Naruto fanned himself dramatically as he walked through the academy gates with a bored expression. He paused, glancing amongst his peers, watching them hang around outside. Class hadn't started yet so there was no reason to bother yourself with sitting at a desk with nothing to do. The eight-year-old stared with contempt on his face, walking away before any of the ill-fitted feelings started to invade his psyche once more.

There was no reason for him to stand around in the heat when he didn't have anyone to talk to.

His classroom was one of the first few you'd see upon walking into the academy - third room on the left. The blond-haired boy opened the door, peering in and seeing only two other people sitting in the chilled room - his teacher, Iruka, and his fellow classmate, Shikamaru. Iruka stared at him oddly, a surprised look on his face. "You know," The man started, a chuckle escaping him, "I don't think I've ever seen you be early to class before, Naruto."

He grinned, giving his teacher a thumbs-up, "It was hot outside."

Iruka shook his head, smiling to himself, "Well, you can do what you want, but I expect you to be in your seat once the bell rings."

"Yes, sir!" Naruto nodded, more to himself than the other man, before going to the back of the classroom. He was about to pass Shikamaru and go sit in his own seat but paused for a second. Deciding to be a pest, the boy slid in beside his sleeping classmate. "Hey," He started, poking the boy's cheek, "Hey, Shikamaru, wake up."

The Nara heir groaned lowly, eyes peeling open and staring at the blond. Shock coursed through him as he continued to look, "Have I really been sleeping for most of the class?!"

"No!" Naruto laughed heartily, "Usually, I would be late to school but today I've decided to come early."

Shikamaru scoffed, tucking his head back into his arms, "Well, that's certainly a change of heart."

Naruto stared at the other boy, watching him doze for a second before speaking up once more. "So… want to do anything before class starts?" He asked, poking the Nara heir again.

Shikamaru lifted his head, exasperated. He sighed, sitting up in his seat. "Well, if you want, I just recently got into a card game." The black-haired boy waved a hand, "I could teach it to you."

"Yeah!" The blond's eyes shone in excitement.

"Okay," He began, pulling out a deck of cards, "We're both given five cards that we're allowed to look at and have on hand." The boy passed out the cards quickly. "Each player is dealt 15 cards face down to form a draw pile. Next, two separate cards are placed between us face-down and then two piles of five cards are set beside them and are also face-down." Shikamaru glanced up to see if the Uzumaki was paying attention, "You understand so far?"

Naruto nodded intently, "Yep. How do you play though?"

He stared curiously before continuing, "So, the round begins when each of us flips one of the face-down cards in the center here at the same time. Choji and I usually do it on the count of three, but it doesn't really matter." He demonstrated with both of his hands, showing how the game will start. "Then, using the cards from our hands, we'll discard cards one-by-one so that each card played is either one number above, one number below, or the same number as the two cards on the top of the center stacks."

"Oh!" He brightened in understanding, "It's like a counting game!"

"Um… I guess?" Shikamaru's eyebrows furrowed together but waved it off. "Okay, look here." He managed to gather the hyper-active blond's attention, "The top two cards here is the Ace of Spades and a Four of Hearts meaning that the only cards I can lay down are a Two or King of Spades on top of the Ace and a Three or a Five of Hearts on top of the Four."

"Okay, I think I get it. Can we start playing?" Naruto said with a grin, practically vibrating in his seat.

"Well, before that, let me just say that the winner is the person who runs out of all the cards in their hand and their draw pile - because you need five cards in your hand at all times." He raised a hand before the other boy could beg to start again, "And, when you run out of cards, you've got to say Speed in order for the other player to officially lose. Ready?"

"Yeah!" The hyperactive blond cheered, pumping his fist in the air as Shikamaru gathered the cards again. The cards were placed out once more and the game started.

Iruka watched discreetly from his desk as he graded his students' homework; he meant to finish grading last night but didn't get the time to. In the past, he'd seen the two play games during their free time - well, whenever Naruto wasn't late to class and when Shikamaru wasn't sleeping the day away - but they always seemed to have a good time despite that. The game they were playing currently was one that Iruka remembered from his own academy days - Speed.

