Disclaimer: Anything recognizable from Naruto isn't mine, just having some fun with it.
(Namikaze) Uzumaki Naruto entered the Ninja Academy of Konohagakure no Sato well before anyone else had arrived on the day of the genin team selections. It had been a long couple of nights for Naruto after helping apprehend Mizuki after the traitorous Chunin had 'tricked' Naruto into stealing the Forbidden Scroll of Seals. Naruto know that Mizuki was lying to him about the 'make-up' exam but had gone along with the man in order to find out what Mizuki was up too. And he wasn't disappointed as Naruto was able to learn the Kage Bunshin, as well as copy down several other jutsus from the Scroll. When Iruka had caught up with Naruto, the blonde boy had replaced his 'mask' of idiocy back on to convince the Academy Instructor that he had been tricked into stealing the Scroll and that he had no idea what it meant to the village. When Mizuki had revealed that Naruto held the Kyubi, Naruto acted suitably stunned and betrayed but what either of the Chunin knew was that Naruto knew about the Demon Fox for nearly four years, as well as his heritage for just as long. No one knew that Naruto had discovered his parents' identities, not even the Hokage. While stealing the Forbidden Scroll of Seals, Naruto had also snuck into the Hokage's office and found out that Minato had left several letters for him in a hiding spot behind his portrait. Naruto took the letters with him that night. Naruto had learned much about his father from those letters, including where the remnants of his family's home were and where Minato and Kushina had hidden much of their ninja supplies and jutsu scrolls.
Sitting in the back of the classroom, Naruto waited for the rest of his class to arrive. Naruto had ditched his neon orange jumpsuit and had donned a pair of black shinobi pants and sandals, a dark green hooded jacket with a deep red muscle shirt underneath. The Uzumaki swirl was prominently displayed between Naruto's shoulder blades.
Slowly the classroom filled up, though none noticed Naruto save Hyuga Hinata, Aburame Shino and Nara Shikamaru. Shikamaru just quirked an eyebrow, Shino didn't react at all but Hinata blushed, averted her eyes and poked her fingers together. Naruto ignored them, falling into a meditative state awaiting team selections. Naruto was forcefully brought out of his trance by the arrival of the co-leaders of the Uchiha Sasuke fan club, Haruno Sakura and Yamanaka Ino. Both were pathetic examples of kunoichi, in Naruto's opinion. Sakura was from a civilian family and had no redeeming ninja qualities aside from her above-average intelligence and chakra control, though her control stemmed from her miniscule reserves. Ino wasn't much better, she was from the Yamanaka clan, renowned for their mind jutsus, though it seemed that that talent didn't extend to Ino, as she only cared about her looks, bossing others around and doing as little as possible. Naruto felt that unless the pair got a major wake-up call soon, they would soon find themselves in an early grave.
Iruka arrived soon after the banshee duo, and gave them a speech congratulating them on graduating and told them to remember what they learned here. Then came Team Selections.
"Team 7 will be Haruno Sakura, Uchiha Sasuke…" Iruka began.
"Take that Ino-pig, true love conquers all!" Sakura screamed.
"And Uzumaki Naruto," Iruka finished.
"Iruka-sensei, that can't be right," Sakura said, her face spilt between confusion and superiority. "That baka failed again, he can't even make a single clone."
Iruka pinned the pink-haired girl with a stern glare. "Sakura, do you believe that you are wiser than Hokage-sama, because on this list it shows that Naruto as your third teammate. So then who do you think I'm going to believe; the Hokage or a fresh Academy Graduate?" The class was stunned at Iruka's response; the instructor had never spoken like that to them. "And as for Naruto not being able to create a Bunshin, he had too much chakra and not enough control to use the Bunshin no Jutsu correctly, so the Hokage had Naruto take a make-up exam, one that is miles harder than the exam here."
"So where is the dobe?" Sasuke said. "Did he not realize that team selections were today?"
"Why don't you ask him yourself Sasuke?" Iruka asked. "He's been here longer than all of you."
