Shinobi One-Half

Chapter 1

Falling Into Destiny

Disclaimer: I don't own this series or any other series. I am just floating an idea. I am making no money, nor plan to, off this venture. If you think of suing me over this, then grow up.

I would like to first personally thank all of those reviewing my stories. I enjoy reading your comments, and try to correct the grammatical errors I miss with my final read-through as well as my spell checkers. The suggestions you all make will help make this story better for everyone to enjoy, as well as allow my to fix some plot holes I may unintentionally leave. If you find any, let me know, and I will correct them and repost the chapters.

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Ranma grumbled as he walked down the corridor, deep into a cave hidden under a temple in Nerima. "Why am I doing this again?" he asked.

"Because the pay is good, Saotome," said Nabiki, right behind him, video camera in hand. "The priest wanted you to check the seals, fix if needed, and that's what you're going to do."

The martial artist sighed. Yeah, and you can take all the money again.

He was thinking it, but he wasn't stupid enough to say it. Nabiki tended to make one pay more in the long run for any such comments.

"And why are you here again?" grumbled Ranma. After all, Nabiki never dirtied herself with any hard work like this if she could avoid it ... usually by having him do it.

The middle Tendo sighed. "The priest insisted that I go along and document the procedure, so he could have future people do this when and if the seals needed it again ... and proof that we actually did it. Apparently, he feels we'd be less likely to cheat him if we have proof it was done, and he says two people need to go: one to hold the camera, and one to fix the seals."

Ranma nodded. "Couldn't find anyone else, could you."

"I'm insulted, Ranma-kun," she said in insincere pain. "I am an honest woman, seeking an honest day's work."

He glared at her, stopping their descent.

"Fine, he insisted I do it, since I was taking the pay and signed up for the job."

Ranma slowly turned around. Why ain't I surprised?

"Besides, Saotome," she smirked, "you know how much I could get for this video?"

That's why I ain't surprised.

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Mousse smirked as the paid actor left, counting the money the nearly-blind Amazon had paid him—as well as not telling him that the fool had paid him nearly four times what he had promised—helps if you can see the bills you are handing over.

The plan was set. The normal priest was out on a fake blessing Mousse had called in about ... on the other side of the Ward. And not only was Saotome down inside the cavern with the sealed demon, but so was the pain-in-the-ass Tendo as well.

If it wasn't for her, not only would he have had enough money to get his eyes fixed, but he would have been able to buy that one present that would have finally convinced Shampoo that he was the one for her.

The fact that said present was a battered tanuki statue that someone had sold the local pawn shop, and not the glittering statue of lovers embraced that he thought it was, had not hit him yet.

Now, all he had to do was trap them down there, where'd they be stuck. And since the Old Hag had never taught Ranma the Bakusai Tenketsu, the worthless tormentor of his love would be forever stuck within the bowels of that demon tomb.

The fact that he had somehow gotten the actor to convince Nabiki to go down there as well was an added bonus.

Now, if he could just find the breaking point on the wall, so he could seal them in. "Why do they always have to be so small," he wondered, as he stared at the fountain in front of him.

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"Hmm," said Ranma, looking at a wall.

"What is it, Saotome?" Nabiki asked, pointing the camera at him. Whatever footage she didn't give the priest might offer some more material so she could blackmail him out of his share of the fee.

"Just reading the wall," said Ranma.

"Will wonders never cease," Nabiki said, fanning herself in sarcastic shock. "Saotome taking the time to read."

"Hey, I ain't stupid enough to have that stuff happen again!" he declared.

"What stuff?" she asked.

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Flashback, nine years before arriving at the Tendo Dojo...

"You dare disturb my rest!" bellowed a minor spirit, as it hovered above the two frightened martial artists.

"I didn't know!" cried Ranma. "Pops said it was just a rusty room with something I needed ta get to be a man!"

The spirit paused, looking over the two. "But there were warnings everywhere!"

"Take the boy, he's the one who woke you up!" yelled Genma, trying to save his own skin.

"You told me there weren't anything in there, and that if I passed this test, then I could learn a new move!" yelled Ranma, staring at his father.

"I see," said the spirit. "If that is the case, then I shall be merciful just this once."

