Hey again! Anonymous Naruto Fan here. If you are reading this then you liked my writing (or found it barely tolerable, either way) enough to check out Chapter #3! Response to the second chapter was, shall we say… lackluster. Only 70 hits and 3 reviews as opposed to 111 and 4 in the first chapter respectively. Oh well. It's a start right? I honestly can't thank you enough. But I'll try.

I'd first like to thank those readers who decided to take the time to review Chapter 2.

Paladin13: My first return reviewer. I'm so happy. Thanks for the praise.

Crazyefra: Short and sweet. Thanks.

Stygian Styx: This guy. He's a friend of mine from school and he waited until my second chapter was out before he read it. What a d-bag, right? Kidding, kidding. Thanks for the review(s), man.

That's everybody. Now I'd like to thank my Beta Readers. That's right, plural. Two.

Kyuubi's Naruto and Sakura: This guy's been my Beta since the beginning, so he gets an extra special thank you. You rock, man.

Stygian Styx: Yeah, I know I already talked about this guy. But seriously, he's good. Go read his stories if you don't believe me (go read them even if you do believe me). He and I have a collaboration fic in the works right now. No concrete details yet, but keep your eyes peeled for news on that. Anyway, thanks for being a Beta, man.

Okay. Those are all of my thank-you's.

DISCLAIMER-I own nothing of Naruto. That's not true, I own a Naruto video game. But I don't own the rights to the Naruto franchise. Which is good 'cause I'd probably screw it up.

I'll stop talking now so you can start reading the story. So now, without any other delays, here it is, Chapter 3…

The Wild West

The New Team

Eleven Years Ago

The Leaf Village Mayor's residential mansion was located directly in front of the cliffs that overshadowed the Village. The Mansion itself served as a home for the Mayor and an Office for his various dealings.

"So it's settled then," Hiruzen Sarutobi said to the congregation of Village Elders who sat before him. "Kushina Uzumaki and her son shall be provided for by the Village in honor of Minato Namikaze's heroism. Food water, shelter, anything that they might need."

The Elders nodded in agreement, all of them eager to do something to ease the burden of the Widow Uzumaki.

"Good," the Mayor of the Leaf Village said out loud to the Elders sitting in his office, "now we just need someone to deliver the message to her." The Mayor looked around the room, his wizened old eyes looking for a suitable messenger. They settled on young Kakashi Hatake, the new Sheriff of the Leaf Village, who was currently leaning against the far wall, his head down and his eyes closed. He was required to be at the meeting by Village Law. "Kakashi!" the Mayor said with a smile, "would you mind paying a visit Kushina Uzumaki and tell her the news?"

Kakashi looked up at the Mayor and nodded in acquiescence. "Yes sir, Mayor Sarutobi," Kakashi said, giving the Mayor an thoroughly unenthusiastic salute, "I'll head out right away."

Kakashi stood up straight from the wall and turned around to head out of the room. He opened the door to the Mayor's Office and stepped into the hallway. He walked down said hallway and out of earshot of the congregation of Elders.

"Do you really think that it is wise to send Kakashi to the Widow?" one of the Elders asked the Mayor once he was sure that Kakashi was out of earshot. "He still blames himself for the death of the former Sheriff, you know."

"Yes," another Elder chimed in, agreeing with the first Elder who had spoken up, "and his mental stability has been in question ever since he was appointed the new Sheriff. Seeing the wife of his former mentor may push him over the edge and-"

Hiruzen Sarutobi held up his hand to silence the Elder who was speaking and to quell any more comments from the other Elders. "I have complete faith in Kakashi Hatake's ability to be the Sheriff. I believe that he is neither self-defamatory nor mentally unstable," the Mayor said. "I chose him for the position of Sheriff because he was, and still is, the best person for the job. I will not have anyone doubting his fitness for being Sheriff. Is that clear?" The Mayor asked the Elders, his voice notably rising a bit in tone.

Not a single Leaf Village Elder said a word to refute Hiruzen Sarutobi's arguments for the sanity of the Village's young Sheriff. "Yes, sir," they said in low tones of respect for their Mayor.