"Where!" Sakura yelled. "I don't see him."
"Behind you," a voice whispered from the back row of seats. Everyone turned to see a figure emerge from the shadows, his face hidden by a hood.
"Nice of you to join us Naruto," Iruka said with a grin. The figure took off his hood, reveling a mess of spiky blonde hair and a pair of deep blue eyes.
"Doesn't say much to the future of this class if they can't notice someone sitting in the shadows," Naruto said. "Only Shikamaru, Shino and Hinata noticed me."
"Shut up baka!" Sakura screeched. "If you weren't wearing those clothes, we could have!"
"Not my problem Haruno-san, you all berated me for wearing my jumpsuit and now you yell at me for wearing more shinobi appropriate clothing," Naruto said. "And speaking of clothing, a bright red dress and pink hair aren't very ninja-like either."
Several people sniggered as Sakura tried to wrap her mind around Naruto's logical answer as well as him not calling her 'Sakura-chan.' Iruka finished listing the teams and then dismissed them for lunch. Sakura and Ino trailed after Sasuke like dogs while Naruto unsealed a bento as well as his father's journal, and settled in to wait for his sensei.
Soon it was only Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke waiting in the classroom for their sensei. The wait was getting to them all, though they showed wildly differing reactions. Sakura was ranting and raving, while alternating between fawning over Sasuke and glaring at Naruto. Sasuke was brooding off to the side and trying to figure out this new Naruto, and the tardiness of their sensei was annoying Naruto, though he was able to hide it by continuing to read his father's journal.
"Baka, what are you doing?" Sakura snapped. Naruto looked up with a bored gaze.
"I can see that, I'm not stupid. What I mean is what did you do with your clothes?" she continued. "That's it, you're trying to copy Sasuke-kun to gain my attention. Well, it won't work!"
Naruto ignored Sakura and returned to his reading, which made Sakura even angrier. Soon it became too much for the volatile pink-haired girl and she went to knock Naruto in the head. The blonde simply ducked under the blow without looking, causing Sakura to fall over and go crashing to the floor.
"What the hell was that for Naruto-baka!" she screamed after getting to her feet. "Why'd you do that?"
"Was I supposed to let you bash me on the head, like before?" Naruto snapped. Sakura blinked. "I'm not the 'Naruto' you've gotten used to beating on or berating to make yourself seem strong. Well news flash, you are weak Haruno-san, you were only able to hit be because I let you. That won't happen again."
Sakura gaped like a fish for a moment before her face turned bright red and she attempted to hit Naruto again but he caught the blow easily.
"I told you not to do that," Naruto growled, his blue eyes turning icy. Sakura quivered under his gaze. Naruto pushed her back and she fell to her butt.
Then the door slid open and a silver-haired man stuck his head in. He took one look around the room, seeing Sakura trembling on the floor at the feet of a blonde boy who he recognized as Naruto. Sasuke was watching the scene with a smirk that quickly changed to an unfeeling glare when the younger boy caught his eye.
"Well, my first impression of you three is that you are…interesting," Hatake Kakashi said. "Meet me on the roof…now!" The man exploded into smoke, much to the shock of two of the new genin. Naruto's response was just an arched eyebrow. Sakura and Sasuke raced from the room, well Sakura chased after Sasuke, neither paying Naruto any attention. Naruto just resealed his father's journal before vanishing in a swirl of wind.
"Nice of you two to join us," Kakashi said as Sasuke and Sakura burst out onto the roof. The two genin were stunned to see Naruto sitting across from their sensei, once again reading.
"What? How? You were still reading when we left you," Sakura exclaimed.
"You left your teammate?" Kakashi asked coolly. Sakura flushed as she tried to explain, Sasuke just glared at Naruto. "We'll talk about that later but first why don't we sit down and introduce ourselves, as a team, we should know each other."
Kakashi, Sasuke and Sakura's introductions are the same as in the manga.
