Another one? Geez. Whatever. Enjoy.
I'm not certain what gained me access to my previous memories. Going on accounts of the many different fanfiction I've read online, most people seemed to be self-aware of themselves and their position from the get-go, as if nothing was amiss. Maybe I'm simply different and couldn't recognize myself for what I was. As far as I'm aware, I spent my first two years in childish bliss, unaccountable for anything and not really caring about anything outside of my family bubble.
Young as I was, I still understood that my parents were not the most...hands-on mother and father ever. Aside of feeding me, changing my diapers before I could finally potty train, and meeting any other immediate needs, I actually never really saw the two. My father had been critically injured at some point in his life and couldn't care for me as he probably should have, from a moral standpoint, but at least he was there, I guess. My mother, on the other hand, was frequently attending to duties at work, and going on one mission after another. Considering my father wasn't bringing in any sort of income, it would only make sense that the only person who could support us would do nothing but.
I can't say it was a terrible childhood, those first two years. I had a sibling who was far older than I – close to nine years to be more precise. The second sibling was only around five years older in comparison. To be truthful, I don't think I was supposed to be born – I won't say I was a mistake, but more like an unexpected surprise. I could deal with that.
My sister was the quiet sort – she would often curl up with a book and read, though she always made time to speak gently or play with me. My brother was the complete opposite in that he was quite boisterous, always talking obnoxiously and just generally a nuisance. He adored our older sister though, and used to follow her around like an older puppy, and I won't deny that I didn't do the same as well. With father always gone to the hospital for checkups and essentially someone of insignificance in we three siblings' lives, and as mother was always gone for business and whatnot, our sister was our rock.
She learned to cook because there wasn't anyone else around to feed us, and she learned to sew to fix our clothing, and to clean after us as best as she was able. There was little reason to not see her as something of a role model, or parental figure. When I turned one, she suddenly became a lot busier, but she still made certain to come home and take care of the both of us. At the time, I don't believe I respected nearly anyone as much as I did her. The one thing I will never forget about her from that time period was the ever present smile that seemed like it was permanently affixed to her face. It was a soothing expression.
My brother took up the slack for my sister's continuance absence after a while. He couldn't cook worth a damn, but he tried, which is the most important part, I suppose. Ramen became a constant, and he had this uncanny sweet tooth that I couldn't say I genuinely shared. He would often also take me to the park a lot, though I was too young to actually do most of the activities. He also attempted to show me some different fighting techniques, much to our sister's amusement. Her claim that I was too young for such things obviously didn't deter him in the slightest.
Of course, it wasn't like my brother was always around – he had school to attend, after all. I would sleep in until around noon, by which point, my father would get home from a clinical. When my brother came home from school a few hours after that, Father would once again go missing for whatever reason.
My sister, however, would have periods where she would be home for days straight and then be gone suddenly for weeks at a time. It was jarring at times, but I'd learn to adapt to this routine: Mother was always gone; Father would be gone from early in the morning until noon, be present for me until my brother returned home and then vanish; Brother would be gone for school from the early morning until the mid-afternoon, and then would come home to attend to me; Sister would be present intermittently depending on what business needed to be conducted.
They probably weren't the best, or most textbook-appropriate family, but they were all I had. As I said, those first two years were somewhat blissful. Ignorance has its silver linings.
Around early April, after I'd turned three, was when things began to roll downhill. My father's health turned for the worse and he permanently landed himself into a hospital bed. As far as I know, he hadn't had much time left to live. My sister left on an extended mission, which essentially meant I wouldn't see her again for quite some time, and suddenly, my brother was the only person I'd had left. I'm sure he tried his best to take care of me, but there's only so much a nearly eight-year-old boy could do when left to deal with a toddler on his own, as well as deal with the stress accumulated from knowledge of our father's situation.
Four months after that, our father died, leaving my brother succumbing to a deep depression. Suddenly, half of his family was gone from his life. Mother really didn't seem to exist, and the only reason we even knew she was still alive was from the gradual accumulation of money within our family bank account. Thinking back on it now, I'd like to say she had probably been running away from our family situation – no person should be able to undertake so many different missions, no matter how good or invaluable he or she was. It isn't hard to accept this theory, considering her husband had passed away, her daughter was gone for who knows how long, and her son was listless and rather unresponsive. Then, of course, there was me, but I was just the dumb toddler who still dribbled on her clothes and butt-scooted everywhere. I could walk, but that took energy I didn't care to expend. But, enough of that.
