Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Naruto franchise.
"Good morning!" Kakashi-sensei's voice echoed across the clearing. The thud of Sasuke's fist smashing into my solar plexus made a harmonious counterpoint.
"I see you're all training hard. Or is it hardly training?"
Hmm. Apparently, without canon Naruto volunteering as team clown, or Sakura attempting to one-sidedly relive an epic poem of twoo wuv, Kakashi-sensei needed to make his own entertainment. I could understand that; I would delight in mocking my genin team too, if I had the fortune to obtain an entertainingly insane team rather than the embarrassingly incompetent.
"Such a wonderful sight," Kakashi-sensei proclaimed, miming wiping away a tear. "My adorable students doing my job for free, without needing to be blackmailed, no less!"
I blinked. What would he have blackmailed us with, anyway? Anything that could possibly fall under the category of blackmail at the moment was probably covered under the ANBU betting pools. Which I knew because Hokage-sama had gloriously tried to cheat the system. Every single pool.
"Do you get paid for taking on a genin team?"
"A trifling sum, about a D-rank every two days."
That was a stupidly low sum. The rank grades were, esentially, a logarithmic scale, and thus the pay ranks likewise. A single genin could just make ends meet doing ten d-ranks a week, a normal genin team took between fourteen and twenty one d-ranks a week, and if a jounin-sensei was in charge they got fourty percent, everyone else twenty. Which meant the average genin could live acceptably on what they made, with the occasional treat.
That scale was not an acceptable salary for a jounin. They were strongly encouraged to start having families, needed a better presentation for politically charged missions, and suffered greatly increased costs for the tools of their career.
So therefore, the jounin forced to take students would have to arbitrarily fail or leave them, unless they both liked teaching and had an adequate stash to support themselves with.
"What now?" Sasuke prompted.
Well, ninja weren't trained in economics, so it stood to reason they wouldn't think about that type of consequence. In canon, there hadn't been any affects, so I guess it wasn't too dangerous a problem and thus safely ignored for now.
"This is your first day as true, licensed shinobi. Thrilling adventures, mysterious, noble sacrifice and prevalence... Now we go down, to the administration building. What shall our first duty, nay, honor be? Rescuing a hime? Saving a nation? Discovering a priceless artifact?"
"Sensei? I'm glad to hear you think so highly of us, but I think we might want to start with a few D-ranks instead. If nothing else, it will give us credibility."
Ah, Sakura, don't you ever change. It's the completely earnest expression that sells it.
"This is the worst team ever. Somebody always steals my thunder, every time, completely unintentionally! Wants D-ranks? What did I do to Kurenai-chan to deserve this?"
"D-ranks aren't exciting and fun?" Sasuke feigned indignation and betrayal. "Kakashi-sensei... I believed in you. But now, that trust, that respect is broken."
Team Dysfunctional, version 2, was going to be horrifically entertaining. So, what could I do to keep the chaos rolling?
Explosions were exciting, weren't they?
D-ranks were something of a contentious issue. Genin hated doing them, chuunin hated having to do all the paperwork for low rewards, jounin got sick of hearing everyone else whine.
I examined the paint dripping onto the prepared seal, and began to pour in chakra.
So… follow the molecular pattern, formula expressed via the seal, and recreate ad infinitum-
"What happened?" I asked upon waking up.
"Chakra exhaustion," Kakashi-sensei informed me.
"What, me?" I replied, disconcerted
Sakura giggled, eventually deigning to inform us:
"That's… exactly what Sasuke-kun said. And then said you would say."
"So, the paint?" I asked the burning question.
"In the biggest expression of chakra I have ever felt, you made... about a square inch of paint. On the positive perspective, it hasn't disappeared yet."
"Of course it's permanent, I was…"
Right. 'Just' converting pure energy into matter. E=mc2. Energy is mass times the speed of light squared, because in the end, matter is just concentrated energy…
And the worst bit was that I wouldn't even get any credit for discovering either matter construction or nuclear fusion. Gah.
Probably the main factor in the general hatred was the fact that there was no reason why.
"Awww, aren't you cute," I cooed. "You're a ninken, aren't you, and that's why you have a jounin-developed chakra system…"
"You do like cats," Sasuke remarked in slight surprise.
"They aren't stupid, don't lie, and all of their plans to take over the world are for perfectly good reasons- I'm joking- well, mostly," I protested Sasuke's wary look.
"Yes, jump in my arms, just like that, and you can come to my mission debriefing…"
"Congratulations on the fastest recorded Tora retrieval." The Sandaime smiled serenely.