"I'm Uzumaki Naruto. I have very few likes, all of which that none of you deserve to know, I don't have many things I dislike, though I do have many things I hate including most of this hypocritical village, arrogant pricks who think that their names mean something out in the real world," Naruto said. "Fan girls who have no business being ninja and who think that their white knight will save them." Kakashi's lone visible eye widened at Naruto's speech. "My dream is to become the strongest ninja ever, ever surpassing the Yondaime."
Sasuke and Sakura looked at Naruto like he was crazy, while Kakashi gave the blonde a calculating look.
"Please dobe, there's no way you could ever be as strong as the Yondaime," Sasuke scoffed. "You were the Dead Last!"
"Sasuke-kun's right!" Sakura cried, causing both Naruto and Kakashi to wince. "And how dare you hate the village! You have no right calling the village a hypocrisy!"
A dark chuckle emanated from the blonde boy, causing his two teammates to fall silent. "Don't speak of things that you couldn't possibly understand," Naruto said. "Haven't you ever heard the phrase, 'better to be though a fool, then open you mouth and confirm it,' you are a fool Haruno-san. And I have every right to call this so-called village hypocrites, they praise the father yet condemn the son."
Kakashi had to stifle a cough at Naruto's retort. "I think that's enough for today," he said. Kakashi went onto explain that they would meet as a team at Training Ground 7 the next morning at 7am for their genin acceptance test. Sasuke and Sakura were suitably cowed by the effects while Naruto just nodded. With a final nod, Kakashi vanished with a swirl of leaves, leaving the three graduates sitting on the Academy roof. Naruto followed Kakashi's lead by using a Shunshinto leave the roof before Sasuke and Sakura could annoy him anymore than they already did.
Kakashi appeared in the Hokage's office a moment after leaving his team at the Academy. He was let in immediately and bowed to his leader. "Hokage-sama," Kakashi said.
"Ah Kakashi-kun, what brings you here?" Sarutobi Hiruzen, the Sandiame Hokage, said. "Surely you haven't finished with your new team?"
"Hai Hokage-sama, I just met with them and bring some startling news."
"Hai." Kakashi went onto explain his meeting with Team 7, Hiruzen smiled at the mention of Naruto's new attire, though that smile quickly faded as Kakashi continued. His normally grandfatherly visage became stony when Kakashi spoke of Naruto's introduction and his eyes widened when the jonin spoke of his suspicion that Naruto had learned about his heritage.
"This is troubling," the Hokage said. "While I can't blame Naruto-kun for his attitude toward the villagers, I wish it was different."
"Could this be the Kyubi taking over?" Kakashi asked. "The reports said that Naruto had a huge crush on Sakura, but today he showed nothing but contempt toward her."
"I don't believe so," the Hokage said. "It's quite possible that Naruto has hidden his true-self behind a 'mask' in order to better protect himself from the scorn of the village. He knows that as a ninja the Council can't touch him, so he acted like an idiot while hiding his true skills to stay under the radar. Though we must be wary, if the status quo doesn't change soon, Naruto very may well either abandon the village or if forced too, turn to 'it' for the power to seek revenge."
Kakashi paled. "Surely Hokage-sama, it won't come to that," he whispered.
"Let us hope not," Hiruzen said. "Now Kakashi, I want you to keep a close eye on Naruto during your test tomorrow, I'm sure that the Council has forced you to automatically pass Sasuke, so we are fortunate that they are on the same team. If Naruto has been wearing a mask, force him to take it off. I need to know how strong he is."
"Hai Hokage-sama," Kakashi said before bowing to his aged leader and left the office.
The next morning Naruto arrived at Training Ground 7 five minutes before Kakashi had told them to arrive. He was wearing the same outfit as the previous day, except that he had added a pair of dark grey ANBU-style bracers. Reaching out with his senses, he could hear the approach of both Sasuke and Sakura. Sighing to himself, Naruto readied himself for more interrogation from his teammates. Suddenly Naruto's head shot up as he felt a third chakra signature approaching the Training Ground. Realizing it was Kakashi Naruto checked his kunai pouch and settled in to wait for the rest of his team.
