Title: Once Bitten

Author: Sephira jo (contact: )

Series: Naruto

Pairing: Orochimaru/Anko

Rating:

Time line: Pre Oroabandonment. (Sounds like some kind o' dental surgery, don't it?)

Disclaimer: I don't own naruto. If I did it'd be fluffy. Fluffy like the burning.

Archive: with permission only.

Author's notes: in response to kaiyrah's challenge on fanfic no jutsu. The challenge was as follows:

Pairing: Orochimaru/Anko

Time line: any but AU

Rating: PG-13 to NC-17

Page/word limit: 200 words minimum

plot line: Insomnia isn't the only thing that keeps Mitarashi Anko awake at night.

thing that must be included in the fic:

- the phrase "sweeter than blood"

- setting CANNOT be indoors... (so perhaps on a roof, or under a tree...)

- mention of them being student and teacher once

So, here's my humble take on said challenge. Enjoy. Oh, and as for Time line, I figure Anko's an early teen in this fic, I hate to attach firm dates to it, so you guys can put it where you like. :D

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Anko shivered. The cool night air kissed her skin in so many places breezing right through the mesh top. And here I always thought being undressed was a good thing, she thought wryly. After all, it stopped most of the other chuunin in their tracks.

Mitarashi Anko, exhibitionist, she had heard herself called. She laughed in the night. So boys her own age couldn't handle her. So what? She saw no harm in that, it kept the morons at bay. Not that anyone her own age ever held any interest to her. They were all too soft. Too pampered. They weren't willing to do what it took to get the job done. Anything it took.

She was. And the only other person who understood that, understood her, was her sensei. Orochimaru. She had been lucky, so lucky, to get singled out by him. It was still a heady feeling, one of the san-nin picking her. After all, Jiraiya, it was rumored, only took on boy students; he claimed women were an undue distraction. And given his reputation at various bath houses and hot springs, that wasn't the least bit surprising. Tsunade didn't take pupils. And no one knew why that was. Frankly Anko didn't care. Her thoughts on them echoed what she had been told by her sensei.

Jiraiya was a pervert and a no talent drop out. Tsunade was crippled by her past. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that her mentor was the strongest, the most willing to do what needed to be done. The most talented. She viewed her infatuation at a distance. As far as she knew, her teacher had no knowledge of it, and Anko planned on keeping it that way.

Crushes were for soft little schoolgirls with too much time on their hands. And that wasn't Anko.

She landed firmly on a branch and looked around quickly. This is it, the meeting place. But Sensei isn't here. Am I early? If Anko wore a watch, which she didn't (she prided herself on her perfect timing) she would've checked it.

Anko tensed, a tell tale tingle running down her neck, making her hair stand on end. Whirling around, a kunai in her hand, she lunged. It didn't surprise her at all when she ended up against the thick bark of the tree, the cold blade to her neck instead.

"You are getting better," His soft voice always reminded her of the snake the two of them sought to emulate. It was high praise too, from her sensei.

"Not good enough," Anko returned, moving slightly, the cold metal biting into her neck. Warm blood dripped down her neck. He smiled. It was always cold when he did so, but it warmed her.

Orochimaru let the kunai drop. It stuck in the branch of the tree, glinting in a stray strand of moonlight. Anko tried not to flinch as she raised her fingers to her neck. She pulled away her hand and stared at it. A thin line of blood arched across her fingers. She brought them to her mouth, cleaning the blood off. He watched her with nothing more than an arched eyebrow. It stirred something inside Anko, she felt like she was putting on a show. So, not to disappoint herself, she showed off a bit.

"You enjoy the taste of blood," he said. It wasn't a question. Orochimaru did not ask her questions. He stated.

"Yes, though I like the taste of other's better than my own. Blood fed by fear is that much sweeter."

He smiled, as much as he ever did. The twisting of his lips that most people shied away from, drew her in. Her lips twisted in return. "There are things sweeter than blood," he said simply. There was no room in his voice for argument.

Anko raised an eyebrow this time, "Like what, Sensei?" Her tone was one of playful disbelief.

