A/N: MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!
It's finally here, guys! The last chapter of Morning Glory! I did it, I created my first long multi-chapter Naruto fanfic! And I'm quite proud to say that I am the first person to ever do a OroAnko story like this one by using the meaning of the of real Morning Glory flower. Because it's the end, it's time for explanations. As I said before, Morning Glory was a story I made up in my mind because I was so bored in school and had nothing else to do in class when I was done with my work. But I never told you guys how the idea of creating Morning Glory came into light.
As Naruto fans, I'm pretty sure all of you must know that the Naruto franchise releases special arts and other merchandises for us to buy. How I got the idea to create Morning Glory was by buying the Naruto Official Fanbook. On pages on 159-160, there's a section called "Ino Yamanaka's Flower Fortune Telling", which tells your fortune with six different flowers; Morning Glory, Dandelion, Freesia, Daphne, Sweet Pea, and Chrysanthemum. Page 159 lists the flowers, and page 160 showed the results. The first flower, Morning Glory, is Anko's flower:
Personality: Very serious, with a strong sense responsibility, and never slacks off. Could crumble under pressure. Occasionally needs to explode.
Love: Serious about love and would never cheat.
Work: If she takes a job, she finishes it. Quite capable.
In the Language of Flowers, a Morning Glory means "fleeting love, unbreakable promise, lingering attachment", as well as "Affection". The Morning Glory represents "love in vain" for whatever outside circumstances according to the Victorian "Language of Flowers", which attributed various properties and sentiments to flowers so that people could communicate their feelings by what flowers were given as gifts, such as those by a suitor to their loved one. In Chinese folklore, flowers signify love, affection or mortality, and they represent a single day for lovers to meet. In the Japanese Language of Flowers, known as Hanakotoba, Morning Glory means "willful promises". The Romaji for Morning Glory is Asagao and the Japanese Name is 朝顔. In Asagao, ''asa'' means "morning" and ''kao'' means "face". The Morning Glory also symbolizes "mortality" and allows people to see just how short, yet beautiful, life can be.
Because this tubular star-shaped Morning Glory flower primarily symbolizes affection, the flowers only blossom in the morning, hence the name, and die by afternoon or nightfall, making it representative of the sometimes fleeting nature of affection. But the vine produces new flowers every day during its growth season, representing the renewable nature of love. Given Morning Glory flower's short lifespan, it also signifies unrequited love. I believe that the Morning Glory, which corresponds to Anko, symbolizes her relationship with Orochimaru.
And let me tell you guys, finding all that research was such a headache! So afterwards, I thought of what will happen if someone was to actually write a story with the meanings until I actually developed it in my mind during school. That's how Morning Glory was created! If you guys go back and read some of the chapters, you can actually find information from the fanbook inside the chapters.
With that done, I know all of you are all asking me why my story included such OOC for characters like Sasuke and Orochimaru since they so nice. As I said in the previous chapter, Morning Glory was never intended to by a dark and angst OroAnko story—mostly because I knew I was incapable of doing writing about evil characters. I thought about maybe doing one-shots imbued with a solemn mood might work, but I decided that I couldn't do that either because I used to writing long chapters since I feel stories are best. After months of planning and debating, I finally began writing it.
However—and I'm telling you guys to show what true dedication is for a committed author—something went wrong after a week from last birthday. My laptop caught a bad virus somehow and I was forced to reboot, leaving not only other mind stories I wrote down but also the first two chapters and half of chapter three of Morning Glory. I was totally heartbroken and a crying wreck when that happened when I realized all of my hard work was lost. The first two chapters were one of the longest chapters throughout Morning Glory since they were novelization of the episodes from Naruto. As I'm sure you all know, novelization in fanfics isn't easy. It takes a lot of time to add your original details into it and to try to get the movements and words from the characters precisely.
When that happened, I felt giving up on doing Morning Glory because I felt I was unable to recreate the chapters since the first time was a lot of work. But I didn't, because I knew I would be breaking my promise to everyone I told about Morning Glory before I had published it. So, after I pulled myself together, I got back on my feet and started to type again. Surprisingly, I was able to get the two chapters done faster than I did the first time. Normally, it would take me two or three days to complete a chapter, but I was able to accomplished retyping the chapters in one day! Not only that, I was able to write the other 10 chapters in two weeks since my laptop finished its reboot somewhere around April 19. I felt really happy and proud because I knew I've done something most OroAnko authors wouldn't even consider doing again. I never gave up on my story like the others did, I worked hard and created to be one of the longest OroAnko stories out there! I was able to inspire others too, like Ryunn-kun, to take my style up and use them in their stories. My friends on this site said that I was quite influential when it comes the OroAnko section, and that really made happy. I know some you might think it doesn't sound all that impressive when you're reading this, but try and imagine how I felt when I lost my data when I was forced to reboot my laptop—not that rebooting helped since it died somewhere in September and I was forced to wait until end of the November to start writing again.
But anyway, having done that with Morning Glory when I had a deadline date, since I told everyone I was posting it on May 1, and typing over 10 chapters in such a short of amount of time, is something I considered to my biggest achievement ever! I completed over 10 chapters of Morning Glory in a single month, when most authors take weeks just to complete a single chapter! I was really glad that I proven myself to be different than the quitters. I wanted to tell everyone this as a way to show all of the OroAnko fans that there are authors that are capable on actually finishing their work all the way and not give up. I want fans to have faith that the OroAnko fandom will never die because they are other people like me out there that are capable of finishing their fics.
Okay, I've babbled enough, so let you read the chapter now! I'll finish my speech at the end, so please enjoy.
