Geniuses of Hard Work

Prologue: The Trade

Disclaimer - I do not own Naruto or any other works I use in this story.

Night had long since fallen on the village of Konoha. Most of the village had shut their lights off and went to bed by now. However, one light still burned bright in the village. The Hokage and Iruka sat awake, albeit barely in Iruka's case, in the old man's office. Some people would wonder why the two would still be awake at such a late hour. The reason was actually quite simple

Hatake Kakashi.

The man was late…again. Iruka knew that the chunin they sent to get him may have had to wake him up but it still shouldn't have taken nearly this long for the man to get ready and be on his way. They wouldn't have needed him at all if Iruka hadn't needed to change the teams.

He had just recently given Naruto his headband, making the boy an official shinobi. While he had done so gladly at the time he was regretting it at the moment. Finding Naruto a team had been easy, he just made the mistake of throwing him in the group with a chronically late sensei, who they happened to need permission from before they changed his team.

Not that Iruka was sure the Hokage really needed permission for anything, but it was still courteous to let the man know of his new arrangement. At least that's what Iruka would have thought even an hour and a half ago. Now he was just tired and about fed up with waiting for him. Not to mention he was still covered in cuts and bruises from his scrap with Mizuki. Yeah, all the big stuff had been healed but he still felt particularly sore.

Looking at the Hokage he noticed that the man's elderly face didn't seem at all tired or even all that anxious about the tardiness of one of his Shinobi. He just sat there going about his paperwork. Iruka was about to inquire as to why he seemed so content with this clear showing of disrespect when a loud pop happened right next to him. Following the pop was a cloud of smoke of which, the current object of Iruka's contempt stepped out of.

"Yo." The man waved held one hand in the air as he spoke lazily.

The Hokage smiled "Good to see you Kakashi, what kept you this time?"

Kakashi shrugged "You know, had to rescue a tree from a cat…wait." Kakashi paused and seemed to think about it for a minute, much to Iruka's chagrin. Iruka decided to give a small cough to alert the jonin of his presence. Kakashi turned slowly and looked at Iruka steadily with his one eye. Something about that unnerved the Chunin a little. This stare-off continued thirty seconds until Kakashi's one visible eye appeared to smile at him. "Sorry, I didn't even see you there."

Iruka wanted to retort with slander of some sort but stopped. The man was here. Might as well just end things fast. He could finally get this whole thing over with and get some well deserved rest. With that thought in mind, he hurriedly pulled out a sheet of paper.

"There was a change to the teams, Uzumaki Naruto has been swapped into your group."

At least that was what he intended to say. Instead the only thing heard was the door being kicked in and a voice loud enough to wake half the village.

"Dynamic Entry!" The Green Beast, otherwise known as Might Guy leapt into the office.

When he landed he took a sweep of the room but his eyes stopped when he caught sight of the hair that defied gravity itself. "Ah my youthful rival, Kakashi! I see your flame burns bright this night as well! Tell me, my friend. What brings you to this place at this untimely hour?" Guy's assault of words was spoken in just as booming a voice as when he first entered and Iruka felt like plugging his ears. Instead he let out what sounded like a whimper, dropped the paper and slid down into his seat. Defeated.

"Oh, Guy, when did you get here?" Kakashi said with disinterest and his nose deep in a bright orange book.

"Damn!" Guy shouted throwing his hands in the air "I can't stand that hip attitude of yours! It drives me insane! If it were not three in the morning I would challenge you to youthful combat! Alas, even I need to recharge my battery at night!"

Several thoughts came to Iruka at once. The first pondered on if there was a volume switch for this man. Seriously, did the man ever stop shouting? Another thought was much more horrifying. If this was what the man was like on low energy, he never wanted to see him fully charged. Third but definitely not a thought to disregard was the spandex clad man's purpose in being here. Surely it was some form of divine punishment. Which led him to wonder what he did to deserve it. As this train of wonder kept on going, so did Guy's voice.

However, Guy paused his rant as he took note of the paper Iruka had dropped to the floor, in the blink of an eye he snatched it up and was reading through it's contents. "Hmm…taking on a genin team, aye Kakashi? Might as well fail them now, none of them could compete with my Lee!" Kakashi continued to ignore him and read his book. Undeterred, Guy continued "Although I've heard of this Uzumaki Naruto. He sounds most youthful, it is a shame it is channeled into things such as pranks. Under the proper guidance he could light a flame of youth so bright even the sun would seem just a flicker!"

"Then how about a trade. You take Naruto and I'll take that Hyuga genius off your hands." Iruka's head suddenly snapped up, staring wide eyed at Kakashi, the comment clearly breaking him of his depressed train of thoughts. Guy himself rubbed his chin thoughtfully. The Hokage sat in his chair, his expression had yet to change since Kakashi entered.

