Happy birthday, my dearest Anko Mitarashi! Today is October 24, 2010, the birth date of Anko. This is for you, sweetie. The story features the song "Goodbye" by Jessica Lowndes, and the story is suppose to tell how Anko… Well, how about I let my good friend, Ryunn Kazan, tell you guys?

"It's saying that she's thinking about the time they had together and how much she wants to forget him. She doesn't want to think about him anymore, but he's everywhere. Honestly, there's no way she can say goodbye."

Good job, Ryunn Kazan! You got it right on the mark. Happy birthday, Anko, my favorite kunoichi in the whole world!

ஜ ~ ஜ

I don't wanna think, don't wanna see your face…
You're haunting my dreams, every breath I take…

The moon shone brightly upon the Village Hidden in the Leaves, illuminating the streets with a peaceful, lovely night glow. The stars sparkled, gleaming like diamonds in the black night. The calm light from the white orb in the sky poured through the window of Anko Mitarashi's room, enveloping her its sliver glow. However, it didn't give her the salvation she desperately wanted, her mind haunted by a pale face that kept rushing into her head every time she closed her eyes.

She lay there motionless—awake in her bed in her dark room—with a blank expression fixed in her pupil-less, brown eyes. The Heavens' Curse Mark throbbed—located on the back of the left side of neck—causing searing pain that ran its waves of torment throughout her body.

Sweat tickled the back of neck, strands of her violet hair stuck to her forehead while the rest were sprayed across her pillow. One arm was slung over her face, directly above her eyes, and her other arm was by her side, clutching her sheets in her curled up fist.

She couldn't sleep, not when his face, the image of his golden, piercing irises kept dwelling inside her head, following every trace of her thoughts and memories that nestled inside of her mind, heart, and soul.

It wouldn't made any difference to her, asleep or awake. She could practically see his malicious smirk in the darkness, his yellow snake-like orbs gazing down at her, his chilly, cold laugh echoing around her ears. Her head hurt and as did her heart, as if she was crying from the inside.

Why…? she pondered grievously, tears forming in her eyes and sliding down her soft cheeks. Forget…I need to forget. Need to let go…

I've tried letting go, but you keep reaching out…
I've fallen so hard, something's you can't erase…

She cursed herself silently, shuddering after she wished she could feel his shadow, aching touch on her skin once more. If only he didn't showed up during the Chūnin Exams, she could've deal with haunting illusions a bit more.

Anko remembered his evil smile, the sight of no remorse in his golden eyes, and it was still vivid in her mind. The smile when he tore her apart. He took her heart, deceived her right from the start. She remembered it all too well.

"I hate you…" whispered the hurt violet-haired kunoichi, sitting up in her bed and shut her eyelids tightly. She curled her knees up to her; wrapping her arms them to bury her face between them. "Wretched snake…You did this to me, you messed my life up…"

ஜ ~ ஜ

She found herself kneeling on the cold, ground floor in the dark room. Her eyes were wide with fear, pain, shock, and most of all, betrayal. She didn't know what was happening as her blood ran cold with her fear. Orochimaru's fangs were sunk in on the left side of her neck, his ebony hair brushing against her cheek ever so lightly.

Her blood dripped on his fangs as he pulled back, his mouth leaving her warm flesh. The wound burned like fire—fire from hell itself—as it turned into three-tomoe mark, and the young girl clutched her shoulder in pain.

"Lord Orochimaru, what've you done? This pain is…!"

The door opened as her sensei and his…companion left. Before she knew it, she could head his cold, cruel chuckle echoing around the room, ringing in her ears. She was left in darkness, caged in as the door closed. There was no escape now; no way out from was about to take place.

Her small body started to tremble and she could hear her heart beating loudly from inside her chest. The young girl cried out in agony by the mark her sensei placed on her. She curled her body into a ball, then started trashing around, crying out as sweat poured down her face.