Shikamaru had left out a crucial aspect to the game though; he forgot to tell Naruto that it was an extremely fast-paced game. Most games were over within under five minutes and you needed to be good with both colors and numbers to be exceptional at the game. Iruka had been good with both aspects of the game and won the majority of the time against his classmates when he was in the academy. However, while watching two of his students play Speed, shock starting to take over.

Shikamaru had not won a single match!

You could tell the boy was trying his best, moving his hands quickly to put Queens over Kings and put together Six's and Seven's but Naruto was somehow always four cards ahead of him. Iruka could see the calculating glaze over sky-blue eyes, one that he'd only ever seen on Shikaku Nara and Hiruzen Sarutobi have.

The bell rang loudly, startling the three people in the classroom out of their high-paced daze. Shikamaru quickly gathered all of the cards and put them back in their box. The two academy students shook hands, a quick 'Good game' passing through them before Naruto took his seat at the front of the classroom. He gave his teacher a grin, not noticing Iruka's baffled expression. Children started filing into the classroom, talking amongst themselves.

Choji took his seat beside Shikamaru, already opening a bag of chips for the two to share. He looked over at his best friend, "So, what did I miss yesterday?"

The Nara heir reached over for a chip, munching on it for a second before responding, "Not much, just some training and a history lesson."

"Oh, well, that's okay." The boy shrugged, looking over the tops of students' heads.

After a few seconds, Shikamaru poked his friend's shoulder, gathering his attention, "Did you know that no one has ever beat me in any kind of card game except my dad?"

He nodded, "Yeah, how could I forget? You're like… super smart and all."

"Well," Shikamaru continued, grabbing a handful of chips to eat, "what if I said that Naruto can beat me in Speed?"

Choji furrowed his eyebrows, thinking deeply, "You mean that really fast-paced game my dad taught you?"

"The exact one."

The other boy laughed heartily, glancing over at Naruto who was bothering Sakura again. "There is absolutely no way that he could beat you in Speed." He chuckled again.

"Well, he did." Shikamaru stated seriously, "We played about ten games within the seventeen minutes before class began and he beat me every single time. I'm not sure how, though. He only learned it today."

"Maybe he's a closeted genius," Choji suggested, shrugging one shoulder.

The Nara heir sat there, contemplating for a moment, "Maybe… Naruto was able to just briefly glance at the cards he had in his hands before easily being able to place down a card without pause. It was… impressive to say the least."

"I didn't think that the dead last of the class would be capable of that." He munched on a few more chips, mouth full of them as he talked.

"I didn't think so either until this morning," Shikamaru said, crossing his arms on the table and placing his head on top of it, already feeling physically drained. He could use another nap.

"Good morning class!" Iruka called from the front of the classroom, gathering their attention. He stood up from his seat, holding a piece of chalk in his hand, "Today, we're going to be learning about ninjutsu." He turned around and wrote the word down on the chalkboard for the class to see. The man circled the word for emphasis. "Can anyone tell me what ninjutsu is?" Sakura's hand shot up in the air. Iruka nodded for her to continue.

"Ninjutsu is a term that shinobi use when referring to almost any and every technique which allows the user to do something that they would otherwise not be capable of doing." She spoke quickly.

"That is correct, Sakura." Iruka smiled at the confused looks running through the classroom, "Let me give you an example to help you understand." He flew through some hand signs, calling out a short, "Bunshin no Jutsu!" An exact copy of the man appeared before them all. He smiled at the awed expressions flitting through his students' faces. "Ninjutsu is one of the three main types of jutsu, the others being…" He motioned for them to speak out.

"Genjutsu!" Some called out while others called out, "Taijutsu!"

