The sake was a god send as it went down Anko's throat. She slammed the empty cup down onto the counter hard, the loud clack echoed through the bar. The sound drew the ire of the other lowlifes that came to this hole for a drink, and she returned it with her own slit-eyed glare. They could kiss her ass, she needed this.

Anko has been a chuunin ever since she was rescued from Oroch- her sensei's lab. For seven blasted years she's been stuck with paranoid teams that expected her to stab them with a kunai as soon as their backs were turned. The only way she would be able to get away from everyone else and still do her job is if she was a jounin.

She's failed the jounin exam three times and it's getting on her nerves.

"Not jounin material they say. You can bet my sweet ass I'm jounin material." Anko thought. She could beat half the jounins in the village with just her hips. They still had the nerve to say that she still had a lot to learn, after she beat their asses into the ground. Anko felt herself boiling in anger.

The bartender must have had a sixth sense about her thirst, he set down another cup on the counter in front of her. She drank it down, the cool liquid dousing her burning ire. Anko continued to fume against everyone who held a rank higher than her. She barely heard the stool next her as it became occupied with another body that already stank of far more liquor than she's had so far. "Lucky bastard." She thought.

"Hey babe, you look a little lonely," The drunker patron slurred as he sloped in his seat. "Maybe I can help you-" Before he could finish his poor flirting, Anko turned towards him and rolled her eyes into the back of head as a snake slithered out of her mouth, its mouth opened wide while its fangs dripped with saliva.

The drunk fell off his stool in shock before crawling away in fear. Once again she gained the attention of the other patrons who already started to whisper to one another. Anko could already hear her favourite words in their little snippets; snake, traitor and her personal favourite, bitch. She signaled the barkeep for another drink only to have him scowl at her.

The bartender gave Anko a warning look. She immediately understood that she had to play nice to keep the sake flowing and since this was the only bar left in the village that would serve her. Anko mumbled her apology to him before he turned away, and she sneered behind his back.

If it wasn't for the old man and his big hat, she probably be stuck in prison, cursing the village and her former sensei every night while she stared at the grey walls of her cell. A single man changed Anko's fate and let her have her freedom.

The whispers continued in the background as Anko drank another cup of sake. The stares, the stigma of being related to a monster she had no control over. She was living a "free" life. Anko snorted to herself.

Some freedom.

The first thing Anko felt as she woke up was one of her breasts being poked. She growled and the prodding immediately stopped. Satisfied at being left alone, she let herself drift back into a blissful sleep. Only to be prodded again in her right breast.

With a resigned groan, Anko opened her eyes and swore at the brightness of the sun. She was half tempted to roll over and go back sleep it wasn't for the blasted stick poking her in boob. "Screw off!" Anko roared.

A startled yelp drew her attention to some blond haired brat as he fell on his butt, the stick flew out of his hand and into the…bushes?

Anko took in her surroundings, with the pounding hangover in her head it took a few seconds for her to see the tall woods surrounding her. What she thought was a bed, was actually just some soft grass that was started to irritate her back through the fishnet. How much did she drink last night? Anko's dried throat throbbed for water.

A plastic cup of the wonderful life-giving nectar was held in front of her face, the blond brat from before cautiously offered her the full cup. Anko snatched it out of his hand and gave it a tentative sniff. Being a shinobi you never know who to trust, especially in Anko's position in her own village. Not finding anything dangerous with the water, she gulped it down without regrets and tossed the cup behind her.

The brat darted into the bushes Anko with a weird look of urgency. Most kids don't care much about litter. The kid came back practically cradling the cup, and Anko finally got a better look at him. Messy spikes of blond hair, a white shirt that wasn't so white anymore and a pair of real baggy pants. Anko wanted to give the kid the finger and call it a day, but when she got a good look at his face she swore to herself.

Those whisker marks and blue eyes. Hard to mistake him for anyone else.

She'd have to be gentle with him. Anko rather liked the old man and would rather not piss him off through the kid. "Thanks for the water brat." Anko said as she got up. The kid practically sputtered at that. Anko brushed off the grass and dirt and was about to Shunshin away only to flinch when the brat grabbed a fistful of her pants.

A kunai was in her hand and the weapon was in the kid's face. The brat froze at the kunai, his hand still clutched onto her tan pants.

"Sorry." Anko muttered as she put the kunai back into her holster on her thigh. "What do you want?"

The kid swallowed loudly before he looked up at her with the biggest blue eyes she's ever seen. "Miss Ninja, can you…can you show me how to train?"

Anko said nothing, so that brat took it as an invitation to continue.

