A/N: Yes, yes, I'm aware that Coeur Al'Aran did something similar, and frankly, far better than I ever could. Service with a Smile blows anything I ever did right out of the water, including this. His stories are a bloody addiction of mine, and one I've only recently discovered. Currently reading White Sheep.
This is a mere imitation by comparison, and I welcome critiques.
Everybody Loves Cookies.
Don't they, though?
Before anyone complains, this is something of a bin for all my RWBYxNaruto related ideas. Hence the title. Its something similar to A Most Unlikely Collection, but more coherent. Anything you see here won't be made into a story unless folks like it. That's all I have to say on the matter.
As ever, I own no references or material. Nor do I get paid to do this.
Nothing. Not a cent. Not a penny. No commissions at all. Zilch.
Now I'm off to get more tests done on my head.
"What could possibly compel a man like you to open a bakery? You don't seem the sort."
"A wise man once said say sweets brings people together. Figured I'd try it out."
"And who, pray tell, was he? He sounds like a fool."
"Minato Namikaze. My father."
~Cinder and the Baker.
Everybody Loves Cookies.
Don't they, though?
Well, I certainly hope they do; because if they don't, then I opened this bloody bakery for nothing. Hmm. Maybe I should've tried my hand at a cafe instead. Eh, semantics. In my experience, I've found that almost anyone can be plied with sweets. From the deadliest hunter to the merest minion. Even the most vicious of villains tend to favor sweets in one form or another. Don't let word of mouth, fool you. I once saw a girl who barely came up to my chest murder a man because he looked at her ice cream. Didn't even touch the damn thing! Just looked at it! True story, I shit you not. Everybody has a sweet tooth for something. Trust me.
I prefer the latter.
Now, I know what you must be thinking; Naruto, you're an idiot. After everything you've said and done, after everything you've been through, after all the battles I've fought, why the hell would you open a bakery in the middle of Vale?! Did you hit your head when you fell out of that portal?!
Well. Therein lies a story.
To you, a bakery might seem like something of an odd choice. Especially for a shinobi. For me? It seemed a simple one. When you've saved the world half a dozen times over and stranded yourself in a foreign dimension, there really isn't anywhere else left to go. You've done all you can do, and at some point just don't feel like fighting anymore. Its not that you can't, or won't, but that you simply choose not to. So you try to find a hobby, something that makes you happy. Something that makes others happy, too.
Let somebody carry on the good fight.
Let someone else be the hero.
Let something happen.
My home was at peace when I left it behind; probably still is. Even if it isn't, its none of my concern. They probably don't even remember need me, and its not like I can get back to them. I've had decades to reconcile myself to that fact. When I first landed here all those years ago -when I first met Ozpin- I had nothing. I didn't want to be a Huntsman, wasn't interested in his crusade, but I helped him anyway. For a time. Gave him a lifetime or two to set up his precious schools. It paid off. Some might argue that I still have nothing to show for it.
I've spent most of my savings on cooking lessons and the rest building this place from the bottom up. There mistakes, to be sure. Loads of them. Took me a hundred years to get my craft right. Burned down a building or two. Or three. Or four. But I learned; because I had the time. Uzumaki genes have their perks, I suppose. Or maybe it has something to do with Kurama and being a jinchuriki. I don't look a day over twenty. Eternal youth has its perks, I suppose. Never asked for it, but it lets me live life at my own pace. Oz still asks me about it now and again.
Why baking, you ask?
You'll laugh, if I tell you; its more a whim than anything else. Dad once said food brings people together. Figured I may as well give it a try. Didn't want to run a bar. Couldn't handle coffee. Running a cafe looked like it would be too erratic, though I'm open to the idea. But cakes? Chocolate? Cookies? Sweets? Those I can handle. Hmm. Come to think of it, I might make it a cafe after all. I'm a quick study. I've had ages to perfect my craft. As for the name...that was a bit of an accident. Didn't even mean to use it at first, but it kinda stuck.
Who needs staff?
Shadow Clones For Life!
Alright. Time for the first big day!
Bring on the customers! How hard can this be?
Just flip the 'ol sign here to open and wait for someone-HEY?!
"I SMELL COOKIES~!"
Naruto was many things; ancient, eternal, and quite possibly immortal. Some called him prankster. Others, a hero. Still more named him as villain and betrayer. He had stared down madmen and gods -in that order- and somehow triumphed over them all. Not through with or any brilliant strategy, but through sheer bloody tenacity. If it weren't for an accident years after said victory, he wouldn't have found himself in the world of Remnant at all. In the years hence, he'd fought abominations that would make even Kaguya shiver. Grappled with Grimm the size of buildings. He'd once seen the face of evil herself and bid her a good day. Needless to say, it took a lot to phase him these days.
The small scarlet streak that just shot through his door?
That tiny red terror currently perched on his stool as if she owned the damn thing?
This little bright-eyed creature gazing up at the plate of cookies in his hand with abject hunger in her eyes?
