Team Nineteen
By FriedIce

Summary: Morino Ibiki didn't like kids. That didn't stop the Third Hokage assigning him a genin team nonetheless. Too bad no one saw the consequences. Inspired by 'Things Team Nineteen Are No Longer Allowed To Do' by H.E. Gray.

Morino Ibiki didn't like kids. He hated the brats, in fact. So, staring down at his latest assignment, he considered one of two options. Either the Hokage didn't know this fact, or he knew and was doing this to simply watch Ibiki suffer.

Ibiki was leaning more towards the latter.

Genin Team. He had reread those two words over and over again, just to check he wasn't hallucinating. Then, he'd handed the paper to his purple-haired, psychotic apprentice to make sure he really wasn't hallucinating. Who knew, maybe one of the T and I guys had decided to spike the water supply again…

When Mitarashi Anko's face had merely broken out into a grin, Ibiki knew he was screwed. When Mitarashi Anko had turned round to the entirety of his team, however, and spoken—

"Guess what? Ibiki's on Genin duty!"

—Ibiki had realised he was completely and utterly screwed.

It was OK, he told himself. If need be, he could just fail the brats. Set them a near impossible task for their genin exam, and be done with them. Return to work and pretend that it had never happened. Who knew, if he did as good a job as Hatake, maybe he'd never have to take a Genin Team again?

Iruka stared at their jounin-sensei, severely unimpressed. Being assigned to a team with Kotetsu and Izumo had been awesome, but this seriously put a dampener on things.

Morino Ibiki stared stoically back at Iruka, making sure his face showed no expression. He resisted the urge to sigh. He'd only just met the brats and already they were pissing him off.

"Introduce yourselves, then," he said impatiently. He'd been told this was standard procedure with Genin Teams. Iruka flinched; their sensei's voice was scratching and nasty – not something Iruka would associate with a mentor-figure. "Use the basic likes, dislikes, hobbies and dreams for the future structure," Ibiki added, as if it was an after-thought.

Iruka gave Kotetsu a look, telling him that he was most certainly not going first, so it was up to him. Kotetsu repeated the look at Izumo, who looked between both Iruka and his friend like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

Ibiki smirked. Weakest link in the chain, it seemed.

Nervously, feeling three sets of eyes on him, Izumo spoke up.

"My name is Kamizuki Izumo," he said. It was obvious he was trying hard not to stutter. "I like, uh, training and hanging out with Kotetsu and Iruka. I dislike people who don't cover their mouths when they sneeze and when Kotetsu tries to feed me syrup that he has dipped his fingers into." Ibiki smirked. It seemed he had a germophobe on his team… "My hobbies? Uh, reading, I guess. My dream for the future is to become a great ninja who always watches his teammates' backs."

The last bit was interesting, though, Ibiki considered. He would have to tell Izumo to watch his own back when the time called for—

Ibiki stopped himself. He wasn't going to be teaching these brats and he was most certainly not going to be giving him advice.

Kotetsu's introduction was twice as confident as Izumo's.

"I'm Hagane Kotetsu," he introduced, without having to be prompted by either Iruka or Ibiki. "I like syrup and ditching class, though I don't suppose I can do that anymore… I dislike when Izumo gets it into his head that I don't study enough, or when Iruka decides that I'm the next target for his pranks. Hobbies? I like reading too, though a different kind to Izumo…" Here, he laughed nervously. Ibiki's eyes narrowed. He seemed a bit young to be reading what that would imply… "Dream for the future? I don't really care as long as it involves Konoha and Izumo watching my back."

Ibiki smirked again. He was certain that Kotetsu was going to be dealing with confused thoughts about his sexuality and Izumo in the future… That would be amus—

He wasn't going to be sticking with these kids, damnit! Stop making plans!

Ibiki turned and all-out glared at Iruka, who flinched slightly.

"My name is Umino Iruka," he said. "I like training and ramen. I dislike being alone." At the word, 'alone', Ibiki's mind started to whir. He remembered it now – the victims from the Kyuubi attack. Umino Hiro and Arisa: Iruka's parents had died that day. "For my hobbies, I used to like pranks, but I've given that up now I'm going to be a genin. Dreams for the future? I guess I don't know…"

Well, that was cheery. Ibiki didn't do humour, apart from sarcasm.

They were an interesting bunch, that was undeniable, but, Ibiki reminded himself, they weren't his interesting bunch.

"So," Kotetsu piped up, noticing that their sensei had been strangely silent. "Aren't you going to introduce yourself, sensei?"

Ibiki paused for a second, considering what he was going to say carefully. Well, might as well try and scare them.

