Fan Fiction Name: The Trials of a Would-be Jounin

Chapter Name: The Decision

Info: After a visit to the Memorial Stone and a talk with his most memorable student, Umino Iruka decides to go for the jounin rank. Will he choke or will he get assistance from the most unlikely of places? Naruto II spoilers here!

Disclaimers: Well, I do not own any of Naruto, nor do I own the many characters of these fan fictions, save my own creations. Its sad, but all too true. How I wish I owned them….waaaaaahhhhh!!!!!

New Notes: Although I initially wrote this with the anglicanized names and english jutsu, I've decided to change it up, moving the names to the traditional Japanese style and finding (or translating) the japanese names of jutsu.So, here it goes: Tales of a Would-be Jounin, v2.0

Tales of a Would-Be Jounin

Chapter 1

The Memorial Stone is one of the most sacred of places in Konoha. The names here date back to the First Hokage and include many people who had served their village well, to the point that they died to continue the mission. From the Great Shinobi Wars to the Kyuubi attack to even random encounters between ninja, the names are a testament to the steel will of Konoha and its shinobi.

For Umino Iruka, there were two names that stood out the most, but not among the listed, despite the many dead from the Kyuubi attack. He had several friends of the family who were on this placard, but not the two people who SHOULD be there. Two people who dies fighting for this village like all the others but are noticeably absent. His mother and father. Two people, two civilians, who gave their lives to protect the village from the Kyuubi no Kitsune, yet because they were not ninjas they were not honored here on the stone.

Iruka let out a frustrated sigh as he scanned the stone again, his eyes seeing the fact that those two names were missing. Despite the fact that they were on the front lines trying to fight the massive beast off, they weren't on the stone. It was because of the Kyuubi that they died and weren't honored like the shinobi were. His angry thoughts almost faded when he thought of the Kyuubi, or rather, the Kyuubis prison It was so odd that now he considered the person who was the Kyuubis prison was now like a son to him.The lonely, blonde boy who Iruka say so much of himself in had become extremely powerful ninja, and yet he never forgot what was impotant to him. Naruto still came to see iruka, and they often ate together at Ichirakus, granted, that had slowed down considerably since Naruto began his training with the Rasengan. But now he had a day off, and now he and Iruka would be able to spend some quality time together.

'Speaking of which, where IS Naruto?' Iruka thought to himself as his prayers (well, not so much prayers as they were painful memories) ended. He had invited Naruto to meet him there, but it appears that the blond boy was now late. Okay, well, he wasn't a boy anymore. At the age of fifteen, Naruto was taller than Iruka himself, and was most likely to keep going until his twenty-first winter. Irukas thoughts were immediately cut off as loud thrashing came from the nearby forest. Irukas training kicked in and he immediately grabbed for his shuriken as he turned to the source of the noise.

About a second later, a blur of black and orange came into view before it stopped just before the stone itself. Iruka let out a silent sigh of relief as the loudmouth shinobi beside him doubled over, gasping for breath.

"Sorry…I'm…late…Iruka-sensei…," Uzumaki Naruto said heavily between breaths as Iruka chuckled slightly. Did he sprint all the way from his training ground to here? Or did he possibly sleep in...

"It's okay, Naruto. I haven't been here long," Iruka said ith a smile on his face as Naruto finally regained his breath

"Yeah. Sorry about that. I was talking with Hinata-chan and…" Naruto said as he got up, his famous (or should it infamous?) smile of his crossing his features. Narutos sentence, however, cut off when he noticed the strange look he was getting from Iruka.

"What is it, Iruka-sensei? Is there something on my face?" Naruto asked, a confused look gracing his face as the blond shinobi began scratching at his face, almost like he was looking for something he couldn't see. Iruka simply smiled and shook his head while inwardly grinning. Naruto and Hinata were spending quite a bit of time together recently. However, Naruto was a dense as ever and still didn't manage to get the hint.

'That's Naruto for you. At least Hinata has to be pleased with the attention,' Iruka thought as his gazed strayed back to the stone.

"Hey, Iruka-sensei, are your parents here?" Naruto asked, is voice carrying a rather unusual tone of seriousness. Iruka shook his head and said, "Well, actually, no. My father was a medic. My mother was a book writer. But both of them rushed to the front to give aid to the shinobi who were fighting." With these words, Iruka sighed and grimly remembered at the last memory he had of his parents. He was being dragged off, the whole while crying and yelling at the person protecting him to let him go. It was ironic; the nnja who carted him away had gone back to fight and HIS name was on the stone, but Irukas mother and fathers wasn't.

"Hey Iruka-sensei, can I ask you something?" Naruto asked. Iruka nodded before bracing himself. 'I bet it'll be about the Kyuubi attack…'

"How come you have never tried for jounin, to make your mom and dad proud?"

Narutos question caught the chuunin by surprise. "Well…I, uh…" was all he could muster. Well, why HAVEN'T you tried for jounin, a part of Irukas mind asked the now stunned ninja. 'There really hasn't been much of a reason for me to try. I mean, my classes take up a lot of my time…but not so much that I couldn't,' Iruka thought as the blond ninja starred at the teacher in dubiously.

"Iruka-sensei? Are you…"

"I'm fine, Naruto. I was just thinking…of why I hadn't," Iruka said, his voice sounding almost guilty.