Naruto Uzumaki feared her, and for the life of him he couldn't quite say why. It wasn't her size or stature that did him in; on the contrary, the huntress looked almost harmless compared to someone of his stature. By contrast to his bright colors, the girl wore all red and black, her hood hiding most of her face. Save her exuberant smile and burning eyes. No, he corrected himself as said hood tumbled back to reveal a young face framed by dark hair. Silver eyes. Now where had he seen those before? And why did they remind him of...nah. Probably a coincidence.
"You're open, right?" she chattered at him amicably, all but bouncing in her seat. "The sign said you were open."
He supposed it was her seat now. Didn't look like she'd be leaving until she got what she wanted.
Judging by her earlier declaration, he had a good inkling of what she was after.
Fair enough. He'd wanted a customer, and here he had one.
He just hadn't expected one to arrive so...quickly.
"Aye," he grunted. "We're open."
The girl all but squeaked.
Arms still coated with flour brushed themselves against a faded black apron as she met his gaze, leaving a faint plume to stain his blue jeans and orange turtleneck beneath. The girl coughed quietly, wriggling in place like an eager kitten faced with a ball of yarn. She didn't bat an eyelash when a clone stepped up to serve her; that soon changed when she recognized the resemblance, and he the compact weapon concealed against her back. Little bundle of energy, this one. She must be new. No, definitely new. She had that green look about her. Not untested, just...new.
They made huntresses younger and younger these days.
Then again, hadn't the entrance exams been a few weeks back? Hadn't it?
"Ooh! You look just like each other!" the newcomer cooed, glancing between them. "Are you twins?"
Naruto and his doppelganger exchanged a knowing-yet-bemused look. "Something like that." one of them chimed.
Something caught the girl's eye and she flitted across the room in a whirl of red to inspect whatever it was. Well. That was quite the Semblance. At least, he assumed it was one. She certainly didn't lack for any energy early in the morning. Almost made a man jealous; he was hundreds of years old, and even he couldn't be out and about without a generous helping of coffee. Kids these days. How did she even do it? Sure enough, he soon lost track of her again as she blurred to the other side of the storefront.
"That would be the oven." the faintest smile twitched at his lips.
"And this?" her face squished against a nearby display.
"Warming rack." Naruto indulged her.
"Can I bring my team here?"
"Don't see why not, long as they pay." came the reply. "Anymore questions?"
"Am I your first customer?" she darted away again.
"Yup." he couldn't quite fight the smile
It was like watching an eager kitten chosen the food industry for reasons just such as this one; in part because he wanted to be near the people. See them. Hear them. Talk to them. His fighting days might be done, but that didn't mean he intended to shut himself away from the world. If anything, he welcomed this spontaneity. He just hadn't expected to encounter someone quite so...chatty on opening day. Still, if this was how his days would be, he might reconsider the cafe bit. He'd have to do something about the name of course...unless he decided to keep it. Just had that nice ring, ya know? But for now?
His gaze continued to track the young huntress as she flitted about the room like a hummingbird on crack.
"Can I get you something?" he finally offered her a small indulgent smile. "You look hungry."
Quick as a flash she was back on the stool, legs kicking rose petals in her wake.
"Yup!" Ruby Rose chirruped happily at him. "A plate of cookies, please~!"
In a deft motion he slid a tray in her direction. Her eyes all but lit up.
"Here you go." he smiled. "One plate. Its on the house, kiddo."
"Really?!" She wriggled. "I can pay! You don't have to-
Naruto waved her down. "Nah, go ahead. Enjoy it."
He had no way of knowing what he'd unleashed.
How could he? Hunters were an odd bunch.
He'd unwittingly opened the floodgates.
How very little he knew.
A/N: *falls over with laughter*
Ruby really is a joy to write, even by herself.
This can't possibly compared to "Service With A Smile" so I'm going my own route.
Well, I hope you liked it; this'll be more slice of life and hilarity than the continent-spanning adventures you're all used to.
So In the Immortal Words of Atlas...
...Revieeeeew, Would You Kindly?
They keeps an old man alive.
And enjoy the previews.
"Sure, we're hiring part-timers. Got any experience?"
Nora's smile proved sunny...and somewhat concerning. "Nope!"
...why did he have the feeling this decision going to end horribly for him?
In for a penny, in for a pound, as they said. As long as she didn't burn the place down.
"I'll have your head!"
A heavy thud interrupted them.
"Both of you, sit down and finish your desert."
"This isn't even mine!" came the redhead's snarl. "As if I would eat something a mere HUMAN made-
Blue eyes gleamed back at him and to his dismay, he did just that. "Sit. Down. Adam. Or die where you stand. Whichever you prefer."
"Hic! I'mma...not drunk...why are there three Yangs?"
"Alright, who gave Ruby that drink?"
Three heads shook rapidly.
Naruto didn't look up from his glass. "The Schnee did it."
Yang tackled her in an instant. "You?!"
"I did no such thing!"
And Rubly only laughed. "Whee~!"