It was time.

Orochimaru stood over a mangled corpse, his hands bloody, but his face showing a wide grin. He'd finally finished his experiments, meaning they'd be able to move bases now. He was more than pleased with the result, meaning that now he'd be able to transfer from body to body. He'd had to experiment on himself at times as well to achieve this, but it had all been worth it.

He wasn't sure whether it would work or not, but from the data he'd gathered so far he was sure it would be successful. He had to test it out, but until they got to one of his main, people-inhabited bases, he couldn't. He refused to use Anko so early on, in case anything did go wrong. She was a little too valuable to lose at such an early time, so she was safe.

His plan, to lure the pitiful Shinobi known as Iruka to his base and have Anko kill him; then they would leave. He had no intention of running into Tsunade's squad, but he was confident that if they did have a run-in then he would be fine. He wanted Iruka gone, and then he would be pleased. Then he would be able to go to his next base with a peaceful state of mind.

It was the early hours of the morning, and Orochimaru knew that later on Anko would be appearing. He wanted to let her do a few more experimentations here before they left, seeing as she'd be more pre-occupied at their next base and wouldn't be able to do this as much as he'd hope for her to. So, now he just had to clean himself up and get things ready for Anko, and so started a new day.


Orochimaru looked at Anko, bloody and trembling, with fascinated eyes; what was this then? She was showing to him a far more sadistic side; one that he'd thought wouldn't come to the surface until much later, when he'd dragged her into the darkness a little bit more. However, that hit to the back of her head seemed to have done the trick, and now, holding the man who'd hit her, Orochimaru couldn't wait to see the end result.

"He's all yours," Orochimaru said with a sly grin, letting go of the man, pushing him towards Anko. Anko's face was dark, cold, the blood on her head making her look even more terrifying. She stared as the man stumbled towards her, a single, amused chuckle leaving her lips at his pathetic state. Where had all that previous vigour gone? Such a wretched creature...

The tip of Anko's mouth twitched upwards, curving into a maniacal grin as she laughed out loud.

"I'm going to kill you!" she laughed, catching the man by his bushy brown hair. She held his head up, bringing his head right up close to her own, locking eyes with him. His were scared, uncertain eyes. Hers were hard to comprehend, only describable in one word: insane.

"You're crazy!" the man shouted, trying to break free, however Anko merely scowled and threw him sideways. His back hit the operating table where his wife lay, and he coughed up blood as he slumped to the ground, the fight knocked out of him. Anko took that time to grab her lab coat and slip it on over her top and shorts, and then strode over to the man. Orochimaru watched with amused features from a distance as Anko grabbed the man's hair again. She leant in closer.

"Scared yet? Stupid brat. I felt pity for you and your wife, but then you went and messed it all up, right? Yeah? BRAT!" she shouted into his face, lifting him up off the ground. He moaned at the pain in his head. "I'm going to enjoy this," Anko said, a bloodthirsty grin on her face.

She raised a leg and kicked the man's wife, her body sliding off the operating table and hitting the ground behind it with a thump, the woman not waking from her unconscious state though. Anko then roughly placed the man on the table, not hesitating to pick up the nearest scalpel. She turned it in her fingers, admiring it for a second, before bringing it to the man's face. "You see this? Yup, it's gonna hurt."

She flicked the scalpel, slicing the man's cheek. A thin trail of blood began to slide down his face, and the pain of the small cut caused him to yelp. "Pitiful dog, where's your tolerance for pain! Only the strong can stand it; the weak will always die," Anko hissed, using her free hand to run over the back of her head where the phial had smashed into her. The touch stung, but she only grinned. She brought her hand back around, showing the man the blood now dripping off her finger.

"This is what you must learn to love! Blood, oh, such a glorious thing. Orochimaru sensei taught me the importance of blood, and most importantly, how good it tastes," she said, bringing her finger to her own mouth. Her tongue poked out, licking the red liquid from her flesh, and she made a tasteful 'mm' sound to show how she loved the substance so.

Anko moved her body around the table so that she was standing behind where the man's head rested. His eyes were wide, wavering with fear. She leant over so her head was above his, her mouth just centimetres from his cut. "I wonder what yours tastes like," she wondered aloud, a cruel smirk on her face.

Within a second she'd rolled her tongue across his cut, tasting his spicy blood. She gagged. "Disgusting!" she exclaimed, looking revolted by his foul-tasting blood. "Orochimaru's is far nicer than yours, brat."

