• Anko sighed. The information in her hand was the last thing she wanted to hear. She had been assigned a mission involving the Sound. Her memories of them were ones that would keep anyone away. For good. She was required to be a spy, watching for any suspicious movement within the village.
    She sighed. She knew the next obstacle was going to be a harder one to get past. Telling Kakashi. Ever since that night in the forest, he had been very protective of her, keeping her from doing things he considered too dangerous for her. She knew this would be one of those things. With Orochimaru in the village, she could quickly be rendered useless if he saw her. She hung her head, knowing that convincing him would be no easy task. She watched as a very distinct shadow drew near. Well, speak of the devil. Here he comes now... She stuffed the scroll into her pocket in a failed attempt to hide it from him.
    "What might that be?" He asked, knowing exactly what it was.
    "Why ask? You know very well what that is."
    "Where is this mission headed to and what are you required to do?" He asked, wondering if she would tell him.
    "A little place called nunya. I'm required to be a spy." She said with a small sneer.
    "Let me guess, Sound village?"
    Anko didn't answer, knowing that she just given away the answer.
    "Anko. You can't go on this mission. A small amount of chakra is all that's needed to incapacitate you with pain, therefore rendering you useless and therefore, making you an easy target. I'll go instead. You'll be safer here."
    "You're talking to the woman who nearly took her life in the forest a few nights ago. You really think I'm afraid of death?" She asked, raising an eyebrow at him.
    "It's not you being afraid of death I'm worried about. It's you dying. Anko, I love you too much to let you die."
    Anko rolled her eyes. She knew convincing him was going to be hard, but not this hard. She sighed, stood up and began to walk away, ignoring Kakashi's shouts to get her to come back. She would have to go behind his back. She looked up and saw him standing in front of her, startling her a little bit. She knew he was going to continue lecturing her about how she shouldn't go, but she knew she had to. She had to settle her dispute with Orochimaru, once and for all. She had to end it all.
    The next morning, Kakashi awoke and ran for Anko's apartment. He peeked into the window.
    She was still home.
    He let out a sigh of relief and headed back to his apartment.
    Anko turned around, looking at her window. She knew Kakashi would drop his guard, giving her a chance to slip out to meet up with her team. She knew he would be furious when he found out that she left when he wasn't looking, but she also knew it was the only way to get out without anymore unnecessary 'lover's quarrels'. Right now, she wasn't sure how much she loved him. She just knew she was angry with him. He had her best intentions in mind, but she didn't always agree with his decisions. This being one of those times. She knew he was thinking of her when he gave her suggestions, but she also knew she had no say in those matters. Oi, why does he have to be so cute? It would be so much easier if he wasn't so charming... She slipped out the front door and headed for the gate, where her team was waiting for her. She had thought of leaving one of those cheesy 'By the time you read this' notes, but she knew he would see right through that. She would just have to leave him hanging.
    A few days later, Kakashi headed for the Hokage's office. He had been informed that she had a special mission for him. He wondered where Anko was. He hadn't seen her for a few days. He feared she had gone on the mission behind his back. He sighed as he opened the door.
    "Ah, Kakashi. You're here. Your mission is a search and, if needed, rescue." Tsunade said, folding her hands under her chin.
    "Where and who?"
    "The forest in between the Sound village and here. I sent out a spy team and they should have been back by now."
    "Who lead the team? Was it Anko?"
    "No. She dropped out, so we put someone else in charge." She said, her thumb in her mouth.
    "That's a relief. I'll be leaving now." He said, glad to hear some good news for once.
    "Report back as soon as you can." Tsunade said, shooing him out the door.
    Kakashi wondered what was going on. Tsunade usually didn't act like that. He believed that Anko was safe. He knew she had stayed; therefore, she couldn't have gotten hurt. Unless it was self-inflicted. He ran out the front gate, and the smell that caught his nose when he walked into the forest was not a pleasant one. He got a strong whiff of blood. He hoped that wasn't where he was going. He followed the scent for a while. It lead him into a small clearing. Bodies of ninja from the Sound, Sand, and Leaf villages were strewn about. He recognized some of the bodies as people Tsunade had sent on the spy mission. They had been caught. Suna apparently was spying as well and had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. He stepped back and looked up, trying to escape the gruesome sight when something very familiar caught his eye. A tan coat sleeve swayed in the breeze on a tree branch above his head. Anko's coat. Tsunade had lied to him.
