A/N: Can anyone see this?

I'm back, as promised, despite RWBY getting shut down.

Site notifications are still down. Been more than a month now, just like last year.

I've been writing on this site for sixteen years now, and but the last two years have been filled with glitches. Hope they get things settled and sorted soon.

My aunt may have been laid to rest, but it seems this year isn't done messing with me yet:

I've now been informed that my sister -the one who lives with me- needs to have several tumors removed forthwith, which means she'll be off for at least a month, which MEANS I have to work even more hours to make up the difference in rent/expenses/electricity and etc. I'm already working crazy hours at both jobs, but now I'll need even more, which means no days off for a bit, most likely...life is just peeling pieces of me as of lately and it hurts... FML right now...

The constant time crunch is affecting me. My mood has cratered, and with it, my inspiration, but I'm trying to push through. Hopefully this chapter proves entertaining.

So here we go. The fate of this story depends on you, the reader. Your feedback determines the fate of this tale, and many others.

As ever, I own no quotes, references, themes, or memes. Not a wit or a one! They're tributes to legends far greater than I.

I'm just a humble author trying to make his way in this wild world, one word at a time.

Time and feedback will determine if this remains a story. Simple as that.

In other words...its up to YOU, the reader. Do let me know~!

The quote below is modified from good 'ol Moon Knight~!

And of course, we've a a Gentlemen references.

"You could kill her, true.

But what saves your life after she's dead, hmm?

What stops me from pulping your head with a red Rasengan?

Everyone already thinks that girl is dead. That loss has been accepted. Mourned, but accepted.

Have you accepted yours? Are you ready to die today? No? I din't think so. Now here's what you're going to do for me.

Listen. Where you're going? Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell everyone you know.

You tell them all. When you see me coming? RUN.

Or you could just...


We're Old Friends Now

Watts was wise.

Hardly an exaggeration on his part, that. He might be quite possibly the smartest man on Remnant-if one were to ignore a certain parasite. His genius had allowed Atlas to advance and innovate far beyond normal means; by his brilliance a certain general stood upon his shoulders and called himself a giant. The very continent of Solitas owed him a thousand-thank-yous, insofar as he was concerned.

But brilliance wasn't often respected and even here in Atlas, there were lines that "decent" people refused to cross.

Or allow others to cross, for that matter. He had learned that unfortunate lesson the hard way.

Technology and biology should not mix. Perfection is a lie. You're mad, Watts.

Bah! Small-minded talk for small-minded fools, afraid to pursue greatness!

It wasn't disloyal to look after himself now, was it?

No, not at all. Hazel was a brute who cared only for his a shot at revenge, Tyrian had been a raving lunatic and the Girl...well. She was a mess. Pompous brat would get her comeuppance in time.

She thought she was entitled to everything just because she'd suffered, but suffering wasn't enough. You couldn't just be strong, you had to be smart. Couldn't just be deserving, you had to be worthy. But she was neither of those things. All she had ever been, would ever BE, was a bloody MIGRAINE-

"Is this seat taken?"

Four little words, and yet they snapped Arthur out of his doldrums as surely as a blow to the head, and with it came...fear.

He raised his gaze, clutching a mug of brandy between his hands, fighting down a flinch now as someone dragged a chair back. Slowly. Loudly. Without so much as a care in the world. He paid no heed to the other patrons and took his time, drawing out the moment, the sound, the noise. Were it anyone else, anywhere else, he would've snapped at them.

Not now. Not here. Not with him.

He'd chosen seedy little dive down in the depths of Mantle for their rendezvous, far away from the prying eyes of the world.

Even so, he still found himself skittish as the hooded figure sat opposite him. Their face lay steeped in shadow, but were one to squint, they might glimpse a pair of whiskered cheeks dimpled in a thin grin. He didn't trust that smirk for a moment; he'd seen that same smile before the slaughter began, and knew not to trifle with it. But if he was here now, that meant he'd received his message and agreed to meet...



...why did that not fill him with confidence?

"You weren't seen?"

"Of course not." He bristled. "I rigged all the cameras in the area. Have you forgotten who you're talking to?"

The Hooded Man -Naruto!- tilted his head a fraction of an inch. "Have you?"

Watts winced, belatedly realizing his mistake. "Forgive me, my lord. It was a momentary lapse."