I stared. That sweet, evil-minded cat? How could it be the terror of Konohagakure?
"You know, I think a few other teams might be a bit jealous," Kakashi-sensei noted cheerfully. Sakura paled.
"Ino… ha-had this mission a few days ago…"
"What could possibly go wrong? I'm sure we'll just explain and people will understand it was a complete accident." I said optimistically.
I will admit to a slight element of facetiousness.
Some people proposed that there weren't enough proper missions, or genin needed training time without immediate necessity for application under their jounin-sensei, or that the ridiculous 'missions' made good setups and practices for real missions.
"Nee-chan!" Konohamaru cheered, latching onto me with a rather impressive flying tackle hug. "Guess what!"
"What is it?" I asked, forcing myself not to push Konohamaru off.
"Henge?" I guessed brightly. Ebisu had eventually stuttered out that he was coaching Konohamaru on his ninjutsu the last time I had cornered him and asked politely.
"Yeah!" He cheered, finally letting go of me.
He clumsily flipped though the seals for Henge, a burst of chakra obscuring his appearance into something vaguely resembling the Sandaime. That is to say, they wore a very similar headgear.
"Good job, Konohamaru. Now, do you know how the jutsu works?"
From beaming from the praise, Konohamaru startled back.
"Nee-chan... I don't need another boring lecture..."
I sighed, and Konohamaru stared at the floor.
"Don't you want to create your own jutsu someday?" I queried.
"Yeah, I want to, but- you mean, it's possible?" Konohamaru shouted, wide-eyed.
"Fuinjutsu users have to," I pointed out. "But you have to know how it works know how to properly mess with it."
All of this was true, and absolutely none of it was actually appropriate to the situation.
"You're afraid of dogs," Sasuke stated flatly.
"Yes," I replied tightly.
"You're a ninja. The fuinjutsu prodigy. Fully qualified member of the Clan Nine. You get along… without killing… Kiba, and you put up with his dog. Yet you fear these dogs."
"Yes!" I hissed. Akamaru was somewhat sentient, I was allowed to hit him, and he stayed near Kiba at all times. I could just pretend he was an excessively friendly, noble, helpful cat. A doglike cat.
"I don't believe this," Sasuke ground out.
"Childhood trauma," I sniffed in relief.
"You don't have childhood trauma. I've been with you since we were seven. I have childhood trauma, and I don't have some weird little phobia."
"I do. As I have been telling you for the past fifteen minutes." Little brat.
Even if quite a few of the available higher-ranked missions were less than desirable, there were always more of them. The general opinion was that genin didn't listen until you either drilled it into their heads or showed them why they needed to learn. And any attempt to make missions more challenging or 'educational' would result in a lot of failed missions- unacceptable.
"Let me put it this way. I invented an entirely new work of technology to fry this salmon. You will eat it, or you volunteer for target practice. Understand?"
Lo and behold, what a good threat and a glare can do to make annoying children obedient. Of course they didn't believe me, but they did think I was respect-worthy for actually saying it. And glaring. And fingering my kunai. And slightly deranged laughter.
But nobody had a better explanation for this meaningless work than 'we all had to do it too'.
"Sakura-chan. Specialized removal for any of these?"
She gave me a quizzical glance, but Sasuke caught on and explained after a moment:
"The reason the guy shelled out for ninjas is because half the plants are for ninja, either poisonous or potentially medical. If you need some for medicines, tell us how to pick."
"Actually, no," Sakura apologized. "Making your own medicine like that is a medical specialty- I don't know how, though some of those plants could be useful. I've really just gotten through basic training; I can help with any kind of issue, but I'm not the choice for any one of them."
"What specialty are you planning on?" Sasuke asked, his eyes calculating.
"Field medic and trauma." Sakura smiled.
Furthermore, there seemed to be an incredible plethora of these missions. All of the genin teams were doing thousands of D-ranks a day, and there were many thousands more that could not be accepted. The demand was incredible- stupidly, ridiculously large.
"You've been working on that thing every spare moment for the past two weeks. Spill."
I sighed, knowing from experience Sasuke wouldn't let me work in peace until I explained.
"Remembered that time Hinata-sama asked me for a way to remove personal seals?"
"I'm hoping working backwards taking a personalized off will help me figure out how to get one on."
"Is it working?"
I carefully brushed another symbol. "It's given me a few ideas... that all require immense research in and of themselves. Shoo."
"No. What ideas?"
"I was thinking that I could use universal seals to anchor my personalized ones to a body. Leave."
