Wow…this is rare…I actually want to write this thing. Like a lot. Okay, here goes round two. As always, I own nothing but the original stuff.
"We really did get a nut job for a teacher, huh?" Naruto couldn't help but groan as he pulled himself to his feet, and walked over to the training posts. Sakura and Sasuke nodded dimly with him as they approached. Kurama jumped up and landed on Naruto's shoulder, nuzzling his cheek once before settling around his neck.
"That fox of yours seems really lazy Naruto…you sure it's not Shikamaru's partner?" Sakura chided as she walked over to the training post, getting a rise out of Naruto. The girl laughed, and turned surprised eyes at the smile coming from Sasuke. 'He actually smiled…I haven't seen that since before…that time.' Kakashi took that moment to cut in, handing out the lunch boxes to the group.
"Now, now Naruto, I don't think Sakura meant that literally. But I have to say, I am impressed at you three. I did not even have to tell you the words of my former sensei to get the training exercise's purpose across." Naruto grinned to himself at that one.
"That's because it was easy for an Inuzuka, Kakashi-sensei. We know that it's more important than anything else to stick close to your partners." Kurama at this point chose to nuzzle slightly against Naruto, who idly scratched the fox's cheek.
"I think my former sensei would have loved to hear that. He said that 'those who break the shinobi code may be trash. But those that abandon their comrades are lower than trash.'" Kakashi smiled as he saw Naruto nod at this, and even the lazy Kurama gave an agreeable yip. "Now then, as I said before the test, the point of this team is going to be that of a hunter-nin squad. I've been running Black Ops Missions before this, so I'm not particularly suited to training, but I do have some idea of the basics I'm going to put you through." Pausing to take a couple bites of his bento, Kakashi pulled out some slips of paper with his idle hand.
Naruto and Sakura looked idly at the papers, and Sasuke had his eyes widen in recognition. "These are chakra papers. I'm going to be training you in the first step of elemental manipulation, and passing on one or two jutsu that I know from my time in the black ops. Here, each of you take one and channel some chakra into it so we know what element you have." Kakashi paused as Naruto raised a hand like they were in class.
"We're a cell now Naruto, no need to treat this like a classroom." Naruto grinned bashfully and rubbed the back of his head with his off hand.
"Sorry Kakashi-sensei, my mom really worked me over on the whole politeness thing. Kiba got the same lessons, but he's a bit more crazy than me I guess." Kakashi gestured in an impatient manner at him. "Oh right. I wanted to ask if you have a spare for Kurama. Sometimes Inuzuka partners have a different affinity." Kakashi blinked in surprise, but pulled an extra sheet from his pocket.
"I didn't know that the nin-dogs could use techniques like ninja could…" Sakura rubbed Kurama's head idly as he stretched out in the grass next to her. Sasuke gave the fox an approving glance and smiled.
'Kakashi is really taking us seriously. I'll actually be getting purposeful training for hunting down Itachi, and have a team that might get assigned the mission. So long as I strike the killing blow, Naruto and Sakura could be an ideal team for helping me to get my revenge. But how do I get them to agree...' Sasuke kept his thoughts to himself as he accepted the sheet of paper. He grinned at the fox grasping the paper between its paws. 'A bit of an odd pair those two, but they work well together.'
"Now, depending on what your affinity is, the paper will do one of five things. If it is fire, it will burn, air it will cut, lightning it will crumple, earth it will turn to stone, and if it is water it will get wet." All of the genin nodded, except Naruto who suddenly turned to Kurama and barked in a series of short yips. The fox perked up at first, and gave a couple short yips in return. Naruto chuckled and barked back, causing the fox to growl a bit before shaking its head away from the boy in a huff.
"Everything alright with your dog?" Sasuke asked, trying to keep the amusement from out of his voice. Naruto gave the boy a quick glare and stuck his tongue out.
"It's fine emo-prince, we have things under control." Sasuke snorted at the emo-prince comment.
"Do you two have to fight…it's always like this with you two I swear…" Sakura's voice of chastisement made Sasuke look away and Naruto look down ashamedly. Kakashi, for his part, sweat dropped as he watched the three new students.
'They get cooperation, but maybe not camaraderie yet…I'll have to work on that it seems.' Coughing to get the attention of his charges, Kakashi was rewarded with four sets of eyes locking on to him. "Sasuke if you would go first please." The boy nodded silently, and sent a pulse of chakra through the paper. It indented sharply, surprising Sasuke slightly, before it burned to ash in his hand. "Two affinities, and the Sharingan. Isn't someone an over achiever, eh?" Sasuke smirked slightly at this, a haughty look on his face.
"Naruto, Kurama, if you would please." Naruto shrugged and looked to his partner. Kurama seemed to be awake for once, and channeled some of his chakra down into his paper at the same time as his partner. Naruto's burst suddenly into dozens of tiny bits, slashed apart by a strong wind affinity. Kurama's slit just once up the middle, each piece lazily floating to the ground. "Interesting that they are the same, but not entirely surprising…you two are going to have to practice together to utilize wind with your family techniques though..." Kakashi turned to Sakura who nodded, and focused some chakra into the paper. In an instant it turned into a bunch of pebbles, which then became small puddles and the girl blinked owlishly at it. "I get a whole set to play with?" Kakashi's smile was so wide that it could be seen through his face. 'Still, I am not sure why Sakura's showed earth and water…her family are ninjas, but she was adopted, and her lineage is not well known…this bears some investigation…' As he chuckled all three of the kids got an unnerving feeling and Kurama quickly slinked back towards Naruto's side.
