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Chapter 17: Cooking with Jaune
Jaune sighed and nodded, letting himself sink into the chair in front of Ozpin's desk. "Yeah. A student."
Ozpin frowned and took another sip of his coffee, scratching his chin. "She...seriously thinks this is going to fool anyone?"
With a wry smile of tired acceptance, Jaune nodded. "It already has. Team RWBY thinks she's actually a student."
"...but she looks like a-" Ozpin began.
"Pornstar?" Jaune finished.
Silence followed Jaune's suggestion as Ozpin continued to stare at the picture of Cinder Fall on his scroll. He took another sip, then, "...is she?"
Jaune slowly cocked an eyebrow. "Hell if I know? She just looks like one. Also, she needs to stop talking like she does." The young man got to his feet and walked around to the other side of Ozpin's desk, stroking his chin in contemplation at the still image of the aforementioned Ms. Fall.
"Like every word out of her mouth is dirty. We get it, she's hot. She can drop the femme fatale act already. It's old before it even began."
Both men stared at the screen for a few moments more, Jaune stroking his chin and Ozpin sipping on his coffee. Once his coffee had finally drained completely from his cup, Ozpin finally spoke. "I'll need you to keep an eye on her."
"What?! Why me?!"
"Because we're already short staffed and can't afford for any of the teachers to keep an eye on our new 'students,' during any time outside of class." Ozpin explained, in the same tone of voice one would explain a simple concept to a small child.
Jaune glared. "Don't you have...I dunno, cameras for this?"
Ozpin sighed and shook his head. "Unfortunately, no."
"That's it? How much is spent on security in this school per year?!" Jaune snapped, exasperated.
"...Twelve." Ozpin murmured, suddenly preoccupied with the few sheets of paper littering his desk.
Jaune stared at Ozpin, eyes narrowing further. "Twelve what? Twelve million? Twelve thousand? Twelve hundred?!"
"Twelve Lien, alright?!" Ozpin snapped back, crossing his arms and looking away from Jaune.
Jaune jumped back in surprise, his face slowly morphing from shock to confusion as Ozpin's statement finally managed to click in his head. "Twelve..Lein? How the hell can Beacon's security budget be less than an entree at a sit-down restaurant? On top of that…" Jaune's expression morphed once again into a look of incredulity, "Are you pouting?!"
Ozpin didn't turn back, his only response being a muffled, "...no."
"You are! Why the hell...are you sure you're the headmaster of this school?!" Jaune cried out, arms outstretched in disbelief.
Ozpin turned back to Jaune, glaring over the rim of his spectacles. "I get enough of this from Goodwitch, I refuse to hear about this from my own student!"
Jaune sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, falling silent for a few seconds, then speaking up in a voice barely above a whisper. "I just want to know how you can possibly spend such little Lien on security."
"Well, for one, it's a school for Hunters." Ozpin retorted, still a hint of enmity in his words. "Reason number two is...a padlock."
"A...padlock." Jaune reiterated slowly. Another sigh; then, "Let me guess. It's the coffee cab-"
"It's on the coffee cabinet." Ozpin finished, for once actually looking chastised.
"Of course it is." Jaune groaned. "Well, I for one, don't want to spend all my free time watching Cinder and company. Can't we set up a fundraiser to raise funds for Beacon? Or decrease the amount of money spent on co-" Jaune never got a chance to finish as Ozpin affixed him with a look so withering that the blond boy's suggestion died on his tongue, and he was sure for a moment that he would follow suit. He swallowed nervously and continued on as if he'd never said a thing. "Bake sale?"
"After the events of the bicentennial Bake Sale, we've been banned from running Bake Sales in Vale. It's a...long story." Ozpin murmured. He lifted his mug to his lips and took a sip, causing Jaune to blink owlishly as he tried to figure out where the hell Ozpin had refilled his cup during their discussion. "So unless you've got some brilliant money making idea, we're both shit out of luck."
Jaune opened his mouth to respond, raising a finger into the air, then paused. A sly smile began to spread itself across his face. "Actually, I have an idea...all I'll need is use of the kitchens, a camera and some editing software…"
[Beacon Academy Kitchens]
"...a little to the left...perfect."
Jaune grunted as he placed one of the many tripod mounted lights that littered the kitchen. He fully stood up and rubbed his back. "Whew. Didn't know setting this up would take so much moving." The reluctant Huntsman in training turned to face the only other person in the kitchens at the time, Ren. "By the way, how the hell did you learn how to film television?"
Ren adopted a thoughtful expression, pausing for a few moments to cogitate before answering with a simple, "Nora."
Jaune opened his mouth, then closed it and shrugged as if to say, 'fair enough.' He took a few steps, turning on one of the lights and allowing the bright light to shine over an island that sat in the middle of one of the large kitchens used to cook for Beacon's many students. He took a step back, looked over the kitchen, and his face contorted once more in confusion. "Wait, how does that explain anything?"
Ren shrugged. "It's Nora. Any explanation I could give wouldn't clear things up any more."