He shuffled his feet bashfully, "I want to know how-" The kid's eyes shifted away.

"…how to be a ninja."

Anko was gone.

The last loyal snake summoner found her afternoon interrupted while she enjoyed her sorely needed dango. The whisker faced brat practically tiptoed into the shop and sneaked over to her table. His eyes darted around like a trained ninja expecting an ambush.


She knew that some people had a few issues with the brat, but did other people make him that nervous?

The kid waited for Anko to notice him while she continued to munch away on her sweet balls of mochiko. The other customers on the other hand, started to whisper and gossip. Fox instead of snake, monster instead of traitor, the list went on. Anko pecked off the last bits of her dango as the words sunk in. I don't know whether I should feel relieved, or pity for the kid, Anko mused with a bemused chuckle.

Anko finally gave in and said, "What do you want brat?"

If he was nervous in the forest that morning, the kid was practically vibrating with nerves. Probably figured out who she was. "I-" He started with a stutter.

"It better not be about being a ninja crap." Anko could grimaced, the words even tasted like crap. "That's just wasting my time, brat. I'm no teacher." Anko added internally, "Lies are just a waste of my time."

"I'm sorry." The little blondie turned to leave, a dejected look in his eyes.

Anko huffed under her breath. I don't have time to deal with dumb kids. Before she could order some more dango, the brat came back with a few sparks in his eyes. "This should be good," Anko muttered. "What now?"

"I want to know-" The boy's courage faltered a moment before he spoke louder than before. "Why do people call you names?"

She definitely did not expect to hear that. Anko met the brat's eyes. Desperation, loneliness, and whole myriad of other emotions behind those big blue eyes. She couldn't find the strength to look away from him. It was the same look she used to see in the mirror every morning.

It was easier to turn away from herself.

"Not here." Anko laid a hand on the kid before thy both disappeared in a swirl of leaves.

The boy lost his balance when they arrived back in the same clearing where they met in the morning. Anko put on her best scowl. "Why do you want to know brat?" Anko answered.

The blond brat made his own assumption. "You don't know why they call you names either?"

Anko did not want to talk about the whole thing involving her former sensei, that's her business. "Everyone just keeps saying stuff about me and I don't know why either." She lied. Then, she tossed in some kid logic. "People are just stupid."

The whiskers on his face shifted upward as his face broke in the grin at the thought of everyone calling him names being stupid. He frowned before he asked, "Do you know why the call me names?" The kid desperately looked up to Anko wanton hope for an answer.

She swallowed a large lump in her throat, it was the truth and it made her next word taste all the more vile. "No."

The little blondie looked ashamed at the answer. "I guess you wouldn't know either."

"Well…See ya brat." Anko turned to leave.

"Wait!" The brat cried out. He knew better then to grab her this time. "Do you want to grab a bite of ramen with me?" He stuffed his hands into his pockets and pawed around for something. He finally pulled out a deflated frog-looking wallet. "I can pay for us both!"

"Are you trying to buy me?" Anko should feel vindicated by the offer, but was more amused.

"No!" He paused after the loud outburst. His shoulders hunched with shame. "I just…"

Realization came to Anko. He was lonely. The kid just wanted someone to spend time with. Anko felt that same loneliness bubble inside her, long buried after her return to the village. That need made itself known and before she knew it Anko said, "Sure."

At Ichiraku Ramen, two lone customers sat on their stools. Their combined presence had all but scared away other potential customers for supper rush. The owner and his daughter however only appeared to be a bit nervous from the company their favourite customer had for the night, but they did not say a word. They did not want to break the fragile atmosphere between the two.

The blond ramen fanatic was constantly talking between slurps of broth. Everything from his day to his hopes and dreams, it was almost a constant stream of words. The infamous snake summoner of Konoha bobbed her head along with the one-sided conversation. When the two outcasts left, both the owner and his daughter had small spat while they cleaned the dishes left behind.

The infamous snake summoner had a ghost of a smile.

A/N: A family fic involving a relationship that I think was under utilized within the Naruto universe. These two have so much they could share and its hard not to see them in an early family setting. There are plans to continue this in the future, most likely a story to around 20,000 words or less. This here is just the bare foundation for the relationship between the two outcasts.

Anko has trust issues and has bottled up her emotions for years. She has yet to have her epiphyany and become sexy lovable Anko that we all know and love. Naruto on the other hand still hasn't figured out to smile past all the pain loneliness. Perhaps they can work through this stage in their life together?

The next chapter will star Hinata and Kurenhi as both meet the starring duo.