AUTHOR'S NOTE: Greetings, everyone! Just a quick thing here... yes, this is a repost. The original posting had been intended for the Anime Detour fanfic competition, but since I've decided to go with another piece I thought it best to simply post this for everyone's viewing pleasure.
So... just enjoy it. And thank you to everyone who gave me honest, constructive criticism the first time through. It was exactly what I'd asked for and wanted at that time. I truly loved having you all go through it so thoroughly!
Today was the day no teacher enjoyed. It was the one day where their students had the upper hand and could exact revenge, should they so choose, against the imagined evils their instructors had inflicted upon them during the course of the year. It was as gladly received by the students as any holiday, and as disliked as flu season by their mentors. And, just like holidays and flu season, this day was unavoidable.
It was teacher evaluation day.
After the first year of being assigned to their jounin instructor, each genin team was called into the Hokage's office to fill out a simple form asking their opinion of the team leader. There were only three questions on this form. What do you like about your instructor? What don't you like about your instructor? What, if anything, would you change about the way your instructor conducts his/her training sessions? As a general rule, most of these comments were ignored because, due to the age of the students, the answers could be completely absurd. Two days of training and five days of vacation was not a legitimate change.
Sarutobi Hiruzen, the Third Hokage, sighed wearily and rubbed a gnarled hand across his eyes. Once upon a time, the Hokage was the only one who ever saw the evaluations, but several years back, when he had first donned the mantle of his office, it was decided that this method was flawed. Only one person ever saw the reviews, and if that one person was prone to favoritism, well… it would render the entire process ineffective.
So, each year he had to sit down with the elders and weed through every comment and complaint in order to create a comprehensive report of the instructor's conduct. These reports were then examined by an independent review board before being returned to the Hokage. It was then his job to present the results to each instructor by means of a one-on-one interview, during which the jounin had the opportunity to offer a rebuttal to the findings of the review board. These comments were then resubmitted to the board with the original report, at which time further action was taken should it be deemed necessary.
All in all, it was an incredibly tedious process. The only blessing was that there very rarely was ever an issue of major concern with the instructors, so the process tended to move quickly. However, there were a few times where the comments were taken seriously… and this was one of them.
Sighing once again, the aged shinobi rocked in his chair and tilted the wide brimmed hat perched on his head back to better observe the only jounin instructor whose conduct was being questioned this year. Hatake Kakashi scratched his jaw lazily, his heavily-lidded eye fixed on the Hokage's desk with unmasked disinterest. "You wanted to see me, Hokage-sama?" he drawled.
Hiruzen nodded grimly and tapped the manila envelope sitting in the center of his desk with one finger. "Do you know what these are, Kakashi?"
"It's not a bonus for being awesome, I take it."
An amused smirk crossed his lips despite the gravity of the situation. "Hardly," he murmured, motioning for the younger man to come closer. "These are the evaluation forms Team Seven filled out."
The silver haired man glanced at the envelope then at the Hokage and blinked slowly.
Hiruzen arched a brow and supplied dryly, "The ones they filled out about you."
"Ah, yes. I seem to recall hearing Asuma mention that. Something about how he'd taken his team out to dinner in advance…"
Clearing his throat, the Hokage made a mental note to remind his son that bribing his team before an evaluation was generally frowned upon. "That was a rather lousy attempt to distract me, Kakashi. I may be old but I'm not senile."
Kakashi sighed dismally, his shoulders curling forward in a more pronounced slouch than usual. "Can't blame a shinobi for trying," he muttered with a sheepish shrug.
Hiruzen slid the contents of the envelope out onto his desk, neatly tapping the edges against the hard wood to align the papers evenly. "The review board has compiled three pages of issues--,"
"Only three? I would have thought Team Seven was more creative than that."
"-- Regarding your conduct as a teacher and mentor to your team," the older man continued, ignoring Kakashi's interruption. "You might want to sit down, Kakashi. This is going to take a while."
Visible eye crinkling into a happy look that was so blatantly false he might as well have not even bothered, Kakashi held up a hand to decline the offer. "With all due respect, Hokage-sama, I'd prefer to stand."
Hiruzen shrugged at the man's refusal to get comfortable and said, "Have it your way then. But I don't want to hear any complaining later over sore feet."
"Naturally. Now… what did my loving and oh-so-complimentary students have to say?"