"Well then, my first question is how all three of you are doing financially?" Sasuke grunted, and Kakashi sighed in acceptance of the answer. Naruto and Sakura shared a blink before shrugging. "Not pressed hard for cash, any of you three?" He got a head shake of no from the three genin. "Perfect. In that case, we should meet up again here tomorrow, around seven a.m. let's say. Each of you should bring enough for a team survival mission of up to one week. The academy list should suffice for this." Kakashi chuckled to himself as he pulled himself to his feet. 'I'll need to call Anko and Hana, see if they are willing to help out with a little bit of a training mission. Ooh, and see if I can get some pointers for Naruto's wind chakra training from Asuma…I get my own little cell of Black Ops, and I even get the last Uchiha, and sensei's son to teach…' Kakashi seemed to lapse into chuckles again, and all three youths backed away from him in a terrified manner.
"Um, Kakashi-sensei, I was going to have Sakura come over to see if we should work out a schedule for her medical training…should I wait on that, or still bring her over?" Naruto's question brought Kakashi out of his creepy chuckle fest rather quickly. Smiling to the dirty blonde, Kakashi gave him a thumbs up.
"Don't worry about it for now. Sakura is going to get plenty of on the job training during our next little excursion." Sakura paled slightly at this, and Naruto nodded, backing away in a similar manner to Kurama. "I'll see all of you here tomorrow morning, so take care of yourselves tonight." In a flash, Kakashi was replaced by a swirl of wind and leaves, no trace of him left.
"Why do I feel like we just got dragged into something that Shikamaru would call troublesome, eh boy?" Kurama merely yawned and nuzzled against the blonde, getting a giggle from Sakura and a smirk from Sasuke.
"Shikamaru get off your lazy ass right now! We still haven't caught Asuma sensei yet!" Yamanaka Ino was livid with rage. Her stupid teammate was not moving his arse at all, and Choji was just happily munching on a bunch of chips.
"It's way too troublesome to go out there now. Asuma said we have till seven to get his cigarette from him, and he's probably not going to do anything but hide and wait until the last minute. That way, we can bicker and not get the mission done, allowing him a chance to lecture us on teamwork. Way too much trouble, I'm gonna just stay here and watch the clouds." Ino looked as if she was about to pull her blonde hair out of her head. Her purple tank top and shorts combo, complete with shin gaurds and arm guards, as well as body wraps, was shaking in rage at the lazy boy across from her. Shikamaru could hardly notice that she was there.
"A piece of advice when dealing with Asuma…if you can henge into Yuuhi Kurenai you might have a chance of catching him off guard." Kakashi appeared in the clearing in an instant, startling the three young genin. "But, if you would wait until I've asked him my necessary questions that would help a whole lot for my sake." Kakashi looked down at a boy laying in the grass, his head shaded by his forehead protector, and a blade of grass stuck from between his teeth. He had black hair that was spiky and put up in a ponytail, and wore the Nara clan shirt and underneath it mesh armor. He sported plain black shinobi pants and weapons pouch, as well as cloth wrapped around one of his legs near his blue shinobi sandals.
"No sweat off my back. Sorry about catching you in the Shadow Bind, didn't know if you were friendly at first." Kakashi shook his head at the boy. 'This cool thinker was the dead last? I see the council has shifted the academy to be more focused on producing good citizens than ninjas. He picked me up while in a relaxed state, and snared me as soon as I arrived…definitely not dead last qualities.'
"It's no problem to me. Good luck you three, Asuma's a bit of a tough character, but you'll do fine." Kakashi disappeared in a blur again, catching Ino and Choji by surprise.
"Who was that guy Shikamaru?" Choji had to speak around a handful of chips, as he was quickly back to eating.
"Who cares? Wasn't Asuma, so we're fine for the moment. I'm going back to sleep, wake me if something troublesome happens." Ino gave the boy a derisive snort at that.
"Everything's troublesome to you…"
"Ah, hey there Kakashi, imagine seeing you here. Not trying to interrupt my test are you?" Asuma gave the man a once over to check his appearance for a transformation. Kakashi sighed and raised his headband, showing his Sharingan off. Asuma shrugged in acceptance, lowering his ready stance. "So, I take it your team passed if you're here for advice. I've got some time to kill before they make a move, so what's up?"
Kakashi lowered the eye piece as he looked at his friend. "I need some advice for wind natured chakra. I never fought against a Suna nin, and I never had to train it before so I'm in a bit of a bind. I do know the leaf cutting exercise, but not what my student should focus on." Asuma looked appreciatively at the Konoha legend and nodded.
"When they tries to focus the chakra, have them imagine it grinding against itself, as if coming from two directions. It should eventually form itself into a thin blade that way." Kakashi paused, and then looked up as understanding hit him. "Got it?" Kakashi nodded. "Now, what can you tell me about the plans of my team?" Kakashi smirked but waved his finger naughtily at Asuma before disappearing in a puff of smoke. "Damn…does he always have to act so hip and cool…" Asuma pulled out a cigarette and lit it, taking a long drag on the stick.