Admittedly, despite losing most of my family because of various circumstances, I was still content with my life, as most toddlers are. My brother still doted on me, despite his depression, and I was fed, clothed, and more or less happy with my day to day life. After all, as long as I had some of my family with me, what did anything else matter?
Yes, well. Fast forward to two months after that, and suddenly my life became hell.
I remember this moment clearly. My brother had just settled down with me to read me a story and we had made it about a fourth of the way through when a deadly chill laid down like a blanket over us. I don't believe I felt anything to be out of the ordinary, but my brother suddenly sat up ramrod straight, eyes wide and fearful. Book forgotten, he clutched me tighter to his chest, his heart pounding at a higher rate than normal. I heard a deafening roar that made me freeze with acute fear, though for what reason, I was unsure.
The lights all around us flickered off and on before finally losing power altogether as another roar sounded through the area. I heard a scream which must have come from me, as my brother was too drunken with fear to do much more than hold me close to him. A flash of red zoomed past our windows, as if a fire had broken out somewhere until we saw another red substance begin bubbling through the cracks and edges of our house. I had whimpered and clung as steadfastly to my brother as possible, but he didn't seem to register anything, so in the throes of fear that he was. I believe it was the moment that I tried to touch the red substance that he suddenly snapped out of his funk and hauled me up in his arms for a better grip.
My brother chose to jump back onto the couch before suddenly shifting me around to hang onto his back, my arms around his neck as he supported my legs and rear end. In the next second, he dashed out of the house right before we were swept away by a ferocious wind that sent us skyrocketing across the street. My brother had closed his eyes as we neared closer and closer to another house – had I been able to understand death fully, I might have thought that we were definitely doomed at that point.
However, surprise was definitely on our side, for better or worse, when someone suddenly appeared right behind us, catching the both of us with relative ease. Her dark blue eyes looked down piercingly at the two of us – I'd wager we were quite the sight, and I'm sure I'd lost control of my bowels at some point. I almost hadn't recognized her.
"M-Mom?" my brother stuttered out, obviously completely taken aback.
Our mother narrowed her eyes even more, her hand gripping Brother's shoulder tightly.
"There is little time to talk," she said, cutting to the chase immediately. "Do you remember where the nearest emergency bunker is?"
"I-I think so, but what...?"
Her hand moved away from his shoulders and instead rested gently upon my head as she frowned almost regretfully at me. The hand shifted down to cupping my cheek softly before leaving my face, and taking whatever warmth gained away with it.
She smiled slowly and sorrowfully. "You must be strong – take your sister there and protect her with your life. She is all you have now. You must ensure she lives."
"B-but, I don't understand!" my brother argued. "What's going on? What is that thing? Where are you going? Why can't I help?"
"If you do this for me," our mother began, speaking as sincerely and kindly as she could, "you will be doing more for me than you could ever know. I need to go. Stay safe."
With that, to both my brother's and my disbelief, she had just vanished, off to fight the thing that was wrecking everything in sight. I'd noticed two tears slide their way down my brother's cheeks before he suddenly hardened his expression. He flashed me a quick, wobbly smile and then suddenly sped off in the opposite direction that our mother had. I recall looking back towards the destruction, subconsciously registering that that had been the first, and last, smile our mother had ever made since I'd become conscious of my surroundings. She reminded me of my sister, and was yet another person who had lost much due to circumstance and unfortunate situations. It was terrible thing to realize, though it took me some years to finally understand.
My brother had done as our mother requested, and taken me to the shelter. We were both young, so as soon as we'd made it, we were rushed in by some older people. Corralled like sheep, the two of us sat with an alarming number of other people who had no choice over their future, the same as us. I had heard babies crying galore, with their parents either shuddering with fear or brimming with barely reined anger. The children around my brother's age looked restless and discontent, understanding in part their situation, but still so very unaware. This left them looking very unsatisfied with just sitting around waiting for the older, better, stronger, faster people to do the hard work.
My brother and I had probably been at the shelter for maybe half an hour or so before he finally became fed up with just sitting around. The people coordinating the different refugees were so obviously overworked and stressed that they wouldn't have been able to keep track of all of the people who came in. In other words, they never would have noticed a young eight-year-old kid duck out of the bunker, intent on providing whatever help he could to our mother as well. And, he did leave me, though not without sparing me a small smile.
He had laid his hand down on my head and gently ruffled my hair.
