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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 > NarutoAlphaBetaFR152990,862913250,4117 Dec 082 Aug 11Yes

16

Disclaimer: See chapter 1

Authors Note: Wow, its been about 6 weeks since the last update. I'm sorry that it has taken that long. But this chapter is longer then usual so I hope that makes it up some. Anyways PLEASE REVIEW!! It feeds the plot bunny. Are we still meeting your
expectations? I hope that we are.

At the Mall:

Joyce watches the demonic creatures leap out of the crowd. “Execute Plan A!” she shouts.

Cordelia mutters while staring up at the enemies, “Where’s Lee when you need him?” She reaches for the scrolls on her belt but Giles shakes his head and mouths the words: ‘Too dangerous’. She nods and draws a pair of kunai and leaps towards them along with roughly half of the ninja forces.

The other half of the force start escorting the crowd out, though Andrew seems to be having the most success with his shadow clones.

Angel appears behind Joyce. She stares at the Judge and states, “You deviated from the plan, Kakashi.”

“I saw an opportunity and took it,” he replies solemnly.

Joyce nods, “Next time, keep me in the loop when possible. Take out the smurf.”

“Understood,” he says before disappearing.

Nearby, Jonathan spins between vampires and demons, stabbing their chakra points with his fingertips in passing. He dodges their attacks and counters with a few palm strikes. “The minions are getting tougher!” he calls to Oz. The orange haired demon container stands in place while his sand wraps around a demon and crushes them.

“I haven’t noticed,” he replies quietly. The sand lets a puddle of blood splash out before pursuing another vampire who screams like a little girl as the sand covers it.

Jonathan rolls his pale eyes and does a spin kick to a demon’s head, throwing it back into the moving sand. “Well they are.”

Two Andrew clones are being swung around by a vampire. “We’ve noticed!” They both pop when their heads are smashed together.

Oz gazes at the smoke from the clones. “I thought you were on crowd control.” Another clone pops nearby.

“We can’t resist!” a clone shouts. “We’ve got the crowd under control!” He is popped by a kick from a demon.

“Just stick with the crowds, boy,” Spike growls while swinging his zanpaktou mercilessly through a fat demon. He grins as the blood showers onto his blade.

Two demons leap at Spike from behind but are instantly skewered by a hail of ice needles. Drusilla holds another handful of ice and glares at the bodies spitefully before unleashing another storm of needles into a vampire.

Meanwhile, James stares at the motionless blue-skinned demon. “What are you doing?” he roars. “Kill them!”

“Humanity has changed much since I was last whole,” the Judge intones gravely.

James’ face gets red. “I don’t care! Kill them!” The Judge opens his mouth to answer when he is interrupted by the loud chirping of birds. The demon and vampire look up to see Angel with his Sharingan blazing. His right hand is bright with electricity.

“Chidori!” the ninja says as he drops onto the Judge, his hand aiming for the head. The large demon shifts his head at the last second and lets his shoulder be pierced. The Judge grabs onto his wrist and a bright flare of light jumps from the Judge’s hand to Angel’s. Angel smirks and explodes into a poof of smoke.

“Shadow clone!” shouts James, leaping away from the Judge. “That’s not the real Angel!”

“If that wasn’t him, where is he?” the Judge inquires, staring at his Master calmly.

A large white shape flies at James. It turns into a mat of spikes but James manages to dodge it. James takes a moment to look at it and is surprised to see that it is spiked hair. Giles pulls his hair back quickly and glares at the empowered vampire. Joyce shouts, “Xander, now!”

Amy, Xander, and Harmony jump closer to the Judge with Amy already going through hand signs. Xander lands in front of them with a kunai drawn with Harmony and Amy behind him. Amy finishes the hand signs and bites her thumb hard enough to draw blood. She hits the ground with her hand and calls out, “Summoning Jutsu!” A large cloud of smoke rises and clears to reveal the three Doki. She slides a flute out of her sleeve and begins playing a haunting tune. The Doki leap over Xander and rush at the Judge with large spiked club, clawed hands, and needle-spiked head. The Judge throws a bolt of energy at each of them to no effect.

“What sorcery is this?” he growls. “These are neither human nor earthly demons!” Amy’s smile grows wider as her tune progresses faster. The Judge dodges the attacks the best he can while exchanging blows at them, but the Doki keep leaping out of range of his fists and tag teaming him. He growls louder in frustration and rips off his sleeves for more freedom of movement.

