Disclaimer: We don’t own Naruto or Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Next Day at the Park at 7am:
Buffy groans while rubbing her eyes, “Mom has forgotten what beauty sleep means.”
Amy sighs, “At least you don’t have Orochimaru as a trainer. He had no sense of day or night or rest.”
“And I was going to have a Saturday off,” grumbles Larry, wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt.
Joyce frowns, “Get over it! You’re all ninja.” She silences any answers with a glare. “We’re here to address two things. One, I’m sure everyone has at least noticed the lopsidedness of the rankings in our group. We have six Jonin level ninja or higher, one Special Jonin, three Chunin, and ten Genin. Due to field experience to living in Sunnydale for any length of time and the need for more Chunin, I believe it is time for several of you to be promoted. I will also be taking into account from what I read about from the Chunin Exams. Before I name names, I would like you to know that you Genin are all worthy of being Chunin in my book, either now or in the near future. However, I can only give out so many promotions at once.” Buffy sneezes and it sounds suspiciously like she is calling her mother a liar, but Joyce ignores it. “After talking with the other Jonin and those of higher ranks, we have settled on these names: Xander, Buffy, Oz, and Jonathan. You are hereby promoted to the rank of Chunin. Kendra is being promoted to Special Jonin from Chunin. Congratulations on your promotions.”
Andrew calls out, “Hey! What about me? I’m too awesome not to be Chunin!”
He falls over when Willow whacks him hard on the head. “You idiot! This is why you’re not a Chunin!”
Harmony rolls her eyes and mutters under her breath, “That goes both ways.”
“What did you say?” Willow snaps.
“Oh, nothing,” Harmony smiles innocently.
Joyce continues, “Onto the second order of business. We believe James is up to something big this time. Giles, please.”
Giles comes to the front of the group and announces, “I’ve received through my spy network that James is gathering materials for something. My sources say that it’s something big, but they are unsure exactly what it is as of yet. The reason why we believe it is big is because there were a lot of distractions out during patrol. Both the human ninjas and the, as Warren has so aptly dubbed them, ‘Robo-ninjas’--” He rolls his eyes before continuing. “--were very busy last night, though not enough to warrant the backup team from intervening. During this time, James’ minions acquired a package. I’ve been informed that he has been gathering similar packages over the past several weeks. Like we said before, it is probably something big. I advise that everyone keep their guard up.”
“If we knew about the packages, then why didn’t we stop them?” inquires Oz quietly.
Giles frowns, “If we stopped the packages, it would compromise the spy network. Besides, they are informants, not combatants. We don’t have the manpower to be everywhere at once either, yet. I’m currently using my resources to get more information.” Oz nods in acknowledgement.
Joyce says with a smile, “Now for the newly promoted Chunin’s first assignment; you will be teaching the new recruits.” Buffy sighs disappointedly and hangs her head.
She mutters, “I had a feeling she was going to do that.”
Willow points out quietly, “Our instructors at the academy were mostly Chunin, even Iruka-sensei.”
Xander scowls, “The only time we get promoted is when they don’t want to deal with the greenhorns. Figures. You know, if Shikamaru were here, he’d say it was troublesome. But since he is not here, I’ll say it for him: Troublesome!”
Harmony groans, “I was hoping to never hear that phrase again, especially not from dream boy!”
“Dream boy?” Willow raises an eyebrow.
Harmony turns bright red, “I didn’t say anything! I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“Uh huh,” Willow smirks knowingly. Harmony can just tell from the smirk that she just received some blackmail material. Inner Sakura shouts, ‘Of course he’s dreamy, Cha! But he’s ours!’
Joyce answers, “Don’t worry. One of the Jonin will be here to guide you in your teaching.” She smiles pleasantly.
Oz states in a monotone voice, “I would like to point out that Giles, yourself, and Warren are not Jonin.”
Completely ignoring him, Joyce says, “If they all show up, you will all take turns in teaching different aspects of being a shinobi to the recruits. Once you find out what they specialize in eventually, we can assign them to a single teacher, just like after graduating the Academy.”