Anko dug her nails into the dirt under her, creating lines in the ground as she tried to endure the pain that was resonating throughout her body. Everything went black after that and she lay on her back, lifeless as a doll and her eyes wide open with tears streaked on her face.

The door swung open, and the two men entered. They walked until they were by her head, and she felt a chill run down her spine as they spoke. She didn't react; she couldn't even if she tried.

"She's still alive…" Amachi stated, clearly surprised.

Orochimaru chuckled, staring down at her with cold eyes. "She's a lucky girl. So, out of the ten we tested, she was the only to survive? One last delicious harvest before my departure."

The scientist turned to the Sannin, slightly surprised. "Departure?"

"There's no reason for me to be here anymore."

"But, my lord, the research…"

"It's all yours. You can consider it a parting gift. As of this point, I have no further need of it." Orochimaru turned to leave, but stopped when he felt a small hand around his ankle and he looked down to see the pain on his student's face.

"But why? How could you do this! I don't get it, I've looked up to you more than anyone in the world!" Young Anko cried out to him. Her teacher smirked cruelly; his eyes carried no compassion or mercy to her as knelt down and gripped her chin with his icy fingers. His face was a mere breath away from hers, speaking to her directly in the eyes.

"You simply didn't measure up, my dear. I'm afraid you lack the hunger for power, the drive, the hatred, everything and anything." His snake-like tongue came from his mouth and licked his lips, watching Anko trembled with fear. He studied her face, contemplating of what more use she can be. After all, she didn't die from the Curse Mark. "Although, you didn't die. To make it this far, you can't be totally useless. Well, how 'bout it, care to accompany me, then?"

Anko felt her heart racing faster and faster inside her small chest. Closing her eyes for minute in distress, she opened them and averted them to the floor. She was denying his offer, and more importantly, denying the man she loved the most in the world.

"Fair enough." Orochimaru sighed at her decision, getting up and walking away with Amachi. "Somewhere out there is the diamond in the rough I'm looking for."

He didn't even looked back her as he left Anko stranded in the dark. She knelt down on the ground, her eyes never leaving the ground. Despite refusing him, she couldn't shake off the feeling of loneliness that overcame her. She might have refused him, but he was the one that left her—trapped in a cold, dark, and isolated place.

ஜ ~ ஜ

And now, I'm here without you…
I'm gonna live without you…
Now that you're gone, I've got to carry on…
I can't look back…
The best part of me broke when we said goodbye…

There was no use living in the past, now that he'd abandoned her. She was no longer his student, and he was no longer her sensei. Anko did quite well in Leaf Village, becoming Special Jōnin, one of the Leaf's elites. She made a remarkable living for herself without having someone to teach her, becoming one of the proctors for the Chūnin Exams.

After what happened in the Land of the Sea, when her mentor branded her with the Curse Mark, she never brought up the subject again. All of the people she counted as her friends knew of her tragic past with her so-called sensei, and avoided to bring up the Snake Sannin.

Orochimaru scarred her—her mind, heart, and soul. And yet, she would never show it. Not in public, at least. There was no room of weakness, not anymore. In spite of that, here she was—weeping like a lost child in the middle of nowhere—used her and over the man that cast her aside, as if she was like trash.

She hated herself when she cried. To her, crying was a symbol of weakness. She didn't want to, but she couldn't stop. She never wanted to cry ever again. Ever. Crying only brought more sadness to her heart.

Anger boiled inside her as Anko gritted her teeth together. She chastised herself for the tears she shed over the man she once admired and loved with her whole heart. No matter what she did, she couldn't get his harsh words before his departure out of her mind. It stung her, as if a sword as pierced her heart and it couldn't be remove.

"You simply didn't measure up, my dear. I'm afraid you lack the hunger for power, the drive, the hatred, everything and anything."

One day, she will proved him wrong. Someday, she will show Orochimaru that she wasn't as weak as he might think. Her vengeance that she lusted after for fourteen years ran deep in her soul. He will pay for the utter humiliation he'd placed upon her.

