Almost Easy @thiccanko
Chapter 1: The Long Talk

Naruto flinched as he downed yet another shot of the bar's strongest liquor. He slammed the small glass onto the wooden counter he rested his arms on, taking a deep breath as the liquid slowly spread a very warm feeling throughout his body that he was all too familiar with by now. Had he'd been a normal shinobi, his liver would be screwed. But even with his healing factor granted to him by Kyuubi no Yoko, he still could feel every ounce of sake that he consumed over the last hour or so. His eye itched and the simple movement of rubbing it made him feel as though the world started spinning below him.

The bartender that stood a few feet from him looked at him and sighed. He'd seen some pretty impressive drinkers in his years at bartending this place, but he didn't know anyone who could take fifteen shots of his hardest stuff like this kid. And Naruto was a minor, at that. Here, the rule was that the word 'teen' cannot be in the number of your age in order for them to purchase drinks. And Naruto was seventeen. At the other bar across the village, anyone sixteen and up could drink. But this one was for adults that had a bit more mileage in life. He had refused to let him buy anything at first, but Naruto insisted that he had the money, and needed to drink. If it wasn't for the look in his eyes that the bartender saw, Naruto probably wouldn't have even been here. He saw that the kid had been through something, and even the bartender could tell he could really use a drink.

"Another." Naruto slurred, finding that his tongue went numb from the chemicals he consumed. The bartender rolled his eyes and shook his head.

"Kid, if you have another drink, you'll match your age. I think you've had enough." He says, looking at Naruto sympathetically from across the counter. Naruto looked up at him with a minor glare, finding it hard to focus his eyes on him.

"I'm fine, just... gimme 'nother one." Naruto commanded, extending his hand out as if the bartender would just hand him the whole bottle.

The clerk shook his head, "Sorry kid, I'm not giving you any more to drink. I shouldn't even be allowing you to sit here right now. So why not just go home and stay there for the rest of the night before you do something you'll regret, huh?"

Before Naruto could reply, the bartender walked away to serve someone else.

"Asshole." Naruto spat. Despite the clerk refusing to give him another drink, he knew that he was right. Naruto was fucked up. He knew he needed to get home soon, but decided to wait until some of the alcohol dissipated from his system. If he tried to go home now, he'd probably fall all over the place.

He turned around in his seat and overlooked the whole bar. There wasn't many people here, considering how it was a Monday night. Most people were probably preparing to go to bed right about now.

Soon, he spotted someone he knew. Since the alcohol had greatly affected his ability to think clearly, he couldn't remember her name. He looked at the posterior of the woman wearing nothing but fishnet, an orange skirt, and a bra on. She was bending over one of the pool tables to reach across and hit a cue ball with her cue stick.

It was then that a feeling of lust entered Naruto's body. The position she was in... It was hypnotic. Naruto wasn't particularly known to ogle women in a public setting, but damn, she was sexy.

He still couldn't remember her name, even as he looked at her purple spiky hair that was tied in a weird upside-down ponytail. However, it was a trigger for him to start thinking about the point in his life where he engaged in the Chuunin exams, particularly the test he had to take in The Forest of Death.

Then, for some reason, he unconsciously brushed his fingertips against his left cheek. He noticed this and then remembered how he managed to get a cut on that cheek before he entered that deadly forest...

Anko. That's what her name was.

"The proctor lady from the second part of those exams..." Naruto remembered. He never gave Anko much thought, let alone a lustful one, prior to tonight. She was actually pretty scary and creepy from what he could remember. But right now, he was eyeing Anko's body down like a starving lion that just spotted a disabled gazelle. Anko's legs were nicely toned and looked as smooth as velvet. Her butt was being pushed out from the position she was in, and even though Anko had enough decency to wear black, skin-tight shorts underneath, Naruto could see under her skirt. Her cheeks were round and grand in size, and looked as though it had the perfect combination of firm and soft...

Anko then moved to the side of the pool table, giving him a profile view of her whole body. Her breasts looked just as wonderful as her backside. Her waist was thin with a flat stomach, which showed a slight toning of abs. He noticed how she wasn't wearing her trench coat like she usually does, but saw it hanging on a rack which was close to her table. She had to know that naturally, in a bar predominantly filled with men, they would be eyeing her down if she wore the outfit she was wearing without the coat, right? Did she crave the attention? Or was she just trying to cool off and didn't care about the half of a dozen eyes in the bar ogling her body down?

The reason was irrelevant to the fact that he never noticed until now how tantalizing Anko looked to him until today. The alcohol could very well play a factor into this, though, but at the end of the day, it didn't matter. Naruto liked what he saw.