Kakashi traipsed warily into training ground 44, trying to pay attention to his surroundings. This place was loaded with danger, and he was heading right into what was known as the forbidden section of the forest. There were sounds of hungry predators all around him, but to the elite ninja they were nothing. No, his greater worry was the cries of bloodlust coming from in front of him. 'Let's hope she accepts a peace offering of dango…'
Kakashi felt the kunai graze along his cheek, drawing a hint of blood. Just in time, he turned around to face the oft talked of Anko Mitarashi. Long purple hair was held up in a messy bun, and golden brown eyes peered out from an aquiline face. The woman seemed to radiate killing intent despite the smile on her face. Her attire was easily as disarming as her face though; a long trench coat, open in the front with only a mesh armored shirt for cover. This rested on top of a scantily short skirt that just made it down to the top of some heavy duty combat boots.
"Kakashi…just what do I owe for the pleasure of a visit from my favorite victim?" Kakashi for his part pulled a package from his back pocket. When Anko saw that it was a scroll, she eyed him warily.
"Now, I was just wondering if you would be interested in helping one of my students. She has an interest in learning some torture techniques, and she said she wants to be a powerful kunoichi in her own right someday…so, I just thought you'd be perfect for the job." Anko smiled knowingly at the hidden compliments, but gestured at the scroll.
"That payment for me then? I don't teach for free you know?" Kakashi sighed and nodded his head slightly.
"Let's call this a free meal to establish our terms…" Kakashi unsealed the scroll and a puff of smoke later, there was a large plate of fresh dango in front of them.
"Now, that is the way into a women's heart Kakashi…Let's sit down and eat, shall we?" As Anko said this, a rather large snake swept into the clearing and placed itself between the two. Kakashi was surprised when Anko set it on the snake's back and motioned him closer. "We have to share the meal to discuss the terms you know?" As she said this, the snake turned and hissed in Kakashi's direction. Anko smiled at his slight sweat drop. 'Teasing Hatake is always too much fun…'
"So…you want to train one of Naruto's friends as a medic-nin, and you want me to approve sending Hana, my current medic in training and his sister, into a dangerous training ground for a week with limited supervision…do I have that correct Hatake?" Kakashi felt sweat bead at the back of his head with the way Tsume was glaring at him, but managed to force himself to nod at her in the affirmative. "You…are a very ballsy man. You hold the dog contract, correct?" Kakashi nodded his head again at the brown haired woman. "I may approve of this, if you extend the Hatake contract to one of the Inuzuka…it was originally an Inuzuka contract, but was gifted to your father for his aid to our clan during the Second Great War" Kakashi nodded to this as well, and coughed slightly, trying to muster up the courage to speak.
"I had already intended on sharing the contract with Naruto if that-" Tsume's fist slammed onto the table suddenly cutting him off.
"I'm not talking about Naruto. There is a different contract he must sign. No, I'm talking about Kiba. Kiba will sign the dog contract, and in turn Hana will train your student. Is this acceptable?" Kakashi nodded quickly. Normally he was not one to be cowed, but this woman was wholly frightening in ways that Kakashi had not seen since he was much younger. "Good. Now then, would you like to stay for some pork chop? I have a fresh bone around here somewhere…" The woman got up from the small table they were at and began moving around the kitchen in which they were gathered.
Kakashi nodded his agreement, still not quite trusting his voice. 'I can see how Naruto picked up a bit of an obedient streak. Without the natural Inuzuka ferocity, anyone would flinch under a matriarch like Tsume…' As he looked around, he noticed the cozy setting of the home, and the way that it was simply arranged. There was a dining room table, not far from a kitchen area, and a small living area attached to that. The kitchen was very spartan, but the walls held photos of Kiba and Naruto playing together, as well as shots of Akamaru and Kurama dozing fitfully in the sun. The Inuzuka, while a strong clan within the village, were apparently very family oriented. 'Sensei, you made a wise choice in this I feel.' He turned suddenly as a plate was set in front of him.
"Now, I didn't get to ask about the test, but if it's not too personal, can you tell me about Naruto's performance?" Kakashi nodded, and thanked her for the meal. He casually pulled down his mask, allowing her to see his face. Tsume was an old war veteran, and had served with Kakashi under her leadership in the past. She was quite used to the actions of the man, and had seen his mask off several times before, so the mystery was very little to her.
"Naruto performed the most admirably out of the team. He personally chose to take the dive for his teammates, and would have faced returning to the academy for failing to get a bell. I have to say, I was very impressed with his and Kurama's tag team work. Though I have to ask…" Tsume stiffened slightly at Kakashi's tone and direction of conversation. "…when he teams up with that fox…some of the nine-tails slips through, doesn't it?" Tsume set her bite of meat down, looking down towards her plate before nodding solemnly. "Have you told him yet?" Here, the strong woman bit into her lip slightly while shaking her head side to side slowly.
"I haven't the heart to let him know yet. I decided I would inform him of it, if he does not learn of it himself, after his first Chuunin exam. When he becomes Chuunin, his heritage will also be revealed to him. For now, he truly believes he is Kiba's brother, and Hana was too young at the time to remember otherwise." Kakashi grimaced a bit at that. While he did not approve of the timeline, he knew better than to question a parent's decision. He nodded in acceptance, and the two turned to their meal, jumping onto more normal and mundane topics.
Naruto pulsed a bubble of chakra around himself as he walked through the compound gates. As he did, he noticed a number of the nin-dogs' perk up. 'Apparently they can sense that, huh?' He turned and gave a few sharp yips to Kurama, who gave him a lazy eye from his shoulder before stretching and sending out a couple of sharp yips to the surrounding dogs. Naruto smiled as he heard barks of acknowledgement and acceptance from the family guardians.