Willow says, “So we are basically following the same model as Konoha’s academy?” Joyce nods.
Spike crosses his arms and mutters quietly, “Soft.”
“Do you have something to insert, Spike?” Giles asks calmly.
Spike leans back against a tree. “The Mist Village had decent exams. I think Konoha’s exams are too soft to make hardened ninjas.”
Warren replies, “It’s not going to be soft training. It’s a cram course that compresses four years of training into a single year. Also, we don’t want them to die. Trust me, they’ll be run ragged.”
Spike frowns and shrugs. “I’m not in charge, so it’ll have to make do.”
Joyce inserts, “Don’t forget, Spike, you’ll be helping out. Don’t forget to follow the rules that we’ll be laying out for training the recruits.”
Drusilla frowns darkly while Spike answers, “Yeah, yeah. Whatever ya say, woman.”
Tara snaps coldly, “You will address her, at the minimum, as Miss Summers.”
Drusilla bites back, “Just try to make him, blondie, and I will make you eat your sword.”
Joyce raises her hand and Tara’s hand drops from her sword’s hilt. “We don’t have time for this. Tara, stand down. Spike, show me some respect. You don’t want to upset me.” She walks up to him and flicks the tree with two fingers. It appears as if nothing happened, until a few seconds later when large cracks appear in the tree and it falls over.
“Understood,” Spike answers icily. “But if you want respect, show some. Is that all?”
Joyce slowly walks back to her original place. “Have I ever disrespected you?”
“Subordinates reflect upon their commanders. Even we Mist ninja were taught that,” he states.
“I’ll look into it,” she replies. “As far as I know, I have not shown any favoritism, unless you enjoy being dealt with heavy handedly.”
Drusilla smiles and states, “The only hand that’s going near him is mine.”
Dawn covers her ears with her hands and yells, “I’m scarred for life!” Andrew nods in agreement with a disgusted look on his face.
Joyce’s eye twitches. “That’s not what I meant.”
Xander inserts, “Bad mental image there!”
Spike smirks at her twitching. “Something wrong, Lady Kage?”
“Anyways,” Giles clears his throat.
Joyce glances at the librarian, “Speaking of which, the person in charge of managing the education of the new recruits for today will be Giles.”
“I am?” Giles deadpans.
Joyce answers with a grin, “Yes, you are.”
Giles sighs in resignation. “Very well. They should be here soon enough.”
Angel smirks and Joyce says loudly, “The recruit training shifts will alternate throughout the shinobi Jonin in our group. Nobody is off the hook.” The smirk transfers to Giles’ face while the librarian’s downcast face is transferred to Angel.
“Does this mean that everyone will be helping, including the Genin and Chunin that you didn’t mention?” Angel inquires.
Joyce replies, “Everyone will be playing their roles in the training, though the Genin will be playing the smallest of the roles.” Of the six remaining Genin, only one of them shouts in protest. “Save the comments until later, Andrew,” Joyce says flatly.
“But this will cut into my training!” the blonde protests.
“Na-Andrew, I said quiet,” she says very quietly and calmly. The killer intent is practically tangible in the air. Using more wisdom then his namesake, he shuts his mouth. Joyce glances at her watch and says, “They’ll be here soon. Everyone stay here so that they can be properly introduced to all of our shinobi. That is all.” The group splits into their teams to talk and Giles calls over the people who will be instructing the recruits today to map out a schedule.
Willow notices Xander rubbing his eyes. “Xander, are you okay?” she asks with concern.
He smiles and replies, “Oh, my eyes are just aching a little. It’s probably from lack of sleep.”
She nods understandingly. “If it keeps bothering you, let me know. I’m a medic, you know.”
He thinks, ‘And best friend and fangirl, but that’s besides the point, I think.’ Out loud, he responds, “I’ll remember that.” Giles calls him over, thus ending their conversation.
Giles maps out what the schedule for the day is. As he finishes, the first of the recruits start to arrive. Owen is the first to arrive, wearing camouflage pants and a black t-shirt.
“Owen, what are you wearing?” Buffy asks bluntly.