He saw Anko bend over again, and saw how nice the arch in her back looked. She had curves that could put some models to shame. The more he looked at her, the more uncomfortable his pants became.

Soon enough, Naruto surrendered to his sultry thoughts, edging him on like a good wingman would.

Next thing he knew, Naruto was standing. Behind Anko.

With both of his hands full of ass.

Then, he was on the floor.

Everything had happened so fast. It seemed like two seconds ago, he was still sitting at the bar, checking Anko out as she practiced her billiards skills. Now, he was on his back, with what felt like pressure on his right cheek. Anko punched him, but the alcohol numbed his sense to feel anything. People at the bar looked on with intrigue, wondering how things were going to play out.

Naruto lifted his torso, and saw Anko staring down at him with a face that even death himself couldn't make.

"You've got to be joking." Anko stated with a deadpanned expression upon actually seeing who her harasser was, "Who the hell let a Genin in here?"

Naruto only stared, holding the cheek Anko had struck with a lot of force. Did he really just grope Anko? A Jounin that had damn near a decade over him in age?

"I, uh..." Naruto mumbled. He didn't know what to say.

Anko became frustrated with his lack of a response and grabbed the front of his coat.

Now, Naruto found himself face-to-face with her.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't ram this cue stick right into your colon right now." Anko ordered.

Naruto looked at her.

Then, he began chuckling. Man, was he fucked up.

"Because I'm not really into stuff like that?"

"Wow." Anko muttered under her breath. This kid had a fucking death wish, "You're fucking with me, aren't you?"

Naruto laughed. He honestly didn't care anymore, "Not really, but trust me, I'm down if you are."

The Jinchuuriki let out a grunt when Anko dropped him, making his back slam against the hardwood floor.

"Don't kill him yet, Anko." The Jounin told herself with a deep breath, closing her eyes and counting to ten. She then dropped the pool cue and grabbed a kunai from her holster on her thigh. She crouched down in front of Naruto on the floor, and pointed the blade right at his jugular.

"Hey," She began with another deep breath, "You're lucky that you're young and stupid. It's actually saving your life right now. Because I can assure you that if you were any one of these older assholes that are currently looking at us, you'd have one of these pool balls lodged in your skull right now."

"So does that make me special?"

Anko closed her eyes again.

"You're making it extremely hard for me to not kill you in front of all these people. You realize that, right?"

"Well, maybe that's what I want. You realize that, right?"

Anko was confused by his answer. She never really knew Naruto too well, but she did know who he was. She remembered him being the only loud-mouthed Genin mocking her that one time she was the proctor for the Chuunin exams a few years back. She also remembered the reports of him among the ANBU from them chasing him around the village whenever he committed pranks. She had to admit though, some of his pranks were golden.

However, the reason she was confused was because she knew enough about Naruto to know that he wasn't being very 'Naruto' right now. Something was wrong with him.

She analyzed him, studying his features. He had bags underneath his eyes. Yep, he'd been crying. A lot, too. There's definitely a reason why he was in a bar he was not supposed to be in, getting drunk and making decisions that ended up giving him a fist to the face. Was it her responsibility to figure out why? Of course not. She could, and probably should, just kick his ass and let that be his lesson. He grabbed her ass, after all. She'd done a lot worse to men that did a lot less to her.

So why was it that this jackass was getting a free pass?

Anko shook her head and stood up, "I'm probably gonna regret this." She muttered to herself. She placed the pool stick that was in her other hand on the pool table and put on her trench coat.

"Get up." Anko called, heading toward the exit, "Follow me."

Naruto was confused. Anko stopped at the door and looked back at him.

"I said lets go. Get off your ass, and come with me."

Naruto still wondered what exactly was going on, because nothing that happened in the last ten minutes was going as expected. However, he nonetheless decided to do as she said. He stumbled to his feet and shakily followed Anko out of the bar, becoming the main conversation among the people remaining in the bar for the rest of that night.

Anko had to almost literally drag him to where they were going. But soon, Naruto found himself inside an apartment, which he could only assume was Anko's home.

"Take a seat." She told him, as she walked in a different direction while taking her trench coat off. Naruto spotted a couch a few feet away and did as he was told. He wondered what Anko was going to do. Were they going to have sex? Was she going to literally kill him? Shockingly enough, Naruto wouldn't have a problem with either scenarios.

Anko then came back and sat next to him on the couch. She leaned back and sat her feet up on the coffee table in front of her.

"What's going on with you, hun?" She asked in a tone that barely sounded like a question, as if he was wasting her time. She wasn't looking at him and had a somewhat bored expression on her face.

Naruto chuckled drunkenly, "Well, I was hoping you'd answer that for me. I can barely remember what happened in the past ten minutes."

