A/N: well, this is shorter than I'd like; alas, had a bit of a family emergency.

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

Awaaaaay to the void it goes. Gone once and for all. Forever. Completely. That's no joke.

So by all means, speak up! Raise your voice! Make yourself heard! Your reviews matter! Really, they do! I'm literally working every day now, so I have less and less time to write. Daily updates might...slow down for a bit, but I know that would upset a lot of people. Its just hard with two jobs.

Now for your questions! I'll address a few anonymous ones this time around, since that seems to be the only way to respond to them

Q: You're abandoning your RWBY stories aren't you? I can feel it.

A: This again?! It doesn't bother me...it doesn't bother me...

IT BOTHERS ME A LOT!

Do you want longer chapters for those stories or not?! At present I'm updating a TON of different stories, multiple genres, multiple fics, and the like. I ain't abandoning my RWBY stuff. And yet I have people breaking down my door demanding I update RWBY and nothing else. Freakin' hell I just updated Gimme That Fire two days ago!

Cease!

Q: What's your update schedule? Is it still daily?

A: YES.

Q: Sooo...just how much chaos can we expect from this story?

A: All of it. Every bit of it.

A:Alright, I think I've kept you long enough.

And if you laugh while reading this, well, all the better. Hopefully it bring a smile to your face.

As ever, I own no references, quotes, themes or memes. Not a wit or a one! Really, they're just tributes...

"Only the strongest will survive."

"See, that's where I disagree. Weak, strong...everyone has a right to live."

~A Future Scene.

A Smiling Monster

Naruto wasn't one for weaponry.

He respected the craft mind you -there were just some feats one could only accomplish with a blade in the hand- but at the end of the day he simply wasn't a fan of them. Weapons broke. Swords shattered, axes rusted, and clubs broke. He would much rather trust in the strength of his body, and if he absolutely had to, his staff. Even then he'd rather use his fists unless he had no say in the matter.

Now was such a time.

"HEY!"

A yelp tore out of him as Taurus struck out anew; her crimson blade passing perilously closed to his face. It wasn't the speed of Anna's strike that startled him; it was the skill behind it; even as he darted away she did the unthinkable, pivoted on heel, accounted for his sudden movement and moved with him. She still missed of course, but the fact that she was able to follow his movements at all was frankly alarming.

Naked steel tried to kiss his whiskered visage and failed by the narrowest margins.

"Stop going for my ears! Have you lost your mind?!"

"Not at all." She pivoted with a smile, crossed both blades before her in an X-formation, and lunged at him anew. "If anything, I've found it!"

A low growl built in the back of Naruto's throat as he moved to meet her.

Anna Taurus gave no ground. She was offense in its purest form. Attack, attack, attack. For her, the best defense was just that; a blistering offensive that kept him on the back foot, forcing him to dodge the moment his feet touched the ground. Really, he would've admired her skill if she wasn't so hellbent on using it against him...and if he weren't afraid of breaking her like a twig.

After all, if a freaking sea dragon was that fragile, then he daren't imagine what a person was like in this world.

"You've shown yourself to be a healer," she hummed between blows, "But are you a warrior? You're hesitating. Attack me!"

"Hey!" The slight pricked at his pride. "I'm trying!"

"Lies!"

He parried furiously, looking for an opening, but she just kept swinging! No matter how many times he knocked her down or sent her sprawling, she came up swinging. He would have to pin her at this rate, and tha wasn't a task he was looking forward to.

"I keep saying!" he shoulder her aside, broke her guard, and smacked her atop the head with his staff for good measure. "I'm not a god! Get it through your thick skull!"

"That remains to be seen!" She rode the blow and cut out at him, causing him to sway around her sword like a leaf in the wind. "Try harder!"

His foot slipped on a muddy patch of ground. Anna capitalized instantly on it, slamming her horned forehead into his.