"...You are a man of infinite patience." Jaune quipped, shaking his head. The blond young man made his way behind the island to a refrigerator taller than even he was. He opened it up, and began to set up the island with a variety of bowls filled with different ingredients. After that, he reached over to the handle of the oven and pulled off a white apron, putting it on. Finally, to top it all off, he grabbed a white cloth from the counter next to the oven and flicked his wrist, causing the white cloth to expand into a Chef's hat, placing it gingerly on his head. Jaune gazed back at Ren and nodded. "Alright. Everything's set up on my end. You good on yours?"
Ren silently made his way to a large camera set up on the far end of the room, removing the lens cap from it and aimed it toward Jaune, making a few minor adjustments to the height and focus before finally nodding. "We're good to go. Just let me know when to start filming."
Jaune nodded, cleared his throat and took a deep breath. He raised his hand and slowly counted down from five...four...three...two...one: "Hi there, my name is Jaune Arc, and this, is Cooking with Arc. We're here live at Beacon Academy's kitchens, where yours truly, Jaune Arc, will teach you the viewer on how to cook a variety of cheap and easy recipes. For today's recipe, we'll be making a very simple dish-"
Before he could utter the name of the dish, a voice from his right suddenly yelled, "PANCAKES!" Jaune gave a cry of surprise and recoiled away from the voice, belonging to none other than one Nora Valkyrie herself, grinning wildly at the thought of her favorite breakfast dish.
"Gah! Where'd you come from!?" Jaune looked around, trying to ascertain how the normally loud, boisterous woman could have snuck up on him like that.
Nora grinned even wider, teal eyes glinting. "Silly Jaune, when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much, they-"
Jaune cut her off. "I didn't mean like that!" He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Nora, I'm in the middle of trying to make a show here to make money for Beacon."
"A cooking show!" Nora exclaimed.
"Exactly." Jaune nodded, a touch of irritation across his face.
"Which means you're making pancakes!" Nora finished, causing Jaune's eye to twitch.
"Nora, you aren't listening, I"m trying to make-"
Jaune's right eye twitched a second time, but a closer look at Nora's face showed that despite the smile upon her lips, there was a terrifying gleam in her eyes that had Jaune take a step back in nervousness. Sure, death was a minor inconvenience, but goddamn, did it hurt! Nora stepped forward, all smiles, sweetness and abject terror, when Ren's voice interrupted the tension brewing. "Nora, there's an army of sloths slowly making their way here with the intent to dethrone you as the Queen. You might want to start working on creating an army to combat them."
Nora gasped. "What?! Betrayed!? How dare they! I"m the Queen of the Castle! Executions for everyone!" Nora suddenly rushed out of the room, nearly bowling Jaune over in her haste, a fire in her eyes that had Jaune shivering and shaking his head. The two men inside the kitchen could hear Nora ranting as she rushed off down the hall, to do god only knew what. Silence fell between the two of them for a few moments as they cogitated upon the situation. It was only broken by Jaune releasing a long, frustrated sigh as he pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Thank you...Ren." Jaune muttered dryly.
"...so from the top?"
Jaune nodded and clasped his hands together, taking a deep breath. "Yeah, from the top." He cleared his throat, and nodded to Ren who proceeded to hit a button upon the side of the camera. "Hi there, my name's Jaune Arc, and this, is Cooking with Arc. We're here live at Beacon Academy's kitchens, where yours truly, Jaune Arc, will teach you, the viewer, on how to cook a variety of cheap and easy recipes. For today's recipe, we'll be making a very simple dish, Beef Wellington. Now many of you may have difficulty with this recipe, but I'm here to tell you that anyone can make this dish as long as they follow these simple steps."
Jaune walked about the kitchen, Ren following with the camera. "Now, we'll need some appropriate-" A buzzing noise, faint but audible, could be heard as Jaune continued on, "pots and pans to mix our ingredients with. We'll try to keep the dishes to a minimum, but you'll need at least the following." Jaune knelt down and threw open the cabinet doors to the inside of the big main island...and froze.
Inside the cabinet, blinking owlishly with her cheeks slightly pink with embarrassment, was one Blake Belladonna, accompanied by her usual buzzing that followed her constantly. "Um...hello." Blake murmured quietly, glancing away from him.
"Why...are you in the cabinet?" Jaune muttered darkly, his right eye spontaneously regaining its previous twitch..
Blake looked back and forth before murmuring, "No reason?"
"How long have you been in there?"
"What time is it?"
Jaune sighed. "Blake? Get out of the cabinet."
Blake bit her lip, then replied, "But then my face won't be level with your cro-"
"NOW!" Jaune bellowed, standing up and pointing violently to the two big double doors that made up the exit to the cafeteria proper.
With a clatter and the sound of crashing pots and pans, Blake quickly scrambled out of the cabinet, and with speed bordering on the supernatural, rushed out of the room. Jaune stared after her, panting slightly with ill contained rage. He forced himself to take a deep breath as Ren stared, brow slightly furrowing. After a few calming breaths, Jaune turned to Ren, his expression impassive. "Alright, where were we?"
"...You were just about to discuss what pots and pans we needed."