Genma slowly wiped his forehead. It looked like he would survive ... and so would the boy. Damn, now I need to find something to teach him.

"But I shall still exact punishment on you."

"Take your punishment like a man, boy," said Genma, tossing the boy towards the spirit.

"Not him," smirked the spirit. "You!"

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"After that, Pops never had a single hair on his head," said Ranma. "And after that screw-up, I made sure that the next Temple we went across, I got the monks ta teach me how to read this crap."

Nabiki slowly nodded. It did sound plausible, and Genma certainly was not one to think of consequences. "So why don't you put the same attitude towards your school work?"

"Pops ain't ever offered me up to some pissed off spirit in a school," said Ranma, as he continued to read the carvings in the walls.

"And?"

"It says here that this demon was very powerful," said Ranma. "And that it nearly destroyed the land, even when the brave men of the Shogun rose up to defeat it."

"They must have," said Nabiki. "Otherwise, I doubt we would be here."

"Well, it says they had help," said Ranma, pointing to some more symbols. "It says that two Raiju helped them out; a tanuki and a c-c-c-furry thing," said Ranma, shivering at the last bit. "They held the demon while the priests sealed it up inside here."

"Good for them," said Nabiki, quickly becoming bored with the legend.

"But the two Raiju were sealed up as well," added Ranma, "to forever guard the shrine in case the demon was ever freed."

"So if you screw up, we'll have two thunder beasts helping us."

Ranma snorted. "Thanks for having such faith in my abilities," he said.

Nabiki smirked. "So then, where are these seals we need to fix?" she asked.

"We?"

"We as in you, Ranma-kun," she said, smiling, as she looked through the lens of the camera.

Ranma nodded, pulling close to a hundred sheets of the seals from inside his shirt. "Well, we better. This thing says as a precaution, the priests made some sort of seal that if the demon ever gets released from the seals, everything near it will get pulled in ta oblivion."

Nabiki paused a bit, as the idea of her own self in a danger she might not be able to force him into defending her against came to light. "What?"

"Um," said Ranma, straining with the translation. "Something about everything near the shrine being drug into a ... pit of never ending nothingness, I think," said Ranma, scratching his head.

Nabiki gulped. She didn't believe in much, but she could see this being true. After all, she doubted her older sister could ever be possessed.

Granted, an oni bent on making people evil couldn't make her sister do much. But still... "Let's go, Saotome. I want to be out of here in an hour, and not in some pit of never ending nothingness."

"Sure," he said shrugging. After all, what could this pit be like? School? An ocean of food made by the tomboy on a bad day? Guys his father promised him to?

"Why did you just slap yourself, Saotome?" asked Nabiki.

"Trying to get the bad idea of something the dumb panda could have done out of my head," said Ranma, rubbing his cheek.

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Mousse finally nodded at the sealed cavern. As he looked at his watch, he pushed a button.

"One minute, forty-seven seconds remaining."

He smirked. "That talking watch was a good idea."

"Why was that, Mr. Part-timer?" asked an aged voice he knew heralded trouble for his plan.

Slowly, he turned, spotting several girls and an old ghoul he had hoped to avoid. "Um..."

"What stupid Mousse do now?" asked Shampoo.

"My love!" cried Mousse, hoping he could keep them distracted until his little presents destroyed the seals.

"Take thy hands of the Blue Thunder this instant!" cried Tatewaki Kuno. "Surely the Foul Sorcerer is responsible for such a ... wretched attack upon my person!"

"Why brother-dear," said Kodachi, twirling her ribbon, "this does explain your pursuit of Akane Tendo and the redheaded harridan. I knew that you doth protested too much."

"Huh?" said the poetic male Kuno.

"Okay jackass," growled Ukyo. "Where is Ranchan?"

"I bet that baka is off with some other hussy," growled Akane, slightly fearful that it might be true this time.

Mousse gulped. He needed to keep them busy, until it was too late. Surely Shampoo would forgive him after the fact. After all, it was love they shared ... right?

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"So all we need to do is just put some more power into those seals and we're off?" asked Nabiki, trying not to show any nervousness about the fact she was on a mission that could end with her being sucked into oblivion. If it wasn't for the fact she wouldn't get paid otherwise, she'd hand the camera to Ranma and be off.