ஜ ~ ஜ
Anko vomited for the third time today, heaving over the toilet to gag up the bile rising up her throat. She coughed the remnants of her lunch after the last wave of nausea hit her, and then wobbled towards the sink to clean her mouth.
It has been a week since she learned she was at least three weeks pregnant with Orochimaru's child. After they made up from their argument when he found about the pregnancy, Kabuto gave her a list of instructions on what do for the next nine months, which included no training and eating healthier foods. She was furious that she would no longer be fit to train for the next nine months for when the child is born, afraid that her abilities as a shinobi would become rusty.
Though she was just in her earlier stages of her pregnancy, Sasuke was assigned to be her…babysitter, just in case she decided to do anything that would endanger her or the child growing her womb. The Uchiha would only monitor her for a few hours during the day and then return to his training. He was in the bedroom with her right now, in fact, leaning against the doorframe of the adjacent bathroom with his arms crossed over his torso and his stoic eyes watching her in a bored manner.
"You shouldn't bother eating if you're just going to throw up," he said, receiving an irritated glare in return.
"I'm going out for some air," she announced, strutting past the Uchiha. She barely made it out the room when his hand shot out and grabbed her wrist to prevent her from leaving.
"You're not supposed to leave the base." Sasuke reminded her. "If people find that you're pregnant with Orochimaru's child, then you'll be in danger."
"I'm not even showing that I'm with child yet." Anko clasped her free hand over her flat stomach. "Orochimaru can't keep me locked up forever because I'm pregnant. I despise concealment of any kind, and keeping me trapped inside the hideout is like being in a prison."
"It's for your own safety," the Uchiha retorted calmly, tugging her towards the bed. "Just rest for the time being."
She swatted his hand off her and huffed in annoyance as she sat down on the edge of the bed. She hated being forced to remain inside of the base, feeling that she was being robbed of her freedom because she was with child. When the Snake Sannin first ordered to stay in the hideout, she objected to the idea. She understood why he was commanding her to stay in the hideout, but she did not like being kept from the outside world. It's only been a week since she was allowed to see sunlight, but it felt like an eternity down in the gloomy and dark base.
She just wanted to be out in the open for just a minute, but she couldn't go outside when she had a bodyguard watching her like a hawk. A plan conjured up in her head as she lay back on the bed and feigned fatigue. The snake kunoichi closed her eyes and waited patiently for Sasuke to determine that she was fast asleep before he exited the room. When she no longer heard his footsteps echoing down the corridors, Anko sprung up from the bed and left the bedroom, snatching her khaki coat from the hanger in the room and slipped it on.
She knew Sasuke headed back to his training in the training halls, and Orochimaru and Kabuto were discussing their next moves somewhere else in the residence. They haven't transferred to the next hideout like they'd original planned to, wanting to take precautious procedures when the time came for Anko's body to show the full signs of her pregnancy that would slow down their travels. They'll be moving to the next base soon, before the Leaf shows up and try to take her back.
The rays of the blazing sun blinded her as she stepped out the hideout. The violet-haired woman shielded her optics with her hand as she squinted to adjust to the brightness. She relished as the warmth from the sun kissed her skin and the light breeze wafted through her. Smiling, Anko strode aimlessly around as she pondered thoughtfully about the constant worrying gnawing in the back of her brain.
She was pregnant with Orochimaru's child, and that meant she would be in danger and useless when the Leaf comes after her. She was afraid that the Leaf would issued her death along with her baby inside her womb if they got her. Tsunade would never allow a child's life to be taken, in spite of who and what the mother was and did. However, the Leaf Council wanted her dead, so the Fifth Hokage wouldn't be able to protect her for too long.
A drop of water splashed on her face, snapping her out of her musings. Anko looked up at the sky and saw that a storm was brewing, gray clouds coming together as rain tumbled towards the ground. Her brown irises scanned her surroundings, and Anko gasped slightly when she realized that was in town, Fūma Alley.
Orochimaru will rebuke her profusely when he found out that she wandered into town without Sasuke hovering down her neck . But she wasn't going to head back to the hideout in middle of a storm, the harsh wind picking up as the spitting ran continued to fall. Thinking on where she should go for shelter, Anko dashed to the only destination where she would be safe until the storm clears.
Being stuck in the hideout for days with no training, the snake kunoichi took it upon herself to study the layout of the town from the maps. She knew there was a midwife stationed somewhere in the town, and that was where she was going. In a rough town like Fūma Alley, it was pretty common for young girls to get pregnant with or without their consent. There wasn't any hospital built in the worn-out town, so the midwife's home was the only place for young ladies to go to for help.
She arrived at her destination and rapped her knuckles on the door, shivering from the water that dripped off her from head to toe. She loathed seeking for others' help, but she can't stay out in the wet or else she will catch a cold, since being sick was not good for her baby.
A few moments passed until Anko heard rustling movements inside the dwelling, and a lady peeked her head out from the doorway. She was a woman in her late thirties, but her fair and smooth skin gave the snake kunoichi the impression she much younger than that. The woman's hair was silkily black and tied in a high ponytail. What captivated Anko the most, though, were her hypnotic, brilliant hues—eyes the color of rain. From the crack of the door, Anko glimpsed to see the midwife's figure adorned in a simple black shirt and red skirt with a yellow apron tied around her waist.
"Hello, how may I help you?" the woman inquired politely with a soft smile. Anko's teeth clattered against each other as she shook from the cold, hesitating to answer. She didn't want anyone else to know that was with child, it was none of anyone else's business. Noticing her reluctance, the midwife shook her head with a sigh and shifted aside to welcome her guest in. "Come inside and out from the storm."
Anko inclined her head at the woman in thanks and entered, her orbs drifting to every corner of the room curiously. This place almost resembles that of an apothecary, jars and bottles filled with aromatic herbs and liquids piled high on the tables and lined up against the walls in the living room.
