Kakashi's New Year's Resolution:

Kakashi drew a sheepish hand through his hair and stared at his team. Three pairs of eager eyes stared straight back at him, striking in their intensity. He blinked, stalling for time.

"A New Years resolution?" Three heads nodded emphatically, "Maaa isn't that rather childish?" He began, instantly becoming aware of the disapproval emanating from the various village elders who were out enjoying the festivities. He shivered; maybe it wasn't so childish after all.

"You have to have a resolution Kakashi-sensei, otherwise where are you heading through the year?" Strangely enough, he had coped just fine in all of his previous years when he hadn't made resolutions. He cocked his head in thought, his hand automatically groping for his book. Dodging the slap aimed at his wrist, he turned his book grope into a quick back scratch. He had promised not to read in front of them on this one evening.

"What are three resolving to do this year then?" he enquired. He highly suspected that Sakura's resolution would have to do with Sasuke as would Naruto's and that Sasuke's resolution would involve either his clan or his brother. Therefore he was pleasantly surprised at the answers.

"I want to become a better ninja so that I can make Iruka-sensei proud of me, so my resolution is to stop pulling so many pranks and to work harder at training." Naruto was unexpectedly serious. It was nice to think that he was growing up; wanting to make his precious people proud of him was a good sign. Sakura was smiling at her team-mate and Sasuke had an approving expression on his dour face.

"My resolution is to start studying the medical ninjutsu textbook that my parents got me for Christmas so that I can be a stronger member of this team." Sakura was also deadly serious and just as studious as always. Medical ninjutsu was a good choice given the control that she had over her chakra. Sasuke looked intrigued at the idea whilst Naruto, predictably, looked confused. Having such a high healing ability he tended to forget that others needed outside assistance.

"This year I resolve to think positively about my team-mates." Sasuke's resolution seemed so superficial at first, until Kakashi realised that he had probably been stuck in a negative rut since his clan was massacred. Hopefully his positive thinking would give the team a boost, or at least cut down on the arguments. Naruto looked like he'd eaten something that disagreed with him, but Sakura was beaming, although she restrained from glomping the poor boy.

He mulled over what they had said, teasing the wording apart to look for hidden meanings. He could feel their gazes resting on him, awaiting his own resolution.

There were so many choices. He could stop being so late or stop making up such lame excuses – although that was part of the fun. He could get a life - a real life not the pseudo life that he currently lived. He could spend more time with the living and less with the dead. He could waste their time for hours just thinking about it.

The clock tolled midnight as he opened his mouth.

"My New Years Resolution is to stop being so secretive with you guys. You're turning into great ninjas and I respect that." He felt rather odd saying something so sappy but it was true.

"Does that mean that you'll show us your face?" His students were so cute, they never gave up.

"NO!" He liked them but not that much