"My name is Morino Ibiki and, until recently, I worked in the T and I Dept.," he said, enjoying the way their eyes bugged out at the words 'T and I'. Any ninja worth their money knew what those letters stood for. "I like, well, liked my old job. I dislike brats like you. My hobbies include suggestive interrogation, but I don't expect you to know what that is or understand how it works."

Iruka looked up at Ibiki, his eyes curious.

"What about your dream for the future?" he asked.

Ibiki raised his eyebrows, before smiling inside.

"For my dream for the future," Ibiki replied, "I would like to be able to finally persuade a certain purple-haired apprentice of mine that, yes, while bathing in the blood of her foe may be extremely creepy and intimidating, it is also highly unhygienic and thus not a good idea."

OK, he was wrong. Watching them try to stifle complete and utter horror was funnier than the bug-eyed looks. Man, he was looking forward to—

Nothing. He wasn't going to take them as his team.

"So, aren't you going to tell us?" Kotetsu asked, snapping Ibiki out of his thoughts yet again.

"Tell you what?" Ibiki asked in return, allowing a slight bit of his irritation to colour his voice.

"About the secondary genin exam," Kotetsu stated, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

Ibiki's eyes narrowed. That was interesting. They weren't supposed to know about that particular detail. It was a very well-kept secret. Which one of—

"I read it somewhere," Izumo mumbled by way of an explanation.

The quiet, shy kid? OK, he hadn't quite seen that coming.

"So, what's it going to be?" Kotetsu asked.

Ibiki turned to his Genin Team. He'd already made up his mind.

"It goes like this…"

"He's gone," Iruka commented.

After finding out that he was on a Genin Team with Kotetsu and Izumo, he'd quickly brought them up to speed on his abilities, including his project. Based on the idea of a sonar, Iruka was developing an original jutsu that allowed him to sense presences around him. It was still in the experimental stages and he couldn't pin-point people to positions, but it allowed him to feel for people in the near vicinity of him.

"Think it worked?" Kotetsu asked, already dipping his finger into some syrup. He then offered said finger to Izumo who turned it down, looking somewhat repulsed.

"I think he bought it," Izumo said. "Nice acting, Iruka-the-lonely-orphan."

Iruka mock-bowed.

"You weren't bad either, Mr Bookish and Shy," he commented with a smile.

"Kotetsu did a good job too," Izumo admitted.

Kotetsu shrugged, focusing instead on what their sensei had told them.

"So, what do you reckon he wants us to do tomorrow morning? And why does he need us at the ANBU HQ?" Kotetsu paused. "Wait, do either of you know how to get to the ANBU HQ?"

The Hokage stared out over his pile of paperwork, his eyes not quite focusing on the request in front of him. He was thinking about the Genin Team assignments and wondering if he had made a mistake. Morino Ibiki was a sadist through and through and most certainly not the type of person you wanted teaching your children.

His mind strayed to the members of the team, remembering the psych evaluations from the academy. He'd been certain they'd make a fantastic, if slightly unconventional team. Then, he'd thought about which jounin would have the ability to handle them.

Morino Ibiki wasn't a conventional choice, and was sure to put the kids through some sort of hazing, but he was the only jounin the Hokage had any faith in when it came to dealing with the hazing the kids would put him through. The Hokage nodded. Despite his doubts, Ibiki would be a good sensei for this lot.

Suddenly, the Hokage's ears pricked. Was that … crying?

Signalling to his secre- chuunin assistant, the Hokage walked out of the room, towards the sound of the crying. That's when he saw it. There, curled up outside his door, was Umino Iruka, the orphan whose team he had just been considering.

"Iruka-kun?" Sarutobi asked.

Wiping the tears from his eyes with the back of his hand, Iruka looked up.

"H-Hokage-sama?" he asked, his voice cracking slightly.

"What's the problem, Iruka-kun?" the Sandaime asked, kneeling down so he could place a hand on the boy's shoulder.

Iruka looked at the Hokage, before shrugging off his hand and wiping his eyes again.

"It's no-nothing," the boy stammered with a sniff.

"It's not nothing," Sarutobi said, switching to his grandfatherly tone. "You can tell me."

Iruka sniffed again, looking down at his knees.

"It's I-Ib-Ibiki-sensei," he eventually admitted.

A sense of foreboding overcame the Hokage. Oh dear kami, what had happened? Had he failed them?

"For our g-g-genin exam," Iruka said slowly, refusing to meet the Hokage's eyes, "he took us down to w-wh-where he s-said he wo-worked."

The sense of foreboding was slowly merging into anger. Ibiki had taken eleven year old genins down to the T and I Dept.?!