"Correct." Iruka smiled, glad that a majority of the class listened to him, "Ninjutsu is used more frequently than genjutsu and taijutsu and it can help you on missions or in battle. Some kinds of ninjutsu can be used as a distraction or help to 'up' your regular abilities like make you faster or stronger."

Kiba raised his hand, getting a nod for him to ask his question. He stood up, hands in his pockets, "What are the different types of ninjutsu, sensei?"

He chuckled lowly, shaking his head, "Kiba, there are thousands of different kinds of ninjutsu. Even if I decided to sit down and tell you all them, it would probably take years to explain them all."

"Well," Sakura spoke out, a shy look on her face, "why don't you just tell us a few of them, sensei?"

"Well, alright then." Iruka paused, thinking for a moment, "There are a few famous ninjutsu that is only found within the walls of Konohagakure. There is the Uchiha's many fire ninjutsu, the Nara's shadow manipulation ninjutsu, the Akamichi's expansion ninjutsu, the Yamanaka's many mind ninjutsu, the Hyuuga's-" He was stopped by Ino standing up abruptly, causing him to pause.

"But, Iruka-sensei, we already know about the clans' and their ninjutsu. There have to be some other kinds." She called from her seat, huffing before sitting back down.

Iruka sighed, rubbing his chin in thought, "Well, there is one that most of you might not know. It's not very popular due to the severity of the art and how it could take decades for one to master it completely. This ninjutsu is also the one used by the great Sannin, Tsunade-sama" Wide eyes watched him, consuming every word he spoke.

"What's it called, sensei?" Ino cooed in awe.

"It's called medical ninjutsu. Not many people like to attempt this type of ninjutsu because it takes weeks - maybe even months depending on your chakra levels- to get the hang of it. Most shinobis don't like to learn this art due to the mental grief because, as many medic-in-trainings come to find out, you can't always be able to save everyone" Iruka stated somberly before smiling, "However, for those who master medical ninjutsu, these people are praised in the shinobi ranks for saving people's lives."

Naruto, who'd been listening intensely, perked up at the man's words. "Praised for saving lives?" He thought excitedly, "Maybe if I master medical ninjutsu, the village will finally acknowledge me?!" His heart pumped excitedly, feeling jittery in his seat. This newfound knowledge could make or break him! The hyperactive blond grinned and rocked in his seat as Iruka started to talk more about the fundamental things about ninjutsu that he didn't bother to hear.

"Iruka-sensei said that it takes years to become a master but, if I started learning now, then I'd be on my way to becoming a master by the time I'm a chunin!" Naruto thought with a grin, "But… where do I even begin?"

A few hours later, a bell rang, symbolizing that students were free to go eat lunch. Many kids jumped out of their seats with bento boxes and bags in their hands, all of them collectively rushing outside. Naruto, not feeling the need to eat lunch today, walked up to his teacher with a nervous grin on his face.

"Sorry, Naruto," Iruka began, scribbling on a piece of paper, "I can't take you to eat at Ichiraku's today. I've got some work that I need to take care of right now."

He shook his head, "That's not what I was coming to ask you."

"Huh?" The man looked up, pausing, "Oh, I'm sorry that I assumed. Um, so what is your question?"

Naruto rocked on the balls of his feet, "Um… if I wanted to read more about medical ninjutsu, where do you think I should start?"

Iruka thought for a second, "Well, the public library wouldn't have much on it, maybe a few intermediate books. I'm not sure you'd be able to understand those books unless you already had previous knowledge of medical ninjutsu." He sat back in his chair, silently pondering as Naruto gave him an expectant - borderline begging - look. Iruka sighed, reaching into his desk and pulling out a green book, "I recently tried to get basic medical ninjutsu knowledge, but it just didn't work out for me. Since then, I've kept this book just in case I wanted to pick it up again. I don't think that'll happen anytime soon, so I guess I can let you have it."

"Really?!" His student beamed down at him, reaching for the large green book and holding it close to his chest, "Thank you, Iruka-sensei!"