"Good," the Mayor said, casting one more stern look around at the faces of the Elders. "Now, on to the business regarding the mending of the North Gate's locking mechanism..."

Kakashi Hatake walked down Main Street looking for the side street along which the late Sheriff's house stood. It was just after mid-day in the Leaf Village. The sun was almost directly overhead, and it warmed the landscape as it slowly passed through the sky. The entire village seemed to be buzzing with activity. Everyone seemed to be cheerful and happy in their various mundane exploits. Everyone, that is, except for Kakashi Hatake.

It had only been a year since Sheriff Minato had died, but so much had happened to Kakashi in that short period of time. After Minato's funeral, there had been a clamor for a new Sheriff. Naturally, Kakashi had stepped forward, but it had taken a formal decree form the Mayor to get him appointed to the position. Kakashi was now solely responsible for the protection of the Leaf Village. This was by no means a small task for a sixteen-year-old. In any case, Kakashi had managed to be sheriff for a year so far, with no major problems to speak of. Excepting of course the four groups of bandits that had attacked since the Sheriff's death. Kakashi and his team had taken them out with ease, but it still made him nervous that the Village could be attacked like that.

Kakashi walked on until he came to the entrance of the street where he knew he would find the Uzumaki House. Kakashi turned into and walked down the street and eventually made his way to his destination. He walked up the wooden front steps and came to the front door. Kakashi knocked tentatively on the door and awaited an answer.

"Coming," a voice called out from inside, "just a minute."

Less than a minute later, the door swung open and Kushina Uzumaki greeted Kakashi. "G'morning, Kakashi. What are you doing here?" she asked with a smile, "You haven't come to visit in a while!"

Kakashi forced a smile back, and replied, "Sorry, I've just been really busy. Y'know, Police work and all that."

But the two of them knew the real reason that Kakashi hadn't been around recently. With the old Sheriff dead, Kakashi had no reason to visit the house, and so had little to no interaction with Kushina.

Thinking about the Sheriff brought Kakashi's purpose for coming to this house in the first place back to his mind. "Kushina, the Mayor-" he began, but was cut off abruptly by a loud crash and then a subsequent wail emanating from inside the house.

Kushina turned her head around and looked back into the house. "Oh, I have to deal with this," she said to Kakashi apologetically, "come on in."

Kushina Uzumaki turned around all the way and walked back into her house. Kakashi obediently followed. Kushina went straight to the kitchen, where the cries were still coming from. Kakashi stood just inside the doorway, not wanting to get in the way of Kushina dealing with whatever this problem was.

It turned out, the problem was Naruto. He was now one year old, and had just begun walking on his own. Needless to say, he was now extremely adept at getting himself into trouble. In the short time in between the moment that Kushina had answered the door and when she had come back, Naruto had ventured into the kitchen, seen a towel that was hanging off of the counter, and pulled it down, bringing the four pots drying on top of it down with it. Naruto had escaped the encounter unscathed, but the loud banging of the pots had scared him, and he was now crying like the toddler he was.

Kushina quickly scooped him up in her arms, deciding to deal with the pots lying on the floor later. "Shhhhhh," Kushina whispered sweetly to her son, "you're okay."

Naruto immediately quieted down and looked up at his mother with his big, bright blue eyes. Eyes that he had inherited from his father.

Kushina brought Naruto back into the living room of the house, so that she could continue her conversation with Kakashi. Kushina found herself a seat on the couch in the living room of the house and settled in to it. As she did, Kakashi saw her child for the first time in several months. "He's grown a lot," Kakashi remarked with a smile. "He was this big the last time I saw him," here Kakashi made a gesture with his hand indicting the size that Naruto was when Kakashi last saw him.

"Yeah," Kushina said with a smile, "he has grown a lot in the past year, huh?" She looked down at the year old child in her arms. "You know, it's the funniest thing," Kushina said out loud, but seemingly to herself, "he looks more and more like his father every day."

Kakashi looked at his mentor's son and he had to admit; the resemblance was uncanny. Naruto had the same eyes as his father, and even same hair color and style. "Kushina," Kakashi began, continuing the conversation that they had been having earlier, "I've got a message for you from the mayor."

