Did I Already Mention Today I'm Terribly Evil?

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto and I make no profit with this work of fiction.

The missing-nin are the scum of the ninja society, the dust below the bottom of the ladder, those either too damaged to keep their violence pointed to the acceptable targets or those too ambitious to bother with loyalty. There are many reasons a person may cut ties with their village: money, hunger for power, revenge, love, expert enemy manipulation and sometimes even genuine grievances, though those cases, the powers that be will say, are about as common as genuine sightings of free biju – unless it's their village that gets the handle of the stray blade. When all is said and done, kunai found lying around is free game and it's up to the person picking one up to not cut themselves.

Men and women will go missing for money and hunger for power, for hate and love and unjust persecution. Sometimes it even goes like this…

It is a truth acknowledged universally, or at least within Konoha's walls, that no self-respecting person with a Kekkei Genkai is content to remain a career chuunin. Not that being chuunin is anything to sneer at, generally speaking. The cold, harsh truth is that most people don't have what it takes to make a jounin, the gap between the average chuunin and the average jounin being much, much wider than the gap between the average genin and the average chuunin. But having a Kekkei Genkai is considered such a vantage that if a person can't make a jounin even with it, well, there must be something wrong with them, right? This became somewhat a problem soon after Konoha's founding with the Uchiha and Hyuuga clans since statistically speaking in so big a take of ninja there always had to be some who didn't make the cut. During Nidaime's reign the position of tokubetsu jounin became open for all Konoha nin, but originally it was invented for the benefit of the poor, harried-by-their-families Uchiha and Hyuuga who could only drag their skill level up enough on one or two specific areas of skill. It became the coveted second prize, close enough to the real thing to be respectable.

Of course, not everyone could make even that, but life just wasn't fair. This fact was something Iruka could attest to as Anko fussed over him, pondering his options of specialization.

Hayate was already a tokubetsu so that weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He still wanted to make the real thing, but now he could concentrate on it without his peers constantly speculating on when and why not already. Anko could have passed the requirements for a tokubetsu jounin ages ago, but promotion wasn't only a matter of skill; with the higher security clearance and assignments as a team leader it became a matter of trust. Her status as Orochimaru's former student had poisoned a lot of minds against her since paranoia was an occupational disease in their profession. It wasn't fair, but it was still so.

Since Anko could do little for herself except be trustworthy and hope the right people were paying attention and keep filing applications for a promotion evaluation, she had made Iruka her new pet project. By hook or crook he was going to make a tokubetsu jounin within the next twelve months, or else.

"You haven't got the chakra reserves for jounin-level ninjutsu speacialist, but your control's good," Anko said conversationally as she aimed a kick at Iruka's ribs. He leaped backwards, and backwards and backwards again. He didn't see either of the two follow-up moves coming, but he had known Anko for a long time and he knew how she fought. "Genjutsu and medical jutsu. If you wanted to go into assassinations you would only need one of them." Anko's voice didn't betray even the slightest wheeze as she leaped at Iruka in a billow of earthy orange fabric like a ship in full sail gracefully teetering on the cap of a storm wave.

Shifting into a better stance, Iruka executed the perfect low block followed by a lunge punch, then step and another strike. His chest was heaving and sweat trickled down his back, but he felt a brief surge of sheer joy as he forced Anko to block twice and then dodge. She was one of the more aggressive people he had ever sparred against and forcing her to defend was a small victory in its own right.

"But I don't – want to. Don't you know what – they would call me in a – Bingo book," he asked, his words ending in a grunt of pain as his next strike was met with an arm block and Anko's punch hit him hard to the shoulder, sending him on his ass on the dust of the training field and sparks dancing up and down his upper arm. A rope of hair lunged at him as Anko tried to grab his wrists, Iruka executed a sealless kawarimi, leaving an unlucky mulberry bush to take Anko's wrath in his stead. That brave bush, it gave its life without a flinch for a good cause. Anko had told him in no uncertain terms before the spar that if he didn't give everything he had and then some she was asking Maito Gai's help with his training.