He replies quickly, “I’m ready to be trained and become a ninja!”
“Ninjas don’t wear camouflage clothing,” Larry remarks from beside her.
Owen frowns. “Why not? Doesn’t it help blend in with surroundings?”
“He does have a point,” Warren comments.
Buffy glares at the snake shinobi who quickly becomes silent. “Perhaps,” Buffy admits. “But not in the middle of the park!”
Owen stares at her blankly for a few seconds before answering. “I didn’t think of that.”
“Of course you didn’t, Mr. Soldier Boy,” Larry smirks. “What did you go for at Halloween? A soldier? Nobody would be caught dead with such a stupid costume.” Xander walks over to them and then gets a very strange feeling that he has in some way been insulted.
“Were you guys just talking about me?” he asks the group.
Buffy shakes her head. “Not as far as I know. Why do you ask?”
“Oh, just a feeling,” Xander replies uneasily.
Owen interjects, trying to get back on topic, “But shouldn’t I be working out in the outfit that I’m going to be using?”
Xander raises an eyebrow and leans on Buffy’s shoulder while staring at the boy. “Interesting theory, unless the people who you rescue have seen you working out and recognize you because you’re wearing the same clothing,” he points out. “Plus, it’s going to be awhile before you go out fighting big bads and stopping the end of the world again. Get regular work out clothes.”
“You guys stopped the end of the world!” Owen exclaims.
Buffy shrugs, “Just one or five times.”
“I knew it!” he almost shouts.
Xander leans forward and whispers, “Inside voice. People are trying to sleep around here.”
“Name one!” Owen challenges.
Xander glares at him, “Me!” The group gives him strange looks. “If I were anyone else, I would be in bed trying to sleep like every sane person should on Saturday mornings!”
Warren states, “Oh, recruit, keep your mouth shut about all this around the others. They’ll find out in good time.” Owen nods quickly.
Buffy interjects, “No bugging us to go out on missions or asking us out on dates either. That’s a big no no!” Willow and Harmony both sneeze.
Jonathan walks up to the group and looks at him dismissively. “We got our work cut out for us.”
Owen stares at him. “Did you go as a Hyuga?” he gasps.
“If that is going to excite you, you are in for a very long day,” Jonathan intones. “Fate despises us this day.”
“Neji!” Owen exclaims.
Buffy glares at Owen. “Quiet!”
Giles walks over to them and says, “Guys, we might have a slight problem.”
“What is it?” Warren asks curiously.
Larry answers for him bluntly, “Parents.”
“Why, fate, why?” Jonathan mutters under his breath.
Giles rubs his neck nervously, “I think we forgot something in our planning. Those are the parents of Kit and they want to know why they should let their daughter associate with us, most likely.”
Angel seems to appear next to Giles. He puts his hand on his shoulder and does a Kakashi eye smile. “Let me talk to them.” He spins on his heels and strolls over to the parents before Giles can answer. He approaches the parents and turns to Kit. “Go on over to the others. Your parents would like a word with me,” he tells her politely. She nods and leaves the adults to their conversation.
“Are you the one in charge here?” Kit’s father asks with a frown.
Angel replies, “I am one of the head teachers here. I will pass on any concerns you have to the others. Do you have any questions that need answering?”
“I’d rather talk to the man in charge,” the father insists.
Angel sighs and says, “Trust me, anything I say will be a mirror of their answers.”
Kit’s mother says hesitantly, “How much is this going to cost us?”
“Honey,” frowns the father.
“Not to worry,” Angel smiles. “It’s free. With all the incidents of gangs on PCP around Sunnydale, we teachers believed it would be a wise idea to teach martial arts to the next generation to defend themselves if the need ever arises, free of charge.”
The father asks, “How often are you guys going to hold practices?”
“One hour before school, two hours after school, six hours on Saturday and Sunday, and any private tutoring if the students seem to need help in any areas,” Angel says conversationally.
“What?” the mother gasps. “What are you trying to do? Start a gang of your own?”
“You have no idea,” whispers Angel.
