A/N: Why? Well…why not?
Note: Sena=girl to mesh with the usual team dynamics (or at least that's what I tell myself…). What would we do, after all, with our obligatory somewhat useless female character? (though, in all fairness, Sena isn't really all that useless…)
Edit: People seem to be misunderstanding, but…this is a one shot. Like, srsly. (NOTE THE COMPLETE SIGN UP TOP, MMKAY?)
Edit 2: You know what? You guys are so awesome (and I am such a sell-out) that I'm opening this back up again. Yay! (yay?)
It had taken quite a while for Kakashi to work up any kind of enthusiasm for having a genin team. Even the enthusiasm he had managed to work up was an extremely small amount. Just thinking of having to deal with snotty, whiny kids who were constantly complaining, almost getting themselves killed, and setting things on aflame with poorly controlled fire jutsu made his hairs go gray (the only reason no one could see any changes was that his hair was already quite gray). Hatake Kakashi did not deal with children.
But after long, long hours of contemplations, long hours of imagining the gory deaths of the ones responsible for talking him into this, he began to see the other side of it. He became seduced, just a little, by the dream every potential teacher has. Maybe, just maybe, he had the chance to inspire a young talented ninja. He could instill his own values, raise a young, impressionable kid to be something. He could be admired and looked up to. Of course, he'd kill anyone before ever admitting that out loud, but…it was a nice thought.
Right up until he opened the academy door.
He'd purposely waited three (or was it four?) hours until making his way over there, so he expected some degree of annoyance directed his way. Maybe even a little resentment or anger. But the three genin he saw in that room were certainly not any of the above.
One boy, with flamboyantly yellow spiked hair and pointed ears (he looked like an evil elf) flicked a barrage of kunai at his future teammates. Kakashi was impressed in spite of himself—he was firing those things off almost faster than the eye could see. His accuracy was also good enough to ensure that he didn't spear one of his teammates in the head.
The victims' reactions varied. The team's kunoichi--a tiny, delicate girl, with medium length hair that still managed to stick up at the top--dodged the barrage with a look of sheer terror on her face. But despite the terror, she did dodge. Every single last one of them. A slight bend of the head, shift the body that way, then this way—she made the smallest of movements and came out completely unscathed.
The other one was…slightly different. He was very tall for his age and, unlike the blond, leaned more towards muscled than lanky. A head of brown hair framed his face, and under it, most disturbing of all, lay a bright smile. Kakashi swore his teeth glinted. He didn't manage to dodge every kunai, like the kunoichi did, but the ones that did hit him bounced harmlessly off his skin.
"It's nice to get a little exercise after all the waiting, isn't it?" he turned his beaming smile (of doom) on his teammate. He didn't even sound winded.
Here, apparently, was a group of super-powered genin. And one was apparently trying to massacre the others. So much for teamwork.
"Um," Kakashi said, not sure how to interrupt the…whatever it was. "Did I come at a bad time?"
The blond's eyes flicked his way at the sound of his voice, and immediately pocketed the kunai he was about to throw.
"Right as scheduled, Kakashi-sensei," he said, sneering over the last word, as if he were loath to use it (and he probably was). Then he gave the jounin a crooked smile.
Kakashi blinked—he had pointy teeth. Frightening.
The copy-nin cast a glance at other members of his team, careful to keep his expression neutral (and lazy). The girl had backed into a corner, staring wildly at her blond tormentor. She looked like a small, frightened animal. Rabbits came to mind. The other boy looked at her in mild concern.
He sighed and turned back to the instigator. "What exactly were you trying to accomplish with that?" he asked, gazing dispassionately at the kunai scattered over the floor.
"Figuring out what their abilities are," he said with another of those evil grins. "I thought it would be a good idea to know what I can do with them. For future reference."
He acted like he was the leader of the team.