"You're welcome, Naruto." He smiled, watching the eight-year-old boy run outside gleefully.

Naruto made it outside in record time, avoiding the large group of kids taking over picnic tables and those standing over by the fences. Instead, he made a break for the empty swing that hung from the lone oak tree in the yard. He sat down on it, book in hand. He eagerly flipped open the first page that merely read 'Introduction to Medical Ninjutsu'. However, upon moving through each page, eying the pictures and the description, he found that he couldn't understand a lot of the longer words.

The boy ran a hand through his hair in frustration. The eight-year-old was quick to realize that he was going to have to come to terms with these words and know the meaning behind them or else he'll never be acknowledged by the village and become a master of medical ninjutsu! He read a few more pages until he saw Shikamaru and Choji approaching him. He grinned, closing the book, "Hey guys, what's up?"

"Nothing much just wanted to see if you wanted to join us and play some more Speed before lunch ends." The Nara heir suggested hands deep in his pockets.

Naruto considered turning down the offer so he could delve himself into his medical studies, but these were his friends! He shouldn't forget about the small number of friends he has because he wasn't to be acknowledged. So, he nodded, jumping off the swing, "Sure!"

The three boys sat down in the shade underneath the oak tree as Shikamaru got out his cards. Speed was a two-player game so, for the first round, it was decided that Shikamaru and Naruto would go toe-to-toe first. Choji watched from the sidelines as the two started to play. He marveled at the pace the hyperactive blond had set early into the round. Shikamaru was trying to keep up, but you could tell that he was slowly falling behind. Two more rounds were played between the two before Shikamaru switched with Choji.

A new shuffle came to pass as cards were dealt out; the game started with a quick 'On three'. Choji, not surprisingly, couldn't keep up with the supposed dead last. He only managed to put down seven of his cards - five from his hand and two from his deck - before Naruto managed to call out a swift, "Speed!" The Akamichi heir sat there baffled at how easily the other boy had beat both him and the smartest person in their grade as well.

The bell rang once more, lunch over. They headed back to class together once Shikamaru had gathered his cards, all moving to get into their designated seats. Once the class had settled down, Iruka started to explain that they were going to be learning the three most basic ninjutsu known throughout the world and how they were extremely essential to being a good ninja. The Bunshin no Jutsu - which Iruka had already demonstrated early in the class - the Kawarimi no Jutsu, and the Henge no Jutsu were what all genin needed to learn in order to pass.

The Bunshin no Jutsu allows the user to create a clone of themselves. The Kawarimi no Jutsu allowed the user to replace themselves with an object that mimicked them. The Henge no Jutsu helped to allow the user to transform into an object or another person. Iruka started to explain how each worked in terms of hand signs and chakra usage. After about thirty minutes of this and allowing the students to work on it by themselves, it was time to show Iruka what they'd learned.

"Now, I'll be calling on someone to try and perform the three jutsus. Don't fret if you can't do it just yet, you've got years until the graduation exam." The man explained, "Are there any volunteers to go first?" Kiba's hand shot up, Iruka nodded for the boy to come to the front.

Kiba hopped out from behind his desk and rushed down to stand beside his teacher. The brunette clumsily went through the hand signs for the BUnshin no Jutsu. A copy of himself appeared but had short and stubby legs. The Inuzuka flushed in embarrassment as his clone fell to the floor before disappearing. The class chuckled at this, watching at the boy flew through the easy hand signs for the Kawarimi no Jutsu, replacing himself with a book on a student's desk. The girl who sat behind the desk shrieked, pushing Kiba off her desk. He fell, the class laughing at him again.

He grumbled a little bit before doing the Henge no Jutsu. Kiba transformed into the civilian girl who'd pushed him off and started strutting around. The henge disappeared after a few seconds, the class in a good mood after his performance. Iruka, shaking his head, sent the boy to his seat.