Joyce lands behind Amy and Harmony. She whispers, “Ino, freeze him.” The young blonde frowns in concentration and sets her hands near each other.

“Mind Destruction Jutsu!” she states. The Judge tries to move his foot to dodge but cannot move. The club smashes hard against his side. The sound of a bone snapping is heard as the Judge grunts in pain.

Joyce orders, “Bring your summons back, Tayuya.” Harmony breaks out in a sweat as the powerful demon struggles against her jutsu. The Doki leap back to their Master. Joyce slams her palm into the ground after a few hand signs and a small amount of blood is produced. Four human-sized slugs appear around the Sanin. “Melt him,” she orders.

“Yes, Mistress,” they mutter simultaneously. They crawl quickly and surround the blue demon. They open their mouths wide and unleash a wave of acid from all sides. The Judge roars in pain and struggles harder against the jutsu as he begins to melt.

“More acid!” Joyce orders. They nod and spurt more acid onto the demon.

James watches the destruction of his super weapon and shouts, “No!” He runs towards them.

“I don’t think so, buddy!” he hears two voices say from above them. The vampire looks up to see two Andrews in their orange jumpsuits. One is spinning his hands around the first ones to create a blue sphere. “Rasengan!” they both shout. One pops out of existence and Andrew brings the sphere down on James. The vampire grabs onto the Genin’s wrist and throws him into a wall.

He boasts at the prone form of the human boy, “You couldn’t kill me if you had a hundred years to prepare!” James looks up to see the Judge almost completely gone in a puddle of acid. His hands shake with rage. He looks around and most of his minions are gone. He lets out an outraged shout and throws smoke bombs around him. He jumps out the window and runs.

Seconds later, Angel, Faith, and Buffy land outside of the smokey mall, and sprint after him.

Meanwhile, Back in the Mall:

The librarian approaches Joyce. “Are you sure it was wise to let Kakashi handle this?” he inquires thoughtfully. “I could have finished him here if you let me.”

“Yes, I’m sure, Jiraiya,” Joyce answers firmly. “He sired him and started this. He has to finish this.”

“He asked to take out James?” Giles asks.

Joyce nods. “And he learned an important lesson. Never let the bad guy get away.”

“Good lesson,” Giles comments. “About two months two late.”

“I also told him that it’s his last chance to get him before its open season,” Joyce states.

“Good. We can’t have him getting away again. Let’s finish up here,” Giles replies, stepping through the smoke and grabbing a passing demon by the throat and snapping it. He tosses it aside and keeps going. “Did you honestly think that you could sneak up on a Sanin, creature? You’re three thousand years too young for that to happen.” He snorts derisively.

“Jiraiya! That was the last one! I wanted it!” Andrew cries out as the smoke begins to clear.

Giles thinks about it momentarily before picking up the corpse and hurling it at the impetuous youth. “There you go!” Both Andrew and the dead demon collide loudly with the wall. “Now shut up!”

“Jiraiya! Andrew! Both of you grow up! We’re heading out. Now!” Joyce shouts. She disappears. The blonde boy picks the body off of him and glares at Giles angrily. The Sanin smirks and shushins away. The other ninjas disappear in like manner, taking the corpses of their foes with them for disposal. Miss Calendar hangs around afterwards briefly to pile the last of the bodies onto a small slug summon and haul them away.

Outside:

The trio dashes down the street after him. He ducks into an alley that leads onto a different street. They run through the alley after him and find three James’ going in different directions. Buffy and Faith sprint after the ones on the left and right while Angel goes after the one down the middle over the rooftops.

Faith rushes after her target and weaves in and out after him through the alleys and over the rooftops. She gets closer and closer until she is almost within range of a kunai toss. The kunoichi jumps into the wall and dives at him, both of them landing in the alley. She lands on top of him with snakes coming from her arms and wrapping around him. “Game over,” she growls, stabbing him in the forehead. To her surprise, he starts laughing before turning into a pile of mud under her.