Orochimaru recalled the events those few days ago, when Anko had tasted his blood for the first time. He remembered it well, and apparently so did Anko. Her madness was enthralling, and he was eager to find out how she enjoyed her experimentation on this man. He watched Anko back off the man suddenly and turn to face him. The look in her eye made it hard for him to suppress a shudder, but he didn't show any weakness, instead questioning her with a raise of an eyebrow.

"I'm not following our usual scheme. This time, he's here for simple dissection," Anko stated, emphasis on the last word as she licked her lips, the man behind her letting out a yelp and trying to get off the operating table. Anko was on him in a flash, her scalpel quickly being held to his throat. The man fell still, sweat rolling down his face, mixing with his blood.

"Feel free to deal with him in whatever way you like, my dear," Orochimaru said; in this situation, he didn't care what Anko did; seeing the sadistic grin on her face told him she was enjoying herself now, teaching the man who'd hurt her a painful lesson. He liked this side of Anko; it excited him.

"Oh, I plan to," Anko said, moving her scalpel from the man's throat down to where he was wearing a few light pieces of raggedy garments. She sliced them off, revealing a muscled stomach, although it was nothing compared to the frame of Orochimaru. His body outdid the rest, or so was Anko's point of view. This man though, she didn't take off his underwear, not wanting to see what would most definitely be outdone again by what Orochimaru possessed. At the thought Anko laughed aloud, making her look even crazier.

"I wonder what happens if I cut you here," she said, saying her last word as she cut down the man's side. He screamed as fresh blood flowed out, severe pain wracking his body. "How long will it take for you to pass out, hmm? I could last for hours, I bet. But you, ha, I doubt you'll last a minute."

She then left him crying, pleading for mercy, and picked up his wife by her hair. She stirred, a whimper of pain leaving her lips at the strain on her hair. Anko shoved her up near to the man, smirking at him. "Your wife, eh? I think she'd want to die before you did, so I'll just help her with that..."

Anko didn't waste any time. Her mind was chanting at her, the same words over and over again. Revenge. Payback. Suffering. Pain. She would make him suffer.

A crimson tide of blood splashed to the ground as Anko pulled back the woman's head and slit her throat, a scream leaving the man at the sight of his beloved being murdered. Anko mocked him further, wiping a finger across the now-dead woman's throat, picking up a smear of her blood. She brought it to her lips and tasted the metallic substance.

"Ah, even her blood tastes better than yours. I guess you just have bad blood. A shame, really, but no matter; I'm just in the mood for spilling yours!" she said, flicking her scalpel back into position. She played with it in her fingers, bloodying her fingers slightly more, and then moved in towards the man. He cried and begged for mercy, whimpering and screaming at the pain he was already in, but Anko was having none of it. Her mind had succumbed to the insanity, and he was suffering her wrath.

"You're a monster!" the man screeched, and Anko halted for a second, that single word hitting her like a truck. A monster; she had defied that whilst looking at herself in the mirror. She had said she wasn't a monster, and she had been adamant about it. But how could she say that, really? She just had to look at where she was now.

"Ha," Anko laughed, her expression seemingly cheerful for a second. Then it darkened, her mouth extending in a cruel, evil grin, her expression twisting into a wicked look. "I am a monster," she stated darkly, and then she raised her scalpel. She brought it down quickly like lightning; the man's screaming the last thing she heard before a pool of red engulfed her vision.


There was blood. A lot of blood. His blood... and hers. Ah, the insanity. It flowed through her, taking over her mind and soul. She had just given into it, and let her true nature free. She wasn't meant for good. She wasn't meant to run around for people, doing meaningless missions for them whilst they looked down upon her with scorn and contempt, pretending she had friends when really they all hated her too. No. She was meant for greater things. Power, the 'darkness', Orochimaru.

Anko wasn't good. She was bad. She was dark. She was cruel. She could be a traitor, but also loyal to the one person that mattered to her. She could be loving, and she could be hateful. She could be sane, but where would she be then? Anko wasn't sane. She was insane. And she enjoyed killing, and blood, and all the things Orochimaru had looked for in her when they'd first met. He'd found them, but she hadn't. Now, on her pathway to hell, Anko was discovering these things one by one.

Anko's vision cleared, and she saw herself. She was covered in blood, her hands and arms covered in the red substance, both from the man, the woman and herself. She was twitching, trembling from excitement. She could feel the grin on her face, the sadistic grin that relished the bloodshed she'd created. The man on the table lay dead, his throat slit; she'd then dragged it from his throat down his stomach, creating a large gash there too. His wife was lying on the ground, dead also.

Anko moved in to continue her dissection, her scalpel glinting in the bleak light.

"Haha... hahahaha..."