"Hey there, little one," he whispered up at me as I'd just stared at him with wide eyes. "I have to go. I can't just sit here doing nothing. What would Sister say? Stay put. I'll be back soon."
Then, just like everyone else in my life by that point, he'd vanished.
I think I'd stayed there for the next few hours until the roaring finally came to a close and silence permeated through the area. I stayed silent in the middle of all those people, not moving or making a peep as a siren wailed, signaling an all-clear. Whatever had put us all in such danger had been dealt with. We were safe again, but there was no denying the evidence of what that monster had done. Even when the people at the bunker doors said people could leave without worry, no one budged, so frightened were they all. Eventually, the coordinators were able to coax out one person after another into the dead of the night, though there were a few of us children who never lifted a finger or bothered to welcome our hard-earned freedom. Although, just as the other families and adults had, those other children finally rose up and dragged their feet as they walked to meet their fate.
In the end, I was the only one left within the bunker, though I'd chosen not to move. My brother had told me to stay put. Nothing they did was going to make me do otherwise. When I persisted in ignoring the coordinators, even going so far as to throw a temper tantrum when they said I needed to leave, someone lost their patience and grabbed me off of the ground. I was forcibly taken out of the bunker outside under the beautifully bright full moon.
The second we stepped out, even my three-year-old mind could depict the damage wrought upon my hometown. Entire districts had been demolished, leaving many homeless and many, many more without their loving families. I'd discovered much later that my brother had indeed gone out to fight the demon, but just like several others, he lost his life almost immediately. My mother had fought with the best of them, but she didn't last long either after bidding us a good-bye.
All I had to remember each of them, my brother, sister, mother, and even father by, were their last parting smiles. Those smiles had gifted me with warmth and now my memory equated them with their deaths.
And then, hours after the demon had been dealt with, I stood in front of my house. The second story was missing part of its roof, and if I had been able to waddle over to see, I would've noticed that I could see a portion of the kitchen as clearly as ever. It was my home, but it wasn't, in a way. I don't think I quite understood this as I walked in through the open front door – something I could thank my brother very much for. I'm not quite sure how I got back considering that, once again, I was three, but regardless...
I'd pushed the door closed by leaning my full weight against it. When it clicked closed, I looked at the empty house with a chunk missing from it. The next few minutes went by in a blur as I walked away from the door and peered up over at the kitchen. I tilted my head to the side as the moonlight poured in but soon lost interest in it. I walked to the staircase, taking each step one at a time. The second floor, I realized upon reaching it, was only half there. My room, my brother's room, and part of my sister's room simply didn't exist anymore. There was nothing left.
I looked down at the remnants of the second story before heading straight across the hall into my parent's room. It was as pristine as ever, almost as if nothing had ever happened. It was both comforting and strange at the same time. As I'd walked across the room up to the enormous bed where my mother and father had slept in the off times that they had been home, I don't think it had hit me yet that there was really nothing left for me. I'd climbed up the covers – always tucked in tightly by my ever anal mother – and crawled across the bed to duck under the covers. That was the first night I had been left on my own. This may have been what caused me to remember everything I'd tucked away in the back of my mind after being born in this world.
The pain came the next morning.
With the unfortunate loss of every single member of my family and the traumatic event of the demon that had plagued my town, the gates of my mind opened wide with an outpouring of twenty-seven years of my previous life. With this information came an understanding of the world I'd lived in before, my high points and my mistakes both, and the eventual death leading to my reincarnation here. Actually, I couldn't remember exactly how I'd died, but as my life was suddenly cut short so abruptly, I can only assume.
Suddenly, it wasn't just my family in this world that I'd lost, but I'd lost my original mother, my friends, my job, and my future from before. I really didn't have anything left. I also could finally understand what had happened to me in my current world, and the bitterness that easily swept through me. I was three-years-old again, trapped in the world of a manga, with a realization that my life was about to get a lot worse.
I think I'd laid in the bed for another couple of hours, my small hands held up to my head as I stared up at the ceiling. I was three. There was no way I could support myself in any capacity. I couldn't even reach the top shelf of the refrigerator, and it wasn't healthy for someone so young to be without company, no matter how old I was mentally. At the moment, I didn't have access to the family funds or any means of taking care of myself. Unless I got some help somehow, I would be well on my way to a quick death of possible starvation.