Narutos grin widened as he spoke again, "Hey, Iruka-sensei! I bet you'd be a kick-ass jounin! Way better then that pervert Kakashi!" Before Naruto could speak again, he was silenced by Irukas stare. "Language, Naruto," Iruka said warningly before a smile returned to his face. "Well, I'll definitely have something to think about." Narutos grin grew. "So, I'll be a 'kick-ass jounin', would I?" Iruka said with a hint of amusement.

"Hell, yeah, Iruka-sensei. You would…hey!" Narutos face went from happy to accusing. Iruka laughed as he turned to walk away.

"Hypocrite! You said the same thing I did!" Naruto yelled loudly at the retreating chuunin, who was slightly smirking as he left.

- - - - -

"So long, Iruka-sensei," the young girl said as she exited the class. She always seemed to be the last one of his newest class to leave.

"So long. I'll see you tomorrow," Iruka said, his eyes not leaving the paper in front of him. It was the same paper he has tried to correct for the last twenty minutes to no avail. His mind was definitely somewhere else, and it was certainly a weird feeling.

'Why should I go for jounin. Sure, the pay is better, but with an increased rank comes increased responsibilities. I would have to participate in missions more, and I love teaching here at the Academy,' Irukas mind thought as he still gazed over the paper.

"Hey, you there?" came the demanding voice at the door. Iruka jumped up, startled as his eyes went straight to the doorway. The person in question was Kurenai, the red eyed jounin who was a master of genjutsu and the jounin instructor of Team Eight. Iruka had been expecting her to drop off some reports on the teams progress.

"Oh…sorry about that Kurenai," Iruka said sheepishly as he sat back down, his face burning in embarrassment. One of Kurenais eyebrows went up in bemusement at the red face.

"Its not like you to just doze off like that. One of two things has happened," she said as she made her way to his desk, a smirk on her face. Iruka just looked back. He did not like where this was looking to go.

"Either someone took away your beloved ramen or you have had something, or someone…" Iruka winced at the implication of "someone". "…important on your mind," Kurenai finished.

"Yeah…it's a long story…" Iruka started, but stopped once he saw Kurenais face. Her face was a strange combination of curious and triumphant. Iruka saw this with a bit of confusion, all the time wondering if it was part of some gag…

"Who is she? Is it someone I know? Oh, man is she gonna be jealous," Kurenai said in a bad imitation of a high pitched squeal.

Iruka shook his head. 'Even as a jounin, she still loves a little gossip and…wait,' Irukas brow furrowed. 'Kurenai said she would be jealous. What does that mean?'

"Uh, Kurenai…It's not what you think. I…was thinking about the jounin exam. When is the next one scheduled?"

Kurenais face immediately went from its strange combination to serious. "Well, I believe the next is in the next few months. Why, are you considering going for jounin?"

Iruka nodded and then said, "Well, I'm thinking about it. But I like it here a lot, too. Its just…really bugging me is all."

Kurenai began to think when she said, almost sagely, "You could still teach as a jounin, plus the fact you will get a team would mean that you get more one on one time with your pupils."

Irukas confusion seemed to clear when those words were spoken. He could still be a teacher. He could still be a teacher and lead new genin in missions. It would take away from his time as a teacher such as this, but it would be more hands on. He could be far more of a personal teacher than the one he was now. He could be more like a father… the way he should have been with Naruto when he started.

"That's it! I'll do it!" Iruka declared loudly to the empty room and Kurenai. After a few seconds of strange looks from Kurenai and a concerned teacher from down the hall wondering what had happened, Iruka (who was red from embarrassment again) looked to Kurenai.

"Well, you'll need to train. I know Kakashi is good, but he has a handful with Team Seven…" Iruka nodded grimly, knowing how bad Naruto can be sometimes. "…and the Frog Sannin is also good, if a bit unscrupulous." Iruka's thoughts immediately went to the perverted older man and shuddered.

"I think I'll pass. How about you Kurenai?" Iruka asked. Kurenai shook her head before a small hint of a grin crossed her face. Iruka saw this and didn't really like it. "How about Mitarashi Anko?"

Iruka searched his thoughts, having heard that name before but have never put a face to it. He had heard stories, too…but it could be about someone else. I mean, how many women send massive snakes after cheating boyfriends…

"Well, I'll have to see, but I guess that's a good choice. See if you can make an appointment with her," Iruka said. Kurenai thought about this for a second and began to lightly laugh. Iruka gave her a curious look at the comment. "What's so funny, Kurenai?"

"Well, with Anko, you don't just make appointments. You will pretty much be her student for the months leading up to the jounin exam," Kurenai said with a smile. Iruka, on the other hand, sighed dejectedly. 'Well, at least I'll get plenty of training…,' Iruka thought as he looked back at Kurenai. "Well, I'll do it. Sign me up...err, well, i'll try to find her soon, see if she'll do it."

Kurenai nodded, and as she left the chuunin with the folder containing the reports, she couldn't help but giggle. 'She will be so mad at what I did today, but I'm sure she'll appreciate it later…,' Kurenai thought with a smile as she made her way to Asumas room. First, her wants. Then Irukas.

END

A/N: Well, I had a problem with the first edition of this story, so I went over it again and redid some of the parts.

Now that that is done... yay TOAWBJ v2.0