Orochimaru approached Anko from behind, her carnage over. She'd killed two people with a grin on her face. She'd enjoyed it, like he'd said she would in the end, and she looked as frightening as she ever would. He loved it. Anko didn't respond to him nearing her. She was covered head-to-toe in blood, but her insanity had locked her away from the outside world. Orochimaru lightly grabbed her hand, stopping her from dissecting the man, and put his other hand around her waist, pulling her towards him. Her head shot around to look at him, noticing him now; although through the insanity shown on her face was a slightly distant look, as if she wasn't actually there as she cut open the man.

"It's who you are," he whispered, grinning slyly.


Anko was drowning. She'd never known what insanity looked like, and she hadn't known that it would take the form of blood, but this was it, because she was drowning; drowning in insanity; drowning in blood.

It had started when the phial had collided with the back of her head, smashing against her skin and spilling its contents across her flesh. The liquid had become a never ending stream that flowed into her mind, filling up the space there. Anko had ended up standing in the darkness again, a ringing in her head, unable to think straight. When it had finally faded away she'd noticed the hot liquid beginning to rise from where her feet stood.

But she couldn't move.

Anko had struggled, flailed, tried desperately to escape from the clutches of the red blood that was rising higher and higher. She knew she would drown if she didn't escape, but even if she could, where would she go to? Anko was trapped in her mind, the blood rising above her knees. It kept her trapped in place, and she could only watch with rising horror as it rose to her waist level. Was this the end for her? Anko didn't know.

The insanity was swallowing her up whole, but it did offer comfort. Despite her heart racing, and her fear attacking her from all sides, the insanity, the blood, was warm, encouraging her to give in and let it take over. When she fought against it the pressure on her body increased, and she cried out in pain. When she relaxed, conserving her energy to try and escape again, the pain was released and the insanity only felt like warm water rising over her body, as if she were taking a bath.

She might be fine if she gave in.

Possibly.

Maybe.

She felt a calm feeling spread through her body, and felt complacent with her fate. What was there to fear if you worked alongside that which could destroy you? To resist, to fight; that would be her undoing. She felt her will to fight slip away, and allowed the rising tide of red to sweep up her skin. It couldn't harm her if she bent to its wishes, and so she calmly raised an arm. Her hand reached for the invisible heavens, her eyes closing as Anko smiled.

The blood bubbled up her neck and slowly rose over her head; Anko felt her mind beginning to boil with the flood, melting into the shape of insanity, and she didn't resist at all.

Higher.

Higher.

A hand was all that was left of the purple-haired girl who'd succumbed to the insanity in her mind. A hand was all that was left of a girl who had been so strong in personality before. One cruel, wicked man had warped her, and broken her down to this. He'd broken her. He'd taken her like a toy, played with her, and then broken her; would he now toss her aside like all did with their broken toys?

A hand was all that was left of the purple-haired girl who'd succumbed to the insanity in her mind, and now another hand grasped hers.

Out of the darkness an arm appeared, hand clasping around Anko's tightly and pulling upwards. The blood stopped rising, and the kunoichi was pulled up and out of its grasp. Her arm emerged, followed by her head and then the rest of her body. Anko noticed the retreating presence of the insanity and felt her mind clearing. She opened her eyes and saw a blurry scene, a figure seeming to be pulling her up, radiating a white glow.

"Are you an angel?" Anko mumbled. The person – her saviour – was a heavenly white in colour, and beautiful. They were definitely beautiful, but still blurry. Her eyes began to adjust, and she realised this was no angel. The purple markings around his eyes; the golden hue surrounding his pupils; the confident smile upon his lips; he was definitely not an angel.

"Oh, no," he said in a mocking tone, pulling Anko into his embrace. His arms wrapped around her limp body and pulled her into him, sharing his warmth with her. With no strength to do anything, Anko could only fall into his lap and lay her head against his muscled chest, for he wore no clothes; upon a lazy movement of her eyes, she realised neither was she, but it didn't seem to matter. All that mattered was that she was in the arms of her saviour, safe and sound.

His next words rang with truth in her ears. "But I am a God."


Anko's eyes grew sharper, snapping from their distant state. She became more aware of where she was and what she was doing, and more importantly, the certain God holding her from behind. She still felt an insatiable bloodlust, rising and falling like waves inside of her, but it was quelled somewhat by the sight of her 'saviour'.

His last words to her in reality were brought to the forefront of her memory, and she bobbed her head once. "Yeah, it is." Tiredness forced her to collapse into him, the events of the morning draining her physically and mentally. Orochimaru easily supported her weight, and an amused chuckle escaped his lips. Oh, she was so entertaining; he was glad he'd picked her up on his trip to Konoha. Who would've known she'd evolve into something like this?

