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The Hidden Hand

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Shinobi Rising". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Halloween is over, so what happens now to our Slayer and her friends turn ninja? Will things be easier or will the evil unleasted be to much for them?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > NarutoAlphaBetaFR152990,862910349,9167 Dec 082 Aug 11Yes

15

Disclaimer: see chapter 1

Authors note: Just wanted to say sorry for the long delay. It looks like it will be harder for me to get togethor with my co-author then I first thought, with him being in school and working. So expect a longer time in between chapters then the two weeks it was before. I will try to keep it no longer then 4 weeks. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this chater!

Sunnydale’s Warehouse District:

“Stop flirting and continue the search,” Tara snaps at her dark haired teammate while they dispatch of a few uncooperative vampires and continue to search for the Judge and James.

Faith smirks and decapitates another vampire. “Me?” she says innocently. “I don’t flirt with anyone. Isn’t that right, sweetcheeks?”

Angel just shakes his head and walks through the warehouse with his Sharingan flaring. “James isn’t here. Let’s move out.” He climbs up a wall and disappears out the window.

“See? I don’t flirt with anyone,” Faith repeats with a sly grin. The Anbu member glares at her but quickly follows the ex-vampire’s lead to the next vampire nest. Faith shrugs and follows them with a smile on her face. “If she’s going to be this easy to annoy the whole time, this will be almost as much fun as teasing Angel!” Angel and Tara feel a growing sense of dread before she catches up with them.

Summer’s House:

“What do you mean you can’t find anything?” asks Joyce loudly.

The Sanin-level librarian sits across the kitchen table from her impassively. “I’m sorry, Tsunade, but my contact network isn’t what it used to be. The teams haven’t come up with anything either.”

“Jiraiya, we have two Anbu level Jonin and a Special Jonin who was trained by a Sanin on the same team and we still can’t find the little weasel that Angelus sired?”

“Like you said, he is a little weasel and hard to pin down. Give it time. We’ll find him,” is the confident answer.

“And your contacts have no new information for you?” she asks with a raised eyebrow. “Nothing at all?”

Giles shakes his head. “Not yet.”

“Incompetent civilians,” Joyce sighs and pulls out a large bottle that she gulps down. At her coworker’s staring, she explains, “its apple juice. I have to drink something instead of sake.” He nods and she continues, “I hope you have as much confidence as you sound like you do.”

“Of course!” he replies with an encouraging smile. Checking his watch, Giles says, “I’d better get going. I’ll join the search party if it makes you feel any better.”

“Just for tonight,” she says after a long thoughtful pause. “We still need you to help train the recruits.”

“As you say,” he smiles. The brunette Sanin with hints of gray in his hair stands. “And for the record, they’re not all so innocent or incompetent as you might think.”

“Innocent? I never said they were. They work for you, don’t they?” she smirks. He chuckles and leaves without another word.

Joyce hears coming from up the stairs, “Jiraiya and Tsunade sitting in a tree….K-I-S-S-I-N—“

“Dawn!” she shouts, her fist pounding on the table and leaving a deep crack in it. The singing disappears briefly.

“G. First comes love, then comes marriage,” the youngest daughter continues quieter. The loud creaking of the table snapping in half silences her.

Joyce sighs, “We’re going to need another table.”

In the Evening:

“How many spots have we hit so far today?” Larry asks while fiddling with a small puppet hand with a screwdriver.

Warren rolls his eyes. “Put your doll parts away. This will be the fifty seventh.”

“After fifty seven hits, you want me to put my puppet away? And it’s not a doll!” he protests loudly. “It’d a combat puppet that could someday save your life!”

Buffy inserts, “Doubtful, but put it away anyways. Shouldn’t you be paying attention to your surroundings more?”

Larry stares at her and deadpans, “Nothing in fifty seven locations, and you’re talking about paying attention, sister?” His stare turns into a mischievous smirk as he untwists a screw half a turn and a needle shoots out into the shadows from the fingertip of one of the puppet fingers. A vampire staggers out of the shadows, clenching his throat.

“That hurt!” the vampire gasps.

Warren appears behind him and purrs, “Information. I’m going to enjoy this.” The vampire pales even more, if that is possible; though from the sheer whiteness of its skin, one would suspect that it is.

Buffy giggles excitedly. “Finally! Take your time, Orochimaru. I need some entertainment tonight.”

Five Minutes Later:

They are sitting on a nearby rooftop. “So that was the lookout for James?” Larry inquires.

“Yeah, something like that,” Warren replies in a bored tone.

Buffy pouts and whines, “Why did you have to interrogate him so fast?”

“Temari, I’m a Sanin. I took five full minutes against a below average vampire. That was slow,” Warren replies.

She sighs loudly and mutters, “I know. It was still too fast.” She kicks the pile of dust and grumbles. The trio strolls through the warehouse doors casually.