"Oh?" Kushina asked, still distracted by the now slightly more complacent baby in her arms, "and what message might that be?"

"I was told to tell you that from now on, all of your living expenses will be paid for by the village." Kakashi said bluntly.

Kushina tore her gaze away from her child and looked up at Kakashi. "No," she said with a firmness that truly surprised Kakashi, "I will not accept any handouts".

Kakashi was stunned. "This isn't a handout," he argued, "it's payment for what Sheriff Minato did for the village!"

"I don't want it," Kushina remained firm, "I can take care of myself on my own."

"But what about Naruto?" Kakashi asked. What happens when he gets older and it's more expensive to feed him and such?"

Kushina was struck by this thought. She and Minato's savings account at the Aburame Bank was dwindling, and it wouldn't last forever. "But I… I don't want to be a burden to anyone," Kushina explained, "I want to… to pull my weight any way that I can."

"Then take the village's offer to pay for you and Naruto," Kakashi said earnestly, "and raise Sheriff Minato's legacy in the best way that you can. That's the greatest service I can think of to do for the village."

"All right, I'll take the offer," Kushina conceded. "But I'll only accept enough to get by. And that's final."

"Good," Kakashi said, standing up to leave and report back to the Mayor, "I'll tell the Mayor about your decision." Kakashi turned around to leave the house.

"Kakashi!" Kushina called from the couch where she still sat, "feel free to come by and visit me and Naruto from time to time, okay?"

Kakashi smiled back at her and said, "Sure." With that, Kakashi left Kushina Uzumaki to tend to her infant son while he returned to his own stressful life as the sixteen year old Sheriff of the Leaf Village.

Eleven Years Later

Kakashi Hatake walked down a hallway in the Leaf Village Police Station, heading towards the break room to, what else, take a break. Being the sheriff was hard work, and Kakashi had just captured and processed five outlaws in as many hours. Needless to say, he was tired. Kakashi had just sat down in an armchair in the break room when Iruka Umino came through the door, a stack of papers in his hands. Kakashi noticed the pleased expression on his subordinate's face.

"Ah, Sheriff!" Iruka called out with a smile and a jovial wave of his hand, "Just the man I wanted to see!"

Iruka strode over to the desk in front of the chair where Kakashi was sitting and unceremoniously dropped his stack of papers on it with a loud smack. Now relieved of his burden, Iruka's smile seemed to grow just a bit larger.

"What's with you?" Kakashi asked, beginning to get annoyed by the schoolteacher's happy demeanor, "and what's that stack of papers for?"

"These," Iruka began, pointing at the papers on the desk, "are the results of the Graduation Exam that Class 1-A took this morning."

Kakashi sat up a little straighter. Naruto was in that class. "Did Naruto…" Kakashi began, only to be cut off mid-question by Iruka.

"Naruto graduated at the top of his class," Iruka told Kakashi with a smile. "He scored slightly lower than Sasuke Uchiha on the written portion, but considerably higher on the practical portion."

Kakashi visibly relaxed, a smile now creeping onto his face, which was, however, obscured by a mask. "Are you going to tell him his results?" Kakashi inquired of Iruka.

"Oh, God no. Are you kidding?" Iruka asked incredulously. "The kid's ego is bigger than the Village! Telling him that he did better than Sasuke Uchiha on anything would just make him that much more full of himself."

Kakashi chuckled in answer, agreeing that Naruto could be pretty big headed sometimes. Kakashi was suddenly struck with a question. "Whose team is Naruto going to be put on?" Kakashi asked the schoolteacher.

Iruka smiled at Kakashi. "Well, to be frank, we have a shortage of instructors," he began. "There were nine graduates this year, and we don't have enough officers who are free to teach them."

Kakashi was in incredulous, and so did a mental tally of the teachers available to take on a group of students. Gai had a group of three, Yamato had a group of three, and Ebisu had a group of three. That left Asuma, Kurenai, and…who else?