"I have to figure out about a thousand specific universal seals first. Do you not understand the meaning of 'leave'?"
"Your plan? I'm being perfectly selfless here, making sure you're being productive."
"A translator from my seals to the closest universal match. Selfless. Right. And this has nothing to do with the fact you want your new kunai reinforced."
"How's it going? I could just want to talk to you. My best friend. Who doesn't want me around."
"Honestly? I'm probably going to be the youngest ever seal master- I think it will be ready by the chuunin exams. Leave. Or I'll take a break to invent a seal to throw you out."
"Doesn't that require a seal affecting me?"
"No, it requires a seal affecting the floorboards. Go away. Now. Or else."
"Since you asked so nicely..."
It wasn't like ninja, in any fashion, were the cheap option. But almost everybody would pay out a month's wage to have their dogs taken care of once a year.
"So, if you include a hypertension element here, it ends up being a short shock that leaves the enemy too sore to move instead of a long-term processs."
The two children watched my explanation of a seal in fascination. For some reason, these children had a reputation of being unruly and excessively curious, but I had found if you kept their attention on something actually interesting they were perfectly polite and attentive.
"If you eat all the vegetables for dinner, Sakura-chan will tell you about medicine," I bribed.
The older boy wrinkled his nose.
"Why would we be interesting in something like that? Medicine tastes yucky."
"Because surgery involves cutting people's hearts open and them thanking you for it."
Sasuke seemed to have a headache.
"Did you raise Konohamaru like this?" He asked carefully.
"Ah- interesting story…"
And the pathetic facsimile that passed for industrialization was a C-ranked system- genin had neither the specializations nor the chakra capacity.
"You are not allowed to skip the dog walking this time," Kakashi-sensei demanded cheerfully.
Sasuke didn't seem too upset by that proclamation.
On their own heads be it, for forcing me to desperation.
"Let me see the dogs first," I sighed.
I stepped inside the kennels where the dogs waited, and burst out my chakra in a suffocating cloud that easily quelled the suspicious jumping around.
Lacing my voice with chakra to carry my intention across, I spoke.
"If any of you are any less than perfectly docile and obedient..."
I smiled humorlessly. The dogs cowered.
Even more worrying, stranger, was the fact that nobody else had noticed the discrepancy.
"Let's see if you can beat the Tora retrieval record," the Sandaime smirked. Evil sod.
"We need a planning session this time, I think. Anyone feel like tempura?"
We meandered over to a stand selling tempura, and quickly sat down.
"So. Sakura-kun. You have paralytics, laced senbon, etcetera, right?" Sakura nodded.
"Naruto. Have you made that advanced chakra sensing seal yet? Naruto? Naruto!"
I grinned, and murmered:
"I doubt that will be a problem, Sasuke..."
Sasuke scowled, upset at having his authority questioned. Poor Sasuke had control issues... But then again, I had some quite inhibitive respect issues, so I couldn't complain.
Sakura figured it out first.
"Look down, Sasuke-kun!"
Sasuke looked down. Tora glared up, then pounced into his lap and curled up with a palpable air of ownership.
"I really do love cats," I laughed, as Tora quelled Sasuke's rebellious impulse to breathe via the judicious insertion of claws.
"How do my adorable little genin feel about a C-rank?" Kakashi proposed.
"How certain are you that this mission will be a C-rank and not an A-rank?" Sasuke shot back.
Kakashi-sensei narrowed his eye.
I was quite doubtful team seven would get the ridiculous missions of canon this timeline, despite Kakashi-sensei's delight all week in telling us tales of mis-ranked missions. He claimed his seemingly infinite supply were all true stories, but a military administration couldn't afford to let that many mistakes through for the entirety of Konoha, much less a single team. It would be a terrible reputation and a plethora of failed missions and disgruntled employees.
"Team seven for C-rank!" Kakashi-sensei announced cheerfully.
"Kakashi-san, I recognize these three are very talented genin, but it has only been a few weeks. Are you certain they can take care of themselves if something happens?"
Not much thanks to him. Kakashi-sensei really wasn't much of a teacher; too much of a natural to understand how to convey concepts that had never appeared as words in his head. Sort of like Sasuke. You can't explain that which doesn't require thought.
"If you are certain..." Iruka doubtfully waved us in to see the Hokage, who had the final say on permitting a team to move up mission rankings.
"C-rank, Kakashi?" The Sandaime queried jovially, though with an assessing glint in his eye.
