listen im still not done crying after watching the rwby8 finale and im going to put down some thoughts so i can go do Something Else and stop holding onto them bc theyre just bringing me more tears-
i just. Penny and Jaune. Penny and Pyrrha and- and Gretchen. it's- i cant stop crying because they all made the choice. all of them. but what hurts the most about Penny (aside from her being my favorite character) is that Jaune had to be the one to do it. Ruby dismissed it as ever being an option, and Nora never would've given up on her. but Jaune is the team strategist, the mediator, always choosing the option that works best for everyone and he was faced with this choice- he didn't just have Penny's trust placed in his hands, but her Life, and he. did what would save people. he did what she wanted, giving her the ability to choose who the power went to, that one thing. he looked himself in the eyes with the same weapon she asked he use - the one that until then he had used only to fight to protect those he cares about - and he knew it was, in that moment of chaos and loss and grief, the best option. and also the one that would doubtlessly hurt him the most. he kills her and he cries out, a wretched sound, as if he's been run through instead, which i'm willing to bet part of him wishes he'd rather be, wishes there had been any better option.
he's been willing to sacrifice himself for his teammates before, sure, but to carry out the sacrifice of another? he's a healer, a defender. and if some theories end up being right - if he does meet Pyrrha on that giant tree island, how can he possibly face her after what he's done? how can he meet her eye knowing he's taken the life of a maiden? (how can he meet Ruby's eye knowing he's done that to Penny?)
not to mention Penny just got the body she's been dreaming of for so long. she barely had any time to experience life in it and he...took that away from her. this hurts my heart ten times harder when i factor in the trans feelings i have for both of them (i have a lot of the same feelings for many of the rwby characters, but they're two of the character's i've headcanonned as trans for the longest since the show began, considering how well it fits each of their narratives)
we can't say for sure whether it's a permanent thing or not- Penny's "death", but regardless, he killed her. sure, so did Pyrrha- but she was under the effect of Emerald's semblance, before she knew practically anything about Penny, or got the chance to.
jaune knew. and that's the worst part
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