Anko had gotten plenty of ribbing from the rest of the village about her "baby boyfriend," and laughed it off every time. Sure, she liked them on the younger side - plenty of stamina, usually willing to experiment, and anyone who'd made it to sixteen as a shinobi had generally gotten the teenage stupid out of their system early on, so the chances of drama about "You killed them how?" and "Wait, you fucked someone else yesterday?" were low. Nothing wrong with having a type. She was a little less certain about the "boyfriend" part, but on the other hand, she didn't go to the trouble of kicking her friends' asses to get a team together for just anyone, so she tended to let that slide.
Then Friday afternoon happened. Not having anything better to do, she'd gone upstairs to pester the bratty little brother, and out of nowhere Sasuke had said, "Are you going to do anything for Itachi's birthday next week?"
"His birthday?" Anko had said, thinking oh shit. Were they at the birthday present stage already? Had she even told Itachi when her birthday was yet? She liked to wait till her birthday and get a present, then get out before the other person's birthday rolled around again, but damnit, Itachi was so conveniently located - maybe she could bite the kunai this one time and get him cheap flowers or something...
"Yeah, he's turning fourteen."
The same gutpunched feeling she got whenever she broke the wrong door down had smacked into her. "Wait, what?"
"He'll be fourteen," Sasuke had said, staring at her as if she were the stupidest person he'd ever met, which one, he hung out with Uzumaki Naruto, but two, maybe he was still right, because eight months of cracks about her new favorite toy's age had suddenly made a lot more sense. "I don't care if you do something special or whatever, I just want to know so I can stay at Naruto's."
She'd made some automatic snarky remark that she couldn't remember later, and then she had gotten the hell out of there.
Anko was a woman who prided herself on her ability to cope with stress and shock via the safe, graceful method of the tea ceremony, a skill she'd picked up for a mission years back and which had served her well through the aftermath of numerous other missions. She'd never exactly prided herself on her ability to know when to cut her losses and run, seeing as it was an ability she rarely used, but that afternoon, with her pride already flattened, she cut her losses and ran.
That was how Kurenai came to find Anko in her favorite bar at five in the evening, with a giant bottle of sake in front of her. "Getting started a little early?" Kurenai said, and took the seat next to her. "I didn't think you had any particularly awful missions this week..."
Anko didn't bother responding; she tossed back her latest cup of sake, poured herself more, and then grudgingly grabbed another cup and shoved it over to Kurenai.
"Personal, then," said Kurenai, pouring for herself the very small amount of sake remaining in the bottle. "Is the baby boyfriend giving you trouble, or -"
"He's thirteen," Anko wailed into the bar. She had meant to growl the words, but the alcohol had added a little too much whine to her voice. "You asshole."
"Yes, he - oh, hell. You really didn't know?"
"I thought he was seventeen, yanno! He fucking looks twenty, then I took off a couple years since he's got that genius reputation..." Anko drained her cup, lifted the empty bottle, and then slammed it down on the bar. "Hey you, get me another one, this size or bigger if you got it!"
The bartender had served Anko enough times not to be bothered; she went into the back, returned with another bottle of the same sake, and plunked it down in front of Anko without a word.
"I'm so sorry," Kurenai said, "I thought - well, everyone thought -"
"That I might as well be Orochimaru," Anko said; she'd already poured herself another cup already, and drank it down. "Well, I guess I am! No thanks to all you jerks. Fuck, none of you could have warned me?"
"Seriously, we thought you knew," said Kurenai, and she reached over to pat Anko's arm. "I certainly did. He's only one of the youngest ANBU captains ever promoted, it isn't that hard to do the math... And he is technically an adult." She deftly slid the bottle of sake away from Anko long enough to pour fresh cups for both of them.
"Adult my ass," Anko muttered. "I oughtta spank him and send him back to the academy. Brat. Idiot. Stupid jerk!"
"Maybe this is something you ought to talk to him about," Kurenai said. "Have you two actually - ah - done anything?"
"No, we haven't fucked, thanks for asking." Anko scowled at her cup, which she could have sworn had been full like ten seconds ago, and grabbed the bottle back from Kurenai. "I thought he was just shy. 'S kinda cute when they're a little shy, yanno?" Actually what she had thought was that Itachi was emotionally repressed beyond belief, which was also kind of cute and fun to break through, sometimes explosively so, but no point trying to explain that to Kurenai; her taste ran more to the butch yet comfortable with their feelings type. "Anyway, we've messed around some, but no actual fucking yet. Shit. Maybe that can be his birthday present - oh hell, Kurenai, what did I do to deserve this?"
Kurenai wisely chose not to answer that question. Instead she said, "This is definitely something you need to talk about with Itachi."
"Yeah, sure, will do," Anko said. "After this bottle. Maybe."
Much later that night, as Itachi was returning from whatever mission he'd been on, a hand snaked out of the darkness by the stairs and dragged him into Anko's apartment. Fortunately for Anko, this had happened often enough to Itachi that he only made a token effort to stab her in the throat - he went for the throat too often, it was predictable, she was going to have to train him to try for other vulnerable spots once in a while - and the brief scuffle ended up with Itachi on her couch and her on top of Itachi, which was just how she liked it. Had liked it. Damn.
"Good evening, Anko-san," Itachi said. "Is something the matter?"
"Damn right something's the matter, jailbait," Anko said, and pushed him flat on the cushions with her hands pinning down his shoulders. "You didn't tell me you were thirteen!"
Even in the dim light (she really needed to change that light bulb), she could see the faint puzzlement on his face. "I thought you were aware of my age. I do have a - certain reputation..."