“I’ll pick you up in a minute!” yells the vampire into his walkie talkie. “Impatience will be the death of him,” he mutters under his breath. Larry smirks and twirls the look out’s walkie talkie on one finger before slipping it into his back pocket. Warren smirks mischievously.

“I love these things,” Larry murmurs.

The vampire hears from behind him, “Are we invited too?” He turns around just as four large swords impale each of his limbs. The thick wood and metal puppet lies on top of him with a sword sticking out of each puppet’s limb, pinning him to the floor. A final blade is hovering an inch from the vampire’s face, dripping with purple poison from the puppet’s mouth. Buffy says slowly and sarcastically, “Ah, I’m not invited. I feel left out! Don’t you know you could hurt a lady’s feelings by not inviting her to your parties?” She slams her fan above the vampire’s head, making him flinch, almost hitting the blade.

The undead man shouts, “Carl! Carl, help!” He looks to his left to see his fellow minion wrapped up completely by a large snake with the snake’s mouth fully open but waiting for Warren’s command to bite. The dark haired young man rubs his chin thoughtfully while the vampire looks terrified. His snakelike tongue slithers out of his mouth as he chuckles.

Buffy smiles cheerfully at the pinned down vampire and says, “Hello, Mr. Vamp. We’re taking a survey! Would you like to participate?” A drop of poison drips from the blade and hits the ground right next to the vampire’s head, leaving a small trail of smoke. He stares at her in terror. “I’ll take that as a yes. First, who is your boss?”

“J-James,” he whispers. “The guy’s crazy!”

“Well, duh!” Buffy rolls her eyes. “But my question is where your boss is now and where is that big smurf that he is probably carrying around by now?”

The guy tied up by the snake stammers, “I-I know! They went to the mall!”

Buffy sighs and hits her forehead with her hand. “Harmony is going to be so loud this next week. I am not looking forward to it.” She smiles brightly, “On the upside, we can go shopping while we blow them into smithereens! Kankuro, Orochimaru, kill them.”

“Orochimaru?” one questions. The blade impales his head before he can say anything else. The skin around the blade quickly dissolves the skin around it. The vampire lets out a loud scream as the acid hits his brain and he explodes into fiery ash.

Larry smirks, “Acid, it’ll kill you if you take it.”

The other vampire stares at his former comrade. “No wait!” The snake bites off his head before he can continue, spitting it out before it can explode. Warren applauds when the head turns into ash in midair and crumbles onto the ground. The snake hisses and disappears in a cloud of smoke.

“I wonder why he asked us to wait,” Larry comments.

Warren shrugs as he heads for the door. “He was a minion. I doubt he had anything useful to say.”

Buffy shoulders her fan and replies, “I don’t know. They seemed pretty helpful to me. They recognized the name Orochimaru.”

“Or they just thought it was a really weird name,” Larry says. “Let’s go.”

“Agreed. We’re wasting time,” Warren states. The trio leaves the building without a trace, unless you count the five holes in the floor, the two and a half piles of dust, and the small crater from where the fan hit.

The Summer’s House:

Joyce picks up the phone. “Yes?” She listens for a moment and replies, “Got it.” She hangs up and calls, “Dawn! We’ve got a location! They’re heading to the mall! Send out the alerts!”

“I’ll leave Harmony for last,” the youngest daughter calls back with a laugh. “Or should I call her first?”

“Last, now call,” she replies, slipping on her Sanin robe. “It’s time for some fun.” She cracks her knuckles and grins.

A Few Minutes Later:

Harmony hangs up the phone and growls, “They are not going to be touching my mall!” She stands to get dressed for the battle and suddenly smiles. “At least I get to show off my new outfit! Willow is going to be green with envy when Xander can’t take his eyes off me.” She smirks and then suddenly looks green. “I can’t believe I just thought that about Xander.” She hurries to get dressed.

At Xander’s Location:

“I wonder why I feel a looming sense of dread,” Xander murmurs idly to himself.

En Route to the Mall:

Willow hops from roof to roof and lands next to Xander. “Hey, Xander!” she exclaims. He rubs his eyes a little and smiles at her. “Are your eyes still bothering you?”

“It’s nothing. I just haven’t gotten a lot of sleep lately,” he replies calmly.

Willow frowns suspiciously, “Are you sure?”

“I’m fine,” he deadpans. “Let’s get going.” He hops away.

She whispers to herself, “He is just like Sasuke when he doesn’t want anyone to worry.” She thinks about it and squeals, “That’s so sweet! Oh, he’s as awesome even as Xander and Xander was already awesome so….” The voice in the back of her mind shouts, “Yeah! Get him! Make him yours, girl!” “Shut up!” she shouts at herself, blushing profusely. She rushes after Xander to find James.

On a Rooftop near the Mall:

The ninjas gather. Andrew inquires, “Hey, where’s Angel?”