Taking a deep breath and preparing himself for the task of chastising the copy ninja, the Hokage began the review. He was already running late for lunch with his grandson. Hopefully, they could get this done and out of the way without incident. "I can't obviously tell you who said what, but you should know those loving students of yours made mention of several disturbing things. For example… is it true you threw sharpened shuriken and kunai at them while running laps through training ground six?"
"Yes, it's mostly true," Kakashi admitted without argument.
Hiruzen's eyebrows shot up to where his hair line used to be before he groaned and rubbed his hand over his eyes. "May I inquire as to why?"
A long silence followed this response, one where Kakashi continued to smile happily and Hiruzen waited for him to give his explanation. When it became apparent the pale haired man had no intention of doing so, the Hokage arched a brow and motioned with his hand for him to continue speaking.
Affecting a surprised mien, Kakashi exclaimed, "Oh, you actually wanted me to elaborate. Sorry, I thought you were asking if you were allowed to."
An annoyed tick made the corner of the Hokage's eye spasm. So… that's how it was going to be. He knew from past experience that Hatake Kakashi could be rather difficult when it came to official proceedings, but he'd hoped that this time the copy ninja would have been eager to get this done and over with. Apparently, Kakashi knew the Hokage had personal business to attend to and had decided to get a little revenge for being singled out for a conduct interview by making him even later.
Hiruzen considered himself a very patient man. It sort of came with the territory of being a teacher and mentor figure. But if Kakashi insisted on continuing like this, he couldn't guarantee his patience would remain steadfast. After all, he hadn't enjoyed his grandson's company in nearly two weeks, what with making preparations for the impending chuunin exams. Any time he could get with his family was beyond precious to him and he didn't appreciate uppity ninja cutting in on it. For now though, he would play along, but if it got much worse than this then he would have to put his foot down.
"Answer the question, Kakashi," Hiruzen pressed firmly. "What was the necessity in throwing weapons at your students?"
Kakashi shrugged, fixing the older man with a look that said the answer should have been obvious. "It was an exercise not only to increase their speed but to expose them to real world situations within the relative safety of a training scenario. Their enemies won't be polite enough to wait for them to get situated before staging an attack."
"You said the complaint was mostly true. What's the untrue portion to it?"
"The sharpened part. They were standard sparring blades with dulled edges."
The Hokage's eyes narrowed as he studied the younger man in front of him, who looked like he was completely bored out of his mind. Kakashi stuck his hands in his pockets and stared back, unfazed and unwilling to make this review easy on either of them. Hiruzen had a feeling this was going to seriously cut into his lunch hour. How lovely. "Kakashi, I'm aware that your teaching methods are a little… extreme, and I am more than happy to acknowledge their effectiveness in weeding out those who should and should not be ninja of Konoha."
"Why, thank you, Hokage-sama."
"However… using weapons as a means of inspiring your students to work harder is a bit much. They're children, not practice targets."
"Duly noted, though I'd still like it placed in the record that the weapons weren't sharpened."
Not believing for one second that the man carried anything but combat ready weapons on his person, Hiruzen did as Kakashi requested and made note of it in the comments section of the report. Truth be told, there was no way to prove whether they were sparring blades or not. Therefore… it was admissible to strike that complaint from the records. "There's also the issue of your timeliness. One of your students commented on the fact that you're consistently late for meeting times that you specify."
"Hmm… I wonder which of them said that." Kakashi mused, scuffing his shoe across the shiny wooden floor of the Hokage's office. Hiruzen's eye twitched as mud flaked off from the sole and dirtied the surface. The floor had just been refinished yesterday. Not even twenty-four hours later and already thick black marks were rubbed across it.
"I told you, I'm not at liberty to disclose who said what," the older man replied, speaking slowly in order to maintain his calm. "The complaint states that you keep them waiting for a bare minimum of an hour, and that's on the days that you show up at all. Care to explain that?"
The barest hint of a smile quirked Hiruzen's lips, one that was completely negated by the uncompromising look in his eyes. "Then how about you humor an old man and do so anyway."
"Shinobi rule number thirty-seven: Expect the unexpected," he quoted.
Taken aback at having the Handbook of Shinobi Guidelines thrown at him (especially since he had set a few of those rules himself), Hiruzen leaned back in his chair and regarded the other man curiously. "How is it unexpected if you're consistently late?"
Kakashi sighed wearily, like it was a terrible trial to explain his answer, and replied in a bland tone, "The unexpected comes from not knowing when I'll show up. Very rarely do missions follow a set timeline. They shouldn't get in the habit of expecting things to run according to their schedule."
