A/N: Wow! I never expected such a good response out of that chapter. The most reviews I've gotten for a single chapter too. Thank you!
My version of Anko is actually 40 years old. She was 24 when the failed immortality technique was used on her and after adding 9 months for her pregnancy, 12 years for Naruto's age, the 2.5 years of the time skip, and at least a year between the start of the series and the end of Part 1. Remember, because of the "cursed skin", she is 24 on the outside, but 40 on the inside. The differences are slowly tearing her apart.
Chapter 11 – Trap Revealed
Anko hated crying. It just wasn't her. She would rather keep her sorrows hidden behind a mask of smiles and laughter than to reveal the loss she felt inside of her. No one in Konoha would have understood anyway. It wasn't as if they really knew her.
Although, suddenly she felt she didn't know herself, well, at least nine months of herself. Nine months of bliss with finally being with the man that she loved ever since she was a girl and nine months of her belly growing with the child inside of her.
Now that she thought about it, it appeared that mother and son hid their tears the same way. Hiding behind a mask that no one else could see through, it looked like they had more in common than being loud and energetic.
"Naruto," she said, testing the name with her voice. She has heard and said it a few times before, yet she never felt the emotions she had now over the name before. His childhood pranks never affected her so she wasn't irritated by his mere mention of his name and the Chuunin Exam only made her curious about the interesting kid, but no more than others like Ibiki and the other examiners.
However, now with the memories of those nine months fresh in her mind, she was filled with the feelings from old memories of love and affection as the new life grew slowly inside of her and the happiness that took away her exhaustion as she held him in her arms for the first…and last time.
Could she change that?
She imagined living in the same house as her son, yelling at him to wake up in the morning or to eat something healthier than ramen. A single parent in Konoha wouldn't be unusual, especially when one or both parents were ninja, and he was only fifteen. It could be different than when she was forced to give him away, Konoha had forgiven her for her part in Orochimaru's actions. She had freedom now, would it be enough to raise her own son?
A sharp pain drew her thoughts away. Anko held up her arm and watched her skin twist and tighten as if it had a life of its own. She could hear it creaking, like leather slowly being tightened, and she closed her eyes until the unpleasant sensation went a way.
If it weren't for this unnatural skin then maybe she would know she had been pregnant. Even with her memories blocked right after she gave birth, it would have been hard to miss the physical changes in her body, but she had been so exhausted she probably slept for days without noticing, always assuming that it was the unnatural skin itself that left her in that state. Now she knew differently.
She wiped the tears off her cheek on the cuff of her trench coat as she struggled to her feet. Her feet were unsteady and her stomach queasy from having nine months of memories poured into her mind at once, but she still managed to stand.
"Damn it!" she cursed as she gritted her teeth in frustration. After all that she was starting to feel her real age rather than the fake one that she had been pretending to be for so long. "I can't believe I agreed to having my memories blocked!"
She thought back the first time she saw Naruto up close. It was at the end of the first test for the Chuunin Exam. She came flying through a window and into room with a banner with her name on it. The blond boy looked at her shock, but so did most everyone else in the room. Later she cut him with her kunai as a warning and held him close, although it definitely wasn't motherly at the time.
"I can't believe I licked his blood!"
Anko had to admit she wasn't the most gentle of women. Orochimaru twisted her natural energetic nature into something sadistic and violent. Even after he left her life, she was still quick to use a kunai.
A newly recovered memory popped into her head. She remembered sending kunai flying whenever Kayaku got out of hand. It wasn't a surprise, his teacher was a self-admitted super-pervert, and it appeared he passed it on to his own student, given Kakashi's habit of reading his perverted books in public. She wasn't shy or prudish by any means and was bold enough to flirt with him and flaunt her curves underneath a revealing fishnet body suit, but she had no tolerance for his perverted behavior when they weren't on her.
"I guess love from me isn't painless," she told herself, but she decided with a smile that if his father could take it, then so could Naruto.
Anko also remembered how she held Naruto before the second test. She stood behind him with a hand on his cheek. Her hand stayed there, almost protectively as Orochimaru disguised as a Grass ninja snuck up behind her. She wondered how much of her mind might have known the truth.
"Orochimaru," the name slipped off her tongue. Her teacher had caused her so much pain in her life and now he was going to do it again. A new feeling filled her, it was akin to a fierce lioness desire to protect her cub. "If you touch my son, I'll kill you!"
She walked across the roof toward an available window.
It might already have been too late, but she knew at least one Anbu was around and prayed that they had enough sense to take Naruto away before Orochimaru's trap sprung.
Kakashi winced as Naruto pulled a bandage tight across the shuriken wound on his shoulder and wrapped the bandage around a few times off a small roll. They were sitting on the edge of the remains of the water fountain. Pakkun lapped at the remaining water. With Takegaki's giant plant gone it left a room full of cracked marble and concrete pulverized into dust. Even the floor looked unsafe to walk on.