Iruka was still grinning at Kakashi with that very Naruto-esque smile of his. "You're the only other qualified individual that I can think of to fill the gap."

Kakashi was glad for an opportunity to teach his late mentor's son, but at the same time, he didn't want to just abandon his post as Sheriff. That would mean letting the whole Village down, something that Kakashi had resolved never to do.

"But," Kakashi began in protest, "It's my responsibility as Sheriff to take care of the Village. If I took on a team, then it would mean neglecting my duty to the Village."

Iruka only sighed and rolled his eyes. "Kakashi, you've been 'doing your duty' to the Village since you were fifteen years old. I think you deserve a break. And if things do get out of hand without an acting Sheriff, then you can just come back and do your job again. How does that sound?"

Kakashi was very fond of Naruto and so, after some careful consideration on his part, resolved to talk to Kushina Uzumaki on the matter.

After that little issue was settled, Iruka gathered up his stack of papers and left the room, waving back to Kakashi as he went.

Kakashi lazily waved back, and fell into contemplation of what he had agreed to. He was giving up his position as Sheriff to teach the late Sheriff's son the things he needed to know to become the Sheriff. Kakashi smiled and laughed to himself as he thought about it, and slowly drifted off to sleep in the armchair that he had come to take a break in.

Kakashi awoke just a few minutes later, feeling strangely well rested and ready to take on the world. He remembered the task at hand and decided to make his way to the Uzumaki Household. Kakashi left the Police Station and walked up Main Street, keeping a lookout for the side street that said household was located on. Kakashi saw the street, and made a beeline for it. Just as Kakashi began walking down the street, Naruto ran up it, a smile on his face. Kakashi noticed Naruto right away, but it took Naruto a minute to realize that Kakashi was walking his way.

"Sheriff!" Naruto yelled out to Kakashi, a happily surprised tone to his voice, "what are you doing here?"

Kakashi smiled down at Naruto. "Nothing, really," he replied, not wanting to ruin the surprise for Naruto just yet, "just some super-secret Sheriff stuff."

"That's so cool!" Naruto replied, now excited even more, "What kind of 'super-secret Sheriff stuff'?"

"Sorry, kid," Kakashi said, ruffling Naruto's hair with his hand, "that information is on a need to know basis. High-ranking police officials only, you know the drill."

"Hmph!" Naruto pouted, "you never let me in on anything fun." Naruto suddenly remembered something. "Oh, Sheriff," Naruto exclaimed, pointing to his hip where his shiny new police badge hung, "Check it out! I'm an official Deputy in Training. Now you have to tell me what you're doing."

Kakashi laughed again at the eagerness of Naruto to lead a police life. "Sorry, Naruto," Kakashi repeated, "I can't tell you."

Naruto went back to playfully pouting, turning away from Kakashi and looking the other way.

"How about this," Kakashi bargained with the new Deputy in Training, "I'll tell you all about it at the Police Academy tomorrow. That sound good to you?"

Naruto immediately piqued up and nodded his head up and down in agreement. Kakashi took this to mean that Naruto was more than happy to wait a little while to know whatever it was that Kakashi was hiding.

"Now get out of here," Kakashi pretended to scold Naruto, "and don't let me catch you here again!"

Naruto only waved back at Kakashi as he kept going down Main Street to meet with his friends.

"God it's gonna be fun to see his reaction tomorrow," Kakashi said to himself.

8 Years Ago

It had been four years since Minato had died, and three years since Kushina Uzumaki had accepted the Leaf Village's help in raising her son. It also happened to be Naruto Uzumaki's fourth birthday.

Kakashi walked the down Main Street along the now very familiar route toward the Uzumaki House, a crudely wrapped present in his hands. He was heading toward Naruto's party, to which Kushina had invited him.

Kakashi had been upholding his promise to visit Kushina and her son more often. In the last four years, Kakashi had been a sort of surrogate father to Naruto. Kakashi had been there when Naruto had taken his first steps, spoken his first words, and countless other moments. Kushina had also kept good on her promise to raise Naruto well. She hadn't spoiled him, she hadn't neglected him, he was well liked by many of the other village children his age, and he was unfailingly kind.

