A New Life

Shuffling along to one of the trees a lone woman leaned into one clutching her shoulder as blood soaked through the clothing around it uncaring of the attention she was drawing from the ninja watching her. Anko studied the three ninjas while her hair covered her eyes so as to hide her gaze for a time while she bound her shoulder in an impromptu bandage made out of the remnants of her coat. Her journey to Konoha had not been pleasant what with her Curse Mark acting up and a missing nin she killed wounding her shoulder before she entered the forest that hid Konoha.

A twitch near her stomach reminded Anko of her condition and a new wave of determination to reach the village gave her the energy to take another step forward from the tree she was resting on.

Moving from their hiding spots the Kakashi and his two fellow Anbu agents stood in front of the unknown woman with dark, slightly purplish hair, brown eyes, and ninja attire only it was ripped and torn in places. Kakashi also noted that while she watched them with the trained eyes of a ninja the woman didn't have a headband to mark where she was from. He also watched as her hand slowly reached for a kunai pouch while his companions stiffened and reached for their kunai pouches as well.

"Who are you and why are you here?" Kakashi said devoid of emotion his eye never leaving the woman as she watched them when she suddenly collapsed her hand going to her shoulder as her body trembled in great pain.

Anko felt pain coursing through her again as the Curse Mark acted up again making her close her eyes in pain while she tried to ride it out. Distantly she could feel a hand grab her own and gently move it away revealing the Curse Mark to whoever moved her hand.

"She has the Curse Mark." was the first thing Anko heard before the argument descended on her.

"If she has the Curse Mark then she works for Orochimaru and is a threat to the village." Said a voice to her right. She could easily tell the voices intentions to her when a voice on her left spoke up.

"No she could be useful take her in for questioning we might be able to learn something about Orochimaru's network."

The two voices continued to argue over her when she felt a hand on her chin bringing her face up to see a person with a dog mask and silver hair that seemed to defy gravity looking back at her. "We'll let the Hokage decide what to do with her."

After saying that the silver haired man reached up and took of his mask revealing another mask this one covering from his nose down and two mismatched eyes. The right eye was a dark blue devoid of any emotion while his left eye was blood red with a strange pupil and coma like marks around it. As their eyes met her vision was enfolded in the blackness.

Minato sat behind his desk covered in papers and sighed. Across from him Hiruzen smiled as he took another puff from his pipe while Minato stretched his cramped hands.

"If I had known about all the paperwork that comes with the job I would never have become Hokage." Hiruzen's smile widened while Minato bemoaned his fate.

"Now now it's not that bad." Hiruzen said although personally he agreed with him, if he had known about all the paperwork that came with being Hokage he would have avoided it as well.

Minato suddenly grinned at him and it wasn't his normal happy grin before he said, "Really this coming from the man who would take any chance to avoid his paperwork when it presented itself." Minato's grin widened at the abashed look on his predecessor before getting back to work.

Minato had only been working for about a minute when there was a knock on his door.

"Come in." Minato called and the door opened to reveal Kakashi standing in the doorway mask and all.

"Inu what are you doing here?" Minato asked using Kakashi's ANBU name rather than his real one but was curious as to what he was doing here.

"Hokage I and two fellow ninjas found and apprehended an unknown woman approaching the village bearing one of Orochimaru's Curse Marks."

The clipped emotionless tone would normally have made Minato frown was completely ignored by what Kakashi had just said.

"Has she said anything or done something?" this had come from Hiruzen who had stood up and was staring at Kakashi with a look of concern. Kakashi glanced at Hiruzen briefly before looking at Minato again.

"She was wounded and the Curse Mark seemed to have put her in great pain allowing us to capture her without a struggle."

Hiruzen frowned at the ANBU's words. He knew enough about his old students Curse Mark's that they granted the person who had them an incredible amount of power but at the cost of physical damage to the person's body. Must have been suffering from such an effect was the thought in Hiruzen's head but that left him confused. Could it be that someone or thing had attacked the woman forcing her to use the Curse Mark to fight or was it simply another of Orochimaru's tests?

"Take us to her." Minato said following Kakashi who simply turned around and walked in silence. Hiruzen followed behind Minato in silence lost in his own thoughts.

Anko's return to conscience was slow and unpleasant. The first thing to register was the smell of blood both old and new mixed in with the smell of antiseptic. The next thing she could register was touch was she felt the cold hard stone on her back and something digging into her wrists and ankles. After that sound returned to her accompanied with the drip drip of water and slight shuffle of people nearby.

Slowly Anko opened her eyes to find herself in a cell somewhere most likely Konoha. Noting she wasn't gagged and her shoulder had been bandaged but not healed. No surprises there seeing I'm not gagged they must want to interrogate me. The thought made her angry but she couldn't blame them for it even though it really annoyed her.

Her train of thought was broken when another twitch or more accurately a shift near her stomach. Looking down at her slightly bloated stomach Anko started murmuring to the child growing there as one of her hands went to rub it but was stopped by her shackles.

"I see you're awake." Anko's head shot up at the unexpected voice seeing two strangers in front of her. The one standing directly in front of her cell was male, tall with blue eyes and blond hair and wore a while cloak with red fire designs along the bottom over standard Jonin gear and a headband with the Leaf Village mark on his head. The other man was old and wore white robes.