The father states firmly, “There is no way that my daughter is going to join your group if she has to spend all her time training. She’s a young girl and should be enjoying life with her peers, not wasting it on the possibility of being attacked someday.”
“I’m sure that I can persuade you to change your mind,” Angel says as his face seems to waver and a headband appears over his left eye. He lifts the headband and they see the swirling tomes of the Sharingan.
The mother says in shock, “What on earth…”
Angel stares at them and says politely, “You think that your daughter joining us is a great opportunity that is too good to pass up. In fact, you are going to encourage your daughter to participate as much as she can. The gangs around town are extremely dangerous, and no amount of preparation is too much for your little girl.” He pulls his headband down over his eye and smiles. “I’m glad we had this conversation.” The illusion reappears over the headband.
Their eyes slowly unglazed over and they blink a few times. “Thank you for teaching our daughter! We leave her in your very capable hands,” the father says enthusiastically while shaking his hand.
“We do our best,” Angel answers cheerfully. He walks back to the group with a wide smirk.
Kit says, “Did my parents agree to let me hang out with you guys?”
“Yes, they did. In fact, they are thrilled that you are going to be in our ‘capable hands’,” Angel replies. She stares at him for a long moment and then stares at her retreating parents.
“Huh?” she blurts out.
Angel shrugs innocently and answers, “They were very supportive.”
“Wow! That was kind of…unexpected,” Kit says slowly. Angel’s smirk widens.
Carlos and the formerly hyena possessed teenagers show up a few minutes later. Carlos notices Kit is there. “Your parents let you come? They never let you do things like this,” he exclaims.
Kit protests, “They let me do things!”
“You know what I mean, Kit. They’re very protective of you,” Carlos rolls his eyes.
Kit smiles at him and then stares suspiciously at Angel. “They had an unusually supportive attitude about this whole thing. I can’t imagine why.”
“They must have seen the merits of allowing their daughter to learn to defend herself,” Angel replies smoothly.
“Right, that must be it,” Kit replies dryly.
Angel smirks, “Of course it is. What else could it be?”
“That’s what I’d like to know,” Kit mumbles.
Angel leans forward and says in a secretive voice, “Maybe you’ll find out someday.” Her suspicious stare intensifies, with a hint of curiosity in her eyes.
Joyce leads the other ninja teams to the recruits and says, “I’m glad everyone showed up that was invited. My name is Joyce Summers. You may call me Mrs. Summers or Joyce, I prefer the latter. I am the head instructor here. You will do what I say without question, or you will find out what happens to those with quick tongues.” She shoots a glance at Andrew who is glaring at her. “But first, this is your last opportunity to walk away. Once you commit to this training, you will not quit. You will stay until you are completely trained and ready for whatever may come at you.”
“What’s the worse that could come at us?” Kyle asks with mild sarcasm.
Joyce replies mysteriously, “You’ll find out if you don’t walk away. Some of you know why you are here.” Her eyes fall onto Owen. “Some of you know very little to nothing about why you are here,” she says while glancing over Carlos and Kit. “And others, might know a little about why you are here.” She stares the people recruited by Xander.
Carlos says quietly, “Man, this sounds ominous.” The stifled laugh that is evident on Dawn’s face doesn’t help to calm him.
Joyce announces, looking over the recruits as a whole, “Those that want to learn more, stay. The rest of you, leave.” After a minute of nobody leaving, she continues, “Good. To paraphrase a very famous man who may or may not exist at this point, ‘you are about to take a step into a larger world.’ I leave you to the man you may know as the librarian, Mr. Giles.” The baffled faces of the recruits were, in Joyce’s opinion, completely worth the reference.
Giles steps forward and says, “I am going to be your head instructor for the day.” He gestures to Xander, Buffy, Oz, and Jonathan who are standing around him. “These will be my assistants. These four will be the law when it comes to training. What they say goes. You will not argue with them and you will show them respect. They are holding the schedules for today for each of you. Each of you will take one. We will be giving out more permanent schedules tomorrow for how the week will go.”
Xander says just loud enough for the recruits to hear, “Let the tortu—training begin.” A shiver runs up their spines.