Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Have you ever wondered about why Mizuki stole the scroll? Or why Kakashi passed Team 7 despite the fact that only one kid made a decent showing? Or what kind of crack the Sandaime was smoking not to see Oorochimaru's invasion coming a mile away? Or how the hell Iruka ran with a gaping shuriken wound near his spine? This tries to fill in some of the more glaring plot holes.

Chapter 1: Why Team 7 Passed at All

"Kakashi, you are going to have to take a genin team this year."

The Copy Nin's single eye began to widen. There was never a moment that he hated the council more in his life. Ever. He was sitting in the rather spartan chamber the Village Elders met in every week. His shaking hands rested on a rather crude, yet nearly 100 year old table. It was made by the Senju Clan, just before Konoha became a reality. The Council loved such relics. Right now, Kakashi was contemplating putting a raikiri through it to illustrate how colossally bad an idea this whole farce was.

"Uchiha Sasuke is graduating this year," Homura spoke. Which really did explain everything. Kakashi was the last loyal active Sharingan. Dear little Sasuke-kun needed someone to walk him through using the Mirror-Wheel eye. To be entirely honest, it did all the work for you. You just had to use it.

"He will be on your team. It is your job to turn him into a powerful fighter. We need his blood," Danzou always good at putting it succinctly, "If you do not... you will be dismissed as an active duty shinobi."

Well shit.

They kinda had him by the balls. Normally he'd fail the whole team just so that he could enjoy the freedom he had as a Jounin instructor with no team, but this time, the deck was stacked against him. Getting dismissed meant that he wouldn't get any pension, and the Infamous Copy Nin was notoriously bad at saving money, or anything involving responsibility. Dammit, he was counting on that retirement benefit package.

"I accept," Hatake Kakashi muttered woodenly. His hand unconsciously stroked the lovely, lovely book he had in his ninja kit. Icha Icha Paradise kept him somewhat sane. All Jounin were known to have quirks. It helped to deal with the pressure on long missions.

"Good. You will need to build up the Uchiha's teammates just enough for them to assist him pass the first two parts of the Chuunin Exam in six months. But not enough so that they can pass into the finals. We don't want anyone outshining him. At all," Homura smiled like a cat that knew it had the mouse cornered and shivering in terror, "That includes any foreign shinobi. So you had better figure out a way to make him a strong combatant.

"Wha- Fucking Demon!" The head of the merchant guild sputtered when he glanced out the window. His wrinkled, flabby body quivered with rage. Every other councilor followed his gaze and had similar reactions, except for a few of the younger ones. Their exuberance led them to hide their chuckles as best they could while pretending to be incensed.

Someone had just vandalized the Hokage Monument. And the bit with the Third blushing as he read the Icha Icha Tactics was priceless. The Copy Ninja was particularly impressed with the the Fourth's reaction to the Third's perverted leer. It was so spot on it was hilarious.

"Well, uh, I better, y'know, go join the chase. I'll head out now..." Kakashi left when a couple of the Elders nodded and waved him off as they angrily whispered amongst themselves. Kakashi had no intention of joining the hunt for Naruto. He never did. To be entirely honest, The Copy Nin was very bad at dealing with grief, for a whole bunch of reasons.

Perhaps it was the way his dad committed suicide for a completely overblown incident, that was probably a political gambit to discredit the powerful White Fang. Perhaps it the way he'd been ruthlessly pushed through the ranks, to support his genius, leaving him isolated. Perhaps it was the way he'd lost his team in the war. Perhaps it was the way he'd lost his teacher, the Yondaime, the one person he'd been able to build a permanent bond with, to the Kyuubi.

Just one glance at the little blonde terror was enough for him feel the one pain in his chest he couldn't bear. Grief. The damn brat looked exactly the same as his father, and acted just like his firecracker of a mother, whom had ended up acting as a surrogate for the orphaned genius. Kakashi couldn't acknowledge the poor boy because of his own weakness. Honestly, he'd protect the kid with his life, but ask him to interact with the attention-starved child, and the Jounin wouldn't be able to do it. Damn brat and damn his genetics.

Of all the people, Kakashi was one of the few who could honestly say he understood where Uzumaki Naruto was coming from. Hatake had a thousand jutsus, more than enough for almost any situation, from delivering a message to wiping out an army. And the coward couldn't even face a twelve-year-old child.

Today would require a... vigorous... reading of his favorite series. In the privacy of his own home.