"I do have hate, Sensei…" she spat out with a vehement whisper, lifting her head from her knees. "You'll see…"

You use to say that we were cut just the same…
Two lost souls, wander around until that day…
I don't have regrets, at least I tried not to…
I wanna forget, at least I tried hard to…

The wound of betrayal that was left within her was still fresh, her entire being continued to be in constant anguish and despair. Over the years, she learned to bury and bottle up all of her sorrowful and painful emotions, keeping them tight shut and in check. At night, she would released those feelings and cried into the night until she was fast asleep. Though she hated that fact she cried, she wouldn't allow anybody see her moment of weakness. She loathed being weak, never wanting to be more than a helpless child again.

How could you…? This was the question she would asked herself almost every night, whether she was awake or asleep. She snarled in fury, memories of peaceful times with Orochimaru flooded in. Why was it so hard to forget him, her betrayer? Was it because he was the first to accept her, took her under his wing and taught her everything he knew? Or was it the fact they were the same, both orphaned and lonely at a young age?

Part of her wished she never met him at all. She wished to never laid her eyes on him and spent time with him if she knew how much she felt this bad in the future. Although, she couldn't deny the fact that the part of her—the child part that had idolized Orochimaru—was still attached to her sensei.

He was her everything, her beginning. He made her happy whenever he would praise her and caress her cheek gently. Such simple gestures from him would filled her up with so much happiness.

"You turned your back to me—you left me stranded in that hut!" she mumbled angrily, placing a hand over her Curse Mark. Anko shut her eyes, taking in deep, ragged breaths as the Curse Mark kept throbbing. It was hard to breathe as she spoke in the dark room. "Screw you…How could you just forget about me? I trusted you! I believed in you! I've never doubted you—not for a single minute—and yet, you betrayed me!"

Now, I'm here without you…
I'm gonna live without you…
Now that you're gone, I've got to carry on…
I can't look back…
The best part of me broke when we said goodbye…

"Was everything just a big game for you?" she hollered, drowning in memories at their encounter for the first time in fourteen years. "How could you?"

ஜ ~ ஜ

He was upside, his entire body embedded into a tree, with half of his 'face' peeled off, allowing his old student to see parts of his true features. His slit-pupil slanted eye opened as she landed down in front of him. She approached him almost casually, without a single hint of fear in her eyes.

She wasn't afraid him…or maybe she was. She just didn't show it, not in front of him. She looked at him directly with stern eyes, but the aura emanating from his body could frighten any shinobi that came in contact with him. But Anko was different, knowing there was always that darkness, that malice in his golden eyes, even when she was under his tutelage. She was so young back then, blinded by her admiration and love for him to see what he truly was. She was stupid back; she should've seen his true, dark intentions.

Orochimaru chuckled softly, amused to see his old student again. "Well, well, Anko. It's been a while..."

"This is no time to reminisce, you're an S-class criminal, top of the most wanted list. You've got to be taken down, and it's only fitting that I'm the one to do it." Anko replied back at him harshly, sliding senbons between her fingers in her right hand. "'Cause after all, you're the one that taught me everything, right, Sensei?"

"Not quite." he answered, simply. Anko growled, preparing to throw the senbons at him when expandable, long tongue shot up from his mouth and try to lash at her. She leapt backward onto a side of a tree, but his tongue followed and wrapped itself around her wrist, forcing her to drop her weapons as he pulled her towards him.

She landed on a branch and she held out her free hand at her old sensei. "Striking Shadow Snake!"

Snakes from her sleeves slithered and crashed into the bark of the tree Orochimaru was embedded in, causing a cloud dust.

"Come outta there!" Anko yelled, pulling the snakes to force Orochimaru towards her and crashed into the tree opposite of him. She retracted the snakes into her sleeves and quickly went over to him, pinning her left hand over his right hand against the tree, stabbing both hands with a kunai.