My goal had been surprisingly clear to me. I had been hungry, but again, as I couldn't cook in my current form, I had to ignore the pangs of hunger as I walked back down the stairs and opened the front door. With the sunlight came a better understanding of all of the destruction. There were people bustling everywhere, trying to fix this and that and make the town, no – village, I corrected, a better place. No one paid me any attention until someone nearly tripped over the messy thing that I was.
I'd fallen flat onto the dirt road, my eyes immediately narrowing as I glanced up. I probably didn't look like the happiest baby girl ever, but that didn't really matter. The person I'd run into wasn't anyone of consequence, though they did ask me the pertinent questions of what I was doing there, where my family was, why I was alone, and so forth.
I'd been taken to the orphanage not much longer after that.
One and a half years or so passed like nothing bringing us right to the present. Unlike in other fanfiction, I didn't see fit to do much of anything.
Train? What for? I didn't know how to do anything. I'd dabbled in karate at some point in my life, but it wasn't as if that would help me now. Learn how to wield chakra? How? I'd been here for three years before my memories came spiraling back into my mind, and so living with chakra had become as old hat as breathing. Meet important characters? What was the point? I wasn't of any mind to become close to anyone after everything I'd already lost. I had no interest in making friends in a world where people died as easily as the flame of a candle.
I did read though. I read everything I could get my hands on. There was nothing else to do. I didn't want to "play ninja" like the other kids. I'd already resigned myself to wanting to enter the academy. I'd learn how to be a ninja soon enough. I also never found coloring to be any fun, and trying to hop from tall walls without knowledge of how to land properly didn't sit well with me either.
Ah, one interesting thing that did happen was my meeting the main protagonist of the whole shebang: Naruto.
I honestly didn't think much of him. I wasn't fond of babies. I wasn't particularly sold on blonds. He cried all, of, the, time. He was also the most hyperactive runt I had ever known in my life. This is saying something, since I used to teach children for a living. Whatever sympathy I may have once had for this kid flew out the window the second he woke me up one day by screaming into my ear.
No, I didn't like Naruto. Thank God I was older than him.
Just like last year, and I'm sure, all of the years before, the Sarutobi Hiruzen, the big, bad Hokage himself, came to visit the orphanage. I'm sure it was partly just to check up on Naruto – the dick shouldn't have put the kid in the damn orphanage in the first place – as well as to ask us orphans if we wanted to be ninja. I think every one of us of age said yes. It was either become an academy student, or stay in the orphanage until we were fifteen or sixteen.
I wasn't interested in being a ninja because of how brilliant it sounded, but I wanted a way to ensure my survival. As a civilian, I would be limited to specific things, and unless I became a merchant, I would be restricted to the village. I also couldn't live my life without some kind of specific set path or goal to undertake. I needed structure in my life – that's something I'd sorely been lacking in both lives.
The Hokage looked at each of us with a proud smile until he noticed me. When he saw me, I'm pretty sure I know exactly what crossed his mind upon seeing my features. He frowned thoughtfully though kindly said nothing regardless.
"So you all want to become ninja, do you?"
All of the other children shouted out affirmatives in very loud voices, making me close my eyes and wish I had some ibuprofen to drink down. When he looked at me, I merely forced a smile to my lips as a way of answering. What could I say? I didn't want to become one, but there was nothing else left for me out there.
He patted my head and I resisted the urge to slap the thing away.
"Then we must see that you become exactly that. Behind me, as I'm sure you can see, are several ninja who are here to help you with processing. Each one of them will work with you one-on-one to see that your needs are met. Is that all right?"
The other children stared up at the several chuunin waiting behind the Hokage with wide, starry eyes. While I was curious about who I might be paired with, if anyone at all, the Hokage never let up on his grip on my head. Apparently, he had different plans for me. I knew not what.
He kneeled in front of me, eyes searching my face as he said, "Are you sure you desire to become a ninja? It is an arduous path."
Pfft, as if a five-year-old would know the meaning of 'arduous'. Who are you fooling, dude? And why ask only me this question? You're being suspicious as fuck.
"I must become a ninja," I answered simply.
There was no need for me to say anything else. What else could I say?
He seemed to be somewhat unsatisfied with my answer but let it go. The Hokage stood up and beckoned that I follow him. He went to one of the nuns, spoke a few soft words, and then asked me if there was anything I wanted to take with me. When I shook my head no, he bid that I follow him outside of the orphanage. He walked down the street away from the orphanage towards the Hokage Tower and I looked back to see the other kids talking animatedly with the various chuunin. A feeling of resentment swirled in the pit of my stomach. I couldn't even go through normal due process in becoming an academy student.
