Down the Hall
"Papers?" the chunin at the gate asked.
"I have none," the man replied. "I seek to hire nin, but I have no papers nor require entry into the village."
The chunin examined the young man more closely. He was well fed and looked to have seen some fights, but didn't look like he had had any training. His clothes were of a high quality, but very different from anything the gate guard had seen before. "Would you object to a guard?"
"I'd expect it," the man replied earnestly. At an unseen signal a pair of ANBU appeared, one on either side of him startling him. "Wow! You guys are good."
"They'll take you to where you need to go and back," the chunin explained.
"Thank you," the man said gratefully. "The last thing I want to do is wander around in a foreign city when I can't read the signs."
"It's what I'm here for," the chunin answered him. "What do I put down for your name?"
"Alexander Laville Harris," the young man said.
A week earlier…
"Kendra and Willow are both in comas. Willow's prognosis is hopeful, but Kendra's… isn't nearly as bright," Cordelia said as tactfully as she was able.
Xander adjusted his sling, his left arm reminding him of his own bumps and bruises. "Buffy's still good, if on the run from the cops," he said with a sigh.
"My parents said this was the last straw," Cordelia said tearfully, unable to hold it in anymore. "We're moving to LA immediately."
"Oh?" Xander said, his throat tight.
"It's gotten too dangerous they said," she cried throwing her arms around him. "They're packing now, we leave in an hour."
It was almost the final blow for him. The next thing he knew it was the next day and he found himself cleaning the library as if he could fix his messed up life by putting it to right.
"What are you doing here Harris, hoping to cover up what your-" Snyder stopped in mid-sentence as he looked into Xander's eyes and turned and walked away as quickly as possible.
Xander returned to cleaning and found a book that had slid under the table. The title simply read 'Janus'. Recalling the costume spell he couldn't help but open it. It was several hours later before he put it down and returned to cleaning. At some point Oz joined him, neither said a word, lost in their own wounds. "Gold would be best, but too expensive," Xander said suddenly.
"Try silver," Oz suggested as the finished up.
"And I'd need a gun, I think."
"It'll take two people."
"We're two people," Oz pointed out.
"I think one is supposed to be female, 'cause there's a female singing role mentioned," Xander said.
"I can do a pretty convincing Bette Midler."
Do you have any idea what I'm planning?" Xander asked.
"Nope, but I'll help."
"I… thanks," Xander said clearing his throat. "Since I was affected by the costume spell last Halloween I'm technically considered a priest of Janus," Xander explained.
"Going to dress as Superman?"
"No that calls on a facet of Janus that is pure chaos. NO, what I plan to do is call upon him in his role as the opener of ways."
"You're going to get help," he guessed.
"I'm going to hire some people to take care of Angelus once and for all."
"I'm in," Oz said instantly.
"You have need of our services?" the old man asked.
Xander took off his backpack and handed it to one of the masked nin who'd come with him. "This is how much I'm willing to pay up front."
The ANBU examined the bag before opening it and checking for traps, his eyes widening at the amount of silver bars before he emptied it on the Hokage's desk.
"That's a respectable amount," the Hokage admitted.
"Ninety-nine point nine percent pure," Xander said.
"Cut one in half and see."
The old man cut one in half with a thumb nail as if it were a piece of cheese. "I see, a very respectable amount."
"We have a gang of what would probably be considered low level nin we need dealt with and two people in serious condition that could use a med nin's attention," Xander explained.
"Two jounin and a medical specialist," the Hokage decided. "For an A rank mission lasting up to one month."
"That would be perfect, thank you," Xander said relieved.
"If there are any complications the price can go up," the Hokage warned, since this job just screamed complications.
"Scientific and medical knowledge you don't have is considered valuable, yes?" Xander asked hopefully.
"It is," the Hokage agreed.
"Make sure someone has a big backpack then," he said relieved, "because we have a center for study and learning nearby that has info that should far outweigh any problems."
"Have Kakashi and Anko pick up… what kind of medical problems are we talking about here and will the healing take place on the battlefield or in a shelter?"
"They're in a hospital," Xander assured him. "One is comatose after a blow to the head and the other after blood loss and a blow to the head."
"And your people have advances in medicine that we do not?" the Hokage asked curiously.
"Completely different methods," Xander said. "It doesn't help my friends while your way might."
"Yamanaka, Yuri for the medical specialist," the Hokage decided. "She's a bit of a generalist, but her families talents make her perfect for waking people from comas if possible."
"Thank you," Xander said gratefully before ANBU escorted him to the gate once more where he met one of the newly arrived nin.
"Anko," she introduced herself, wearing what looked to be a pair of tiny shorts and a mesh shirt under a leather trench coat.
"Xander," he replied offering his hand.
A man wearing a metal plate on a bandana over one eye appeared in a swirl of leaves. "Yo."
"And the scarecrow is Kakashi," she said releasing his hand.
"I'm not the last one here?" Kakashi said in surprise.
"Yuri needed to pick up an intel pack," Anko replied. "Our boss for this mission mentioned his people may have knowledge we don't have."
"My people don't use chakra," Xander explained. "I kinda don't want to give you a lot of detail until you see things for yourself, so you won't think me crazy and quit."
A blonde haired, blue eyed, young woman appeared in a swirl of flower petals, dressed in a dull green outfit with a lot of patches sewn on it. "You paid enough for a single S rank mission in jewelry quality silver," she said. "You've got us for a month even if you think your goldfish are enemy nin plotting your death."
"That's Yuri the medic," Kakashi introduced her.
"It's Yamanaka Yuri," she corrected. "I'm your med-nin."
"Ok, the portal to home is about four days walk that way," Xander said and pointed off into the forest.
"How about I carry you and we run?" Kakashi suggested.
"Sure," Xander agreed.
Three hours later…
"That cave," Xander said as Kakashi set him down.
"So how many goldfish we talking?" Anko asked.
Xander rolled his eyes. "Just follow me."
The four entered the cave, Xander using a pen light to light their way. The cave wasn't very deep and the back wall was unnaturally smooth. Holding the pen light in his teeth he pulled a Sunnydale tourist guide from his pack pocket and opened a pocket knife.
"Blood sealed?" Kakashi asked curiously.
"Kinda," Xander agreed. "Follow me and don't go wandering off, 'cause we'd never find you. If you see anyone or anything on the path get behind me."
"This is either going to be interesting or insulting," Anko noted.
"Here we go," Xander said cutting his thumb and touching the blood to the wall which rippled like water as he stepped through it, the three nin quickly following.
A silent kai and even uncovering his Sharingan didn't change what Kakashi saw. They were standing in a hallway that stretched on forever with doors of all types lining the sides and the night sky for walls and ceiling.
"Yes, this I wouldn't have believed," Anko said in shock.
Xander held the tourist guide up like a dowsing rod as they walked in silence for about three hundred doors until they came to a door that appeared to be bleeding from numerous claw marks and stank of sulfur.
"This isn't ominous at all," Yuri muttered as Xander stroked the door like a nervous pet and whispered to it until it shimmered and vanished revealing a short girl with blue hair standing in a sandy cave.
"Penis please," she said, holding out her hand.
"I'm not paying that toll!" Kakashi said, hiding behind Anko.
Typing by: The Last Primarch!
TN: Well that escalated quickly.