"No, smart-ass." Anko responded, clearly annoyed, "What's going on with you? Why were you at a place like that, getting wasted off your ass? I know you probably just finished dealing with teen angst and puberty, but seriously, you're not doing normal shit that someone your age should be doing." This time she was looking at him.

Naruto gave a small chuckle and shrugged, "Hey, maybe I'm just mature for my age."

"If anything, it'd be quite the contrary." Anko shot back. "Look, I know you're not a bad guy. Stupid? Probably. But there's no reason for you to even think to have the audacity to grab my ass, give me smart ass remarks, and continue giving me smart-ass remarks despite how I made it clear that you were making it harder and harder for me not to just end your life with each passing second. And I not only say this as your superior in rank, but as someone from the opposite gender who would appreciate it if you don't do what you did to me to other women as well."

"I'm sorry." Naruto said, "Can we kiss and make up?"

Spots of blood flew onto Anko's hardwood floors.

It took Naruto well over a few seconds to realize what happened. All he heard was a quick woosh of air, then the sounds of liquid droplets hitting the ground. But then, he felt a warm and wet sensation sliding down his cheek.

Anko sheathed her kunai and rested her head in her palm, "Okay, see, what you're not going to do is think that you're gonna play this creepy little game you think we're playing without receiving some kind of repercussion for it. You're not being funny or cute, I'm telling you that now." She said sourly, yet still sounding bored.

Naruto wiped his face and was shocked to see his hand covered in blood. Anko sliced his cheek open. He was hit with nostalgia from the first ever time he ever interacted with her, and it wasn't good nostalgia. Especially since she cut him deeper now than she did before, as droplets of his blood was slowly leaking and dropping down his chin, staining his orange pants.

Naruto finally got the message.

"Okay, I'm sorry..." He apologized, stunned at Anko's speed. She drew a kunai, positioned it in a way to cut him, and went through with the motion of cutting him all in less than the time that it took him to blink. "Shit, you cut me pretty deep... I'm dripping blood over here!"

"Yeah, well, you need to understand a few things. One of them is that what I did was just a warning. A polite one, at that."

Anko turned her head to see Naruto just staring at her, "Polite?!"

"For me, anyways." She shrugged, "And understand that you probably got maybe one or two more warnings, that will likely be worst than the last, before I start getting mean. And understand that I won't kill you. But trust me, I know how to make you wish that I would. I'm one of Konoha's best interrogators for a reason."

Naruto had to say that he was impressed at how fast she made him sober up. And he was sure the Kyuubi didn't even contribute to that as much as Anko just did.

"Oh, and since you consumed what seems like an impressive amount of alcohol, your blood is going to be a lot thinner. You can definitely slip away from blood loss if you keep going down this route." Anko then turned her head to him, "Now would you like to start over?"

That question was probably the most polite she's been since the bar, oddly enough.

"Yeah..."

"Good." Anko nodded. "Now I'll ask again. What's going on with you? What's got you acting like such an ass?"

Naruto took a deep breath and understood what was going on now.

"Well, I just... I'm... I just don't want to be here anymore."

"Here, as in alive?"

"Yeah."

"Oof." Anko sighed, "Well, that's actually pretty obvious. You must have a death wish if you were pulling the things you were pulling with me. Humbly speaking, of course."

"How is that humbly speaking?"

"We're getting off-topic." Anko cleared her throat, "Care to elaborate on why you feel like this?"

Naruto took his time to answer that question, and Anko patiently waited.

"Because I'm... a monster."

Anko's eyebrow raised. She had to tread carefully here. Obviously, she knows that he's the Kyuubi's jailer. But she hasn't been brought up to speed in knowing if he knew that himself. And she wasn't too sure if he was referring to his actual monster, or himself.

"You're just young and dumb." Anko shrugged, "And hey, all of us were young and dumb once upon a time. That doesn't make us monsters."

"I know you know about me and the Kyuubi. Every adult does." Naruto said matter of factly.

"Oh thank God." Anko sighed, "This conversation was going to be difficult for me otherwise."

Naruto shook his head and stood up, "Look, I'm sorry for being such an asshole to you. For what it's worth, I genuinely just thought you were attractive, but I do know that what I did was very uncalled for, and I deserved to get punched in the face. You hit really hard, by the way."

"Ooh, how noble and flattering." Anko remarked with a smirk.

"But, obviously I'm not in the proper mindset to be around people right now. So I can just go home and leave you alone. I know you probably don't want to deal with me." He said with a sigh.

"The dickhead version of you can go kick rocks, for sure. But, if you continue to speak to me the way you have been since I sliced your face open, I can allow us to have a respectable, and non-lethal conversation." She said.