Shino's hand raised in the air, Iruka waving to the spot beside him for the boy to take. The quiet boy stood up by his desk before doing a Kawarimi no Jutsu. He replaced himself with the book that was left on the floor by Iruka from Kiba's own kawarimi. He did a henge of Iruka before creating a bunshin. Each was flawlessly executed and quick on the draw. Shino left Iruka's side to sit in his seat, passing the book back to its owner.

"Alright, any other volunteers?" He asked the class, seeing Sasuke's hand rise into the air. Quickly after though, his many fangirls also raised their hand - most likely hoping to impress the boy.

The brooding boy stood up from his desk before walking down the stairs to stand at the front of the class. He quickly did the hand signs for the Bunshin no Jutsu which, unsurprisingly, came out perfectly. The bunshin started to do the hand signs for the Henge no Jutsu, transforming itself into a replica of their teacher. The clone disappeared as Sasuke replaced himself with a broom with the Kawarimi no Jutsu. Once his performance was done, he retreated back to his desk without a word. The majority of the female population in the room started to squeal and gossip about the Uchiha.

A few of the fangirls went ahead with their turn after that, some did fine, others doing terribly. Iruka wrote down something on his clipboard, looking back up at the pink-haired girl who waited patiently, "Okay, Sakura, you're good to go." She smiled, heading towards the man. Once she stood directly beside him, she started to make a bunshin. A perfect copy of herself appeared, grinning cutely. The bunshin transformed into a decent-looking copy of Sasuke as the clone started to do the signs for the Kawarimi. Sakura and the clone, for their final act, swapped places before the clone disappeared in a swirl of smoke. Iruka gave her a thumbs-up as she went to sit back down.

Ino, without prompting, did a Kawarimi no Jutsu to replace herself with Sasuke, deciding that it was her turn. The Uchiha raised his eyebrows in shock when he found himself in her seat. "Yes!" She cheered, pumping her fist in the air. She rushed down to stand by Iruka excitedly as Sasuke removed himself from her seat and away from the fangirls breathing down his neck. Ino summoned a bunshin flawlessly, getting some 'ooh's from the other girls in the classes. However, as she tried to henge herself into Sasuke, she messed up a hand sign somewhere and only managed to change her hair color. She pouted as her bunshin disappeared and she went back to her seat.

A few more students volunteered, however, it wasn't long before Iruka had to start picking students to attempt the three jutsus. "Choji, it's your turn."

The brunette sighed before placing down his bag of chips and walking up to the teacher. Choji tried to do the Henge no Jutsu, but it just wasn't working. He tried four different times, but he'd only been able to get his clothes to change, not his full body. His teacher nodded for him to continue with the other two jutsus. Choji went through the signs for the Kawarimi no Jutsu, but he couldn't replace himself with the book on his desk. He tried again but lost hope halfway through his final attempt. He took his time with his bunshin, though, and managed to come out of it with a good result. An exact copy of himself popped into the world, waving before quickly disappearing.

"Good job, Choji." Iruka smiled reassuringly, watching the boy make it back to his seat. His eyes caught Shikamaru's, "Why don't you go ahead and try the jutsus, Shikamaru?" The boy's eyes peeled open, yawning loudly as he walked down the stairs lazily. He performed a Kawarimi no Jutsu with his teacher, the man stunned for merely a second before writing something down. The Nara heir sped through the hand signs for the Bunshin no Jutsu. The clone appeared sitting down, snoozing on the floor. The class chuckled at the clone's antics. It disappeared after a few more seconds. Finally, Shikamaru did a henge of Choji, which didn't stay long.

The teacher nodded at the lazy boy, writing some more notes for later. "Okay, Hinata, show us what you've got."

The shy girl nodded, moving to stand beside Iruka. She looked directly at Naruto who was too busy reading his medical ninjutsu book. Her hopes fell a little bit as she quietly produced a clone of herself. Hinata's clone tried turning into Naruto through a henge, but it didn't work out for her, though. Iruka encouraged her to try a kawarimi. She nodded shakily and went through the hand signs, only to miss two of them and mess up. Hinata's cheeks flushed red, embarrassment coursing through her. However, on her second try, she succeeded in trading places with Iruka similarly to Shikamaru's performance.

