Disclaimer: Naruto is not mine.

Every year, Kakashi's first assignment for his Philosophy class was a one-page paper on the word "if." The paper was the first, last and only test he assigned; it helped him weed out the students that were incapable of reaching the levels of thought that were needed to truly learn a thing from his class. After that, he knew who his real students were. He would teach them all, of course, but the students who wrote essays that demonstrated unique problem-solving skills and the ability to think outside the box were the kids he would assign additional reading to.

When he assigned the essay this year, he expected to get pretty much the same results he got every year: the majority of the class would approach the topic in a traditional, cliche or trite manner. Judging from the information he had gleaned from the students already -- character-making things, such as who their favorite authors were, what bands they listened to, and what movies they liked -- he was ninety-nine percent sure that not a single one of them would receive a passing grade on the essay.

He collected them a week later, fully expecting nineteen identical essays on the definition of the word "if," and how it applied to humans because of free will or some other rubbish. He was not expecting the dark, brooding teenager that his clipboard identified indifferently as 'Uchiha, Sasuke' to turn in an essay at all. He had pegged Sasuke as a rebel who had been sorted into his philosophy class by mistake.

"It's one page of paper," Sasuke said coolly, as he handed his essay in.

Kakashi was pleasantly surprised that Sasuke had caught the loophole he had purposefully kept in the assignment; he had never specified that the content of the page had to fill the entire page, only that the essay fit on a single piece of paper. It could be as short or long as the student wished otherwise.

What surprised Kakashi even more was that the content of the paper fit under the theme and displayed Sasuke's apparent ability to think outside the box--all in one sentence.

If you weren't my teacher, I would have sex with you--but I'm pretty sure even that wouldn't stop me.

Kakashi's face remained as blank as marble as he scribbled the words "see me after class" at the top of Sasuke's paper and handed it back to the youth. He watched out of the corner of his eye as Sasuke's eyes read over the comment.

What cemented Kakashi's judgment that Sasuke possessed the capacity to learn what he had to teach was the fact that Sasuke remained unflustered by the ambiguousness of Kakashi's comment. In fact, his face mimicked Kakashi's own perfectly, giving Kakashi the feeling that Sasuke had been surreptitiously studying him ever since he had handed in his paper.

The thought sent shivers down Kakashi's spine for more reasons than one.