So there Kakashi was, walking into the Uzumaki home, present in hand. He walked up the familiar steps and knocked on the door. Kushina answered it, looking slightly disheveled and worn out, due in no doubt to keeping Naruto's hyperactive self under control.

"Kakashi!" she exclaimed with a sudden exuberance, "You found time to come to Naruto's party!"

Kakashi smiled back. "I wouldn't miss it for the world," he said.

"Well, what are you waiting for?" Kushina asked, gesturing through the door to the inside of the house, "come inside!"

Kakashi followed Kushina as she walked back into the house and into the living room. On a table backed up against a wall there was a small stack of well-wrapped presents. Kakashi took the hint and placed his in the same stack. In the center of the Uzumaki's living room, four children were playing party games, supervised by their parents. Kakashi noticed Choza Akimichi and his son Chouji, Shikaku Nara and his son Shikamaru, and Tsume Inuzuka and her son Kiba. Kushina joined Naruto in the middle of the room, and began orchestrating the next game for the children to play.

The game that Kushina got the children playing did not involve their parents so the three of them walked over to Kakashi and joined him in watching the kids play.

"Hey, Sheriff," Choza said jovially to Kakashi, giving him a pat on the back, "good to see ya!"

"You too, Choza," Kakashi said back, enjoying these everyday pleasantries, "how's the saloon business treating you?"

"Pretty good I guess," Choza replied back, laughing as he did so, "I like the people at least."

"Good," Kakashi said with a smile, Choza's cheerful attitude becoming very infectious, "and how about you, Tsume? How's the livestock trade faring?"

"Very well, thanks,." Tsume said a little gruffly, "just last week I sold the most draught animals that I've ever sold in one week." She shrugged, "If that tells you anything about the livestock market."

"It does," Kakashi replied politely, turning then to Shikaku, "and the Gunsmith trade? How goes it for you, Shikaku?"

"You should know, Sheriff," Shikaku replied with a smirk, "Your Police Station just ordered a number of standardized guns and knives." Shikaku laughed and continued, "As long you and the other lawmen operate in this village, business will be booming for me."

Kakashi smiled as he remembered the order form for the weapons that he had signed his name on. He hadn't filled it out or even been the one who had decided that they needed new equipment, but all paperwork of that nature had to go through him. Kakashi had discussed this little fact with the Mayor and it seemed that no public office was without its share of paperwork. "Yeah," Kakashi replied, "yeah I guess we did buy some items didn't we?"

"Some?!" Shikaku asked incredulously, "that order'll feed my family for a year!"

While Shikaku reflected on his good fortune in setting up shop in the Leaf Village, Choza inquired of Kakashi, "So, how is it being the Sheriff for the whole Village and all? Exciting, boring, what?"

"It's okay I guess," Kakashi said in answer. He made it a point to never let on how difficult of a job it really was, so he just replied, "Most of the day I just sit around and twiddle my thumbs, hoping that I'll be needed."

Choza laughed and slapped Kakashi on the back again, "Always a joker, huh Kakashi?"

Kakashi and the other adults joined in with Choza's laughter. A short distance away, their children also laughed while they played their game.

"Present time!" Kushina called out as the children finished off the cake that she had ordered for the occasion.

"Yay! Presents!" Naruto cheered, a smile growing on his cake-smeared face.

"Oh, Naruto," Kushina sighed as she moved over to her son with a napkin in hand, "How do you always get so messy?"

"I think it's a sign of genius that he consistently makes a mess of his food," Kakashi said good-naturedly as he watched the children line up their presents on the table.

"Oh, hush, you," Kushina sent back playfully, throwing the used napkin Kakashi to throw away, "don't encourage him."

After Naruto had been cleaned up, he began to open his presents. The first present he opened was from the Inuzukas. Naruto tore apart the neat and well-wrapped paper to find out what it was hiding. In a second's time, Naruto held up the frog shaped wallet that had been wrapped up just moments before. "Cool!" Naruto exclaimed, pulling the single penny that he owned out of his sock and storing it in the wallet with a smile. "Thank you!" he said to Kiba, who smiled back at him in acknowledgment.

