Target

As an ex-cop-turned-private-investigator, Kakashi's seen it all, from gang related homicides to the death of his partner. But, what is a man to do when a wanted criminal not only enters his house uninvited but also takes his heart hostage? Kakashi X Anko. Alternate Universe.

Chapter One: White Snakes

The darkness in the alleyway was almost palpable. The only sound in the vacant street was the sharp click of pointy stiletto boots. A lone woman walked to the next street and rounded the corner, her oversized trench coat flapped precariously close to her pointed shoes; one wrong step and she was sure to slip on it. Her mastery with heeled shoes was tested when she suddenly started to run. The feeling of being followed consumed her. She dipped her hand into her right pocket and clutched the cold handle of the switchblade housed there.

"Anko," an androgynous voice called out to her.

"Who are you, show yourself!" The woman turned towards the voice, her weapon drawn.

There was no reply. Only a grey cat from behind a dumpster eyed her suspiciously. Anko was sure that she heard the voice; just as sure that she was being followed. She was sure that the person stalking her was someone who was said to have been dead a long time ago: Orochimaru. After seeing that there was no one there to attack her, her hand self-consciously rubbed at the cloth covering the tattoo on her neck. A symbol indicating that she belonged to Orochimaru's mob.

But, it wasn't his rumoured death which prompted her clandestine stroll in the middle of the night, there were bigger things involved. She entered a nearby apartment building to her left, knife concealed but drawn, and ran up the single flight of stairs to the second floor before climbing out a terrace window and hoisting herself up on to a third-, then fourth-, story balcony. The frosty air outside almost caused her hands to stick to the cold metal of the guardrails. The sun was already on its way up, she was running out of time. She landed with an audible click of her shoes before hiding in the shadows.

"One, two, three, four, five..." she counted mutely as she waited to see if anyone saw or heard her.

Now that she was certain that there was no one out to disturb her mission, she moved swiftly to the veranda doors and slid them open into the apartment suite beyond. Anko shimmied under the dusty curtains, careful not to let the first rays of light shine through. Behind the curtains, the entire room was dark. She was sure that she was in the apartment's living area. She slinked towards the closed bedroom, her blade held in front of her for protection. When she pushed the door open a crack, a ray of light streamed into the pitch darkness of the hallway. Anko didn't even have time to blink when the door completely opened and a gun was pointed at her face.

"Who the hell are you?" a man's voice ripped through her initial shock.

She couldn't see his face clearly because of the blinding florescent lights behind him and the gun pressed against her forehead.

"Answer me, who are you?" he asked again.

Anko swallowed awkwardly, her throat suddenly dry. "I was looking for someone. I need his help."

"You didn't answer me," the gun was steady, a trait of a professional. "Who are you?"

"Anko Mitarashi," she replied. "I'm here to find Kakashi Hatake."

"Why?" he asked her curtly. "What do you want from him?"

"I don't want anything from him," Anko snapped. "I have something he needs."

The gun on her forehead pulled away slightly, although it was still pointed at her. "What would that be?"

"I need to see him first before I can say anything more." Anko was finally able to see her adversary clearer.

She looked up to see a silver-haired man with mismatched coloured eyes and a stoic frown upon his lips. A vertical scar ran down from his left brow, down his left cheek before ending at a point under his cheekbone.

"Stop staring and tell me what you want."

"You're Kakashi Hatake?" Anko asked him.

"Yes," he grunted. "But, I really don't need women bothering me."

"You're going to need me." Anko stated confidently.

"What makes you so sure about that?" he gave her a mild smirk, humouring her reply.

Anko took her switchblade and pressed the edge against her neck. Kakashi was prepared to shoot the blade from her hand if she tried anything funny. He watched as Anko poked a hole into the collar of her turtleneck and ripped the fabric in one quick up-ward motion, thus, exposing her tattoo. She, in turn, watched him as his placid expression turned into alertness.

"Why did you come here?" He asked her, eyeing her marked skin. "You could be killed out here."

"That's why I came," Anko's lips slowly turned up into a grin. "Kakashi Hatake, I have a proposition for you."

"And what would that be?"

"I know that you've been trying to bring down Kabuto Yakushi, Orochimaru's successor, and his entire drug-ring," Anko started. "I have information on him and his business dealings. I am willing to help you find him and bring him to justice."

"Why?"

"In exchange, I want protection," Anko folded her blade and placed it back into her pocket, "From the Akatsuki."

Kakashi's breath came out in a rush. In the past he had to deal with Orochimaru and his gang of drug dealers. Trying to unearth the extent of the entire drug-ring was like trying to navigate through a jungle using a toothpick for a compass. Many of Konoha's finest had died trying to uncover the mystery. Now that Orochimaru, the White Snake, was said to be dead, Kakashi was afraid that he would have to start back in square one. The woman before him would certainly be able to help him, but was he willing to go out on a limb and cross the Akatsuki's path to do it? Kakashi was almost certain that Anko was in greater danger than she was letting on. The Akatsuki weren't the kind of gang to cross. Some of the gang's members were even prominent politicians. He wondered what the woman before him could have done to deserve such a horrible fate.

He observed her steady gaze on him, her fear and desperation evident in her eyes.