Hiruzen stared at him for several seconds, trying to decide whether the man stringing him along with that response or not. He could almost swear it was just another serving of sass but oddly enough… it made sense. "I suppose you want me to make note of that as well," he grunted begrudgingly.
"If you'd be so kind, Hokage-sama. I'd hate for the elders to think I was purposely negligent toward my dear students."
Shaking his head in disbelief, the Hokage once again took up his pen and made notes on the official review summary. As he wrote, Hiruzen glanced outside the window of his office, taking in where the sun hit the monument and cast a warm glow over the pale russet rock. Half past the Fourth's eyebrow… it was getting close to two in the afternoon and they weren't even through the first page yet. If this continued going the way it was, he would not only miss lunch but probably dinner as well. Not to mention he'd have to have his assistance rearrange the budget meetings and mission briefings scheduled for that afternoon. This was becoming increasingly more bothersome by the minute.
Hiruzen kept his pen in hand as he cleared his throat and read off one of the more serious charges on the front page. "Your students are claiming you forced them to do duties that are completely unrelated to either missions or training, solely for your personal gain. If this is true, it's an abuse of your position as their teacher. How can you explain that?"
"Well, it's hard to explain anything without specifics. Did those adorable children happen to supply any?" There was no mistaking the sarcastic lilt to the chosen adjective.
"As it so happens, they did. They provided an entire list of things, actually. In fact, one of them went so far as to hint at attempted child slavery. The student even quoted the manifesto concerning the age of employment and suggested that, since none of the mentioned tasks were related to their training as ninja, these guidelines should be adhered to."
Kakashi nodded slightly, shifting his weight to one leg. "That was definitely Sakura-chan. Did she happen to cite what acts of child slavery I committed?"
"Let's see," Hiruzen said as he scanned the page for that particular heading and its accompanying concerns. "It says here… you forced your genin team to wash your summons in the middle of a swamp. First of all— washing dogs in a swamp? That seems a little counterproductive."
"Well, they said they were too tired to walk back to the village. I thought I was being solicitous to their needs."
The Hokage felt another groan coming on and quickly suppressed it. Deciding it was best just to set that particular paradox aside and focus on the reported child slavery, he said, "Please explain how dog washing is a training method."
"Gladly. Team Seven is still a little shaky on team work, so I thought an exercise in that area was needed. There were eight dogs and three of them. If they worked together rather than individually, the job was done faster and more efficiently."
"They're saying you were- and this is a direct quote here- 'too much of a lazy bastard to do it yourself.' That particular complaint also made mention that you refused to let them eat lunch until it was done."
Once again, Kakashi nodded, his eye narrowing thoughtfully. "That sounds like Naruto there. And I ended up having to rewash the ninken myself anyway because of their shoddy work. Poor Pakkun… he broke out in a rash because they left the soap in his fur. You should see him, Hokage-sama. He's not his cute self at all."
Hiruzen couldn't help the little splutter of laughter as the younger man assumed a deeply saddened expression. "Kakashi, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but that mutt wasn't cute to begin with."
He could see Kakashi's jaw drop behind his mask as his visible eye widened in shock. "Are you sure you're not senile, sir? Because I'll have you know Pakkun is the cutest dog in the entire village," he insisted stubbornly. For some reason, the act reminded Hiruzen very strongly of a mother sticking up for her child's unfortunate inheritance of poor facial features. And, just like a mother, Kakashi was the only one who could love that dog's face.
Still though... "Don't you think that's stretching it a bit, Kakashi?" Hiruzen asked wearily, pinching the bridge of his nose as the beginnings of a headache pulsed behind his eyes.
"How so? Pakkun is the cutest dog in Konoha," the man replied. He was being deliberately obtuse, the Hokage knew it, and yet it was impossible to prove by the utter sincerity in those words.
The Sandaime waved his hand as if to shoo the topic from the room and wrote yet another note on the report before continuing onward. "I'm eager to hear how you're going to excuse making your genin do your laundry. According to one of them, 'it was a complete and total waste of time that could have been spent training.'"
"Ah. I was wondering when Sasuke would chime in with something." Letting out a long low breath, Kakashi scratched the back of his neck and cast a bored gaze down at his feet. "That was just a lesson in common courtesy, Hokage-sama. They'd gotten lost during survival training. I'd told them to follow the map or they'd be in for a rough time of it."
