Never Before

A/N: I got bored again so I decided to re-edit this submission. It's a rewrite of my first one-shot. I hope you enjoy it.

Never before had I felt this way about someone. Sure, as a qualified ladies man, I've had several flings. I have had a slight romance every now and again, nothing worth mentioning. One time when I was younger I even considered allowing things to continue past a week. I considered, very briefly.

Despite what I just said, I am not a romance guru by any definition of the word. What truly attracts women to me is the mystery that the mask brings. I've never understood its appeal myself. I've offered on many occasions to remove the mask so they could see my face. Every one of them declined. Not that I would have shown them anyway… She was different though.

I didn't even get a chance to offer the removal before she demanded it. As soon as we entered my small apartment she demanded that my trademark mask be removed. I was so shocked that I almost removed it. She is to this day one of the few people to get so close to seeing what I look like under it.

She was, and is, so different from the other girls. They don't want the man under the mask. All they wanted was for me to keep cool and wear the mask. They wanted the mysterious suave rogue that the mask was identified with. She however despised the mask. Too much illusion for her. She actually caused me to consider why I even wore the thing in the first place.

When I was young, there was no doubt in my mind for its purpose. My father's suicide was a disgrace. At the time I wore it to hide my shame at being related to the man I so resemble. When Obito was murdered during a mission, I hid my sorrow and shame in myself behind my trademark. After Uchiha, Sasuke defected I once again put all my failures behind the mask. But when I'm with her, she makes me feel strong enough to face my failures.

But she didn't care about why. She just wanted it gone. She's made this perfectly clear on almost every rendezvous. She's just so different. I don't know…

I've shown my sharingan to several people, never without reason though. Many female spies have tried to obtain the information about my stolen bloodline. None have succeeded. However sometimes when I'm alone with a civilian they'll ask to see the sharingan instead of my face. I see it as a deterrence I can use to avoid showing my face.

Unlike the others though, she doesn't care. "Damn it Hatake! Just show me your face! I don't care about the Sharingan, I've seen enough of that in my life! Now just take off the mask!"

I still remember most of the dates we've had. They went in the same general direction each time. But being with her… made each of them feel new and exciting. Every word she spoke sounded like a foreign language. Maybe it's because of the way she lies. Yes… That might be it. She lies just enough to make the statement false, but not enough to make it untrue. I've never heard someone talk like that before! I doubt that even I, a trained jounin, could pull it off! Even if my life depended on it. Maybe if her life was on the line though… I'd pull it off or die trying if it meant she'd live.

She doesn't like fluffy items. I've been with quite a few girls who would giggle and all together fall apart over a stuffed bunny. Then usually follow up with a famous "bunny" activity. Not her. I gave her a stuffed rabbit once.

I showed up unannounced carrying the small stuffed creature in my left hand. When she opened the door, she took one look at it. It was more of a casual glance. She arched an eyebrow and then slammed the door on my face. I was surprised and I'll admit a little hurt. The next day I found a stick with a rabbit's corpse impaled on the ceiling of my bedroom. The tip of the stick however held a note which read "Nice try, Hatake."

It caught me off guard, so much so that I went to see her. As soon as she saw me however she slammed the door in my face once again. Heading towards the window as ninja usually do I asked her "Why do you keep calling me Hatake?"

"You're the only one, so you're Hatake." She said with a small smirk as she tossed a kitchen knife at me with enough accuracy to force me to dodge out of her window-sill long enough for her to lock it. She was laughing the whole time. I felt it was worth it to see her laugh.

Maybe one day… maybe one day her response to that question will be different. I dream of the day when the response will be "You're the only other Hatake, so you're Hatake. Call me Hatake though, and I'll cut out your eyes and feed them too you."

Hatake, Anko. To some it may sound a little forced, but to me it's the most angelic name ever.

A/N: So I'm leaving the other version up if you want to compare the two. I hope you enjoy this one as well as the old one. Tell me what you think if you have the time. Either way, have a good day!