"What the fuck was I thinking?" she asked herself. "I can barely manage to keep myself from getting killed on a regular basis, and here I go taking some kid with the same problem to raise. I'm not even old enough to have my own kid…"

"I think you were thinking that you didn't want another person have to go through what you do, especially one so young." a man said walking into the kitchen were the woman was at. He looked at her with his one visible eye, while making a smile of sorts. He put a small orange book away and turned to face the woman. "Besides, I think that this will be good for the both of you, Anko."

"I know… It's just raising a kid is a lot of work that I'm not sure I'm ready for just yet. I mean, I just now turned 16. This is a sudden change, Kakashi." Anko replied as she finished her glass of sake.

"You'll be fine… If you still have doubts though, I will be glad to take him off your hands for you." Kakashi told her.

"Hell no! I'd rather die than to see someone as innocent as him turn into a perverted, tardy bastard like yourself!" Anko shouted.

"See, you're on the right track already." Kakashi said. "Anyways, I must be off, make sure you go report to Hokage-sama about his first night with you."

With a puff of smoke, Kakashi vanished leaving Anko alone again. She let out a small sigh as she returned to the sight of the small boy. She took of her coat and hung it on the door, and then sat back down in a chair by the boy's bed. He was drenched with sweat, as he began to kick in fear, as if he was having a nightmare. Anko slowly rubbed the side of cheek. His kicking slowed and then stopped, as if it had been enough to calm him down.

"Those damn bastards…" she said in a low voice. She closed her eyes for a moment and began to play that night back in her head.

Anko was walking home from a small shop in the west side of town which sold some of the best dango in town. She had just finished putting down her third plate, and was walking out of the restaurant with a rather happy smile on face. Despite what people saw though, this was not a face of joy. It was merely a mask. She walked down the road, looking at people out of the corner of her eye. They'd mutter things like traitor, monster, and whore. If not for the sheer amount of restraint she had forced herself to hold onto, she would leap out and kill everyone of those bastards. Instead, she shrugged it off, like she always did, and continued to make her way home, to the lone tower which rested in the Forest of Death.

As she was turning the corner of the street which lead to the fence that she leapt over to get to the forest, she came to what was an odd site. A group of villagers, were encircled around something. From this angle, she could not quite make out what it was they were shouting at, however she had heard the terms they were using. Monster, demon, brat, some of the things she was often called. With a sigh, Anko threw caution into the wind, and leapt on to the nearest building. She quickly sprint across the rooftops, making her way towards the crowd. The yelling became more violent and loud as she came closer. She nearly fell at the sight she saw. The anger now welling up inside of her.

In the center of the crowd, was a small boy. His face covered in dirt, and tears rolling down the side of his face. Terror, hate, and sadness filled his beautiful, blue eyes as well. He wore simple, ragged like clothing. An overgrown black t-shirt, which was barely hanging on to him any more, and a pair of dark blue shorts. Blood was running down the side of his face and his arms, as he tightly held a small teddy bear, as if he was expecting it to keep him safe from harm. With a single word, one of the villagers in the circle, walked up and kicked the small boy in the stomach, causing him to fall over into the mud. Another villager to advantage of this, jamming a kunai into the small child's leg. Anko's eyes focused in on that one who stabbed the pour child. Her eyes widened with anger as she saw the Chuunin jacket he was wearing. That was it. Anko would not let this shit go on any longer.

"Leave him alone you, bastards!" she shouted.

Anko leapt of the rooftop and landed in the middle of the circle. The small child looked even worse up close. One of his eyes were swollen shut. Mud, dirt, and blood were covering his hair. Cuts, scrapes, scratches, and dried blood ran down his legs and arms. This only made her more angry. The small child looked up at her with his ocean-blue eyes, before they closed and he passed out.

"What the hell are you doing, bitch?!" cried the Chuunin. "Move aside so we can kill that demon bastard once and for all!"

"What demon?! All I see is a poor child being beaten for something retarded!" Anko replied.

"Just goes to show you what filthy, treasonous, slut like you knows!" a woman shouted at her. "This monster child is the Kyuubi! Refusing to move shows that you are just as evil as the bastard is!"

"Evil…" Anko said to herself. "You want evil? You got it!"

Anko quickly formed several hand signs. She shot both of her arms forwards, causing snakes to shoot out of the sleeves of her jacket, straight at the villagers surrounding her and the small boy. One of them latched on to the Chuunin's face, its fangs impacting the skull of the shinobi. The townspeople quickly scattered to avoid the snakes. Anko used this opportunity to scoop the boy carefully into her arms, and run with him. Behind her she could hear the shouts of the villagers as theydecided to chase after the two. Anko knew she had to think of something, anything to save herself, as well as the child from the people's wrath. Without thinking, she turned a corner, only to find herself in a dead-end alleyway. She backed up against the wall, cradling the small child as if her life depended on it. Her eyes widened with hate as she saw them approaching.

"It's over monsters." one of the chasers shouted.

"You're right. It is." a voice replied.

