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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 > NarutoAlphaBetaFR152990,862913250,4167 Dec 082 Aug 11Yes

24

Disclaimer: the unusual. Check chapter 2.

Authors note: Sorry! This should have been out a few days ago, but I was just forgettful and lazy. But here is is!

At the Summer’s House:

Giles and Joyce sit at the kitchen table, rifling through reports. “I was Hokage and had nothing but paperwork. I switch bodies and worlds, and I still have to deal with a load of paperwork!” grumbles Joyce loudly.

“At least it’s nothing compared to Konoha’s piles of papers,” Giles says cheerfully, browsing through the papers some more. She shrugs indifferently. Jenny hums cheerfully in the next room, preparing eggs and bacon to help motivate the Sannin.

After a few minutes of work, Joyce puts her hand on her chin. “You know, Jiraiya, Dawn mentioned to me last week that her friends are starting to notice something’s up. Owen is the only one that has a firm grasp on what is going on.”

“We knew that this was coming,” Giles says soothingly. “I did mention that we would be able to keep this from them, at the most, six months. It’s been four months already. Do you think we should tell them what’s going on?”

“I haven’t decided yet!” Joyce sighs. “I hate being in charge. Why can’t I just have a nice art gallery and use jutsu to make people buy paintings?”

“Because you would probably gamble away your gallery,” Jenny calls from the other room.

Giles inserts quickly, “You also hate being cut out of the loop. You wouldn’t be able to live with shirking your responsibilities for another forty years.”

Joyce ignores her apprentice as she responds, “Let’s push for the six month mark and see what happens before we let them in on our operations. They can choose at that point whether or not they want to help us. Onto a less stressful topic, has the snake showed his ugly head yet?”

“No, and I hope it stays that way,” Giles states firmly, straightening his stack of papers. “I have been keeping an eye on him through the bots and through my spies. As far as I can tell, he has put Orochimaru’s past behind him. He has worked very hard to prove his worth and loyalty.”

“Good. Have you been able to root out the pest?”

The librarian shakes his head and cleans his glasses. “James is better at hiding than I imagined. But he has not been stirring up any trouble recently.”

“No news is not good news in this case,” the Hokage frowns. “He only stays off the radar when he is planning something.”

“Probably, or he is just trying to stay alive,” Giles replies with a smirk. “In any case, he’s not an issue right now. However, Drusilla’s vision is. She has had it every night for the past several days.”

“Have you found anything to do with the shootings?”

“The only thing close that comes to it was something that happened at the school nearly forty years ago,” Giles replies, sliding an old newspaper towards her. “A male student shot a female teacher. They never released a reason. It fits her vision’s description.”

Joyce frowns and calls for Jenny. Once Jenny arrives, Joyce asks, “You have more experience with the supernatural than I do. What do you think?”

Jenny thinks about it, “Well…the only thought is either the ghosts of those two are having a rematch soon or there will be a similar event with a couple there. We should give our teams within the school a heads up. We might be able to prevent anything from happening.”

“Either are possible,” Giles agrees. “I reached those conclusions, but there may be a few possibilities that we’re overlooking. I will get back to you on that. But, Jenny is right that it is a good idea to alert our shinobi. Who should we tell first?”

Joyce thinks about it, whips out her cell phone, and sends out a single text. “We only need to tell one person.”

“Who?” Giles looks at her incredulously.

Joyce smiles, “All we have to do is tell Cordelia and ask her to keep it a secret.” Giles rolls his eyes but cannot argue with her. Nobody keeps a secret public knowledge like Cordelia!

At Sunnydale High School:

Willow, Harmony, Kendra, Faith, Amy, and Buffy stand around Cordelia as she chatters excitedly. “Okay, but you didn’t hear that from me!” she exclaims. Kendra cocks her head in confusion but Buffy shakes her head when she opens her mouth to comment.

Faith mutters under her breath, “I left Boston to get away from girls like this. Noisy gossips.” The snake in her coat sleeve hisses in agreement. Both have a headache from the noisy weapons’ master.

Harmony shakes her head emphatically to what Cordelia said. “I won’t tell anyone about it!” She thinks, ‘Except maybe Xander, Angel, or Oz…’

Elsewhere in the High School:

Tara walks through the hallway, her eyes darting around quickly and her body tense. “Hey!” a voice shouts, making her jump and put her hand on a small concealed blade under her shirt. Andrew slaps her on the back cheerfully, “How are you doing, Tara? Is it just me or do we never hang out?”

Tara glances at him and takes her hand off the knife. “What do you want, Andrew?”