While Faith deals with getting out of the mud pile and thinking of a decent retort when someone comments on it, Buffy is sprinting at James, throwing small tornados at him with a small pair of twin fans. He dodges each one and does a back flip over one, landing in the street. He looks at her smugly before running towards the outskirts of town. She chases him. Once they are out of the main city streets, she hops onto her large fan and uses the wind from her smaller fans to fly after the fleeing vampire. The Sand ninja rises into the sky as she gains on him. Sheathing her smaller fans, she rolls off of her fan with her hand on its handle. She shouts, “Wind Style: Wind Vortex Jutsu!” as she swings the fan down hard, pushing herself higher into the air. A slicing tunnel of wind pounds down on James from above, going in his back and out his chest. He drops to his knees and turns into small pile of mud. She growls with annoyance as she hops back on her fan to head back into town.

Meanwhile, the eldest of them, Angel chases after James. He dashes fast enough to get within range. He unleashes a shower of kunai at him which the vampire easily dodges. He deflects one or two with his own kunai and frowns when he realizes that most of them are missing. The vampire growls and skids to a halt, hitting away any more incoming kunai. “What’s going on, old man?” James snarls. “You aim better then that! Is your age getting to you?”

“No, I got you just where I want you,” Angel smirks. “Hai!” He forms a single hand sign. James looks around quickly and notices the scattered kunai surrounding him have small paper tags on their handles. The paper glows before exploding violently.

When the smoke clears, James is still standing with his second stage curse mark wings wrapped around his body protectively. The wings unfurl and James laughs mockingly. “Did you honestly think that could stop me?”

“Nope,” Angel smirks. The sound of chirping birds is suddenly heard. James’ eyes go wide at the sound and a hand comes out the middle of his chest with lighting still on the fingertips. “But this will.” James coughs once and laughs before turning into a pile of mud. Angel glares at the pile of mud for a long moment before slamming his fist into a nearby tree, sending cracks into the wood.

A Mile Away:

James bursts out of the ground and looks around wildly. He sits down on the ground and laughs. “I lost’em!” He frowns at his defeat but runs away to lick his wounds anyway.

At the School Library:

Angel stalks into the room and Buffy and Faith hop up from their chairs. “Did you get him?” Faith asks quickly.

The former vampire scratches the back of his head and chuckles a little, “Actually…no. He got away.”

Buffy pats her fan against her hand slowly. “Mud clone?”

“That’s what it turned out to be,” he confirms. Faith plugs her ears and the Slayer screams in frustration. “But, we’ll get him next time,” he finishes, cleaning out his ear with his pinky.

Joyce stares over the table at Angel and states, “Remember what I said, Kakashi. He’s free game now.” Angel nods solemnly and takes his seat.

Willow looks around slowly. “Hey, where’s Xander?”

Angel replies, “He said that he has some things to take care of at home.”

Joyce frowns, “I told everyone to be here.”

“He sent his apologies and I excused him,” Angel says with an eye smile.

“This had better be the exception, not the general behavior,” Joyce states. Willow slumps down in her chair and focuses on the table in front of her worriedly.

Xander’s House:

Xander lands on the rooftop and grimaces. He rubs his temples with his eyes closed for a few seconds and drops to the ground. Walking into the house, the pain around his eyes intensifies. He leans against the wall and whispers, “It’s getting worse.” He staggers to the bathroom and looks into the mirror while wincing in pain. His Sharingan is activated. His two tomes begin to form a third one before going back to two. “What’s happening?” he mutters. His eye fades back to normal. He sighs as the pain fades and he leans against the sink. He rubs his right eye corner and feels something wet. Xander pulls his finger away and looks at the blood on his fingertip.

Later that Night at James’ New Hideout:

“Why can’t I kill him?!” screams James furiously while he paces the floor. His few remaining minions exchange worried glances but keep their mouths shut. He storms back and forth across the floor and finally draws close to a minion. James grabs the minion by the front of his shirt and pulls him nose to nose with himself. “Why can’t I kill him?” he whispers angrily.

“Um…maybe he’s just too good, Boss,” the minion answers weakly.

James’ eye twitches. “Did I tell you to answer?” The minion’s head disappears and reappears next to his comrades. Both the head and the body explode into dust. “He’s not better then me. No, Angelus is just a weak human now.”

Snake-like laughter hisses from the shadows. The minions pale but stand their ground as Orochimaru slowly walks into the light. “A weak human? If that was true, then how is it that you failed to destroy them with the Judge?” He glares at his subordinate dangerously.

James snaps, “I need more power! If you’re so powerful, why don’t you kill him yourself?” Both Orochimaru and James vanish. The minions look to the far wall where James is pinned by his throat by his master.

“You forget yourself, James,” hisses Orochimaru. “I gave you power. You belong to me!”