The one-eyed Jonin hadn't even pulled his face out of the book as he spoke. He took the silence as a chance to add more. "If you are afraid of not being able to study more about the Jyuken style than I have a solution. There was also a Hyuga in this graduating class. The Heiress, in fact. Give me the female on your team and you can have her too."

Guy's shiny smile seemed to make the room even brighter. It was true. He had been worried about losing insight on the Jyuken, but he would never admit it. The Gentle Fist fascinated him and he would be damned if he lost a way to study it. Guy was also no fool. He knew that even though she was the heiress, she was the black sheep of the clan. While most Hyuuga stood tall and arrogant she walked hunched and meekly. But that in itself was a plus. Between him, Lee, and maybe even this Naruto, they could bring her out of that and make her much more youthful than her older cousin. It was decided. "I accept Kakashi…but what do you say? Why don't we make this more interesting?"

Kakashi for the first time looked up from his book but before he could inquire as to what Guy meant Iruka interrupted. "You can't be serious?" He sounded exasperated. "You can't simply trade teams, especially, with a group that's been together for a whole year now! It just can't be done!" He looked to the Hokage for support but to his horror saw a gleam in the elderly man's eye.

All five eyes were now on him. After a drag on his pipe and a long blow he spoke. "I would like to hear the rest of what Guy has to say." If possible Guy's smile got bigger while Iruka's mouth seemed to hit the floor.

"A bet." Guy continued. "The team that does better in the upcoming chunin exams is the winner of the bet, simple as the that. As for the stakes…you will finally show me what is behind that mask!" Guy shouted the last bit and again Iruka was sure half the village was awake now.

"You have to give up spandex." Was Kakashi's quick retort. "For Life." He add as an afterthought. Guy seemed to pale at the terms but it went away almost as fast as it appeared. He apparently had little doubt of failure.

"Looks like we got a deal then!" They both turned to the Hokage. Guy bowed to nearly a ninety degree angle before speaking again. "I would be honored if you would arrange this for us, Hokage-sama!"

The Hokage looked thoughtful for a minute. Guy seemed to be sweating profusely from his position but refused to stand up straight. Iruka chewed on his nails nervously. Kakashi looked as calm and uninterested as ever.

Finally, the Hokage spoke. "I'll accept to it on a few terms" Guy shot up straight so fast the Hokage felt his own back ache, if only he could somehow draw on his flames of youth. "Firstly, you are both required to have your teams participate in D-rank missions for at least two weeks. Next, I want this to be explained to the teams in a way as not to upset them. I don't care what you say but I want no hard feelings between you and your students. Finally, take great care of Naruto's secret. He just became aware of it tonight. As his sensei, help him out in anyway you can to make sure he knows you see him for who he is. That is all."

The last two had been directed at Guy. He knew it wouldn't be hard for his team to part though. His other two students just didn't have the youth Lee and himself seemed to exhume. He had hoped with time that they would show more passion but Neji remained cold and uncaring. Tenten was a kind enough student but was always more focused on sharpening her weapons and training with Neji than working out with them. Not that she could have kept up anyway. It was heartbreaking to admit but it seemed as almost two different teams had formed within Team Guy. This was not something Guy intended to let happen again. Guy was also well prepared for the third term. He saw the looks the boy was given. The fact that he turned out the way he did spoke volumes of the flames of youth he harbored. Guy had nothing but respect for the poor boy.

The Hokage just then continued with instructions for the two. "Guy, you and Lee are to go pick up Naruto and Hinata a day from now. They have tomorrow off. I'll leave it to you Kakashi as to where you want to meet your new students. Just be sure to pick up Sasuke at the Academy. And try to be on time." The Hokage knew it was a lost cause, but hey, he tried. With nothing else to say the two bowed and turned to leave.

As Guy took a step towards the door he tripped over something. Three sets of eyes looked down to realize that one Umino Iruka had fainted, probably when the Hokage had agreed to the arrangement. The Hokage only chuckled as he asked Guy to take him to the hospital for him. Guy nodded his acceptance. He picked the man up, slung him over his shoulder and was on his way with blazing speed. Kakashi than disappeared in a poof of smoke, just as he had come.

The Hokage finally leaned back in his chair. He felt more his age now that they were gone. He needed to start hanging around young people more. He chucked. Just what he needed, more of Guy's youthful speeches. At least Naruto should be enough of a handful for Guy for awhile. If not the other way around. He chuckled some more. He looked down at the rest of the team sheets. He would have to arrange them some more for Iruka. Fortunately, it wouldn't be hard, there happened to be just one easy fix. The Hokage stood up and all his bones in his body cracked. He walked over to the door and shut the light off. It had been a long night.

At least it promised for interesting things in the future.