Kakashi bit back another sigh as the kunoichi whimpered at the blond's words, further burrowing herself into the corner. The tall boy crouched down beside, trying to coach her out. Meanwhile, the blond whipped out a little black notebook from some mysterious location, followed by a pencil (from the same mysterious location), and furiously jotted down some notes. The jounin was able to catch "Kobayakawa Sena: scout/live bait" and "Yamato Takeru: human shield" before he whipped the notebook back into its mysterious location.
Kakashi wished he were far, far away at that moment. Maybe at one of the hot springs Fire Country was so famous for. Or maybe in the Hokage's office, strangling the man for making him do this in the first place. Or, better still, he could stay here, and put the fear of god into these brats who had no respect for teamwork.
But then, he did have a duty…
"When you're done killing each other, meet me on the roof."
He vanished in a swirl of smoke.
Five minutes later saw them sitting in an awkward circle, just beyond the roof gardens, almost at the edge of the building. The girl—Sena, wasn't it?—was having a particularly hard time. Seated between Hiruma and Yamato, she had no idea where exactly to sit. Inching away from the very frightening Hiruma meant being closer to Yamato, who was frightening in an entirely different way. He'd give her that creepy smile, and move even closer. Too close. Way too close. However, moving the other way was out of the question too. If she did that, Hiruma would give a weird, intense, stare, as if sizing her up. Most likely for his dinner later that night.
Sena looked imploringly at her teacher, begging him to come sit next to her, to offer some semblance of protection. He stared blithely in another direction. She whimpered.
"So," Kakashi began, after they had all settled in to the best of their abilities. "Why don't you all tell me a little bit about yourselves, hmm?" It was hard working up the drive. "Likes, dislikes, dreams? That kind of thing."
The three genin looked at each other, nonplussed (well, Sena was simply still scared out of her mind).
He sighed. "You, with the shiny teeth. Go first."
Yamato looked slightly affronted. But got over it rather quickly.
"My name is Yamato Takeru," he said, with that same refreshing, very creepy, smile. "My likes include testing my limits, struggling to overcome difficulties, talent, gardening, late night variety shows, and…." Here he purposely trailed off, giving Sena an exaggerated wink. She paled and scooched in the other direction, only to "eep!" and scooch the other way again when Hiruma gave her a curious stare.
Dear god, Kakashi thought, hand over his eye. Hormones.
"As for my dislikes…" He put his chin in his hand, and thought for a moment. "I suppose I'm not too fond of losing, or people who give up. I also don't like vinegar all that much—it tends to make me vomit." The last sentence was, for no reason at all, said with a particularly bright smile. "My dreams are…" and here again was the purposeful trail-off, followed by the wink in a certain kunoichi's direction. The blond rolled his eyes, muttering "you're twelve, for fuck's sakes" in a whisper that everyone was meant to hear. Sena didn't seem to get it, but pulled her scooch-this-way-than-that routine anyway.
"And of course, to be the strongest," he finished with a flourish, acting as if Hiruma hadn't spoken at all.
Kakashi waited for the rest, and frowned when it never came. "…the strongest at what?"
Yamato's face changed now, the happy smile become something…twisted. His eyes certainly weren't smiling anymore. "No qualification."
The jounin made a quick study of the genin, using information he'd known beforehand and information he'd just learned. His family had a special bloodline—they were able to form a kind of "stoneskin" at almost a moment's notice, giving him the ability to break through (or defend against) almost anything. He was driven, hormonal, and more than a little creepy. Assessment: slightly demented juggernaut. Slightly demented pre-teen juggernaut. Handle with care.
The grey-haired man pointed to the blond. "You. Go."
Hiruma stared at him as if he were something unpleasant stuck on the bottom of his sandal. Then he leaned against the step up to the roof gardens, putting his hands behind his head and crossing his ankles. "Hiruma Youichi," he started, giving Kakashi a vicious little smile. It was about just as frightening as Yamato's, if for different reasons. "My likes include blackmail, gathering new slaves, intimidation, and winning. There're quite a few things I don't like, but I'll make things simple for you. The one thing I can't stand is losing. Ever."