"So, tell me. What had happened to you?" the midwife questioned gently as the two women sat down on a blue sofa, heat radiating in the room from the flickering flames from the hearth. "What's your story?"
"My story?" the purple-haired woman repeated, perplexed.
The elder woman shot Anko a knowing look. "The only people to ever knock on my door are young girls that were harmed by men, one way or another. You're very beautiful, so it wouldn't be much of a surprise."
"Oh, well…" Anko averted her eyes from the midwife, unsure whether she should answer or not. She wasn't forced on by some random stranger, but instead conceived a child from the only man she had ever loved. However, she felt uncomfortable to say it out loud.
"It's fine, you don't have to answer. Pardon my manners," the woman curtsied in apology for her prying, and then reached out a friendly hand to the snake kunoichi. "I haven't introduced myself yet. My name is Sayuri."
"My name is Anko." She took Sayuri's hand and shook it quickly.
"Are you here to have a abortion?"
Anko shook her head, coiling her arms around her abdomen. "No, I don't want to get rid of the child. I'm just here for shelter until the storm goes away."
"Understandable." Sayuri nodded and then journeyed into towards her kitchen. She came back with a tray of tea in her hands and placed it down on her table. Pouring the sweet, hot liquid into a cup, she handed it to Anko. "Drink up. It's always good to settle down a upset stomach with a nice, hot drink."
The ex-Leaf ninja glanced at the cup and then back at her host. "What is it?"
Anko smiled, appreciating the woman's hospitality. She took a tentative sip of the brown substance, and she felt the nausea subsided. The tea was pleasantly warm and delicious, and the urge to vomit faded away for the first time since she'd became pregnant.
"Judging from the way you look," Sayuri began, referring to her normal-sized stomach as she watched the snake kunoichi drink. "I suspect you are in your early stages. Tell me, how many signs have you had? Lack of appetite, breast aching, fatigue, vomiting?"
"All of the above." Anko replied, the nervousness she felt before in this stranger's presence disappearing as she gulped the last of her milk tea.
"Do you have anywhere to go? I'll be more than happy to help you," her host offered graciously.
The violet-haired woman shook her head, clambering up from her seat. She swiveled her head to the window, noticing the storm was passing swiftly. It was time for her to get back. "No, thank you. I'll be fine. Thanks for everything."
The midwife inclined her head understandably. "Be well, dear one."
Bowing in thanks, Anko dashed out of the house and back to the hideout. Surprisingly, she found the Snake Sannin waiting for her by the entrance. When she reached him, she waiting for him to rebuke her for disobeying him, but he only popped out a question a calm tone.
"Where did you go?"
"For a walk. I didn't want to be locked up inside the base all day," she answered honestly, walking back inside the hideout with Orochimaru. "I feel like a child on a safety harness. I'm not some fragile doll you can keep inside a class case."
"Anko, let me to rob you just a little of your freedom. You need to be careful, you condition puts us all at risk. Tsunade will be sending her lapdogs after us. You do understand that, don't you?"
She bobbled her head faintly. "I do."
"We'll be moving to the next hideout tomorrow," he told her before swiveling back inside the hideout with Anko following him. "Change out of those clothes and go to sleep."
ஜ ~ ஜ
"Lady Hokage hasn't decided what do with Anko yet?" Kurenai quizzed Genma in the Jōnin with Kakashi, Ibiki, and Asuma during the night after they have completed their missions for today.
Uncertainty crossed the brown-haired Special Jōnin's face as he exhaled an exasperated sigh. "I'm not sure. Shizune told me that Lady Hokage might hold off the search for Orochimaru and Anko until the kid is born. It doesn't matter anyway, since it'll be more difficult to find them since Anko is pregnant with his child. She even told me that Lady Tsunade is going to keep it a secret from the Leaf Council."
"It's been at least three weeks since Anko escaped from the village, meaning that she's either dead or Orochimaru allowed her to keep her child." Kakashi guessed, folding his arms over his chest. "That, or Anko ran away and is not planning to return to the Leaf by her own free will. I'd expected her to come back to get help when she found out about the kid."
"We all did, but it looks like she's not coming back." Asuma blew out a ring of smoke from the cigarette in his mouth. "How do you think Anko is doing?"
"She should be fine." Ibiki replied his usual gruff tone. "Anko is strong, and if Orochimaru is with her, then I'm certain she'll be okay for the time being."
"The child of Orochimaru and Anko Mitarashi…" Kurenai mumbled, a dreadful smile blooming on her face. "Could you guys imagine what child would be like?"
"Powerful." Asuma answered grimly.
Genma inclined his head in a nod as he said, "Stubborn."
"Smart." Ibiki threw in with a grave expression plastered on his face.
"Dangerous." Kakashi added, raking a hand through his silver hair. "Mostly like a future threat to the Leaf Village."
"I don't believe that," the female Jōnin denied gently, staring down at her hands in her lap. "Anko has a good heart, I know she does. I don't think her child would become like Orochimaru."
"Only time can tell." Ibiki responded, shrugging his shoulders faintly.
Silence strained the atmosphere as they all nodded in agreement. The stillness stretched for what felt like an eternity until Genma exhaled a tensed sigh from his mouth.
"Guys, I hope you don't mind me saying this out loud, but…" he began in a melancholy tone, a wave of nostalgia knotting in his stomach. "I miss Anko."
Tears streamed down Kurenai's cheeks as Asuma encircled an arm around his lover for comfort. She buried her face in her hands to muffle her sobs as the son of the Third Hokage spoke for everyone else in the room. "Yeah, we all do."