Anko was breathing heavily, and Orochimaru put a hand on her head, stroking her slowly and avoiding the now scabbing wound on her head. She'd lost a lot of blood, and it was taking its toll on her now. "You need a shower," he remarked. "Then once you're clean, you need patching up.

"Now... rest."

Anko obliged and closed her eyes, instantly falling asleep. Orochimaru picked her up, a little more carefully than he would have for any other person, and carried her out of the room. He took her to her room, not intending to let her wash at all. She needed to look grisly for what would happen later this day. After placing her on her bed he sat down himself, and waited.


Iruka was tired. Tired, unhappy, but determined. He had been travelling for days now, lost in the woods, but for some reason feeling almost like he was actually heading in the right direction. It was a complicated feeling to understand, but somehow he just knew that he was going the right way. Still, he believed he was lost. He had no idea where he was and wanted to sit down and rest for a while, but Anko's life was at stake.

He feared the worst, that she was dead; he'd spent so long looking for her now, who knew what could have happened to her? He began to chew nervously on his lip as he hefted his weight over a fallen log. He was deep within a forest which never seemed to end.

"Huh? What's that?" Iruka said to himself, looking ahead with squinted eyes. A fog seemed to be settling up ahead, thick and dangerous. It wrapped its gassy tendrils around trees and crept across the forest floor, ensnaring all it could. Iruka stopped walking, fear gripping him. He was uncertain of what lay in the fog, and it didn't seem natural at all. He knew he could wind up dead if he was hasty to enter its grasp.

But as soon as he thought of Anko, everything washed away; fear, uncertainty, doubt. He began to walk again, stepping into the fog and soon disappearing.

It was like a dream. Iruka felt light as he walked, and miraculously he didn't trip on anything or bump into any trees. What he wanted to do and what he was doing were two different things; something was leading him on without him thinking about it, and he let it, seeing as he hadn't come to any harm yet.

"This way."

"A little further..."

"Come on."

Iruka snapped back to attention as hissing voices surrounded him in the fog. He didn't know what they were, and he blindly threw a kunai into the unknown. Nothing happened, and the voices continued to urge him on. Iruka's foot caught on a vine and he stumbled forward, his earlier dream-like state lost and his sense of danger coming back all too unkindly. His arm caught on a thorn, ripping his clothing and cutting him, and his cheek scraped against the side of a tree, leaving Iruka with a stinging feeling.

He moved blindly on, his pace picking up. He attained several more scratches, but they didn't bother him and he ran on, scared, panicking. The voices took on a crescendo, getting louder as Iruka reached where he hoped would be the place Anko was. Through fog and forest he charged, until finally.

Light! Oh glorious light. The sun beat down upon the ragged Iruka, the fog retreating back into the forest away from his sweating form. Mud and grass faded against reddy-brown rock, leading to the edge of a cliff. Iruka took one look at the steep decline and shivered, finding him lucky that the fog hadn't extended further. He'd have careered off the side of the cliff and... He didn't want to think about it.

His dark eyes swivelled around and he saw a flicker of movement in the side of an even higher mountain he was already on. It had been only for a second, but he'd seen something. He wanted to walk towards the rocky wall so he could investigate, but a nagging feeling at the back of his head was telling him to walk away, to leave. He felt his feet begin to steer him away, back to the fog. He had to leave, to go. He couldn't stay.

"Release!" Iruka exclaimed, and he stopped. For how much he wanted to save Anko, there was no way a feeling at the back of his head would make him leave. It had to have been Genjutsu, and he was right. He was able to walk towards the mountain-face and extend a hand towards it.

Before he could get near the rock disappeared, and a gaping hole in the rock appeared for him to see, large enough for him to walk through. A set of stairs led down, and Iruka cautiously neared them. His heart was pounding frantically, and he knew this was where she was. He would find Anko here. He lowered his foot and it touched the first step; he tested his weight on it, and making sure it didn't break, lowered his next foot.

As soon as his whole body was through he heard a rumble. The entrance had sealed itself up somehow, and Iruka was trapped. He turned around and tried to get back out, but a solid wall of rock kept him in; he earnestly beat his fists against the rock, but it was firm. Gulping, Iruka realised there was no escape. He'd have to find Anko, and maybe she knew how to get out.

Iruka put on a brave face, steadying himself, and descended down the flight of stairs into the darkness.


