Chapter 8

The students of Orochimaru

Orochimaru couldn't quite put his finger on it but something was up. His plan was going exactly the way he wanted it to go, everyone in the village was talking about his sudden engagement to Anko. Even better the higher ups talked about him with renewed interest, the possibility of him becoming the next Hokage was actually being discussed.

Still something didn't feel right, it was as if the world was just slightly off. Something had changed between him and Anko, something he wasn't even sure existed. He frowned as he tried to understand what exactly was bugging him.

She played her part perfectly after all, just the right amount of playful flirtation, and soft looks that would give anyone reason to gossip. Still the familiarity felt off, the way she would disappear the moment the crowd wasn't watching. Or even the way her smile seemed just a bit off, not the same one she had always showed him.

The familiarity that had first brought them together, the way she demanded his attention just wasn't there. He tried to convince himself that it was just a foolish sentimental thought, but the more he pondered the more he found himself unhappy.

Of course he wasn't being sentimental,if something was actually going on with her, it could imperil his plans. Or at least that was what he was going to tell himself. No matter he resolved to figure out what exactly was going on.

With a sharp hiss he decided he would find her, and figure out what was going on.

Anko

Anko was feeling exhausted, and it frustrated her.

She had continued her personal training, and didn't feel like she was doing any better. If anything her constant trips to the training grounds were tiring her, causing her to struggle with the missions that she was being given.

"Why am I even trying so hard," she thought. She had already decided that she wasn't going to bow to Orochimaru, and wasn't that the original reason she decided to improve.

"NO!" She rejected that thought. She would improve herself for herself, she didn't need him to be better.

Moving through the motions of her exercise she felt another presence. "Back again," she muttered softly to herself. "COME OUT COME OUT WHEREVER YOU ARE!" she shouted into the open wind a grin across her face as she realized that her trap was about to spring.

After all Anko was not going to allow someone to continue to spy on her, and so had spent hours summoning serpents to hide and wait.

The moment her shout left the air, her snakes began the attack.

It didn't take any time at all before she heard her stalker fall from some trees. The moment there eyes met, he tried to make his escape, but her snakes were ready for him.

He managed two successful substitutions, but the snakes were too numerous and he was eventually caught in there grasp.

He almost unwrapped himself of them, but found himself with a Kunai pressed to his jugular, and Anko standing behind him.

"Don't move," she demanded.

Finally the man stalled, his eyes hardened to a place in front of them.

The man wore a leaf headband but Anko was having a hard time placing him.

"So who exactly are you?" Anko questioned.

The man continued with his stare.

"Ignoring me huh," Anko whispered with an almost friendly tone.

Without a second thought she used her other hand to put a Kunai through the man's shoulder.

With a grunt of pain, he jerked forward slightly, the Kunai at his throat cutting him slightly. A trickle of blood ran down his throat, his eyes now more wild.

"I don't much like being spied on," she told him.

"You don't even recognize me Mitarashi," the man finally spoke up.

"Should I?" she questioned.

"Tanaka Hyuga" he stated.

After a moment of silence, the man finally growled. "The man you usurped."

"Usurped?" she asked bewildered.

"How are you a better student than I ever was," the man spat.

"You were one of Orochimaru's students." she finally understood. "Why don't I recognize you," she finally asked.

The man didn't even get a chance to talk before a voice behind her responded,"Because he was an utter failure,"

Anko didn't even need to turn her eyes to recognize her Sensei.

Circling around Orochimaru stopped in front of her captive.

"Tanaka it has been awhile hasn't it?" Orochimaru pulled the Kunai from the man's shoulder, once removed blood began to poor down the man's arm.

Waving the bloodied Kunai in front of the man's face Orochimaru teased, "you'll have to forgive Anko she gets a bit...passionate."

"Why?" the man asked.

"Well it was going to have to be removed sometime," Orochimaru said frankly.

"No, why was she prized as you're student, why was I never good enough?" Tanaka growled.

Orochimaru looked past him and gave Anko the signal to release him.

With an annoyed grunt she removed the Kunai from the mans throat.

"I know she's not a genius, so why?" Tanaka asked.

"For the longest time I looked for a truly talented student, someone that was inherently more powerful than anyone could be." Orochimaru started.

"I had several students from prominent families, and the ones that didn't die were gifted, or just got very lucky," he said as he glanced at Tanaka.

"And then there was Anko, some nobody kid that wasn't even initially to be my student, someone without a great amount of specialty."

Tanaka interrupted, "then why was she the favorite."

"For the very reasons that you were my worst student," Orochimaru hissed.

"She was determined, strong willed, and most importantly loyal." Orochimaru looked at the man with complete contempt.

Anko herself felt a bit warm with more praise than she had ever heard from her Sensei.

Tanaka must have had enough as he lunged at the Sanin.

Anko was prepared for this though, and had one of her summoned snakes clamp down on him. It bit right where the Kunai had been, and caused the man to cry out as he was pushed to his knees.

Orochimaru had not moved an inch, and seemed amused by the man's pathetic attempt.

"Such a weak boy," Orochimaru hissed.

With a wave of his hand the snake was gone, and once more Tanaka was released. "Run back to your master and tell him that I'm not pleased," Orochimaru ordered.

Finally taking the hint the man left quickly, blood trailing behind him.

"What a mess," Anko remarked at all the blood the man had lost. The dark crimson stained the leaves around them.

"Yes, Why exactly were you threatening Tanaka?" Orochimaru asked.

"What all that? And you don't even know?" Anko questioned.

"I figured you had your reasons," Orochimaru stated nonchalantly.

"He was spying," Anko informed.

"Really, then it might not have been entirely personal after all," Orochimaru speculated.

Anko raised her eyebrow at that.

"His master?" she guessed.

"Our good friend Danzo," Orochimaru supplied.

"Oh yes him," Anko replied. It was no secret that Anko had never liked the man, even if him and Orochimaru held common interests. "He's advocating strongly for you to be Hokage," she muttered.

"He knows a great deal about my pastimes of course," Orochimaru said. "He thinks he has power over me."

Anko was surprised that Orochimaru was even talking about his business dealings. Though she had always been connected to the nastier aspects of her Sensei's life, he never discussed those aspects.

A sudden boldness overcame her, if he was willing to talk about it, than she would as well.

"You know I do believe Danzo is getting up in years," Anko casually said.

"I suppose so." her Sensei agreed.

"When you're Hokage I think we should help him retire," Anko suggested.

A moment of shock and then Orochimaru's eyes were alight in amusement. A sinister smile came over his face as he pulled her into his embrace. "I do believe you're correct," he spoke against her lips. As he deepened the kiss Anko felt a warmth of desire fill her.

"You're just now noticing," she replied breathlessly against him.