ஜ ~ ஜ
They arrived at the next base by mid-afternoon and, of course, Anko was stuck in her bedroom all day with Sasuke guarding her. She laid lupine on the soft covers of the bed, very well rested after sleeping for two hours and was now bored out of her mind. Sasuke was mediating on the floor, his eyes closed and he breathing rhythmically.
"Have you decided what you will do after the child is born?" the Uchiha questioned, his eyelids fluttering open.
Anko raised a curious eyebrow, staring at the dark-haired youth in bewilderment. "I'm going raise to it."
Sasuke gave her an incredulous look. "Here?"
"Yes, here. I have nowhere else to go. And besides…" The snake kunoichi ran her hands up and down her abdomen affectionately, her expression softened. "Most women don't have the privilege to have a child with the person they loved when he's a S-class criminal. The lifestyle may not be very…endearing, but I don't want my child to grow up not knowing who his or her father is."
"Not too long ago, you would've wanted the opposite." Sasuke replied truthfully, clambering up from his seat on the floor and sat down on the edge of the bed. "Are you seriously okay with that? Rising a child who's father is extremely dangerous?"
Anko paused for a moment, thinking thoughtfully before she said, "I think so."
"So you don't mind how much Orochimaru's hands are tainted from his crimes?"
The question pierced her heart a little; the horrifying memories that she known and witnessed about the Snake Sannin came flooding back into her head. However, they didn't disturb her as much as they had before. She has come to terms with it after everything that had happened between her and Orochimaru since she started to live with him. Despite how wrong it still was to her, she didn't mind living alongside her lover and rising their child together.
Exhaling a deep breath, the violet-haired woman answered the Uchiha in a quite tone. "I don't mind if he's tainted, he can taint me too. I too have committed crimes and sins I cannot amend for. If his crimes made him fall from grace, then I want to descend to the bottom with him. That is my heartfelt wish."
Sasuke gazed at her for a few minutes after she stated her resolve; slightly impressed by the strength and character she displayed herself to be. It takes a lot of courage to do what she does, to put up with all of Orochimaru's twisted ambitions and sins.
"You're strong," he told her for the second time. His voice was cold, but underneath that layer of iciness was warmth that seeped inside the purple-haired woman's heart.
"Thanks." Anko smiled at him and after a minute of silence she threw in with slight humor, "And besides, it's going take me a lot of effort to make sure my son doesn't turn out to be an arrogant bastard like his father."
The Uchiha gave her raised an inquisitive eyebrow. "It's a boy?"
"No," she replied with a shake of her head. "I'm hoping it's a boy, but I don't mind having a girl."
There was a moment of silence before Sasuke piped up another question. "You realize that your child will have some characteristics from Orochimaru's current vessel, despite some of his cells that are actually in it, right?"
The snake kunoichi nodded, draping her hands over her stomach. "I know, Kabuto told me when he did a medical examination shortly after he found out that I was pregnant. I'm happy, in spite of that knowledge. No matter what, I'm still carrying Orochimaru's child inside of me."
"Was it always your desire to have his children?"
"Since I was a kid." Anko answered, blushing as she remember how many time she would fantasies as a child that she would one day grow up and be together with her sensei romantically. "I never thought it could be, though. There was a 26 years age gap between us, and he was my teacher. For us to be in that way…was impossible."
"Well, it's not so impossible anymore." Sasuke stated, standing up from the bed and started to walk towards the door. "I'm going back to my training. Later."
"Bye." The purple-haired woman watched him as he exited the room. She exhaled an exhausted sigh as she glanced down at her abdomen, smoothing her soft palms over it repeatedly. "It won't be long now."
ஜ ~ ஜ
"It won't be long now before Anko enters her first trimester of her pregnancy," Tsunade mumbled to herself in her empty office, her hazel irises reviewing over the snake kunoichi's medical results once more. She dropped the piece of paper of her desk and let out an exasperated sigh, rubbing her forehead as she a headache coming on. For weeks she had been contemplating on what do with Anko now that she'd learned that she was with child.
The purple-haired kunoichi was now a rouge shinobi, wanted dead by the Leaf Council for deserting the Leaf Village to be with her former sensei and now lover, Orochimaru. There was no doubt that if Anko was to be captured by the Leaf, the advisors still might want her dead, despite the fact she was pregnant. Tsunade couldn't let that happen. An innocent child was at stake here—Orochimaru and Anko's child.
Therefore, all of the Leaf ninja that knows about Anko's pregnancy was sworn to secrecy to keep it from going public. The Leaf Council must never know about it, for now. The Slug Princess's options were limited, and she was torn between from doing she think was best and what she should do as Hokage.
"Lady Tsunade!" a voice hooked her out of her thoughts. The blond woman jerked her head upwards and saw her trusty aide standing in front of her desk, Shizune's onyx eyes staring down at her worriedly. Being so engrossed in her contemplations, Tsunade didn't notice that her aide had entered the office and was trying to get her attention.
"Oh, Shizune. Sorry, what is it?"
"I said that the Leaf Council is getting impatient because you haven't decided to do anything about Anko since she escaped from the village. They demand to know what you're going to do about her," the younger medical ninja replied. "Lady Tsunade, what should I tell them? I know you don't want the advisors to find out about Anko being with child, but sooner or later the elders would want an explanation to your slow decisions."
Tsunade irked at the news. She hated being bossed around by those old geezers. They were too strict and harsh to the point that the blond woman thought they had hearts of stone. She had enough going worrying about Orochimaru and Anko and the Akatsuki to have those old louts pressuring her about her decisions on how to deal with the snake kunoichi. Her forehead wrinkled in agitation as barked out, "Tell those geezers that I'm working on it!"
Shizune flinched at her mistress's hostile tone. "Yes, milady!"