"Sounds about right," said Ranma, pausing as they walked to read the occasional writings on the wall.

"Anything interesting, Saotome?"

"Not really?"

"Well then, what do they say?" she asked, knowing that like his father, Ranma tended to consider things most people would see as need-to-know, as unimportant.

"Just some tales about the Raiju," he said. "It says the tanuki had five tails, and was the mate of the c-c-furry thing, which had six tails."

Nabiki paused for a bit. In Japanese legend, she had never heard of anything, Raiju or demon, that had so many tails. Hell, she thought Raiju all had one. And the most she knew about was a nekomata, who could have two. Off the top of her head, she could only remember rumors and tales of foxes having more than two tails.

She might count the eight-headed Orochi, but that was a head, not a tail. "Wonder why they had so many," she muttered.

"Says they were favored by Raijin," said Ranma, scratching his head. How anyone could like a cat was beyond him. "Since they were favored, he gave them more power, so they could watch the skies without a storm to sustain them," he said.

Nabiki gulped. God-favored beasts watching a demon, all set on some sort of spell that would suck them all to oblivion if the demon tried to escape. I should have never taken that guy's money.

"There it is," said Ranma, startling her out of her thoughts.

The tunnel widened out considerably, in to a large chamber, one much larger than she would have ever expected into Nerima, let alone Tokyo. A central spire seemed to run from the hidden bottom of the chamber, to end at a pedestal.

On the pedestal, where the multi-tailed Raiju seemed to be holding down ... something ... with their front paws. The something seemed like a hodgepodge of animal features, making Ranma wonder if it was related to Taro in some way. He could make out two distinct types of wings, vine-like tentacles, three mouths, and what looked like spider eyes. But he wasn't about to get any closer to see what else might be there, not if he could help it. The damned multi-tailed cat was scarier to him. Not that he'd ever admit it.

The edge of the platform that they seemed to be gathered on was covered with faded or torn seals. Before that, stretched a solitary path, that seemed to have no other support than the side of the chamber directly in front of them, and just below the pedestal of the animals.

The damned multi-tailed cat was scarier to him. Not that he'd ever admit it.

Beyond that, stretched a solitary path, that seemed to have no other support than the side of the chamber directly in front of them, and just below the pedestal of the animals.

"Saotome," she said at a near whisper, "I don't care how you do it, but get those seals renewed fast. I don't want to be in this place any longer than I need to."

Ranma nodded, pretending to be put out by her request.

Truthfully, he didn't want to be anywhere near that shrine for any longer than he needed. That multi-tailed cat statue was really creeping him out. It was like it was staring at him.

Moving quickly, and hoping none of the seals near that creepy statue needed to be renewed, he got to work, wiping off a ruined seal, infusing his ki into the new one, and slapping it on, pausing only long enough to see his ki spread out from it and into the statue, proving that the new seal had been applied correctly.

All of which was being videotaped by Nabiki.

Nodding at a job well done—and hopefully one step closer to having enough funds to get that new treat the ice cream shop was offering, he moved on to the next one.

He was through the first five ... of a hundred ... when he heard a slight ticking sound.

"Saotome, get back to work," she said, staying where the sixth seal had to be renewed.

"In a minute," he said, wondering around. "I heard something."

Nabiki sighed, hoping the next words she heard were not "Now where the Hell am I?" and "Prepare to die!"

"What the hell?" he muttered, crossing around the statue. It was taking him closer to that creepy cat one, but he had to find out what it was. Who knew, maybe the old guy who ran the shrine had left his watch down here. He wouldn't put it past them to do that on purpose to ensure they actually went down there.

He didn't find a watch.

He found a ticking duck ... with enough dynamite to make a very loud boom. "NABIKI!" he yelled, as he kicked the thing off the edge, and hoped it would fall far enough not to be a problem.

"RUN!" he yelled, as he leapt over the statue and grabbed her, as the explosion went off.

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"For the last time, Mr. Part-timer," said Cologne, "what are you doing here?"

She was currently standing on his chest, as he was currently lying on the ground, having been pounded by Akane for his last attempt to shower love onto Shampoo ... by glomping onto Kasumi.

"That wasn't very proper, Akane," said Kasumi, straightening her clothes, "... even if he did deserve it for touching me like that."