The next present Naruto opened was from the Akimichis. Naruto again tore the wrapping paper off in a flash, quickly revealing the hidden pair of boots and a belt, which Naruto put on immediately and thanked Chouji for.

The Nara family's gift, wrapped just as nicely as the others, was spared no mercy from Naruto as he unwrapped the paper to reveal a miniature popgun, made especially for Naruto by the skillful hands of Shikaku. It came complete with a holster, which Naruto wasted no time in attaching to his new belt. "Thanks Shikamaru," Naruto said. He was beginning to look like a real lawman now.

The last gift that Naruto opened was Kakashi's. Even though it was poorly wrapped and didn't look anywhere near as pretty as the other presents, Naruto took extra special care in unwrapping the present, so as not do damage the paper. When Naruto finally did unwrap Kakashi's present, he was greeted with a small cowboy hat. It was the perfect size for him. He put it on his head, and then he really fit the bill as a lawman. "Thank you Sheriff Kakashi!" Naruto called out before getting out of his seat and hugging Kakashi's legs, "It's so cool!"

"'Course it is," Kakashi said proudly, "it came form me didn't it?"

Naruto laughed and detached himself from Kakashi's legs. He turned to his friends and asked if they felt like playing "cops n' robbers". They all wanted to, so the four children ran outside at breakneck speed, followed closely by Kushina. She was adamant in her conviction that no one get hurt on her watch.

Kakashi laughed quietly to himself and thought with a smile, 'He's going to be a good man one of these days'.

Eight Years Later

Kakashi mused on days gone by as he walked down the alleyway to Kushina Uzumaki's home to ell her the good news of his assignment as Naruto's teacher. He climbed the steps, just as he had done so many times before, and rang the doorbell. Kushina answered the door.

"Did you forget something, Narut-Oh!" Kushina said, surprised at Kakashi's presence and embarrassed that she had almost yelled at him thinking that he was Naruto. "Kakashi!" she asked, flustered, "What are you doing here?"

"I wanted to talk to you about something," Kakashi said, smiling at Kushina's rattled expression.

"Come in then," Kushina said, her embarrassment wearing off.

Kakashi did as he was told and walked into the Uzumaki house. Kushina went into the kitchen and began making two cups of tea. "So Kakashi," she began, raising her voice a little so that she could be heard form the kitchen, "what was it that you wanted to tell me?"

Kakashi stayed in the living room, so as not to bother Kushina in her chore. "I assume you know that Naruto passed the Police Academy Graduation Test?" Kakashi asked, also raising his voice to be heard.

"Of course," Kushina answered back from the kitchen, "he told me all about it when he got home. He ran off in a rush after that. That's why I mistook you for him. I thought he forgot something in his hurry."

"I see," Kakashi replied knowingly. Naruto could be a little spastic sometimes. "That's what I came here to talk about. You know that the young graduates are put into teams right?" Kakashi asked.

"Yeah," Kushina replied, "Gai talked my ear off about his team the last time I saw them. Apparently they're absolutely chock full of the 'Fire of Youth'. Whatever that means."

Kakashi chuckled to himself, "Yeah, that's Gai all right" Kushina laughed with him. "Anyway," Kakashi continued, "I came to tell you that right now there's a shortage of teachers for these little teams."

"So, what does that mean for Naruto's future as a Lawman?" Kushina asked, a tone of worry creeping into her voice.

"I'm not sure," Kakashi explained, "but Iruka says he's got a solution in mind."

"Oh?" Kushina asked, interested, "and what kind of solution would that be?"

"Iruka wants me to step down as Sheriff and take on a team," Kakashi said bluntly, "and I was going to request to have Naruto put on my team."

By now the tea that Kushina was brewing was ready, and she brought two cups of into the living room, handing one to Kakashi. "That's great!" Kushina exclaimed, ecstatic at the news, "Wait 'till Naruto hears!"

"Don't tell him yet," Kakashi instructed her, the glass of tea resting in his hand, "I want the surprise to wait until tomorrow." Kakashi smiled. "I'm glad that you're okay with this," Kakashi said sheepishly.