Gai-san was a good jounin – Iruka winced inwardly at his uncharitable attitude towards his comrade – and a good man, but while Iruka didn't fear death, that made him fear surviving the first session.

"Oh, I can see it! Kissing Fiend Iruka!" Anko crowed from behind Iruka. He wasn't quick enough to dodge the hot blast that hit him squarely to the back and the Anko in front of him waved to him cheerily. Iruka's stomach lurched. The fire jutsu hadn't been hot enough or long-lasting enough to even set his tactical vest on fire, but Iruka knew that for the purpose of this exercise he was "dead." In a real fight Anko would have used something much more lethal. He turned around and leaned against his knees, panting in defeat. His mouth tasted like iron and his limbs were lead-heavy, but it had been a good match. A fun match, even. If only, if only Anko had fun too…

"The Black Widower! The Poisonous Orchid of Konoha! Or maybe Hot Lips Iruka would be even better?" Anko laughed and a thick lock of hair grabbed Iruka's chin, lifting it up playfully as a thinner dark strand caressed said lips.

"Do you want to die?" Iruka snarled, but in secret he was pleased. Anko was happy with his performance.

"And whose army are you recruiting for that?" Anko laughed and dropped to the ground, leaning backwards against her hands and arched her back, her face turning towards the sun. Her clothes pooled around her in folds of orange and green and brown, hiding her hands below the generous sleeves and hiding her legs entirely.

The Konoha kunoichi favoured two main styles of clothing. The first was One of the Boys and that usually consisted of the standard issue blue pants, the tactical vest and a long-sleeved shirt under it. The other could be called Less Is More and it was precisely that; as little as a girl could get away with wearing and still have somewhere to hide her emergency shuriken. In the case of some of the bolder ones Iruka was compelled to resort to some crude (but private) speculation as to where that hiding place might be since miniskirts and skintight tops only left so many options, and if not for certain hair-related issue that dared not speak its name for fear of mutilation, Anko probably would have fallen into this group. Iruka could see her in a miniskirt and bandages wrapped around her chest – if she couldn't come up with something even more scandalous. Anko was as body shy as water was dry and she wanted to be noticed.

But there was no way she was going to just live up to people's expectations. Of course not.

"What would it matter?" Iruka had asked.

"It's the principle of the thing," Anko had sniffed. "Nobody objectifies me but me."

"But don't you always say that it doesn't matter what people you don't even like think of you?" Hayate had asked and Anko had kicked his ass in a spar for being such a typical man and not understanding it wasn't the same thing at all. Iruka had privately thought that she had resorted to that because she couldn't logic her way out of that argument, but he was clever enough to keep his mouth shut. And besides, Anko could dress in a sack and pink bunny slippers if she wanted. Her body, her business what she draped over it.

So slinky and skimpy was out of question, but she would never deign to wear anything as plain as the cookie cutter chuunin garb. She was dressed in a wide, flowing hakama and an orange and green kimono with small leaf symbols embroidered around the neckline and sleeves. It was a real furisode; those sleeves reached down under her knees and Iruka lived in constant awe of her ability to keep her enemy from grabbing one in a battle. His wrist was aching even now from the yesterday's spar, bruises in the shape of fingers circling around it. Counting the open coat that completed spectacle Anko was wearing easily three times the fabric any other kunoichi in the village, if not more. Of course the amount of sharp, pointy things hidden within the folds, sleeves and secret pockets was directly proportional.

"Any more layers and that could double as weight training," Iruka said and stretched his legs, pulling the vest off to feel his left side with his fingers. There was going to be a nasty bruise, but nothing a hot bath couldn't make feel better.

"Good idea, lets add that to your training regime," Anko said and Iruka groaned, cursing his big mouth. "Have you thought about water bullets?"

"Yeah, wouldn't work. It isn't a contact poison, you know, it needs to get into a wound or to a mucous membrane. The water dilutes it too much," Iruka explained. Since the blood flow out of the body would reduce the amount of the poison getting in and the water would have spread it thin already, that attack would only work if his opponent weighed about a hundred pounds; if his opponent was a genin, and. Just. No. That would be an instant villain upgrade, just add the water.