"This way," Itachi said, leading Tsunade's squad onwards. Tsunade's expression was serious, but a little irritated. Mr. Showoff Uchiha had been leading the way for some time now, instead of her who was the proper leader of the squad. The Hyuuga and Inuzuka were following Itachi mindlessly, not thinking about her, and just trying to complete the mission. Tsunade huffed and leapt off another branch, continuing their route.

Itachi led them towards a section of a forest that looked as if a fog had recently been there. A few silvery drifts of the fog still floated around, fading and revealing more of the scenery as time went by. The squad stopped in the middle of it, looking around for any signs of a person having been there. The Hyuuga was about to take a look when Tsunade noticed an obvious trail.

Where Iruka had plundered was now a broken trail of leaves and twigs.

"Look!" Tsunade said, pointing it out. The Inuzuka stepped forward with his dog, eager to sniff out who had made the trail. They made quick work of it, and when they'd finished a confused expression crossed both of their faces. The Inuzuka stepped forward.

"Tsunade... That boy Iruka made this trail. Why would he be out here?" he asked, baffled. Tsunade was now just as confused.

"Iruka?" she repeated. "You sure?"

"Definitely. What confuses me is why he's out here though..."

"He could be going after Anko himself? But why would he do that? Maybe it's pure coincidence... but if it is then he could be heading right towards Orochimaru, and that puts his life at risk. Come on," she said, taking off in the direction Iruka had gone. Now she was leading again, and that made her feel a little better. The other three shinobi quickly followed.

Just before setting off again Itachi looked to his left; he'd known someone was tailing them for some time now, but he'd kept quiet about it. Camouflaged in the forestry was a spy, watching them for a while before going off somewhere, but he always returned. Itachi had long since assumed the spy was working for Orochimaru, so he'd used the spy as a means of direction to get where they needed to go; it was working so far.

Itachi looked ahead again, following Tsunade and the others. They were near to Orochimaru's base now, and apparently so was Iruka. Orochimaru would be in his base, and so would this Anko person.

Everyone was coming together.


Everything was coming together. He had spies everywhere; Orochimaru smirked, knowing that Iruka was very much on his way. It displeased him to know that Tsunade's squad was also coming, and to know the Uchiha kid was among Tsunade's team made him feel excited but angry; they could very well mess this all up. No, if they were quick... everything would go according to plan.

Anko awoke moments later, her eyelids flickering open and her brown eyes adjusting to the light. The black slits for pupils in her eyes were more prominent now, and Orochimaru watched her slowly get up. He really had to admire how much her appearance had changed. She looked a lot like him, and the dark look in her eye made him all the more certain about their similarity.

Orochimaru had left and cleaned himself after a while of Anko sleeping, ridding himself of blood and dirt and putting on clothing suitable for travel. He'd left Anko bloody and rough-looking and hadn't prepared her any clothes. She'd travel as she was, seeing as they had to leave as soon as they'd dealt with Iruka. He'd packed all his research up and someone was already transporting it to the base they would be travelling to. Then he'd returned to Anko's room. Everything was in place.

"Come on, my dear," he said in his silky voice, and Anko turned her head to look at Orochimaru. She let out a deep sigh, hand moving to her head. It hurt so much. The wound had stopped bleeding, and there appeared to be no more glass in it, but it still ached and was causing Anko a lot of stress. She shut her eyes, trying to block out the pain. "Come with me," Orochimaru continued.

He helped her out of her bed, moving slowly. "Where are we going?" Anko asked, letting Orochimaru do the most part of leading her. She felt tired and worn out, but at the same time hungry for something and raring to go.

She tried wetting her dry mouth with her tongue, but all she tasted was the blood of the people she'd killed yesterday. It set her mouth on fire, her taste buds itching for more of it. Anko squirmed uncomfortably, twitching. She wanted more, she needed more.

"The lab," Orochimaru replied, and Anko grinned. Perfect. The pain in her head forgotten, she started to put the effort in of walking properly, moving alongside Orochimaru as they headed for the lab. Her mouth was desiccated and itching, completely dry and burning for what Anko wanted right now; she had only Orochimaru to thank for giving her such a lust.

They entered the lab, and the metallic smell of blood wafted through both of their nostrils. Orochimaru hardly acknowledged it, but Anko's nostrils flared, a wild look in her eye as she looked down upon the last man up for experimentation.

He was lying on the ground in the corner, chained to the wall. Anko could stand fine now without any help, and waited impatiently as Orochimaru freed the man. Having been given a sleeping pill earlier, he was out cold. Orochimaru brought him to the operating table. "I've completed my research, Anko, so you're free to do as you wish with this man. I have some other things to do though, so I'll be back in a while." With that he left, a sly grin on his face; he could already sense Iruka nearing the base.