"Why wouldn't I be okay with this?" Kushina asked incredulously, "Naruto loves you!"

"Yeah…" Kakashi said, "Yeah, I guess so. Thanks for the talk, Kushina!" Kakashi turned and headed for the door. Before he left he remembered the cup of tea in his hand. He drank it in one huge gulp and put the empty glass on a table next to the door. "Tea was delicious, Kushina! Good bye!" he said as he went out the front door. Kakashi descended the steps, and went back to the Police Station to talk to Iruka about his becoming a teacher.

"'Bye Kakashi!" Kushina called out to his retreating form. "And good luck!" she said under her breath, thinking about how much patience it would take to have Naruto on a team.

The Next Day

Naruto got out of his bed earlier than usual. He didn't even need the sun to wake him up this time. He got dressed, ate his breakfast, and left his house in a hurry. He was eager to hear about whatever it was that Kakashi hadn't told him about the day before. Kushina hadn't said a word to ruin the surprise.

Naruto met up with his friends Chouji and Shikamaru on his way to the Police Academy. As they made their way to their destination, they speculated about which teams they would be on.

"I just hope I'm on a team with one of you guys," Naruto said, putting his hands behind his head as he walked, "it would really suck to be on a team with that guy Sasuke."

"Yeah," Chouji agreed, "he's a real dick, huh?"

The small group laughed and continued their discussion of the teams all the way to the Academy. They walked into the Academy building and filed into their classroom. They sat down in their regular seats along with the rest of their classmates. A few moments later, Iruka made his entrance into the room, followed by three Police Officers. Naruto noticed that one of the three was sheriff Kakashi.

"Before you all start asking questions about them," Iruka began, quieting the murmur that had begun upon the entrance of the three Officers, "these are going to be your teachers while you are on your teams. Three students to one teacher."

The class nodded in understanding. Naruto's eyes shot to Kakashi, who winked at him with his one exposed eye. Iruka continued his explanation. "These Officers will be your team leaders as well as your teachers," he said, "you will be expected to follow their orders and respect them without question. Likewise, they will be responsible for your safety, your education, and your overall well-being." Iruka paused in his speech and looked around at his class, letting the information sink in. "I will now divide you into teams," Iruka continued, "when I call your name, report to your new teacher."

All of the Deputies in Training shifted nervously in their seats, waiting for Iruka to call out the individuals on the first team. They didn't have to wait long.

"The first team, henceforth known as Team 1, under Miss Kurenai Yuhi," Iruka began again, glancing down at the list on the table before him, "will consist of Kiba Inuzuka, Hinata Hyuuga, and Shino Aburame."

The three Deputies in Training got up from their seats and walked down to where Kurenai stood waiting. Once they got to her, she led the group outside to get more acquainted.

"Team 2," Iruka continued after Team 1 had left the room, "who's teacher will be Asuma Sarutobi, will be Shikamaru Nara, Chouji Akimichi, and Ino Yamanaka."

The three new teammates got up and walked down to their new team leader. Ino cast a look of mild disgust at her new team, while Chouji and Shikamaru cast wistful looks back at Naruto in disappointment. Naruto gave them both a small reassuring wave before they too left the room to get to know their new team better.

The exiting of Team 2 left only three Deputies in Training in the room. "Team 3," Iruka said leisurely, "will be Naruto Uzumaki, Sakura Haruno," at this, Naruto jumped into the air and cheered with joy, while Sakura hung her head in annoyance. Iruka continued, "and Sasuke Uchiha." Now it was Sakura's turn to cheer in happiness and Naruto's turn to groan in disappointment. Sasuke was silent. "Team 3 will be under the tutelage of Kakashi Hatake."

Naruto cheered again and jumped down to Kakashi. "Is this what you didn't want to tell me yesterday?" Naruto asked eagerly.

Kakashi just smiled under his mask. Sakura and Sasuke followed Naruto down to Kakashi, who led the group out of the classroom and up to the roof of the Academy.