"Well, then, have you thought…" Anko started, but Iruka didn't find out what he should consider because Hayate jumped off a nearby tree and walked up to them. There was a slight jubilant curve to his mouth.

"Sandaime wants to speak with us. There is a long term mission for a small team," he said without preamble, and when Iruka met Anko's eyes he was met with an eager, hungry shine. He had a feeling his own wasn't much better , though he at least tried to hide it.

A long term mission meant a month or longer and small team meant – discounting the C-ranks given to genin teams – that the mission was either too challenging for a single chuunin to manage or required at least one sophisticated enough cover identity to justify the expense of two extra people. A prime chance for ambitious chuunin to prove themselves, in other words.

"This is our big chance. If you mess this up for Iruka, I will kill you," Anko declared. Hayate didn't bat an eyelash, but Iruka winced.

"Even if it's me?" he asked and added his best puppy dog eyes for the good measure. Those had gotten him out of trouble time and again when he had sneaked a bright red sock among the white coats of the Anbu laundry basket taken to the cleaner's or sneaked itching powder into the lockers of the Academy senior common room. Anko was thoroughly unimpressed.

"I'm living vicariously through you here. No-one stands in your way, not even you if you know what's good for you," she said and gave a little chuckle that would have befitted a particularly demented Kiri jounin licking their blade. "Life's not fair, deal with it."

There are two kinds of prizes the father-in-law hopefuls go for in Konoha. The shinobi daddies hunt for the Uchiha now that the Senju have somehow managed to breed themselves practically into extinction; the embodiment of all that proper Konoha shinobi are meant to be. A proper Uchiha scion could wear pink pajamas and ribbons in his hair; all this in addition to their pretty boy baby face mug shots Iwa and Kumo counterintelligence kunoichi will forever pin to their office walls and still they would look one command short of a massacre. Even married kunoichi will strain their necks trying to get a better view of those deep, soulful, bloody eyes. They are a class of their own and nothing less.

The civilian daddies want boys like Umino Iruka for their little flowers, highly armed arm candies their daughters could eat and have at the same time. Iruka could wear black leather and stud belts and still look like the guy any girl can show off to their prim and proper grandma. Iruka looks like the kind that cooks and cleans and gets up to feed the baby in the middle of the night and has nice friends to introduce to the sisters and cousins and spare maiden aunts – and though all shinobi are lying liars, this isn't a lie at all.

"It is elementary that we manage to infiltrate this missing-nin ring," Sandaime said and exhaled a perfect, round smoke ring. "Anbu Wolf is your back-up in case you are revealed, and if you need to dispel suspicions, he will make an attempt to catch you." Said man was standing silently by the wall and only the fact that Iruka detested fanboys from the bottom of his heart kept him from staring and stuttering. There were only so many high-level ninja in any village and that hair colour wasn't precisely common – the only other person Iruka knew was Mizuki.

"So we will be the missing-nin," Hayate said and Iruka nodded contently. This called for chuunin-level operatives because they rarely were recognizable, almost never made it to the Bingo books. Three people could drop out of thin air and it wouldn't be noticed at all. Now they were Konoha missing-nin Isamu, Ai and Hajime; it really was a good mission to earn point with the village administration so why were Anko and Hayate looking at him like that?

"I'm sure we can keep him under wraps," Hayate said eventually and his voice certainly sounded very confident. Iruka thought he should probably be insulted.

"I can be vile," he protested and pretended he couldn't hear Anko mutter prayers to any higher power that would listen under her breath. Sandaime leaned back in his chair and gave Iruka that stern look that sent his mind whirling, made him reflexively try and remember what he should apologize for even though his days as a prankster were long behind now.

"I had my doubts about this, I will admit, but the Dokuseppun has its advantages. This is a dangerous mission and even chakra can be sealed," he said. Chakra could be sealed, hands could be tied and weapons could be taken from them, but no force on earth could render Iruka's saliva not poisonous. Their Kekkei Genkai, unknown and often overlooked in favour of the showy red and white eyes, was the last ace in the sleeve. Also, Iruka realized, not one at high risk of bloodline theft should things take a sour turn.