"What can I say? They have proven themselves quite talented at randomized chaos and destruction. They'll be fine. Now when they learn how to aim..."
We waited politely for Kakashi to finish cackling.
"C-rank, then... Nami's been quiet lately, perfect for a rookie team. Will you accept an escort C-rank mission to Nami no Kuni?"
"Yes!" Sasuke burst as Kakashi-sensei opened his mouth. You'd think he was annoyed about something.
"I don't know," Kakashi-sensei mused, clearly sensing Sasuke's frustration. "I mean, I'm not sure I'd trust this team to protect as well as not destroy anything more valuable than weeds..."
"Does this mean we won't get 'entrusted' with dog walking or Tora again?" I asked hopefully.
Sasuke went white in anger and stalked forward to address the Hokage.
"Excuse me, I believe I require a private meeting with my team captain," he snapped.
"Permission granted," the Sandaime acquiesced serenely.
Nodding once, Sasuke spun out the door, dragging Kakashi out with him, who sported a melodramatic expression of surprise and dissapointment.
The door shut. Silence reigned for two minutes, before an evil chuckle echoed through the building- probably amplified with genjutsu.
We all pretended that we had never so much as thought of eavesdropping as they walked back in, Kakashi-sensei eye-grinning and Sasuke looking discomfited.
"Sasuke-chan's fiery passion convinced me that this group is, in fact, ready to increase their duties," Kakashi-sensei stated solemnly.
Sasuke shuddered, but did not comment.
"Really? Then... send in Tazuna, the bridge builder to Nami."
The scent of poor sake pervaded the room as our soon-to-be client walked in the room, stumbled to a stop and looked around.
"It's a bunch of super brats," he wheezed, liquid courage proving its effect. "You sure they'll be able to protect me? They all look to spend more time on their hair than training in ninja stuff."
From a certain point of view, suicide was an extremely courageous act.
"I hope these little girls are up to it. For I am the super awesome bridge expert Tazuna! I will need super protection!
Fun fact: after the Exploding Poison and Disappearing Kunai incident, there was an entire generation of genin who considered 'you fight like a girl' to be a compliment. Not to mention that Hinata-sama tended to get... twitchy... about being called weak.
"I'm sorry, but the princesses were all taken," Kakashi-sensei apologized contritely. To him or us was unclear.
The Sandaime chuckled and handed Kakshi-sensei the mission scroll.
"Off, then, to Nami. Meet by the main gate in thirty minutes," Kakashi ordered, serious for once.
Wait. C-rank. Drunk bridge-builder. Nami no Kuni. Land of Waves.
I walked out of the building, the accustomed blank face covering my reeling thoughts.
Exactly how did this happen? All the odds were against it! Unless there was some force matching 'team seven' with that mission. But why would anyone in the Konoha mission system want team Incident Waiting to Happen in a quasi-war zone and tactical hotspot?
Unless... they didn't know. The Sandaime had mentioned about Nami being quiet, hadn't he? But then, why didn't they know?
In any case, it was too late to back out on this mission without getting court-martialed for abandonment of duty. While it was unlikely this mission would end even as well as canon, it was impossible that a trial would end well at all, especially considering I had no proof- or even worse, an impossible source of knowledge about a highly likely potential future. Amazing how all the syptoms pointed straight to demonic possession... with the demon built in, no less.
I hissed out a held breath, and ran to get my supplies.
We met Tazuna at the gates, loaded down with camping supplies.
"Everyone ready?" Kakashi-sensei asked, sweeping an eye over our packed bags. The Academy drilled endlessly on necessary supplies for different mission classifications, but there was always something to forget. Which was why I had a fully stocked sealing scroll with me at all times.
We nodded, and Kakashi-sensei led us out the great gates, waving cheerfully at the glowering guardsmen.
As we walked, Sasuke immediately took the opportunity to query Tazuna about Nami setting, which apparently involved a lot of fish, and a lot of grousing about some figure named Gato and untrustworthy workers.
We had been walking more than an hour when I diagnosed the strange readings coming from my chakra sense- unfortunately, that particular surveillance system became rather useless at more than kilometre away, figures dissolving into vague blurs. As far as I could tell, there was a line of people almost swirling around, but determinedly avoid the normal, direct route we were taking. So not road bandits, or they were road bandits who had miraculously all gotten the message that Sharingan Kakashi would be patrolling at this particular time. Strange...
And then, as if passing through an invisible checkpoint, one blur snapped into clarity
"Interesting bird," I interrupted Sasuke's interrogation about Wave's climate and it's possible effects on kunai tragectory in relation to air currents. "See, up there. Not moving at all. Probably thinks it is hidden. What do you think, sensei?"
