A/N: Hello everyone and welcome to the fifth and (probably) final "episode" in this Anko/Kakashi series. I hope you've all enjoyed it so far. In case you haven't read the others yet, please read (in this order) Friends, Benefits, Tag, Hurt, and then this one, Deal. It'll make more sense if you read them in that order, because each builds on the one before it. Deal begins the morning after Hurt left off. So, let's get started, but first, I don't own Naruto. Enjoy!
The night Anko sent Kakashi away she cried herself to sleep. When she woke up the following morning, she could barely open her eyes. Her body ached from the previous day they spent in bed, (as well as other places) and her head hurt from crying. This sucks she thought as she realized how lousy she felt, and not just physically. She was emotionally spent and immediately began to wonder if she did the right thing or not. She couldn't bear to see Kakashi in pain the way she'd seen him when he'd come back from his last mission. She said to herself, "It was the right thing to do for both of us. I feel like shit, but I made the right decision." The problem she was having, was every time she tried to convince herself that she'd made the right decision, something pulled at her and told her she was dead wrong.
Kakashi spent most of his night away from Anko staring at the wall in his bedroom. He tried to go over and over in his head what the hell had happened. Everything had been fine, they always got along together, and the sex. Oh man, the sex was incredible. But Anko had chosen to be alone rather than risk losing him. He understood that pain all too well. Still he was having a really hard time trying to deal with this decision Anko had made for him.
He got up early and was soon ready to leave his apartment for work. He was completely healed from his latest mission thanks to Sakura's medical jutsu and Anko's – well, everything else. Anko he thought, what went wrong? We were such good friends, and the benefits we shared with each other, I'll really miss them. I wish there was something I could do to make things go back to the way they were. He knew that there were things about him that Anko just couldn't deal with. Him coming back to her in pieces was one of those things. He didn't mean for her to see him like that, but he'd promised to come back to her first thing, as soon as he was back from his mission. He'd kept his promise, but apparently, coming back the WAY he did was a bit too much for her to deal with.
Kakashi ran over in his mind everything from the beginning to the unfortunate end of their beneficial friendship. He was trying to find something he did wrong that he might be able to correct to make her want to be his "friend" again. But he'd give her some space for now. That's why he decided to go to work early, report in, and then steal away to find a quiet room to write up his mission report in. He knew Tsunade needed his report to decide what to do next about all the enemy ninja activity that had been plaguing the shinobi who were returning from missions. He'd found out some surprising information while he was out on his reconnaissance mission, and he was sure Tsunade would find it useful. He'd keep himself busy and try not to think about Anko, but he had no idea how not to think about her. There were reminders of her all over him – she'd "marked" him up the day before. Plus he still had the three pair of underwear he'd torn from her. How was he supposed to forget? How was he supposed to turn all those memories, all those vivid pictures in his head off?
Anko put a cold cloth on her eyes to try and shrink the swollen look she was sporting. I'm so stupid she thought. I'm an idiot. The man practically told me we were more than just friends and I bolted. What was I thinking? She continued to beat herself up for pushing Kakashi away. God knows the man never lets anyone get close to him ever. No women at least. Oh God. No woman except me. I am truly an idiot. I threw away something very precious. I threw away his trust.
Anko kept berating herself as she dressed. She opened her underwear drawer and a pair of underwear with "Saturday" sewn into them looked back at her. It was one of the seven pair Kakashi had brought her to replace the ones he'd ripped off her and kept. She felt guilty looking at them. They were a thoughtful gift. She picked them up and put them on, still feeling guilty. Soon she was ready to head off to work and she silently prayed that she wouldn't see Kakashi there because she just couldn't face him yet. She had no idea how to deal with this problem she'd made for herself and for him.
Kakashi arrived at work early much to everyone's surprise. Not too many people were even milling around yet because it was so early. He did manage to see Shizune and called to her, "Shizune, good morning."
Shizune turned, "Kakashi, you're back. We were beginning to get concerned. Everything ok?"
Fuck no. He thought. Everything's falling apart, everything's just wrong. He said, "Yeah. Would you let the 5th know I'm back? I want to go find a quiet room to work on my mission report."
"Sure. I know she'll want to meet with you as soon as she can. Where will you be?"
"What rooms are open?"
"Not many that I know of. You could go to the room where the reference books are kept. There's a desk you could work on and people rarely go there. You won't be disturbed."
"Ok. That's where I'll be."
"I'll come get you when the 5th wants to see you."
"Ok." Kakashi went off to write up his mission report, and try not to think about Anko.
Anko wandered in to work but was headed off by Kotetsu. "Anko, hey. Tsunade told me yesterday that she wants to see you this morning."
Anko sheepishly asked, "Ok, any idea why?" She'd hoped Tsunade hadn't gotten wind of her and Kakashi and the two days they spent together in bed instead of reporting to work. Kakashi had been gravely injured, and needed to be taken care of. But the manner in which she took care of him, when he was well enough – she didn't want to discuss that with Tsunade. While she waited for Kotetsu's response, she felt her blood pressure shoot up.