"Good morning," Kakashi announced, appearing in a puff of smoke. "Since we're all here, I'll explain the test." He paused when Naruto took out a ration bar from his pack. "I thought I told you not to have breakfast Naruto."
"No, you suggested that we don't have breakfast, and this isn't my breakfast anyway," Naruto said. "I already ate before I got here, but was still hungry so I grabbed one of my ration bars."
"Naruto-baka!" Sakura shouted. "You disobeyed Kakashi-sensei! We weren't supposed to eat breakfast."
"Do you have a hearing problem Haruno-san?" Naruto asked coolly. "Kakashi-sensei didn't order us to do anything regarding eating breakfast, he merely suggested that we don't. And besides, do you really expect to fight a fully-fledged jonin on an empty stomach." Two stomachs growled at this statement, Sasuke and Sakura blushed. "Once again, the 'Rookie of the Year' and 'Top Kunoichi' show how unprepared they are for this life."
Sakura and Sasuke bristled at Naruto's put-down. "Don't talk down to me dobe," Sasuke growled. "I'm an Uchiha, the elite of this village!"
"Yet, you are the only one left," Naruto commented easily. "Like I said yesterday, your name means nothing! Only your actions do, and I find you wanting and sorely lacking."
Sasuke roared as he reached for a kunai but froze when he felt the cold sting of metal pressing against his throat. "Calm down Uchiha," a voice whispered behind him. It was Naruto. "You wouldn't want to get hurt before we even start the test and be sent back to the Academy?"
"That's enough," Kakashi barked as Sakura made to attack Naruto for threatening her 'Sasuke-kun.' "Naruto, please refrain from threatening your teammates, even if it is to teach them a lesson." He then went on to explain the test and clipped two bells to his belt.
The trio of genin vanished into the woods, leaving Kakashi alone in the clearing. 'Looks like they know how to conceal themselves somewhat, especially Naruto,' Kakashi thought. 'I can only barely sense his chakra, the others I know exactly where they are but with Naruto, I can barely get a location. Those Academy reports are shit, he's near ANBU-level stealth.'
Naruto came to a stop high in a tree several hundred meters from Kakashi. 'There's something off about this test, genin teams are made up of three genin and a jonin,' Naruto thought. 'He's playing with us, making us fight against each other. Three fresh genin have no chance in hell alone against a jonin, let alone one like Hatake Kakashi. We need to work together to pass, though I know that the Council will make sure that the Uchiha passes no matter what, but still, let's see how sharp tou-san's prize student is.'
"Taju Kage Bunshin!" Naruto said. Three hundred clones appeared in the treetops around Naruto. With a though, a majority of the clones vanished in puffs of smoke. "You know what to do," Naruto said to the remaining clones.
Kakashi turned his head at the surge of chakra coming from Naruto's direction. Then just as quickly as it appeared, the surge dropped considerably. 'What is he up too?' Kakashi thought. Suddenly Kakashi sensed dozens of Naruto's surrounding him, the boy's chakra signature all around him but the jonin didn't see anyone. A fireball appeared to Kakashi's 8 o'clock, the jonin leapt clear and deflected a shower of kunai and shuriken. As he weaved and blocked the projectiles, Kakashi thought he felt something tug at his belt. When the projectile barrage stopped, Kakashi took the opportunity to check his belt and saw that the bells were still attached to it. Suddenly Naruto's chakra signature dropped once again. Frowning, Kakashi sped off toward where he felt Sakura's chakra signature, he would test the other two then find Naruto. He quickly found the girl racing through the forest, crying out for Sasuke. An anime sweat bead dripped from the back of his head at the sight. 'How the hell did she manage to graduate?' he asked himself before dropping down behind her.
Kakashi disabled Sakura and Sasuke the same way as in the manga; I don't feel like explaining it again.
