Disclaimer: See chapter 1
Authors note: I would just like to say sorry for taking so long on updating. I will Finnish this story, though it might not be as fast as I would like and you all would like for it to come out. The co-author and I will try from now on to keep the updates to no longer then every 4 weeks. If it takes longer, I will just say sorry now. I will just say RL sometimes bits. Please review. We have one or two of you who always does, but I would really love to hear from the rest of you all. So please, if you can think of anything that can be improved, ideals, or just saying how you liked it, please drop us a line. Now enjoy!
Friday Night at Angel’s Mansion:
Medical instruments and open books are strewn throughout the room. Computers sit near the books and odd-colored tubes of fluid rest against their holders on the wall. Faith lies on her back on a futon in the middle of the room with computer-controlled sensors hooked up to her along with Japanese characters drawn on bandages covering her and on her skin, all leading to the partial curse mark on her neck. Her head is turned to the right to give easier access to the seal. The written seals spread out from her body to the surrounding area to form a triangle around the bed. Oriental style writing flows along the perimeter of the triangle.
“Final Check. Is everything ready?” Joyce asks.
Warren sighs loudly, “We’ve checked everything five times! This is as ready as we’re ever going to be.”
“Can we just start this already?” Faith calls from the bed. “I’m not exactly comfortable right now.”
Harmony and Willow monitor the equipment and type at the computers. “We’re ready on this end,” Willow informs them.
“All right then,” Joyce says. “Put her under.” Miss Calendar puts a breathing mask on Faith while an IV pushes her into unconsciousness. She picks up a walkie-talkie and says, “We’re starting the procedure.”
Xander radios back, “Understood. There’s nothing to report, other then Cordelia and Kendra going on and on and on about girl talk. It’s really boring.”
“Just don’t interrupt unnecessarily,” Jenny replies. “This is a delicate operation. Make sure that your backup is on call tonight.”
Xander can be heard over the radio as struggling before Kendra wrests the radio from the boy and states, “Amy, Andrew, and Jonathan are sufficiently prepared in case of emergency. Yugito, out.”
“My team won’t let anything near you. Relax, patrol. Zabuza out,” Spike inserts from his own radio.
The Sanin sit on the three corners and start channeling chakra. Warren says after a long moment, “Have you two noticed something?”
“Noticed what, Warren?” says Giles with annoyance clear in his voice. “You were the one going on for an hour about how we need to focus on this procedure.”
Warren shrugs and keeps his hand in the focus position. “Just that the recruit…what’s his name…Owen, I think, keeps giving us weird looks during training. It’s almost as if he is seeing something familiar when he looks at us but can’t quite place from where.”
Joyce states, “He might have a passing knowledge of Naruto, but I doubt he’ll connect the dots unless he sees us in full battle-garb. Now, shut up and focus!” Warren nods continues channeling chakra silently.
5 ½ hours Later:
Breathing heavily, Joyce releases the focusing hand seal. Sweat glistens on her forehead. She looks over at her coworkers with a relieved smile, “We’re done!” Joyce lies back on the floor and stares at the ceiling. “That was exhausting.” Jenny hurries to her side with a cool glass of water. The Sanin downs the water without a second glance and hands the cup back to her. Some water trickles down her cheek. “Not very lady-like today, are we, Tsunade?” Giles comments.
“You’re just jealous you don’t have any assistants,” Joyce retorts, wiping her cheek on her sleeve.
Warren inspects Faith’s neck carefully and does a scan jutsu on her. After several minutes, he announces triumphantly, “The procedure was successful. The curse seal is gone!” He grins, “I’m a genius.”
Joyce sits up and glares at him, “I’d better do a scan myself just in case, since I am the medical expert around here. You might have missed something.” He scowls back at her.
“I am a Sanin. I don’t miss things like that,” Warren snaps. “Especially my own creations.”
Giles says smugly, “And pop goes the ego. Go tell the teams that it worked. They’re waiting on the news.” Warren grumbles and heads to the radio to tell them.
Joyce glances over the medical equipment and mutters, “I’m glad we took up Faith’s suggestion.”
Faith’s team is fighting a few vampires. Anko stands with a bored look while a vampire punches at her. She easily redirects the vampire’s wrist and holds it high behind his back. His gold watch shines in the streetlights. She tilts her head curiously and pulls off his watch to examine it. “What are you doing?” the vampire shouts. “Give that back!” She pockets the watch and shakes her head. Her other hand wanders through his jacket and pockets, retrieving a wallet and a few credit cards. “That’s mine!” he roars.
