Disclaimer: Naruto is owned by Naruto's creators and no one else.


"Time's up!" Kakashi sighed, shaking his head sadly, "I really expected better from you guys."

"Ah... that hurt Kakashi-sensei."

"Naruto, stop being such a baby." Sakura frowned.


The blonde-headed boy jerked his gaze up at the sound of Sasuke's irritated voice. Suddenly just as irked, he replied with an annoyed, "WHAT?"

"Dobe, how could you fall for such an obvious trap?" Sasuke asked angrily.

"That wasn't fair..." Naruto sat up, crossing his arms as he pouted, "Kakashi-sensei knows how much I like ramen."

A sweatdrop formed on the side of Kakashi's face as he thought sadly, 'He's hopeless...'

"I was testing your self-control." Kakashi said by way of explanation.

"Obviously it's nonexistant." Sakura's frown managed to deepen as she scowled.

"Aww, Sakura. Don't be like that..." Naruto whined, scratching the back of his head.

She huffed angrily and turned away. His hands stuck in his pockets, Sasuke came up to Naruto, his gaze almost unreadable.

"What? I was hungry!" Naruto explained, standing up.

Sasuke matched glare for glare before sighing under his breath, "Dobe."

"Stop CALLING me THAT!" Naruto exclaimed in frustration.

"Well maybe if you'd stop being one, Naruto dobe." The raven-haired boy replied, turning and walking away.

Arms still crossed, Naruto turned to their teacher, a frown on his face, "That wasn't fair, Kakashi-sensei. You shouldn't have taken advantage like that."

"Think, Naruto. If one of your enemies got a hold of that piece of info and used it against you..."

"You wouldn't stand a chance!" Sakura finished for Kakashi, glaring at Naruto while their teacher's eye remained casually lazy.

"Whatever. All this talk of ramen has made me hungry." Naruto exclaimed loudly, pivoting with his arms resting crossed behind his head, "I'm gonna go see if Iruka-sensei could take me out."

As two of her teammates walked away, Sakura huffed angrily, crossing her arms as she turned to their sensei, "How can you stand them, Kakashi-sensei? HOW can you not get mad?"

Kakashi shrugged, reaching into his pouch and pulling out another book from the Icha Icha Paradise series. A full three minutes passed with Kakashi reading and Sakura glaring at him heatedly. When he was obviously not going to say anything else, Sakura shouted, "Kakashi! Don't you ever do anything else other than read that stupid book!"

Without skipping a beat or taking his eye off the book, he asked, "If you have something better to offer..."

Sakura's eyes widened momentarily, before turning angry and shouting, "Pervert!"

Kakashi sighed, "I was simply answering your question."

Crossing her arms angrily, Sakura watched him with a guarded gaze for a while. When all Kakashi did was stroll over to a tree and slump down against it, she sighed irritably.

"You are so hopeless..."

"Funny, that's just what I was thinking about Naruto."

"That's because he IS HOPELESS."

Deciding that being here was just as good as any other place she could go, Sakura walked over to where her Sensei sat and gave herself permission to sit down next to him. His quick glance in her direction was the only acknowledgement of her presence he showed. A slightly cross look passed over hers before she calmed herself down. At least she had gotten a reaction from the usually inanimate man. He was so lazy all the time. Always reading that book too. Usually Sakura would have left with the others as well, but for now she decided to stay. It was peaceful here. Which was much more than what she could say if she went with either Sasuke or Naruto. One was cold and shutdown while the other was loud and obnoxious.

Sighing, the pink-haired chuunin leaned against the trunk of the tree, content to look up at the midday sky. She knew Kakashi had ended their training earlier than normal today. And it was all thanks to that new edition of Icha Icha Paradise that was basically plastered to his eyes right now. Oh, wait. His eye.

Kakashi was trying his best to focus on the book before him. But for some reason he couldn't. I should be enjoying this, he argued reasonably with himself, I even purposefully made Naruto fail the training and his teammates today just so I could get back to it. So why aren't I?

The sigh of the young female next to him clicked everything together. With a mental sigh, he knew he might as well get over it. He wouldn't be able to get back to his book with his student so distracted. Her mind was obviously dwelling on some important matter.

"What's wrong?"

Surprised that the silver-haired man had spoken, Sakura took a few moments before her voice functioned once again, "W-what's wro... uh, well, Kakashi-sensei...?"


"Do you think I... That is... uh, do you think I'm a weak person?"

Kakashi's eye widened at that, and he even lowered his book slightly, "You, Sakura? Weak?"

Not quite hearing the questioning in his voice, Sakura hung her head, looking away, "I knew it. Sasuke and Naruto are much stronger than I am. I can't really keep up with them anymore. And I was just thinking..."

Her sensei had put the book away, noticing the serious tone in her voice. She had his full attention now, though she couldn't tell since her head and gaze were sort of turned away. He didn't force her to continue. Rather, he waited for her to come out with it on her own. Though he did have an inkling as to what it was she was about to say.

"Maybe... Kakashi," She turned back to look at him worriedly, "maybe I should... like, you know, quit."

His black eye met her green ones and held it. She wanted to look away but his own gaze held onto hers. The pink-haired chuunin was surprised at the strength she found there. Much more than the usual lackadaisical expression that always lingered in her Sensei's eye.

Kakashi wanted to dissuade her. Wanted to simply say that no, she could definately not quit. But that would not have been the right thing to say. Not now. Not with that look she was giving him.

"Is that... really what you want, Sakura?" His voice was whispered, though the doubt was there.

Trapped in that knowing gaze, Sakura suddenly wasn't so sure of herself, "I... I don't know." She was finally able to tear her gaze away, though the effort it required once again surprised her, "I don't know what I want anymore, Kakashi-sensei."

Knowing not to advance on a cat that felt she was cornered, Kakashi backed down, pulling his book out to reassure her even more. Actually, he sort of knew it would anger her. But that was better than the mood she was in now. And as soon as she saw the notorious cover, Kakashi's assumption was one hundred percent correct.

"Argh, Ka-ka-shi-sensei!" She snapped, jumping to her feet, trembling with frustration, "You and that... that sorry excuse for a book!"

Kakashi was so amused he did not quite see what was coming next. One minute, he was laughing and looking within the pages of his book, and the next all he was grasping was air, staring at his open fingers, "Wha-"

He could see a pink-haired figure sprinting away, laughing maniacally, "No more, Kakashi-sensei. This book's gonna burn!"

"H-hey." He said glumly, standing up, his hand outstretched.

He had ended the practice early for that book. He had wanted to READ that book. He could probably just go and buy another one, but that would take too long. Grinning, Kakashi started running after his student. He WOULD get it back. He wasn't about to be outdone by one of his students. At least, he didn't plan on it for many years to come.

"Don't plan on getting too far ahead, Sakura!"

Hearing that determined voice behind her, Sakura couldn't help but go faster, shouting over her shoulder, "You're all talk, Kakashi!"

Though inwardly, she was ranting to herself Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.