"Open the cell." The blond one called out and moments later the two walked into her cell. Both had a small frown o their faces as they looked at her as if she was some wild animal ready to pounce.

"So who are you?" the blond asked lightly almost like they were meeting over tea and dango and it really ticked her off. They locked her up after she had practically fought her way over half the continent to find somewhere safe and he acts like this was simply a friendly chat.

"Isn't it rude to ask for someone's name before offering your own or did things change when I wasn't looking." Anko had to bite back a smirk at the reactions of her guards who looked like they wanted to kill her right then and there and the old man's utter look of surprise at her words. But the blond didn't seem to react at all for several seconds then busted out laughing. Anko just stared at the man in confusion as his laughter settled down till he was simply grinning at her.

"Your right, please forgive me for my behavior my name is Minato Namikaze and this…" Minato pointed at the older man, "… Is Hiruzen Sarutobi and your name is?" Anko stared at him in shock. This was the current Hokage of the Leaf Village and his predecessor standing in front of her. The realization drained all the anger out of her leaving her with a sense of dread.

Hesitantly Anko finally responded to Minato's question, "Anko, Mitarashi Anko."

Minato just nodded as he sat down in front of Anko not at all put off by the sudden disappearance of her anger after learning his name. He didn't like being considered a frightful figure but he knew many considered him one before they finally got to know him.

Smiling lightly so as to relive some of the tension then asked, "Anko was it? Would you mind telling me why you were heading to our village?"

The soft, soothing voice was not what Anko expected from someone who was supposed to be interrogating her for information. Her mind whirled as she thought about what to say before settling on the truth.

"I was looking for somewhere safe to stay at." Minato's smile vanished at her words while Hiruzen looked at her sadly. Neither of them could detect any falsehood in what she said making them wonder what could have happened to her.

Kakashi though wasn't convinced by her words, he had met too many good actors to fully trust someone unknown to him by words alone. Kakashi also recalled the main reason they were here when he glanced at Anko's exposed neck.

"Then why do you bear a Curse Mark on your neck?" there was a mixed reaction to his comment by the occupants in the cell. Minato started to scowl at the wall while Hiruzen seemed to age even more at his word, but while Anko flinched at Curse Mark her eyes suddenly held the same fire if not more so then when they had first arrived as she glared at him.

Anko was angry at the silver haired man and his concealed accusation when she felt her child moving more than usual. Forgetting everything she tried to comfort the life growing inside her unaware of the looks her captors were giving her.

Minato, Kakashi, and Hiruzen watched Anko as her head suddenly dropped as she spoke softly to her stomach and her hands tried to rub it but were stopped by the chains. Minato and Kakashi wondered if she had lost her mind but Hiruzen recognized what she was doing.

Moving closer at a slow place so as not to provoke the young woman Hiruzen stretched his hand toward her stomach only to stop half way when he saw the fear in Anko's eyes. Smiling kindly he asked, "May I?"

Anko's eyes shifted from Hiruzen's face to his hand than to her stomach before returning to his face and gave him a small nod. Reaching out the rest of the way Hiruzen rested his hand on her stomach and waited all the while Minato and Kakashi watched the scene in confusion.

Anko though was holding her breath hoping Hiruzen wouldn't notice anything when she felt her child move almost like it was drawn to where his hand was.

Hiruzen smiled as he confirmed his suspicions, "It's understandable to find a safe place for your child." Dead silence filled the cell as everyone stared at Hiruzen either shock or in Anko's case dread. Standing up Minato undid her bindings and gently lifted Anko to her feet and turned to face Kakashi.

"Send for some Medical Ninja and prepare a room for her." Minato's voice was calm but there was an undercut of hurry in it and Kakashi picked up on was gone in an instant.

"Minato I can take care of her for you." Hiruzen said all the sudden causing Minato to look at him oddly till his next words, "Its past noon."

Anko raised an eyebrow in confusion when Minato suddenly paled and vanished in a yellow light.

"Um what did I just miss?" Anko asked while Hiruzen chuckled at Minato's antics.

"Oh nothing to concern yourself with." Hiruzen's smile faded as he looked at Anko when he asked, "How long?"

Anko went silent again as she went through everything that had happened to her after that night before whispering, "Seven months."

Hiruzen simply nodded neutrally for outward appearance as lead her out of the dungeon but on the inside he was amazed that she was still moving with little difficulty and judging by her wounds fighting while seven months pregnant.

As they left the dungeon they ran into the Medical ninja sent to collect Anko and take her to the hospital while Hiruzen waved the leader over to him. As soon as she was close enough he spoke quietly, "be careful she's seven months pregnant."

The Med nin for her part showed little surprise but her voice betrayed her when she said, "I'll see to it she is well taken care of and that she receives the proper attention for the child." Hiruzen nodded to her as she shushined to the hospital.

Hiruzen sighed as he reached for his pipe wondering what would happen to Anko and the child when he suddenly remembered something. She never explained why she has a Curse Mark, Orochimaru what did you do to her.