Title: And the World Stands Still

Rating: T
Spoilers: general

Characters: Anko; Orochimaru

Disclaimer: disclaimed

Author Note: God, I hate season depression. It's spring; I'm supposed to be friggin' happy. Damn it all!

Author: Lady Avaritia

'Don't whimper to me about heartbreak! You murdered my love, we buried it together and now it is gone.'

~ Anne Boleyn, The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Anko didn't know why she was crying. She had absolutely no idea why harsh sobs racked her frame so hard, it was difficult to stay upward. Anko had never cried before. Well, at least she hadn't cried after she had returned form the tutelage of her sensei. And now tears streamed down her twisted face, and she sobbed and wailed because she felt so, so, so … lost, alone, vulnerable.

In any case though, those tears had nothing to do with Orochimaru's death, and even suggesting that would be nothing short of suicidal. She was not crying for him, damn it!

Her tears had nothing, nothing to do with the fact that he'd been her first love, because he wasn't. He wasn't, do you understand?

It had nothing to do with the fact that he was the only person to ever treat her with anything even remotely akin to kindness. He wasn't, he wasn't dammit! There was Tsunade, and Asuma, and Kakashi, and Kurenai, and a bunch of others…

But… but…

No! It was not the fact that he had understood her dark side better than her. He hadn't!

It was not even remotely brought on by the fact that he had been her sensei and his approval had meant the world to her. It hadn't because he hadn't been, hadn't been wise, and knowledgeable, and skilled beyond all expectations.

Certainly not because the dango sticks on her table reminded her of the way he would treat her to dango after missions.

And not by any chance because the memory of his golden eyes, and thin lips curved into a smile made her heart ache. They didn't. She just had heart problems… despite her clean medical record…

Anko was not crying because Orochimaru was dead, period.

He'd been a monster, and he totally deserved all he got.

The problem was that with all he got to take with himself to hell, he also got a tiny part of her, as cliché as it sounded.

But she didn't cry because of that either.

She cried because by crying she was defying the most important thing he'd ever taught her.

'Never, ever let anyone make you cry, little Anko-chan. No matter the reason, never ever let anyone make you cry.'

And she could NOT remember how his smooth voice had slid over her like silk, like she could almost touch the words, and they had become her nin-do, and her motto, and her only truth, and still were.

And yet now, as the world was rejoicing at his miserable end, she was crying her twisted little heart out on the kitchen floor.

In the end he was the only one who could ever make her cry. And that made her cry even harder.