"Nah, that's okay..." Naruto replied reluctantly, "I should probably just turn in."

Naruto held his bleeding cheek as he started heading for the door. But before he could turn her doorknob...

"Hey." Anko called out, "If I really didn't want to deal with you, I'd have just kicked your ass and left you at that bar. Trust me, you're actions have warranted just that." She then turned to look at him. This time, for what felt like the first time, she looked him straight in the eyes.

"Naruto, I'm trying to help you out." She stated. She hated being what most people would consider "kind", but she was willing to do so for those she respected. Most people didn't really deserve her kindness or respect, in Anko's eyes. However, Anko always saw Naruto and thought that he deserved a ton of respect, not only from herself, but everyone. Being the jailer of a being that could single-handledly wipe out this entire village was only one reason among many others why she thought he deserved to be treated with respect and consideration. She had seen how the village shunned him, berated him, and was so harsh on him for something out of his control. It always disgusted her to her core. And while she tried not to care too loudly, as to avoid getting roped up in unnecessary drama, she knew that her line of duty was not only to protect and serve her village, but to still look out for her comrades. Especially the Yondaime's son. Anko put two and two together relatively fast to figure that out, and Anko honestly thought it was somewhat obvious.

Besides, she honored not only the Yondaime as her former Hokage, but she honored the Uzumaki as well. She faintly remembers interactions with his mother, Kushina, when she was younger that helped her not give up complete hope in humanity. At least not yet.

"You consider slicing my face open as trying to 'help me out'?" Naruto questioned.

"No, I consider slicing your face open as a polite warning to you that I'm not one you should piss off. I thought I made that clear multiple times already."

Naruto didn't really have much to say to that.

Anko got up and went to her kitchen to pour herself and Naruto a glass of water. She came back and handed him a glass, which he accepted. He was actually pretty thirsty.

"Anyway, I told you to come here so we can work together on making sure that we get you back on the right path. I know we don't really know each other too well, but you are my comrade. And if you're trying to throw your life away, its my duty as a kunoichi of this village to prevent that from happening." Anko explained.

"So the only reason you care is because it's in your job description then?" Asked Naruto, slightly offended. It seems like the one time he gets someone to care for him, its only because it's was because they 'had' to..

"Kinda." Anko replied honestly, "But I'll be honest, I only look out for those worthy of respect. Yes, being in the line of shinobi is an honorable and respectable thing, but I've met a lot of shinobi that wouldn't know honor and respect if it was tattooed on their ass."

"That's a funny visual to think about."

"Shut up. My point is that I know that you have a demon sealed inside of you. Not just any demon, but a demon that nearly wiped us off the map if not for a sacrifice from our previous Hokage. And you're doing a favor to our village by doing your part in that sacrifice by containing something that could not be killed. You should be respected and appreciated for doing what you're doing, because this village would not be standing if not for you."

Naruto didn't know what to say. No one has ever spoken to him like that.

Anko noted his silence and continued staring at him before shaking her head, "I'm gonna be honest, the fact that this village does what it does to you knowing the situation almost makes me ashamed to be a kunoichi here." She sighed. She then got up and found a sake bottle sitting on her kitchen counter. She poured herself a shot and downed it with no recoil.

"Did you have enough to drink at the bar?" She asked, holding the bottle in an offering manner.

Naruto shook his head, "I sure did." He politely refused. Anko nodded and sat back down. She patted the seat next to her and Naruto hesitantly complied.

Anko sighed, "Look, our line of duty is rough, Naruto. Sometimes we do things as shinobi that will make us hate ourselves. Sometimes we will be put through so much that will make us wish that we were dead. But you know what keeps us strong? Our unity. How we as shinobi must look out for each other, and keep in mind that we do what we do for a better tomorrow. It is up to us working together to make sure that Konoha remains the strongest nation of all shinobi nations. And each and every one of us are crucial pieces that go towards making sure it stays that way."

The purple-haired kunoichi looked him in his eyes again, "And you are a crucial peice just as much as the rest of us. My job as a kunoichi is to make sure I look out for my comrades, yes, but I also deem you as someone who deserves... better than what you've got."

Naruto bit his lip in an attempt to somehow hold back his tears. Once the first tear left his eyes, many more followed after.

Anko gave a small chuckle and sighed as Naruto burried his face in his palms and began sobbing, "Great job, Anko, you made him cry."

Naruto's sobs continued until he managed to choke out, "You... you don't understand..."

"What's there not to understand? I'm sure that I don't need to know specifics to know that you deserve—"

Naruto's sobbing came to a halt as she started speaking. He took a deep inhale of air before interrupting with:

"I murdered my own teammate."

For once, Anko didn't have an immediate response. She was taken off guard.

