A/N: EDIT: *Sigh* And here come the flames again...can't we all just enjoy a simple story? T_T

As ever, the Embers rule persists. If folks don't like this story?

Poof! Gone! Awaaaaay to the void it goes. Gone once and for all. Forever. Completely.

So by all means, speak up! Raise your voice! Make yourself heard! Your reviews matter! Really, they do!

And there we go. Willow got her own story, Summer has one, Raven's got Several, and now Kali gets her turn. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

Don't think I'm missing anyone...?

In any case, I'm trying to update as much as I can before things get busy over here with work and the like. The latest chapter of Killing Monsters was a real sorrowful one, so I had to balance it out with this. This one's meant to make you smile.

And if you laugh while reading this, well, all the better.

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

Last thing to clarify here, this is a Young!Kali. She's just a teenager at this point, and an amusing one at that~!

"You're not real, are you? You don't look real."

"Wha-of course I'm real!"

"Alright, prove it."


Popular Monster

A streak of fire tore through the night sky just above Menagerie.

Like a falling meteor from on high, it carved its way across the heavens; a veritable lance flung by the gods themselves toward earth. Trailed by beautiful embers bright and bold in gold, it looked like a great wound in the world itself. She'd never seen the like before. Truly there had never been a lovelier sight in the night than this.

Kali amused herself by watching it from her window; if only because she had nothing better to do this evening.

"I wonder were you came from?" she murmured aloud as she watched the bright, burning sight. "What stories could you tell me...?"

Whatever it was, it wasn't a shooting star. They were vague and nebulous; burned bright and quickly. Gone in a blink. This? This strange astral visitor had been searing its way across the sky for the better part of an hour now, and still it seemed no closer than before. A distant promise, never to be realized.

Just like life on Menagerie.

"Bah!" the faunus flung up her hands and paced away from the window. "What am I getting so worked up about? Its probably just a comet or something. Nothing to worry abot.

Life would continue on as it always had. And that, you see, was the problem.

Sometimes a girl craved a little change. Excitement. And life on Menagerie was so woefully dull these days. There was nothing to see, hardly anything to do, no new faces beyond those she already knew. All her life she'd lived her, and in all likelihood, she would die here. As her mother had before her, and her mother before her.


It was boring.

So very, very boring!

The night held no answers for her, naught beyond the faint chirp of crickets and she soon lost patience.

Of course she did, she was only seventeen after all; filled with the vim and vigor of youth. Kali wanted to go out and see the world. She wanted to make a difference. Not hide away here on this tiny island with the rest of her kin. She wanted to be something. Be somebody.

In time perhaps, this burning desire would

Kali's gaze turned back to the "comet" in question, drawn by its otherworldly glow. It seemed so close now, yet so far. As if she could reach out and touch it. For a wonderful moment she imagined she could; envisioned herself cradling that distant pinprick of light in her palm like a glowing pearl. Ha! As if she could do such a thing. A flight of fancy. Nothing more. She laughed and mimed a lazy yanking motion with her fist, trying to pluck it from the sky though she knew it wasn't possible. The thought of it amused her nevertheless. She yanked again, imagining what might happen.

And then it dove.

Struck form the sky by the very gods themselves, it hurtled toward the island.

Towards her.

"Wait, what?!" Kali bolted upright with a yelp, eyes widening. "Did I do that?!"

Before her very eyes the comet curved and struck the island at speed. Then it bounced. Once. Twice. Thrice. It kept right on going, tearing a roaring red path through the trees. Bark burst. Roots rent themselves asunder as timber flew through the air. Sparks caught against dry summer grass to light a fire and in moments the flames began to spread. Cries went up from the village; within moments the alarm was wounded and the entire island was alerted.

Kali never noticed any of this you see; because she was otherwise...occupied.

With a terrible sound not unlike that of thoroughly abused drum, the falling light stopped skipping across the island and ground to a halt just below her balcony. The last of its momentum slammed down en masse, forming an impressive crater at her doorstep. Black smoke billowed up and she choked on it, coughing harshly.

Well, she'd longed for excitement. Wish granted!

Hurdling the railing, the young Faunus alighted in a pointed crouch below and rose thrice as quickly. Menagerie didn't raise a girl to be anything less than fit, after all. Still, she didn't approach the crater. Fear gripped her heart in an iron vice, strangling any semblance of sense. Her right foot inched forward, then snapped back as she heard a noise well within the rim. It sounded almost like...

"Kali?!" her shoulders jolted as she heard a voice call within the house. "What was that?! Are you alright?"

Curiosity got the better of the cat.

Muttering a halfhearted reply to her family, she took the plunge and crept closer. Golden eyes squinted against the haze. Raising an arm against her mouth, she dared to lean over the lip of the deep divot. What she saw there stole her breath away and threatened to shatter her sheltered world entire.

That wasn't a space rock down there. That was a person!

Oooh! a little Kali cooed in the back of her head. This was just like one of those fantasy novels she liked so much.

'I get it now,' her frantic mind babbled, 'I must be dreaming. Must've been that wine Sienna gave me. This can't be real. Exciting things don't happen here.'

How little she knew.

But delusional or not, the thought lightened Kali's heart and banished her worries like a sea breeze. She dared one step forward. Then another. Another, now. Surely if this was a dream, she had nothing to fear, did she? Nope! Nothing at all. Everyone knew you couldn't get hurt in a dream.