What would a buyer do, implant Anko's wild mane a hair by hair by hair? Besides, Haganekami was a Mokuton derivative and just like no-one had ever determined just how the famous Senju bloodline worked, even the best Konoha medics – even Tsunade-sama herself! – had been unable to determine just how Anko controlled her hair. Himeiwoageru, well, that risk existed, but should someone be foolish enough to steal Iruka's venom glands, the receiver would never get off the operating table.

"Familiarize yourselves with the intelligence reports and co-ordinate your operations with Wolf. You will leave tomorrow," Sandaime said and it was an obvious dismissal. Hayate gathered the folders on Sandaime's table to his arms and they all turned to look at Wolf like little ducklings to a mama duck.

"Training ground twelve," the man said and disappeared in a swirl of leaves. Iruka started; he had thought it was impossible to shunshin out of Hokage's office… But hadn't the window been closed just a second before? It was almost closed now as well, but while almost could count in horse shoes, ninja was a different game.

"Those seals wouldn't work if the containment circle wasn't whole," he said admiringly. He was going to ask how Sandaime would keep his window from being broken in an emergency, but Anko grabbed his elbow and ushered him after Hayate and out of the office.

"Just don't say anything to anyone, okay?" Hayate told him as they walked down the stairs. "Just hang in the back menacingly. We can pretend you are mute." And now this was starting to really annoy Iruka.

"I can be vile! I can kick the puppy as well as the other person!" he insisted. "I'll… I won't hold doors open for people! I'll jaywalk! I'll…"

"This is going to be a long mission."

Of course Anko knew that Iruka was just jerking his teammates' chain when he said that. He wasn't stupid; he understood the need to establish themselves as wholly amoral and with more ambition than self-preservation instincts – the sort of people who would have walked out on their loyalties and never looked back. He understood it, certainly. He just hadn't thought it would be this hard and sadly she was a lot worse at denying him things than she pretended to be.

Anko loved many things. She loved sharp, polished steel and flashy jutsu, she loved her hair for all the grief she got over it, she loved dango and tea ceremonies and her little daydream of Orochimaru's head on a pike, she loved fine clothes and money, she loved Hayate and above all she loved Iruka – just not like that, sadly, because Iruka would have made a kick-ass boyfriend. He was like her little brother (nevermind he was actually several months older than she was) and she felt protective of him. Iruka was often overlooked for his gender norm nonconformistic Kekkei Genkai and that was, in Anko's opinion, all the proof anyone could ask for that even shinobi could be blind as bats. Iruka had quality. Iruka kept his kunai sharp and preferred his girlfriends sharper, he helped little civilian ladies cross busy streets and looked like somebody's little brother even when he ate his ramen with senbon instead of chopsticks. Iruka glittered in sunlight like Maito Gai's teeth and there was no way any blood hound tart was getting her teeth on his cute ass on Anko's watch.

There was a kind of innocence about him that even shinobi life couldn't take away from him. It wasn't sexual innocence or even emotional innocence, but a sort of innocence of the soul, as sappy as even thinking about souls made Anko feel. Iruka could lie down among stray dogs and he still wouldn't get up with fleas.

"Oi, fearless leader. We need to talk," she said to Hayate, leading him out of the inn where they were staying. The owner's daughter carrying a huge load of washed sheets couldn't scamper out of their way quickly enough, casting worried glances she thought were cover after them.

They were in a small River Country town named Umemura. The country had been artificially created as a sort of no-man's land between the Fire and Wind countries after the Second Great Shinobi War, for all the good that had done to prevent the third one, and without a hidden village of its own the country had been ripe pickings for a starting missing-nin ring out to build a mercenary army, sell drugs, smuggle luxury items, extort people and generally become a huge security risk in important geopolitical location. Umemura, however, was a wholly unremarkable little place that Hayate had only picked because starting right under the organization's nose would have seemed suspicious in the best case – and like business rivalry in the worst. It was a small town with a small town petty tyrant that had fixed an abandoned Second War fortification on the hill overlooking the town and was now busily recruiting thugs for himself.

