A/N: Sorry for the delay! Partners in Crime still needs editing; it will be updated tomorrow~!

This particular fragment came from...well. Lets just say it was a story that never made it off the ground. Hope you enjoy~!

FYI, since everyone's been asking, I HAVE been updating my non-RWBY stuff. But no one seems to have noticed...

Writing on my lonesome again; in part because my team and I seldom talk anymore. Some have passed away in these troubling times, others retired, and still more just...vanished off the face of the earth. I can't blame them, this was never a career for us, and we make no money off these stories. Still, its sad

But I'm still here, despite my poor health.

In other news, folks really, really, REALLY want me to write a tale with Naruto as Jaune's father. That would be terribly entertaining -not to mention him raising a horde of Arc children- but I'm trying desperately to hold off on that. *EDIT* I may have already written a few...thousand words for it, and I can't decide for the life of me to post it here or make it a full fledged story. Thoughts?

As ever, I own no references, quotes, memes or themes. Not a wit or a one!

Getting some bloodwork and other nasty tests today.

...looking forward to your reviews.

"There are four things of which all men must beware: the smile of a sorrowful man, the laughter of a broken man, the suspicion of a trustworthy man, and the anger of a gentle man. In my experience, I have found a fifth. Beware an old man in a profession where men usually die young.

Ignore these words at your own peril."


Back From The Dead


Summer Rose was not a good patient.

She wriggled and writhed and whined on the couch, acting like the child she wasn't. She was a grown woman with two girls to care for. She had fought men and monsters alike. Stared death in the face more times than she could possibly count. She was a huntress. A Silver-Eyed Warrior. Yet at the sight of her own blood, she became a gibbering mess. Pitiful, really.

"Don't thrash around." a soothing voice intoned. "You'll open your wounds again."

She winced at the reminder and allowed Him to continue his work. Calloused hands pulled blood-soiled bandages from her waist and shoulders, exposing her injuries to the chill morning air. Summer willed herself not to look at them. Just the sight of her wounds threatened to make her ill all over again. She forced her good eye to focus on the ceiling instead. A lone silver iris traced the lazily spinning fan above. Green light danced in her peripherals, bringing with a familiar, if unwelcome chill.

"Easy, now." someone dabbed a cloth against her sweat-damped forehead. "You're going experience some discomfort."

Despite her best efforts, a tiny gasp slipped past her lips as the foreign energy invaded her body once more, bolstering her faltering Aura reserves to further speed her healing. It felt...warm. As if she had plunged her into a warm bath, a gentle pool soothing all her aches and pains away. She closed her eye against it, savoring the sensation. For a fleeting instant, there was no pain and the huntress gloried in it. All too soon, he pulled away, and with the absence of that strange light, all her myriad aches returned.

Tears pricked at her eye and a tiny, keening cry fled from her. "Why did you stop...?"

"Because too much chakra will poison you. Still, you're doing great." she caught a flash of red-and-white clothing against orange as someone moved in her peripherals once more. "Just a little more now. Nearly done."

From there, her savior reapplied a strange ointment to her wounds and briskly replaced her bandages with fresh, heavy linen. Once he was done he laid a strong hand against her back and gently nudged her into a semi upright position. Summer fought down a snarl of pain and forced a smile to her pale face. She knew he was hovering, waiting to see if she needed help.

...I can do this."

He said not a thing. Nothing at all.

She made it all of three steps before she faltered. He caught her quickly, frowning only a little as her forehead smacked against his chest. Her host didn't balk at her weakness.

"I told you, baby steps." his voice was a low rumble against her ear as he held her by the shoulders. "Walk before you run. You're still weak."

"You're weak, Naruto." she growled weakly and gave his chest a halfhearted smack. It was a petty retort and they both knew it.

A rusty laugh escaped him. "More than you'll ever know."

Even up close he looked like a right grizzled old bastard; ironic given that he couldn't be that much older than she. There wasn't a lick of gray in his spiky blond hair. She'd peg him in his later thirties to early forties at best. His whiskered cheeks were scarred, face framed by a neatly trimmed beard that ran the length of his chin. Still, his blue eyes were sharp, and his hands steady as he helped her into a nearby chair. He left with a muttered warning to stay put, and she watched him go, noting the limp in his right leg.

Sometime she pitied him for it. How could a healer heal others, and yet not himself?

Quick as a flash he returned with a cup of piping hot tea. He pressed it into her hands Summer drank it greedily and felt stronger for it. She


She graced him with a careworn smile and cradled the cup close to her chest. "Much."

"Let me see your left arm, then."

Summer set her glass down and held it out the aforementioned limb for him change the bandages.

"Got some scarring here." he mused. "Its strange. Your arm's healed faster than your ribs and shoulders. I wonder why...?"