Orochimaru was slightly surprised by her actions, watching her careful with his open slit-eye. She panted heavily and ignored the pain and blow flow from the wound. "Heh…I gotcha'. Now then, lemme just borrow your left hand."

She entwined her right hand with his left hand, sticking up her index finger and her pinky. Orochimaru gasped slightly, his revealed eye widened in realization. "That hand sign…"

"Right, it's over. You and I are going to die here." She panted at him, staring at him with tired eyes. Taking in her breath, she closed her eyes and thought out the jutsu in her head. "Ninja Art:Twin Snake Sacrifice Jutsu…!"

Anko stopped mid-way, hearing an eerie laugh echoing in the air. "I'm afraid you will die alone, Anko…"

She opened her eyes in shock and gasped, turning her head slowly to see him standing on the other side of massive branch, peeling off the rest of his mask, revealing his true features.

"That's right; Substitution." He indicated the copy she pinned to the tree. She looked back, her eyes continued to widen as the copy melt into mud. The moon shone down of them with its' bright light, giving Orochimaru a more creepy feeling to him. Anko heard him at laugh at her near-death experience as she shut her eyes down in shame and agony. This was just too mortifying for her to endure. "Of course, you're one of the elite now; A righteous warrior. How naughty of you to be using a Forbidden Jutsu I taught you."

His old pupil watched him from the corner of her eyes, wincing in pain as she took the kunai out of her left hand that was coated in her blood and threw at him. He caught the flying kunai between two fingers easily and let it fall to the ground.

"It won't work, Anko…" He smirked at her coldly, making a hand sign. Anko felt a sudden intense pain raging through her body that came from her neck. He walked towards her and then stopped in front of Anko, watching her struggled in agony.

"Why are you here?" she hissed in hatred, trying to deal with the pain that was running through her.

"I'm disappointed. I expected a friendly reception after all this time." he mocked, eyeing her as she panted to catch her breath.

"Don't tell me you came here to assassinate Lord Hokage?" She glared at him.

"No, not yet...I still don't have quite enough followers to attempt that." He replied while shaking his head, talking to her if she was just a child. "But, I heard such good things about this village that I thought I want to make it mine."

Soon, the pain was too much for Anko to handle and she fell to her knees. She grasped her neck, where she was burden to bear his Curse Mark. It was the only thing that connected those two again.

"Aw, it's the mark, isn't it?" Orochimaru asked with fake sympathy. "I'd put that same Curse Mark on a young man just a little while ago."

Anko didn't look at him, her eyes were shut tight, but she could feel him kneeling down to her.

"He's a very promising prospect," he continued to brag at the boy that he was chosen for his next vessel. She finally looked at him, her eyes filled with new hatred.

"You haven't change, I see!" she growled at him. "He'll die before he serves you!"

"Very possibly." Orochimaru replied with a small chuckle. "I'd say that the odds are one through ten against him. But the kid may survive, as you did."

"Sounds like you want him badly, huh…?" Anko smirked bitterly at him. She gasped loudly when she saw his hand made its way to her face and caressed her face almost affectionately. Her eyes widened at his touch, his fingers were cold and smooth.

"Aw, jealous...? Is that it?" he purred at her, stroking her cheek amusedly. "You can't forgive me, can you, for using and then tossing you aside?"

The purple-haired kunoichi growled angrily at him as his hand left her cheek. Above anything else in the world, she hated being reminded of that time. He smirked at her, continuing to talk about his chosen vessel.

"In some ways, the boy has more potential than you had. You see, he inherited the sublime abilities of the Uchiha clan. And his physical condition is excellent. Yes, he may very well be the heir I'm looking for. At the very least, he must things interesting." Orochimaru stood up, his smile widen with every word he spoke. He held out his hands as he started to walk away. "Whatever happens, make sure no one stops the exams early. Three of my followers are also candidates; I'm looking forward to see how they fare.