A bell rang out clearly over the training ground, signaling the end of the test. Sighing, Kakashi created two shadow clones to pick up Sasuke and Sakura and made his way over to the posts. To his amazement, Naruto was sitting on the center post, reading from a scroll. The two Kakashi shadow clones appeared, one dragging a bound Sasuke, the other carrying an unconscious Sakura over its shoulder. They deposited their charges at the original's feet and dispelled. Sakura groaned as she regained consciousness, the pink-haired girl bolted upright as awareness flooded her senses. She saw that Sasuke was bound, Naruto sitting on a post reading and her addled mind jumped to the conclusion that Naruto had tied Sasuke up.
"Naruto-baka, let Sasuke-kun go!" she screeched, leaping to her feet and throwing a sloppy punch at Naruto, who caught it without looking and gripped her first tightly. Sakura froze; she clearly didn't think that Naruto would catch her punch. "Oww Naruto, you're hurting me," she whined.
"Good Haruno-san," Naruto growled. "It should, maybe this will teach you to keep your hands to yourself." He released Sakura who sat down, cradling her throbbing hand.
"So then, all three of you against a post," Kakashi ordered.
"What for!" Sasuke shouted.
"Because none of you got even close to retrieving a bell," Kakashi said.
Jingle! Three sets of eyes turned to Naruto, who was holding up a pair of bells, to the shock of the others. Kakashi reached for his belt only to find that the bells were missing.
"How!" Kakashi exclaimed.
"Kage Bunshin, Henge, and stealth," Naruto answered without emotion.
"Well then Naruto, you have both bells, what will you do? Who's going to be sent back to the Academy," Kakashi asked. Naruto looked down at his two 'teammates,' Sakura was looking at him with wide eyes, frightened, while Sasuke was glaring at him with absolute hate.
"I will be," Naruto said, tossing a bell to both Sakura and Sasuke. "We all know that the Council will never let the Uchiha fail, and the fact that genin teams are made up of three genin and a jonin-sensei, you have to pass me and Haruno-san, even if Haruno should really think long and hard about why she wants to be a ninja."
Kakashi blinked at Naruto's blunt explanation of the situation, blunt yet wholly accurate. "Well then Naruto, you do realize that you'll be giving up your career, if you're wrong? You won't be able to get another chance to become a ninja."
"Kakashi, I'm a Konoha shinobi already, so that means sacrificing your wants for the good of the village, something that I've been doing since the day I was born," Naruto said. "While I might despise those two, I will sacrifice myself gladly if it means keeping the village safe, even if it doesn't deserve such a sacrifice."
Kakashi smiled beneath his mask, knowing that the Hokage's fears seemed to be unfounded by Naruto's willingness to sacrifice himself for his teammates.
"Take your stupid bell dobe, I don't need your charity," Sasuke shouted, struggling against his bonds. "I'm an Uchiha, the elite!"
"Then how do you explain the fact that the class dobe was able to succeed where the 'Rookie of the Year' and 'Top Kunoichi' failed," Naruto stated, glaring down at the Uchiha.
"You cheated!" Sasuke screamed. "That's the only way you could have beaten Sasuke-kun!"
"We're ninja," Naruto snapped. "We're supposed to cheat, its part of our job. There are no rules in this job, except those that are made to be broken."
"Naruto is right," Kakashi interrupted, seeing that Sakura was working herself up for another rant. "In the ninja world, those who break the rules are trash…but those who abandon their comrades, are lower than trash. Also, you must realize that not everything in the world will be in black and white. You must learn how to look underneath the underneath, you all have to realize that there will be somethings that you have to do on this job that won't sit well with you, also there will be times that you might have to disregard orders to do what is right. Listen to your superiors but always remain true to yourself." Naruto nodded at the conclusion of Kakashi's speech, Sasuke and Sakura just looked confused. "Well, you all might have gone about it in a round-about way but you pass. I'll meet you here tomorrow at 7am for training and our first day of missions. Ja ne!" Kakashi vanished in a swirl of leaves. Naruto hopped down from the post and headed off, leaving Sakura and Sasuke alone.
