She had been brought to a cave somewhere in the countryside near Basra. Her hands were bound behind her back. Normally she could have gotten free in under thirty seconds. At the moment though her body was effectively paralyzed. There was a throbbing pain coming from her curse mark and she was barely able to sit up.
There were five others in the cave with her. Four of them were dressed in grey tunics with a purple cloth bound around their hips. There was a short red head with uncombed hair, a fat ass, a guy with six arms, and another with purple hair, green lips, and a hump on his back. They were obviously just underlings and didn't matter to her.
In spite of the pain coming from her shoulder Anko grinned at the remaining person. "So the great Orochimaru has to go around with bodyguards? Huh, that's just pathetic."
"Watch your mouth, bitch!" The red haired girl snapped. "We are the Sound Four, Orochimaru-sama's elite!"
"You're his elite? Seriously? I guess you've really lowered your standards, haven't you sensei?"
The girl was clearly about to reply but soft laughter caused her to hold her tongue.
"Ku, ku, ku you've grown up to be very bold and reckless, little Anko. I taught you to always weigh your options and never act impulsively."
The person who spoke had the face of an adult Uchiha Sasuke. He was leaning casually against the side of the cave with arms folded across his chest.
"Yeah, well after you threw me away I decided not all your lessons were worth anything."
"You've remembered a few of them though."
"No matter how much of a traitor and psychopath you are, I would never deny you're a great ninja."
Orochimaru bowed his head slightly.
"Doesn't mean I won't cut your balls off and feed them to you."
"I told you to watch the fucking mouth you shit eating whore!"
"Oh, it's quite all right Tayuya." He waved a hand to her. "Little Anko was my precious apprentice once. I had great hopes for her, until she disappointed me."
"You mean until you betrayed me!"
The reply came with a smirk. "You lacked the will to seek power."
Those few words brought back painful memories. They reminded her of a time when she truly loved him. When he'd abandoned her it had been like a father abandoning his child. She had loved him that much.
"Don't try and pretend it was ever my fault. You betrayed the village and the Hokage as well as me. I was a shinobi of the Leaf, and my first loyalty was always to Konoha."
"I felt that way as well once, before Sarutobi-sensei chose Minato to succeed him."
Anko's laughter was deliberately mocking. "Yeah, I remember, you were so heartbroken when the Third didn't choose you. How awful that you were only second best and Minato kicked you sorry ass."
The punch that broke her nose and sent blood spilling down her face didn't come from Orochimaru but, instead, from the red head. The girl stood over her with her fist shaking.
"Do you know who you're talking to, you ignorant skank? Orochimaru-sama is the greatest shinobi alive! His genius surpasses that of all others!"
Anko smiled up at the furious teenager. "And who told you that? Him? I know him better than you do bitch. Believe me, he's a very long way from perfect, though he never really understood that. Oh, and by the way? You hit like a girl, a civilian one."
Tayuya drew her fist back.
"Enough," Orochimaru commanded. "All of you, leave me. I want to chat in private with my precious student."
"But Lord Orochimaru…" Tayuya began.
The boy with the purple hair put a hand on her shoulder. "You know better than to question Orochimaru-sama. Let's go." With both hands he guided her towards the cave entrance. The other two went as well.
Tayuya made sure to send Anko a glare.
Anko stuck her tongue out.
Tayuya would have gone back except for the boy keeping firm hold of her and pushing her along.
Anko waited until they were gone and she was left alone with her old sensei. "They all worship you don't they? I can see it in their eyes."
"Yes, they would all gladly die for me."
"You always were good at making people fall in love with you."
"It is a useful skill." He walked over to her side and glanced down. "I have Sasuke's memories you know. I was quite surprised to learn you played with dolls. Really little Anko, at your age?"
"It was part of my cover," she couldn't keep her cheeks from turning slightly red.
"You got the entire set."
"I was being thorough," she mumbled.
Orochimaru rubbed his chin. "Sasuke never suspected who 'Chichi' really was. Of course, it was obvious to me. You were very close to Naruto, weren't you? Did you play any secret games with him? Boys that age are so full of curiosity and so very trusting."