"I think we need to up our stakes a little. We have been here whole two days and there is not an incident to our name," Anko proposed. Hayate's mouth was thin, but he nodded all the same.

"I take it you have suggestions?" he asked and leaned against one of the plum trees surrounding the inn. "Should we shake people up for some protection money of our own?" Every business in the town paid to Masahiko Sano, but the yakuza's underlings were quick and eager to get their fingers in the cookie jar as well.

"Hah, that's not evil, that's just pathetic. We need to do something big, like… betray our employer and steal all his money. Except what we can't find, ob-vi-ous-ly," Anko sing-songed. Ah, she thought, there was a proper groan of utter despair; music to her ears.

"Ai, we have been here two days. If we start failing our mission now it will be a new personal low to us all and Wolf is going to have our livers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I expected this from Isamu, not you," Hayate protested, but Anko couldn't help noticing that he wasn't precisely burning with the resolve of white-hot steel.

It was Anko's opinion that the townspeople were a bunch of spineless idiots. If they wanted to get rid of their pot-bellied, flabby overlord that badly, setting fire to the fortification would have done the trick; it wasn't as if the man was fit enough to escape an arson prepared properly. And if they were too cowardly to do it themselves, they should have collected money and hired a ninja to do the job. A new genin team could have creamed the thugs the man had surrounded himself with and if people made no effort to better their situation they shouldn't whine about it either. But Iruka didn't see it like this at all and apparently neither did Hayate.

"We could put the heads on pikes afterwards," she purred and let a few locks to escape the bun at the nape of her neck, brushing them against Hayate's face enticingly, trickling one down his neckline. "That always leaves a properly psychotic impression."

"What it is with you and heads on pikes?" Hayate asked and swatted the hair away, and Anko's grin widened. It wasn't a "no."

"Great, no we go get Isamu and then we can knock down that stupid pole in the town square," she cheered. That stupid, stupid pole for making Iruka wander around looking like he just killed somebody's frail old grandmother. "That stupid, stupid pole. Really, if we needed any proof that this whole outfit is patently pathetic…"

But really, Masahiko was clearly overcompensating for something and Anko was the expert on unnecessarily complicated, convoluted and plain confounding things a person might do to make up for small penis – just look at Orochimaru, his extendable sword and tendency to give hickeys to the barely pubescent. But while Anko hated to give Orochimaru any credit compared to anyone, her old master had at least managed to fake sane and loyal for the longest time, even to her, and whether his big motivation was really being bored with peace or wanting to live forever or if he wanted something else entirely was anyone's question since he was about as open as a constipated clam. Now Masahiko, he was clearly trying to fake ax crazy and falling short flat on his face.

Masahiko was mad, Masahiko was bad, when Masahiko bothered to walk down the street the women would hide and the men would step aside. He used dirt nap and meeting your maker and off the twig and even sleeping with the fishes as euphemisms for death and his thugs all had a skull and crossbones tattoo on their right bicep because subtlety was apparently a name of cologne in his books and large ham the most important meal of the day. And when Masahiko had someone killed their body would be tied to a pole in the middle of the town's only market square for five days so people would remain properly terrified, guarded day and night so the mourning family couldn't steal the body away for funeral. It was terribly terrible…

Or at least terribly unhygienic. Who would want to buy bread or milk when they could smell a rotting corpse not ten yards away? The guard duty wasn't something funny either, and as the newbies Hajime and Isamu had caught the tail end of the last execution, the last two days. Ai had avoided it because she was sexy and no-one wanted to ruin their chances with her by making her stand in the stench in their stead.

"So desecration of bodies doesn't meet – your standards for evil?" Hayate asked. The question was interrupted by a convenient coughing fit and Anko gave him a sharp look, but Hayate appeared honestly short of breath and there wasn't that tightness to the muscles around the eyes most people got when she said something socially inappropriate. She hadn't knows Hayate as long as Iruka, but this was why she counted the man as her nearest and dearest as well: he would rather understand than judge.