Summer swallowed the reflexive urge to thank him again. She owed him more than words; indeed, she would be dead if not for His intervention. Salem had nearly killed her. He'd found her at death's door and brought her to His home. She'd been here, recovering ever since. Now, six months later, her strength had finally begun to return. A little more and she felt she would be strong enough to venture out again. Even...even if she wasn't completely whole.

A hand touch the left side of her face, and her lips pulled down in a grimace. She would never be whole again. Such was the price she paid for her survival.

Summer scowled at the reminder and marshaled her thoughts, trying to find power in positivity. When he'd found her, her Scroll had been smashed, her body a bloody mess, her limbs and face ruined. He'd given her back her voice, restored her body, yet failed to save her left eye. Losing that seemed a small price to pay. Besides, her new eyepatch would look badass. Ruby and Yang would be cooing over it for months to come. Taiyang and Qrow would be...less than pleased by her recklessness, but hey, she was alive! Surely that counted for something. She was fine. She would be fine. This wouldn't stop her. She wouldn't let it.

Steeling herself, she dared to speak the question that had haunted her for the duration of her recovery.

...why did you save me?"

"Why?" Those calloused hands trembled fora moment, then renewed their ministrations. "Because you have a family. Like me." when she didn't respond, he hastened to explain. "Ruby. Yang. Tai. You were whispering their names as you bled out. I couldn't just leave you there."

Summer looked left. Summer looked right. Summer scowled when she found only emptiness. She never had. Naruto had no photographs in this sparse log cabin of his, and only the most meager of furnishings to get by. It was large enough for a man and woman, and even then, he'd slept on the couch for the duration of her stay. And

"You have a family? I haven't seen anyone here."

Naruto's breath hitched for the merest of moments.

"You wouldn't." he didn't look up as he continued his work. "They're all dead. They died with my partner...and my best friend."

"Dead?!" His words hit Summer like a knife in the gut, slipping through her defenses to slay her confusion. "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to-

"Nothing to be sorry about." a hand rose, silencing her apology. "You didn't know. They died a long time ago." he made point of not looking at her as he spoke, but she saw the shadow that flashed across his face all the same. "I caught the bastard who did it, but he tore open a portal as I killed him and cast me through it. I woke with his body next to mine...and I was stranded here." He looked up at last, the faintest smile plucking at his whiskered cheeks. "I may be a bit weaker now, but I still know my way around a healing jutsu. Sakura taught me that much."

Abruptly, he stood.

"Right then, that should do it for bandages." the change of subject caught at her heartstrings. "Your face healed up pretty nicely. Still want that eyepatch?"

Summer saw the distraction for what it was and her heart ached for his plight. If someone laid a hand on Ruby, she'd gut them herself. Gods forbid if they hurt Yang or Tai. He'd spent all this time tending to her, nursing her back to health without so much as a word of thanks. He hadn't even asked for a reward. Something told her he wouldn't. Once she was strong enough to move on her own, he'd take her home. On that he'd given her his word. And once again, Naruto would be alone, left to whittle his days away in solitude. Was that any way to thank him?


"Summer? Are you alright-

When he leaned forward, Summer lashed out and grabbed him by the wrist.

"You can be my family, then." her tongue took flight and the words spilled from her lips. "I'm adopting you."

Naruto blinked. Once. Twice. Thrice, now. At length, he recovered enough to muster some semblance of speech. "I...beg your pardon?"

"You saved me." Her fingers tightened around his arm. She knew she wouldn't be able to hold him if took it into his head to break free. "That makes you family. When I'm better...when I go home, you're coming with me. I want my girls to meet the man who saved their mother."

Naruto blinked anew. His mouth opened to protest. Closed, when he saw Summer's scowl.

Finally, the faintest smile plucked at his whiskered cheeks.

...I don't have a say in this, do I?"

She grinned at him. "Nope~!"

"Such a bossy girl...

(...Several Months Later...)

It was a warm afternoon on Patch when Summer Rose returned to the world.

Looking back, it might have been wiser to inform Ozpin and the others of her survival first, but that just wasn't feasible. Her scroll had been destroyed in battle with Salem's minions. Naruto lived in the wilderness and as such, eschewed technology altogether. What followed was a long trip from Mistral to Vale, and finally, to Patch itself. He hadn't let her make the journey until she could walk under her own power. And she could! Really! She only stumbled a little ever few steps. In time she'd be back to her peak again.

There was also another, more troubling reason for her caution.

Hazel and Tyrian had been waiting for her in Mistral. As if they knew exactly where she would be. Was there a traitor in Ozpin's group? Had someone sold him out? Sold her out? The thought was troubling. But even that thought paled before another, far more pressing concern.

Tugging her hood back, she slipped up the steps, heart hammering in her chest.

It was here that her resolve faltered and nerves got the better of her.

Did they remember her? Had they forgotten her? Her mind said no, but her heart...!

"I...I can't do this!"