Anko's chest rose and fell with her deep breathing. She couldn't keep in her thirst, her lust, her longing anymore. She knew why Orochimaru had brought her down here: to get it all out of her system so she'd be fine again. This poor man in front of her was about to be subjected to unimaginable pain to settle her raging bloodlust.

Her fingers twitched, eager to grab hold of her scalpel and start work on the man, and her grin was widespread and maniacal. Unable to hold it back any longer, Anko stepped forwards.


Iruka had never been so scared yet so brave. He'd edged down the stairs, wary of anything and everything he saw, and now he was walking through the labyrinth that was Orochimaru's base. He'd find a door every now and again, but after he'd plucked up the courage to finally open them he would find a room full of jars. What was in them he didn't know, because Iruka was quick to shut the door and move on.

He was scared he would find someone other than Anko, primarily Orochimaru. He knew he was dead if he ran into him, but his courageousness was born from his love. He loved Anko, and wanted to rescue her; to hear her brutal words and see her mocking actions, to hear her not-so-funny jokes but laugh along anyway for fear of getting hit; to hear her cheery laugh and to see her beautiful eyes and face, and to be able to declare his love and hope that maybe, just maybe, she shared his feelings.

Those sentiments kept him going, and nothing could have stopped him. After what seemed like endless wandering, he finally stopped outside a door.

It was just like all the other doors, but for some reason it was different. There was a pull inside him that had brought him finally to this door, and a feeling of death and despair hung over it too. It made Iruka shiver, goose-bumps rising on his skin. Despite this, he had some kind of knowing in his mind, and knew Anko was behind this door. His palms were sweaty as he reached out to grasp the door handle.

Click.

It swung open easily, and Iruka moved in. However his feet became stuck to the ground with shock when his dark eyes fell upon her. All his effort, determination and hard trekking had led to this moment, and it was all worth it. Iruka's breath was lost as he looked upon the beauty that was Anko.

She looked the same as she'd always been. Tied-up purple hair, cheery face, long coat swishing around her heels. Each small detail was as stunning as the next, and his eyes welled with tears of happiness at finally seeing Anko again. He tried to speak, but his words stuck in his throat and he could only gape. The tears blurred his eyesight, and Iruka moved to rub them away.

What he thought were tears of joy were not as he'd hoped. The tears had come to clean his eyes and show him the truths, because not all was as it seemed to him. As his hand moved away, the blurred form of Anko sharpened, and suddenly he didn't know what he was staring at.

"Wha—Anko?" he stuttered, the grotesque scene before him coming clear. What he saw was a woman loosely resembling Anko turning towards him, wearing a white lab coat that was not-so white anymore. Coated with blood, it was gruesome, alongside Anko's skin. Her hands were especially bloody, as well as the skin around her lips, and the lips themselves.

She looked tired and worn, but her maniacal grin was alive with some kind of fervent desire. She looked slightly excited over something, as well as satisfied. Iruka couldn't figure it out, but he couldn't look at her directly.

At hearing the door open, Anko was surprised Orochimaru was back so soon; she'd thought he would be gone for at least half an hour. She felt good, having just finished up with her last experiment here. Her mouth felt hot from the blood she'd indulged herself with, and the floor was also slick with the crimson substance. She'd enjoyed torturing the man; it'd made her feel alive. She didn't even feel remorse or shock at her actions; she felt strangely content with how she was.

Her grin faltered though when she turned and saw Iruka. At first she thought she was imagining things, but then she realised he was really there. Her grin dropped to a serious expression, worry seeping in. Why was he here? What was he going to do? Iruka was here. Iruka. Was. Here.

"Iruka?" Anko asked bluntly, eying him. It hadn't really sunk in, but when it did she didn't know what else to do. She felt back with a hand and put it on the operation table, steadying herself as memories of Konoha came rushing to her; she'd moved the mangled remains of the corpse already.

She could barely stand up now, the memories crushing her. Her 'date' with Iruka came back even stronger, and she felt as if she could choke. She tried to swallow, but all she could taste was blood. Oh god, why did Iruka have to be here now?

Iruka's fear glued him to the spot. He wanted to go and comfort Anko, to help her, but he couldn't move himself. The sheer mass of blood in the room had already freaked him out, and he'd taken a look around. Reacting as badly as Anko had, he was shaking. He saw body organs on the floor, jars of other body parts on shelves, skeletons chained to walls, and everything you could ever dream of to be in hell in this single room. He was scared out of his wits. He couldn't even remember Anko was here anymore.