And if this was some fancy of her imagination...well. Might as well see where it lead, no?

She drew her skirt up and slid down into the crater, dirt and debris crumbling beneath her sandal-clad feet.

Already she could see the stranger rising within, shaking himself like a wet god.

"That hurt...

'Oh, wow.' her mind babbled. 'He's well-fit...

At this range it was impossible not to notice him. Blond eyes, framed by a strong jawline, whiskered cheeks and a shaggy mop of blond hair. He was definitively of the male persuasion. His clothes were a tattered mess, black-and-orange rags burnt over a ragged mesh shirt exposing his torso to the world. Those trousers weren't much better. There wasn't a scratch on him. Yet more proof this was a dream. You couldn't fall from a height like that and not get hurt. It just wasn't possible.

"Hello, there!" She waved at him. "And who might you be?"

The newcomer rounded on her. Blue eyes narrowed intently, and while he didn't quite crouch, there could be no denying the sudden tension in his shoulders.

"Who in blazes are you?" he touched a hand to his forehead. "Nevermind that, where am I?" Blue eyes fraught with confusion glanced about. "I was fighting Kaguya...I think?" His brow furrowed yet further as she looked upon him. "Everything's fuzzy...

Kali glimpsed the strange mark on his hand and frowned at it.

Right, act friendly. Wouldn't do to spook the poor lad. This wasn't one of those dreams, was it?

She'd not had one of those in awhile. How quaint.

"Well! Aren't you an odd one!" Kali felt her ears begin to twitch as she regarded him. "Tell me, who-or-what are you?" alas, her tongue betrayed her completely and she began to babble despite her best efforts. "A warrior? A doctor perhaps? Something else? Something more? Less? Well?"

...that's a lotta questions." the young man recoiled, rocking back on his heels. "Um...to answer the first one, Naruto? That's my name, I guess? Does that help?"

Splendid! That settled introductions.

"Now that's a fine name, isn't it?" she closed the distance and grasped his hands in hers. "Its a pleasure to meet you, Naruto! I'm Kali." she shook his hands heartily. "You're not real, are you?" he made a noise of confusion when she reached up to pinch one of his cheeks. "You don't look real. But you feel real. Hmm." her ears perked up. Maybe I should test."

On a whim she pushed close and pressed her lips to his. Hmm. Those felt real, too...

"Wha-of course I'm real!" he jerked out of her grasp with a growl. "Why're ya saying that?! And why'd ya kiss me?!"

"Why, because this is a dream, of course." she shrugged. "That or you're a figment of my imagination." a finger touched itself to her cheek, "I'm not sure which. Doesn't matter, I suppose." another shrug as he continued to sputter. "You're a Faunus, aren't you?" when she received only silence, Kali frowned against it. "What else would you be?"

The young man blinked. "Alright. You've lost me. What in blazes is a Faunus?"

Kali blinked at that.

Once. Twice.

Thrice now.

"You...don't know what a Faunus is?"

"No!" the blond all but bit out the words. "I just said that!"

That was absurd. Even a child knew what a Faunus was. It would be one thing for him to claim not to be one -many denied their heritage all the time- but for him to not even know...that implied something altogether less pleasant, something impossible, something straight out of her books. One of the more...exciting ones.

"Did you hit your head or something?"

His brow twitched. "This from the girl that kissed me out of the blue?!"

Realization dawned. Oh. Kali's face began to burn. Oh, dear. But she had...!

Her mind slowed to a crawl as she began to comprehend the enormity of what she'd just done. All hands, full stop! She looked left. Looked right, and found no escape. The consequences of her actions caught up to her at once and there was no mercy. Unbidden, her tongue flitted out, tasting her lips, imagining his against hers again-gah! No! Bad kittty! Deny, deny, DENY! This wasn't happening! Full denial! This was a dream! Absolutely! Nothing more!

"W-Well!" Kali coughed into a fist to hide her flush. "This is a very strange dream indeed...

Naruto flung up his arms. "This ain't a dream!"

As far as first impressions went, theirs nothing short of memorable. A wayward warrior and a girl with an overactive imagination; one who thought him little more than a passing dream. Two strange souls meeting across the universe, like two ships passing in the night. A fox and a cat, none the wiser of what this meeting would transpire.

Their union would forever alter the face of Remnant.

But for better or worse...

...who could say?

A/N: As ever, the Embers rule persists.

If folks don't like this? Poof! Gone! To the void it goes. Gone once and for all. Forever.

So by all means, speak up! Raise your voice! Make yourself heard! Your reviews matter! Really, they do!

So, in the Immortal words of Atlas...

...review, would you kindly?

And of course, enjoy the previews! Rough, though they are


"So, lets see here. You can walk on water, create blasts of energy, and run faster than light. What're you, ninja jesus or something?"

Naruto crashed down into the ocean with a laugh. "Again with that! You keep distracting me!"

Kali giggled behind her hand. "Its what I do, dear."

"What can I say? He's a popular monster."

Sienna's brow shot straight to her hairline. "I call dibs."

"Sienna, you're like a sister to me, but I WILL cut you." Kali hummed. "Sorry, but I saw him first."

"Lead us." they bowed. "Teach us!"

Naruto cast a helpless gaze over his shoulder. "A little help?"

"No, no," Kali waved him on. "You seem to have your new followers well in hand. Carry on."


Naruto cracked his neck. "There's gonna be some changes around here...

EDIT: Blake's gonna have a sister at this rate...