Kakashi met up with the other jonin-senseis as they entered the Hokage's office, much to the shock of his fellow jonin.
"Kakashi, what are you doing here?" Asuma exclaimed. "I thought that you wouldn't be here for another couple of hours at least."
"Normally you'd probably be right but Hokage-sama will want to hear this as soon as possible," Kakashi said. "And I don't think I could stand being around the fangirl and the Uchiha any longer. If it wasn't for Naruto, I wouldn't have passed them at all."
"Naruto, as in Uzumaki Naruto, the Dead Last?" exclaimed Kurenai. Kakashi nodded.
"Don't let class rankings fool you, Naruto is much stronger than anyone thinks," Kakashi said. "The Hokage believes that he hid his true skill to keep himself safe from the villagers." Asuma and Kurenai nodded. They knew that the villagers hated and feared Naruto for holding the Kyubi, so it wasn't out of the realm of possibilities that the boy was holding back.
"Still, Naruto can't be that strong," Kurenai said. "I mean, who would train him?"
"I don't know, but what I do know is that he was able to get both bells from me, without even being seen," Kakashi said coolly, not liking how the younger jonin was putting down his student. Kakashi's statement stunned both jonin.
"You're serious!" Asuma gapped. Kakashi nodded.
"The kid is seriously skilled, I don't know how much but he's easily the strongest in his class maybe even the previous class."
Before either Asuma or Kurenai could say anything more, the door to the Hokage's office opened and the three jonin were bade to enter.
"Ah Kakashi, Asuma, Kurenai, welcome," the Hokage said as the three jonin entered. "So what news do you bring us of your teams?"
"Team 8 passed," Kurenai said.
"Same with Team 10, though it was close," Asuma muttered.
"Team 7 passed, thanks to Naruto," Kakashi said with a grin. Mutters broke out around him from the assembled jonin.
"Surely you jest Kakashi, that boy is nothing but a nuisance," a jonin in the crowd barked. "It was Uchiha-sama who allowed the team to pass, wasn't it?"
Kakashi's visible eye narrowed at the jonin. "No, Sasuke did absolutely nothing during the test except for spout off about how 'as an Uchiha, he was the best,' Naruto was able to get both bells from me without any help, and then he sacrificed both bells and gave them to his teammates, knowing that teamwork was the main purpose of my test."
Everyone was stunned at Kakashi's claims. No one, aside from the Hokage, could wrap their head around the fact that Naruto, the bane of the village, the dead last, was able to outwit Hatake Kakashi, the Copy ninja! Hiruzen chuckled at the reactions of his assembled ninja. "Please Kakashi-kun, enlighten those who doubt the Leaf's number one unpredictable ninja," he said.
Kakashi retold the story of the bell test, including everything from Naruto's appearance, his tactics and jutsus. He also spoke of Sasuke and Sakura's nonexistent contributions; how Sakura had fallen prey to the weakest genjutsu, one that the Academy was supposed to train their students to resist, and how Sasuke tried to take Kakashi head on and was easily foiled.
"So it seems that my suspicions were correct," the Hokage said. "Naruto-kun has been hiding his true skills."
"Hai Hokage-sama, and I don't even think that we've even scratched the surface of what Naruto can do," Kakashi said.
"It's the Demon's doing!" a jonin cried out. "It's gaining more power, we must kill it or…urk!" The voice was suddenly cut off but a kunai burying itself in the jonin's neck. The jonin slumped to the floor, dead.
"I will not hear another word about Naruto being a demon, or anyone calling for his death!" the Hokage growled. "Naruto-kun has been treated horribly by this village instead of like a hero that he should have been. Did it ever occur to any of you that if you kept treating Naruto-kun like trash that he would eventually become what you consider him! That he might turn to the demon sealed within him to take revenge on this village, and honestly, I would have a hard time trying to stop him!" The Hokage's words shook the foundations of the Naruto-haters in the room. "Now then, you are all dismissed, except for Kakashi."