"Self-absorbed brat," she said, and wriggled her hips just so until he had the sense to put his hands on them. "You know, some people have better things to do than listen to gossips like Genma and Aoba all day. Some people just like having a good time with a cute neighbor." She slid her hands down to open up his shirt, and grinned when she felt him start to grow hard. "And some people -" She bent down and nibbled on his collarbone, tasting the salt sweat that wasn't quite as good as blood. "Some people -" One of her needles appeared in her right hand, and she brought its point to rest against the hollow of Itachi's throat, and oh hell, was she about to start that game up with a fucking thirteen-year-old?
She vanished the needle back up her sleeve, rolled off the couch, and crashed gracelessly to the floor, sprawling out on her back. "And some people," she said, way too loudly, "are turning into their creepy old teacher!"
Itachi leaned over and looked down at her. "My apologies, Anko-san," he said, "I wasn't trying to deceive you."
"Some people are also too fucking polite," Anko informed the ceiling, "and are gonna get my foot up their ass if they don't tone it down. Did I tell you I'm drunk? Because I'm pretty drunk right now, yanno. You have driven me to drink, and I never let cute neighbors drive me to drink."
"Perhaps I could make you some tea," said Itachi, standing up from the couch.
"I don't want any goddamn tea, sit your ass down here. Yeah, on the floor, why not, it's a pretty good floor, I keep it clean and everything." Hell, she really was drunk; maybe she shouldn't have gone for that fourth bottle, even though she'd been sharing with Kurenai since the second one.
Itachi obediently sat down next to her. She grabbed his ponytail and yanked him down to lie beside her, and they stayed that way in silence for a few minutes as Anko stared up at the ceiling. It was a decent ceiling, never leaked, only a couple of little cracks, didn't need dusting or anything, but it suddenly occurred to her that it might be too thin. Maybe she should get Sasuke some earplugs, just in case of emergencies or something. Sexy emergencies. Oh for fuck's sake, couldn't she think about anything else?
"Anko-san - if you're worried that I'm inexperienced, I -"
"If you tell me you're a virgin I'm going to feed you to a fucking snake!"
"... I'm not a virgin."
"Good," Anko said, "my day's finally looking up." She hooked one leg over Itachi's and rolled over to find him watching her. He had such pretty eyes when he didn't have the sharingan on...
She sighed and said, "Look, I'm only a little bit freaked about the age thing. If Konoha's stupid enough to slap a forehead protector on you and call you a grown-up, fine, whatever. But your little bro seems to think we're at the point we should be getting each other birthday presents, and on top of the whole thing where I was a chuunin before you even went to the academy? That's kinda got me spooked."
"So - this is Sasuke's fault," Itachi said, with the hint of a smile behind his usual blank expression.
"Yeah." She almost added, This is why good ANBU don't have families, but Itachi really didn't have any family besides the brat, plus like everyone else with two good ears she'd heard the rumors about the part Itachi might have played in the Uchiha incident, and that was a minefield she would never be drunk enough to step in. Instead she inched a little closer, draped an arm across his chest, and said, "In the spirit of total drunken honesty, I'm gonna be twenty in October, I don't do faithful, I don't do mushy, and you already have a pretty good idea of how I like to play. Any of that a deal-breaker for you, jailbait?"
Itachi took his sweet time answering, but finally said, "No. I like to spend time with you; it's - relaxing."
"No one has ever told me that before." She might have been offended, but jounin and ANBU found weird ways to deal with stress - hell, all you had to do was look at Kakashi or Gai to figure that one out. Playing knife and obedience games with an older woman wasn't all that bad, really, unless - oh, no way. "Wait, this isn't some kind of creepy mom thing, is it?" she said. "Because like hell am I gonna play mommy -"
"No!" Itachi shut his eyes, and for a moment he looked so young and vulnerable that Anko wanted to run right back to the bar and drink until she couldn't be held responsible for her own emotional safety, let alone anyone else's. "I don't - I've never thought of you as - as family. That isn't it."
"Okay, okay, just checking," Anko said. "Relax a little, will you? Hey. Seriously. Relax." She reached up and tugged his forehead protector off, which at least got him to open his eyes and look at her again. "That's better - hey, so you're saying you like me, huh?"
Itachi blinked. Shit, he was so cute sometimes. "I - yes, I suppose so."
"Well, then you're in luck," she said, grinning, and rolled over on top of him. "Because I like good-looking young men with greasy hair -"
"I just got back from work."
"Yeah, but it's always like that. Where was I - right, who are great cooks and live really close to me and apparently have no clue how emotions work. Guess it's meant to be."
"Anko-san, do you remember what you've said when you're drunk?" he said.
"Word-perfect," she said. "I have made so much money off certain idiots at the bar that way." She leaned down for a kiss and bit his lower lip till she tasted copper. Mmm. "Why, having second thoughts? And here I was about to ask if you wanted your birthday present a little early..."
"No, thank you," he said, with slight difficulty as she wouldn't stop chewing on his lip. "I like the - anticipation."
"Really," said Anko, trailing her fingers down his neck and along his collarbone, and when he nodded, she rolled off him and sprawled out comfortably again. "Your loss! And you're gonna know just what you missed out on in - uh -"
"In five days," she said. "Tell the brat he'd better spend that night at his buddy's after all - 'night, jailbait." She snuggled into her nice, comfy floor, closed her eyes, and cheerfully went to sleep.
The floor was a lot less comfortable the next morning, but on the other hand, Anko still had a conveniently-located, good-at-cooking, bad-at-human-emotions boyfriend who also turned out to be great at massaging away hangover headaches, so she figured that in the end, she'd still gotten a pretty good deal.