The smile that lit his face was different somehow. He had the look of the devil about him. Pure temptation. Anko didn't have the will to resist him. And even if she did, she would've ignored it. In a way only the truly untouched could muster, she trusted her teacher.

"I could show you, though it would be dangerous," the last word ending on a soft hiss that sent chills of a different kind over Anko's body. She trembled, not with fear, but with excitement.

"If you think I can handle it, then I know I can. I want to know!" Anko's voice shook with anticipation. She took a step closer to him, looking up at her own shining idol. "I have no fear," she stated simply. When I'm with you, was left unsaid.

He turned away from her, his long black hair fanning out behind him like a piece of the night itself. For a moment Anko was terrified that she had been rejected. Then he stopped and looked over his shoulder, "Come," was all he said.

Anko followed willingly, eagerly.

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He led her far from the village, to parts of it she had never known. This itself was not surprising. Orochimaru knew more of these areas than she did. Often he would lead her to places she had never known existed, and there, they would train. This seemed different though, the whole aura was strange, tense, and left a sweet after taste lingering in her mouth. If this was only a shadow of the main event, then her teacher was right. It would taste sweeter than blood.

He led her to what seemed to be the heart of nowhere. They were quite a ways from the village, she knew that with a certainty. Some part of Anko's rebellious imagination wondered if he had brought her out here to kill her. Orochimaru had had other pupils, all of whom disappeared suddenly and without warning while on missions. It had always added an air of danger to anything she had done with him. She was still alive and kicking. She had no fear of death, of disappearance.

They came to stop outside a tree so large that it was nearly impossible to see the top of it from the ground they stood on. The roots of the tree came up in places, creating a wooden cave that you had to look to find the entrance to. The branches twined around each other in wooden braids, so tight in places she doubted light would filter through. Anko only spotted it because Orochimaru was walking right towards a small opening in the branches. Maybe large enough to squeeze through.

Anko looked from her teacher to the cave of woven tree roots and back again. She shook off the small bit of paranoia that started to eat away in the back of her mind. He turned his golden gaze back on her, his eyes narrowing slightly with impatience. Anko sprung forward, her teacher was not a good man to keep waiting.

Anko followed him in to the tree root cave. It looked like in had been stayed in before, there were a couple inexpensive futon on opposite sides of the dirt 'floor'. Pieces of grass poked up making an odd carpet. She shot a puzzled glance at her teacher.

Turning around he took a step towards her, followed by another and another. Anko fought the sudden urge to step back. His presence was overwhelming and for the first time in her short life Anko felt out of place and ill at ease. Her teacher exuded an aura of danger. She fought against her urge to turn tail and run and won out. Good thing too, it would never do to have her teacher think she was a coward.

One of his pale hands reached out and touched her face. Anko looked up, shocked. In all their time together, he had never ventured to touch her. Not to mention her feelings about him. His touch, though cold still left a trail of fire across her face. He had her complete attention.

"Are you willing to do whatever it takes? No matter what could happen?" He asked simply, his expression all but unchanging.

Anko nodded vigorously, "Anything it takes," she said firmly. "I'd walk straight into hell if I had too."

His expression didn't change, but he seemed satisfied with her answer. There were small shifts in posture, in the way he held himself, that Anko had learned to pick up over the months she had been with her sensei. She prided herself on her observational skills.

His hand moved down to grasp the right side of her neck. The hold was a firm one, like he thought she would try to escape it. Anko didn't move, she held her ground, meeting his gaze as steadily as she was able too. "Orochimaru-sensei?" Anko asked, perplexed.

He didn't answer. In an instant, the grip tightened even further on Anko. She didn't even see him move, but he must've, because he wasn't where he had been not even a second before. The moment she might have been contemplating this was shot down quickly by a hot searing pain in the left side of her neck. Despite her best efforts, she cried out.

Something was happening. Anko felt like she was both being pulled out and pushed back into to her body, all at once. She was falling then, crumpling like a rag doll dropped to the ground. Breathing heavily, she tried to push herself up, and failed. She tried again, but it her arms seemed to be made of nothing more stable than wet noodles.