As her aide bowed and rushed out of the office, Tsunade leaned back in her chair and gazed down at Anko's medical report again. With the way things are now, it was obvious that she needs to come to a decision about what to with Anko and fast.
ஜ ~ ஜ
Three months as passed, and Anko's belly has bloated to a considerable size. Stroking her large stomach tenderly, the violet-haired woman glanced at Kabuto from where she laid on bed. It was time for another check up, something Anko had grown accustomed to since she became pregnant. With the her abdomen grown, she could no longer wear her mesh bodysuit, but instead loose-fitting garbs that didn't squeeze her midsection.
"Are you done yet?" she inquired impatiently, her stomach growling for food. Like any other pregnancies, Anko's came with the constant to eat. She is now, after all, eating for two.
"Do you some place you need to go?" the medical ninja's carried a playful tone in it, his optics never leaving the monitor he was looking at.
"If I told you, would you let me leave?" Anko countered in the same tune, knowing that were about to start another teasing battle between them.
"Depends. Have you gotten over your persecution complex yet?" Kabuto waited for a cheeky response from the fiery kunoichi, but it never came. He twisted his face from the monitor to look at the sadness that was etched on her countenance. Perhaps he said too much—although he was genuinely curious about her current state of mind right now. No matter how one looks at it, Anko will always have a part of her that will remain wary of him and his master. He only stated the truth, but the smart thing to do was to apologize to her. "My apologies, I didn't mean anything by it."
"Lair." She stuck her tongue at in a childish manner, but the emotion plastered on her face was all seriousness. "If you want to say something, then say it."
"I'll be overstepping my boundaries if I do." he replied, which caused Anko to sigh in exasperation. How many times did she told the Sannin's subordinate that he didn't need to treat with the same level of respect like he does with Orochimaru? Anko, even with her pregnancy, despised being weigh on like a princess. She was the type of person who likes to do things by herself with no assistance—mainly due to her upbringing of never having to depend on anyone since her parents died, and she wasn't going to start changing that anytime soon.
"All because I'm your master's lover doesn't mean you to act formal with me. Just say what you wanna say."
Kabuto studied her face for few moments before he answered with a mild shrug. "It's not that important, I'm just merely curious about you and where you stand us with us."
The snake kunoichi raised a inquisitive eyebrow. "Where I stand with you guys?"
"Yes. With the way you are now, I figured you by now you've changed your mind about being here with us. You can understand, I'm sure, that raising a child when you're a rouge ninja isn't exactly a good idea."
"I've realized that, so what's your point?"
"Aren't you concerned for your child?" the younger man asked, striding from the monitor to stand in front of the woman in the bed. "In spite of how we might treat you, you know that you shouldn't expect us to extend the same courtesy to others, especially those of the Leaf."
Anko scoffed at the obvious question, grasping the swell of her belly with her hands as she answered, "Well, yeah, of course I'm concerned. You, Orochimaru and Sasuke, you're all very dangerous and not very good people to have a child grow up around. But going to back to the Leaf isn't a good idea, and I have nowhere else to go. The only option I have now is to stay here, a place where no one can get me."
The silver-haired shinobi gave her a bittersweet half-smile. "My point exactly. You have to get over this persecution complex of yours, we are not your enemies—despite what happened between us in the past."
"Don't get me wrong, though, I trust you guys. I know you hurt me or the child." Anko added in quickly, putting a thoughtful finger to her chin. "I don't know why, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that I like you, Kabuto. And Sasuke too. I know I shouldn't, though. I'm not supposed to, but I do."
"You're a very interesting woman, Anko." Kabuto smirked, his intellectual brain processing her words. She never ceases to impressed him. "The people you once called your enemies are now your allies, and the people you once called your allies are your enemies. It's quite strange, don't you think? How can you be sure of what you said? You shouldn't assume things about people that said you hated, like me, for example."
"Because you wouldn't gain anything from killing me or my baby, that's why." Her response was quick and sure, and Kabuto almost couldn't believe her. "And besides, I'm sure Orochimaru will kill you if do anything to me. Like I said, I like you, Kabuto, so I'll trust you—even though you may be taking care of me only because Orochimaru told you to."
"I see..." The medic smirked mysteriously to himself, his countenance giving no hint of how her answer affected him. It hard to explain, but Kabuto was quite...amused by her. "Well then, you're free to go now."
"All right." Anko swung her legs over the edge of the bed and hopped off. "Later."
"One more thing, Anko." His voice reached her before she had to chance to exit the quarters. Without even pivoting her head to look at him, she waited for him to continue. "For the record, I'm not looking after you merely because I was ordered to. I like you, too."
"That's good to know." And with that said, the snake kunoichi left with a secret smile blooming on her lips.
ஜ ~ ஜ
"Really? Are you serious?" Kurenai couldn't believe her ears. One minute she having a snack with Asuma and Kakashi in the Jōnin Standby Station, and then Genma came rushing in with beads of sweat dripping from his face and relaying what Shizune told him about Lady Hokage's decision about Anko. "Lady Hokage is not allowing the ANBU to search for Anko?"
"Yeah, that's what Shizune told me." Genma grinned brightly, relief washing over all of them the terrific news. "With the Leaf Council getting all hot and bothered by Lady Tsunade's indecisiveness, she finally came up with the excuse that Orochimaru is not a current threat to Leaf and that should be focusing more on gathering intel about the Akatsuki. Of course, Lady Hokage had fought long and hard for them to accept her decision, but it paid off in the end when they realized that Anko might not even be with Orochimaru anymore."
"Yeah, that makes sense." Kakashi nodded, crossing his arms over his chest. "After all, we never were able to identify the person who broke her out. We all just made a logical assumption that it was Orochimaru or one of his subordinates."