Kotetsu said, "Something to do with that last mission you were on."
"Alright thanks." She headed off to the 5th's offices completely relieved. When she opened the door to the office, she met Shizune there.
"Oh Anko, good, you're here. Tsunade-sama wanted to offer you your next mission. Pardon me asking, but are you ok? You just had two vacation days. You should look rested!"
Anko thought, if you only knew. She also knew immediately that Shizune was reading the emotions that she was wearing on her face. She said, "I'm just worn out and tired. It's nothing. When will the 5th be in?"
"Not soon enough. But shortly I'm sure. I've sent word to her that Kakashi's back,"
In that instant, Anko lost all interest in what Shizune was saying because she heard the name Kakashi.
Shizune continued, ". . . and he's writing up his mission notes to go over with her. She wanted to send you out to verify a theory she has about this whole mess. You with me Anko?"
"Sure. Sorry. Mind if I wait here with you for the 5th? I've got nothing else pressing at the moment." And I don't want to run into Kakashi yet.
"No problem, if you don't mind helping me with the filing."
"No, not at all."
The two ladies filed mission reports while making small talk waiting for Konoha's 5th Hokage to arrive – late and probably hung over.
Kakashi sat in the reference room and tried to remember all the details of his last mission. He thought, Come on focus, Kakashi! Think back to before you were almost killed. "Which time," he chuckled out loud to himself. He'd been "almost killed" so many times, he had to be part feline. If that were true, he had certainly gone through most of his nine lives.
He began to write the details of what he observed, of what seemed to be an enemy ninja underground operation that was being organized, and who he thought might be organizing this group. As he wrote up his reconnaissance results, he also included the detail of the extent of the injuries he'd suffered at the hands of one of those so-called enemy ninja. He wrote how he was found in a small dugout he'd made for shelter, rest and to basically hide in. The guy who'd found him had used what he considered a really neat jutsu to haul him out of the dugout. The guy had used thorny vines that he sent out to wrap around his legs and drag him out of his shelter, shredding the bottoms of his pants in the process. "Yeah that hurt a bit," he said as he recalled being dragged across a forest floor, his face getting dinged on small trees and brush. Luckily, he was able to turn over, uncover and use his sharingan to copy the ninja's jutsu. It wasn't until the enemy ninja had wrapped the vines around his arms and beat him against a tree that he really felt some serious pain. "Yep, smacked my ribs on a branch and pulled my arm out of its socket, lucky for me I still managed to get away."
He wrote about how he silently dispatched the guy with the guy's own jutsu. Since he'd been able to copy it, he used the vines and wrapped them around the guy's throat and squeezed the life out of him. He then hid the body in the woods and concocted another shelter to rest in. When night fell, he made his way back home, "and to Anko," he said out loud. He sighed audibly.
Anko and Shizune continued to file paperwork when the 5th finally wandered in with Kotetsu.
Kotetsu said, "Here she is. I found her trying to avoid this place."
"Watch it Kotetsu," the 5th growled at him. She turned and scowled at him, causing him to carefully back out of the room. Shizune and Anko just looked at each other and let Konoha's 5th sit down. At first she seemed oblivious to the ladies in the room. When Tsunade finally acknowledged them, she nodded and said, "Shizune, Anko, glad you're both here. Anko, Shizune and I have been going over some information and I'm going to send you on a brief mission to verify something for me. We have reason to believe that someone is pulling some strings and trying to gather bands of rogue ninja and have them set up bases outside the perimeters of the Hidden Leaf Village. We need to know what these bands of ninja are organizing. We have a feeling they're like small terror cells that are allowing our citizens as well as shinobi to leave the area, but when they attempt to come back, they are being attacked. Someone is setting this all up and we do believe that we have an inkling about where another group is setting up as we speak. Anko, I'm sending you out to see if you can find out who is setting up this new group. I want you go out, gather your information and get right back here. It's not safe until we know what or who we're dealing with."
"Of course Hokage. When do you want me to leave?"
"Have you had breakfast?"
"Then you can leave immediately. Here are the coordinates," the 5th handed her a piece of paper with coded coordinates on it where the latest band of enemy ninja were reportedly setting up a base of operations. "Get out there and come back as soon as you can. I need verification that they are indeed organizing, and if possible, try and find out if there are any recognizable bingo book rogues leading them."
"Yes Hokage. I'll leave immediately."
"Good. Off you go."
Anko immediately left the Hokage's office. She was glad that she hadn't run into Kakashi, and glad she had something to occupy her mind so she didn't have to deal with her feelings and the pain she felt. She decided to try and figure out what to do about this whole mess while she traveled.