He was gone in a blink of eye, in purple flames. Even though he was gone, he voice continued to linger in the air. "Bare this in mind, if anything happens to deprive me of my fun...it means the end of the Leaf Village."

Anko listened to his warning, staring at the spot where he once stood and at the kunai that was covered in her blood. He did it again—he spoken coldly to her and left her again, kneeling down as she writhed in pain from the Curse Mark. The circumstances might have been different and yet, it somehow ended like it did fourteen years ago. He left her alone and enraged.

ஜ ~ ஜ

The shaky hand still covered the Curse Mark on her neck, grasping on it so beads of crimson was emerging from her punctured skin. She felt so pathetic right now, being so engulfed in her own sorrow and self-pity. What was she trying to accomplished here, screaming to herself in the middle of the night? There was nothing that could benefit her at this moment, nothing that could drive out her sadness and anger.

This is what Orochimaru left her with—pain and suffering that was engraved in her heart. She was just a pained woman, fueled by her lust by revenge for the man that took her as his experiment. All that was left in her world was dyed in red blood, and nothing could be the same as it was ever again.

She questioned herself sometimes about just who she was to him? Was everything they did together was just way to gain her trust so he can use her as his guinea pig and then tossed her aside? Every time he smiled at her, praised her, caressed her cheek…

"…Was it all a lie?" Anko wondered out loud, shutting her eyes again. Memories flashed again in her head, images of times of peacefulness and times of love.

ஜ ~ ஜ

A young Anko stood at a pier in Land of the Sea, her sensei by her side. She giggled at the sight of small islands and a large one in the middle of the sea.

"I know which ones are which. Lemme see, that's one Mother Island, that's Taro, and that's one Jiro Island." She pointed out at the islands with her finger, pausing for a moment—with a finger to her lips—until she pointed at the last one. "And uh…That's one Demon Island!"

The man beside her smiled. "Certainly done your homework, haven't you?"

Young Anko let out a warm laugh. "Yeah, well, I kinda have to, right? If I wanna be a shinobi with strength and wisdom like you!"

Orochimaru grinned down at her and chuckled, making her smile in joy.

ஜ ~ ஜ

I tried so hard, I've washed away those tears…
I've broken free, I've brushed aside my fears…
I've closed the door and I'm happier this way…
You'll always be the day I fell in love…

Something suddenly came in realization as the violet-haired woman's eyes shot open slightly. She let out a bitter, humorless laugh as something came back to her. She placed a hand over her face, covering half of it as she smiled solemnly.

"No, you didn't lie to me completely, did you?" she stated, a frown replacing the broken smile on her tired face. "It was my fault, too. I just didn't understand what you meant back then…"

ஜ ~ ஜ

Orochimaru stood be his research tables containing chemicals and species of animals in beakers and jars. A young and curious Anko was also with him in his laboratory. It was actually one of the public research labs in the Leaf Village, but he claimed it as his own. The laboratory was clean and bright from the white lights lightening up the room.

The Sannin wasn't wearing his standard Leaf uniform, but instead a black kimono shirt with light purple colored linings, bandages he used as a sash, and dark pants. While he was observing a pink liquid inside a test tube, Anko was looking at a glass case holding a snakeskin inside of it.

"Orochimaru-sensei," she called out to her beloved teacher, who turned to face her. She pointed to the snakeskin in the case. "What is this thing in here?"

"That is an amulet," he answered in a kind tone, pouring the test tube into a beaker as his cute student picked up the case and shook it around slightly so the snakeskin would move.

"An amulet? This thing?"

She heard her teacher chuckled a bit, mixing the liquid in the beaker he poured in. His back was turned to her, so she couldn't see his smile. "Yes, it's quite rare. I've never seen another like it. It symbolizes both good luck and renewal."

"Renewal, really?" She studied at the snakeskin more skeptically. "Well, okay. But, Orochimaru-sensei, no matter how hard you research, you really can't bring back the dead, can you?"