'I remember at first when they all tried to chase him after he was let out of my room…boy did he show them.' Naruto sniggered at the memory of a small fox pup, barely two to three years old, outsmarting and outmaneuvering a lot of the bigger family dogs. On top of that, Kurama was surprisingly strong for his size, and managed to take several of the larger dogs down without a fight. The only one who could really put him down was Kuromaru; the older nin-dog had shown an equal finesse and grace, and matching strength. Ultimately the greater amount of experience did Kurama in, and the fox was forced to submit.
Kurama gave a few sharp yips towards Naruto, drawing the blonde's attention. "You think there's someone else inside the house huh? What can you hear?" A couple short yips later, Naruto's grin widened. "Kakashi-sensei's inside talking to mom, huh? Wonder what's going on there." A familiar bark made the two turn their heads.
"Hey bro! How was your first day of training?" Naruto shrugged as Kiba approached, Akamaru resting happily on his head.
"The teme's annoying to work with, but he's really competent, so it's not too bad. And Sakura is easy on the eyes, though obsessed with that Uchiha." Kiba rolled his eyes, and nodded in agreement.
"About par for the course I guess. My team has that shy, weird girl Hinata who barely talks at all. Then there's Shino, who's just way too quiet for my tastes. Guy hardly says a single word, but when he does talk it's all long winded and complex." Naruto and Kurama both sniggered at the boy's misfortune.
"Hey, at least your sensei's not as crazy as mine is! He really had us going, thinking he was going to fail all three of us!" Kiba's eyes bugged out a bit at that.
"Your teacher did that too! What is it with these Jonin making sure we can work well under pressure huh? We're gonna get enough of that in the actual field I think!" Akamaru gave a bark of agreement. "Kurenai-sensei told us that if we couldn't locate her together that she would fail all three of us. Then she only gave us an hour to do so, and used chili-bombs on Akamaru and me, to weaken our sense of smell." Naruto shook his head while smiling at the description.
"At least your sensei wasn't as crazy as mine was! He didn't even tell us it was a teamwork exercise at first…he used two bells, and said that whoever didn't get one would be sent back to the academy and would go without dinner for the day." Kiba and Akamaru both blanched at that.
"You got them both though, didn't you?" Naruto nodded while putting his hand behind his head and grinning. Kurama chose that point to yawn and jump up onto Naruto's head for a nap.
"Oi! Furball! What's up? You never sit up there!" Kurama just swatted him in the nose and went straight to sleep. 'Ungrateful little bugger, that's what you are…' Naruto felt himself grumbling about the embarrassment as Kiba laughed at his discomfort. "What's worse is that we apparently have a training exercise for the next week. The guy also won't even tell us where we're going or what we're doing. I'm telling you, he just loves to keep us guessing!" Naruto opened the door, and threw an accusatory finger in the direction of Kakashi at the dinner table. "And there's the bastard now!" Kiba blinked once or twice before feeling his eyes fly wide open.
"You're training with Hatake Kakashi, THE HATAKE KAKASHI, and you are complaining about it why?" Kiba's loud outburst caused Kurama to angrily swat the boy on the nose with his tail, not even looking up from his nap.
"Well now, calm down a bit Kiba. As part of an agreement to help Naruto and his team, I'll be working some with you as well after next week. Don't worry, it won't take long for what I have to teach you, and I think you'll pick it up pretty quick." Kiba's grin turned feral as he looked at the man across the table.
"That's more like it! Pipsqueak here definitely will need your help if he plans to beat me to the Kage seat, but let's not make it too easy for him, shall we?" Kakashi perked up a bit at this and smiled. Kurama, sensing the growing anger of his partner, jumped off of Naruto's head, barking at Akamaru as he did so. The other dog dislodged itself from Kiba's head, and bounded after the fox.
"Who you calling short huh? I just haven't hit my growth spurt yet, dang it! Just you wait, I'm gonna end up way taller than you by the time we're adults!" Kiba growled at his younger brother, and before Kakashi knew it the two were wrestling on the floor.
Kakashi moved to interrupt the two, but was cut off by the appearance of a young woman, with long brown hair and big brown eyes. She had the marks of the Inuzuka clan on her cheeks, though seemed less feral than Tsume did, with full pouting lips and a sizeable bust. Kakashi tried to keep his eyes on appropriate territory though, as the woman seemed to walk in with an intimidating presence. Naruto and Kiba stopped roughhousing almost immediately, and turned to give her sheepish looks together.
"Hey Hana…how was work?" Naruto tried to keep the nervous out of his voice as she reached down and separated the two of them forcefully. By pulling sharply on their ears. "Ow! Do you have to do this sis, we have company!" Naruto's whine was matched by an almost similar one from Kiba.
"Don't give me that! If you want to act like you should behave for company, don't roughhouse in front of them. Now, go get changed for dinner." Both boys gave her pleading looks. "Nope. Not falling for it. I have three partners that can all give a better set of puppy-dog eyes than you two. Now git!" Kiba and Naruto slumped their shoulders as they trundled off to their rooms.
"Sorry about that. Those two know to behave better than that, but I think the days excitement got to them a little." Hana rolled her shoulders as she took up a seat next to Kakashi. "So, what are you over for, is there something up with Naruto or Kiba's team?" Kakashi shook his head in the negative and coughed once, trying to get his voice to work.