Stars flashed before Naruto vision to send him reeling away. With one sense momentarily handicapped, the others sharpened. In an instant he became aware of the crowd buzzing around them, onlookers visibly vibrating with anticipation. He could feel Kali's eyes on him. Sienna, too. Even Amitola was watching. And he was making a fool of himself.

'What the hell am I doing?'

A thorn of pride pricked at Naruto's heart and drew blood. He clenched his teeth.

Kurama stirred from his slumber. "Finally going to try, are we?"

An icy sense of calm pervaded his being. "Just a little."

Anna scoffed. "Talking to yourself, now? Have you finally lost your head?"

Naruto didn't dignify her barb with a verbal response. There was no need. He flowed up into Anna's guard and struck. A small part of him relished the shock that flitted across her face, the way her blue eyes widened, wild red hair lofting in the breeze of his sudden arrival. His heel hooked hers then swept her legs, leaving her unbalanced at pivotal moment. The instant her feet left the ground he stepped in. Not to catch her, oh no, his intent was far from that. Chakra shrieked in his palm, eager to be unleashed.

Anna saw it and hissed out a curse. "Shit...!"

He didn't shout out the name of his technique, for he felt no anger towards her. He understood now. The only way to stop someone like her was to defeat them. Beat them so badly that they'd come to realize the error of their ways. A flick of his wrist drove a maelstrom of a crushing light into her stomach.

"Rasengan."

The result was rather impressive if he said so himself; if only because Anna hurtled away like a flung stone. Bystanders scrambled out the way with all due haste, leaving her to hurtle from the square. Sheer momentum smashed her into a food stall, spraying produce in every direction.

Someone took offense to that. "My cabbages!"

Naruto glanced back with a wince.

"I'm sorry...?"

"Don't be!" Sienna hooted from the sidelines. "Happens all the time! Also! On your left!"

Naruto whirled with a sigh. Sure enough, Anna was already righting herself behind him. She looked fresh as a daisy, raring for another round. He could clearly see the tear in her vest where he'd struck true, nearly ruining it altogether. Heat crept into his cheeks as he glimpsed her taut stomach. His eyes flowed up, noticing the generous mound of her left breast, nearly exposed by the damage he'd done.

Naruto flung up his arms. "Stay down!"

Anna Taurus ran her hands through the wild mane of her hair, shaking bits of pestle and produce from her scarlet tresses. She was still smiling, but now that smile held an edge, a sword unsheathed. It was the look of one who had been searching for something and finally found their heart's desire. Naruto wasn't sure he liked the look of it.

"That's more like it." her voice emerged as a low contralto, a near-throay growl. "I felt that."

...how are you still standing?"

"I have my ways."

She closed the distance between them in in instant, forcing him to brave his staff with both hands.

"Is it just me, or is she hitting harder?"

On that, they were in agreement. Something was amiss here. For all her aggression, all her fire, she was cold as ice. All too calm. She did not rage like some wild beast; she struck with deadly precision, lashing out with measure strikes. One of her twin blades swept out at him and he kicked himself off, launching away to relative safety. His feet hit a crumbling wall and he sprang off it just before she cut it down. Blue eyes bulged at the noticeable bump in agility.

"You'll never win anything if you keep running away!" she catcalled after him.

"I could say the same of you." He leaped over her blade and slighted atop its edge, startling her terribly. "Stay down!"

A spinning kick sent her sprawling out into someone's yard, hopes dashed among the green grass. She tried to spring back up, but here at last, her feet failed her.

Naruto lowered his leg, not quite willing to do the same with his guard. "You done?"

...not quite." her gaze rose. "Just...give me a moment."

As he looked on she pushed a pale palm against the grass, fingers fisting against a portion of it. Dull red light pulsed from her hand. Before his very eyes, it changed. What was once vibrant and full of life became dull and grey, crumbling away to sand under her palm. As he looked on her wounds closed and vitality came rushing back into her once pallid visage.

"Oi!" Amitola hollered! "Don't go killing my grass!"

