’ll be here if you need to talk."

She nodded and left, sneaking back to the girl’s dorms. Nora didn’t say a word as she reentered the room, although she was besieged by a request to teach her the next morning. To be fair, she showed the trick to the rest of the team.

She didn’t expect Jaune to use it. Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, she opened the door to see him standing there in his blue onesie. He blushed as he took in her overly large sleep shirt. Pyrrha smiled and invited him in. He took a seat on the floor, his back against the couch. She mirrored him, her back against the door.

"Sorry," he muttered, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. "I just… Well, you have nightmares and I thought… I didn’t know…"

"It’s fine," Pyrrha said. "Even the team captain needs someone to talk to occasionally."

"Yeah. I still think you should have been captain, you know."

"I’d prefer not to lead."

"You don’t seem like much of a follower," Jaune said. "I mean, you were the Mistral champion for four years straight. I’m a nobody compared to you."

"You’re a good leader," she reassured him. "I don’t know many people who’d talk to someone after a nightmare in the middle of the night."

"You are."

"Well, it’s fair. I help you and you help me. We’ve got each other’s backs."

"I guess. It’s just that this nightmare was different. Almost like I was there."

"What happened?"

Jaune shook his head. “I don’t know. There was gunfire and…” he paused, looking for the right term. “There was this green light, talking to me. And I was sad. Really sad.” He shrugged. “It didn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

"Sometimes nightmares are just reflections for what happens during the day," Pyrrha told him. "I mean, we were training today. It was probably something to do with that."

"Yeah," Jaune agreed. He looked up at her from beneath his bangs. "You really know how to deal with nightmares."

"I’ve had them my entire life," Pyrrha said nonchalantly.

"Really?"

"As long as I can remember, at least. My mom said I used to crawl into their bed when I was younger. For the past couple of years I just went and sat outside their door. My mom found me like that a couple mornings."

"So when you came to see me…"

"I don’t know why I went to you," she said. "You’re a really nice guy, so I didn’t think you would slam the door on me or call the monitors. And I just needed someone to talk to."

"Do you need to talk about it, still?"

Pyrrha looked at him, a sad grin stretching across her face. “You really don’t want to know.”

If her refusal surprised him, Jaune didn’t show it. It became a routine for them to appear at one another’s doors in the middle of the night, sometimes talking, sometimes just sitting there until the other calmed down.

Then came the accident.

Pyrrha wasn’t sure what happened, only that at the end of the fight Jaune lay on the ground, a bloody gash across his face. The entire team stood a vigil at his bedside, waiting for him to wake up. She had volunteered to take the night shift.

Halfway through the night she found herself being shaken awake. Her hand went to where she kept her weapon, before she realized that she had had Nora take it back to their room for her.

"You were having a nightmare," Jaune told her, sitting back against his pillows.

"You’re awake," she replied.

“‘Course I am,” he said with a small grin. He winced as the movement pulled at the skin underneath his eye. A hand went to touch the bandages that covered half of his face.

"We didn’t know if you were going to," Pyrrha said. "The wound took your eye. They weren’t sure if it had hit anything else."

"Oh," Jaune said, his hand falling limply back onto the bed. "What was your nightmare about?"

"It’s not something you should worry about right now."

"Well, tell me anyway. I need something to keep my mind off of…" he trailed off, his hand gesturing towards his face.

"Someone got hurt. And I couldn’t do anything."

"This wasn’t your fault."

"It wasn’t about yesterday."

This admittance seemed to silence him. Pyrrha shifted uneasily in her chair as he stared at her.

"Then what was it about?"

"Something that happened a long time ago. Somewhere else, maybe. It’s the same as any of my other nightmares. Like a bad bedtime story I’ve been told all my life."

"Who got hurt?"

"A man named Maine," Pyrrha told him. "My mom always told me that these dreams were made up. Like when I told her she was in them."

"Maybe she was right."

"No, it was real. You were in them."

"I was?"

"Well, not you, you," she corrected herself. "A man named York who was a lot like you. He even had only one eye. I just never put the pieces together before today."

"Was I at least handsome?"

Pyrrha cracked a smile at his question. “I suppose.”

They never spoke about the night in the hospital room. But their team grew stronger. His disability was one that set them back, but never stumbled them. Nor did the nightmares that began to intertwine and tell a more complete story.

Of course, they had to be attacked on the camping trip. Out of his good eye he saw Pyrrha fighting next to the cliff face. Dispatching his foe, he ran towards her, one of the nightmares he kept to himself flashing to the forefront of his mind. In slow motion he saw her take off the head of her attacker, but become unbalanced on the edge. Without a sound she dropped over the edge.

Jaune grabbed her wrist, holding on as she dangled over the edge. She held on as he pulled her up, collapsing next to him as soon as she was on solid ground.

"You won’t be Carolina," he promised her before he passed out.