Reacquainted With Your Body

BY : JigokuDayu
Category: Naruto > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 2959
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of the Naruto characters. I'm not making any money off this.

How did I end up here, at Orochimaru's base, about to meet with him privately? The sun was setting fast as I crossed the threshold of what could best be described as a snake pit with an overabundance of limbs. Fear, bewilderment, and delirious yearning all filled me. There was a good chance this would end badly, yet I was compelled to see him. So much had been left unsaid between us. If nothing else, I deserved some answers.


All of this had been set in motion about a week before. The workday was over and I was walking back to my flat. I wasn't prepared for the sight that I stumbled upon that afternoon, the sight of him. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary prior to it. Just the same old, same old.

Life had gotten dull, but I preferred it that way. Tedium, for me, was structure; something I could cling to. It gave me a sense of security. Over the years, I had fallen into a quasi-comfortable routine of repressing the emotions and memories of my youth. My whole life was work, interspersed with frequent snacks. Yes, sweets were the one pleasure I allowed myself. Shovelling away dango got me through the sadness. 

I didn't care about having a real sex life and I sure as hell wasn't going to get suckered into needing love. Love was in my long-buried past. Yes, I loved him. And he permitted me to think he had loved me. That was before he ripped my heart out of my goddamn chest and left me to go crawling back to the village on my own. 

Truth be told, I never stopped loving him. Whatever I did, I couldn't change my heart. So I resigned myself to loneliness, resentment, and a hell of a lot of denial. It was fine, so long as I didn't see him. But now he had this progeny who'd become a Leaf genin. And to top it all off, he was on fairly respectable terms with Konoha. So of course I was bound to cross paths with him again.

It was inevitable. On that afternoon walk home, I passed him on the street. Our eyes met, yet we both kept walking. My heart dropped. I was terrified of the prospect of being accosted by him. Though when he didn't, I couldn't help but feel snubbed. 

Did he not recognise me? That was possible, given how plump I'd gotten. Yet I still had the same face and the same hairstyle. No, he had to know it was me. He must've been giving me the cold shoulder! But why? Did he hate me? Did he not care? Did he find me repulsive? Was he trying to avoid confrontation?

The way he looked had taken me by storm. His hair was tied up so elegantly. Typically, when I see guys with their hair up, they strike me as kind of silly-looking, but he was beautiful. Then again, he was always a beautiful man. His face appeared somewhat softer, but it didn't detract from his visage in the slightest. His eyes and his complexion were as enthralling as ever. All his angles and contours were graceful. The inscrutable look he gave me made my stomach do flips.


Was I just hot and bothered? Orochimaru was the only person I'd ever felt that way about. That wasn't something I could seek out, though. He had put me through so much pain. There was no way I could let myself talk to him, let alone chat him up. I couldn't even find the courage to look back to see him after we passed each other. I simply kept walking.

When I got home, I had a good cry. The first of many that week. He was haunting me. I had thought for years that I was over it, that it couldn't bother me any longer. Now I was missing him again. The intensity of our closeness, the unfathomable depths of my love for him, the hurt he had caused me- it all came crashing down. He'd been my caregiver, my sensei, and eventually my lover. In my heart, I continued to adore and idolise him. I hated myself for it, as I couldn't bring myself to hate him.

Why the hell did I care? On the inside, I screamed for him to get out of my head and stop tormenting me. I had been doing so well, only to fall apart after a minor encounter. He shouldn't have even registered in my mind. I should have been able to suppress those confusing feelings. However, my turmoil escalated. I couldn't get Orochimaru off my mind. Part of me wished I had spoken to him, the other part wished I hadn't noticed him at all.

 

A couple days later, I was called to the Hokage's office. At that point, I was in shambles, obsessing over the incident without reprieve. I assumed I was being called in for a lecture on how my work was slipping. The other teachers had been griping at me about neglecting my responsibilities. I hadn't the nerve to tell anyone why I'd been so out of sorts.

I steeled myself for the earful I was about to get. Perhaps I'd be lucky and I wouldn't have to give him an honest explanation for my sub-par job performance. Taking a deep breath, I went inside.

Naruto looked up from the papers on his desk. His eyes went wide. I wasn't sure if that was a good sign or not. "Hello, Anko-san. I'm arranging for you to have a leave of absence from the academy. A few days, starting tomorrow. Or longer if it turns out you need it. There are plenty of chunin to substitute for you."

At least he hadn't shouted, the way Tsunade would have. That made me feel a little better. "I'm sorry, Hokage-sama. I've had a lot on my mind recently. I swear I'll pay better attention to my students." My neck drooped so that I was staring at the floor.