"That was really good, Hinata. Keep up the good work." Iruka smiled, looking down at his clipboard for who hadn't gone yet. "Alright, last but not least, Naruto." He glanced up from his writings to find the blond-haired boy engrossed with the medical book he'd given him, "NARUTO!"

That seemed to knock him out of his readings. Naruto looked up at his teacher sheepishly before realizing that all eyes were on him. He rubbed the back of his neck, "Oh hey, Iruka-sensei! What'd I miss?"

The chunin sighed, "It's your turn, Naruto."

"Turn?" He looked down at his book for a second, internally cursing the paper for distracting him from his ninja training, "What for?"

Iruka internally groaned, "Naruto, we've been practicing jutsu - the Bunshin no Jutsu, the Kawarimi no Jutsu, and the Henge no Jutsu. If you'd been paying attention, you would know."

The boy moved to close the book, nodding sadly, "Yes, sir."

"Now, please do the three jutsus in front of the class." The man stated, waving to the empty spot beside him.

The boy got out of his seat, passing chuckling and whispering children. He hid his hurt and discomfort easily, standing beside his frustrated teacher. Naruto took a deep breath before attempting a kawarimi with his medical ninjutsu book - it worked! He mentally cheered at being able to manage that, doing another kawaii with the same green book so that he'd be back at the front of the classroom. Naruto's keen ears picked up on numerous kids whispering about him trying to show off. The words left a bitter taste in his mouth, but he left it alone.

The blond-haired boy started going through the hand signs for the Henge no Jutsu, deciding to turn into the Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi, since he looked up to him so much. However, when the hefty smoke disappeared from his body, everyone started to laugh at him. He'd managed to turn into the Third Hokage, except the henge looked like it was practically melting. Naruto dispelled the henge as quickly as he could, hoping that a good bunshin would stop the laughing from his classmates. He managed to produce one - a bad one that is; it looked like it was dead, gray, and sitting lopsided on the floor. The class continued their laughter, Naruto started to feel quite ashamed of himself as he left for his seat quickly.

"Quiet down!" Iruka shouted out, silencing the cackling class," It is okay if you didn't get some of the jutsus down. This does not mean that you're a failure, it just means that you need more practice." Iruka started to babble on about the importance of these three jutsu and how they would be useful in battle situations but Naruto wasn't listening anymore.

He stared at the open medical ninjutsu book, but he didn't read it. His mind was in shambles. He was embarrassed at having messed up not only one but two of the jutsus. Naruto sighed, placing a bookmark in the large book before closing it. The blond-haired boy laid his head on top of it and closed his eyes for an afternoon nap, not bothering with the rest of the class.

When the school day had finally ended, the final bell of the day leaving students to rush out of the academy, Naruto rushed off to the library. He planned on finding some books - if there were any at all - on a Sannin named Tsunade. Iruka had mentioned the woman was famous for her medical knowledge and Naruto planned on reading anything about her. While he only managed to find a single book on the woman written by someone by the name of Jiraiya the Toad Sage - whoever that was - he was able to find a couple more books on medical ninjutsu to better his knowledge before he was kicked out by the owner of the library.

His hands were full of books when he left - one was about Tsunade - 'The Slug Sannin: Tales of the Greatest Medic' - while the rest were medical ninjutsu books that would probably help him on his path to becoming a medic. By the time he'd gotten home, Naruto had almost forgotten his embarrassing stunt at school, his mind enraptured by the books he had now. He ran to his couch upon walking into his apartment, opening the single book of Tsunade Senju with an empty notebook beside him which would, hopefully, help him understand bigger words or processes he didn't understand. Naruto worked well into the night, vigorously reading and writing things down. By the time he laid in bed, Naruto knew what he was going to do.

Becoming Hokage could wait because, for now, he was going to try and become a medic!