Akane smiled, as she dusted her knuckles off. "Glad to help, sis."

"Shampoo know she no supposed to like Pervert Girl," said Shampoo. "Am sure now. Only Shampoo supposed to be girl who beat Stupid Mousse!"

"See, my love!" cried Mousse. "It is proof that we are meant to be together! Destiny will prevail!"

"Stupid Mousse," said Shampoo, smacking him in the head with her bonbori. "Shampoo not like destiny if that it! Shampoo rather destiny be to be Airen of Stupid Stick Boy!"

"So yet another woman of the Foul Sorcerer seeks my—"

The sound of the other bonbori striking the Blue Thunder echoed across the courtyard.

"Now see what Stupid Mousse do!" yelled Shampoo. "Now Shampoo have Stupid Stick Boy after her!"

"I'd suggest you start talking, child," said Cologne, still on his chest. "Otherwise, I'll have to let her vent some more anger on you."

"Shampoo would never hurt me!"

WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!

"Oh, that must have hurt," said Kasumi, as Shampoo stopped beating Mousse's head.

"Enough, child," said Cologne, holding back the next blow with her staff. "If he's out cold, he can't tell us what stupidity he's done now."

A muffled boom rang out across the courtyard, as the ground shook momentarily. "Too late," Mousse said, before he slipped into unconsciousness.

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Ranma had cleared a good bit of the bridge when the bomb exploded. Even as it began to crack as the damage to the central pillar began to spread, he was still certain he could clear it all and get Nabiki into the corridor and run like hell, before that final seal activated.

Somehow, being sucked into a never ending nothingness didn't sound too appealing at the moment, and being stuck in it with Nabiki, a demon, and two Raiju made it sound even less so.

But the damaged sections spread faster than he thought, and it was only by luck that he managed to grab a hold of the former floor, slamming himself and Nabiki into the exposed surface.

"Damn it!" she cried out, still thrown over his shoulder, and feeling new pain lance across her backside and lower back. She didn't think anything was broken, but there was bound to be one hell of a bruise the next day. "What the hell?"

"Mousse!" yelled Ranma, trying to pull himself up onto what remained of the walkway, before it too crumbled and fell into the pit below. "It was a duck with explosives on it!"

Nabiki clenched her teeth, swearing she would see him fried as Sunday dinner for this.

"FREEEEEEDDDDOOOOOOOOMMMMM!"

Ranma's eyes shot wide, as he pushed more effort into pulling themselves up. "I think ... the demon's freed!" gasped Ranma, finally pulling them up onto the walkway.

"No shit, Saotome," grumbled Nabiki, as she struggled to stand, pain lancing anew up her spine.

"You will not terrorize the humans, you piece of shit!" bellowed a female voice from the pit.

"Even if we fall, we shall serve our Master and ensure you're filth never touches the holy grounds of our home!" came a new male voice.

"You fools!" cried the demonic voice. "If we stay here, that spell those fool priests left behind will finish us off! We'll all die!"

"So be it," said the female Raiju.

"Rather our lives lost, than the countless you will steal!" bellowed the male Raiju.

"And the humans stuck here?" the demon said with a smirk, as something rose from the pit, and rushed towards the still winded duo.

"Shit," growled Ranma, still weak from what had happened, as he dashed and grabbed Nabiki, trying to keep the both of them from being caught by that ... thing. Tentacles sometimes took on a more dangerous appearance to you when you were a girl ... if for even a part-time girl.

A long thick tail rose before them, swatting the tentacle away. "No hostages today, Byel!"

"It doesn't matter, you furred fools!" yelled the demon. "They are already dead! The seal will open within moments and consume them as well as us!"

Ranma didn't care what they were discussing. "Get up, Nabiki," he growled, forcing himself to a standing position, as he helped her move forward towards the tunnel, and hopefully safety.

He could hear it, a slow howling sound, as if wind was blowing past him. The speed was slow, but it was increasing. And the last thing he wanted was to be somewhere he couldn't secure himself, and pulled into the dark pit with the demon and that c-c-cat!

"Saotome," said Nabiki, wheezing slightly, as the air blew past her face, nearly robbing it from her mouth.

"Come on," said Ranma, as he lumbered towards the way out. If he was lucky, he might be able to use one of the thinner areas of the passageway to keep from being pulled into that.