"So that's it." Kurama confirmed his suspicions a moment later. "It must be her semblance. She drains energy from her surroundings. Small wonder she was able to get back up after a Rasengan."

"Sorry, not sorry." Anna swayed back to her feet, wholly at her ease. "Well? Ready for round three?" she raised her longer blade. "I can do this all day."

"She probably can." the kitsune ruminated. "Stop holding back already. You'll only embarrass yourself at this rate."

On that, they were in full agreement. "I think we'll end it with the next exchange."

Her eyes flashed. "Well said! Prepare!"

Blue eyes closed as she barreled forward. They blazed gold beneath orange lids. Her blade swept down. Sage-empowered palms rose to meet it, catching the blade between them. Anna froze. His hands twisted, snapping the weapon in half, steel shattering like so much brittle glass. Those same hands licked over his shoulder, hurling her weapon away, then the other when attempted the same trick. Her broken blades flew into the air, end over end they spiraled. down into the dirt and buried themselves there.

"Ragh!"

Here at last Anna snarled, abandoning her composure. She made a blind grab for him, but having witnessed her gift firsthand he already knew better than to left her a handhold. In a flash he caught her by the wrists and wrestled her down. A knee came down between her breasts and pushed, crushing against her chest with terrible pressure. He reached up and caught one of her falling blades, pressing it to her throat. Jagged steel kissed her jugular. Her entire body tensed beneath him.

Naruto leaned forward, glaring golden eyes boring into her crafty cerulean. "Stay. Down."

Anna's entire body tensed beneath him and he prepared for another round.

He wasn't prepared for her laughter.

It began as a soft snicker, the tiniest twitch of Anna's lips, so small that Naruto nearly thought he imagined it at first. A giggle followed soon thereafter. Before he could think to ask what she found so funny the bull faunus began to laugh outright, utterly uncaring of the danger she was in. Her body convulsed in a fit of raucous laughter, mirthful tears rolling down her cheeks.

"As I thought." much to his annoyance, the fiery-haired woman granted him a grin. "You're not all talk after all."

Much to his chagrin she reached up and grabbed the steel at her throat.

"Its my loss, your lordship. Kill me if you wish."

Naruto all but sprang off her. "What?! No! Why would I?"

...then I will be you guard." she took the chance to rise, but not to stand. Instead the swordswoman knelt and laid her blades at his feet. "My life for you, my body for you, and my swords are yours." Her gaze flitted down. "Well, they will be once I repair them...

Sienna whistled. "Daaaamn. Did she just propose?"

Amitola tilted her head. "I think she did...

Kali twitched. "Excuse you?!"

In all fairness, Naruto had know way of knowing who he was speaking to; the mother of one Adam Taurus. A boy who would be a hero or a demon. A savior or a slayer. Fate had decided which yet. Right now he was too busy trying to ponder what the hell he'd just blundered into...

A foghorn cut his musings mercifully short.

He craned his neck towards it and frowned, somewhat alarmed to find a massive vessel steaming its way into the harbor.

Judging by the silence that followed in its wake, that wasn't a good thing. "Um, and that is...?"

Sienna turned her head aside and spat upon the ground.

In the end, she utter only one word.

"Atlas."


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

(Previews)

Atlas had come to the island.

"Greetings, citizens. Rest assured, we're not here to cause trouble. We simply have a few...questions.

"Then why are you armed?"

...take the blond one."

Kali hissed.


EDIT: Kudos if you get this reference.

"Marry me."

Naruto's jaw dropped. "HA?!"

"How about it?" she grinned as she sat atop him. "I'm not picky about kids. We can have as many as you want." a hand ran down their flank and he gulped a little. "My family's always slow to show their age. I make a fair wage in my given field. Sounds fair, no?"


"Right time to fix this island."

Amitola quirked a brow. "Look pal, you can't just turn a desert into aaaaaaaaaa...

Her words trailed off as grass began to grow.

"I call bullshit!"

"Its really not that hard with the right chakra nature...

R&R~!