'God she's hot! Jiraiya would have a field day with this girl. Harsh, while seemingly with a softer side, and a family of feral warrior pride…focus Kakashi, she's your junior by several years…but those breasts!' It was at times like these that Kakashi was very glad for his face mask. "Well, it's a little of both. You see, Naruto had already agreed to see if you would help his teammate Sakura in learning medical jutsu, and I have a bit of an extended training trip planned for the his team. However, in order to get your mom to agree, I had to train Kiba in summoning the nin-dogs I hold the contract for." Hana's eyes widened at that, and she nodded for him to continue. When he was done explaining, she heard the boys' exit the shower room and call out that it was her turn.
"I'd be more than glad to help, with that sort of offer on the table. I'm going to go freshen up, back in a bit." As she whisked away, Kakashi felt a small head butt itself against his leg. Looking down he saw Kurama there, and Kakashi idly reached to scratch his head only for the fox to growl and nip at him.
"Hmph, see if I give you any treats…" Kakashi thought of Hana's retreating backside for a moment and pulled out his book to disguise the reason for his giggling. 'Heheh, though I'd definitely like to give her a treat or two…'
Naruto groggily rolled up and out of bed. The alarm he'd set was going off and Kurama, who was sleeping by his head, swatted it angrily, silencing the infernal device. It read six a.m., so Naruto got up, showered, dressed, ate and then left quickly for the training ground. Kurama jumped on his shoulders just as he was leaving to wind around his neck. 'I wonder just where we're going for our training exercise…will we get to leave the village maybe?' Still fighting off the morning sleep effects, Naruto put on a burst of speed to get to the meeting spot. When he arrived, he saw Sasuke already there, a small backpack on his back with several scrolls out in front of him that he was reading.
"Morning Sasuke. What'cha reading?" The raven haired boy looked up, and then breathed out a small jet of fire to the side. "Woah, you're already that far along in fire manipulation?" The envy in Naruto's voice was quite obvious.
"It's not too surprising. I've been using fire jutsus since I was eight or so, so I've had a couple of years to really get them down." Sasuke rolled up his scrolls and stood up to head closer to Naruto. "Though when I went over my notes, I did realize something interesting…you and your pet are going to be hopeless against me in a fight of ninjutsu…" Naruto stiffened at that, and Kurama looked up with anger in his eyes.
"What the hell do you mean by that, you bastard?" Sasuke just smirked and shook his head.
"Someone wasn't paying too much attention in the elemental jutsu class, were they?" Sasuke's smile only got wider as the blonde began to fume at the ears. "Settle down, Naruto. I'm just saying that fire beats wind. Your type is hopeless against mine in a straight up ninjutsu fight." Naruto frowned a bit at that, but then a smirk came to his face.
"Yeah, but wind beats lightning, and water beats fire! So if Sakura and I work together, we can totally best you!" Sasuke looked a bit taken aback by that, but smiled a bit in return.
"I guess some of the Inuzuka have a brain after all." As Naruto continued to get flustered it eventually drew a small chuckle from the Uchiha. This caused Naruto to pause for a moment. 'The bastard hasn't chuckled since Itachi…is he…is this how he treats friends now?'
Naruto had a good number of friends, but Sasuke had always been a friendly rival at best. Since the time when they were kids and their first Taijutsu match came to an even draw, the two boys had wanted to best each other in everything. Sasuke recognized a fellow competitor in Naruto, and it had led the two to become close. After the massacre though, Sasuke had become colder and harsher for a few years. He was just recently starting to tone down the frigidness of his insults, and Naruto had felt the first opening in his armor. Maybe he was going to get a good friend back over the next little while.
"OI! Earth to Naruto!" Sasuke's shout caught Naruto off guard, and made the boy yelp and rub his ear's sensitively. Kurama yipped in annoyance. "You were spacing out for a second there." Naruto waved him off, and the Uchiha smirked. "But yeah, some of the time I had assumed the teachers just liked you, so they didn't grade your homework as harshly. It's nice to see I was wrong for a change." Naruto still bristled slightly at the comment, but nodded his head and smiled anyways.
"Good morning you guys." Sakura came across the small bridge to the training ground, looking very tired, but still exceedingly fashionable. 'Cha! Would have been a good morning if we didn't have to get up so damn early!'
Naruto peered at the girl closely, and then lightly sniffed the air. This drew odd looks from Sasuke and Sakura. When he was done, he had a slight frown on his face and was looking at Sakura.
"What? Do I smell bad to you, dog boy?" Naruto growled at this, and Kurama gave a low yip of annoyance.
"I have a fox for a partner, thank you very much. And it's not that you smell bad, it's that you smell like you had a full shower and put a set of makeup on when we had to meet here at seven in the morning. How damn early did you wake up?" Sakura blushed slightly at that, and kicked one of the stones on the ground.
"I had to get up around four or so to get everything done. It was a bit of a pain to wake up that early though, especially since my mom had just come in from a shift at the hospital." Sakura stiffened slightly at the end of the statement, trying not to think on the early morning encounter.
"You woke up at four in the fricking morning? That's so damn early! Sakura, you can't do that, you need your beauty sleep, you know?" Sasuke stiffened at Naruto's comment, catching the blonde's eye. "What's up Sasuke, did I say something wrong?" Sasuke just backed away a little bit, especially as a loud cracking sound was heard coming from his left. "Hey, what's up, why are you backing away so fast?" It was at this moment that Kurama slinked from Naruto's shoulders and went to stand by Sasuke.