But so far, today hadn't been very lucky.

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"What is going on here?" yelled a man, entering the grounds. "What are you people doing at this shrine?"

"I take it you are the shrine caretaker?" asked Cologne.

"Yes," said the man. "And why are you beating on that special needs person?"

"I AM NOT MENTALLY HANDICAPPED!" yelled Mousse.

"My apologies," said the priest. "I should not have made an assumption based on your clothes."

"What is wrong with what I'm wearing?" he yelled from the ground.

"You're wearing a thick robe in the middle of summer. What else could you be, if not a flasher?

"You aren't a flasher, are you?" asked the priest, fingering his staff. He dealt with so many perverted youth in the area, it paid to be careful.

"It would seem that the fool sealed a young man and woman down in the shrine," said Cologne, bopping Mousse in the head once more.

"A fitting end for the Foul Sorcerer," declared Tatewaki.

"My sister's down there too, you jerks!" yelled Akane.

"But the force that tries to keep us apart is sealed within holy grounds!" proclaimed the Blue Thunder. "Surely the dark mage's spell on you is waning!"

"DIE!" yelled Akane, as she punched him in the head—thus sparing him any important damage—and sending him across the courtyard.

The priest could only stare at the collapsed entrance into the catacombs of the shrine. "No," he whispered.

He grabbed Mousse by his collar, picking him off the ground, as fear raced through his old body. "You will tell me what you've done this instant, or so help me; I'll seal you forever in a bathroom toilet paper dispenser for all of eternity!"

Mousse gulped. This guy was a lot scarier than the Old Hag. Weren't all priests and monks supposed to be pacifists?

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Ranma strained against the pull, trying to keep Nabiki between him and the exit, while his hands dug into the sides of the path, to keep from being pulled back into the chamber. The pull was already strong enough to prevent him from trying to push himself forward, lest he be yanked back into the developing void.

"NOOOOO!" cried the demon, as it began to slip into the maw of oblivion.

"Go back to the Hell that spawned you!" yelled the Cat Raiju.

"At least..." it growled out, as its body sunk beyond the rim, "I will know you two died with me!"

It began to laugh, even as it was consumed by the black hole.

"Fool," said the female tanuki Raiju. "Did you think our Lord would not have seen to it that we would have had the option to escape?"

The two seemed to be hovering just out of range of the miniature black hole, even as more of the room was sucked into it.

"If we leave, the humans in the hallway will perish," said the cat, looking at the tunnel. "To be fair, that they survived past Byel's death is a miracle."

Tanuki nodded. "Sad but true. But are they worth saving? Many of the warriors facing Byel had dark souls themselves."

"It is not for us to judge them, my love," said the cat. "But they do have fear, even I can sense it. The female is full of it; the male is fighting it back."

"A closer look then?" asked the tanuki, as the holds Ranma had ... gave way.

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"You fool!" yelled the priest. "You dare risk all the lives within this world on some petty quest!"

"To put so many at risk to defeat the Foul Sorcerer," said Tatewaki, stroking his chin. "Nay, the Gods themselves would need to bless such an event, if it would free beauties like the fierce tigress and the pigtailed girl, so that they might express their love for me freely!"

The priest glared at the delusional boy, before hitting him with his staff ... hard.

"That hurt, you know," grumbled Tatewaki, rubbing his head.

"I will do whatever it takes to free my beloved Shampoo!" yelled Mousse, earning him a whack on the head from Cologne.

"But doesn't that simply require that you defeat her in a marriage challenge?" asked Kasumi.

"Are you mad?" yelled Mousse. "I could never hurt my precious Shampoo!"

Kodachi sighed. "And here I thought none could compare to the self-serving delusional ability of my brother."

"You don't understand!" yelled the priest. "That demon was very real. And if the fail-safe seal fails..."

Their conversation came to a stop, as the ground around the shrine began to sink.

"What the Hell!" yelled Akane.

"The final failsafe activated," said the priest, clapping his hands, as he fell into a prayer. "May the Gods have mercy upon their souls."

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"They are strange, are they not, my love?" asked the Tanuki. "There are no bonds of trust, of love, of family; and yet he risked his life to save her."

