Naruto is owned by Masashi Kishimoto. All rights reserved.

Misdirective

A Naruto Oneshot

Kurenai frowned, and frowned deeply. She knew he was oftentimes late, but this was beyond "late." Blowing out a subdued breath, she took up time by completing a Sudoku puzzle, seating herself down in the instructor's lounge.

Just as she closed in on completing her third puzzle, the jonin instructor sauntered into the room.

"You're late, Kakashi," the genjutsu master said without looking up, scribbling in a 7 on one of the last few blank spots.

"Well, on the way, I had to help an old lady, who thought that I would do her granddaughter a world of good if I were to be so willing as to go on a date with her at six tonight."

Kurenai did look up at that, crimson eyes blinking. They flattened after a second "I almost feel insulted to hear that pathetic lie."

He smiled behind his mask. "Well, you know I have almost no strength in resisting temperamental brunettes."

With a glare, the Sudoku puzzle and pencil disappeared into her pouch. Standing up, the kunoichi fixed her attention on the silver-haired man. He, in turn, closed the door and laid against the side of the wall near it.

"I have heard of a disturbing rumor."

He let his one eye linger on the female jonin. "Rumors are just that."

"Save for when they're not."

"Mmm."

Kurenai took to pacing slowly around the room for several moments. She came to a stop scant feet away from the masked nin. She did not look at him.

"Hinata tells me that your own student is not being trained."

He said nothing in response, his eye affixed onto her.

"That you favor one student over the others."

The eye still hung onto her form motionless.

She turned, her red eyes seizing hold over his one dark brown one. "I would like to know if there is any merit to such a rumor."

The Copycat Ninja seemed unmoved. "And if it were so, what of it?"

She forced her mouth to be silent. "You know, better than anyone else would, that favoritism would be a great injustice for your students. It's death in our little world. You know this, Kakashi."

Still, he said nothing. Just looked at her.

She frowned, a little incensed by his lax attitude. "And I suppose none of this bothers you, to be accused so blatantly."

"People listen to what they desire. Its no fault of mine what they believe in."

"Damn you, Kakashi!"

The lounge was empty, save for her, him, and the anger they pretended never happened. Slowly, the Copy-nin looked around as she stuffed her feelings into the bottle which they escaped from. Once done, she straightened herself out, squaring her shoulders.

"I only care to hear whether or not you really are teaching them." She then waited for his answer.

It was a long wait.

"Not at all," came his lazy answer.

SMACK

The feminine hand seething in rage what held off by the glove-clad hand, having pulled her off balance. The rest of her found a sharpened kunai kissing her skin ever so slightly.

"I don't teach them any jutsu or the like."

Kurenai curled the upper part of her lip, glaring at him fiercely.

"There has yet to be a need for it."

Now, she furrowed a brow.

He chuckled. "People will believe what they want. However, today, I'll make an exception."

She didn't resist his grip, so he relaxed it a bit. The blade never relaxed.

"They can learn jutsu from anywhere. Talk someone into showing them something. Steal a scroll. Make up their own stuff. They don't need me to teach them about that.

"The only thing they need from me, however, is to show them how to be a ninja. How to talk others into doing things, how to swipe a scroll. Even how to improve on the fly and make it their own. That's all I ever teach, unless something pressing requires a more immediate solution."

He looked her square in the eye. "And so far, there's no reason to change the plan."

Kurenai tore her eyes from his. "That's all I wanted to hear from you."

"I know that."

The kunai disappeared. She straightened her clothing. He turned to go out the door.

Just before it closed, he poked his head back in the room. "Oh, by the way, Kurenai?"

"Hmm?" She looked up just in time to intercept a small bouquet of irises. Her favorite flower. She blinked once, twice, then looked up at him in confusion.

"It's almost six. I'll be downstairs." He closed the door softly on her dumbstruck expression.

END

A/N: I was largely influenced by Naruto for the Teenage Soul for this story. I don't intend on doing a drabble series at this time, though. This particular story was in response to the many fanfics that I stumbled upon where they say Kakashi either doesn't teach his students anything, or only fixates on Sasuke because they both have the Sharingan. Originally, I was planning on it being one of his charges to challenge him, but this idea to use Kurenai... well, it's been indicated she's a bit of a mother hen, at least in fanfiction. And I get to play with an unusual pairing in the process.

Just noticed it's kind of short, too...