He backed away. He had to get out of the room, and fast. Iruka scrambled back in what direction he thought was the door, his eyes wide and wavering and his body shaking violently. Finally he bumped into something, although from the shape of it it wasn't the door. His head cranked around, and he took in the image of the one man he'd feared to find.

Orochimaru was staring down at Iruka with a raised eyebrow, a sinister glint sparkling in his golden eye. To Iruka it seemed like his whole world had crashed down on top of him. He was completely and utterly helpless, and he wasn't sure what hell he was in, and whether he was going to make it out alive. He shut his eyes, feeling his legs wobbling beneath him. How much more could he take?

"Iruka..." came a soft voice from somewhere. Iruka stopped shaking, recognition of the voice 'healing' him. His terror was wiped away in the moment that he slowly opened his eyes, looking back up in not the direction of Orochimaru, but where Anko stood. The panic and sheer blindness to all but fear slowly left his eyes and he could see the purple-haired wonder again, but this time he had to realise this was really her, no matter how gruesome she appeared.

And so he did. He bit his lip as he looked at Anko, trying to take in the bloody mess that she was, and finally he did. He came to terms with it, and managed to speak.

"Anko... I've come... to take you back to Konoha!" he declared, although his voice was breaking. He knew who stood behind him, and he was trying to pretend the snake wasn't breathing on the back of his neck, daring him to run away. If he did think that Orochimaru was there, he would be dead within a matter of seconds, so he put his eyes on Anko. "O... Orochimaru... he can't keep you here! Please... come with me!" His voice then broke. Anko only stared at him.

Anko had regained her calm, standing stock still and gazing at Iruka with solid eyes. "I..." she started, but was cut off by a harsh, yet soft, laughing noise. Anko's eyes rose to look at Orochimaru, who was walking around the timid Iruka. He had a cruel sneer on his face, piercing eyes locked onto the Konoha ninja. Iruka finally looked at Orochimaru, and Anko could see his hands curling into fists.

Iruka could only feel anger. He'd thought that when he properly looked at Orochimaru he would be frozen with fear again, but this time he only felt bubbling rage. Orochimaru had taken Anko from him, from Konoha, and had ruined her life so far. Iruka wanted to make things right for Anko today. She couldn't possibly want to be with Orochimaru. He was a psycho, a maniac! He was crazy, and wasn't the one for Anko. Poor Anko, she must have felt so distressed the past few days. Who knew what Orochimaru had done to her?

Iruka grit his teeth in frustration, his palms sweaty. He wanted to hurt Orochimaru so badly. And when he talked in his smooth, hissing tone, oh god it set his feelings on fire; the hatred was intense.

"Iruka... Your attempt to bring back Anko will be futile, I can assure you. Nothing you can say or do will bring her back, because you're too late. She's mine, and always has been. You never stood a chance," he said with scorn, watching Iruka's defiance rise up.

"You're a liar! Anko has every choice to make in her life! You can't influence her any longer! You can't control her! She isn't an object to have in your possession!" Iruka yelled, temper rising.

"Ah, but you see, Iruka, Anko has made her choice, and she's open to make many others. I've let her make her choices, and she's chosen me. Give it up already. You're just a little boy way in over his head. Anko doesn't love you." Orochimaru's last words stung deep, and Iruka felt tears building at the corners of his eyes. He moved, throwing his fist forwards at Orochimaru's face, a tear sliding down his cheek.

"LIAR!" he screamed, shock overwhelming him when he felt contact on his arm. He opened his eyes, and found that another hand had grabbed his wrist, stopping his fist from connecting with Orochimaru's face. Iruka looked, and saw that it wasn't Orochimaru who had stopped him, who was smirking so devilishly at him, but Anko, her eyes gazing at him with a mix of sadness and determination. There was a hint of something else in her eyes, but he couldn't figure out what it was.

"Iruka... please leave," Anko whispered. She looked away from him at that point, and Iruka tried to pull his hand free. Anko's grip was strong, cold, and not warm like it had been on their date. She was so different now. He could see it in her eyes, on her face, in her personality. She looked less like Anko now, and more like him. He noticed the little details, and they chilled him to his very core. She looked so similar now that it was like seeing Orochimaru's double in the form of a female, and he couldn't take it. He really couldn't.

"What are you doing Anko! Why are you doing that! Come on! Come with me, please! I'll help you escape! Why would you want to stay here!" he yelled at her, but Orochimaru answered him back.

"I told you, little boy. She's mine now..." he let the last words roll off his tongue slowly, enjoying the taste of his victory already. Iruka didn't want to hear the words.