"Well, that's great. At least that means Anko will be safe until her kid is born." Asuma inserted, lighting up a cigarette that was dangling in his mouth. "But, let's not forget that once nine months has passed, Tsunade will have to send out squads to look for her."
"True, but let's just be glad for right now that Anko. I have to go and tell everyone else this, I'm sure they want to know. I'll catch you guys around." Genma waved at the three and dashed out of the room to tell the rest of their comrades.
Kurenai exhaled a giant sigh of happiness, her crimson hues darting to gaze at the clear blue sky. No matter how much she wanted to get angry at her best friend for leaving, the raven-haired couldn't bring herself to hate Anko. After so much thinking, Kurenai understood why Anko did the things she did. Although she regret not being able to see Anko or talk to her before she left, Kurenai knew in her heart that the violet-haired woman was still alive out there and hoped that they would one day meet again. Anko...I should hate you for what you did, but when I thought about would I do if I was in your shoes, I understood a little bit of how agonizing all of these may have been for you. You're always been alone, never letting anyone get close to you or allowing yourself to be happy because of what happened between you and Orochimaru. You act tough all the time, but in the end, you're just an ordinary girl—a girl who loves blindly and impulsively, even if it consumes her. That's why, after your child is born and you're back with us—
"We'll forgive her." Asuma finished. Snapping out of her inklings, the genjutsu specialist stared at her lover in surprised. How did he know that she was thinking about Anko? "Don't look all shock, Kurenai. We all feel the same way about Anko. Sure, she's a complete nutcase most of the time, but we can't be mad at her for what happened. She's our friend, and we don't leave our friends behind."
Kakashi nodded, a serene smile plastered under his masked face. "That's the way of our village. It's like with Naruto to Sasuke, we won't give up on bringing Anko to us. We all be together one day, you can sure of that."
A wave of joy warmed Kurenai's heart at friends' assurance, and as tears welled up in her eyes, she inclined her head in agreement. "Yes."
ஜ ~ ஜ
Three more months passed by, and Anko was become used of having Sasuke near her all the time, especially since it was getting more difficult to move now that her stomach was bigger with each month flying through her. Right now, she and her companion was enjoying the cool breeze and sunlight of the outdoors, relishing the smell of the crisp and sweet air as they walked around in a forest. Of course, with her bloated belly, she couldn't go any further than mile from the hideout, even with her regular bodyguard by her side.
"When my child is born, play with him or her a lot." Anko remarked as she took a seat on a tree stump.
Sasuke shot her a slightly annoyed look as he sat down on the ground next to her. "I'm not making any promises. I'm not good with kids, and I'm too busy."
"Right...with your revenge." She turned her face away from him, gazing to her left to observed the patch of purple tubular flowers planted in the dirt. "But if you still have time, maybe you cou—"
"I won't." he interjected rudely.
Anko glared at him, puffing her cheeks out in irritation. "You seem grumpier than usual. Is something wrong, what's with the attitude?"
The Uchiha shrugged his shoulders faintly. "Nothing."
"Don't pull that on me, Sasuke. Tell me what's wrong, I thought we were good friends."
Friends, huh...? The dark-haired youth shut his eyelids in contemplation at the word, not knowing to feel angry or disappointed. She doesn't get it. That's the problem.
"Don't ignore me, Sasuke."
"Ugh, fine. Be that way, see if I care." the snake kunoichi huffed at his iciness towards her. What the heck was his problem, anyway? Why was he suddenly being so mean to her? Did something happened to him that Anko wasn't aware about, or was he just in one of his 'moods' again? "I don't get you sometimes, Sasuke. You're so complicated, I can't tell whether you're nice or not. You're always cold, but just when I finally thought I've gotten through, you shut yourself from me again."
"Anko, what am I to you?" he asked abruptly, his onyx orbs meeting hers. "Why do you care about so much about me?"
Confusion surfaced on her countenance at the weird query. "Why? Isn't it obvious? We're friends, Sasuke."
The Uchiha sighed dully. "You seem to put a lot of faith into me for some reason, but why?"
"That's because I like you, do I really need a reason for that?"
"Well, if I were to explain it to you, the reason why I have so much faith in you is because I trust. I see you as a kindred spirit..." she paused for a minute before she continue, her head leaning closer to his to the point that their noses touch. Holding a single finger to her lips, she flashed him a tender smile. "Don't tell anyone this, okay? Not even Orochimaru or Kabuto. The reason I like you so much is because I trust you more than anyone else here. You act like a total jerk most of the times, but I can still some goodness in you."
"And that's why you like me?"
Anko nodded, beaming as she caressed her pregnant belly. "Yeah. So, I'll be counting on you to look after my child if something ever happens to me. Besides, my baby might need someone to play with."
"I'm still not making any promises." Sasuke repeated, his menacing mood lessening.
"That's okay, I understand."
A thin silence swarmed them as the Uchiha eyed the swell of Anko's stomach with curiosity. "Have you figured out the sex of the baby?"
The violet-haired woman shook her head, glad that he was speaking casually with her again. "No, I want it to be a surprise."
"Have you thought about names?"
"I tried, but nothing comes to mind."
"Well, let's head to the base." Anko rose from her seat with Sasuke's assistance. She started to walk ahead of him, but then swiveled around to face the young man with a playful smile. "And remember, don't tell anyone about what I said."
The black-haired youth grunted in reply. "Whatever."