She says apathetically, “Mine now.” She stakes him and he explodes into dust. Jonathan watches her with his Byakugan and lays into his opponent, pounding the girl vampire with strike after strike. She collapses to her knees and grasps her chest.
“What are you doing, Anko?” he inquires, turning to face her. “It looks like you just mugged the vampire.”
Andrew shouts enthusiastically, “We’re mugging vampires now? That’s awesome! I’ve always wanted to do that! It’s going to be like in the movies when—“
“Consider it our payment for this mission,” interrupts Faith with a mischievous grin.
Jonathan tilts his head to the side and thinks about it. “Mission? Well…you have a point.”
When Andrew has a confused look on his face, Faith says, “What did you go as for Halloween?”
“A ninja,” the blonde says slowly.
“And what do ninjas do?”
“And what do they get for missions?”
His face lights up, “Our payment! I wonder if they have any extra packs of ramen on them.” Shadow clones of him tackle the vampire and pin him down while the real Andrew searches through its clothes. “I like this!” he says as he pulls out a wallet. “And this!” The clones remove the vampire’s leather jacket and toss it to him. “And this!” He pulls out a pair of cool sunglasses.
Faith grins, “You’re getting the picture.”
Jonathan glances over his shoulder at the vampiress who is slowly trying to get to her feet. He back kicks her in the face and kneels over her unconscious form. He goes through her jacket, careful to not appear to be doing anything…questionable, and retrieves any valuables. He whispers to her, “It’s nothing personal.” He drives a stake into her heart and she dusts.
The Next Morning at the Library:
The library doors open and Giles looks up from his paperwork to greet the previous night’s team, when loud music starts echoing through the room. He looks confused until Faith, Andrew, and Jonathan enter the room. Andrew has a large stereo set on his shoulder, complete with an oversized leather jacket and sunglasses on. Faith has two or three wallets sticking out of her pockets with a gold watch on her wrist, fresh lipstick on her lips. Jonathan walks in with sunglasses as well and his hair slicked back. They stop in front of him and Faith says smoothly, “Nothing unusual to report about last night. Just the normal vamps.”
He stares at them for a long moment. “And…where exactly did you get all of your new…accessories?”
“Oh, we just mugged a few vampires. Then we decided we wanted more, so we robbed a vampire nest,” Faith replies with a smile. “It was fun.”
Jonathan inserts, “It was quite profitable.”
Giles stammers, “You-you robbed the vampires?! What were you thinking? They could attack you while your guard was down! They could think of ways to kill you! You were stealing from the undead! Have you no respect!”
Faith casually leans over the desk and places her hand on his papers. “Giles,” she says sweetly. “We are already pummeling and destroying the undead. I doubt stealing from them will take away from what little “respect” they have left. Besides, who would you rather pay us for our missions? You or the vampires?”
“Pay?” he inquires with a quirked eyebrow.
“We went as ninjas, Pervy Sage,” Andrew states. “We used to get paid a lot for doing stuff like this! Sure beating up the bad guys is fun, but I’m not exactly getting an allowance for this kind of work.”
“Risking our lives requires a salary,” Jonathan intones solemnly. “It is only reasonable compensation for our efforts. If you would prefer that we no longer take the payment out of the vampires’ hides, then I suggest you find deeper pockets than what you have shown us this far.”
Giles leans back in his chair and looks from face to face slowly while he thinks. When none of them back down, he sighs, “I’ll spread the word among the other teams, though I’d place money that Spike is already doing it.”
Faith grins, “Spike, Drusilla, and I going for a mission sounds like fun in the near future.”
“You bet!” she beams. “It’d cover expenses for anything we need, like new weapons, for months. It’s not as if the Watcher’s Council will pay all…20 something of us.”
“Point,” he admits.
The librarian sighs, “I still can’t believe I didn’t think of it first.”
“Maybe if you ever got off your lazy backside to think, you would have,” Warren smirks.
“Keep pushing, snake boy. Just say that again,” Giles warns.
Jenny hands glasses of water to the other Sanin. “What are you doing, Shizune?” Joyce inquires while staring up at her.
