"Good boy!" a ninja exclaimed happily as he shuffled a flashcard to the middle of the small deck he was holding.
"Now, what's this?" the man asked in a high pitched sing-song tone as he displayed another card.
"Why are you teaching and encouraging IT?" asked the man's partner who'd gone out to get lunch and come back to find his partner actually interacting with their charge rather than merely watching it like they usually did.
The man guiltily slid the flashcards back into the kunai pouch where they had previously been concealed. After a moment's thought, he studied his partner in a considering manner and then worked up his nerve for something.
"We've got the seven to two shift for the foreseeable future right?" the man said carefully, in a tone of voice that raised his partners hackles slightly due to the fact that it almost sounded like the man was sounding him out for an act of treason.
"Yes." his partner replied, not getting what his partner was getting at and hoping it wasn't what he was starting to think it was, because he liked his partner and didn't want to kill him after being his teammate for years.
"What if I told you that with a little time investment we can get out of watching IT without disappointing the Hokage by requesting a transfer, or worse, being pulled off our assignment?" the man who'd been interacting with IT moments before said as he tossed the other man a book "I found this yesterday. Read the requirements."
"Seriously?! That's all?!" the second man exclaimed as he flipped to the page his partner had suggested he read, relieved both because his partner wasn't suggesting treason, and because his partner had found a way out of a less than desirable assignment for the both of them.
"Yep. That's it." the first man replied.
"Gimme those cards!" the second man yelled as he held out his hand for flashcards in his partner's kunai pouch.
The first ninja chucked the flashcards over to the second ninja and went to see what his partner had brought back for lunch. Odds were that it was ramen again, since the man was obsessed with the stuff. But, a man could dream...
"What's this?" the second man asked the third person in the room in a high-pitched sing-song tone after he'd gotten the cards organized.
"And I suppose that the Dead Last wants a bottle?" the Instructor for the First Year Academy students said mockingly to his small blond haired, blue eyed student who had three whisker marks on each cheek.
The shy Hyuuga who'd watched Naruto try and try despite the fact that most in his situation would've long since given up and admired him for it finally snapped.
"Leave him alone! He's just a baby!" Hyuuga Ko snapped before going forward to the front of the class to comfort the sobbing blond haired and blue eyed eighteen month-old toddler who was being picked on because he'd failed the first test of the year because he hadn't even understood what it was, much less how to answer any of the questions.
The Hokage had an almost savage grin on his face that was practically a snarl as he signed the order that placed two of Uzumaki Naruto's former watchers and the moron from the Academy who'd registered the boy as a student on permanent latrine duty.
Up until those two bozos and the moron who let them go through with it, the Academy hadn't needed a minimum age of enrollment. The Academy students' parents had been smart enough to not enroll their children the instant they met the minimum requirements for admission. Now, because of those idiots, he'd had to make a law establishing a minimum enrollment age, which meant that he'd have to sit through endless meetings and consultations in order to pick an age that wouldn't have all of the important families up in arms and threatening mutiny.
Created in an earlier age, when education hadn't been all that common and the village had been in dire need of ninja, the only requirements for admission to the Ninja Academy were that the person registering was capable of standing upright on their own and capable of reading and writing their own name. Until now, everyone, including the ninja clans for whom having a number of early graduates bolstered their reputations, waited until their children were at least four and therefore able to understand what was going on on some level and communicate semi-effectively before registering their children for the Academy. Everyone but those bastards he'd thought he could trust to watch Naruto that was.
Edited 7-18-15. Edited 9-5-16.