“Nothing. We have history together next and I figured that we could try getting to know each other a little better. It would help teamwork in general,” he explains. “Plus, you always seem to be by yourself. Don’t be so standoffish!”

Tara glares at him, “No. I am Anbu and you are a Genin. Unless ordered by Lady Joyce, that’s not going to happen.”

“Is that why you’re so uptight? Because you’re Anbu? Sheesh! Not even Angel is as uptight as you are,” Andrew sighs dramatically. “What’s your problem?”

She stops walking and turns to face him angrily. “I shouldn’t be here! I should be out protecting Lady Joyce, not going to an American Academy! I already finished my education. I have no need for this waste of time!”

“Um…it’s kind of required by law,” Andrew says with a tilted head.

“Not my problem!” she huffs.

Andrew smirks, “I know that you’re Anbu and all, but aren’t you getting the Yagao and Tara lives kind of mixed up?” She glares at him harder. “That’s your choice, but I doubt it’s healthy!” He puts his hands behind his head and slowly walks away, listening for the sound of incoming shuriken just in case.

The shuriken never come and she catches up to him. “Fine. I’m Tara. I’m sorry for being rude. I am not good with…people. I didn’t have much of a life before Halloween and being Yagao is a lot easier than being me.”

“That’s okay!” Andrew grins, wrapping an arm around her shoulder. “We will work through it together!”

She shoves off his arm and states icily, “I’m not that sorry. I will talk to you. But if you touch me again, I will cut off your arm.” He jumps away and shivers.

“Creeepy,” he whines. She opens her mouth to argue when he points ahead of them. “Hey, I didn’t know guns were allowed at school.”

Tara frowns, “They aren’t.” A young man is calling out to a girl who is just standing there in fear. He raises the gun. Tara dashes forward, jumping off the wall and spin kicking the gun out of his hand. She sweeps his feet out from under him with a kick and slams his head into the ground with her hand in one smooth motion. Andrew watches and just tilts his head a little.

“Cool.”

Tara looks around for the gun, but it is nowhere to be seen. She glares down at the young man. He says slowly as he rubs his head, “What just happened? I was on my way to class when I suddenly blacked out.” The girl that he was pointing the gun at looks just as confused as he does.

Andrew says idly, “Is this what we were told to watch out for? The gun disappeared when it hit the ground.”

Tara instantly flips open her phone. “Yes.” She hits the only number on her speed dial. Joyce’s phone rings. The young Anbu states, “Lady Tsunade, we have a situation.”

At Library after School:

Joyce sighs, downing her large jug of “accidentally” fermented apple juice before getting back to the thick dusty book in front of her on ghosts. Giles is next to her searching through his own pile of books, sneaking a swig of his own from the same jug when she isn’t looking. “You seem to be enjoying this, Jiraiya,” she groans.

He shrugs, “I’m a Watcher and a Librarian. It’s my job.”

Jenny and Willow are facing each other nearby on the computers as they search the web for any information on the event and hauntings.

Angel and Tara are watching the doors and making sure that the research is not interrupted. Angel is reading a Tom Clancy novel while Tara watches him suspiciously, glancing over his shoulder from time to time.

Giles closes his book and gathers the group together. “The ghosts are here because of unresolved issues between them, from what we can gather. Unless we can resolve things, they will keep possessing people in the area and reinacting their last moments,” Giles explains.

Tara crosses her arms, “How do we stop them?”

Jenny sits on the table, “With most ghosts we could communicate with them and find a solution, but these ones are too localized to a specific event. They are going in repeat. They can’t be communicated with.”

Angel tilts his head, “I don’t see how that helps us. What should we do?”

“We want to resolve the situation without killing the ghosts, right?” asks Angel. When Giles nods, he continues, “Then we want to do it without destroying them.”

Jenny answers, “The only way I can think of is for them to possess people that can survive a gunshot wound or have protection against possession.”

Joyce smiles, “We do have a certain knucklehead who has a certain fox inside of him.”

“And the other Jinchuuriki,” Giles reminds her. “Two of them could do it.”

Tara inserts, “I have seen them in action. Oz’s sand could stop the bullet while the other ghost, obviously a female, would be Kendra. As a former Slayer, she can handle it. The beasts are caged. They could stop the possession without killing the ghosts.”

“Call Oz and Kendra. We have a job for them this weekend,” Joyce smiles.

That Saturday Outside the School:

Oz and Kendra are sitting on the school steps meditating. Inside their mindscapes, they are having interesting conversations with their residents. Oz stares up at Shukaku and states in a monotone voice, “No eating. Just make sure they don’t become permanent guests.” The raccoon demon laughs and assures him that he has nothing to worry about. The cat demon does the same but Kendra has an odd feeling that they are hiding something from her.