With a monumental effort Anko was able to roll herself on to her back. Even that simple action left her winded. She looked up at her teacher, the question she couldn't form with her lips spoken through her eyes. What's happening to me?

Orochimaru kneeled down beside her. Through the blurring of her vision she thought she saw him grin. The way her eyes were betraying her made the grin twisted, rictus. His hand brushed some stray hair out of her face.

"That's all ten that have come down with a fever directly afterwards," He muttered, most likely to himself. The words confused Anko, she tried to shift, and failed, the pain inherent in the twitching motions crippling. "Try to survive this, Anko. I would hate to have to find another subject. This has taken too long already."

His words were nothing more than a cold statement of fact, and in that moment, Anko knew what had happened to the other students her teacher had taken. She wouldn't disappear though, she refused to vanish into the night, to be nothing more than a memory, a note on a piece of paper with 'lost' jotted by her name. She would prove her worth. Through the fading vestiges of her consciousness she felt herself being lifted up and placed on one of the ratted futon. The world faded in and out of existence for a few moments, before dissolving completely.

Orochimaru-sensei...

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Anko stood naked in a garden. In the state of her mind, it never occurred to her that she was naked. It was like that minor fact didn't matter. Walking through the garden's green, she came to a tree in its center. She placed a hand on the bark, she knew, without knowing how she knew, that this was the Tree of Knowledge.

She gazed skyward through the branches. The sky was an odd sort of swirling opalescent mosaic. The shifting light added color to the fruit that hung from the tree, fat and ripe. And tempting. As always, it seemed just out of reach. Anko looked up at it longingly, she wanted to taste it. The rumor was that the fruit increased the power of the person who ate it a hundred fold. The fruit was forbidden, however, the punishment for such a transgression was rumored to be death.

Hearing a sound from the bushes, Anko jumped back from the tree, looking around, frightened. Though she was curious about The Fruit, she didn't want anyone to know where she was, what she was doing. She hid on the other side of The Tree, the side that was opposite the oncoming sound. The sharp bark bit into her back. Anko cast a glance over her shoulder, trying to see who else was here. Her eyes caught no one. She closed her eyes and sighed.

When she opened her eyes, she was greeted by the sight of a man standing in front of her. She shrieked and backed into the tree. A hand silenced her cry easily. His skin was as pale as snow, his eyes the eyes of a snake, cold and calculating. His hand was cool, like that of a reptile and he was clothed, but it added to his ethereal beauty instead of detracting from it.

He smiled, it wasn't a friendly smile, but it drew her in nonetheless. He removed his hand slowly, leaving Anko's mouth agape. "W...who are you?" She asked, trying to keep her voice dignified. Mitarashi Anko did not squeak.

He didn't answer her question, instead he turned it right back on her, "Who are you?" The hand that had been on her mouth came to rest right beside her head, his eyes smoldering like golden, black-slitted flame.

Anko stood up as straight as she could, the bark scraping against her skin as she did so. She didn't wince, though she bit the inside of her cheek a little bit, "Anko, Mitarashi Anko," she said simply, hoping the slight crick she felt in her voice didn't show through.

"Did you know this place was forbidden, Anko?" He asked, his timbre wasn't accusing, it seemed he was doing nothing more than stating a fact.

"Why do you care?" Anko posed to him, "Are you its keeper?"

"As a matter of fact," he stated nonchalantly, leaning in a little more as he did so his grin spreading wider, "I am."

Anko's eyes widened, but other than that her expression didn't change. Instead of cowering as another would've done, Anko stood her ground stubbornly, trying to look as if she had every right to be where she was. She said nothing.

"Do you know what the punishment is for eating this fruit?" There was no threat in his voice, simply asking a question.

"No," Anko lied. She knew, everyone knew.

"They say," he hissed, "That it causes death. But that isn't entirely true."

"Then why do they say it?" Anko challenged, "And what is the truth?"

"To scare people, to keep them away, to make them too afraid to try. But it doesn't always work. You are here. And in a situation like this, the truth is what you make it," his shoulders shifted, a shrug, "It is dangerous, but not always deadly."