Iruka closed his lesson book and looked around at the empty classroom before him. He thought about all of the students he had taught who were now parts of their own teams. "Good luck," Iruka said to no one in particular, "you'll need it."

Kakashi led his new team to the roof of the Academy building, where they all took a seat in a semicircle, with Kakashi at the center. "So," he started, addressing the three Deputies in Training, "you guys are my new team, huh? Well, first things first, why don't you tell me about yourselves. You know, likes, dislikes, dreams for the future, stuff like that."

"What about you?" Sakura asked indignantly, "It's rude to ask people about themselves when you haven't even properly introduced yourself."

Naruto snorted a little in laughter as Kakashi was taken aback. 'Does she really not know that he's the sheriff?' Naruto thought to himself.

"About me, huh?" Kakashi mused, "Well, My name is Kakashi Hatake, I'm the former Sheriff of the Leaf Village, I don't really feel like telling you my likes and dislikes, I have no real dreams for the future, and I have a whole bunch of hobbies."

Naruto chuckled again at the look on Sakura's face. She had just realized that she had insulted the former Sheriff. But Naruto wondered a little about Kakashi's statement that he was the 'Former' Sheriff. He would have to ask Kakashi about it later.

"Okay, that's me," Kakashi said, turning to Naruto, "now how about you?"

"My name is Naruto Uzumaki!" Naruto exclaimed, "I like my family and my friends, I don't really dislike anything, I've got a lot of hobbies, and I've only got one dream for the future." Naruto paused for dramatic effect. "My dream is to become the greatest Sheriff this Village has ever seen, and surpass my father by becoming the Mayor!"

Kakashi nodded, then turned to Sasuke. "And you?" he asked.

Sasuke looked up from the ground that he had been glaring at and began his description of himself. "My name is Sasuke Uchiha," he said with a scowl, "I dislike a lot of things and I don't particularly like anything. I don't have any dreams but I do have a goal." Sasuke paused here as well. Whether it was for dramatic effect or just because he liked pauses, Naruto couldn't tell. "My only goal in life is to kill a certain man."

Naruto could almost feel the hatred coming off of Sasuke. 'Who does he want to kill?' Naruto thought confusedly. 'That's about what I expected' Kakashi thought knowingly.

"Okay, and how about you?" Kakashi asked, looking toward Sakura.

Sakura was still shaken from unknowingly disrespecting the Sheriff of the Leaf Village, but she began her self-description anyway. "M-my name is Sakura Haruno," she began shakily, "things I like, well, um, the person I like… my dream for the future…" she giggled a little to herself and glanced at Sasuke, "and I dislike… Naruto." Naruto dropped his head and cursed in indignation, and Sasuke paid no attention to Sakura's flirting.

"Well, now that that's over," Kakashi said with a sigh, "It's about time we get down to business." At this the three Deputies in Training sat up and listened closely. "You've all already passed the Graduation Exam. Congrats," Kakashi said absentmindedly, "but you're not out of the woods yet."

Naruto was fuming. "D'you mean we have to take another test!?" he asked incredulously.

"Afraid so," Kakashi said matter-of-factly, "but this is no Written Exam. This will be a real live Survival Test."

Naruto and Sakura groaned and Sasuke stayed silent. "Enough of that," Kakashi said suddenly, shutting the two of them up, "I won't give you any more details today, but meet me tomorrow morning at 8 o' clock sharp at Training Ground #3. Bring any gear you think you might need, and don't eat breakfast. You might throw up. Remember, don't be late! You're dismissed."

The three Deputies in Training got up from their seats and walked back through the Academy and to their own homes. Not a word was exchanged between the three.

Kakshi watched his new team walk away from the Academy and toward their respective homes. 'Well,' he though with a smile, 'Okay then.'

Author's Note

And there you have it folks. Chapter 3. This took me a lot longer than I had expected. Blame all of the dialogue in here. This chapter was (unintentionally) really Kakashi-heavy, but it's okay since he'll play a pretty big role later in the story.

That's about it for this chapter, but don't fret. The next chapter will be coming soon. So stay tuned for the next chapter in the Wild West, The Training Ground.