Death rumbled a laugh. "Don't worry about it. We all make mistakes. I trust it won't happen again?"

It most assuredly would not!

There was a time when he had thought Science could conquer all; perhaps even defeat death itself. Naive of him. As a scientist, nay, a doctor, he was no stranger to pain and suffering; one might say they were old friends.

But death? That was another matter. A terrifying prospect, even to one such as he.

A man only lived once -unlike a certain Grimm queen and a pesky parasite- he was far from immortal. Salem and Ozma could die as many times as they liked, but a single bullet would do him in.

His betrayal wasn't a recent one; he'd taken his chance years ago and turned his coat the moment he realized what he was up against.

For you see, Watts was wise, but he preferred not to fight. After all, he wasn't a proper Huntsman like the rest. He could defend himself when pressed, but he was first and foremost a warrior of the mind. You couldn't fight Death and win, but you might be able to outsmart it. Death came for all, sooner or later, but it was his hope that Death wouldn't take him him just yet, so long as he proved himself useful...

Perhaps, had he realized just how much he had in common with Pietro Polendina in this moment, he might've felt better about himself.

Alas, he did not, and was left to stew in his misery as Nicholas Schnee -Naruto!- waved down a waitress for a drink.

He wasn't fooled by that smiling face, not taken in by those kind words nor the cunning facade.

He'd heard his whistle, felt the bite of his sickles against his throat and those words...

"You have two choices. Die or serve me. What will it be?"

...a man had to look after himself first and foremost.

Of course, Salem would kill him painfully should she ever learn of his treachery, to say nothing of Ozma should he ever flee to him. But there were worse things than death. An end that lasted eons, a death by a thousand cuts, or worse, slowly having one's soul shaved away piece by painful piece...

Ah but his true master was glaring his way and he knew better than to make him wait.

"Here's everything I have on her current plans." He slid a black scroll across the table to him. "My new virus, Salem's schemes for Beacon, the White Fang, the Maidens, even that foolish girl she's picked up a few years back...

His master went still. "Girl, you say...?"

...perhaps he could turn this to his advantage after all.

"Yes, an ambitious bitch by the name of Cinder. She's picked up two minions of her own." The Reaper said not a word. Was that anger in his eyes? He couldn't tell. "Are you...familiar with them?

The silence that followed proved stifling; Watts knew a minefield when he saw one and wisely retreated.

"Yes, of course." he temporized, raising both hands "Its not my place to pry."

"And the Fall Maiden? What of her?"

"Amber, if memory serves. A wandering waif and quite vulnerable." he leaned in closer, masking his mouth with one hand. "I wouldn't put it past Cinder and her precious pawns to make a move against her. Naruto already knew the name. Watts could see the recognition in his eyes. "I have her last known coordinates here."

Naruto accepted them without a word, and when he didn't immediately retort, Watts dared to push the envelope.

"I understand the roads of Vale are quite dangerous this time of year." his mustache quirked in a smirk. "It would such a shame if an accident befell poor Cinder."

To his great delight, Naruto mirrored that smile.

...it would indeed.

You've done well, Watts. Here." He withdrew a vial from his coat, brimming with red liquid. A sample of my blood, as promised. Do with it what you will."

Relief crashed through him. "May I?"

Naruto waved him on.

He needed no further encouragement; he uncorked the vial, pressed it to his lips and knocked it back as one might a shot at last call, draining it to nearly the last drop. Sweet ambrosia. He could already feel it taking effect as he swallowed; his wrinkles receded, his hair regained its dark luster as the aches and pains of age faded away. And in their absence mind became sharper, his thoughts clearer than they had been in decades.

"Much better," he wiped his mouth with a napkin, whisking that last bead of blood away in the vial for further study. "You have my thanks."

Naruto looked up suddenly as though sensing something. Whatever it was must've startled him; because he moved in a rush.

He burst to his feet, sweeping back his cloak as he did. "If she makes anymore moves...?"

"I'll keep you well apprised of any future schemes. "Where are you going?"

To Vale," he said in passing, downing his glass. "I'll be right back. Oh, and Watts?"


"Whatever plans you have for the Schnee family -for MY family- I suggest you drop them."

A flicker of baleful light was his only warning; he blinked up and the blond was gone.

Watts shook his head and heaved a hearty sigh. "How does he do that...?


