Rating: PG-ish (non-graphical mentions of murder, one on-screen minor injury, no adult themes)
Summary: NS/Criminal Minds crossover. Dealing with a rogue ninjas is enough of a headache before the FBI profilers get involved.
Notes: written as part of the purimgifts exchange (at AO3). I love the idea of throwing ex-Rangers in general and this team in particular against the profilers and watching the latter stare in horror, but if i'll try doing in a longer fic it'll come out dark and angsty instead of mostly light and funny.
The Bay area had people hung to death from trees in public spots night after night. The victims were all young and fit, but of mixed race and gender. Garcia had them connected to a small dojo, whose owner had an interesting past.
"Hunter Bradley," she said. "Twenty-six. Raised in a tiny-ish community – one could almost say a compound. Poor boy found his parents, murdered, when he was eleven. After which he and his brother were fostered by a neighbor family which had them home schooled."
The team exchanged glances.
"Morgan, Prentiss," said Hotch, "talk to him."
Of all the reactions Emily expected when she and Morgan stepped into the dojo, it wasn't for Morgan to still.
"What's wrong?" she asked quietly.
"That's Tori Hansen," said Morgan, barely moving his lips.
Emily had heard of Hansen as the 130-pound cadet who'd knocked Morgan on his ass and caught Rossi's eye in class. Now a junior agent, she was a sure BAU candidate in a few years.
Hansen was leaning against the office door, watching coolly over the heads of Bradley and his class.
There was a man sitting by the office desk, Pacific Islander, mid-twenties and at least 180 pounds of muscle.
"Friends?" he asked Hansen.
"Colleagues," she said. "Apparently Hunter's a murder suspect."
"Hey now," began Morgan.
Hansen was entirely too amused for the circumstances. "I know what's going on and I know what you're looking for," she said. "So I know what it seems like."
"So what's going on?" asked Emily, before Morgan could say anything.
Hansen and the man exchanged looks. Then the man toppled his glass.
Except the water didn't splash on the desk but flew into the air, glowing blue.
"What if I told you we're supernatural ninjas?" Hansen asked.
The flying water trick convinced the rest of the team, too.
"His name is Yoshi Mori," explained Hansen. "He's Thunder Clan, from an old family, doesn't like civilian-born ninjas much. He'd lost a Council seat to Hunter three months ago."
"And you can prove this?" asked Hotch.
"Not in court," said the man, who Hansen had introduced as Shane. "But he would've left fingerprints."
"You have Hunter in an interview room, you know which questions you want answered on tape," said Hansen. "Now we just need to control which target he goes after, tonight."
You can't keep a ninja in prison, Shane had said, and Hansen desiccated coffee to dust as demonstration. They could strip Mori of his power, the ninjas said, they just needed Mori distracted. And an FBI agent with dormant ninja powers who started hanging with 'traitor ninjas' would make a great distraction.
So Emily drove the ninjas back, stayed for a chat and headed again to the dojo after dark.
A shadow in her peripheral vision was all the warning she'd had before someone grabbed her, and Emily fought back –
A sudden gust of wind pushed the assailant back. In the dim light of the alley Emily could see six black-clad figures facing against him, and then for several long seconds the alley shone impossibly bright before Mori collapsed in the dirt.
Her forearm was throbbing. A knife had fallen from Mori's hand.
One of the ninjas approached her. "Let me see that," said Hansen.
"It's really – "
"Think again," said Hansen dryly. "Take a deep breath on my count, and keep breathing. This is going to burn bad. Three, two, one."
It really did burn that bad as, under Hansen's fingers, Emily's flesh knitted itself together.
"What the hell?" demanded Emily when Hansen let go of her arm.
"What, you thought we're only good for killing?" Hansen had gone back to amused. "And grab a steak the first chance you get, you'll need the cholesterol."
"And let us know if you need any paperwork faked," said another ninja, of a dry, cynical voice.
"I'll pretend you didn't just say that."
Hotch ended up offering Hansen a ride back to DC.
"So, that's how you're that good hand to hand," said Morgan.
"I didn't cheat," said Hansen.
"Cheating is making you faint from low BP. Not being faster."
"Well, technically…" began Reid.
"There's something I don't quite understand," said Rossi, voice even. "That Council seat."
Hansen's calm amusement vanished in a heartbeat. "Why Mori lost it. Why Hunter got it." She looked at the window. "When ninjas go bad," she said, slowly, "this is not what it looks like. It's far, far worse." Pause. "Seven years ago…" She closed her eyes.
"A ninja went bad," said Hotch quietly.
"Yes," she said. Her hands twisted in her lap. "It was bad. It was…"
"It was a war," completed Rossi gently after a moment. "Wasn't it?"
"Yes." She opened her eyes. "We won it. Us six. From two clans, half of us civilian-born. It changed things."
Emily did the math, and suppressed a shiver.
"How old were you?" asked Hotch.
"Seventeen," she said. "But that's not what you want to know." She looked up at him, making eye contact. "I'm not active in my clan. I don't have a council seat, and I'm no candidate while I'm away. I chose this life. I know words aren't going to convince you, but you don't need to worry about my loyalty."
"You were already there when we came," said Rossi. "What would you have done if we didn't?"
She snorted softly. "Mori killed people who had paper trails outside the clans. The question was how to extradite him, not whether to."
"And if it was a purely internal affair?"
"The clans have the death penalty for murder," she said, voice flat. "But so does the US."
She was twenty-five, and she'd been seventeen.
"I'm making coffee," said Emily. "Who else wants?"
"I'll take tea," Hotch said, with a quick glance. "Thanks."
Emily looked at the woman half-curled into the corner of a chair. "Tori?" she asked, using the name deliberately.
Tori blinked at her. "Yeah," she said. "Thanks."