"I did what only the lowest of shinobi would do. I'm a monster. I hurt and kill those around me, and I don't deserve to be in the presence of people who are trying to do good." The blond was gripping at his hair now.

Anko didn't want to pry, but something was amiss. The interrogator was a very good judge of character, and could tell that Naruto wasn't what someone would describe as a 'killer'. And Anko surely knew some killers in her day. His duty as a shinobi may teach him how to kill, but not to an extent where he'd voluntarily murder someone of his own ranks.

"Wow, the poor SOB must've really pissed you off then."

Anko discovered that was the wrong choice of words instantly when Naruto's head snapped toward her and his eyes weren't blue anymore. They were as red as the blood staining his cheek.

"Do you think this is funny?!" Naruto growled.

The Jounin had to repress her urge to reach for her kunai.

"Whoa, calm down, tiger. I mean no offense." She defended. Naruto sent her one last leer before burying his face back into his palms.

"You do have somewhat of a temper though." She pointed out carefully, "Is that the reason why you killed your teammate? Did they do something to piss you off?"

Anko's immediate response was the progression of his sobs. He cried harder into his hands, unable to control his emotional state at this point.

"She... she did nothing wrong, she just... she shouldn't have been there. She should have stayed away from me... I know she was just trying to help, but... Oh, God..."

Anko rubbed her chin. She was trying to make sense of the situation.

"Naruto, as a disclaimer, you don't have to tell me anything if you don't want to. I'm just here to lend a listening ear and a helping hand if you want it. It's like I said, you're my comrade. But you don't have to talk about it if you're not comfortable." She explained respectfully.

Naruto shook his head and fought back his tears, "No, it's okay, I just... not many people have given me a chance to hear me out. Everybody always just sees me as the "Demon Kid"... I think I'm starting to believe it myself..."

"But you're not a demon though." Anko said simply.

"You don't know." Naruto sourly chuckled, confusing the person next to him, "When I get mad... I kind of turn into one."

Despite how this was news to Anko, she wasn't too shocked, "Well, the eyes turning red was a big giveaway, if I'm being honest."

Naruto sighed, "So now you see me as one, too."

Anko poured another shot of sake. It went down the hatch smoothly for her, despite how many people wouldn't have the same experience, "Naw, I still stand behind what I said."

"Why?" He asked.

Anko shrugged, "Because you're not a demon. You can be a brat, but I've met some demons and you're far from being anything like them."

Naruto looked down at the floor, "I don't know how I can agree when I murdered my own teammate in cold blood because I got too mad on the battlefield."

"Ohhh, so it was an accident, then?"

"Yeah."

"So why are you blaming yourself?"

"Because, I..." Naruto's eyes began watering again, "Because I loved her. Because I was supposed to protect her, not only as her comrade, but her friend. As someone who has always wanted the best for her..."

"Oof." Thought Anko, "Poor guy had a rough break."

Naruto took a deep breath, "Her name was Sakura."

Anko started scratching her head, "Sakura... Sakura... Ah, was she the pink-haired medic-nin at the hospital?"

"Yeah," Naruto responded, slightly surprised, "You... you knew her?"

"Ah, well..." Anko started chuckling sheepishly, "Let's just say that you're not the only man who did something to earn a punch to the face. Actually, you earned a lot less than most men have. And Sakura filed a complaint against me to the Hokage a while back in regards to how many patients I was giving her and her team."

Even with tears still running down his face, Naruto couldn't help but chuckle.

"Yeah, that sounds like her." He mumbled with a sad smile.

"So what exactly happened on this mission, if I may?" Anko returned back to the original subject, giving him a tissue. Naruto thanked her and wiped his face of tears (and blood), taking a deep breath as he tried to work past his emotions.

"Yesterday, Sakura and I were on a mission with the rest of our team to track down Orochimaru. We—" Naruto noticed Anko tense up when he said that name, "You okay?"

"I'm good." Anko grunted unconvincingly, "That guy and I just have... history." She shook her head, "Sorry, please continue."

Naruto took note of that and continued, "We were trying to rescue Sasuke, who was our former teammate, seeing as Orochimaru convinced him to join him."

Anko nodded, "I remember. He was the last living Uchiha in Konoha, and I remember the reports about him leaving sometime after Orochimaru screwed up the Chuunin exams that year. The kid always gave me a weird feeling." Anko then shrugged, "Most of the Uchiha did, honestly."

"Right." Naruto said passively, "But my squad was sent on a mission to rescue him from Orochimaru, and we ended up confronting him. One thing led to another, and Orochimaru said something to me about Sasuke that made me so mad, I..." Naruto was staring at his hands, "I blacked out. I don't even remember what happened exactly. All I remember is getting mad, and then waking up to Yamato-sensei telling me that I had gone into this state where if I get really mad, the Kyuubi's chakra comes out and takes over my body somewhat. It's happened before, but this time was the worst it's ever gotten."