"Nah, I've never understood that. I mean, when you die the suffering is over. What's left is not you, but just a sack of flesh and bones and why should it matter any what happens to it? Now if he was tying people there alive and leaving them to die of thirst and exposure then I would be disgusted," she explained and walked under Iruka's window. Hayate sighed and he looked inexplicably sad for some reason.

"I'm going to murder Orochimaru," he said out of blue, and it wasn't that Anko was objected to dead snake, but…

"You can't. I have dibsied him," she said and threw a little rock at the closed window.

Contrary to his complaint, the heads on pikes was what sold Anko's plan to Hayate. The truth was that they were going to have to commit some atrocities worse than shaking people up for money to make a believable missing-nin cover and he would much rather his targets were deserving of it. Besides, often what things looked like was more important than what they actually were in their business. They could make this look like a murder spree and theft rather than liberation – and Anko being Anko aside, desecration of bodies amounted to an instant villain upgrade in the eyes of pretty much anyone. While it had the added benefit of nicely moving Hayate back to his comfort zone, the plan was also pretty much guaranteed to work.

Really, he should have guessed, what with how things ever worked out for the three of them.

The reason they lived in the inn rather than up in the fortress was because Masahiko, while definitely not the sharpest kunai in the pouch, wasn't a complete idiot either. He didn't trust the three people with previous history for being as loyal as a stray dog was faithful and while the three of them made much appreciated tools – sharp, pointy ones – they were out of the loop for much that went on in the core group. And, and, and…

Ninja were the shadow killers of the continent, death made commercial delivered wrapped in the hitai-ite of their village, advertised with the pretty pictures of heroic deeds and the jingle-tingle of honour. The thing was, while they weren't as pretty as their propaganda painted them as, they usually wasn't as bad as the enemy propaganda made them out to be either. There were the ninja broken in so sharp shards no one would dare to touch them without thick gloves and clan geniuses so messed up they were feared under their own roof, but most people had their limits; things they wouldn't do willingly, couldn't do without breaking themselves or maybe at all, things they would disdain others for doing, kill for doing if the culprits were in the acceptable target category and sometimes, with some people, maybe even if they weren't.

That evening the Masahiko Family had decided to have party, and it is a universally acknowledged truth that a good party needs hot women. Since the willing were in short supply, the unwilling were going to do. Another universal truth demanded that, like any really good party, this one would be crashed. Anko was the one kind enough to accomplice this by kicking in the door to the great hall – and Anko might be kunoichi, but the thing about kunoichi is, the word is made from the characters that resemble the three strokes in the kanji for woman: ku-no-ichi. Always a woman inside the good soldier.

And Iruka, Hayate though as he tried to dislodge the sobbing, willowy woman who had attached herself to his person from his neck, identified as closely with women as possible without edging into the transsexual territory.

"I didn't come here to save you," he snarled to the woman. "Let go of me."

"Thank you thank you thank you!" she chanted and held on. It was almost enough to make him believe she was kunoichi herself and cleverly disguising the chakra she used to cling to him.

He stared helplessly at the rambunctious fight going on. It wasn't that Anko and Iruka needed any help, quite the opposite. Anko was standing right in the middle of the room and her locks were stretched out and looped twice around a supporting pillar and tangled around Masahiko Sano. The pastry pale, sweating man was begging and running on the spot, trying to get free without realizing this was pulling the hair fast against the pillar. While Anko's hair was long, she still had to stand with her knee literally between the man's legs and Hayate could well imagine how this would continue. Iruka had started out guarding her back from Masahiko's men, but at this point he was running after them, a bloody kunai in hand. Hayate wasn't entirely sure he had just forgotten he could throw it and grab another and he knew for a fact Iruka could run a lot faster than that, as demonstrated by his lunges whenever someone tried to grab a woman for a body shield. It was equally clear that he had completely lost all control of his team and at this point the situation could only be salvaged if they killed the women as well.