In the meantime, Kakashi continued to work on his mission notes. As he was working, which was rare for him, he began to see a pattern emerging in what he was remembering that happened to him and to Anko on her separate missions. He thought to himself, we can leave the village, but we have trouble getting back. Hmmm. Other ninjas besides us have had the same thing happen. Ordinary people have had it happen to them too. Resistance coming back. We can leave easily, but not come back so easily. Alright, they're either trying one of two things. One: They're trying to clean out the village, or two: they're trying to make everyone so scared of leaving that they won't even try to. I need to think this over a bit longer.
Anko sped through the trees heading toward the coordinates that Tsunade had given her. She was instructed to look for any obvious bingo book rogue ninja as well as see if anything was truly being organized at the location she was given. Tsunade had an idea that she might see some of the famous bingo book enemy ninja, and she wanted Anko to verify that for her.
As she sailed through the trees, she found she was not able to stop herself from thinking about Kakashi and regretting the decision she'd made about their "friendship." She thought, it was for the best. Yeah. Kakashi is much better off without me, because God knows one of us may not be coming home one day. Still, she knew she blew it. She kept trying to convince herself as she flew through the trees that it was the right thing to do. The trouble she was having was that she didn't believe what she was telling herself. She thought, this isn't working. I made a big mistake. I have to tell him I'm sorry for hurting him. I hope he'll forgive me, but he probably hates me now. As soon as I get back, I'll talk to him about it, and maybe find a way we can deal with this after all.
Anko tried to focus on her mission. She was an excellent shinobi, very powerful and naturally talented. She always did her job well, and she'd continue to do it as long as she was asked to. She took pride in her job, that's why she knew that there may be a time when the job proved to be too much, and she may be captured and possibly killed. But not today she thought as she sped along, gaining focus on the job she had to do, hoping to get it done quickly, so she could head home, and apologize to Kakashi.
After traveling most of the morning, Anko reached the location Tsunade had instructed her to spy on. It seemed that a small bunker had been erected and there were about twelve people milling around working on it. They're building a kind of barracks. It looks like that anyway. And they've got weapons. Hey, I recognize that guy. He's definitely bingo book material, and he looks like he may be in charge. Better take a look around and see who else might be here. She made her way silently around the barracks making sure she wasn't seen nor heard. When she finally worked her way around toward the back of it, she saw more bingo-book rogues, all recognizable for their crimes against their own villages as well as others. They seemed to be building up stores of food and weapons. They didn't seem to be holding anyone captive, so that was good. She decided to stay a little longer and see if she could gather any more information to report back to Tsunade.
Kakashi spent most of the morning writing up what he remembered from his mission. He'd retrieved some information that he and Tsunade had worked on prior to him leaving, and began comparing it to what he experienced this last time. A pattern seemed to be emerging, but it wasn't consistent yet. He finally decided to take a break around lunchtime, and he wandered into the lunch room hoping he'd see Anko there. He really wanted to talk to her about what the hell happened the night before. He also wanted to assure her that he'd accept her decision and that there'd be no hard feelings between the two of them if that was really what she wanted. He just wanted to make sure she really meant what she said, because those times when they were together the past almost two weeks, it felt pretty damn good. He'd never felt so comfortable with someone in, he couldn't remember when. Well he could, but it was pretty painful to remember back that long ago.
If she did decide that they wouldn't be "friends" anymore, he would have to accept it. Problem is, I don't want to accept her decision. She never even asked my opinion. She just said, no more. Unfortunately, she was nowhere to be found so after eating some lunch, he went back to working on his notes.
Kakashi worked a while longer on analyzing the report he'd put together. As he looked it over one more time, he realized that the seemingly random attacks on returning ninja were not random at all. He also figured out that it was all part of a greater overall plot against the Hidden Leaf Village that someone or some group was orchestrating. This was serious stuff and the deeper he thought about it, the more serious it got.
Anko continued to spy on the encampment. She didn't see anyone else from the bingo book, but there were definitely some bad guys there. She wasn't sure exactly what they were doing, other than stockpiling stuff, and she didn't think they were going to try and attack the Hidden Leaf Village directly. But if more of these camps were situated to surround the village and there were enough of them; it could be very bad news indeed.
After gathering all the information she could, she decided to leave and head back to report to the 5th what she had witnessed. She figured that like last time, she would probably meet some resistance along the way and she was well prepared for it. Surprisingly, for the first five minutes or so, she saw no one, and sensed no bad chakra. She traveled quickly, guiltily letting her thoughts go to Kakashi. She wondered what he was doing. She hoped he didn't hate her too much.
Suddenly a horrible sense of foreboding enshrouded her. She felt it physically descend upon her like someone had draped her with a veil. Someone was there, and they appeared in a flash before her stopping her from moving another inch. "Going somewhere?" her white haired assailant inquired as Anko braced herself for probably the fight of her life.
A/N: Ok so far? If so, review please! More to come, and the action cranks up next chapter.
Next up: Kakashi figures out who's behind the attacks that the returning shinobi have been experiencing, and Anko deals out some serious smack-down. See you soon!