"NARUTO! Never, ever tell a woman she needs more beauty sleep! SHANNARO!" Naruto turned just in time to see a heavily chakra enhanced punch come flying at him and clobber him in the gut. Caught completely off guard, he was thrown a dozen paces before impacting with a nearby tree.
"So it was something I said…" Naruto fought off the stars swimming in his vision as he looked over at a chuckling fox and Uchiha. "And you two traitorous bastards didn't even warn me…" Kurama had the decency to look slightly guilty, but Sasuke merely chuckled at the pair's antics.
"That's something you have to learn on your own, knucklehead. It's all well and good to joke with siblings like that, but not random girls." Sasuke chuckled and walked over to the group. "But, that sort of lesson only really works when a girl gives it to you." Unaware of what he had said, the raven haired boy turned to look at the bridge as he sensed Kakashi's approach.
'Cha! I'd like to give it to Sasuke!' Sakura wiped quickly at her nose, trying to keep a nose bleed from coming on. Needing a distraction, Sakura noted that her watch was giving ten to fifteen minutes past seven. "You're a bit late sensei, did something happen on the way here?" Kakashi looked mildly up from his orange book and shrugged a bit.
"Since you guys don't know me too well yet, I'll let you in on a little secret. This is rather early for me." That got blinks from all three, even Naruto who had just returned to the group.
"But you're fifteen minutes late already. How can fifteen minutes late be rather early for anything?" Kakashi just chuckled and shook his head, dismissing the blonde.
"Right then. We'll be heading to training ground 44. You all know your way there, right?" At this, all three of his genin shook their heads in the negative. "Hm. Well then, the morning exercise for the lot of you is…follow me." And just like that Kakashi turned and started sprinting through the village.
"What? Damn it, I swear this guy gets off on doing this!" Naruto and Kurama were already in motion and Sakura and Sasuke came up close behind.
"Naruto, can you get a trace on his scent?" Naruto nodded and then closed his eyes for a brief second, catching the scent.
"Got it. I don't think I'll lose him, but we should still try to keep pace." Naruto fired more chakra to his legs and smiled as the others raced to keep up.
A large forbidding gate was the first thing that came into sight as the three man cell of team seven came upon Training Ground 44. Naruto was the first on the scene, with Kurama bounding up soon after. Naruto quickly spotted Kakashi, standing by a marked entrance-way with the number one on it, reading an orange colored book and giggling madly. 'Damn it…I'm really out of breath, and he doesn't even look winded…just what the hell is this guy made of?' Taking a few moments to catch his breath, Naruto turned as his teammates approached. Sasuke seemed to be huffing slightly as well, but Sakura was by far the worst. She had her hands on her knees, and was bending over while looking slightly sickly.
"Damn it…did you have to run so fast Naruto…I could just barely keep you in sight the whole time…" Sakura pulled a water canteen from her pack and took a long swig of water from it.
"He did what he was supposed to though, which is not lose track of my scent." Kakashi walked over to the group, pocketing his book as he did. "If you were having trouble keeping up, it just means I need to work all three of you on your physical training as well." Naruto perked up as Kakashi was talking, sensing two inbound presences. He pulsed his chakra once, and Kakashi blinked in his direction as he did. The moment after a large smile broke out on the boy's face.
"Kakashi-sensei, why didn't you tell me that Hana was going to be coming to train with us? I would have helped her pack last night!" Kakashi blinked at the boy in astonishment.
'He can sense them accurately from five to six hundred feet away? I need to ask about that trick of his, it seems rather useful for a tracker.' Kakashi coughed and motioned the three charges closer to him. "Yes, well, I had intended it to be a surprise. Have to hand it to those Inuzuka senses though…guess I'll have to work harder when I want to get the drop on you…" Naruto smirked at that and clasped his hands behind his head in a grinning manner. "Our compatriots for this training exercise will meet us inside the forest proper. In the meantime, I'll be explaining a little bit about what we'll be doing during this week." Kakashi pulled a map out of his pocket, detailing several sections of the forest behind him.
"We are going to be training in the south eastern corner of the woods. That's this section here…" Kakashi pointed to a part of the map that was covered in sparse trees and a small stream. "Our goal is to train in chakra control, elemental manipulation, combat exercises and combat training." As Kakashi listed off the goals he ticked off four fingers. "Chakra control and combat exercises will be done together as a team. Elemental manipulation will be done separately, as will combat training. My goal is to have all of you master at least the basics of elemental manipulation for one element while here, as well as pick up the basics of your weapons."
"Oh man! What weapons are we gonna be working on? Something really awesome like a halberd I bet?" Naruto's energy seemed to have recovered already, and Kakashi rolled his eyes while smiling lightly behind his mask.
"Naruto, let him finish explaining!" Sakura gave the boy a glare out of the corner of her eye. "How do you still have energy left to be hyperactive after that run anyways?" Kakashi coughed once to get their attention.
"The weapons I have in mind for you will be suited towards your purpose on the team. Sakura, as the genjutsu specialist, you will be training in whips and chains." This got a lewd whistle from Naruto, and quick blush and punch to the blonde from Sakura. Kakashi and Sasuke carried on as if nothing had happened. "Naruto as the tracker will get a ranged weapon to injure targets that are escaping from a distance, such as a bow. Sasuke finally will be the close up assassination and combat expert, and so will be training with a tanto for quick kills in close. If you pay attention, each of these will also be enhanced through your specifc elemental affinities as well." Sasuke seemed to be grinning at the explanation of the team roles, and Naruto and Sakura were listening with rapt attention, former spat forgotten.