"Yes, you can." Naruto had been lingered a few paces behind her, but not he stepped forth to encourage her. "Just knock on the door!"

She rounded on him, lone eye wet and glistening. "Its been a year! No, more than that! What if he's moved on! What if he's found someone-

"Then he's an idiot. Now, scoot."

Naruto stepped up and slammed his a clenched fist against the door. Nine times in rapid succession, one after the other. With each blow the frame jumped on its hinges to rattle the very house. It was impossible to ignore and he knew it. Summer rounded on him with a loud yelp.

"Traitor!" she cried!

It was the pebble that started an avalanche. A cry of alarm went up in the house, soon echoed by another. And another. Another still. She wasn't sure who was in there, but it sounded like a stampede. Naruto hopped off the porch and left her to the mercy of the horde. Summer's nerves, already wound tighter than a tightly coiled spring, finally snapped. She spun, eye alight.

"Na~ru~to~! When I get my hands on you-

The door slammed open, nearly smacking Summer in the back.

She whirled and looked down, terribly startled. A pair of startled silver orbs gazed back.

"Ummm...?" Summer said the first thing that came to her mind. "Hi, sweetie?"

At first, Ruby didn't recognize her. In recovery her hair and grown longer, and eyepatch worked against her here. But all daughters know there mothers. Something clicked. Ruby's eyes went terribly wide. A tremulous cry fled from the little girl's lips. Her pale complexion became ghost white. Summer winced despite herself. Ruby was seldom one to shout -that was Yang's territory!- but by the gods, when she did...!

"Dad!" sure enough, the poor girl threw her head back and screamed at the top of her lungs. "Yang! Mommy's home!"

Everyone went mad.

In the chaos that followed, Summer never heard Yang coming until she quite suddenly materialized in the doorway; her foster daughter was simply there, leapfrogging Ruby to slam into her chest. Not one to be left out, Ruby hit her legs, nearly knocking the wounded warrior over altogether. Their voices blended together in delighted cries until she couldn't hear a thing; indeed, Summer barely managed to catch herself on the porch railing and steady herself before the next wave came.

Taiyang barreled out the door -oh my, that was Qrow behind him!- and swept her up into his arms. He barely had time to kiss her, and she him, before Qrow barreled into Tai's back and drew them into a crushing tackle of his own. It was too much. Summer finally lost her balance and pitched backward. They all went down in a tangle of arms and limbs.

Ruby wriggled free and noticed Naruto first. "Who's that?"

Summer managed a laugh where she lay. "That's the man who saved me, sweetheart. Why don't you say hello?"

Naruto absolutely froze.

Summer could see the gears grinding in her girl's mind. Silver eyes flitted from her, then to Naruto. Back to her. Over to Naruto again. She saw the proverbial lightbulb ignite above Ruby's head. Yang was only a heartbeat behind, bless her soul. Naruto must've saw it too, because he balked and raised his arms to defend himself. Too little, too late.

Ruby Rose vanished in a cloud of petals.

Yang Xiao-Long struck Naruto like a falling star.

Summer preened proudly as her girls began to babble.

"You saved mom?! Really?! You did?! Thankyouthankyouthaaaaaankyouuuuuu!"

Naruto smiled patiently throughout it all, as only a former father could. It was like watching a man come back from the dead.

A/N: Aaaand this drabble is done! Well, we might get a part two or three, depending on the reception. To clarify, Naruto's quite a bit older here than he usually is. He's in his forties, without Kurama, and unfortunately lost a good bit of his power. He's not powerless of course; he just ages as normal folk do, and can't go around taking lethal wounds.

Just a sweet little drabble where Summer survived. Don't mind me.

As ever, reviews keep me writing; without them, I just can't seem to muster up the motivation.

So in the Immortal Words of Atlas...Review, Would You Kindly?

And of course, enjoy the previews for future chapters...

(Previews! For different chapters!)

Adam stilled. He hadn't expected Sienna to have a guest when he came to kill her. "And who is this?"

She gave him an almost cattish smile. "An old friend."

The stranger pulled back his cow. A tan face was revealed, framed by blond hair and blue eyes.

"Well, don't you remind me of tall dark and broody...

Ren shrugged helplessly.

Nora grinned, steadied herself on Naruto's shoulder and thrust a finger forward. "Onward noble steed!"

The blond scowled. "Oi! Don't treat me like a horse!"

The little girl sniffled. "Please?"

"Alright, fine, fine...jeez...

...what did you do?"

"Alright, but you can't be mad at me."

"What. Did you. Do."

"Threw Atlas at Salem."


"What?! It was empty! Lets see her get up when she's buried under ten thousand tons of rubble!"

Naruto growled. "I'm not doing it."

"Just once, dear. Please?"

"Absolutely not!"


"Oh for crying out loud-fine!"

He made a funny face for their daughter.

Ember giggled.