The seven women not clinging to him, all young and pretty and very skimpily dressed, had pressed themselves against the walls of hall. Most of them were keeping their eye closed and some had pressed their fingers into their ears as well, but two of them were looking at the extremely one-sided battle almost hungrily. Clearly someone they loved had ended up tied to that pole.

"Kill them!" the taller of them, a red-head in short red dress, shouted to Iruka.

A bald, burly man fell to the ground and there was only one enemy left a live, a thin man with a big nose and clearly the quickest feet of the lot. He was already half-way across the big room, with two tables and a sofa between him and Iruka, and he made a desperate lunge for a trembling, doe-eyed women who only dared to peek between her fingers. Iruka replaced himself smoothly with a chair, standing between them, landing neatly one foot on top of a chopstick and the floor under it was wet with blood. The chopstick rolled and Iruka lurched backwards. The man running towards him couldn't stop in time and wound up crashing into out-of-balance Iruka and they fell on the floor, Iruka on the bottom – their mouths crushing together. It was like watching a coach wreck happen. Iruka froze for a short second before pushing the man off.

"That was my first kiss and it sucked!" he yelled to no-one in particular.

"Wasn't it bound to anyway?" Anko quipped over her shoulder. "Stop whining and take it like a man."

"You are so wonderfully heroic, I'm so sorry I believed those terrible things people were saying about you, it's clear you are all wonderful people deep down," Hayate's rescuee babble and crushed her mouth against his, sticking her tongue into his mouth. "I bet your village sucked anyway," she mumbled into the kiss.

And as an insult added to the injury, he hadn't gotten a chance to use his Himeiwoageru at all, just like usual.

There had been a short note in the designated drop spot, informing Kakashi that Team No Respect had left the town and travelled now towards a nearby village. Surprised and anticipating something had gone very wrong, the Anbu decided to make a public appearance in the town to ask some questions and create the illusion of Konoha hunting the three. The sour, distrustful looks aimed at masked Kakashi when he told why he had arrived were pretty conclusive evidence of the townspeople's feelings towards the team. Not that anyone was foolish enough to defend them and their actions out loud, with the exception of a small shaggy-haired boy near the front of the wall of a bit ragged-looking people following his every move.

"Leave Ai-neechan alone, you big meanie, she saved Yuki-neechan!" he shouted before his ashen-faced mother snatched him away from his immediate sight.

The good people claimed to have no idea where the missing-nin had gone to. The good people were so very obviously lying through their teeth. As Kakashi could deduce from the words conspicuous mouths whispered to eager ears, the notorious missing-nin with a decent collective bounty to their name had arrived in this town mere three days ago. They'd terrorized nothing more than an inn and destroyed nothing more expensive than a table and two chairs – the lady ninja (lady ninja!) and the one who coughed a lot had brawled, according to the rumours. Oh, and they had kindly killed the yakuza lord who had taken over the old fort, tyrannized the population, raped and pillaged and tried to bleed it dry with demands of protection money, the bad farmer who drew blood when the milk ran dry.

Oh, and they had been kind enough to avenge body desecration; however that had been accomplished he wasn't certain he cared to find out, yet very certain he would.

"I am going to murder them."

AN: A clothes hanger Anko may seem a little funny idea, but I think that giving her that bloodline wouldn't just amount to a few useful tricks. We all are the sum of our parts and Haganekami – and those unfortunate rumours – are part of Anko now. She wouldn't mind going around naked as long as it was her own idea, but she isn't quite as unaffected by the badmouthing as she pretends to be and she refuses to let strangers decide who and what she is. They say pervert, she wears her skirts down and her neckline up out of spite – and with style! It is the principle of the thing.

Along a similar vein, this Iruka feels more pressured to get a promotion than canon Iruka ever was, though he isn't really admitting to it either, and Hayate isn't satisfied to remain a tokubetsu jounin. (And Iruka is fanboying a little, but he doesn't really know Kakashi at all. Let's see how long it lasts.)