He leaned in closer, his cool breath hit her skin when he spoke next, "Would you like to try it?"

"I thought you said it was dangerous."

"Are you afraid?" He asked simply.

Anko shook her head stubbornly, "I am not afraid."

It must've been the answer he wanted, for a hand appeared in front of her, holding a bright red fruit. The Fruit. Anko reached out, her fingers stopping just above the skin. She glanced up at him, her eyes narrowing with suspicion. "Why are you giving this to me?" She questioned.

"Because," the answer was simple, straightforward, he had been expecting the question, "I believe you will survive. I am a most excellent judge of talent, of strength."

Anko was still wary. There was something wrong with this. Something she couldn't put her finger on. Her hand hovered a little farther from the vibrant skin of the fruit. It pulsed and lived, even as the man in front of her did not.

"Watch," he commanded simply, bringing the pulp to his lips, and taking a bite easily, cleanly. No juice dribbled down the chin, though he left a mark behind. He held it in front of her mouth. He didn't appear to be dying, to be changed irrevocably for the worse.

She could smell the sweet juices from where he had bitten. It made her mouth water. Her tongue skimmed across her lips in an anticipation she didn't know she was showing. "Take a bite," it was spoken as an offer but a part of it didn't seem to be.

She wondered, would he force-feed her if she continued to hesitate? Could she continue to hesitate? She had always wanted to know. Wanted to taste power, taste talent. To touch heights others would only dream of. To fly so close to the sun to feel the heat on her wings.

Anko's hands wrapped around the fruit, covering the one hand of his that held it. Her mouth closed around where he had taken his own bite. The pulp was sweet, but not sickly so. There would be no lip-curling aftertaste. It seemed to melt in her mouth, move slowly down the throat. Anko savored it.

Until it caught there, in the back of her throat. The sweet liquid became molten lava. Anko's hands caught her throat reflexively as she fell to her knees before the keeper of The Tree. Her skin caught fire, starting on the left side of her neck and moving, down, down, spreading over her arm, she could feel it on her belly, reaching farther. It also moved upward grazing her cheek, covering half of her face. The marks were glowing like coal and burned as badly.

Anko bit her tongue to keep from crying out, she tasted blood swimming in her mouth. She released a coughing cry then spit the blood from her mouth, spraying it on the ground in front of her.

"And it begins. Your life, for mine. For I am not the keeper. I am not the tree. I am the fruit, and you have taken what I've offered. From here on out you are mine. This body of mine will die and fade, but the spirit will take root in yours. Through you, I will live forever."

Anko's limbs became wooden, sinking into the ground. Now she was screaming, each long raw cry muffled by the fact she was choking on the fruit. Her skin burned, her throat burned, her lungs burned. Sinking into the ground...

"Immortality..."

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Anko's eyes shot open, the world swirling around her like an impressionist's painting. She was no longer choking, though she did taste blood. She backed up into a wooden weave of branches. She couldn't see more than three feet in front of her, everything after that was swimming paint. How she had come to be sitting up, she had no idea.

She had been sinking into the ground. Some part of her mind wondered insanely if she now wasn't a part of that tree. Footsteps were approaching. Anko backed up even more against the bark as it dug into bare skin. Bare skin. She vaguely remembered a third party peeling clothing from her. It had been clinging so tightly that it was a second skin stuck to her by film of sweat. It was distant memory. Dreamlike in its absence.

A hand brushed the hair out of her eyes where it had been clinging to her skin like dampened fur. A pale, white hand. Anko's panic calmed slightly, her breathing heavy, but shallow, rasping in her lungs. The hand and the air surrounded it, surrounding her were cold, too cold. She couldn't stop shivering.

The eyes of the man attached to that hand were hungry, lit with a strange excitement. Bit by bit, recognition floated to the surface, wafting on the breeze of wasted thoughts. "Sensei..."

He didn't respond. She remembered, distantly, that he never wasted words. Not even with her.

