Kakashi sighed as he signed the papers before handing them over to the office-nin to be properly filed. His team was gone, and while part of him said good riddance, another part was already starting to miss them...

Naruto had been promoted to Chunin less than a week before, and as Jiraiya had claim to him due to an apprenticeship contract that Naruto was stunned to have learned had come into existance the instant he'd signed the toad summoning scroll, he had been unable to keep him. There was no way in hell he was going to take one of the brats from the upcoming Autumn cycle to fill the space where Naruto should have been, even if there had been one to spare. With that in mind, he had decided to divest himself of the team that had pretty much fallen apart before it could even form.

He had done his best to make amends with Naruto. Whether or not their relationship could return to the friendly state it had been in before he'd forced the child onto his team was yet to be seen. The boy could hold a grudge better than Kushina-san, and he had done much to earn Minato-sensei's son's ill will. He had hope though. After he'd given what for him was an abject apology though few would recognize it as such, Naruto had told him that he was still one of his precious people.

Sakura seemed to be happy about how things were turning out, as she had been wanting a transfer to the Medical Corps since Wave, as she had informed him when he told her he wasn't going to be her sensei any longer.

Sasuke, well Sasuke wasn't too happy about the way things were, and he kinda understood. The kid kept losing everyone who came into his life, and now he had lost the team he hadn't wanted to be on in the first place as well almost the instant he had gotten used to his situation.

"Well that had been a bust." he muttered as he left the Hokage Tower the instant his business was concluded.

And people wondered why he constantly refused to take any Genin teams.


Sakura's heart sped up as she entered the hospital with her paperwork in hand. Today, she would be starting her formal training as a medic. One of the biggest reasons for her excitement was that Tsunade-sama herself would be teaching some of the classes, and her apprentice Shizune would be teaching others. If she could catch the eye of one or both of them, it was possible that one of them would take her on as their personal student. There were several people who were going to be in the classes with her who were just as good as her in every area if not better, and they too would be vying for such a position. If she was to even have the slightest chance of reaching her goal, she would have to do better than her best, and more than excel.

She could do this. She had to do this. There were people who believed in her, and she could not let them down.


Naruto grumbled as he followed Jiraiya out of the gates. That whole "apprenticeship" thing had been a nasty trick to pull, but considering what he'd been doing at the time, he'd gotten what he deserved. Turnabout was fair play as they say. Sometimes you conned them, and sometimes they conned you.

Spending an indeterminate amount of time in Jiraiya's company wasn't his idea of fun, but Jiraiya assured him that this particular training trip was vitally important since he would be introducing him to a number of his contacts in his Intelligence network. Despite all of his faults, Jiraiya was Konoha's top Intelligence agent, and apparently he would be passing the reins onto him even though he wasn't sure he wanted them. The skills he would need to learn to manage an Intelligence network would be necessary for when he became Hokage though, so learn he would.

Jiraiya assured him that they wouldn't be gone too long, and he would hold him to that promise.


Sasuke scowled. He was Uchiha, he was an elite, he wasn't someone to be cast aside and then used to fill a gap. That's what had happened to him however. Apparently, he and Sakura had been used to fill gaps on a team that consisted of Naruto when Team 7 was formed. As soon as Naruto had gotten promoted, Kakashi had gotten rid of them, and he'd been used to fill another gap. This time, it was on Team 8. He had been sent here to take the Aburame's place since he too had gotten promoted, while he, the Uchiha who should have been promoted instead had yet again been left in the dust.

He knew why he'd been placed on Team 8 rather than handed over to one of the numerous Jounin who had been clamoring to take him on as apprentice. Kakashi seemed to think that he needed to be around "kids" his own age, and Kurenai was Konoha's top Genjutsu expert.

He'd rather be on his own with one of the other Jounin.

That was not to be however, since orders were orders, and if he tried getting around those orders by leaving the village which was pretty much the only way he could do so right now as Kakashi had assured him that if he tried to skip out on any team meetings or training sessions he would personally hunt him down and drag him to Kurenai, both Konoha and those assholes who tried to kidnap him recently would be hunting him down.

Why those morons who'd tried to kidnap him had thought he'd accept Orochimaru's offer, he did not know. The promise of power had been rather tempting for a few seconds until he'd remembered that it was the clever ninja who tended to live longer and win more fights in the long run, and that nobody offers something like that for free. With someone like Orochimaru, there would be some conditions attached to the offer that he didn't even want to think about, and there most assuredly would be a very large price to pay for services rendered in the end.

He was stuck on Team 8 until he persuaded the Hokage to give him a transfer. Considering how difficult it was to get an appointment with the woman, he could be stuck waiting a very long time...

To be continued in First Try: Shippuden.