I'd considered myself quite lucky in my previous life, but this life had been filled with one disappointment after another. I was not particularly happy with my situation. And in addition to that, why were we going all the way to the tower? No, this did not bode well for me at all.
With how slow I walk, it took us half an hour to make it to the tower, up its many steps, and into the man's office. He left me to stand awkwardly in the middle of the room before leaving again. I stared at the closed door with a confused frown. I couldn't understand for the life of me why I was there.
Twenty minutes later, he came back in and moseyed over to his desk where he promptly sat down.
"Well, isn't this a joyous occasion?"
I stared at him with the most confused expression I could muster.
He smiled. "Unlike the others, I could not assign you a chuunin for temporary partner, due to your odd situation."
He seemed to lose his smile some as I continued to stay silent. "If it is truly your desire to become a ninja, I will not stand in your way. Rather, I appreciate your passion and interest in demonstrating your Will of Fire."
I'm sure there's a point somewhere here, but I'm not seeing it.
"Under normal circumstances, orphaned academy students would be set up with low-funded apartment housing that would be paid for by the village until you either became a genin or were sent back to the orphanage upon failure to achieve that status."
Yes, and the clincher would be...?
"It has come to my attention that you lost both your parents and brother through tragic means. What would you say if I told you that you have an older sister still alive? I wonder if you would even recall her? You were so young."
Ah. Ahhhh. I get it.
My lack of excitement seemed to take him by surprise. What could I say? Even if I were happy to realize my sister was indeed alive, I was far too resentful and bitter over what had taken place. If I hadn't gained my previous memories, well, that'd be something else entirely. I probably would be ecstatic to know someone from my family was still alive. But at the moment, I just couldn't care less.
A knock sounded at the door with a muffled, "Hokage-sama."
"Ah, that would be her now," the Hokage said before directing in a clear voice, "Enter."
The door swung open and, oh, yep, there she was.
Her purple hair was obvious with the lighting, and her caramel brown eyes never even glanced my way as she walked to the center of the room. She bowed her head before looking up.
"You called for me, Hokage-sama?"
I stared up at her, unsure of how to interpret my emotions. After the flood of memories coming back to me, I'd known that she was alive. I'd known, but I'd figured I just wouldn't see her again. After all, I was an oddity in this world. I wasn't even supposed to exist. Besides, I wasn't sure how to feel about her. She'd been mind-fucked in every possible way, and couldn't possibly be of sound mind at the moment. Plus, I don't think she even recalled her life prior to that entire ordeal.
"Have you become reacquainted with the village, Anko?"
Mitarashi Anko ducked her head down slightly with a small frown. "I will be fine, Hokage-sama."
The old man nodded his head thoughtfully before gesturing to me. "As you can see, I currently have another visitor here with me."
It was then that she turned her gaze upon me, eyes hard as steel and a her lips pressed tightly together. I think that if I had mentally been five-years-old, I might've been frightened of what I saw, though all I could honestly think was that no teenager should be able to look as weary as she did.
Every single part of this young woman was closed off to other people. Nothing in her expression suggested she was even human and she looked like she'd labored through hell. While I clearly remember in my mind and heart the young girl who had shown me nothing but kindness and felt like a warm balm on my – then – young soul, all I felt at the moment was a distinct coldness and unruly silence that pierced my heart like an arrow. I was torn between feeling terrible for her and feeling angry at her for leaving me behind.
I almost wanted to say she deserved every injustice she had been dealt for trusting that snake of a man, but knowing how much she had cared for me as a baby, I couldn't. I couldn't. I just couldn't, and damn it, I hated myself for it. I was an adult. I should've been able to ignore certain things to suit my immediate needs, but all I remembered was that soft, gentle smile she'd always given me.
I felt tears spring to my eyes, unbidden, and quickly turned away. What a terrible feeling.
I could feel her still watching me carefully, taking in my own appearance. While the purple hair might've given me away as a relation, my hazel-blue eyes would've tripped up anyone. There was no denying the family resemblance though. It was there, as denotable as ever.
"Hokage-sama?" she questioned, sounding unsure.
The Hokage leaned forward in his chair a bit, his hands clasped in front of him.
"Unless I'm mistaken, you have just recently been cleared for duty by the T&I, have you not?"