James growls, “I belong to no one!” His curse mark spreads from his neck across his arms and face.

Orochimaru smiles sinisterly and murmurs, “Is that so?” His hand forms a seal and James instantly drops to the ground, writhing in agony. “Did you think that I would let my possessions go without safeguards in case they became insubordinate? Even if this safeguard was not in place, you would still have no chance against me. This is merely convenient.” James growls quietly as he tries to stop shaking from the pain. Orochimaru turns on his heels and slowly strolls away. He pauses after a few steps and calls over his shoulder, “I could care less how many of the ninjas you kill. However, do not play with big toys without my permission, as you did with the Judge. If you become a bother, there is always someone who could take your place. Do we understand each other?” His hand forms into a seal again and James writhes on the floor more and lets out an audible cry of pain. “I see that we do,” Orochimaru chuckles. He disappears in a poof of smoke. The minions hurry to James’ side, only to be shoved back.

“If he won’t give me more power, I’ll find something else!” James gasps loudly. “I will kill him! I will kill them all!!” The minions stare at their master worriedly. The same thought crosses all of their minds, ‘I think he’s lost it.’

The Next Day at the Summer’s House:

Joyce looks across the table at Giles. “Is Warren going to make it to this meeting or is he absent again?”

Giles rolls his eyes, “He’s wrapped up in his work again.”

“What is he doing this time?” Joyce inquires.

“His robot ninjas,” the librarian responds flatly. “He thinks that he can make them do a few wind style jutsu.”

Joyce raises an eyebrow. “First there was lighting, then fire, and now wind. He’ll try earth and water next.”

“Most likely,” Giles agrees. “Though those will probably the most difficult to pull off. So, how was your last meeting with Ford?”

“He’s improving. We have been able to stop the spread of the cancer. The trick now is to get rid of it,” she explains. “Are there any side effects from the jutsu we used on the recruits?”

Giles shakes his head, “I have seen none. The recruits have not mentioned anything unusual. Even Dawn says that other then the intended increase in their chakra network, everything is fine.”

“She mentioned that,” Joyce replies. “I wonder if we should tell Warren of the results so far. If we let his head get any bigger, it might pop.”

Giles chuckles, “Not to worry. I’ll spar him sometime and teach him a lesson in humility.”

Joyce smiles at him. “How is the training going?”

The librarian answers, “Angel is training Xander. Warren is helping out with that too.”

“I’ve seen the show,” Joyce states. “Should I be worried?”

“I would be more worried about residue between Angel and Xander flaring up from before The Event,” Giles remarks dryly. “Dawn mentioned that her training is coming along nicely under Jonathan’s guidance.”

Joyce rolls her eyes. “Never underestimate the Hyuga pride, though Jonathan admits that Dawn is able to grasp things faster then Hinata could. She still has a long way to go.”

“Oh, Cordelia mentioned that she wants more weapons,” Giles smirks.

“More?” she deadpans. “Where does she think the weapons come from? Kunai trees?”

“She’s still compiling her large weapons scroll and needs more of them,” Giles answers. “Though, she is making a few of her own in her spare time.”

“Oh, that thing. I wonder if she’s going a little overboard with that.”

Giles whispers, “I wouldn’t say that around here if I were you, no matter your ninja ability.”

“Is the mighty Toad Sanin afraid of a little girl?” she retorts teasingly.

He shrugs, “Not really, but I would like to be able to sleep peacefully without worrying about pointy objects ending up where they shouldn’t.” Giles continues, “Angel mentioned that he has an interesting idea for Xander’s Pack.”

“What is it?”

“Their abilities remind him of the Inuzuka clan,” he says.

She thinks about it and murmurs thoughtfully, “Really? This could be useful.”

“He wants to determine for certain how much of their abilities resemble that of the Inuzuka clan before he tells anyone else and raises their expectations.”

She tilts her head curiously. “You’re avoiding it, aren’t you?”

“Avoiding what?” he inquires innocently.

“How is he doing?” she deadpans. Joyce taps the table patiently.

Giles glares at her, “I am only doing this because of your orders.”

“Is that all?” she asks. He seems to be silently debating with himself. “Ah, so a little bit of Jiraiya is involved with you helping train Andrew.”

“Under extreme duress!” he states.

“Irrelevant. Keep me updated on his progress. So how exactly is he doing?”

Giles mutters, “He is progressing at an acceptable rate, considering who he is.”