With a puff of smoke, various Jounin now stood in between Anko and the child, and the townspeople. They all backed away, before one of the Jounin stepped forward. His silver hair shined in the light of the moon. You couldn't see much of his face, as it was hidden behind his hitai-ate and a face mask. After the townspeople recognized him, they turned and fled. The man sighed and turned to face Anko and the boy.

"Are you both alright?" he asked. Anko slowly nodded her head. "Good. Now then, I'm going to need you to hand over the boy." he replied.

Anko hesitated. What if this was another trick, for more people to hurt him. She looked at the child in her arms.

"No." she responded. She looked at him with fear of what would happen next. Her fingers rubbed the small whisker marks on his face. "Only if you let me come with him." Anko froze for a moment when she heard those words come out of her mouth.

"I promise, nothing will happen." the man replied.

Anko slowly handed him the boy and the two took off towards Hokage Tower. In his office, the third Hokage sat taking a break from the overflowing paper work on his desk. He took one long puff on his pipe before trying to get back to work. He sighed. This was a lot harder now than it was a long time ago. He picked up his pen to do some signing, when he heard a knock on his door.

"May I help you?" he called out.

"Two visitors for you Hokage-sama." the woman behind the door called out.

"I see." the third replied. "Please send them in." The woman nodded and through the doors entered Anko, along with the man that had saved her. The man holding the child, the child still holding his teddy bear.

"Kakashi… Anko…Naruto?" the Hokage asked.

"Is that the kid's name?" Anko asked.

She put her hand on his head and noticed that he was running a small fever. The Sandaime simply nodded, and turned to Kakashi. Said Jounin stood at attention as he knew a report was expected.

"What happened?" he asked.

"We found him being attacked by a group of villagers again." Kakashi explained. "Anko arrived to aid in his protection first, and when several other Jounin, including myself arrived, we were able to drive the rest of them off."

He slowly walked over to a couch nearby and placed Naruto on it to rest. Anko looked with concern about what in the world could have driven the villagers to attack a poor child like that. Anko looked back at the Hokage and walked towards him.

"Who is he?" she asked. "The name you called him, Naruto… Sounds familiar…"

"It should." the Hokage replied. Kakashi looked at him with concerned, but the old man's nod was enough to tell the Jounin that it was ok to tell Anko. "His full name… Is Uzumaki Naruto."

"Uzumaki?" Anko asked. Her eyes suddenly flashed when she remembered. "He's the kid with the fox demon sealed in him, ain't he?"

"Correct." Kakashi replied. "As a result, many of the people see him as the demon itself, instead of a carrier for it. They only see the demon, not the boy."

"Just like me…" Anko said to herself.

"What was that, Anko?" the Sandaime asked.

"It's nothing…" she replied. "So what will happen now?"

"A nurse is on the way to remove the kunai and treat some of his wounds." the old man replied. After which, he will remain here for the night and then in the morning I will place him in the orphanage again until he is about seven."

"Again?" Anko asked. "You mean this isn't the first time he's been there?"

"I'm afraid not." the Third said. He retook his seat behind the desk and took a puff of his pipe. "He has been kicked out of the orphanage several times, I manage to pay a fee to get him back in, and then the cycle will repeat itself."

"So why do you keep sending him back even though they'll just toss him back out?" Anko asked.

"There is nothing else that can be done." Kakashi says. "We try our best to keep watch of him, but with most of the Jounnin running missions, and the Hokage working to restore order to the town after the demon's attack and such, it is not easy to always be there for him."

Anko looked at the boy with her eyes beginning to water. He was being forced to suffer because of the village's issues of not being able to look deep into who Naruto really is. It was just like her on so many levels. She returned to the Leaf Village, to redeem herself, to work to be forgiven, but even after three years and becoming one of the youngest Jounin ever, she was still looked at as the scum of the village, much like Naruto. The nurse walked in and there was silence for the next thirty minutes. After she had done the treatment, she bowed and left the three and Naruto to themselves again.

"It's getting late." the Hokage said. "You should both retire for the evening. Thank you for protecting Naruto for me Anko."

"Wait!" Anko suddenly shouted. Kakashi and the Hokage both looked at her with widened eyes. "Let… I mean… I want to watch him. I want to… Adopt Naruto." She was stunned. Did those words really come out of her mouth?

"You?" Kakashi asked in surprise. "Are you sure about that? I mean, it seems rather rushed that you just jumped to that conclusion."

"I'm sure." Anko replied. "I want to do this. I want to protect Naruto from what I go through, and what path in life I took because of the pain of being alone."

The Hokage scratched his beard and nodded. "Take the boy home tonight. Kakashi shall escort you both there. Spend time with him tonight and tomorrow, and then be back here around 4 P.M. to make your final decision."

Anko nodded and walked to Naruto. She carefully held him in her arms, and in an act that surprised them all, Anko included, kissed him on the forehead, telling him that he would not have to be alone ever again. Kakashi excused themselves escorted the two to the place she called home.

Anko's eyes snapped open as she felt a sudden jerk. She looked up and saw a groggy, tired, and confused Naruto looking around his current location. He then looked down and saw Anko. Both of their eyes truly meeting for the first time.