The Hokage leafed through the documents in the review packet until he came across one that was nearly impossible to decipher. It looked like it might be a map… if it had been drawn by a two-year-old with poor coloring abilities. In fact, as his thumb rubbed over an area shaded in bright pink, it even felt like it'd been drawn in crayon. Dirt and mud were caked over it, the paper wrinkled in such a way that it looked like it'd been left in a pocket before being tossed into the wash. Hiruzen recognized the barely legible handwriting on certain areas as Kakashi's, but as to which end was up or down he had no clue...
Sliding the paper across his desk for the copy ninja's perusal, he asked, "This wouldn't happen to be the map, would it?"
Kakashi peered at the rough 'map' and turned it so that it was facing him the correct way. "Possibly. Mine wasn't this dirty or abused looking though."
"That's probably because yours also hadn't gone through survival training in a rain soaked forest at night."
The younger man hummed thoughtfully as he pushed the paper back toward the Hokage. "Most teachers wouldn't have provided a map for survival training," he pointed out.
"Most maps are usually legible," Hiruzen countered in a mumble. "It's no wonder your students got lost."
"In my defense, Hokage-sama, I did tell them to do their own studying of the terrain. Not every piece of information they gather will be accurate, so it's up to them to formulate what's true and what's not. 'A ninja should look underneath the underneath'."
Hiruzen closed his eyes and counted slowly to ten… and then to twenty just for good measure. This was typical Hatake Kakashi behavior. Normally, it wouldn't have bothered him in the least, but seeing as today he'd promised his grandson they would have lunch together… it made quite a bit of difference. Making note of Kakashi's response, the Hokage said, "That still doesn't explain why they were responsible for doing your laundry."
"Seeing as the entire reason why I ventured into a dark, muddy forest in the middle of a downpour was because I could hear their terrified wails, I felt it was a good lesson in responsibility. When someone helps you, it's only right to reciprocate the kindness." Kakashi glanced out the window, pointedly checking the sun's position on the monument as well. A soft, disappointed sight broke from him as he took in the shadow's position. That act of impatience pricked at Hiruzen's rapidly decaying patience ever so slightly, causing the older man's mouth to curve into a frown.
"One could argue that it's your duty as team leader to assist your students without expecting recompense," the old man suggested dryly.
"True," Kakashi conceded with a slight nod. "However, if I'm constantly bailing them out of tight situations, they'll never learn to help themselves. Ignoring the moral lesson to this, having a system of consequences is a good way to ensure they think for themselves rather than being dependant on me."
Hiruzen groaned and slumped further in his chair, allowing his hat to tip forward and cover his face. He knew the excuses were complete hogwash, but what could he do? If he called him out on it, all that would do was give the copy ninja incentive to stretch the review out for as long as he possibly could. While he was certain there were those who would say he was shirking on his duties as the Hokage of Konoha, he really didn't relish the possibility of spending the entire afternoon with Hatake Kakashi. Each rebuttal was logical, albeit in a rather twisted sense. No good had ever come from poking holes in a leaky ship.
Once again, Hiruzen wrote off the charge and ignored the polite thanks muttered from the man before him. He scanned the next complaint silently to himself and hesitated before reading it out loud, dreading what sort of excuse he was going to get for this one. "The reading of pornographic literature during training sessions?"
Kakashi actually had the nerve to chuckle at that, rubbing a hand along his neck sheepishly. "That has to be one of my more brilliant ideas," he conceded, still laughing under his breath. "Two lessons for the price of one."
"… Do I even want to know what those two lessons were?" Hiruzen sighed.
"That's entirely up to you, Hokage-sama. I have more than enough time to answer your questions." Though the words were delivered in a cool, detached voice, Hiruzen wasn't fooled for a bit by the act. Kakashi was trying to bait him, hoping that if he were troublesome enough perhaps the Hokage would put an end to the interview. He knew this and yet… it was working. Even he had limits and they were being reached swiftly.
That didn't mean he was simply going to let Kakashi get his way though. Sarutobi Hiruzen could be just as stubborn when he wanted to be. The Hokage's lips twisted into a wry smirk as he leaned forward, resting his elbows on the desk so that he could fold his hands in front of him. "Then kindly explain the first lesson here."
Nodding his head once in a sort of half bow, Kakashi rocked back on his heels gently and offered up his response. "Multitasking."
Hiruzen blinked and shook his head slightly as he tried to fathom how indulging in smut constituted as a demonstration in multitasking. "Reading is not an activity that requires multitasking," he stated roughly.
"When you're defending yourself against three people while reading, it is."