The jonin bowed and left the office aside from Kakashi. "Now Kakashi, from what you told us, Naruto is much more skilled than any of his classmates," the Hokage said. "Where would you rate his skills?"
"I didn't get a lot from the test," Kakashi admitted. "But, I would say that Naruto is near ANBU-level in stealth, his chakra reserves are close to Kage-level, his tactics at least chunin level, though they might be higher because I didn't get a lot to work with. His ninjutsu is at least chunin-level; he has the Kage Bunshin, Shunshin, Henge, some type of camouflage jutsu and at least one elemental jutsu, the Great Fireball. So if I had to rate Naruto just off of those skills, I'd say he's at chunin-level at least."
Hiruzen's pipe dropped from his agape mouth. "My word, Naruto-kun really is the most unpredictable ninja," he chuckled. "How did he teammates take to this 'new' Naruto?"
"Naruto doesn't care for either of them at all, though he is seemingly willing to set aside his problems for the sake of missions, but he doesn't hide his disgust for them," Kakashi said.
The Hokage nodded. "Understandable," he said. "What are your opinions of Sasuke and Sakura? I want your honest opinion."
Kakashi paused for a moment, as if collecting his thoughts. "They both should be closely watched, if not dropped from the program," Kakashi said. "Sasuke has both a massive superiority and inferiority complex. He thinks that he's the next Sage of the Six Paths but at the same time whenever he feels that someone is better, he demands that they hand over their power. And never mention Itachi or Sasuke will lose all control. Sakura is a whimpering fangirl of the highest degree. She can't focus at all unless Sakura is nowhere near her and even then it's a struggle. She has a superiority complex as well, mainly over Naruto in thinking that she can do anything to him and he won't retaliate. She's also physically weak and mentally a wreck. I would recommend that she undergo mental therapy soon or she won't change and will become a liability to herself, team and the village."
The Hokage looked at Kakashi with some amazement. "I see. Well then Kakashi, I have some special orders for you regarding Team 7," Hiruzen said. "I want you to run Sasuke and Sakura through the grinder, the Chunin Exams are being held here in six months and the Council will want to have the Last Uchiha compete whether he is ready or not. So I want you to make sure that Sasuke and Sakura are ready. Naruto I'm confident is ready. And don't worry about the Council getting wind of this if they complain, they don't have any say over my ninja."
"Hai Hokage-sama," Kakashi said, bowing to the 'God of Shinobi' before leaving the office.
Kakashi headed toward the training ground of the one person who could help him break his genin, Maito Gai.
"Gai!" Kakashi called out as he found his friend training his team at their normal training ground.
"Kakashi my friend, what brings you here?" Gai asked. "Have you come to accept my challenge?"
"Not exactly Gai, I need you help coming up with a training program for my team," Kakashi said. "The Hokage has given me license to do whatever it takes to whip them into shape in six months time and I wanted your help in creating a fitness regime for them."
"I see my friend," Gai said. "I have heard that your team needs help igniting their flames of youth."
"Yes, yes, so will you help me?"
"Of course my friend!" Gai cried. Around the village three genin shivered as if someone had just walked over their graves.
The next morning found Team 7 waiting for their sensei once again at their training ground, Naruto was reading off to the side, Sakura was fawning over Sasuke and the Uchiha was brooding and glaring at Naruto, still seething from the fact that the blonde was seemingly stronger than him.
"Dobe," Sasuke barked. "How are you so strong? I'm an Uchiha, the strongest clan in Konoha." Naruto ignored the boy and continued reading from his scroll. "Dobe! Don't you dare ignore me! Tell me how you got so strong!"
"Training," Naruto answered shortly, without looking up.
"Impossible, I train for three hours everyday after the Academy," Sasuke roared. "There's no way you trained longer than that."