"Sorry, Kakashi-sensei," the blond boy apologized and not for the first time. He was after the one who had thrown the shuriken at his teacher in the first place. Since it had saved Kakashi's life, he wouldn't really yell at Naruto for it.
With his forehead protector pulled back over his now aching Sharingan eye, he looked with his other eye at the dead body of the Grass ninja, Takegaki. The older ninja remained where he collapsed and dead from the fatal stab wound from Kakashi's sword. Although, something prevented the man from telling Kakashi what happened to him, his remains told a story.
His left arm, an arm that Kakashi himself had cut off years ago, had a been replaced by another man's arm, this one a shade lighter than Takegaki's skin tone and slightly out of proportion, but good enough to make him dangerous again. Not only that, but both of the man's eyes had been replaced with burning eyes that belonged to an advance bloodline from a clan of the Hidden Grass Village.
Kakashi knew from experience that it took a medical ninja with a great amount of skill to do just one eye, but to do all that had him worried, especially this close to the border with the Tea Country. There was one particular man he suspected. However, what would the Sound be doing here?
"Naruto, we're leaving."
"What! But, Kakashi-sensei, the people—"
"Are already dead. This situation has grown too out of control for the two of us. We need to go back to Konoha and report this to the Hokage."
Kakashi placed the hand to his uninjured arm on Naruto's shoulder. It felt like old times as he tried to control Naruto's impulsiveness. "Listen to your sensei for once. It's been a while, but I still know what I'm doing. The deeper we get into this the harder it will be to get out. Whoever did this to Takegaki isn't messing around and if it's who I think it is then we are no shape to take them on."
"I'm fine, I'm already healed!"
"Yes, but you're the one whose most in danger here, I can't risk you getting captured."
Naruto gave him a distrusting look, "Are you saying that as my teacher or as an Anbu?"
Kakashi blinked in surprised, he knew the threat of having Anbu chase Naruto down if he left Konoha because of Kyuubi had been used more than once.
"Do you distrust me that much?"
Pakkun spoke up, after they had forgotten him for so long, "Naruto, you forget Kakashi told Takegaki that you were his precious student. He's trying to get you to leave because he's worried about your safety." The pug dog looked downcast, "There is nothing alive down there, except those who killed them, but even a ninja dog like myself know you shouldn't take on a superior enemy alone without your pack to support you. If you find the enemy you call out for your pack brothers."
Kakashi tightened his grip on Naruto's shoulder gently, "He's right."
Naruto knew they were correct, but given recent events he just wanted to save someone, not to feel helpless as everything he did was already too late to save their lives. If he was alone he would keep going forward, but he wasn't alone even if Kakashi was tired from his fight with Takegaki. If he tried to leave Kakashi, he knew Kakashi wouldn't abandon him and would follow him at the risk of his life.
"Okay, Kakashi-sensei, lets leave," he said. From his expression, Kakashi could tell Naruto really didn't want to leave, but he understood the dog's logic.
Pakkun jumped out of the fountain and sniffed at the floor, "That plant tore through everything. Be careful when crossing the floor, it could collapse on you."
Kakashi nodded in agreement and started across it, with Pakkun leading the way, but he took one look at the remains of the entrance and knew there wasn't any way they were going to pass through the fallen blocks of cement and stone.
"Head for the stairs, we'll leave the way we came in," he ordered.
Each step they took was accompanied by loud cracks, almost as if they there were walking across ice, except it was solid floor, literally torn to pieces by giant plants and overwhelming vines.
Pakkun was the first to make it to the steps, but he lifted his head up and sniffed.
"What is it?"
The pug dog looked at Kakashi in surprise, "I think I smell—"
Kakashi couldn't hear the rest as the floor beneath his feet felt as if it slipped out from under him. The fragile floor broke underneath him, sending him down to the basement.
He wasn't alone as Naruto also fell as the entire floor gave way, but at least Pakkun jumped to safety onto the stairway.
The sound of cracking and crushing was all around them as the building shuddered. Neither one of them would have been surprised if the sounds didn't come from their own bones as they hit the solid ground of the basement.
Naruto coughed as dust lifted into the air and into his lungs, but each hard fought deep breath brought him a whiff of death all around him. "It looks like we're in the basement anyways."
"This isn't good," said Kakashi as he looked around in shock. The scene was entirely too familiar for him. There were many dead bodies, each tied to a board propped up against the wall or laid on the floor, just like what he saw several years ago in a secret lab.
Naruto looked around in horror, "What is this?"
A voice spoke and it wasn't Kakashi.
"This was merely entertainment. Now we can get to business."
"It's been a long time, Naruto-kun."