The smile dropped and he stared particularly hard at his teammates. The message he sent was very clear (drag us down and I'll gut you slowly and painfully, mmk?). Sena, acting on instinct, tried to hide behind Yamato. He made absolutely no effort to hide how happy this made him.
"And I don't have a dream. I have a certainty." He paused for dramatic effect, which, of course, only worked on Sena.
"I'm going to rule the world."
They all stared at him, nonplussed.
Hiruma Youichi—only survivor to a clan that was in no way meant to resemble some family named Uchiha. Similarly, possessor of a special bloodline ability that allowed him to read his opponents' intentions and abilities. Which was also in no way meant to resemble some family named Uchiha (read: it was). As the survivor of a massacre instigated by his own father, people had initially intended to heap tons upon tons of pity, adoration, and sympathy on him. And if he had been some kind of sad, brooding, emotional little boy, he would've gained not only the love of the village but legions of fangirls as well (not that such a situation was based on anything, of course). As it was, however, Hiruma Youichi was Hiruma Youichi. People tended to leave it at that.
Yamato gave him a hearty slap on the back. "It's good to dream big, no matter how impossible it may be!"'
Hiruma gave a new meaning to the wordglare. "I said it wasn't a dream. And don't touch me ever again, fucking shiny."
"Oh? What was that you called me, Hiruma-kun?" Yamato's eyes were glinting dangerously, smile twisted once more.
"Fucking shiny. Fucking. Shiiinnny," he drew the words out, effectively reducing Yamato to a rather stupid six-year-old.
The smile became something closer to a smirk. "Well, having good teeth is better than being…" he cocked his head, "…I don't know, an elf?"
Hiruma leaned forward an intimidating gesture, which Yamato gladly matched, then flashed those pointy teeth of his. Poor little Sena was left sandwiched between the two. She looked like she was about to pass out. "At least I don't blind people when I walk down the street."
"S-sensei," Sena whimpered, as Yamato shot out another rebuttal. Soon, she feared, there would be an all-out, apocalyptic battle between the two, and she would be drawn into it. And it would especially apocalyptic for her, considering she wouldn't live through it.
Her last hope, the person she was counting on, her potential lifesaver, was currently leaning back, head titled up at the sky in an attempt to ignore everything—reasoning being that, if didn't intervene, the two boys would just kill each other. That meant for two less genin he had to teach.
He could almost feel her despair as she realized he was going to do absolutely nothing. Don't look, he told himself. If you look, you'll just---
And of course, he looked.
Two big brown eyes. Two big brown, sad, panicked eyes.
Oh god I'm killing a cute little animal. And she wanted to be a ninja?
In one fluid move, Kakashi got to his feet, took a step over to Sena, yanked her out from between the two genin, and away from the grip on her shoulder Yamato had maintained. Then he nudged Hiruma backwards with his foot, and tried to push Yamato back with his free hand.
It was a little disconcerting that the genin didn't even budge, but seeing Hiruma sprawled out on his back, eyes wide as quarters, made everything worth it.
"Well, that was productive," Kakashi rolled his eyes, safely depositing the kunoichi by his side. She landed in a dazed lump, then turned grateful—no, reverent—eyes on him. "I'd like to get this done sometime this century. If you two want to beat each other up, fine, but do it after I leave. Understand?"
Hiruma, picking himself back up, scowled, sent a quick hand into his pocket and flying at his jounin teacher. Yamato watched the display with a mild smile, a few notches down from its usual intensity (his version of "displeasure, apparently).
"Very mature," the jounin said, catching the weapon between his fingers. Hiruma grunted, looking aside as if the ant crawling next him had thrown it. He nudged Sena, who had jerked in the other direction at the sight of impending doom sent in a neat kunai package. "Your turn."
