Okay so, I decided to start a series of one shots taking place both in the Afterlife and in the original life. I know I was working on The King, T.K's origin story, but honestly I felt I was losing my touch on that story line so I figured I could work on this instead, since each chapter doesn't depend on the others to exist as a whole. So anyway, please enjoy!
Chapter 1: Out of Focus
Noda gently wiped the flat side of his precious halberd as he patrolled the halls of the school. There'd been a stain left on it after he'd finished slicing up some dead trees when he was training. A man did not bear a defaced weapon.
It was the middle of the afternoon, and the NPCs were out in the halls, talking and laughing in their irritatingly colloquial ways, as Noda made his rounds through the halls. Yuri had employed him to walk around and keep an eye for for any more shadows, and that was what he was going to do; Yuri was the only person he knew who had any sense in their head.
As he rounded a corner, Noda thought he heard something peculiar. It was like the sound knives made when they were slowly drawn across each other's edges, only multiplied in speed by about a thousand time. Furrowing his brow, he turned his head, trying to locate the source of the sound. It was coming from a closed door at the end of the hall, which was deserted at the moment. The storage room; what was going on in there? Narrowing his eyes, Noda prepared his halberd, approaching the dark green door.
He waited a second just in front of the entrance, listening as the sounds of flashing knives continued without hesitation, and he kicked the door open, swinging his halberd over his head and shouting, "Heeyaaah!" before stopping short.
Noda had been expecting shadows or two NPCs doing something stupid or something equally suspicious, but instead he saw his fellow SSS member Shiina sitting in the darkest corner of the room, surrounded by a small army of stuffed puppy dolls. She had her back turned to him, unaware of his presence or just choosing to ignore him, as her two small knives flew through the air at an impossible speed as she manufacturing more dolls seemingly out of scratch. They were all identical, yet the ninja's face was impossibly calm as she worked, her concentration perfect, mental power unbelievable.
Furrowing his brow, Noda lowered the head of his halberd, trying to creep up on the red eyed girl and ask what the hell she was doing when the Kage were attacking.
"Your balance is completely off," a bored voice sounded from the darkest corner of the room.
Noda halted. So she had noticed him, after all. It annoyed him how she could know he was there and choose not to acknowledge it. He saw it as cowardice. Then, realizing what the ninja had just said to him, he barked, "What do you mean, off balance?"
Shiina's blades didn't even change in their progress as she replied. "You entered the room with your weapon above your head and torso exposed. It would have been a simple matter for me to turn and impale you through the heart with a shruikan."
Noda gritted his teeth, tightening his grip on the handle of his halberd. How dare this silly girl judge his tactics? He hadn't lost yet.
"Anger is counterproductive to the goal of complete and total domination," Shiina continued in her dull, infuriatingly controlled voice. "Which is what you always aim for, right?"
Noda could feel the heat rising inside of him. It wasn't what she had said that irked him, he didn't care for it, but he was just humiliated that she could analyze him so thoroughly and pick out his faults with such ease. Not to mention that he didn't understand half of the words she was using.
Snorting, he said, "Shut up, ninja girl. You don't know what your talking about."
Meanwhile, Shiina suddenly stopped swinging her blades through the air. Confused at this sudden development, he could barely react as the female ninja turned and launched herself at him. In less than a second, he was flat on his back with the wind blown out of his lungs. His weapons clattered to the end of the room, sending sparks everywhere. Shiina's shrewd red eyes stared down at him impassively as she held a knee planted to his chest, keeping him down and firmly so.
Struggling, he shouted, "What the hell are you doing, you crazy bitch!? Get off of me!"
"Do not provoke an enemy who has you trapped," Shiina intoned, completely ignoring Noda's offensive comment. "As I mentioned, your balance is pitiful. I barely had to move to knock you down. Everything you do is counterproductive."
She got off of him, then, and sat back down in the darkest corner of the room to resume her intense work. Before she could start though, Noda sprang to his feet and yelled, charging the ninja. He even left his halberd on the floor, something he would usually not have done, but not when he was as infuriated as he was right now.
Without moving her head, Shiina threw at arm behind her and drilled a punch into Noda's knee, taking the steam out of his charge and sending him flying over Shiina's lowered head, crashing into the wall and sliding to a stop at the feet of the girl. Rubbing the bruise that slowly rose on his head, he hollered, "What the hell is wrong with you-"
"Never announce an attack to the opponent before you execute," Shiina interrupted him smoothly. "Your tactics are horrible, your defense is silly, and your balance is still pitiful. Learn."
She waited until Noda moved out of her corner before swinging her knives through the air again. Rubbing his head, the axe bearer glared drills at the ninja's head, before going to retrieve his halberd from the concrete floor. Still grumbling, he threw the door open and stomped outside, slamming the door closed as he left.
When Noda was gone, Shiina pursed her lips in disapproval. How shallow minded, she thought.
Three days later, Shiina was leaning against the wall next to the door of the Battlefront's Anti Angel Headquarters. Although in Shiina's opinion, it wasn't "Anti Angel" enough. A swinging hammer trap at the door, designed by Noda no less, was hardly sufficient for keeping the powerful Angel from entering the premises.
Yuri clicked the mouse on her laptop, and her Operations presentation closed, and the briefing was over. "The operation begins in five hours," she said sternly. "In the meantime, everyone get out and relax. Prepare. Do whatever. Just be ready."
Shiina waited until everyone left the room before exiting herself; it was always a blunder to leave a room first, when someone could attack you from behind. Yuri, of course, did not leave the headmaster's room, but the female ninja believed their leader had a bit more wits than most of the idiots she commanded, and that was enough to earn her conditional trust.
Shiina kept her shawl wrapped tightly around her face as she made her way through the halls, heading back to her beloved shadowy corner in the storage room. Her cute dolls were waiting for her.
A few minutes later, she turned the last corner leading to the storage room. Before she could make her way into the next hall though, she felt a sudden change in the influx of air around her; snapping her eyes open, she caught sight of the blade of a halberd speeding towards her. Throwing her arm up, she caught the weapon by the neck of its handle, stopping its progress an inch front her eyes. Exerting just enough pressure to keep the weapon from destroying her, she flicked her eyes down and caught sight of Noda. Narrowing her crimson irises, she drove her other fist at him, but he blocked it with his shoulder, absorbing the blow. Eyes widening, Shiina pulled her hand back. He was more solid; harder to move. His stance had widened, and he hadn't swung his stupid axe above his head before attacking.
Throwing the blade of the axe away from her, Shiina leaped back and muttered, "Your balance has improved."
Grinning triumphantly," Noda pointed his halberd at her and declared, "You got that right, lady. I almost never make mistakes, but when I do, I can always fix them."
Frowning, Shiina's hands flicked out, seizing the head of the axe pointing at her and twisting it. Noda cried out as his arms were twisted with it. Releasing the halberd, the ninja walked past him and said cooly, "Never point a weapon directly at an opponent," Before opening the door to the storage room.
Grumbling, Noda propped his weapon on his shoulder and stalked away, mumbling, "Stupid bitch..." She listened to his footsteps fade slowly away.
Stepping into the storage room and closing the door behind her, Shiina thought, How shallow minded. She smiled a bit this time, though.
Okay, so I thought this might be a nice little thing to write between these two. Seeing as there wasn't much interaction between them in the anime. Please review! It keeps me motivated!