"Shut up! Don't compare me to you, you perverted snake fucker!"
"Ku, ku, ku oh dear, did I strike a raw nerve? Perhaps I brought up a guilty memory? After all, you were always ready to do anything for the sake of the mission."
"I would never take advantage of a child like that! I know it's a foreign concept to you, but I actually care about him. He was never just a tool to be used and discarded!" She gritted her teeth. "So where is he? What have you done with him?"
"Nothing, I was not the one who captured him."
"Spare me your stupid mind games. You're not the one who attacked us? You just happen to be here. If you want to torture me try using a whip or something, that silly lie isn't fooling anyone."
"While it pleases me that you think me so capable, the fact is I was not the one who attacked you little Anko. Akatsuki was responsible for that, and they are the ones who currently have Naruto."
That gave her a momentary pause. "Why should I believe that?"
Reaching down he flicked her forehead.
"Because I am not in a position where I need to lie. We both know I have a myriad of ways to torture you if I wish. The simple fact is that I am not the one responsible for dear Naruto's capture."
"Then just why are you here?" She growled. "You just happen to be in the neighborhood?"
"I learned of what Akatsuki had planned and was attempting to prevent it."
"And why would you want to help Naruto and me?"
"Akatsuki plans to extract the Kyuubi. They are my enemy so I want to stop them."
If Akatsuki really did have Naruto, then he was dead unless someone could rescue him in time. Konoha didn't even know the situation, and any help would arrive too late anyway.
"All right," Anko said. "Say I actually believe you. If we manage to rescue him, what then? Are you and your groupies going to just let us go?"
"Certainly, my only interest is in opposing Akatsuki. I have no plans for Naruto or you."
Orochimaru gave her an indulgent smile. "You are not in a position to bargain little Anko. I captured you because this will be a very difficult mission. You could actually be useful. However, if you prefer to be difficult, I could simply cut your throat and move on. That would sadden me though."
"Yeah, I'm sure it would just ruin your whole afternoon."
She heard Uchiha Sasuke chuckle.
"If I agree to this would you at least get rid of that face?"
"Oh? Does it bother you to see your old classmate? Or is it that you miss your sensei's handsome visage?"
"Sasuke was a friend of mine. I'd rather not be reminded every second that you killed him and are wearing him like a coat."
"But I rather like this face, I find appearing as one of the elite Uchiha oddly appropriate."
"It doesn't suit you. Sasuke had his issues, but he was never a monster. How did you trick him into leaving the village? Was it a mind control jutsu? Or did you manipulate him like you did me and so many others?"
"Oh dear, must you blame me for everything?"
"Hello, you murdered him and are wearing his body!"
Orochimaru waved that off. "As it happens I did not need to trick him. I simply offered him power. He came to me of his own free will."
"I don't believe that." Anko set her jaw and glared at him.
Orochimaru sighed. "Very well, I will indulge you. I always did spoil you didn't I?"
"Yeah, how could I ever complain?"
Chuckling she watched as his face melded and shifted. After several seconds it was the familiar face of her old sensei. Seeing it again turned her stomach and made her want to stab him until her arm got tired.
"So will you help me save your precious Naruto? Or shall I leave you here to rot?"
"You always did have such a sweet way with words sensei. I'll help, for Naruto's sake. Just understand that I don't trust you even an inch."
"That is just fine little Anko."
Taking out his kunai he cut her bonds and ended the activation of her seal.
When the Sound Four were called back in they saw Anko on her feet, rubbing her wrists.
The boy with the humpback spoke. "I take it she is joining us Orochimaru-sama?"
"That's right. We are all one big happy team now."
From the way they were looking at her, Anko was sure that they were about as happy with this as she was.
The red haired girl, Tayuya, came right up to her. The top of her head reached about to Anko's chin. "We'll be keeping an eye on you whore. You try anything and we'll fucking kill you. Got that?"
Anko gave her a too friendly smile. "Sure. And by the way…"
Anko instantly dropped into hebi stance. She brought an open palm strike up and into Tayuya's jaw. The girl was knocked up off her feet and sent flying to land about five feet away.
"That's how you hit someone bitch."