Orochimaru stood out of the shadows several feet away from them and into a beam of light that managed to find its way out of the broken walls and down into the basement that was no longer covered by the ceiling. The ceiling itself now covered the ground of the basement in broken bits.
Kakashi struggled back to his feet, but he flinched. One leg was broken. The situation was bad, his Sharingan was over used, and his broken leg would limit his movement. To top it off Orochimaru was actually here. It was the worse possible situation.
"Where's Sasuke!" yelled Naruto as his features transformed again into something more fox-like, with bloodshot red fox-eyes and claws for nails at end of his fingers.
Kabuto stepped into the light next, the sunlight glared off his glasses. "You shouldn't be worrying about Sasuke-kun right now, since it's you Orochimaru that we've been waiting for."
"Me?" Naruto looked at them with a confused look, from what he knew Orochimaru and Kabuto both thought little of him other than being a mild annoyance powered by Kyuubi. Orochimaru tried to kill because he looked troublesome after using Rasengan, but he apparently wasn't important enough for Orochimaru to go out of his way to try to kill him again.
Until now, it appeared. Had Orochimaru finally recognized him as a powerful ninja?
"Actually, I have no real interest in you," Orochimaru told him with an amused smile.
"I've been waiting for Jiraiya. I went to a lot of trouble to lure him here, but the Akatsuki got in the way. They disrupted my plans, so I'll disrupt their plans. Besides, this still might be entertaining to watch."
Kakashi tried to move, but ended up collapsing on one knee. "Naruto, run!"
"If you run now I can slow them down. My leg's broken, but you can get away."
Orochimaru laughed evilly. "Do you really think you can stop us for long? With your leg broken, you can't use Chidori very well and your Sharingan should be over used by now thanks to Takegaki. The shock to your system should be crippling you soon."
"But I can stop you from getting Naruto."
"Don't be ridiculous. I have no intention of getting Naruto-kun at all. I have no need of Kyuubi and I have no desire for the body of a substandard ninja like him. This is merely revenge. Besides…you are already too late…Summoning Technique!"
Out of the cloud of white smoke slid out a huge snake with brown scales speckled with dark green. It was huge and looked like it could swallow a person whole easily and from the look of its golden eyes, Kakashi was first up.
It slid forward fast and towards Kakashi. Its forked tongue flickered in and out.
Naruto got in its way, determined to stop it with his hands forming the hand seal for the shadow clone technique , but Kabuto ran toward him fast with an aura of chakra already around his hand. The snake distracted Naruto, but memories of the last time he and Kabuto fought, quickly entered his mind and he knew he was in danger.
Kabuto's thrusted his chakra covered palm out toward Naruto's chest, but he quickly moved his arms from the position to form a hand seal into a taijutsu block. Naruto felt Kabuto's palm strike his hand and the medical ninja's chakra slice through the muscles and nerves, but he grunted at the hot flash of pain as he jumped backwards, dodging out of the way of another attack.
"You remembered to protect your heart," said Kabuto calmly as he pushed his glasses back up his nose while he stood still. He had aimed for Naruto's heart as he did more than two years ago, to cut Naruto's access to Kyuubi's chakra and prevent him from healing, but this time Naruto was prepared. "But that attack should have sliced through the muscles and nerves of your hand instead. Can you still do a hand seal?"
Naruto didn't answer as he flexed his fingers painfully. It would be painful forming hand seals, but as long as his heart was fine, he would still have access to Kyuubi's ability to heal him. His injury wouldn't slow him down for long, but Kabuto knew his weakness.
Naruto turned to the sound of Kakashi's voice and found the snake trying to wrap itself around his teacher, but Kakashi has summoned the entire dog ninja pack to fend it off, each one with its fangs sunk into the snake's scales, but they didn't detour it much. The snake had already managed to restrict Kakashi's arms, preventing any more hand seals.
Naruto turned, prepared to help. This time he was able to form the hand seal and two clones appeared out from a puff of smoke.
"Don't forget about your opponent, idiot," lectured Kabuto as blue chakra flared around his hand once again, forming an edge so sharp it could cut.
He ran up to one of the newly formed clones and swiped his blade made of chakra across the clone's throat and ignored the look on its eyes as it disappeared in another puff of smoke.
Kabuto ran toward the real Naruto, prepared to strike.
However, a shape clad in brown somersaulted into the basement, between him and Naruto and reached up to thrust a kunai right through the palm of his hand. He didn't have time to scream in pain or realize who is opponent was before being given an uppercut that sent him flying back toward Orochimaru.
"Anko," said Orochimaru as he locked his snake eyes on her. "You've arrived just in time. Did you enjoy my gift."
Anko stood up from where she landed between Naruto and Kabuto and straightened out her trench coat.
"Yeah, like all the other gifts you've given me," she spat. Although, she had to admit to herself it was better than the cursed seal or the incomplete immortality.