“Would you rather have Naruto or Andrew to train, if you had the choice?” she asks with a raised eyebrow.

“Naruto!” he exclaims. “That kid only thought about training and ramen, even if he was a little brat! Andrew never shuts up about what movies he has watched and constantly quotes from comic books like his life depends on it! If he keeps this up much longer, his life will depend on his ability to shut up during training!”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” she smiles innocently.

“What are you planning, Tsunade?” he stares at her suspiciously.

“Nothing yet,” she smirks. “But I’m sure I’ll think of something.”

The librarian leans against the table. “Back to business, Warren told me that he is as ready as he can get to deal with Faith’s partial curse mark. He should be able to remove it all at once without killing her, but she will be out of commission for a few days.”

“Are you sure he can do it all at once?”

“I believe with almost 100% certainty that he and I can remove it without any major side effects,” Giles answers.

Joyce leans on the table too. “He knows that I will be there, right?”

“That’s one of the reasons he is confident that she will survive the process,” Giles replies with amusement.

“That’s what I thought. How are Spike and Drusilla doing? Have they been behaving themselves?” Joyce asks.

He chuckles, “Well, for the most part. They keep disappearing to Los Angeles. When I asked them about it, the answer was something about there being too many shinobi around here to have proper fun here.” When her eyes narrow, he continues quickly, “Don’t worry. I made a contact or two in L.A. already. There are rumors that the nightlife of L.A. that everyone is quite shaken up. There seems to be new demon hunters who are leaving no trace. The killing sprees seem to be coincidentally at the same time that our two rogues take their visits.”

“As long as they don’t get in over their heads, I’ll permit it,” Joyce replies.

Giles sighs, “Hate to break it to you, Tsunade, but they would do it anyways. Though, you had better pray that they never get into that situation.”

“You know how much trouble they would have to get into to get in over their heads?” Joyce deadpans. “They would have to assassinate the President of the United States in order to get that kind of trouble!”

Giles whispers, “Don’t say something like that too loud! They might take it as a challenge.” In a normal voice, he says, “That’s my point. I try not to think about it.”

“How are Oz and Kendra?” inquires Tsunade after a long moment.

Giles replies, “Oz’s seal is holding. He sleeps lightly, but at least he sleeps. Kendra seems to be adjusting well to everything. She is constantly pouring over two books. It has me slightly concerned.”

“Which are?”

“The Slayer Handbook and a book on the anime show/manga Naruto.”

Joyce shrugs, “I don’t see a problem with it. I’d be more worried about Angel’s reading habits.” She stares directly at Giles. “Or yours, for that matter.”

Giles shifts uneasily in his chair, “Yeah, moving on. Has Jenny seemed a little distracted lately, or is it just me being paranoid?”

“She has been, and I think I might know what it is.”

“Care to share with the class?” Giles asks dryly.

Joyce shakes her head. “Not yet. I want to confirm my theories before making them public knowledge.”

“Would it cause us any problems?”

“A minor speed bump at the worst. A chance to have some fun at the best.”

Giles smiles, “I can’t wait to find out what it is.”

“No Gamabunta,” she states. He nods. “No toads.” He frowns a little but still nods. “No fire bomb jutsus.” He sighs. “And no going into Sage mode.”

Giles groans exasperatedly. “You take the fun out of life!”

“Yeah, and keep our lives secret,” she retorts.

He rolls his eyes, “I’m not stupid. Is that everything?”

“I’ll keep an eye on my daughters and their teammates, so no need to cover that. That’s all,” Joyce says.

Giles nods, “Yeah, a proud mother never shuts up about how well her daughters are doing.”

Joyce shrugs and says, “You know what? I’m glad that Warren didn’t come this time. He would have gone on and on about his experiments. We wouldn’t have been able to cover anything.”

“Joyce, how long do you think it will be before the storm hits? It’s been too calm lately.”

“Soon, I hope. I hate lull times. I get bored,” she sighs. “Sanin getting bored is always a bad thing. Even with James around, it’s a minor annoyance. Nothing big yet.”

Giles smirks, “It’s sad when we consider the Judge a minor annoyance, but let’s keep it that way.”

Joyce nods and takes a gulp of her flagon of apple juice, which Miss Calendar has run extensive chemical analysis on to make sure it is apple juice. “I suppose you’re right. Let’s hope it stays calm around here for awhile longer. At least until the recruits are ready for something bigger.”
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