They had her.

Until they didn't.

All hell broke loose.


Death walked among them.

Amber couldn't think of any other word for it; for the miracle that was unfolding before her

It was all she could do to hold her wound shut, to watch Gramps wade in. They couldn't touch him. Three to one and none of them came close; not even once. Steel flashed, sickles danced and they were the ones to fall back, bleeding badly.

"Three against one, hmm?" he tilted his head beneath the hood, grinning as an arrow whistled past his cheek. "Now that's unfair...

His sickle flicked out. One of their attackers pitched backward, bleeding from a great gash in their torso.

"Oops." he smiled thinly." Two, now. Better, but not quite."

A lazy swipe took another's head.

Someone yelped.


Everything had come undone for her.

Cinder fought on, only to gasp as a fist found her solar plexus and blasted the air from her lungs.


No, no.

No, no, no!

It wasn't supposed to be this way!

Why was he here?! He should be in Atlas...!

"I mean you totally could have avoided this if you just killed her outright." Naruto clicked his tongue at her in mild admonishment. "I can respect a good kill. But no. You had to monologue, had to draw it out. So Let me teach you a lesson. Ruthlessness is mercy upon yourselves. When you encounter an enemy, you do not hesitate. You show no mercy. You close your eyes and..

His head rose, blue eyes burning like balefire.





Why couldn't she feel her left arm?

Her gaze traveled down.

Oh. That was why.

There it was, sprawled out int he road, still clutching one of her blades.

Her eyes widened in shock, followed by horror, then agony now as the pain found her, driving her down to a knee. "Monster!"

"How rude. There's a monster inside all of us. I'm just a little more...in tune with mine these days. Get up, now, before I make you." He strode her way, tugging back his hood as he went. "For the record, I'm not emotional about the maiden." he waved a hand flippantly, uncaring as a stray breeze ruffled his bangs. "Those come and go like the tides." And here at last, those bright eyes went dark. "But I am emotional that someone laid their hands my granddaughter."

Her gaze strayed to Amber and saw why; the girl looked far too smug for her liking. "Oh, shi-

"MY GRANDAUGHTER!" The very world howled with him for a moment, only to fall eerily silent." You tried to kill my kin. My blood, my baby girl. No amount of lien or promises or please can pay for that. Cinder, no, for that?"

His sickles whistled out in a song of steel.

"I want a pound of flesh."

Her stomach bottomed out, her heart hammered in her chest, and her throat went dry. "...what?"

A pound of flesh." his smile didn't waver. "It matters not to me where on your anatomy it is withdrawn from. If you don't have the stomach to take it for yourself, I will...

Could she have the rage back? She would gladly take the rage over this eerie, glacial calm, this frigid terror sapping her very soul.

She grasped for straws and found one. "You already took my arm! Surely that's enough...!

He looked past her lazily. "Why, so I did. But what you fail to realize is that there are three of you, and I require a pound of flesh from each. One. Of. You. And since you're the only one awake...

Her eyes widened as she realized what he intended.

"...I'll settle for the whole damn thing here.

A flash of silver raked across her left eye, blinding her forevermore. She recoiled with a yowl, and slashed at him wildly, buying herself precious seconds, seconds in which she turned to flee...for all the good it did her. An annoyed growl reached her ears before she made it a yard away and pain flashed across her achilles hell, hamstringing her, bringing her low.

"Can't have you running away now, can we?" a hand closed around the back of her head, forcing her into the mud. "That would be rude-

Cinder writhed around in his grasp and flung up her good hand, fingers inches from his face. His eyes widened.

She flared fire in his eyes, trying to melt his face away...



...all for naught.

His intact visage leaned through the smoke, trailing wisps of dark haze. "Is that really the best you can do?"

Her mouth worked wordlessly, struggling to say something anything. "I...you...damn you!"

The bemused blond frowned. "You're shit at dying, you know that?"

Cinder Fall never saw the strike that ended her life; only a flash of steel and a brief moment of weightlessness. Somehow, her life didn't end immediately. She was still dimly aware of it all, of the seconds that followed as her body pitched forward. Her head tumbled from her shoulders, struck the ground, bounced once, and rolled to a halt at Amber's feet. Her good eye widened.

