Disclaimer: Naruto is property of Shonen Jump, Kishimoto Masashi, and various other people and entities. I'm about five stories beyond this one, and at the point I'm writing, Sasuke is grateful for that.


Shuffle

"With Uzumaki Naruto's graduation, we have enough students to split all the genin hopefuls into three-man cells," the Hokage told the loose ring of shinobi surrounding his desk. "I'll be assigning each of you teams that you will meet tomorrow."

Iruka, who stood with a stack of papers beside the Hokage, hastened to put the papers in his hands on the desk beside the Sandaime. The old man nodded his appreciation and pulled the first of them off the stack, before sliding the one on the very bottom out from under the others and placing them together. "This year's best student, Uchiha Sasuke, will be assigned with the year's worst student … Uzumaki Naruto. Kakashi, I believe you would be best suited to head up the Uchiha's team, as we can be hopeful he will fulfill the village's expectations in awakening the Sharingan."

Kakashi, leaning comfortably against the far wall glanced over the edge of his book and nodded in acknowledgment before returning his attention to his book. The Third smiled tolerantly, and pulled a third paper from the center of the stack, placing it with the two already assigned to Kakashi. "And to balance out the team, we'll add Haruno Sakura. The three of them should do well together."

"Assuming she manages to concentrate on anything but Sasuke," Iruka sighed, rubbing ruefully at the back of his neck as the Hokage turned slightly, quirked an eyebrow at him and gestured for the Academy teacher to continue. Iruka fidgeted for a moment under the scrutiny before taking a deep breath and explaining: "Sakura is a very intelligent girl, Hokage-sama, but she concentrates more on being a girl than on being a kunoichi at times."

"Mm," Sandaime chewed thoughtfully on the end of his pipe, clasping his hands behind his back. "And yet, her theory scores are exceptional. She could prove to be a great asset to the village yet." He unclasped his hands and leaned forward, placing them on his desk and picking up Haruno Sakura's report sheet. "Perhaps we should match the student to the teacher, then. Kurenai," he said, placing the girl's sheet with another stack and rifling through it until he extracted one of the other reports. Kurenai straightened slightly as her name was called, dark eyes watching the Hokage curiously. "I think Haruno-san would benefit from the example of another kunoichi, and an environment that is less … distracting. She will be added to Team Eight, which I'm giving to you."

Kurenai nodded and stepped back to leave the unassigned jounin standing in a loose ring around the Third, who placed the report sheet he had removed from Team Eight to the two still resting in Team Seven. "It's settled then," the old man nodded. "Kakashi, you will take charge of Team Seven: Uchiha Sasuke, Uzumaki Naruto, and Hyuuga Hinata."


Kat's Notes: You might see where this is going already ... I honestly love the original Team Seven dynamic, but this seemed like a fun vein to explore. This whole started as extrapolation during an IM conversation where I started going "but what if ...". Then, rather like conversations that start that way always do, the muses grabbed it and ran off with me scrambling to keep up. And the inevitable egging on of friends who wanted to see it actually written.

So I thought, "oh I'll just write out one quick drabble and get it out of my system". One has somehow turned into six ... with the possibility of others if I get requests. This one ended up epically short, though still not the drabble I was initially planning, and is the shortest of the lot.

Up Next: Disapproval - Not everyone is okay with this arrangement