The Sannin are waiting outside the building with Tara and Angel to see how it turns out. As the Jinchuuriki nears the school, a swarm of locusts surrounds the building, effectively keeping out any more intruders from interfering, if the intruders were ordinary humans at least. Kendra looks around at the locusts, “I hope this doesn’t take long.”

“It shouldn’t,” Oz deadpans. “It’s just a quick mission. In and out.” The spaced around them warps and they find themselves in the hallway where the ghosts first appeared.

Kendra smirks, “That was convenient. Alright, dead people. We are here. Let’s get this over with.” The two ghosts merge with the waiting bodies, making them jerk slightly upon entry. A gun appears in Kendra’s hand as she stares across the hall at Oz.

“Don’t walk away from me!” shouts Kendra as she raises the gun. Oz looks frightened and takes a few steps back. “I loved you and this is how you repay me?” Oz lets out a frightened sob, backing away more. The gun goes off, his sand instantly shooting up to stop it. It barely touches his nose as it stops before it drops to the ground. Kendra drops the gun in horror and cries, “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to shoot at you! I love you, no matter what.” Kendra runs up to him and embraces him.

Oz smiles and whispers, “It’s okay. I love you too.” They close their eyes and press their lips together gently for a tender kiss. The ghosts dissipate into nothingness. The two try to separate but can’t seem to move their bodies. They glance down to see brown and blue demonic energy intertwining around their bodies. Oz shouts mentally, “Let us go!”

Shukaku ignores him, sitting at a table with a pin striped suit on across from a lovely neko woman. “Hey, babe. Come here often?”

She bats her eyes and smiles, “I do now.” The two shout loud enough to interrupt and they sigh dramatically, allowing the scene to end and their bodies to move apart.

Kendra blushes badly, “I am so sorry! I had no idea she would do that.”

“Same here!” Oz says, too shocked and embarrassed to wipe his lips. “Let’s not tell anyone about this, okay?” They hear applause from nearby.

Giles shouts from down the hall, “Thatta’ boy! You get the girl!” He gives her a thumbs up and a grin, before being slammed into the floor by Joyce.

Shukaku grins in Oz’s mindscape at the young man. “Why did I do it you ask? Do you have any idea how boring it gets in here?! Besides…Nibi and I go wayyy back. That sly feline.”

Oz deadpans, “Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.” He turns and walks out of his mindscape, slamming the door behind him as the raccoon begins his history lesson.

Kendra is too busy blushing and hiding her face while some rather…Jiraiya-like thoughts crosses her mind…to respond. Joyce looks at them with a smirk of her own, “Don’t enjoy yourselves too much. You’re still on duty. What you do after hours is none of my business.”

Kendra spouts, “But it wasn’t us! It was Nibi and Shukaku!”

Joyce starts walking away and calls over her shoulder, “Whatever helps you sleep at night.”

Kendra, still completely red faced, whines, “Why doesn’t anybody believe me?”

Angel solemnly walks up to the couple and puts a hand on their shoulders. “As your mentor, I must give you my advice.” He gives them both a thumbs up and grins, “Good luck! I can’t wait to see what kind of kids you guys turn out in the future!” He disappears in a swirl of leaves. Tara shrugs and follows suit. Kendra is too in shock to do anything but stare blankly.

Oz glances at her, blushing slightly, “Would it be that bad to go out with me?”

Kendra glances back at him shyly, “Maybe…I have never had a boyfriend.”

“Sunday night?” Oz suggests. “I make a mean hamburger helper.”

Kendra stares at her feet, “I’ll think about it.” She breaks into a run out of the building.

Oz smiles alittle, “Odd situation, but she didn’t say no.” He walks out the opposite door with a slight skip to his step.

Omake:

Larry walks along with his beautiful lady friend as the spirits possess them both. The woman stands silently, while he recites the age-old lines of heartbreak and betrayal. A gun appears in his hand and he shoots her. As the ghosts disappear into the afterlife, the woman collapses and Larry rushes to her side. “No! No! This is okay. You’ll be all right!” He lifts her up and cradles her head in his arms.

“Um…Larry, isn’t that your puppet?” Amy inquires from nearby.

He shouts with tears in his eyes, “Shut up!! She will never be the same! I was forced to shoot her! How can I ever work on her again with a clear conscience!?” He weeps loudly and holds her more.

Amy sweatdrops. “I’ve heard stories about this kind of thing. He’s only missing the green jumpsuit.” The other students watch on sadly at the heartbroken young man, losing the one woman who would keep him company…until tomorrow.
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