"I will agree to your proposition only if you do exactly as I say. If I tell you to run, you run. If I tell you to hide, you hide—"

"Yeah, yeah, I get it: if you tell me to hold my breath, I hold my breath." Anko replied sassily. "So, where do I sleep?"

She walked to the mattress on the floor and sat on one side. "Can I have this side? I like sleeping on the right side."

Kakashi was struck speechless. The woman was crazy.

"Don't you have your own bed?"

"If I did, would I be asking if I can sleep on this one?" Anko rolled her eyes.

"How do I know that you're not going to slit my throat in my sleep?"

"We're on Akatsuki territory, if I so much as take a step outside during the day, there'll be a picture of my dead body pasted on front page news tomorrow. And unless I want to stay in a room with a smelly corpse for the next twenty-four hours, I don't think that I'll be killing you anytime soon." Anko reasoned. "Besides, I came here because I need you, remember? I wouldn't risk my life getting here in the first place if I'm just going to kill the only person that can save me."

"Then how do you know that I won't turn you in?" Kakashi tested her.

"Because you used to be a cop and you really want to catch the person responsible for killing the people you used to work with, especially Konoha's former Chief of Police, Hiruzen Sarutobi." Anko explained. "I'm a one in a million chance, Hatake. Besides, I'm confident that even you can't save me from the Akatsuki. I just want to get the information to the right person before I die."

"Why won't you tell me everything now, then?"

"I'm sleepy." Anko said, as if that was reason enough, before lying on her back and wrapping the blanket around her, "I'll tell you everything soon enough. Just protect me until then."

XXXX

Kakashi awoke the next day to the sound of music. He got up off his spot in the corner of the room, tucked his gun into the waistband of his jeans, and walked to the kitchen. On his way there he noticed that his normally messy living area was neat as a pin. The dishes in the kitchen were cleaned and stacked into a neat pile on the counter. Kakashi pulled out a mug and the coffee tin and filled the dented kettle about halfway because of the aberrant hole just above that point. He waited for the kettle to whistle by walking down the short corridor to the washroom. There, sounds of running water and off-key singing emitted from the door. He knocked, but couldn't be heard over the singing and the water.

A moment later the water stopped and the singing got louder. Kakashi took this opportunity to knock once more. He raised his fist to knock when the bathroom door opened.

"Oh, it's you," Anko smiled, her body wrapped in a ratty towel. "Good morning."

Kakashi was barely able to respond as white puffs of condensation followed her.

"Good morning." He grunted.

Anko walked back down the narrow hallway towards the bedroom. This was when Kakashi noticed that her hair had been cut short, probably with the retractable knife she had last night.

"So, I was wondering if I should try to change my appearance or something. Maybe I should don a disguise until I can get back on the Snakes' side of town, you know?" Anko said regarding the taller man's stare.

She entered the room and closed it behind her, leaving the ex-cop on the not so interesting side of the door.

Meanwhile, the kettle whistled from the kitchen, a couple steps away, so Kakashi opted to fulfill his morning routine and poured himself a hot cup of instant coffee. He blew at the side of his cup before taking a sip. But before he was to take a second swig from his cup, it was taken from him by his overnight flatmate.

"I hope you don't mind, I don't know where the cups are yet." Anko said unapologetically.

Kakashi let her coffee-stealing slide because there was a more important issue to address.

"Are you wearing my clothes?" he croaked. He looked down at what used to be his favourite pair of jeans, now they had about a foot of material hacked off of the pant legs. "Why did you cut up my clothes?"

"Well, considering that you already know that they're your clothes, I won't answer the first question. As for the second question, I cut them up because they didn't fit me. Besides, they were the oldest and ugliest things you had in your closet, apart from the porno mags, so I don't see why you would complain. I'm doing you a favour."

Kakashi's patience was waning, and that was a lot to be said, he was usually the last person to crack under pressure.

At that moment, Anko quelled his violent tendency by announcing that she was going to make breakfast.

"So, what do you want, Hatake?" she said as she filed through drawers and cupboards for ingredients and cookware. "I was thinking that we should have either cereal and fruit smoothie, if you're the healthy type, or ham and cheese BLT if you're not."

"I don't have anything to make those." He admitted sadly, the BLT sounded good.

"Well, I think we have enough here for pancakes. Although, I highly doubt that you have syrup," Anko said as she assessed her ready ingredients before opening the fridge door. "But, you still have some butter, so I guess that would be fine. Oh, and there's some whipped cream here too. Perfect!"

Anko had quickly whipped up a batch of the hotcake batter and was waiting for the pan to heat up. She placed a cube of butter on the Teflon surface and waited until it melted before adding the batter to the pan. Again, she waited until the batter bubbled before flipping it. The one side was a perfect honey-brown hue, cooked to perfection.

Kakashi smiled. It had been a while since he had a woman cook for him at his home. However, he had to shake away that thought. Right now, he was looking at a criminal. He was housing a criminal in his apartment. As an ex-cop-turned-private-investigator, Kakashi knew that Anko Mitarashi was bad news. He could only hope that he could get the information he needed out of her soon.

He took a whiff of the hot n' ready pancakes and decided that he would at least wait until after breakfast.

A/N: I've finally taken the plunge and started with a Kakashi X Anko I got the idea while watching too many actions movies monthes ago. If you squint, you'll be able to see some parallels to the original series. Please tell me what you think of the story so far. Thank you for reading!