Another breath. "Right." Jaune cleared his throat. "You can edit in post, can't you?" Ren didn't answer, instead simply giving a thumbs up as he adjusted the camera. Jaune nodded, then adopted a smile. "You'll need a shallow pan with a grate on top to allow collection of the juices of the steak, as well as a saucepan to cook our spinach in. Now for the ingredients, this particular recipe doesn't require a lot. The biggest concern is trying to find the right cut of steak." Jaune turned around to the refrigerator and opened it up, pulling out a cut of meat and placing it upon the island before him. "For now, we'll be using a store bought steak, although I personally have always favored local butchers for my meat. Now, in addition, we'll also need our spinach, as well as our dough." Jaune turned around once more and began to dig in the fridge for the remaining ingredients.
"This will not do!"
Jaune jumped in surprise, smacking his head on one of the shelves inside the fridge, causing him to wince with pain. He turned around sharply on his heel to find one Weiss Schnee staring dismissively at the steak he'd placed upon the island. With a low groan and a shake of his head, Jaune spoke. "What on Remnant are you talking about?"
Weiss placed her arms akimbo and glanced at Jaune out of the corner of her eye. "This steak is sub par! I refuse to eat something like this!"
Jaune blinked once, twice, and a third time before answering. "I wasn't cooking it for you."
The exasperated blond pointed to Ren behind his camera. "We're filming a show, Weiss. Now please, leave."
Weiss huffed in indignation. "Excuse me?! You should be happy to serve me!" She stomped her foot, glaring.
For the third time in less than fifteen minutes, Jaune's right eye developed an unhealthy twitch, and this time a faint black aura began to seep from the blond immortal's body. "I'm only going to say this once. Leave. Now."
"Um, Weiss, you really should-" Ren began only to be cut off by a series of loud stomps as Jaune approached Weiss, murder clearly evident in his gaze…
The door to the cafeteria flew open, and a white blur shot out from between them, hitting the ground and skidding to a stop, revealing itself to be one Weiss Schnee with a bootprint on her dress at ass level. Weiss groaned and slowly got to her feet, rubbing her rear and wincing. After a few seconds, she turned sharply on her heel, her face red with fury and embarrassment...only for the large double doors to the kitchens to slam shut right in her face, cutting off whatever tirade she was building up.
Inside the kitchen, Jaune finished hoisting a massive metal oven over his head and without pomp or circumstance, slammed it down in front of the door, huffing with a combination of effort and anger. Moments passed and once more, with Herculean effort, Jaune managed to calm himself once more, at least enough to bring himself back to some semblance of sanity. Slowly his gaze turned up to Ren and he deliberately cleared his throat to signal his return to the show. However, his tone was slightly less relaxed than before as he continued, "For today, we're using crescent roll dough, as we don't have enough time to work on the dough this episode. The first thing you'll want to do it so prepare our meat." Jaune took slab of meat he had earlier and placed it upon a baking pan, turning on the oven and sliding it inside, turning back the camera. "Now while that cooks, we'll want to work on the Duxelles. What's the Duxelles, you ask? Well, it's a combination of mushrooms, foie gras, butter, shallots, thyme and just a dash of alcohol. First, we'll cook our mushrooms here in a pan with a bit of butter, and our shallots and thyme. In addition, we'll want to add-"
"A GUN!" A young girl's voice shouted and a hand shoved a handgun directly into the pot with the mixture, causing Jaune to yell in shock and throw himself backward. Unfortunately, this caused him knock over a precariously balanced block of chef's knives, which fell off the shelf from above and causing one of them to impale him directly in the head, causing everything to quickly go dark. His last view was one Ruby Rose, her cheeks pink with embarrassment. "S-Sorry!"
Jaune's eyes flutter open to find himself staring at Ruby, laughing nervously. "Sorry 'bout that…"
"Ruby...how did you get in?"
"Through the roof!"
Jaune blinked. "...and why did you add a gun to my recipe?"
Ruby smiled. "Because everything is a gun!"
Jaune groaned. "No, Ruby, everything is not a gun…"
The cute, hooded reaper giggled and shook her head. "Nonsense! Just watch!" The young girl turned to the pot with the mushroom mixture and pressed something under the handle, only for the pot to suddenly shift quickly, spilling the mixture across the stove. Before Jaune's very eyes, the pot abruptly shifted into a handgun, causing Jaune's jaw to drop. As he sat there on the floor, surrounded by knives, Ruby turned to a larger saucepan and pressed part of the outside, causing it too to shift into a gun as well. It wasn't until Ruby approached the refrigerator that Jaune managed to find his voice. "WAIT!"
Ruby paused. "See! Everything's a gun!"
Jaune whimpered and groaned, shaking his head. "Why would Ozpin...how do you…" His face went pale and he shook his head some more even as Ruby laughed, as though ignorant to Jaune's rapidly dwindling sanity.
All while Ren continued to roll…
Death Count: 2,044
A/N: Okay, this was originally going to be a double length chapter, but with Persona 5 coming out soon, time will be at an even heavier premium, so I'm splitting this up into two parts. We want to make sure everyone in our cast has a chance to ruin, I MEAN HELP Jaune's cooking show! I'd like to say that I'll be updating more, but well…
I got hearts to steal. Signing off for now, this is LaughingLefou.