"And, we c-ca-came to a c-cell," Iruka continued. "And in it, there was a m-m-man. I-Ib-Ibiki-sensei went in a-a-and h-h-he …" Iruka broke off, as if unable to continue. "H-he-"

"Shhh," Sarutobi said, laying a hand on Iruka's shoulder again, while inside he was fuming. He'd thought Ibiki was smarter than that. Honestly! Forcing genins to watch an interrogation – something most jounins couldn't stomach – was just asking for them to turn psychotic! "It's OK, you don't have to tell me."

Iruka shook his head rapidly.

"I threw up," Iruka said ashamedly, as if he was telling the Hokage some terrible secret. "A-and I-Ibiki-sensei told us we w-w-were too we-we-weak."

Sarutobi fumed inwardly at Ibiki, and wrapped his arms around the tiny genin. Iruka resisted slightly before throwing his arms around the Hokage's neck, sobbing into his chest. Sarutobi was so busy comforting Iruka and cursing Ibiki in his head, that he didn't notice when a hand snaked up to his head.

Iruka's hand secured itself in the cloth of the Hokage's hat and he grinned beneath his tears, his expression hidden in the Sandaime's chest. He counted down from three, sending out a pulse of chakra to check that Kotetsu was in position. 3… 2… 1…

Iruka pulled the Hokage Hat off of the Sandaime, lobbing it behind him before Sarutobi even had a chance to react. Then, he pushed himself out of the Hokage's embrace and threw himself out of the nearest window. Below him, Izumo had prepared his landing and, meeting up with Kotetsu, who was holding the Hokage Hat firmly in his hand, they sprinted.

The Hokage stared at the place where Iruka had just been, trying to process what had just happened. Dumb-founded, a hand reached up to his head, where he felt for his hat.

Slowly, his face hardened. Somebody was going to pay for this.

Morino Ibiki was one of the few jounins who would not shrink under the Hokage's glare. As it was, however, he was trying his hardest not to smirk.

"Let me get this straight," the Hokage said slowly, his tone speaking volumes of exactly how he felt. "You instructed your genin to 'find and exploit a personal weakness of the Hokage and use this to steal one of his personal artefacts'?"

Honesty seemed like the best option here, Ibiki considered.

"Yes, Hokage-sama," he said.

"Effectively ordering them to commit treason in the process?" the Sandaime pressed.

"… Yes, Hokage-sama," he said, glancing at his genin – the genin, damnit, they weren't his – who at least had the good sense to look sheepish.

"Iruka-kun," the Hokage said, turning to the particularly sheepish looking boy. "Do you view my grandfatherly side as a personal weakness?"

"No, Hokage-sama," Iruka intoned.

"Good," the Hokage said. "Now, if you don't mind, I would like my hat back."

Iruka meekly retrieved a sealing scroll and withdrew the hat from it. Ibiki's eyes widened yet again. Where did he get one of those? The boy handed it to the Hokage, who savoured it for a second before placing it on his head.

"Ibiki-san, can I then presume that your team have passed?"

Ibiki was unable to stop himself from gaping. That was it? No punishments? No 'what the hell were you thinking, Ibiki?'

Ibiki glanced at the three genin. He hated to admit it, he was impressed. Seeing his genin looking expectantly at him – and damn his subconscious, they were his – Ibiki smirked.

"Yes, Hokage-sama," Ibiki said.

With those words, it was as if a dam had been removed in his mind. Ibiki was already planning training schedules, plotting when to teach them things. He was going to make these three genin so damned perfect the other jounin wouldn't know what hit them.

"Good," the Hokage said, smiling. "Team Nineteen, please report to the missions office tomorrow to commence D-ranks."

Ibiki turned around to leave, not aware of the smirking Hokage watching him go.

It had truly been a work of genius to pair that lot up together. If they could accomplish this with no training, they were going to be damned near impossible to stop in the future…

On second thoughts…

"Watanabe-san," Sarutobi said, turning to his se- chuunin assistant. "Prepare another list."

Watanabe's eyes widened.

"Are you sure, Hokage-sama?" he asked. "I mean, the last time we had to do that was with Team Jiraiya…"

Sarutobi nodded placing his pipe in his mouth.

"We're going to need it," he said.

"Title?" Watanabe asked, already scrambling to find the equipment.

"Hmmm…" the Hokage considered. "I think we'll have 'Things Team Nineteen Are No Longer Allowed To Do'."

The Hokage paused.

"And make sure, somewhere along the lines, we have the phrase 'Morino Ibiki is not allowed to take another genin team, ever.'"

Well, I just want to say that I love H. E. Gray's fic 'Things Team Nineteen Are No Longer Allowed To Do'. It makes me crack up. The premise is totally lifted from his fic, but I wanted to write an introduction, so here we are.