“Behind you,” Angel comments with his nose in his book.

Andrew jumps and glares at him. “You’re doing that on purpose! I know it!”

“Hmm, did you say something?” he asks, glancing up from his book. Cordelia shudders as memories of her former sensei ricochet around her mind.

While Andrew fumes, Harmony walks up behind Xander and pokes him on the shoulder. “Hey, Xander,” she says slyly. “Want to see my new outfit?” He turns around to see her wearing a long trench coat. Willow eyes her suspiciously.

“Cool coat,” he says.

She grins and slides the coat off to the ground. She strikes a pose with one hand in the air and the other on her hip. “What do you think, Xander?” (Ino’s Shippuden Outfit. Look it up.)

Angel appears behind Willow to restrain her while Xander stares at the blonde dumbly. “Um…um…”

“I’ll take that as a standing ovation!” Harmony proclaims, squealing like the fan girl she is.

Angel says calmly, “Xander, I think it’s about time somebody gave you the talk. Meet me after the battle.” He grunts quietly while Willow stomps on his foot and tries to lunge at her teammate again, but his grip on her wrists stay firm.

Andrew and Larry gawk at Harmony openly. Both of them have a little bit of drool forming on their lips. A very large club bashes them both over the head before it disappears in a cloud of smoke. Amy stands behind them with her arms crossed. “Tongue in mouths, boys.” Meanwhile, Giles’ hand twitches and his eyes wander to his pocket where a small notebook sits. The…reassuring…presence of Joyce standing next to his twitching hand allows him the force of will to resist writing anything down, immediately.

Xander’s brain finally clicks about what talk Angel mentioned. He glares at the ex-vampire with a red face. “I don’t need that talk from a pervert like you,” he states coldly.

“Alright,” Angel eye smiles with his mask up. “I’ll let Giles talk to you about it instead. I can’t think of any other man in the group who is old enough to give you that talk, so you’ll have to make do.” Xander’s eye twitches.

Warren clears his throat with his arms crossed. “I could qualify as old enough,” he reminds them. “I have the experience of Orochimaru, you know.”

A look between hope and suicide crosses Xander’s face before he growls, “Aren’t we here to take out an overgrown smurf or something? Besides, I’m not going to have that conversation anyways!”

“We’ll see,” Giles smirks lecherously, only to have Joyce slap him to the ground. He staggers to his feet and says with a grin, “Alright, team! I think we’re about ready to attack.”

Joyce nods in agreement. “You all know what to do. Move out.” They all disappear from sight.

Inside the Mall:

The Judge gazes over the crowd of people wandering around the room. James stands to his right while several minions are behind them and on the short semicircular staircase. The blue-skinned, horned demon places his hand on the railing and sends a brief surge of energy through it. When the energy dissipates quickly, he rumbles, “I’m ready to feed.” A kunai impacts with his thick neck. He looks up to see Spike standing on the ceiling with a masked woman beside him holding clear sebon between her fingers. The massive blade on Spike’s back seems to have no effect on his hanging. “Foolish mortal. No weapon forged by man can kill me!”

“Forged weapons?” Buffy calls from the middle of the room. “That is sooooo Kankuro!”

“Hey!” the boy beside her exclaims. The Judge notes with amusement that the young human has strange make up on but decides not to comment on it.

James grins maniacally, “Good! You’re here! Where is that pathetic sire of mine? Did he chicken out and leave town already?”

“Right here,” a voice whispers in his ear. James slashes behind him with his vampiric claws and growls. Angel jumps out of his reach unharmed and climbs up the wall and out the window.

“You can’t get away from me, you coward!” the insane vampire roars, leaping up through the window after him. The minions exchange confused looks at their leader’s disappearance. James reappears again. “First, Mass Slaughter! Second, Angelus! Begin!” He crosses his arms and grins. The minions stare at him blankly. “Didn’t you hear me? Begin!” The minions all shrug and turn to the ninjas.

Cordelia twirls two kunai on one finger and comments idly, “Do you think he is losing it a little?”

A minion calls back, “Nah, he’s always like this!”

They sweatdrop. Cordelia replies, “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

Joyce calls over the crowd, “Execute the plan.” She turns back when she senses something off. Two dozen or more people leap out of the crowd at them, shedding their coats and hats. Their faces either turn vampiric or into other forms of demon. “He actually thought about this one,” she comments idly. “That’s a new one.”

To Be Continued…

Omake:

The civilians in the mall all poof into Andrews. “Get’em, boys!” The Andrews, all clad in bright orange, charge James and the Judge. The bright orange crowd makes the Judge step back.

“Orange,” he whispers. “Too much orange! The only true color is blue!” The closer they get, the weaker he appears, his skin beginning to melt as the first Andrew body slams him. “I’m melting! Melting!” James’ eye twitches violently while he watches his superweapon melt into a blue puddle.
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