"PROVE IT!" he bellowed, and with those words he felt Anko's grip slacken. She pushed him away, and he stumbled backwards, tripping and hitting the ground with a thud. He looked back up instantly, ignoring the rising pain, watching as Orochimaru licked his lips hungrily.

"As you wish," he said slyly, and the next minute was the worst of Iruka's life. He watched in shock and horror as Orochimaru slid his arm around Anko's body, pulling her into him, and saw their lips connect. It killed him inside because... it was one thing for this to happen, but Anko wasn't resisting. Why wasn't she resisting! Her arms rose up slowly, one wrapping around Orochimaru's neck and the others' fingers twining through his raven black locks.

It was shattering because they kissed slowly, and every second ripped a larger hole through Iruka's chest and heart, which had quickly torn into two pieces, and then a thousand more. Orochimaru had been right, and he hated to admit it. He really did, but what bigger evidence was there than that in front of his eyes? Yet Orochimaru spited him further in his time of heart break, the snake's long, pink tongue flicking out of his mouth. Iruka nearly died inside when Anko only leaned further into the Sannin.

Tears streaked down his cheeks, and he was unable to continue watching, but he did. He couldn't tear his grip from the pair. He realised what he'd seen in Anko's eyes earlier than he hadn't been able to name. It had been love. She loved Orochimaru, and he'd been too dumb to see it. And now he was being tortured in the worst way possible. He knew that Orochimaru was only using her. He knew that Orochimaru didn't care about her in the way she did for him at this moment, but there was nothing he could do about it.

When Anko and Orochimaru finally moved apart from each other, Iruka was in a state of blankness. He stared ahead with no emotion, broken inside. He was unresponsive, the only form of life being the tears that ran down his cheeks.

Anko was in a slight daze, the kiss a second ago from Orochimaru having stunned her. He was so... good. She knew what she'd done to Iruka. It was like she'd kicked a puppy whilst it was down. Although at the moment all she could think about was Orochimaru, and the snake took advantage of that.

"I told you..." he hissed softly to Iruka, whose eyes blinked once in response. Iruka felt numb to the world at this second, but the next few words that entered his ears did bring about some form of sense. "Kill him," Orochimaru said.

Anko breathed slowly out, looking down at Iruka with distant eyes. If only he'd stayed in Konoha. Then he wouldn't be in his mess. He was just a little child, and he would pay the price for his stupidity in coming here. She was out of his reach... of anyone's reach. It was pointless to try and bring her back.

"Anko, no!" Iruka managed to cry out, just as she moved towards him. Iruka hadn't thought she would go that far, but she was, and he had to get away! From the depths of one of the pockets on Anko's lab coat she pulled a kunai, sharp to the very point. She swung it around and stabbed forwards with it, aiming to pierce the middle of Iruka's head. Her face held no emotion, as if she was trying to detach herself from the situation. Iruka managed to pull out a kunai in time to block hers, and the two pieces of steel grated together as they battled for dominance.

"Why are you trying to kill me!" Iruka demanded in exasperation. Anko sighed, speaking back in a low tone.

"When you love someone... you're willing to do anything for them. You proved that yourself by coming here, Iruka." When she finished her words Iruka was momentarily stunned. She spoke pure truth, but he'd always hoped that when she said something like that, it would be because she loved him, and not Orochimaru. And the way she said his name at the end; it was spoken softly, gently almost. It was unlike any Anko he'd ever heard before, but none the less, the way she said it melted him, and he gave up the battle.

His kunai clattered across the room, and he sank lower to the ground in defeat, closing his eyes.

"Are you going to kill me, Anko?"

"...Yes."


Authors Note:

I have no excuses. I'm so sorry guys for the long time it took to update this. ;3; I'm so terribly lazy, and I feel like I've screwed up this chapter because I haven't written in ages. o Asdfghjkl; This was the chapter I'd been excited about writing as well. xD I was gonna write more, if I'm gonna be honest, but it felt dramatic to leave you on a cliff hanger like that. I'm so evil. TROLOLOLOLOL.(:
I'm out of shape on , and they've got a screwed up new bar at the side which is annoying me. :L Oh well. Hope you guys liked this chapter, and I'm pretty sure I just set a record for overusing the word 'blood' in one chapter. EXCUSE MY LACK OF IMAGINATION OF DESCRIBING IT ANY OTHER WAY. ;n; Well then. I'm done here. Gonna attempt another chapter soon. :L

Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter. I'll start naming every one again next chapter, but for this one it's currently 2:55 in the morning and I can't be bothered. Sorry. :L But seriously, thanks to those who did review, and you know who you are. :3

THANK'EE. 3 and sorry for the wait; thanks for being so patient with me. :3