The littlest tree snake

Chapter 1

Disclaimer, I suppose I don't own Naruto or any thing else for that matter.

Premise, what would happen if Anko interfered in the raising of Naruto from a young age, say 5 years old?

/ Breaking up the party \

Anko was running late, nothing really unusual in that, but this time it was important. She was supposed to be meeting the Hokage in his office about the continuation of her shinobi career after the vacation she took.

It'd been a much needed vacation too, she'd barely survived the lessons her teacher had wanted to impart after he made her his apprentice. That was a nasty business, one that led to her betraying the man once she understood that she was just an expendable tool for the Snake Sannin. A tool for him to use in his illegal experiments. Oh he'd taught her a lot, his skills weren't legendary for nothing, but he'd also taught her other things. Such as how much pain she could take before her mind snapped like a dry twig or how close she could come to death without actually dying.

So yeah, she'd needed a break to figure out if she really wanted to continue as a ninja and to be honest three months hadn't been anywhere near enough time. The doubt still plagued her in the darkness of night when sleep wouldn't come or when the nightmares roused her from a fitful sleep. The outcome of the meeting she was late for was still very much up in the air.

So here she was speeding from roof to roof, her feet barely touching tile before she was airborne once more and almost at the next roof she was moving that fast. So she almost missed something, she'd only noted it from the corner of her eye but something told her that it wasn't a normal crowd, it was a mob. A mindless seething mass of supposed humanity with a common denominator. As a ninja of Konoha, even one who was unsure she wanted to be one, it was her duty to find out why they were gathered, disrupt them and send them on their way if they didn't have a valid reason. To do so she'd have to backtrack several rooves as she'd overshot them a ways back.

Another thing roof hopping was good for was for being able to see over the tops of crowds. Now that she was back she could see that this was an angry crowd and if she recognised the young boy in the middle then things were about to get ugly. Not that it wasn't already, one of the villagers was drawing his foot back from where he'd just sunk it into the little kid.

"Die you bastard, you shouldn't be allowed to live! You're a demon!" the man was almost rabid he was that far gone in his rage. He nearly missed the fact that his foot had been pinned to the ground with a kunai as he went to kick the child again and screamed as the pain suddenly slammed into his system. That and another kunai that smashed through his collarbone, neither wound would kill the man but they'd certainly make him rethink what he was doing, that and he was the new centre of attention for the mob the child all but forgotten.

The villagers began searching for the source of the weapons, which didn't take long since Anko wasn't in a hiding kind of mood.

"So you fuckers want to hurt someone? Come on then, I'll take you on! At least then if you beat me you can say you had the balls to fight someone who could fight back. But then again, you fight me and you cowards will need to have your balls reattached surgically," Anko brandished a fistful of kunai so the villagers would get her meaning before she started throwing them close enough to panic the civilians but not actually hitting them. She wasn't trying to be altruistic it was just that she wanted them running away from the kid and they might not do that if they were hurt.

"AAaahh! It's the demon snake!"

"Run for your lives!" and so began the rout leaving a smirking Anko to watch as the fuckers found something much more interesting to do elsewhere. That and the people on the edge of the crowd were suddenly not a part of the crowd, they were just innocent passersby caught in a bad situation.

It was things like this that made the young kunoichi doubt her reasons for being a ninja. Why would she want to protect these ignorant fools? Surely they didn't deserve protection, it'd be better for the human race if they were removed from the gene pool in the most horrific manner she could arrange. Wouldn't it?

Stepping off the roof she landed on the dusty street and coughed lightly as a cloud of dust formed around her. The child hadn't moved since the crowd had dispersed and she was worried, surely the kid should have moved by now? What if they'd managed to do what they started? What if the Kyubi kid was dead? Anko cursed under her breath as she got nearer, the list of faces running through her head, if they had killed him they were going to pay in a similar coin.

Kneeling down next to the still form she rolled him onto his back and checked for pulse and breathing. She sighed in relief as she found both and then ran one of the only medical jutsu she knew, a diagnostic tool she'd learned so that she could assess courses of action for injured team-mates, not that she had any anymore. The green spiritually imbued chakra used in healing techniques touched the boys body and she began to interpret the influx of data she received. Hmmm, couple of busted ribs, already three quarters healed. She thought they might be old injuries except that she could see the progress of them healing it was happening that fast.

Well the broken bones were all the injuries she could find, other than the bruising you'd expect around broken bones so the kid should be conscious. That was when she looked up and found he'd opened the most incredibly blue eyes and was gazing at her in wonder. Though he didn't ask any questions she could see them in those eyes, the biggest one was, 'Why?'