"Believe what you want," Naruto said. This didn't sit well with Sasuke, who whipped out a kunai and charged Naruto. But before he could take two steps, his arm was wrenched backward sharply, causing Sasuke to drop the kunai.
"What is going on here, genin?" snapped an irate Kakashi.
"Naruto was baiting Sasuke!" Sakura shouted, jumping to her crush's (i.e. obsession) defense.
"Really, well from what I saw was Sasuke losing his cool and attacking a fellow Leaf shinobi, something which is taken very seriously," Kakashi growled. "So I'll ask again, what is going on?"
"The dobe won't tell me how he got so strong," Sasuke snarled. "I need to know to be able to kill that man!"
"That's no reason to attack a fellow Leaf shinobi," Kakashi roared. "I could have you dropped from the ninja ranks for that."
Sasuke sneered at Kakashi. "The Council would never let you do that, they need me!" he said.
"Too bad the Council has no power in ninja affairs, of which you are a part of Uchiha!" Kakashi snapped. "No matter how important the Council thinks you are, the Hokage controls all ninja decisions and one more outburst like that and say goodbye to your chakra." Kakashi flared his KI to get his point across. Sasuke and Sakura broke into a sweat while Naruto looked up.
"Now then, the Hokage has given me special orders regarding this team, he thinks that you have the potential to be great, maybe the next Sannin," Kakashi said, lying through his teeth. "But to do that, I'm going to work you all to the bone." Sakura paled at this, while Naruto and Sasuke grinned. "I know yesterday I said that we would be doing missions today, well I changed my mind. Today is all about seeing how good you three really are. So first, I'll be testing your conditioning. You have one hour to complete five laps around Konoha, and for every five minutes you are late, I'll be adding reps to your other exercises. Now move it!"
Naruto and Sasuke took off like a shot while Sakura looked like she was about to complain but one look from Kakashi sent her after the boys. An hour and five minutes later, Naruto reappeared, 30 minutes after that Sasuke returned and three-quarters of an hour after that Sakura finished. As soon as she made it back to the posts, she collapsed to the ground.
"Pathetic," Kakashi growled. "I expect you all to be able to complete this exercise within a week, ten days for Sakura. Once you are able to do so, I'll be deducting ten minutes from your time. This will force you to become faster; ninja need to be swift and agile, as well as in top physical shape. Now we will work on your taijutsu until noon, then an hour lunch break and then it's back to work."
By the end of the day, even Naruto was struggling to stay standing; Sasuke was on his hands and knees, while Sakura was flat on her back. "Right then, same drill tomorrow, good night," Kakashi said before Shunshining away.
Naruto made his way back to his father's home, and was only able to get a light dinner before falling into bed as exhaustion set in.
This routine went on for two weeks until Sakura was finally able to complete the original exercise, Naruto was able to after only two days, Sasuke after five days. Kakashi taught them taijutsu but told them to look into finding a style of their own. Naruto had found his father's taijutsu style in the scrolls hidden at the Namikaze home, and found that it suited his body type and performance well. Kakashi also had them work on teamwork exercises, and used the threat of adding onto their already substantial morning run if anyone complained. It took a full month before Kakashi deemed them mission ready. While Sasuke and Sakura didn't associate with Naruto on their time off, Naruto returning the favor, the trio worked well enough together during missions. In response to this, Kakashi taught Sasuke and Sakura the tree-climbing and water-walking chakra control exercises; Naruto already knew them (much to the jealousy of the others, though they didn't say anything during training or missions).
After two weeks of D-rank missions, Kakashi deemed them ready for a C-rank mission. They were assigned a simple bodyguard mission to escort some merchants from the Fire Capital to Tazuna Gai.
A/N: Well there's the newest little starter story I've got. This is my Naruto deception storyline, Naruto will be very heavily about stealth, assassination and shadows, what we think of when we think of as ninjas. He'll still use jutsus but will focus more on hand-to-hand and weapon combat. Tell me what you think so far.