Well, at least it wasn't something like turning pages while reading words. That still didn't make it a very good explanation. "So, you mean to tell me that while you were reading pornographic material in front of minors you were also sparring with them," the Sandaime summarized, his eyes narrowing doubtfully.
"That's correct. I was sparring with Team Seven while reading some classic literature," Kakashi confirmed, bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet as he once again glanced at the monument. "Multitasking is vital for a ninja to master and since they weren't learning through practice I thought it best to teach by example."
Hiruzen had to force his jaw to relax. It was bad enough he was aware of how much time they were wasting. He didn't need Kakashi sneaking glances out the window to remind him of it. "And the second lesson?" he asked tightly. This was getting more and more absurd the longer he listened to it.
"Distractions. They were too busy staring at the ingenious cover design that they weren't paying attention to my counterattacks. A mistake like that in the field could very easily get them killed… but it's also a good skill for them to develop."
Hiruzen grumbled in frustration and dropped his pen onto the desk with such force that it very nearly skittered off the far edge. Kakashi's eye widened a touch as he regarded the Hokage with mild concern. Plucking his hat from his head and placing it onto the desk as well, he scrubbed a hand down his face and demanded, "Do you have a bet going as to how high you can get my blood pressure in one day?"
Instantly, Kakashi was full of concern for the older man. "I had no idea your blood pressure was an issue, Hokage-sama. Perhaps you should see a medic if you think it's acting up," he suggested.
The older man scowled darkly at the younger, tapping a finger irritably against the report. "That won't be necessary," he grumbled. Another trait he and Kakashi shared, besides stubbornness, was a general dislike for the hospital. The silver haired man knew that and was purposely rubbing it in.
The jounin bowed deeply, affecting a contrite demeanor to perfection. "No offense was intended, Sandaime-sama. I was merely concerned that you would mention a potentially dangerous health issue."
"The only thing at issue here is you, Kakashi. You have an excuse for everything in this report." It was more of an accusation than a question, but the silver haired man treated it as the latter.
"More than likely, yes. I don't really know what else those precious children mentioned."
"And you have no intention of making this easy on me either."
"Not if I can help it, sir."
Sighing as he settled his hat back in place, Hiruzen stretched his arm out to reclaim his pen. Without once looking at the cause of his irritation, he scribbled out the necessary information on the appropriate lines of the report summary. He stamped his seal so hard into the ink pad that the head-bobbing monkey his grandson gave to him began to nod in a slow, even rhythm. With crisp, precise movements, he returned all of the documents to the envelope and held it out stiffly toward Kakashi.
"Take that to the records room on your way out. Even though it's exempting you from any recourse on my part, the review committee will more than likely drag you back in here for further questioning," he said tersely before a bitter little laugh wormed its way between his lips. "Seeing how much you hate official proceedings, I figure turning you over to them will be a suitable punishment for getting cheeky in my office."
Eye crinkling merrily once again, Kakashi took the acquittal and bowed deeply. "You're too kind, Hokage-sama." Despite the absolute humility in those simple words, there was a dry, sarcastic edge that told Hiruzen he'd figured correctly. If the review board did their usual job of overanalyzing every last detail, then Kakashi was going to be spending quite a bit of his free time answering their questions.
"Until they decide whether you're to be removed from the teaching roster, you will continue to act as the leader of Team Seven," the old man concluded, smirking at the hard glint to Kakashi's eye. He had no doubt those three were going to be on the receiving end of some serious retribution… and he was having a hard time caring since they were partially responsible for his ruined afternoon.
"If that's what you wish, Hokage-sama," Kakashi murmured, twisting his neck to pop a couple of joints loudly.
"It is. Now, get out of my office. I've had enough of you for one day."
With another bow, the man sauntered out of sight, shutting the door quietly after himself. Hiruzen let out a relieved breath as he slouched back in his chair once again. Sure, he could have gone through each and every point on the three page report like he was supposed to. But why bother when Kakashi would ultimately have an excuse for each and every one? There were much better things he could be doing with his day rather than listen to one far-fetched excuse after another…
Such as having lunch with his grandson as promised.
Smiling, Hiruzen stood up and tapped the bell to call in his assistants. Immediately, all three of them rushed into the room, waiting attentively for his orders as he took his hat off and hung it on the corner of his chair. "I'm taking the rest of the afternoon off. I'm trusting the three of you to rework my schedule to accommodate that."