"Well kiddo, looks like you'll live. I suppose I'd better get you to the Hokage and he can figure out what to do with you," Anko grinned at him, "Don't feel like talking huh? Well I can't say I blame you." Reaching over she slid her hands under him and picked him up.

"So tell me, you ever roof hopped before?" she didn't wait to see him shake his head before she leapt for the nearest balcony, two stories up and then flipped across the alley to a roof another three stories up. Landing in a crouch she noted that the boy wasn't even scared, in fact he looked excited, but then she supposed after facing down a mob of angry adults merely hopping up to a roof was pretty tame. Shrugging mentally she set off again for the meeting she was now even later for than she intended.

/ Hokage's office \

"This is just shoddy, are you sure you want to keep her on the books. Tardiness like this isn't a good thing you know."

"Hmm, true, tardiness is a bad thing in a ninja, but then I give my ninja a little leeway since they face such hard tasks everyday. Look at the likes of Kakashi, ANBU captain at the age of twenty one, he's always late, and not just by," he looked at the clock on the wall, "twenty minutes either. This meeting is to determine whether she wants to continue her career in any case. I think she's earned a little consideration with what she went through." Sarutobi glared at his old team-mate, Danzo hadn't always been like this, but then old age and constant war had hardened the man.

"Exactly, she was apprenticed to that traitor."

"A fact that we allowed, I seem to recall you backing the move at the time. Was it her fault that he turned out to be a murdering, evil bastard that would experiment on shinobi and civilians of this village? A fact that we missed, until she betrayed the mans activities. If anyone owes anyone an apology it should be us apologizing to her for the pain we allowed to be inflicted on her." That not being the only apology he owed, six months on from his confrontation with Orochimaru he admitted he should have treated the traitor like a poisonous snake and taken its head off while he had the chance.

Turning to the door as it swung open without a knock, the Third smiled at his new visitor, "Ah Anko-chan, please come in." He raised an eyebrow when he saw who she was carrying.

"Eh-heh, he followed me here, can I keep him?" Anko smirked as she looked down at the small body she was carrying. So she missed the quizzical look she was given by the two occupants of the room.

"Maybe you should tell us why you have Naruto with you," Danzo asked harshly as he scratched absently at his crippled arm where it hung in its sling.

"Um, I was heading here when I spotted this crowd, when I investigated I found him injured in the middle of said crowd. The cowards wouldn't stick around to attack me when I offered though." She smirked evilly as she remembered the crowd running like a panicked covey of quail.

"I see," Sarutobi regarded the young woman carefully trying to discern her reasons for helping the boy, "Well if you'd just put Naruto on the couch over there we should really get to the reason for this meeting."

Anko looked down at the child before she spoke, "Don't panic, I won't hurt you."

Before Naruto even had a chance to figure out what she meant he was airborne, just like roof hopping except there was no one to support him. He didn't even know why he didn't panic when he couldn't control his flight but for some reason he just knew he could trust the woman. Besides if she wanted to hurt him she could have done it by now. It came as a surprise when the back of his feet struck the arm of the couch changing his flightpath so that he struck one of the cushions and bounced up and down a few times before coming to rest.

Naruto had to restrain himself from running back to her and asking her to do it again, that'd been more fun than he could ever remember, and the grin on his face just wouldn't quit as he watched the three adults settle in to talk. He'd be content to wait until she was finished with whatever she had to do first.

Anko turned away before the boy even hit the couch, satisfied that he hadn't panicked. If he'd flailed around he could have changed his trajectory and she'd have had to save him, again. It pleased her to no end that the small boy had given her his trust, it couldn't have been easy for him to do, what with all the things he'd had to deal with in his life. She couldn't help the small smile that graced her lips as she turned to watch the leader of her village retake his seat at the imposing desk.

"So Anko, have you made a decision yet?"

"I have sir," she had to restrain herself from watching the small blonde she'd save.


"I wish to remain a shinobi of the village sir, but I have a couple of requests," Anko wasn't certain about her course of action but she did know one thing.

"Go ahead," Sarutobi gently prodded the thinking woman.

"Well sir, I really wasn't going to return to active duty, but then I……" she decided to go for broke, it couldn't hurt to try, "I'd like to, I want to take care of Naruto, you know train him and stuff," the words flowing rapidly as she didn't know when the outraged outcry would begin.