Orochimaru really didn't know what he had given her, he only assumed the blocked memories were every horrible deed she had done for him. Perhaps he thought she would be still on the roof, frozen in guilt, but she had learned to live with those memories long ago.
"Kakashi-sensei," yelled Naruto as he turned back to the snake, but Anko grabbed him by the wrist. He turned his head and looked at her in surprise.
"W-Wait!" she managed to yell. What she had planned on saying wasn't coming out well now that she was touching him, but no matter how much her new maternal instinct was telling her to hold him, but this situation wasn't the right time for that. "If you keep turning your back to Orochimaru in this fight, you'll be killed!"
"Is still alive, that snake is only meant to restrain him so he can watch," she turned to Orochimaru and smirked, even after all this time apart she could predict her sensei's twisted behavior. "Did you spend all this effort to make your trap just to have your medical flunky running around? I'm sure you have something more impressive to entertain us."
Orochimaru stared at her, his snake eyes would normally make her uncomfortable looking at her like that, as if they could see right through her to see her vulnerabilities, but with her hand tight around Naruto's she managed to find strength.
However, she knew she had to be careful. Orochimaru left before she became pregnant and that pregnancy was well hidden. There was no way he knew about it, but she couldn't risk him using it against them.
"You're quite right, Anko," Orochimaru told her as he formed a series of hand seals. "I shouldn't waste any more time to finally release this trap! Summoning Technique! Edo Tensei!"
A portal opened in the floor and a casket rose from it. It was something Naruto had never seen and he watched it carefully. The only distinguishing feature was the character for the number four printed on it.
Kakashi's uncovered eye widened with recognition.
Anko turned to him with disbelief in her eyes, her hand let go of Naruto out of surprise, "Is that?"
"Yeah, its bad," he told her as he looked at Naruto, the only one in there that didn't understand. "Naruto! Get out of here now! This technique is way beyond your abilities!"
Naruto turned back and gave Kakashi an angry look, but moved down to Kakashi's broken leg and the snake wrapped around him so he couldn't escape. Naruto's expression was unreadable as he turned back to the casket.
"Those who abandon their friends are worse than trash," he said softly as he made up his own mind over what to do. Kakashi couldn't bring himself to object over those words.
The casket opened with a loud creak as the cover opened. It fell and slammed to the floor bringing up a cloud of dust that nearly concealed the shape within until it stepped out into the light.
Naruto stared at the figure, which turned out to be a man dressed in the green flak jacket of a ninja from Konoha and a long white coat with red flames around the hem. His spiky blond hair and blue eyes were so much like Naruto's own, even if somewhat dulled by the layer of dust and ash that covered the man. Yet the most shocking was a face that was very familiar to him, just like a stone face carved in the mountainside that he had stared at for all of his childhood. Even if the man in front of him appeared to be made of flesh, it wasn't hard even for Naruto to recognize the similarities.
Yet, he turned back to Kakashi with a somewhat clueless expression, "Hey, why does this guy look like…" However, both Kakashi and Anko stared at the man in frozen shock.
He turned back to the man made of ash and dust and saw the man's own blue eyes watching him. Naruto felt uncomfortable at first, but the man gave him a warm smile.
Orochimaru walked around the casket. He wore a wide evil grin as he looked at Naruto, "Let me introduce you Naruto-kun. This is the man who made you what you are, the man who sealed Kyuubi inside of you. This is…"
Naruto didn't need any more hints, he already knew.
The Fourth Hokage!
Next Chapter: Family Reunion
Author's Note: Should I start laughing evilly here?
I left Edo Tensei as the Japanese name, normally I leave the English equivalent name, but Edo Tensei is one of those names like Rasengan and Sharingan that is more recognizable in its Japanese name, but for fun, it means Impure World Resurrection.
Added: When Orochimaru summoned the 3 caskets when fighting the Third in the anime the Third was able to stop the third casket. In the manga it didn't show the third casket, but it also says he managed to stop it from appearing. Both imply the Fourth was inside the casket, but we later learn that the Shiki Fuujin technique takes the user's soul and victim's soul into the Shinigami. So the Fourth's soul shouldn't have been there. It is either a continuity error or as I've seen often in forum debates, the fact that Kyuubi was not placed in the Shinigami and was placed in a baby instead, somehow the Fourth found a loophole in the contract that allowed his soul to go free, thus it was available to be used in Edo Tensei. If not, then Orochimaru made a mistake and didn't notice he didn't have his soul when placing it in his sacrificial body, but if true then it would have been easier for Kishimoto to show an empty casket than to have the Third stop it. The Third knew how the technique worked yet he also knew he had to stop the casket. Either way, I've used the belief that the Fourth's soul was not in the Shinigami so that the technique will work so that I can do this Uzumaki family reunion. If you don't agree then suspend your belief because I'll make it worth it.
1.1: Added a comment about Edo Tensei.