Chucking to herself, Anko treaded back to the hideout with Sasuke following her. The wind wafted through them, the Uchiha's onyx hues piercing her back with a forlorn expression plastered on his countenance. As the months passed with the countdown to Anko's child being born, Sasuke couldn't stop thinking about the events that lead her to this point of her life. He felt that Anko could've done much better if she had never stumbled upon the Land of Rice Paddies on that fateful night of her return to Orochimaru. That way, at the very least, she could continue to live the life she was meant to live. A bright and happy one with her friends and comrades of the Leaf, not with S-class criminals that were constantly on the run. The life was a rouge ninja was a dangerous one, and it was not a life that most mothers would want for their child.
However, what really ticked off the Uchiha was that as he watched from Anko's abdomen grow with each day was that a good-hearted person like her was carrying the child of Orochimaru inside her womb. He may have deserted the Leaf to come to him for power willingly, but he wasn't stupid enough to actually trust the Snake Sannin. In his eyes, someone was corrupted and twisted as him doesn't deserve a woman like Anko by his side.
Although... Could this be his jealousy talking, and not his logic? Sasuke shook his head at the intruding thought and surge of angry emotions that welled up inside of him once more. These stupid feelings towards the fiery kunoichi needs to stop as soon as possible. Being around was clearly becoming more difficult as she nears her due date. Anko is such a fool for what she's doing, but... I suppose I'm the bigger fool. My definition and hers of 'like' are not quite the same. Even so, I'll try to look after her.
With that decided, Sasuke sauntered after the violet-haired woman in a hasty gait.
ஜ ~ ஜ
Two months flew by the Snake Sannin quicker than he expected. Only one more month until the child is born, and then he'll have think of plan to care of it with Anko. An heir could be very interesting, but also very complicated in the process. Luckily, his dear ex-student understood that and volunteered to raise the child while he busy training his protégé. The last eight months has been nothing out of the ordinary from what he could tell, but as the pregnancy draws to an end, he became quite concerned for Anko.
The baby has been kicking more, becoming restless inside her womb and affecting her health. The contractions were coming by more often, to the point that the snake kunoichi would wake up in the middle of the night from pain. Although she brushed it off and refused to examine by Kabuto since she saw no need for it with only a month left, Orochimaru knew better than listen to what his stubborn lover had to say.
It was until one night when he was training Sasuke that his suspicions had been realized. In a urgent tone, Kabuto announced that the baby was arriving earlier than expected. Alarmed, the Sannin and his future vessel rushed to the medic's quarters to see a pained Anko laying in the bed with a sheet covering the lower half of her body. Coated from head to toe in sweat, her pretty face was distorted in anguish as the contractions struck her one after another.
"I heard her screaming for help when I went by to check on her in your chambers." Kabuto explained to lord and Sasuke, slipping on latex gloves. "The baby was developing at a much faster rate than I'd expected. She's in labor right now, and the contractions was worsening. The delivery might be rough, but very possible."
"Will she survive, though?" Orochimaru inquired, placing a soothing hand on his lover's sweaty forehead.
"Of course, but she might feel more pain than usual."
"She'll make it, then." Sasuke inserted calmly, trying hard not to tear his orbs away from the sight of her scrunched up face that was awash in agony. "She's strong."
Smirking to himself under the medical mask he strapped on over his face, the silver-haired ninja proceeded his explanation. "Yes, well, I might still need your help, Sasuke, for this to work. Just do everything I say. My lord, you may stay beside her."
The Uchiha grumbled in annoyance at being bossed around the smart-aleck four-eyes. "Fine, as long as I don't see anymore of her than I really have to."
"Excellent, let's begin."
ஜ ~ ஜ
Anko felt like she was experiencing agony equaled to the time when she first received her Curse Mark, her bleary vision and senses making out only the sound of her own anguished cries. She could barely hear Kabuto ordering her to push to help deliver her baby into the world, and make out the faint outline of her ex-mentor and Sasuke from the line of her bleakly gaze. How much longer will this pain last? It felt like she has been wrapped in a cocoon of hurt for eternity.
"You're doing well, Anko. One more push, and you're done." Kabuto's voice ringed in her ears. Using the rest of her strength, she pushed as the last contraction twisted through her. Wiping the tears from her exhausted eyes, Anko lifted her head to see the silver-haired medic grabbing a scalpel from his tools and cut the umbilical cord and scooped her precious baby in his arms.
"Is it a girl or a boy?" she questioned, her voice sounding raspy from the fatigue.
"See for yourself." Knowing that she was eager to hold her child herself, Kabuto gently gave the tiny, pink, and squalling bundle to her.
"It's a girl!" Joy filled her to her core as her caramel-colored irises landed on her perfect newborn daughter. Never before has Anko felt this kind of joy and pride seeped inside until now, her wailing little girl curled up in her arms. She was very small since she was premature, her eyes matching her mother's, and her wet, miniature strands of hair were exactly like her father's. Anko tenderly placed a finger on her infant's rosebud mouth, tears pouring down her cheeks in happiness of this rejoicing moment.
"She looks a lot like you." The Snake Sannin told her with a slight smirk. Or was it a smile? Either way, it didn't matter to the snake kunoichi as her lover tenderly stroked their daughter's cheek.
"Despite the early arrival, your daughter is perfectly healthy. She's smaller than most babies, but that's all." Kabuto sighed in relief, his job finally done. Removing his medical garbs off, he spare at glance at the happy mother and baby before he pivoted to look at his monitor. "Your vitals seems fine, but I suggest you rest before you pass out from exhaustion, Anko."
"What are you going to name her?" Sasuke asked the violet-haired woman, his dull eyes staring at the bright face of the newborn human being.
Anko beamed, and although her face was pale and tried from labor, she still looked beautiful in her own way. Like she had predicted, as soon as she saw daughter's face, the chosen name for her baby clicked inside her mind. She thought about what she would call her child, the most suitable name for her to carry throughout her life. Looking down at the infant in her arms, she saw a reflection of herself in her child's hues that were so much like hers.