"I'll explain more about utilizing elements with weapons during our training. For now, let me explain the training session schedules. Each session will be for approximately three hours, with the remaining time being given to your team for survival purposes." The last bit got a look of confusion from all three. Holding up a hand, Kakashi stifled their burgeoning questions. "Before we get started, I would like all three of you to hand over your packs…" Wordlessly, but with looks of continued consternation, the three handed over their belongings.
A second later, Hana and Anko arrived. "Wow, Kakashi I've never have seen you arrive on time before. This group of blockheads must be something special for you to put in the extra miles…" Anko, unknown to any of the genin quickly had their drawn ire. Her trench coat was open, and her posture and look was giving a free show to the crowded genin
'This whore is so going down…' Sasuke felt his hand snake towards his kunai holster even as he narrowed his eyes and tensed his muscles ever so slightly.
'Cha! Who's this bitch think she is calling us blockheads!' Sakura kept her thoughts and expressions neutral, but a slight frown marred her calm image.
"Who the hell are you calling a blockhead, you snake-smelling wacko!" Naruto yelled out loudly for all three of them, even as Kurama yipped in aggression. A split second later, a kunai whizzed by Naruto's cheek, drawing the blonde up short and raising the hackles on Kurama's fur.
"Hmmm…you even have a feisty one on the team…their blood is always the tastiest…" Naruto felt a tongue lick across his cheek as he stood frozen in shock, the woman moving too fast for him to follow. "Delicious…my names Anko Mitarashi, blockhead, what's yours?" Naruto shivered slightly and tried to stutter his name out several times.
"That's Naruto Inuzuka, my little brother, ok Anko? Leave him alone, he didn't mean anything with the comment." Anko frowned down at Naruto before straightening up and shrugging her shoulders.
"Huh…if Hana's willing to vouch for you I guess I'll leave off…man though, your blood was tempting. I hope I get to work with you in combat training." Naruto tried to smile weakly and Kurama seemed as equally cowed, both of them backing up towards the safety of their teammates. "So…these are the packs, huh Kakashi?" Kakashi nodded at Anko and she picked one up and tossed it to Hana. "We'll meet you in the tower after we've set up the food drops, alright?" Kakashi nodded once more and the two older women turned to leave.
"Try not to get eaten Naruto! The giant spiders are really aggressive, so stay out of the north eastern sector, ok?" Hana called back at her little brother as she leapt into the woods.
"Hey! Where are they going with our packs! What gives Kakashi-sensei!" Kakashi turned a disinterested eye towards his outspoken charge.
"Oh…that's the survival part of the exercise. There will be survival goods scattered throughout the forest in various drop spots, which you'll have to find and retrieve over the course of the week. You know, your tent, your food…stuff like that. And you only get four hours a day to search as well, so good luck with that. That is, if you want a full night of sleep..." The man's smile and tone caused three shocked looks of disbelief on his students. 'God, this is too good to pass up.' Kakashi whipped out a camera, and took a quick shot of the looks of outrage and disgust. "Oh yeah, that's a team picture right there…" Seeing that Naruto was about to explode again, Kakashi reached into his robes and pulled out a small black sphere and tossed it to the boy.
"Before you get upset, the point of hunter-nin teams is to travel light and move as a unit…you'll never be able to do that if I don't train you how to now." Naruto glowered slightly, while his teammates seemed to be mollified. Kurama for his part was letting out a low growl over the situation. "Now then, that is a chakra index sphere. It will let me know how much of an affinity an individual has towards certain elements, as well as the amount of chakra potential and chakra capacity available." Seeing only Sakura following along, Kakashi sighed heavily. "Sakura, if you would please?" The girl nodded, brightening a bit at being acknowledged.
"Chakra potential is the amount that a person can be expected to develop in their stores over the course of their careers. Chakra capacity is how much chakra a person has currently in their stores. The amount of affinity one has towards a given nature determines how much a person can change their chakra from a denatured state to a natured state." Both boys seemed to blink at the explanation, but nodded their heads in understanding.
"Alright, that being said, why don't you go first Naruto? Sasuke can then go afterwards." Naruto nodded and focused some of his chakra into the sphere. A second later, several marks appeared on the small orb. There were eight green marks, one bright and seven dark. There was one white mark, with fifteen black marks above that. And finally, there were six grey marks, with twelve black marks above that section. Kakashi let out a low whistle and felt his eyebrow rise at the results. "Not bad…not bad at all…"
"What's it mean? What's it mean?" Naruto was looking at the sphere intently, trying to make heads or tails of the device.
"The green marks are your elemental chakra. Right now, you can only convert one sixth of your total chakra into wind natured chakra." As Kakashi pointed to the sphere, Naruto looked over the markings more closely. "The natured chakras are all colored in that way. Blue for water, red for fire, green for wind, yellow for lightning and brown for earth. The white section is for yin natured chakra, and the black is for yang natured chakra." Seeing looks of confusion on all three faces, Kakashi grimaced slightly.
"Yin chakra is for illusion based techniques, in which you only have one mark of affinity. Yang chakra is for physical manipulation, or giving jutsu's their form and shapes, or giving life or physicality to things" the looks of confusion only got worse. "Don't worry too much about it Naruto, just know that with your yin affinity so low, you're probably never going to be a genjutsu specialist." Naruto nodded once and Kakashi sighed before continuing.