    He jumped onto the branch and nearly passed out from the sight he beheld. The gore beneath him had nothing on Anko's lifeless body. She had shuriken, kunai, and senbon strewn about her legs, neck, and torso. She was showing no signs of life. Two kunai in her shoulders were probably all that kept her standing. Her coat had slipped off one of her shoulders and was gently swaying in the breeze. Her head was down . He lifted her chin to see if her eyes were open. He could tell if she was alive still if they were. Her eyes were slightly open and he saw what he had feared. A gray film had gone over them. She was dead. He pulled the kunai from her shoulders and laid her head on his lap as he sat down. He tried to hold back tears as he wondered what she could have done to deserve such a death. She stirred a little in his lap. She wasn't dead. Yet. She wouldn't last much longer at this rate. He picked up her limp body and began to rush back to Konoha, hoping he would make it to the hospital in time.
    He shot through the doors of the Konoha hospital, making everyone turn and stare at the bloody mess in his arms.
    "We need a medic! Now!!" One of the nurses shouted.
    "I found Mitarashi Anko in the forest in this condition. Can she be saved?" Kakashi asked, getting really worried.
    "If the medics can get to work on her right away, she may survive. God. This is worse than when Hyuuga Neji got himself into the mess with the spider..." The nurse said.
    "Where should I put her?" Kakashi asked, getting a little annoyed.
    "The back room. Follow me!" A medic ninja said beckoning for him.
    Kakashi ran and set Anko down on the bed, staining the white sheets with her blood. "Can I stay?"
    "No. We have to get to work on her immediately or you might as well plan her funeral."
    Kakashi nodded and resentfully left the room. He had to go confront Tsunade.
    He burst through the doors, still covered in Anko's blood.
    "My word, Kakashi! What happened to you?" Tsunade asked, gawking at the bloody mess standing before her.
    "Why did you lie to me? The blood on my uniform is Anko's blood. I found her in the forest with the rest of her team. She's the only one who lived." He said, anger burning in his eyes.
    "Mitarashi Anko? Is she alright? That's a lot of blood."
    "She may not survive. The medics are trying the hardest they can to save her life. My question still stands. Why did you lie to me?"
    "I didn't want you to worry. I was hoping everything would turn out fine, but I was horribly wrong. You should be with her."
    "I would be if the medics would let me."
    "Tell them to let you in. Hokage's orders." She said, looking really guilty.
    Kakashi didn't want to go back to the hospital in the condition he was in. He ran back home abd got changed into some less bloody clothes and ran back out the door.
    When he arrived at the door, he was greeted by a nurse. "Are you the one who brought Mitarashi Anko in?"
    Kakashi nodded his head. "I have orders from the Hokage. She says to let me in, no matter what's going on."
    "Right this way. You're Hatake Kakashi, aren't you?" She asked.
    He nodded. He just wanted to get to Anko. He hoped all was well and she was out of the danger zone.
    He walked into the room, expecting the worst. He looked at the medics, who were franticly trying to heal Anko's wounds before she bled too much. They had stopped most of the bleeding, but she had already lost a lot of blood. Kakashi crossed his fingers in hopes that she would pull through. He kneeled down by her, hoping she wasn't already dead.
    "Anko, you nutcase... How could I have fallen in love with you..." He said, a small smile creeping up behind his mask.
    "Kaka...shi" Anko said, straining her words.
    "Shhh, don't speak. You got hurt pretty bad back there. The best thing for you to do now is just relax."
    The medics stood up and smiled. "She's finally out of the danger zone. It took six hours, but she should live." The lead medic said triumphantly.
    Kakashi smiled and stroked the side of her face. She slowly lifted her hand up to his, wincing a little from the pain. She smiled.
    "You... fell for me... because I'm... a nutcase." She said, her voice soft and strained.
    He leaned down and kissed her forehead. He smiled. "When can she leave?" Kakashi asked.
    "As soon as she can get up and walk on her own. We've done all we can."
    On hearing this, Anko took a deep breath and grabbed onto the chair sitting next to her in an attempt to stand. She collapsed back onto the floor, sending a shot of a pain up her back. She was determined to leave tonight.
    "Anko, don't try. You'll be able to leave soon enough." Kakashi said, getting a little worried that she may hurt herself.
    "I'm going to leave tonight. I can already talk without gasping. I can stand up if I want to." She said, trying to stand up again.
    The outcome was the same, this time; she knocked the wind out of herself. She gasped, trying to pull herself into the chair. She glared at the medics as she sat down.
    "Erm, you can take her home. She seems to have recovered enough." The medic said, a little afraid she would kill herself trying to stand.
    She smiled.
    "No more dangerous missions for a while. Promise me, Anko?" Kakashi asked.
    She smiled and nodded as he pulled her up and supported one of her arms around his neck. She glared and pushed him away. Anko was fine again. Kakashi just hoped it would stay that way for a while.