"I try not to attempt a complete understanding of humanity, my dear," said the Cat Raiju. "But these two do seem to be ... unique."

"I think they make a cute couple."

The Cat Raiju sighed. "May I remind you that the last 'cute couple' you tried to assist slew each other during the night?"

"They were still a cute couple, even when the Shinigami came for their souls."

"I suppose we should save them," said the Cat, trying to pull his love's attention away from more hair-brained match-ups. The world had been safe from his wife's ideas of 'perfect matches' for hundreds of years. He supposed he could try and keep it so.

"Yes, our Lord would be most pleased if we were too," said the Tanuki Raiju. "Even if we fail and pass beyond this life, his knowledge that we went doing what he wished will be a great reward."

Nodding, the two raced towards the slowly spiraling humans, time itself shifting to a slow crawl, as they made their way to them. After all, time was a concern for matter more so than for energy.

And Raiju did so enjoy being energy.

Splitting apart slightly, the two beings became complete energy, as the cat surrounded the body of the boy, while the tanuki surrounded the body of the girl. Where they met, the energy seemed to ... caress the other, as a strange pulse began to form.

Within the small range of the two, space itself began to warp, more so than it had for the now destroyed demon. It was as if the space within it was sealing itself off from the world around it.

And in an instant, it was gone, moved from one point in space-time to another, the distance determined by both the wills of the Raiju, and the very item they were escaping from.

But as they disappeared, time seemed to jump forward to its normal speed, as the cavern seemed to collapse more into the black hole.

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Cologne hopped to the new pit, looking at what remained of the shrine, as the priest explained what said failsafe had been, much to the horror of the girls around him.

The hopes were not high that her favored son-in-law had survived that. Even this far from it, she had sensed the immense energies at play, even before whatever had sucked the ground from under the shrine had come into play.

It made Saffron look like ... well, the youngest Tendo.

Shaking her head, she reached into her shirt, pulling out a necklace with a small liquid filled ball at the end. It had been something she had fashioned when the Saotome boy had defeated her for the Phoenix Pill. Inside it were a small drop of blood of either of his genders, and a small compass needle, that would always point to his location, and water to fill the remaining space.

It was also a safe way to tell if he was dead. If he was, then the magic that suspended the needle within the liquid would fail, and the needle would settle on the bottom. Otherwise, it would point to his location.

That of course, was also assuming he was within their time frame. If he had ended up in the past or future, the needle would slowly rotate along the vertical access, horizontal if he was merely out of phase with the rest of the universe.

You'd be surprised how often such things had occurred within the three thousand years of Chinese Amazon history.

But the needle was neither rotating along the vertical axis, horizontal axis, nor was it settled on the bottom.

It was spinning in every direction, as if it had no clue where to point, and as if Ranma was currently everywhere and yet nowhere.

"Most odd," she said, examining the ball. "This will take a while to understand."

"Great-grandmother?"

She turned to see her great-granddaughter behind her, looking solemn. "He is alive, child," said Cologne, keeping her voice down so as to not alert the others.

"AIREN ALIVE!" shouted Shampoo, her excitement overriding her sense of secrecy.

"WHAT?" yelled the others behind her.

Cologne sighed. She really needed to work with Shampoo on a little something called tact.

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Looking up from his den, he spotted a two-colored streak making its way across the sky.

"Hmm," went the Kyuubi no Yoko, staring at the slow moving comet. "What do we have here? Well, it has been a while since any new Bijuu have appeared. So, what are you?"

He stared intently at the light, trying to understand the weird chakra moving within it. After all, since every Bijuu eventually made their way to try and dethrone him, it paid to pay attention to a new possible challenger. He was in no mood to spend another hundred years fighting an upstart Bijuu for his title.

"Hmm, another cat and tanuki, but these are much more powerful than that stupid Shukaku or the Nekomata. Their chakra seems to be bent to help protect the other.

"Yes, must be lovers. Must have been pretty lonely to have hooked up like that. But it also means if one of them is stupid enough to challenge me, the other will assist.

"Could be an interesting fight.

"What's this? I sense human chakra within the demonic chakra! Two Jinchuuriki? But the joining seems ... harmonic?

"Why would two powerful Bijuu willingly fuse with a lowly human?"