The last thing she saw was the Fall Maiden's scowl, her leg rearing back, winding up to stomp down on her skull.


Naruto clicked his tongue in mild approval as she crushed her head. "Good girl. Stay right there, sweetie. Grampa just needs a second."


A groan pervaded the air behind him, and bemused, he craned his head back "Ooops. Looks like One of her pawns is still alive...how sloppy of me."

He waltzed their way, roughly rolled then onto their back, looked into their dying eyes, watched them widen now as they beheld him.

"Look at you, wasted and gasping for air. "he crouched own before them, smiling. "Poor thing. You didn't ask for any of this."

They tried to speak, but managed only a gurgling bloody gasp. Pity stirred in his tired old heart.

He offered them a clawed hand.

"Want a job?"

A/N: But who is it? Mercury or Emerald?

Next chapter reveals all. Do let me know what you think?"

Aaaaand scene. Hop you this tidbit made you smile.

Last Wish/Castlevania/Gentlemen references abound, hope you enjoyed 'em!

How many grandkids/kids, you ask? The answer is YES. Not all the cast per se, but yes.

Its heavily implied that Naruto's is a grandfather in this story, aka Nicholas Schnee. Also a stone-cold killer wielding the infamous weapons of Death himself. Strangely enough, it fits when you look into Nicholas' backstory. They're a lot alike.

Aaaand there we go. Hope you enjoyed it.

Soooo? Should this be a story? Yay or nay? Need to hear from you here.

Hoe someone, somewhere, enjoyed this. I just don't know anymore these days.

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

Hope you enjoy the previews~!

They're condensed for now.

Also so many tributes!

References ahoy!

I own nothing!


Scared yet? I have a feeling we're getting there. And what you did? Not cool. You have no idea. I don't think you realize just how angry you've made me. But...I think you're going to be up to speed shortly. You'll regret meeting me, hell, you'll wish you didn't even know my name. So. Here's what's going to happen. I'm going to kill one of you. Everybody's at the table, waiting for me to order. Blink, breathe, cry, I don't care.

You say this is all a game to you? Well I choose to continue. Which means game over! For you. You're a bully and that's it. You take the easy, nasty way out, and get the quick reward. Good for you. I'm sure you're real proud of yourself Me? I do things the right way. I help others and make something bigger and better than little 'ol me. Good always wins in the long run. You've hit your limit! Limit? LIMIT?! I've got your limit right here! "I thought you were my friend. I thought you were the brother I never had. But everything I care about, you take away from me. You owe me a debt. And I'm here to collect.

You know me. I don't believe we've ever met. We have. I've been with you for awhile now. Guiding you. You know me. We're old friends now. I am Death. And you took something from me. You gawping little shit. I can fight armies. I can take an entire wrld teeming with life and bleed it to death. Death is my meat. Why is it that the people of Remnant make such stupid decisions? People, faunus, artificial life...don't you think that's weirdly fucked up? In your human greed, your human need, you could and would do anything to realize your goals. So get up. Finish what you started. It'll be fun. Or I'll kill you right here.

And you'll never, EVER see her again.

Adam crashed through a tree. His sword skewered the bark inches from his face.

"Pick it up."

"Be nice to each other. You both want to be Hunters, after all. Might as well get along.

"Yes, grampa.

"Okay, grandpa."

Ruby waited until he left the room. Then she grinned. "He's kinda scary, huh?"

The blond boy nodded. "Yeah...

"Well, duh." Ruby tilted her head. "Scary is what grampa does. He only kills bad people, though. Don't worry!"

Jaune gulped. "That...is not encouraging. Wait. Did you say grampa?"

"Yeah, why...?"

"I have a cousin!?"

"I have a cousin, too?!"

"You know, I'm not a cat person. Never have been. Really, I tried with Kali, but I just can't help it." Run along, kitty-kat." the hooded figure made a shooing motion. "Monsters come out at night.

Blake grimaced. "Who are you?"

His smile took on a bemused edge. His head tilted to the left, just a little, exposing tawny blond hair. "Ask your mother. Or better yet, ask Sun."

He gulped. "Ah...hey gramps. I promise this isn't what it looks like."

"No? Looks to me like you're hunting White Fang...


...without me! How could you?!"

"And then there was one...

EDIT: Hope this made you smile! Have a great day and may you be blessed with lots of luck~!