Developed chakra system to the west. Less than 500 metres away. Not moving, probably hidden. What do you think, sensei?
Kakashi eye-smirked. Was he using a genjutsu to enhace the expressivity of his one eye?
"Go fetch dinner, Naruto-kun," he cheerfully ordered.
I glared, but still leapt into the trees and masked my presence.
There. The puddle of water. Two? Kakashi had to know. Did he know? No reaction. Of course not, jounin.
This was Zabuza and the sidekick? We were doomed. If it was them. Kind of an incompetent setup. But then, if there were more, was it an intrinsic divergence to cannon? I couldn't remember!
I froze, barely breathing as they approached the innocuous puddle.
Five yards. Four yards. Three yards. Seriously, what we they thinking with that trap? Focus! One yard.
I tensed, heart pounding.
One yard past. Two yards-
And two ninja burst out of the puddle, flung spiked chains around Kakashi-sensei and ripped his body into three bloody hunks.
I froze, until Kakashi's chakra reconvened a few yards away.
My teammates were already in action, Sakura frantically knocking away barbed chains with a kunai, Sasuke blasting through fireballs.
I took a moment to fix the location of the ninja sneaking behind Tazuna, pricked my thumb, then shunshined behind him, slamming my hands forward as he spun around to face the chakra blast.
"Fuinjutsu: Nekutai no Youma," I spat, grabbing the man's oustretched arm, gauntet -poisoned?- reaching towards me.
Seals flashed along the ninja's sleeve, I ducked down beneath the punch, and he screamed as he toppled over me. Yay for speed training. I watched in a semi-professional fascination as, along his body, his clothes constricted and wove into each other, the previous seals making the cloth effective armor now preventing the ninja simply ripping his way out of the mutinous apparel.
My foe taken care of for now, I looked up at Sasuke and Sakura's opponent, and watched in satisfaction as Sasuke's most recent fireball spun the idiot straight into Sakura-chan's green glowing hand.
The clearing was silent as the ninja slumped down, until Kakashi-sensei's raucous laughter a few seconds later broke the frozen silence and alerted us to his perfect state of health a few trees over.
"Best genin team ever," he chortled, eye curved up. "Naruto-kun, please don't let the captive asphyxiate before we get a chance to interrogate him."
I jerked, and returned to neutralize the Tie of Doom.
"Maa, I'm not very experienced at this whole torture thing," Kakashi chirped, glancing at the now conscious prisoner, still secured in his fused clothes. "So, why don't you tell us anything we find interesting, and then we can just pretend with did all the prep work actually happened?"
"I'm not fooled by that silly henge," the strange ninja snarled. "You're not bad for genin, but try doing a little research before you impersonate a famous shinobi."
"I tried," Kakashi sighed. "Any ideas from the midgets?"
"Tickle torture?" I suggested calmly.
Kakashi glanced at the prisoner.
"I think it'd be too much effort to get through the, er, wrappings," he concluded, then turned away to face Tazuna.
"If mook one is unresponsive, then I guess I have to ask another!" Kakashi said brightly.
Until his eye went icy.
"Because when I watched, it turned out they endangering my genin, targeting my rather unimpressive client. Anything you'd like to share with us?"
Tazuna paled and started backing up, only to freeze as Kakashi-sensei slowly stood up, a kunai appearing in his hand.
"Please!" He begged, puce colour of desperation overtaking the bloodless tinge of fright. "I had to!"
"Had to what?" Kakashi-sensei drawled. "Had to endanger Konoha shinobi? Had to lie for the sake of money and put my students against adult assassins? Is this malice or merely abject stupidity? I don't very much feel like differentiating, when the results are the same. Because we didn't know there would be shinobi attacking, we put the most rookie team on this mission; good enough to kill thieves and bandits, but without actual combat experience. Would you like me to tell you stories about genin tricked onto misranked missions? They tend to die. A lot. In very, very bloody circumstances."
Tazuna started shaking.
"Just let me tell you why, it's important!"
"Then talk." Kakashi-sensei ordered.
Tazuna swallowed, then forcibly calmed himself down.
"Have you heard of Gato?" He began.
Gato, Gato- where had I heard his name? Something about stonework and fish?
"Corporation Gato? One of the richest men in the world?" Kakashi clarified.
"That's right," Tazuna nodded. "But the thing is, he's getting that money from crushing and exploiting Nami no Kuni; he controls the boats, you see. Nothing gets in or out without his permission."