"B-But, Hokage-sama! You have that meeting with-"
"And what about Lord Tsuigetsu wanting to discuss-,"
"There's no way you can miss the-,"
But Hiruzen was already out the door and deaf to their frantic exclamations. Business could wait for one afternoon, as far as he was concerned. He stepped outside of the administrative buildings, taking a deep, healthy breath of fresh air and releasing it slowly. "I wonder how Konohamaru would feel about getting some ramen," he mused out loud before heading down the path that would take him to the Sarutobi compound. Yes… this was much better than spending such a beautiful afternoon indoors poking holes at lame excuses.
"Man… Kakashi-sensei is later than usual. Where the hell is he this time?" Naruto grumbled and flopped down under a tree, crossing his arms over his chest with a petulant scowl twisting his lips.
"Who knows?" Sasuke grumbled back, too busy cutting little slivers into the tree to entertain his blonde teammate. "I don't know why it bothers you so much. He's always late."
Sakura made a scoffing sound and flicked her hair back over her shoulder irritably. "Yeah, and it's so stupid that he's late when he's the one who said-,"
"Yo! How's everyone doing today?"
All three students looked up as their teacher suddenly appeared over their heads, balancing on the balls of his feet on a tree branch as easily as if he were on solid ground. Already, Icha Icha Paradise was out and held before him like it was the most fascinating thing in existence.
"You're late," Naruto accused, instantly jumping to his feet to point angrily at the man in the tree. "We've been waiting for almost four hours, ya know!"
"Oh, sorry. See, there were these ants marching one-by-one across the sidewalk, and as you know it's very bad luck to cross a line of ants, so I had to-,"
"Since when have you been superstitious, sensei?" Sakura snapped, tapping her foot impatiently.
Kakashi flashed them his usual happy face, the one that was so completely false they wondered why he even bothered. "Why, Sakura… it's very cruel to call your poor teacher a liar."
"I just call it like I see it, sensei," the girl replied, sticking her tongue out to further emphasize her irritation.
"It's also cruel to accuse your poor teacher of child slavery by quoting the Age of Employment Acts. Oh, and in case you feel the need to reference that law in the future… it only applies to people in a working environment. Your status as genin under my command is more closely tied to an apprenticeship than an actual job. And I took the liberty of researching the statutes concerning apprentices' rights, just to make certain none of them were being violated."
Immediately, the pink haired girl turned a very unhealthy shade of pale as her green, horror-stricken eyes rounded fearfully at the smiling man above her. A fine tremor ran down her spine, progressing into a full out whimper when a titter of laughter reached her ears. Their team leader had just obviously gotten back from his review and was not happy. They were so screwed.
"And you, Naruto," Kakashi continued, stopping the boy mid snicker as that eerily cheerful tone was directed at him. "Why is it every time we meet up, you seem to be the one sitting down the most?"
"B-But Sasuke is-," the blonde began, blue eyes widening in shock to be singled out next, especially for something the dark haired boy was doing as well. Sasuke smirked over his shoulder as he watched Naruto squirm.
"One might almost accuse you of being… how should I say this… a lazy bastard."
Naruto gulped heavily and did his very best to try and will himself to disintegrate into the tree. He was gonna talk to that old man upstairs after this! Weren't those review-things supposed to be anonymous? How the hell did Kakashi-sensei find out he'd said that?!
"Oh, and Sasuke?"
The last Uchiha stiffened at the mention of his name, eyes narrowing to thin, suspicious slits as their teacher gazed at him from over the top of his bright orange book.
"It seems you need a little reminding of something we discussed on our first day of training; I. Make. The. Rules. If I say something is vital to learn, then it is and you'll do so or I'll personally see to it that you never make chuunin. And if you fail to see the value in the lesson, then you're not looking hard enough."
Cheeks reddening just a touch to have been called out like that, Sasuke made a scoffing sound as he kicked at a clump of dirt by his foot.
Snapping his book closed, Kakashi stood up on his perch and sighed contentedly as he gazed at his nervously squirming students. "Now then… we're going to have a busy, busy day ahead of us. I think we need to redo several lessons, just to make sure you understand them fully. So, we'll start with a five mile run through the swamp, with myself and the ninken behind you to make sure you don't break pace. And since I have to go through all the trouble of teaching this lesson again, it seems only fair that you three clean up the mess. You'll have to work through lunch to get it all done… but that shouldn't be a problem, right? Oh, and this time… you're going to wash all of the shampoo out of the dogs' fur. There's nothing more miserable than a pug with a rash."