Anko nodded, jotting this down in her mental notebook. She signaled for him to continue.

"I lost control of my actions... I was so mad, I... I didn't even know what I was doing until I woke up..." He buried his face in his hands again. "O-Once I woke up, I asked Yamato-sensei what happened... He told me that I grew four tails into the Kyuubi state... Then, I looked around and asked where Sakura was... And you wanna know where she was?"

Anko obviously knew that was a rhetorical question, but answered anyway, "Dead?"

Naruto shook his head, "No, she was next to me, dying. Bleeding. Yamato-sensei told me that I came at her like a wild animal once I looked at her..."

Anko nodded, noting every detail of his story.

"We rushed to the hospital to try and save her, but we were too late..." His sobs had increased quite a bit, and it stopped him from further dialogue for a minute. "I sat by her death bed the whole time, despite the doctors telling me to leave. I kept pleading, begging for her to forgive me... It was a mistake, and I was just hoping it was a bad dream..."

Anko could tell he needed a minute, and she patiently let him gather his thoughts.

"You wanna know what she said to me, right before passing on...?"

Anko shrugged, "Sure."

"She told me... She loves me. And she forgives me."

Anko shrugged again, "Well that's good, right? She understands that it was a mistake and that you didn't mean to do it. And she gave you her forgiveness for it."

"But I can't fucking forgive myself!" Naruto burst at the top of his lungs. Anko was slightly surprised by his sudden outburst. She looked at him, and could see that his irises had turned blood red again, "It's not like it was just some minor inconvenience! She's DEAD. Because of ME. How the hell am I supposed to just forgive the fact that I failed my job as not only a shinobi and her comrade, but as her friend, too?!"

The room fell silent for a while.

"Well," Anko began, "It's just as I said earlier. The village should be thanking you for your job as the Kyuubi's jailer. And—"

"Why would ANYONE thank me when—?!"

"Let me finish." Anko said firmly, "And from what you're telling me, this demon you have sealed in you is so strong, to the point where it can still take over your body despite how powerful that seal must be. Is that your fault? Hell no. You didn't volunteer for tribute. You didn't have any say in the matter. The fact of the matter is that you were involuntarily the village's hero, and now you have a burden placed on you to keep that spirit locked away."

"But its still my fault!" Naruto yelled, "You said so yourself, I have a temper. I could have done more to keep that in check on the mission."

"Hey, I have a temper, too." Anko admitted, "I told you I put a lot of our villagers and fellow shinobi in the hospital for less than what you did in the bar."

"But did you kill any of them?"

"Ah, I came close to it a few times, but no."

"So I'm just a monster then." Naruto reaffirmed, "At least the people who you hurt did something to warrant it. Sakura... did nothing wrong. She was my friend, and I let her down."

Anko poured and downed yet another shot. She was starting to feel it now.

"Let me tell you something," The Snake Master started, "You have to find a way to forgive yourself. Because truth of the matter is, you didn't kill Sakura. Your body was used by that demon to cause destruction, and Sakura ended up getting caught in the crosshairs. Does that suck? Of course it does. But understand that none of your actions made that happen. Orochimaru triggered you, probably knowing that it would do so, and manipulated your emotions in a way that was beneficial to him."

Anko stopped for a second, seemingly deep in thought.

"I have history with the guy, like I said. And I know for a fact that he's very good at manipulating emotions."

She took another pause and sighed.

"At the end of the day, Naruto, you did nothing wrong. I know it's easier said than done to think otherwise, but the facts are right in front of you. You said you don't even remember doing it. That shows you that 'Naruto' was not the one that killed Sakura. If anyone is to blame, it'd be Orochimaru. I need you to concentrate all that frustration and guilt you're feeling and turn it into motivation to become a better shinobi. What happened already happened, Naruto. You have to work past it, and move on forward. Now I get that she was your friend and comrade that you obviously have romantic feelings toward her. But she forgave you. I'm not saying what happened is okay, but as a fellow shinobi, we need you to keep your head on straight and remember that our primary goal is to work together and keep our home safe."

She saw him staring down at the floor. She took another shot to the face. Now, their was a slight blush tainting her cheeks, "Naruto, I get it. I do. It's okay to grieve and take time to regulate your emotions. But you're not alone. We need you here. I know the villagers may have made it seem like you were a burden for existing with a demon in you. They're just scared. But you are every bit as important as the rest of us. And the sooner you and everyone else learn that, the easier it will be for us to coexist peacefully."