"Huh? Do you think you're in trouble?"

I lifted my head and gaped at him. "What else would it be?"

"I got a special mission request for you," he replied. "Normally, I'd send out a team for this type of thing, but he specifically asked for you alone. Since it's just an 'informal meeting' and with you being as tough as you are, you should be more than okay on your own."

"What? A mission? Someone asked for me?" I squinted at him. It sounded so bizarre.

He laughed. "You're babbling, Anko-san." If someone else had teased me like that, I would've taken it as an insult, but I guess the little brat grew on me. He's the only one of the Hokage I've known to personally win my admiration.

Naruto then cleared his throat. "Seriously, it's more of an invitation. He said he wants to have 'an informal visit to discuss personal matters.' Whatever that means... Since our relations with Otogakure have changed so much, I think you should do it."

My heart skipped several beats. "You mean Orochimaru? He wants to talk to me?" So maybe he hadn't meant to snub me. Maybe- no, it couldn't be possible. I had to be realistic.

"Yeah, didn't I mention that? Uh, maybe I forgot..." Naruto scratched his head and shrugged. "Anyway, I guess he wants to talk to you about how Mitsuki's doing or something like that."

The adrenaline went coursing through me. "Why not Konohamaru? He's the boy's sensei." 

"He was insistent upon you and no one else. I don't know why he's inviting you, but I think it's a good idea that you go. For diplomacy and for a little reconnaissance. I want you to see if there's anything unusual going on inside his headquarters. We've had shinobi keeping watch outside, but a little peek within couldn't hurt."

My heart was pounding so fast. "You're not worried that something bad will happen?"

"I have total faith in you, Anko-san." He smiled again. That smile of Naruto's can be damn heartwarming. It put me at ease for the first time since the encounter with Orochimaru.

"At least one of us does," I groaned. I was still telling myself not to get my hopes up; despite the boost of confidence the Hokage had given me.

"I know you're a great ninja, even if you are a crazy snake lady!" Naruto chuckled at his little epithet for me.

"Still playing the tough guy, huh?" I gave a weak laugh. "Just kidding, Hokage-sama. Your trust means a lot to me, so I guess I better go prove you right." Now I'd have to steel myself to face someone else. All the muscles in my body tensed. I sighed, "Who knows? Maybe it will do me good to talk to him. I just hope I don't disappoint you."

"There might not be anything to find, but I'd like to be sure." Naruto didn’t seem to pick up on the exact reasons for my concerns.

"Is that why you're giving me an indefinite schedule, despite it being just an informal visit?" I probably should’ve explained what was vexing me, but I didn’t have the guts. Plus, I was afraid that Naruto would change his mind about letting me go if he knew anything more. Facing Orochimaru was something I needed to do if I wanted to have peace of mind again.

"Oh no, he said you were welcome to stay as long as you wanted." He started chuckling again. "Now that I think about it, that does sound a little sneaky. Maybe he wants to wave his tongue at you some more!"

The suggestion gave me a nervous twitch. I wasn't sure if it was from the chance that Naruto was right, or if he might have been referring to an actual incident, other than that time at the Chunin Exam. He couldn't have possibly known about any of that, but it still bothered me.

Trying my best not to dwell on it while there, I decided to rag him back a little more. "I know you're the Hokage and I do respect you, but you can be real pain."

"But a pain who's letting you take an extended sabbatical with pay," he replied, laughing more. That’s one of the things I like best about Naruto. He and I can kid each other that way and not take it personally. 

"Be careful, I might not want to come back." I gave him the akanbe; pulling down my eyelid and sticking my tongue out. Instantly, it hit me that my words could be taken several different ways, some worse than others. "Er, I mean, not like Sasuke! Or, uh, not like I'm going to elope with Orochimaru!" What the hell did I just say?! I covered my mouth with my hand before I could make more of an idiot of myself. "Ugh, I'm sorry! Could you just pretend like I wasn't talking rubbish there? I don't know where my brain went!" My whole face was red.

Naruto stared at me quizzically. "I guess I can let it slide, seeing as you are totally insane." He punctuated that with a smirk.

"Oh, thank you! Now I don't have to die of embarrassment," I sighed, wiping the sweat from my forehead. "Guess I better go pack some things for my trip to Otogakure. I want to make a good impression and all."

"He asked that you arrive in the evening, two days from now, so you should leave first thing tomorrow. Just send a messenger bird to update me on your progress, when you have time." With another smile, he added, "Oh, and good luck, Anko-san."

"Thank you, Hokage-sama. I will do my best." After a bow, I took my leave. My nerves were still shot, but at least I didn't feel like crying again.



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