"The last section there is your chakra capacity and potential. The grey marks are your current capacity, which is also what drew my eye. Each mark is considered the amount needed for two A-ranked chakra intensive techniques. Your capacity could currently support twelve." Both Naruto and Sasuke looked surprised at this; Naruto was grinning and Sasuke was slightly frowning. "For reference, I only have about four marks worth of capacity and potential, so you already have me beat in that area." Naruto's grin only grew wider.
"Hah! I told Kiba I'd beat him to the Kage seat! With a chakra potential like that, there's no way I'm gonna lose!" Kakashi shook his head before swatting the boy on the head lightly.
"Don't let it go to your head too fast. Just because you have a lot of chakra doesn't mean you're the strongest out there. With your yin affinity so low, any deserving genjutsu specialist could take you right out." Naruto scratched the back of his head and smiled weakly in admonishment. "Besides, you also have to work hard to control that amount of chakra, so your chakra control sessions are going to be painful at best for you." Naruto nodded and passed the orb to Sasuke. Sasuke took it, a scowl on his face.
"Alright now, go ahead Sasuke." Sasuke pressed his hands on the orb and channeled some of his chakra through it. While he was doing so, Kakashi was thinking quickly to himself. 'With access to that much yang chakra, we can definitely find some way to speed up Naruto's training…I'll have to see if the third will let me pass on a kinjutsu or two to this group…' As Kakashi was thinking, Sasuke's orb started to light up. Unlike Naruto, there were five bars of glowing color, one for each element displayed on Sasuke's orb. In addition, there was one extra yellow bar and two extra red bars. His yin and yang chakra each came in at two marks, and there were two grey marks and twelve black marks for his capacity and potential respectively. "An exceptionally balanced showing, with almost as much room for improvement as Naruto…as should be expected." Sasuke smirked lightly, handing off the orb to Sakura. The girl seemed to shrink slightly while holding the ball, and turned pleading eyes toward Kakashi.
"Um…sensei, do you really need to know this information? I just…I don't want to look bad in front of these two…" Sasuke blinked indifferently at that, but Naruto gave her a surprised look.
"Don't worry too much about it Sakura. A team is picked to balance each other out. Naruto has high reserves, and will develop a build to take advantage of that. Sasuke will have a balanced build, and will act as the lynchpin against general combatants. Your job is to be the support, meaning direct confrontation and high chakra usage will not be as necessary. What that orb tells you is not final too; if a person fails to develop themselves properly, their potential over time will lessen. Conversely, if you work hard enough, you can get past any limit." Sakura brightened a bit at this, but the ending of his little speech seemed to have soured Sasuke's mood slightly. The girl nodded and focused her will into the sphere.
"Hmm…not entirely surprising, but you'll also need some work, though opposite to Naruto…" Sakura's sphere had one blue and brown click, with four darkened ones above each. Her chakra capacity was only half a click, but her potential was five clicks. Her yin chakra had five clicks, while her yang only held one. "Alright then. The training will proceed in the following pattern: In the morning, you will have chakra control exercises as a team, followed by elemental training individually. Each will proceed for three hours. Then there will be a two hour break for you to search the forest to find food and necessary supplies, as well as eat lunch. After that, three hours of individual weapons training. Finally, in the evening, we will have some combat exercises. Your time is yours after that." Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura only shared one thought at that moment.
'How much time is ours after that exactly…?'
Bit of a builder chapter. Delay is due to the lack of internet at my dorm currently. A new semester is starting so all of the old laptops got booted off the network. Frustrating. But, what is not frustrating is the awesome response this story has gotten already! Thanks to everyone who reviewed, and I would like to answer a few questions, and give some explanations while I can.
First off: Pairings. I have no plans to make pairings in this fic, though if the need or moment arises that can be easily worked, I will introduce.
Secondly: Kurama the fox is just an ordinary fox. However, the fact that he is a fox is important to Naruto and his control over the nine-tailed fox.
Thirdly, Naruto's past: He has no idea that he is adopted currently, neither do Hana or Kiba. Only ones who know are Tsume, and the other Inuzuka, which I'm not even sure I'll have appear. As for the fox, the only ones who know are Tsume, the Sandaime, and Kakashi. Minato wanted it kept completely underwraps, with the notion being around the whole village that the fox was killed. In keeping with that, there will be some happenings on Naruto's birthday coming up that would not have appeared in cannon.
Finally! As to Sakura…I do not desire to have a lame girl on the team, though she will have to work to overcome her original frame of mind. Given that, I needed to do something with her past to allow her to keep pace with her teammates. One is a jinchuuriki and the other is an Uchiha…keeping pace with that almost demands I give her some cool back up abilities. I'm going to work to keep them around par, but it should still take some time for her to overcome lame-girl-itis. Keep in mind that Naruto is also not an idiot in this version, as he has had both Tsume to check him into obedience, and teachers that actually cared enough to teach him while growing up. As such, he is quite a bit more impressive than he was in cannon, and much less of a goof-off like in the start of the series. He is however still going to earn the title of Number One Unpredictable Hyperactive Knuckleheaded Ninja. Sasuke is a bit more emotional than at the series start because he has had a decent competitor, and managed to form a friendly rivalry with Naruto, who was constantly pushing him, but just barely behind him, helping him to gain a small semblance of confidence and camaraderie.
Well, that's about all for now. I hope you all enjoyed this installment, and I'll work to bring the next one around quickly. As always, read and review!