Anko didn't expect his next response, "...Why do you care? About me?"

Anko didn't answer immediately. She stared off into space, seemingly having a mental debate over what she wanted to say.

"Naruto, I'm going to tell you something that you probably won't believe initially. It's also something that is forbidden for me to talk about, so I'm going to need you to promise to keep what I'm about to tell you between us."

Naruto was reeled in, "Okay? Sure, I promise not to say anything."

Anko inhaled. She knew that what she was about to say was technically an act of treason against the village. She knew that if anyone else were to find out about her next move, she'd be executed immediately.

But she didn't care. Naruto deserved to know.

"The Yondaime is your father."

Naruto needed a few seconds to process that, "...What?"

"Man, I can get in pretty deep trouble for this." She laughed before taking another swig of alcohol, this time straight from the bottle, "When the Kyuubi attacked, our Hokage, Minato Namikaze, went toe to toe with the huge ass fox, sacrificed himself, and had to seal the demon in a newborn baby, which was obviously you. Isn't it a wonder how you were conveniently there, while the Hokage was in his time of need?"

Anko was looking at him through the corners of her eyes.

Naruto's anxiety began to raise, "N-No, the Hokage could have asked for any orphan. If I was his son, why would it be kept a secret?" He questioned.

"To be honest, I don't know. I'm sure its for a good reason, like protecting your identity, seeing as the Yondaime was a phenomenal shinobi that had many enemies." She answered honestly, "And what I'm saying is based off of my own speculations. I can't definitely prove this to be true, so try not to give my word's too much weight. But I'm fairly certain that you are the son of the Yondaime. You even resemble him."

Naruto sat there for a while, processing what she told him. He had to admit, she held a strong argument.

"I... I just can't bring myself to believe that right now." Naruto admitted. Anko nodded. If someone was to come up to her and tell her that she was the daughter of the Third Hokage, she'd probably laugh at them.

"Well, it's like I said, I'm just going off of what I see. I can't provide physical proof, but I'm fairly certain that you're the Yondaime's son. I'm pretty sure I knew your mother, too."

The genin had many thoughts scrambling around in his head. He was told he was an orphan, and that his parent's died in the Kyuubi attack soon after he was born. And then he found out a few years ago that the Kyuubi was sealed inside of him. And now, he was hearing that his father might be the Yondaime? That's ludicrous.

"Anyway," Anko started again, "in response to what you asked me, I care because you not only deserve respect and appreciation, but because your parents were two people I looked up to. And honestly, if anything else, I do kind of think you're cute." She said with a smirk.

She caught Naruto off guard with that one.

"Thanks?" Naruto replied awkwardly, "I wouldn't have been able to tell considering what you did to my face."

Anko shrugged, "Hey, cute or not, you're not getting away with disrespecting me." She said simply.

"I'm really sorry for that, by the way." Naruto said sincerely. Anko, now drunk, dismissed his apology with a wave of her hand.

"It's all under the rug now. I made sure we were even with what I did to you." She said with a grin. She then stood up off the couch, "Hey, let me patch you up. We don't need that getting infected." She offered, pointing at his wound.

Naruto smiled and followed her to her bathroom. He had to say, for a girl, her place wasn't as tidy as he'd expected. It wasn't as messy as his, but he was sure he saw a pair of her panties lying around as he walked to the bathroom.

"Take a seat." She directed, pointing at the toilet. Naruto put the lid down and did as he was told. Anko went into her medicine cabinet and searched for some gause, tape, cloth, and wound cleaning solution.

"Hey." She said as she reumaged around in the cabinet, "You a virgin?"

"HUH?" Naruto asked incredulously. That was among one of the last questions he'd expect her to ask.

"Did you lose your V-card yet?" She repeated casually.

"Uhhh... no."

"Ah."

Naruto waited for a follow up, but one never came, "...Why do you ask?"

"Just curious." Anko grabbed the items she was looking for and kneeled in front of him. She soaked the cloth in the stringent looked at him, "This might sting."

Naruto nodded, giving Anko the okay. As soon as the wet cloth touched his wound, he flinched. At least she gave him a disclaimer.

"You heal really fast." She remarked, "I'm pretty sure that I cut through your facial muscles. Yet, right now this wound is almost like a scratch."

"Yeah, being the Kyuubi's jailer has it's perks."

"I see that."

Five minutes later, Naruto's wound was cleaned and patched up.

"Hey, thanks." Naruto said.

"Don't mention it." She replied with a nod, "How are you feeling?"

"Better." Naruto admitted, "You... you really helped me out today."

"I'm glad." Anko smiled. Usually, Anko's face was pretty stoic or held a slight scowl, so for Naruto to see Anko genuinely smile for the first time was something that he... wanted to see more of.