"Wh-what's happening to me?" she wondered aloud, her teeth chattering in the biting cold air. She received no answer, instead, the hand left her face as a blanket was wrapped around her, taking away the chill.

The world around her began swirling again. Faster and faster until it dissolved into nothingness.

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This time, Anko opened her eyes to a lazily warm world. No longer panicked, but strangely calm she took an inventory of her surroundings. Then her eyes landed on him. He sat opposite of her, his eyes met hers somewhere in the lazy world Anko created for herself.

She smiled, and rose to her feet, the sweat soaked blanket falling to around her ankles in a misshapen pile of dust covered fabric. She understood, or thought she did, what it was her sensei desired. Her. More specifically, her body. Anything she had was his for the taking. Everything. She would lay down for him willingly. Though some might chastise her for it later, she didn't give a thought beyond flicker to that. It didn't matter.

Only he mattered. Moving slowly, like a languid flow of a lazy midnight stream, Anko started towards him. His eyes were on her, there was no confusion there. It seemed he knew as surely as she did what it was she was about. This pleased her. She fell to her knees in front of his sitting form. Anko gazed up at him, and laying her hands on his clothed shoulders, leaned upwards and placed her lips on his.

For what seemed the longest of time, he did not respond and Anko felt the beginnings of a muted fear spread through her body. Then his lips moved with hers, over hers. Tension slid off of Anko like rainwater off a roof. She felt his hands on her hips, fingers skimming the flesh there.

Emboldened by this, Anko's hands curled in his kimono, pulling at it slowly. There was no burning urgency in her actions. There instead was a lazy, but nonetheless, potent desire. The garment slid off his shoulders, stopping mid arm and Anko's hands locked around them kneading the flesh there.

Anko's world was on of dual sensation, not only what she was feeling but the feelings she aroused in her teacher as well. She couldn't understand why this was, and chose not to waste time trying to figure it out. This time he kissed her, his fingers tracing patterns on her face.

Curious, for the moment she had to breathe after the kiss, Anko looked down. Her skin was painted with tar colored marks moving all the way down her left side. They seemed to glow faintly in the darkness. Anko looked back at her teacher, a question forming on her lips.

It was a question never asked, as he took her mouth again. He bit at her lip and when Anko parted her lips to gasp his tongue slid inside. Anko answered it with her own as she moved in closer.

Quickly, he was taking charge of what was happening between them and Anko let him. She was lost already, feeling everything from two sides. One thing reflected and spiked into another.

When he rolled her beneath him, covering her body with his, Anko was already trembling in anticipation. When he took her, swiftly and surely, she hardly noticed the pain, the pleasure flooding in from both sides drowned it out.

Then, as he rode her, he bit her neck, covering what ever it was he had placed there earlier. Anko cried out, her skin dancing fire.

Afterwards, the world fell back into darkness.

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The fever broke sometime later. Anko could tell when she woke up cold in a blanket covered with her own sweat. The remnants of dreams danced in the back of her mind. She blushed severely for a moment burying herself in the ratted futon blanket.

Composing herself, she sat up and caught a glimpse of her sensei's white and muscled back, as he was dressing. A blush heated her face. Somehow, she knew that parts of the dream must've been very real indeed. He looked over his shoulder at her, and instead of looking away shyly, Anko grinned widely.

"I lived," she stated simply.

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The rules had been clear as he had delivered them to her. She was to tell no one of the mark, of their relationship - or what passed for one. Anko had been too glad to agree. On her, he perfected his art of sealing. At the time, Anko felt nothing but pride for being a part of it.

Then, months later, he left. And Anko learned the true nature of what it was he had been testing on her. She punched the wall of her room, leaving a hole in the wall twice the size of her fist. Used, danced through her mind over and over again where it mingled with betrayed.

Orochimaru, I will find you, Anko thought sourly, and I swear I will kill you. It's my responsibility, because I am your student. One of your choice 'bodies'. And I'll do it without this gift you gave me! Anko's hand went to the seal at her neck. Once a gift, a precious gift, it was now truly a curse.

After all, hell hath no fury like a woman bitten, Anko thought to herself, wryly changing the quote to fit her own needs.