Yamato looked up now, staring at the girl in no small interest. Similarly, Hiruma turned his full attention her way, quietly assessing.
Sena felt, quite frankly, a little like a prize piece of beef. This made things difficult.
"U-um," she started, eyes fixed firmly on the ground. "My name is…Kobayakawa Sena…?"
"You're not sure?" Hiruma snickered. Kakashi thwapped him on the shoulder.
She stared at them for a second, gathering courage to start again. Yamato giving her what was meant to be an encouraging smile delayed matters.
Sena took a deep breath. "I like people who don't throw things at me or make me run errands for them," she said uneasily. Kakashi frowned, knowing now that it was possible to feel even sorrier for her than he did before. "A-and…I like those little chocolate things they sell in that shop by the Funnel Store." (A store that exclusively sold funnels, for whatever purpose customers decided to use them for.)
"Those chocolate bong things?" Yamato spoke up. "You have great taste, Sena-chan—they really are good!"
The jounin stared at them for a minute. Hiruma cackled quietly in the background.
"You two…" he sighed, feeling the beginnings of a very bad migraine. "You do know what a bong is, right?"
"A pipe?" Sena cocked her head.
"Of course I know what a bong is," Yamato said calmly. "It's a pipe used to smoke mari—"
"Okay," Kakashi cut in, before the genin could corrupt the minds of youth everywhere (or Sena's mind, as she was the only one there that remained remotely uncorrupted)—or before Hiruma injured something laughing like that. "Why don't we forget that ever happened? In fact, let's definitely forget that ever happened."
Sena looked anxiously at her teacher. "Is…is there something wrong with, um, bongs? Am I doing something wrong? I'm not doing something wrong, am I? Oh god, I am, right?" Her eyes were nearly popping out of her head, and her breaths came shorter and shorter. Panic attack T-minus five seconds, Kakashi thought with a mental groan.
"The only thing you're doing wrong is being a fucking idio—"
The jounin shut Hiruma up with another thwap to the shoulder. Yamato helped with a complimentary shove. "No Sena," he muttered into his hand. "You're not doing anything wrong."
"Why don't you just continue?"
She closed her eyes, took a few more deep breaths, and tried again. "O-okay. Um, my fears are—I mean! I mean my dislikes, um…" she trailed off, glancing quickly at her two teammates. It was very subtle. "I guess I don't like bullies all that much either, or, um, people that charge me too much for rent or refuse to sell me things or spit at me in the streets. Well, I guess they have their reasons, but--"
There should've been a weepy violin playing in some corner. There should've been a swell of sad music. There should've been some tragic figure in his death throes. That was how depressing Kobayakawa Sena was.
Yamato gave her a few reassuring pats on her shoulder, face deeply sympathetic. "I would never do that to you, Sena-chan."
She yelped and burrowed further into Kakashi's side at the touch. If Yamato felt anything whatsoever at the obvious rejection, he certainly didn't show it. But then, the jounin thought that the boy would be leering at her even while the world was coming to an end.
"One more," he told Sena as gently as possible. Then they could all go home.
"Right," she muttered. "My dreams…well," she rubbed her head a little bashfully. "They're not as big as everyone else's, but…" For the first time since he had met her, Sena held her head up, looking at him with actual conviction in her eyes. "I…want to be able to protect the people who care about me. That's really that all that matters. Um, it's not that I think I'll be the strongest ninja ever, or anything." Weak ending.
"That's a great dream to have," Yamato told her, looking truly impressed.
"Pansy," Hiruma threw in, ruining the moment.
It was nice, though, to see life hadn't completely beaten Kobayakawa Sena to a pulp, even if it had reduced to the sad, scared little thing she was today. As the vessel of the falcon demon that had once upon ravaged Konoha, she was largely hated for no particular reason of her own. Even the kids hated her, if only because they thought they were supposed to. The bullying in her kunoichi academy classes had gotten so bad that she'd been transferred to work with the boys. This largely stopped the harassment, but only because the boys were afraid she'd give them cooties.