"I know you've got it rough. And being a shinobi is only gonna make it worse. But at the end of the day, we still have great lives. We're a proud breed, and we gotta stick together." Anko jabbed him in the chest, "So buck up. Don't go around being stupid and wishing that some crazy lady in a bar would end your life. That's not the way to go."

Naruto laughed. He still felt a tremendous amount of pain over Sakura's death, but Anko aided making it feel less profound. Anko saw that Naruto was in a better head space and was happy that she did a job well done. She gestured for him to 'bring it in' and Naruto complied. They embraced in a meaning full hug, one that Naruto felt he really needed.

"For the record," Anko began, "Just know that I am pretty drunk right now. And that I'm not particularly this friendly when I'm sober."

"I'm aware." Naruto replied with a chuckle.

They released each other and the Jounin raised an eyebrow, "Do you want to spend the night?"

She then rolled her eyes when she saw the look on his face, "Not like that. Just think of it as me offering my company for the night and nothing more. You've got quite a ways to go if you want to get that far with me." She said with a slightly mocking tone.

"Sure, if it's not too much trouble. I promise to be respectful." Said Naruto earnestly.

Anko smiled again and nodded.

"Am I sleeping on the couch?" He politely asked.

"Nah, you're sleeping in my bed."

"Then where will you sleep?"

"In my bed."

"..." Naruto couldn't help but blush. He wasn't in his right state of mind when he was trying to get in Anko's bed originally. So to see the proposal come to life now, was something he definitely didn't expect.

Anko saw that he got silent and rolled her eyes, "Yes, you'll be sleeping with me in my bed. No, I'm not fucking you. And no, this doesn't mean that I'm fucking you any time soon." She declared, "We're just sleeping."

"Roger that." Naruto said sheepishly, "Uh, what time is it?"

Anko looked out her window, "I dunno, like, two hours past midnight?"

"It's that late?" He asks incredulously.

"Mm-hmm. So why not get in the shower and get ready for bed. You smell like sweat and booze, so you're not coming in my bed smelling like that." She tells him.

"Do you have anything I can change into?"

"If you like to wear lacy panties, I got the perfect deal for you."

Naruto turned redder, and it was the first time that Anko laughed that night. Naruto liked the way her laugh sounded.

"I'm fucking with you. Just use those same boxers you have on. You didn't shit, piss, or cum in them, right?"

Naruto did have a newfound view of Anko after what happened that night, but he knew that he would have to get used to how blatantly she spoke most of the time. The woman just had no type of filter, "Uh, no..."

"Good."

"What about a pair of pajamas or something? I can make a stop to my house and-"

"Oh hush, just sleep in your boxers, I know you've done it before."

"Er, not while I'm sharing a bed with someone else, though..."

Anko chuckled and shook her head, "Geez, it's not a big deal. As long as you keep your hands and penis to yourself, I wouldn't even care if you slept in my bed naked." Anko spoke again before Naruto could say something, "That was a joke." She said flatly. "So hurry up and get in the shower, 'cause I'm getting in after you."

"Alright."


Soon, both Anko and Naruto were properly showered and were in the bed together. All the lights were turned off, and the only source of light came from the moon that looked over the village.

"Goodnight." Anko said. She was wearing a bra, a pair of panties and sweatpants to bed, something that made Naruto uneasy. He decided not to say anything about it, but he had to admit, whether he was drunk or not, Anko looked amazing.

"Goodnight." Naruto replied. He was shirtless, since the shirt he wore smelled like armpits, something Anko wasn't happy with. All he had on was boxers, just as Anko requested. Anko laid on her side, with her back facing Naruto. Naruto rested on his back, looking up at the ceiling in deep thought.

He was thankful for Anko. He couldn't remember the last time he was shown any kind of hospitality like Anko had shown him that night.

Despite the alarming amount of thoughts racing throughout Naruto's mind, eventually, Naruto ended up drifting off to sleep.

Along with Anko, who pretty much was out cold as soon as she hit the bed.

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Chapter 1: The Long Talk 7837 0 0 2. Chapter 2: Wrong Side of the Bed 3841 0 0 3. Chapter 3: The Rolling Scroll 4318 0 0 4. Chapter 4: Eye on the Prize 5016 0 0 5. Chapter 5: Akatsuki on the Move 2439 0 0 6. Chapter 6: Complications 3276 0 0 7. Chapter 7: Friends of Friends 3450 0 0 8. Chapter 8: Tales of Truths 3631 0 0 9. Chapter 9: Tsunade's Long Day 3775 0 0 10. Chapter 10: Recovery 6085 0 0