Orochimaru stopped what he was during, smiling gently at his student before he walked over to her and knelt down to her height. "Well, no. It's far too difficult to bring the dead back to life. But, Anko, my research has given me clues about regeneration. By activating the full potential locked in our bodies, we can become incredibly powerful, and in addition, we'll be able to heighten our regenerative power."

Anko listened to her sensei's lecture, who was looking at her directly in the eyes. She couldn't understand it too well herself, being so young as she is. Orochimaru took the snakeskin from her hands and straighten himself to his normal height, looking down at his student.

"And someday very soon, Anko, I'll be able to share that power with you as well." he told her at last.

Anko smiled brightly, nodding her head eagerly. "Yes! I'd like that very much, Orochimaru-sensei!"

ஜ ~ ஜ

"You told me, but I was so naïve…" She clenched her teeth together angrily, scowling at her own stupidity. It was almost ironic, really. All this time she was cursing at him, when everything that has happened to her was her fault as well. Her faith in him was so great, she did anything that she was told. She even went along with his twisted experiments, mostly out of the fear she'd developed during the time in the Land of the Sea. And yet, even still…

"All I did was watched…I didn't even try to stop him. That was my sin…" she whispered quietly, sorrowfully. She tightened her fingers on her Curse Mark, making her nails dig in deeper into her flesh. "And thisThis was my punishment…"

Anko's gaze drifted to the picture she kept of Orochimaru and her, as master and pupil. She took the picture from its resting place and pressed the photo passionately to her heart, tears dripping down on its glass frame.

It's no use, she couldn't deny that she'd missed him after all this. Her emotions were clashing within her. Emotions of hate, anger, love, and sadness were swirling in her heart. True, many times before she'd wished that she hadn't met him if she knew the pain she was going to endure in her life was so great, but she couldn't let it go.

He was gone from her life, and who knows when they were going to encounter each other again. She didn't have the strength to stop herself from looking back in the past night after night. It was impossible to ever say goodbye to Orochimaru, the man she admired and loved most in the world. She can't forget about him; she couldn't act like those times with him meant nothing to her. She'd be lying to herself if she said that he didn't mean anything to her.

Laying back on her bed, she pulled blue-striped blanket and held the photo of her sensei and her younger self close to her heart she slumber took her, letting her drifting into a deep sleep.

Somehow just by having the picture next to her, she could feel his presence. Even when she was living her life without him and as hard as she tried to forget him, she couldn't say goodbye. She can lie, not look back in the past, or whatever, but she cannot deny what she truly felt deep inside her soul.

Yes, he used her, humiliated her, twisted her, abandoned her, turned her into his toy soldier until there was nothing left and then threw her away like she was trash, but she found it impossible to forget her sensei, the man she once called "Lord" Orochimaru.

And despite all of that, the day will come when they will settle the score between them. Only then when they could say goodbye, once and for all. Until then, she continued to search for him and think of him. She was torturing herself—she knew that—and someday she will be at her limits when she couldn't hold it in anymore.

I've tried, but I can't forget about him…"Anko stirred in her sleep, curling into a tight ball as she gripped on the picture. She calmed down in her slumber, the tears continued to roll down her face. Our first encounter is when you broke me and my heart. The second time, you'd reopened the wounds that couldn't heal. And the third…The third time will come someday, Sensei, someday. And when that happens, I'll be there to kill you. But, the truth is…I just want to see your face once more, before we both die…

The snake kunoichi, the former student of the Snake Sannin, thought no more of painful experiences and the hurtful experiences that was just waiting for her in the future. Until they meet again—the clash between master and pupil—Anko will live her life without him and carry on, until the time comes when they will really say goodbye.

Now, I'm here without you…
I'm gonna live without you…
Now that you're gone, I've got to carry on…
I can't look back…
The best part of me broke when we said goodbye…