"So you are building a bridge that anyone can pass freely," I continued in a sigh. "Smuggled yourself out, Gato only found out in time for the road back. I would suspect you were not killed for being a highly trained large-scale engineer with a specialty in stonework? Highly trained family, probably someone was being rebellious, Gato chooses to 'make an example' of someone in your family, to keep you in fear, but it backfires into desperation..."
I blinked as a thought occurred.
"Where did you learn engineering, anyway?" After all, unfortunately, there certainly weren't any universities on this world.
Tazuna's eyes widened in shock, but he smiled sadly after a few moments.
"During Uzushiogakure's golden age, I was a young man fascinated by great buildings," he answered, and I filed away the Uzumaki reference for later research.
"This mission has gone beyond the parameters to at least B-rank, possibly A-rank. Do you want to continue?" Kakashi-sensei took over.
"We should help them," Sasuke immediately insisted. "People shouldn't be allowed to do things like that."
"We should go back," I interjected. "With such a rich client, it will probably end up going political, not to mention he has enough money to hire someone really dangerous. We barely survived these two pathetic- chūnin?"
I turned to face the captured ninja, who was silently glaring at us.
"How did you get to chuunin by hiding in puddles brimming with chakra during the height of summer?" I questioned incredulously.
"Oh, I don't know," he snapped. "It might have something to do with the fact that the entire border of Nami no Kuni is patrolled? It would look right in place, maybe, for a warzone protected by Mizu missing-nin?"
He looked at our skeptical faces and started laughing.
"Oh, genin," he chortled. "Gato-sama's rich- rich enough to employ an army. And he does- you think he wouldn't, with all the enemies he's made to get so wealthy?"
"We were supposed to intercept you without making a flashy mess, but just in case, Gato-sama had his army circle around your projected path. You really are good, excepting the idiot still pretending to be Hatake. Sorry, kids, you aren't going back unless you can fight off a hundred bandits and two ninja- each."
In early canon, we see Kakashi mostly either mocking his students' stupidity, trolling them, or his serious moments against dangerous opponents. Since his students aren't so stupid this time, he actually has to put some effort in to mock them appropriately. Also, since they aren't so similar to his previous team, he can let himself become a little more engaged without facing his past. I think I ended up going over the top with his character, but this amuses me much more then the sentimental Kakashi they have going on in canon. Really, he's just had the one tenet of his life still remaining from anything approaching childhood crumble out and fall beneath him. Logically, he should either be completely emotionally repressed, right now, or having a breakdown. But sure, one of his fundamental beliefs is trying to become a kami and destroy the world, what angst?
Iruka's very professional here. I wonder if that had anything to do with Mizuki's attitude change?
Sasuke still thinks that the world aside from him and a select few others is stupid, pointless, and annoying. It's just that now he mocks it instead of condemning it.
Keeping in mind the requirements of modern-day medical training, of which Naruto-verse medicine is shown to be equitable, Sakura's achievements over the time skip show a growth rate equal to her teammates. Of course, her mental and emotional maturity are rather disappointing, and the medical stuff doesn't have to much of a tie in to the actual purpose of the series, ie ninjas, but Sakura's skill level after the time skip is incredible. Medical school is four years, the shortest residency is two years, and then you become a basic practitioner. None of this is skippable.
Now consider Canon Sakura: one of the greatest medics alive, with multiple demanding specialties, in three years. Consider: she wouldn't get very far making new remedies without a very good understanding of biochemistry, not to mention skill in a battlefield setting. In addition, Sakura manages to become a worthwhile, if not S-ranked, combatant. This girl is annoying, definitely, but far from useless or hopeless. Oh, and all of this is young adolescence. Canon Sakura has potential; it's just that the character of every female in Naruto is massacred, with the possible exception of Konan.
Since Kakashi didn't have to step in, and was so ridiculous after, the demon brothers thought the entire team were genin. The response of the survivor was a mixture of pity and a mentality known as 'spare the aces' on TvTropes.
Sorry this took so long to get out, real life reared its ugly head, and I've been writing Harry Potter fanfics obsessively. Unfortunately, I will get three pages into a great idea before it devolves into mary sues...
Please tell me if anyone found the D-ranks funny or just weird or whatever you think; in real life my sense of humor tends to be somewhat esoteric. Of course, many people laugh when I'm merely being passionate.
Many, many thanks to 21383013543330 who gave me some very helpful constructive criticism that led to a semi-major rewrite of the last chapter. I love criticism. Can't get enough of it.