“My job,” Jenny replies. “You all worked. You all get water.” The blonde Sanin grumbles and rolls her eyes. “Besides, they need to cool off.” She refills their glasses before dumping it on their heads. “Now.”
The boys grumble while Joyce grins triumphantly.
Giles takes off his glasses and glares at Shizune. “Getting back on track, *coughtraitorcough*, we can use this data to take care of Xander’s curse seal and then perhaps Amy’s.” Jenny beams mischievously and walks away with the cups.
After a long moment, Warren shrugs and admits, “It has potential. This is going to be much more difficult though. Xander is already fully at the first stage and Amy is at the second.”
“We know,” Joyce states. “We’re lucky this procedure was successful this time. Shizune, please store the data.” Jenny nods quickly.
Warren says quickly, “But, I’m certain that after I analyze the data personally, I will come to a solution to deal with the other two within a week or two.”
“Talk to you in two weeks then,” Giles retorts. “If you rush this, and they die, I’ll hold you personally responsible.”
“G-man! Where’s the trust?”
“Call me G-man again, and I will break a hand. The trust is the same place that it was in the forest years ago. Moving on!” Giles snaps.
Joyce rolls her eyes, “I’ll be leaving now. There isn’t enough room in this place for all of us and your egos. Shizune, help me up!” Jenny stares down at her with her hands on her hips. Joyce pouts, “Please?” The assistant mimics her master by rolling her eyes and helps her up.
Warren and Giles say simultaneously, “Do we get help up too?”
“Nope,” Jenny smiles. “You’re big boys, right?”
“I’m a big boy,” Warren grins. “But I’m told that I am missing a woman’s touch.”
“The only person to tell you that would be your pet snakes. No,” Jenny states before walking away.
The Next Morning:
The doorbell chimes repeatedly. “Shut up!” The chimes continue. Heavy steps are heard across the wooden floor. The door opens up to reveal Amy holding her flute like a club, shouting, “What?!”
Harmony and Willow look slightly apologetic. “You know how to do some magic, right?” Harmony asks hesitantly.
“A little, why?” Amy asks, lowering her flute.
Willow explains, “Well, you see….we would like you to cast a spell for us.”
“I don’t do the dark arts,” Amy replies. “What kind of spell are we talking about here?”
The two exchange hesitant glances and then finally say at the same time, “A love spell.” Amy raises an eyebrow.
“You two want to fall in love with each other?” She looks between the two slowly. “I guess I could, but I thought you were into Xander…unless he is into that sort of thing.”
Willow blushes brightly from embarrassment while Harmony exclaims, “That’s disgusting! No! I wouldn’t even look at her if given the choice! There is no way I would even…no! That’s…no!”
Willow glares at her. “Actually,” she grinds out, her face still the color of her hair, “We want you to cast a spell on Xander so he’ll choose his true love.”
The flute-wielder gets an uneasy feeling. Flashes of her mother and Orochimaru both flash through her mind. Their experiments and manipulation flood her thoughts. When she looks uncertain, they both give her puppy eyes. She thinks, ‘Well…it’s just a low level love spell. What’s the worse that could happen?’ “And if it isn’t either of you two?” Amy inquires, leaning against the doorframe and looking at them with amusement.
“He’ll choose me,” Harmony says proudly. “He’s just being nice to Forehead because they’ve been friends since forever.”
“He’ll choose me because I actually care about him for who he is, not because he’s a hunk!” Willow retorts evenly.
Amy looks back and forth between them. “He’s a hunk, eh? He is kinda cute, I guess.” The two stare at her in horror. “But, I suppose I could cast the spell for you. It’s more complicated then I’m used to, but I can manage.” She grins evilly. “I just want to see how this turns out. Who knows? He could just choose me.” Their glares shift from each other and intensify on her.
“Then make it so that he has to choose between me and her!” Harmony screeches.
“What she said!” Willow replies.
Amy smirks, “Yeah, that’s what she said.” She rubs her chin thoughtfully. “Yeah, I can do this. I just need something of Xander’s…” Harmony instantly holds out one of his shirts while Willow holds out one of his towels. She stares at them blankly. “That was disturbing.” She takes them and gestures them inside. “Follow me, girls. Let’s do something about this lover’s quarrel of yours. But, as a warning, I haven’t had much practice with magic lately with all my ninja training going on.”
They chorus, “We don’t care!” She shrugs and leads on. The nagging uneasy feeling still lingers, but she decides to ignore it.