Anko slid her gaze down to look at me again before answering, "Yes, Hokage-sama. I am ready to receive whatever missions you would have me complete."
"Then, allow me to assign you your next mission, Anko."
The words had the young woman straightening up perceptibly and she promptly ignored me.
He spared me a wink, and I could barely repress the revulsion I felt from it.
"You are to, from this day forward until the day she is capable of taking care of herself, care for and protect this young woman. Consider this an A-Ranked mission."
To say Anko was stunned was something of an understatement, though I could hardly blame her. The old man made it sound so much more important than it actually was.
"Why is this child so important, Hokage-sama?"
"Her name is Mitarashi Hotaru, your younger sister. I'm sure you understand why you're really the only one capable of handling this task."
I was somewhat impressed that Anko hadn't flown into some kind of emotional rage or something. No, she just froze up completely, as if she couldn't process his words. Her eyes flashed back to look me up and down before slowly turning back to her boss.
"Me, Hokage-sama?" Her voice sounded so weak, and not at all reminiscent of the woman I'd seen in the manga and anime.
"Who else but you should take care of your family?"
"But, I..." She seemed to struggle to come up with the appropriate words. "Are you certain that I should...? I mean, my previous history..."
Hiruzen smiled softly at the flummoxed kunoichi. "You have lost your memories and every sense of your identity. Your sister has lost every part of structure she may have had with the loss of your family. You both have pieces of you that need healing, and sometimes, only time and family can accomplish that. Do you accept or reject the mission I have assigned you thusly?"
I chose not to meet her gaze when she sent me another quick glance. I could only imagine how troubled she was by her new plight. Were I her, I'd be incredibly hesitant as well. Unfortunately, with how shitty of a person I am, I probably would've told the child to survive on his or her own because living with me would be a terrible experience. If I had been mind-fucked as many times as Anko, that would've been even worse. No, I'd say no.
"I understand," Anko said hesitantly. "I accept."
I turned my gaze to her, narrowing my eyes with suspicion. What was she playing at? Was she seriously considering taking me on top of all of her other responsibilities? She'd be busy with mission after mission, and I'd become a part of the background like before. It made no sense for her to agree to something like this.
Part of me just wanted her to suffer some more on her own and not bring me into it further. But, then again, part of me just wanted that piece of familiarity back for selfish reasons. I wanted to have some semblance of a family again, instead of walking home to an empty, cold house like the day of the attack. In part, I never wanted to see her again, but then again, I felt like all I desired was just to see that wonderful, warm smile she'd given me that all those days ago.
Hell, I obviously didn't know what I wanted.
"Good," the Hokage said with some finality, interrupting my thought process. "I will give you a brief period of absence from other missions while you and Hotaru reacquaint yourselves with one another. Ensure that she is ready to begin school next month and that she understands what's to come in the future. My advice to you, Anko, is that you allow yourself some respite and to simply enjoy living. There is always time for doubting yourself later. For now, just try to live."
I saw her become slightly determined and she nodded slowly.
"Very well then. You are both dismissed."
Anko looked at me and seemed to hesitate again. Her hand twitched before tightening into a fist. Obviously, she wasn't sure where she stood with me, and while she wanted to try and display some kind of affection, she just didn't know how.
I solved the issue by simply bowing my head to the old man, turning around, and leaving her standing awkwardly as I left the office. This was probably wrong of me, but damn it, I didn't know how to act around her either. To me, she was a fictional character. She didn't exist. She meant nothing. And yet, she meant everything. I remember the taste of her home-cooked meals, and the soft lull of her voice whenever she read my brother and I a story. I remember how excited she had been upon graduating from the academy only to become a student of the legendary Orochimaru. I remembered all of this, but I kept having conflicting thoughts.
Damn, maybe I was more fucked up than she was. This couldn't be a good idea.
When I heard the sound of the doors closing, I turned back to see Anko looking thoughtfully behind her. She turned to me and I saw a flash of concern and confusion show up in her expression before she quickly schooled her features. She and I stood looking at one another like that for a short while, the Hokage's secretary staring at us with a soft frown the entire time.
Anko turned away from me to clear her throat before making eye contact once again. Her lips were turned into an awkward, forced smile.
"Shall we then, Hotaru?"
Something in me plummeted upon hearing her say my name. I don't know what it was.
No, this wasn't a good idea at all.
Admit it. Had you not seen the character tag, you wouldn't have known it was Anko, would you have? Yeah. Comments, questions? Let me know.