"You can't allow that sir, you might as well hand him over to me. I could see to his training better than this girl ever could." Danzo spoke before the Hokage could formulate a reply.

"That will never happen Danzo, and I shan't waste my time explaining to you yet again just why we don't need an emotionless killing machine. As for you Anko, why would you want to take on such a responsibility, you're young. You shouldn't do such a thing, it'll definitely stunt your social life." Anko just snorted, 'What social life?' The whole village avoided her since Orochimaru had fled the Land of Fire.

"Um, well he's just like me sir. He didn't ask for anyone to hate him, didn't do anything to deserve it either. I've seen the way he's treated and it makes the way they treat me look almost pleasant. If I'm going to be a shinobi, then I want to protect people and I choose to start with Naruto."

"Ah, you do realize that if that's the case I'll have to restrict you to C rank missions within the village? If you're going to take on such a responsibility you'll have to take it seriously, I need Naruto to be taught well, and looked after properly. Which means that dango is not a healthy food to raise a growing boy on," he smirked as she let out a moue of distaste, 'How could dango not be considered good enough?'

She hadn't really considered what it would mean to raise a child, the commitment meant that she couldn't take those missions outside of the village as she'd have to be away for too long and thus she might as well leave him to fend for himself in the first place. It also brought to light just how much she knew about raising a kid, which amounted to nada, zip, nothing.

"You've got a deal," it was becoming apparent to her that the situation surrounding Naruto was more important to her than she thought it was, "when do I start?"

"Well there's no time like the present I suppose. Now, even if you adopt Naruto, he's still a ward of the village and as such he'll still receive a stipend for his upkeep, oh and if you keep any receipts for training equipment just bring them in and I'll reimburse you. Within reason Anko," he'd seen the unholy light that entered her eyes at being given carte blanche on expenses like that. Plus watching her pout like that was fun.

"Well you're no fun!" she exclaimed before moving on to another concern that she'd just thought of. Her apartment was fine for just her but with another person it'd just be too small, "Can I requisition a two room apartment? The one I have now will be fine for a while but as Naruto grows it'll be too small."

"Certainly, it'll probably be easier on the both of you if we do that as soon as possible. I'll have the lands office contact you with all the listed properties and you can make a choice from there. So then I think that covers just about any contingency in the short-term, if you think of anything else don't hesitate to approach me, my doors always open. Hmm, Danzo, can you think of anything else?" Sarutobi turned to the other man who'd been almost sulking for the bulk of the conversation.

"No, I can't, so if you'll excuse me I have more important things to be doing with my time," Naruto watched wide eyed as the man rose angrily, and then sighed in relief as he turned and headed for the door, slamming it as he left. In Naruto's opinion it was never a good thing when there were angry adults around, he invariably got hurt. Anko looked at the Hokage and shrugged as if to ask, 'What's his problem?'

Sarutobi sighed, it seemed that the man wasn't over not being chosen by the council to be the Fourth, or to replace Minato Namikaze after he died, the council had felt that the villagers would be happier with a known quantity at the helm such as Sarutobi than a 'War Hawk' such as Danzo. The man had all the subtlety of a brick, and the political skills too.

"I hate to sound like him, Anko-chan but he's right. I really have too much to do, so if you're certain on what you wish to do I shan't detain you further." Sarutobi smiled at the young kunoichi who returned it with a hesitant smile of he own. That was like a record for her over the last few years, two smiles in one day, would wonders never cease?

"Thankyou for your time Hokage-sama, I'll just grab Naruto and be on my way." Turning away she walked over to the five year old, who with the usual inquisitiveness of a five year old had managed to pull half a dozen books out of a shelf, something he'd only ever do in this office since it was the only place he'd ever felt safe.

"Come on brat, we've got some shopping to do," Anko said as she reached down and picked him up by his belt before heading for the door with a giggling bundle of energy dangling from her hand. That was the image that burned itself into the old mans mind, that carefree swing to her gait as she walked from the room, and the wide smile on the boys face as she swung him through the air.

He had great hopes for the both of them, hopefully there would be a healing for them in the future. They both deserved it for all the pain they'd faced.

/ To be continued? \

A/N : This was just a short feeler chapter to see if anyone would be interested in the idea of this story. Anko is twenty six or so when we first meet her in canon so she's just shy of twenty in this story, Naruto's just past five.

Reviews are always appreciated, oh and if you haven't read my other work, feel free to drop in on 'One fine day' and enjoy. You can review that one too if you like.