Careful Observation

Summary: Kurenai decided to look at the gennin candidates before the exams, after a little observation what she decides to do will change everything…

Chapter One: Stake out at the Academy!

Kurenai listened to the Hokage attentively as he explained to the Jounin around her their duties as a gennin team instructor. She was glad to get the chance to do for someone else what her instructor had done for her when she had been a gennin. When the Hokage dismissed them, she walked out of the room thinking about what her team would be like with Asuma walking close behind her.

"Kurenai…? Kurenai are you listening to me!?" Kurenai snapped out of her chain of thought at Asuma's voice.

"Sorry… What were you saying?" Asuma sighed and pulled out a cigarette.

"I asked if you wanted to come with me and Kakashi to get a drink." She blinked.

"What, right now? Sorry Asuma but I'm going to the Academy to see the candidates."

"Why would you want to do that?" Kurenai turned to Kakashi and glared at him as he approached. Asuma nodded in agreement to Kakashi's words.

"Kurenai you don't need to see them until they graduate and you know who your students will be." Kurenai glared at Asuma as well.

"I don't do it because I have to, as an instructor it's my duty to do my best by my students. You would do it too if you both weren't so lazy!" She huffed in annoyance and left the room in a puff of smoke.

8:45 am outside the Academy

Kurenai crouched in the trees observing the students; none had discovered her so far hidden in the trees high branches. She watched as the young Yamanaka and Haruno girls quarreled over pieces of Sasuke's clothing. She noticed the Hyuga heiress trying her best to blend into the environment around her as she looked towards the gates she had to assume she was waiting for someone while a loud brown haired boy who if her guess was right an Inuzuka tried to catch her attention by showing off, unaware of the fact that the Hyuga wasn't watching. An Aburame leaned against a tree watching some ants crawl across the ground with a blank face and the Nara genius slept on a bench next to the Akimichi boy who wolfed down a packet of chips.

Kurenai knew these students by their school profiles that she had memorized late last night. They all showed promise this year well except for…

"Alright, only three days left until the exams!" Kurenai turned to the direction of the yell. 'Well speak of the devil…' A small blonde and orange blur jumped over the wall and landed next to her tree between the Yamanaka and Haruno girl. The blonde bundle of energy smiled and laughed, Kurenai couldn't for the life of her figure out why though. 'Does this kid have ADHD or something?'

"Naruto you are such an idiot! You made me lose the piece of Sasuke's shirt to Ino-pig!" Naruto stopped smiling and looked nervous.

"Uh… Sorry Sakura! It was an accident honest!" The girl ignored him and began to beat down on him as Ino did a victory dance. Kurenai's opinion of the boy raised a notch as he didn't hit her back or retaliate even as a few others around them began to laugh. His silent taking of the beating worried her though, even though he was a shinobi he was still a child. How many children could take such a beating so thoroughly? Either it didn't hurt which was unlikely considering how much damage the girl was inflicting or he was so used to being hit that he thought it was normal. That thought riled her up. 'How could that girl just hit him like that for no good reason? What are they teaching them at this place!?'

Kurenai looked up to the window to see one of the teachers looking out the window to see the scene below. Then it hit her, the teachers must be ignoring this all the time. 'Do they want revenge so badly that they are willing to allow an innocent boy to be hurt like this?' Waves of guilt rushed through her, she had never even met Naruto but she had never cared enough to think about what the villagers did to him before. 'No wonder his grades are so poor, none of the teachers probably even attempted to teach him anything.'

If she had been willing to bet that none of the teachers cared about Naruto she would have lost soon one of the teachers came to the scene to pull Haruno off of Naruto. He told the girl off and punished her before everyone left to get to class. He carefully pulled Naruto up of the ground as the boy dusted himself off. Kurenai had to smile at this a little bit, she knew Iruka well so it wasn't that surprising that he would treat Naruto equally even if it killed him to do so. She moved to a different branch to look into the classroom window.


Kurenai raged inwardly for the umpteenth time today after watching morning classes. Being an academy teacher when she was a chunnin meant she knew exactly what was expected of students and teachers. In the span of two and a half hours she had formed a great hatred for Mizuki. He had broken so many of the teachers code of conduct rules that it disgusted her, she had watched as he 'corrected' Naruto's hand signs which is to say he completely changed them so no matter what he did it wouldn't work. What got her the most was that it wasn't Naruto's hand signs that were wrong he simply put to much chakra into it but Mizuki didn't seem to want to correct that either. She dropped from her tree and stealthily ran after Naruto, when they reached the forest part of the grounds she took to the trees again and wondered how she could reveal herself without sounding like some freaky stalker lady when a kunai went straight for her.

"Of all the…" She jumped into the air to get away and a bunch of shuriken came after her from all directions making it impossible to dodge. She disappeared in a puff of smoke to be replaced by a log.

Kurenai growled slightly, she had been caught by a student and the supposed dead-last of the class to boot. She raised her hands in defeat to show him she didn't want this to continue.

"It seems your title for dead last is a bit less accurate than I thought." Her calm, kind voice made him relax his shoulders a little. She hoped he wasn't going to throw anything else.

"Who are you and what do you want with me?" She shrugged.

"I saw you practice your jutsu and being the nice jounin that I am I thought I'd be polite and tell you what you were doing wrong…" Naruto made a face at her.

"Do you expect me to believe that shit?" She sighed.

"Well if you don't want my help than I'll just go and take my cool Hokage beating jutsu with me since you seem to want to do this on your own…" Naruto's ear twitched at 'cool Hokage beating jutsu' Kurenai inwardly smiled seeing she had hit a nerve, she turned to walk away.

"Wait up! I want to learn those jutsu!" She turned back to look at him and held out her pinky finger.

"You really want to lean the jutsu?" He nodded.


"Pinky swear on it then." Naruto quickly did so and looked at her expectantly. "Alright then show me your hand signs for the clone jutsu first and we'll see what you're doing wrong."


Naruto jumped as the bell for class to start up again rang, Kurenai smiled at him again.

"Meet me here after school and I'll help you do the substitution jutsu consistently without hand signs…" He grinned and pulled her into a tight hug.

"Thank you, thank you!" He dashed of back to the building.

"That boy has way too much energy…"