Kakashi was almost sorry he was going to fail her. Keyword being almost.
It was finally over. If Kakashi was an energetic sort of man, he would've leapt up and jumped for joy. As it was, he allowed him a small smile that, of course, no one would actually see.
"Well, if that's all—"
"Excuse me, but what about you, sensei?" Yamato cut in politely.
The jounin blinked.
"He wants you to answer your own damn question, sensei," Hiruma added, not at all politely.
"Oh," Kakashi said absently, rubbing his chin. "I suppose I can do that. My name is obviously Hatake Kakashi. I don't particularly want to tell you my likes or dislikes. I do have dreams…and I have a lot of hobbies too, I guess—"
"Bull," Hiruma interrupted, pulling out his black notebook. "Name: Hatake Kakashi. Chronically late and Maito Gai's self-proclaimed rival. Tends to read porn in public. Son of "White Fang" Hatake Sakumo, who committed suicide due to various reasons. Jounin teacher was the Fourth Hokage himself. Teammates were some girl named Rin and Uchiha Obito, who died during a mission and gave his Sharingan to Hatake Kakashi. Called 'Copy Ninja Kakashi' because of said eye." He closed the notebook shut with a snap. "I miss anything?"
There was a very long, very stunned silence. Hiruma grinned gleefully, relishing in the shock.
"….." What could a person say to that?
But Kakashi would be damned if he let the little bastard shake him. "…obviously you've done your research.
"Kekeke," he threw his head back and laughed. "No fucking kidding. I even managed to get a picture of you without the ma—"
And suddenly the notebook switched hands—Kakashi flipped through the pages, making the occasional "hm" and "ah". It took the smile right off Hiruma's face (which, consequently, was enough to put a smile back on the jounin's face).
"That's mine, you fucking cyclops—"
The words went completely unheard, as Kakashi found the page in question. He looked down at the picture, mildly impressed. "You weren't lying, I see." He cocked his head while Hiruma lunged for him, only to be held back by a bemused Yamato. "Not one of my best, though." He then tucked it into his vest pocket.
"Well, it was nice to meet you all," he said, standing up. Sena winced—there was absolutely no enthusiasm in the words. "Meet me tomorrow at dawn at the training grounds. Oh, and don't eat anything—you'll just throw it up."
And he poofed mercifully away.
The three genin stared into empty space for a moment, not quite sure of where to go from there.
"Che," Hiruma muttered, before pulling out another notebook from the mysterious place he always kept it (them).
Sena's eyes widened. How many of those does he have?!
He jotted down a few notes, then got up to leave. "Go ahead and eat tomorrow," he told them as he walked towards the stairs. "That fucking cyclops is trying to starve us out."
…of what? But he was gone, and there was no way to ask.
Of course, this meant that Sena was now alone with Yamato. She felt a shiver go up at her spine as she noticed the intent stare he was pinning her with.
"U-um," she said nervously, standing up. Yamato followed suit. "Well, I better get home. I have, um, groceries and things to get—"
He saw his chance. "Ah. Well then, why don't I help you? I don't have anything to do right now."
She paled. "No, that's okay. I can take of it." She slowly backed up towards the stairwell, hoping to put some distance between them.
It didn't really work. "No need to be so polite! Really, I don't mind at all. We can even get dinner on the way back."
By this time he was leading her down the staircase, arm over her shoulders. "But I don't think-"
"We can even get ramen—I'll treat!"
"Huh? Um, but I don't really like ramen…"
"You don't? That's strange…"
"…why is that strange?"
The door to the roof closed shut behind them. The sun gently set behind the building, a soft breeze blowing as if in farewell.
And somewhere, in some place, one jounin was counting the hours until he'd (hopefully) be rid of his genin team.
A/N: Yamato (well, okay, this Yamato) just might be Lee and Sakura's lovechild.