The demon fox merely shook his head, as he turned back into his den to return to sleep. "To be sealed in a human, how low can you get."

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Minato Namikaze sighed as his remaining team made their way home with the remaining survivors of the Leaf's frontline assault on the Rock ninja. The third member of his team, Obito Uchiha, was dead, currently sealed inside a scroll to make transporting his body back to the village easier.

But death never got easier, even when you were about to be made Hokage.

He shook his head at the waste of it all. True, they had avoided getting the Fire Country involved in the Third Great Ninja War. But it would be up to future generations to ensure that the loss of life of those of Konoha, especially the loss of Obito in the Kanabi Bridge mission.

The most he could do for the boy now was to store his body in a scroll by itself, as the remaining ninjas from the Leaf held the remaining scrolls that held the fallen comrades and Rock ninjas.

"A shooting star," said Rin, looking up into the sky.

Kakashi paused a bit, looking up with his one uncovered eye. He wished he could lift up the pulled down head protector, but he was still pretty drained from using Chidori so much that day. "Don't they usually burn up? This one is still up there."

Minato paused now, looking up, as a strong sense of demonic chakra seemed to envelop the area. "INCOMING!" he yelled, as the Leaf ninjas each dove out of the incoming shooting star.

The ground shook, as the explosive shockwave of impact rang out, blowing away anything not tied down to the ground, and sending two of the assault force into trees.

Minato stood his ground, his two charges held tightly, as he stared at the epicenter of impact.

There, before him, stood Bijuu!

The tanuki, five tails formed behind it, howled into the sky, while a cat, six tails, roared as well.

We ... are so dead. The team leader could only gulp as he saw the possible worst case scenario play out before him. He was tired, his team consisted of Kakashi, Rin, and four tired jounins fresh from a field operation.

Before them were two Bijuu he had never heard of before—all he knew of in that department for a cat and tanuki were only supposed to have two and one tails respectively.

And they were looking right at him. It took all the mental will the famed Yellow Flash had not to soil himself.

"A kind soul," said the female Tanuki.

The cat nodded. "We charge you with watching over those whom we have saved from death. Do you accept?"

Minato blinked. "Huh?"

Kakashi sighed. His sensei could be a bit dense at times.

The cat chuckled. "We have saved two humans from being killed in a world far removed from this one. They have no home here, no past, and no future unless we find a kind soul to take them in and teach them the ways of this world.

"Do ... you ... accept?"

Minato blinked once more. "You're asking me to watch over two people you saved from death?"

The two Bijuu dipped their heads slightly.

He could only scratch his head. Bijuu helping people. Yes, this was definitely an odd day for him. "Sure," he said. After all, if these people had befriended tailed demons, that made them very special. Even the village elders wouldn't cast such people out. The hard part would be keeping them out of an ANBU lab.

The two Bijuu dipped their heads once more, as they disappeared in a flash of light.

The Leaf Ninja slowly crept over to the small pit the landing of the Bijuu had caused, wanting to see what if anything had been left behind.

Inside the pit, were two forms; a man with loose black hair, and a girl with short brown hair.

"Anyone have some clean clothes they can wear?" asked Minato, after seeing that the two rescued by Bijuu were naked.

"You know," said one of the other jounin, "I can already tell that they have one hell of a story to tell."

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"Free at last!" came a small demonic voice, as a familiar figure rose above the pit.

"It survived!" yelled Soun, preparing to run...er...show people the correct way to leave the vicinity.

"Some demon," muttered the bruised Mousse, having been on the receiving end of Akane's wrath for the possible deaths of her sister and unwanted fiancé.

"Oh, that is just something a colleague of mine shipped to me from America."

The fathers gulped, recognizing the demon, as it flew into Kasumi.

"Oh my," said the eldest Tendo daughter, rubbing the horns on her head. "I'm sorry, but it looks like I'll have to be evil again."

"Start digging, Saotome!" yelled Soun, as he flew into the pit and began shoveling dirt away. "We need your son to defeat this creature and save my defenseless Kasumi!" He still had nightmares about the last time the dreaded oni had possessed his daughter.

"Right, Tendo," said Genma, more fearful of having to face the lack of Kasumi's cooking and Nodoka's sword if she heard what had occurred here today.