A name—a title and meaning to the proof of existence for her baby that was born from her and Orochimaru. Memories flashed through Anko's head, recalling all of the experiences and emotions that lead to this path to make her child being born. A child is a parent's legacy, and it must have meaning so that Anko would always remember whenever she admire her little bundle of joy.
"Anko," Orochimaru's voice hooked her back from reality to remind her where she still was. "Have you thought of one?"
"Her name will be Asagao." Yes, a perfect name for her child. A name that would represent how she came into this world from all that has happened to Anko—from her adventures and from the emotions she felt at those time. A name that symbolizes the intense and passionate feelings she held and spent with the only mad she had ever truly loved.
"What does that mean?" Sasuke inquired with a faint smirk gracing his lips. Anko closed her eyelids slowly when the question came, a radiant smile blossoming onto her face as she pressed her baby now-sleeping form close to her heart.
ஜ ~ ஜ
A/N: Well, here you are, folks! The final chapter of Morning Glory! And like all sappy stories, this one came with a wonderful ending. Thank you, all of you guys, for sticking by me and reviewing Morning Glory. I couldn't have gotten through this without all of you. Every author still needs encouragement from their fans, even though they already wrote all the chapters beforehand. There is one person I would like to give special thanks to. This fan/friend of mine stuck by me more than anyone else had, so I want to thank that person right now for always reviewing and reading my stories—Ryunn-kun (Ryunn Kazan)! Thanks, Ryunn-kun, for being there for me! You, out of everyone, review all of my chapters and never gave up on me! You're a good friend to have, and I'm glad you loved Morning Glory so much! I really am thankful for you and everyone for reading my story and reviewing it!
I would like to take this time to make an announcement about a few things. Some of you guys may not know this, but I took charge of the Odaxelagnia: The Anko x Orochimaru Fanclub located at the Naruto Forums. It's a fanclub I have acquired leadership over for a few months now, but unfortunately, it is quite slow since the fanclub has been to near death before I took over. I wish that all of you OroAnko fans out there would come visit and join us at the forums, where you can read other amazing OroAnko fics and watch music videos. With Morning Glory finally done, I'll be revamping the front page to add more fics and material on it. I guarantee that all of you will find it quite interesting. So, please come and look at the fanclub.
Next, I encourage everyone to come to the Narutopedia for all of your Naruto questions and research. I also work at the Narutopedia as a editor and I've become quite well-known and helpful. I created several pages there as well, such as the Dango Shop and Kabuto's Ninja Info Cards. These pages and the others I created are quite precious to me and the other users there. I want everyone to know much effort and time that me and my friends put into making and keeping the wiki fantastic! I'm so happy to be part of the wiki, and I've met wonderful people there I can call my friends. Even though they will probably never see this, I want to give a shout out to all of my favorite friends and comrades out there on the Narutopedia wiki for looking after me and helping me out—Jacce, ShounenSuki, Omnibender, Fmakck, Cerez365, Simant, Snapper2, LeafShinobi, Ilnarutoanime, and Deva 27! They're very nice to me, and Omni-senpai even called me 'Sheik-kōhai' once and that made feel so happy! I love all of my senpais, so if any of you are interested in helping us at the wiki, please feel free to—just as long as you don't cause any trouble. We wiki users take our work very seriously, so it's very important that you read the rules first before joining. We don't forgive very easily, so I'm telling you guys that right now
Also, I'm sure some of you must be keeping track of the English that are coming out on iTunes and DVDs, right? This is a subject that is always consider before any dubbing company, like Funimation or Viz, are to release more dubbed episodes of the anime shows they license. Despite I know most people prefer the Japanese over the English since they're more used to it, I know that other people like me out there love the English as well. Therefore, if fans want to watch the Naruto episodes in English, then don't watch the episodes on any anime fansites. The only way for the company that are dubbing it to release more is to buy the DVDs. If not, they will cease dubbing Naruto Shippūden, which had finally reached the end of the Three-Tails Arc. That means that if the DVDs leading up to that arc sells well, they can dubbed the Hunt For Itachi Arc, which contains the episodes that Orochimaru is killed by Sasuke! I really want those episodes to come out, so it's very important for fans that want the same thing to buy the DVDs. If the show doesn't sell well, then it'll be cancel. Miss Erin Fitzgerald, who was the voice of Guren, told me so herself. Don't go to anime sites! Although intentionally, fansites violated the copyrights for the ones who owned the shows, so they also prevent people for trying to get the DVDs. If this continue, the rest of Naruto Shippūden episodes won't be released for English. So please, buy the DVDs when they come out.
Finally, I would like to tell all of you of my next project. That's right, I already started typing out my next story, but it's not a Naruto one. My next fanfic is a anime that I hold very dear to my heart ever since it first aired on TV. Since then, I've been keeping track of it, Japanese and English, and continue to regard it as one of my most favorite shows out there! It's actually the second show I got interested in when I first started to watch anime when I was around eight or nine years old, the first being Inuyasha. It's an ongoing series and just as popular as Naruto! The next story I am doing is...ONE PIECE!
I'll be writing about the future King of the Pirates and his crew! Of course, the story will be romance and be about my two favorite characters in the show, Roronoa Zoro and Nico Robin! Just like with Orochimaru and Anko, this pairing is quite popular among fans and have a age gap among them. It's going to be my first One Piece story ever! I already started to type the chapters, but I won't post it until I get most of the chapters done, like how I did Morning Glory. That'll mean you guys might have to wait a while until I post it. I'm going to work really hard on so that it can even surpass Morning Glory! Wish me luck and thank you so much for supporting me, everyone.