------------------------ ---------------------------------------------------

 

Diary Excerpt: Team Seven

 

Few days before the first genin meeting

They'll be assigning the genin teams soon. Chances are I'll get the Uchiha kid for obvious reasons - there's no one else left in Konoha with a sharingan. He's the #1 rookie which also means I'll get the worst kid. That's probably the nine-tails prankster brat Naruto. It's guaranteed to be a real pain, having two polar opposites. Reminds me of my own genin team. But chances are they won't pass my bells test and I'll have another year free. Guess it's been disappointing not to have anyone pass the test in all these years, but I'm sort of glad. Don't think I'm really cut out to be a teacher anyway. Teachers have to be role models. Who am I to be a role model?

Not sure if I even like kids. After all, was never a child myself. We grew up real fast in those old days, those days of war. Didn't have any friends growing up, just comrades in arms. Those other kids were all so.immature, irresponsible, silly (like Gai!). At least that's what I thought back then. Can't help but think that when you're hailed as a genius. Everyone else just seems like useless scum. If I had my life to live over.But I learned from my mistakes, hope to that pass on. That's why I decided to teach. But how can I be called a teacher if I haven't had any students? Maybe this time. 

Day of the first genin meeting

Watched the genins in the Hokage's crystal orb. Iruka announced the teams. As expected, I got the Uchiha kid, Sasuke, and the nine-tails kid, Naruto, and as an added bonus, I got this pink haired girl, Sakura who obviously has a crush on Sasuke. To make things even worse, it's apparent that Naruto has a crush on her. Got to see them interact. All the girls were drooling over Sasuke. Sigh, reminds me of the old days. He's pretty cool, but I could've wiped the floor with him at the same age, no at half the age! Naruto appears to hate Sasuke (despite that kiss!), Sakura hates Naruto, and Sasuke hates everyone! This team is going to be trouble.

Was late to the team meeting because the Hokage wanted to show me Naruto's home and discuss some things. Noticed that Naruto's milk expired a month ago. It wasn't thrown out in the garbage so it looked like he drank it. What kind of idiot would drink curdled milk? I could hear the lumps clunk around when I shook it. He couldn't be that stupid could he? I realized my mistake later.

The Hokage complained that my version of the bells test was too hard. Said these kids were only twelve, how do I expect them to have the maturity to work together? I've been killing people since I was six. Didn't that require maturity? Course I didn't say that. I just shrugged to avoid answering his question. Works every time. Think the Hokage was trying to raise my sympathy by showing me how Naruto lived alone. Lots of shinobis live alone from a young age, myself included. But I didn't live on cup ramen and spoiled milk. This kid has serious problems.

It was trouble from the first second. I noticed the classroom door was ajar. It should be either opened more fully or closed. It must be a prank, a falling bucket of water or paint or pigs blood. Figured I could escape easily if I had to. But it was just a harmless eraser so I let them have their fun, they'll pay for it soon enough. I also got to see their expressions, see their character. Sasuke didn't crack a smile. The prank was obviously orchestrated by Naruto who was doubled over with laughter. Sakura pretended she had nothing to do with it, that she even tried to stop Naruto. What a brown-noser! I don't need a byakugan to see through her. Stupid chalk dust in my hair. Had to use extra shampoo. Note: Need to buy more shampoo.

Asked them to tell me about themselves. They tried to turn it around on me but I managed to sidestep it. It's not good to get close to your students, things happen, put up a wall now. Naruto raved about ramen. No wonder he's so short if that's all he eats. He must be seriously mal-nourished. Note: get him to eat more vegetables, send him to the shinobi medics for a thorough checkup and blood tests. Sasuke wants to kill his bother as expected. He's going to be a barrel of laughs to hang with. Sakura only cares about boys, Sasuke in particular. Why is she a kunoichi? I gave them my usual speech about survival training and told them not to eat anything. Made them get up extra earlier too, to get back at them for that eraser trick. Ha-ha! Should be interesting.

I really do hope they pass. Think I've been kind of bored, in a rut. Been taking it easy these past few years. No war, no students. Course I prefer it like this, but it's not good to be complacent, is it? 

Day of the bells test

Woke up late. Had to read over the genin profiles this morning. Meant to do it last night, but got into Make-Out Paradise and didn't want to stop. Damn those books are addictive! Seems Sasuke and Sakura had the top grades on the written tests, Naruto the lowest. Sasuke of course was top in every other category. But Naruto did pretty well on hand to hand combat skills. His shuriken and kunai skills were noted to be quite good as well. His ninjutsu and genjutsu were low, but I heard he learned kage bunshin from the forbidden scroll and used it against Mizuki so he can't be that bad. Guess I should watch out for that jutsu.

Then I had to run some errands like buy the two bento boxes. Got to the training site about six hours after the time I said to meet. Sakura and Naruto were seriously pissed off. Sasuke didn't deign to say anything. Made up a flimsy excuse about a black cat, but they didn't buy it. Gave them the usual speech about getting a bell or back to the academy.

Naruto made a smart-ass remark about how I couldn't dodge the eraser, so I really let him have it. Can't have them disrespecting me at this stage. Naruto then attacked me immediately. What an idiot! I'm a jounin, he's a genin. As if he had a ghost of a chance. They're all such idiots. It really should be obvious to anyone with a brain that a genin has no chance against a jounin one-on-one. The only chance they have is to act as a team. Of course having only two bells does discourage that, but still, you'd think someone after all these years would be self-sacrificing or be smart enough to see past that. Have I been expecting too much from twelve-year-old-genins? At that age I guess I would've flunked my own test too. But I just can't take on genins who don't have the compassion, the cooperation, the mentality to act as a team. Like Yondaime said, teamwork is most important to being a shinobi. Wish I had understood that earlier, so I must impress that upon these kids now.

Being a shinobi is also serious business. These kids must come at me with the intent to hurt me or they'll have no chance at all with me or on real missions. Also I need to evaluate their skills:

Naruto - poor ninja basics, did not conceal himself before attacking, was probably condescending of me to start reading Make-Out Paradise in front of him but I really did want to read what came next. He had some decent moves, speed was passable, but his arrogant brash attitude had to be tempered so I used my special taijustu technique "1000 years of pain." Ha-ha, I always wanted to use that humiliating juvenile move on someone who deserved it. My father taught me that one! Think I was just a toddler then. Don't remember exactly what I did, probably disobeyed orders and snuck some mochi before dinner. Anyway, Naruto's kage bunshin technique was impressive and he managed to think on his feet and developed a decent strategy - sent a clone down the river to get behind me. Was actually a bit impressed. He does have potential after all. Still, couldn't let him beat me so I used kawarimi - the chaos that ensued was laughable. I watched from a tree branch as Naruto and his clones beat each other up. He is an idiot after all! Finally he got smart and dispelled his clones. I gave him another test. I mean how dense can he really be? But he flunked again! I pretended to drop a bell and he fell right into the oldest trick in the book, a simple rope trap. At least it got him out of the way so I could deal with the other two. Started to give him a lecture about how ninjas should think beyond the norm. I knew Sakura and Sasuke were watching. Was hoping they'd work together but.

Sakura - didn't try to attack me at all, was just concerned about finding Sasuke, so it was easy to sneak up on her. I know from the report that her taijutsu's weak, but I was hoping her genjutsu would be more developed. Showed her an image of Sasuke bleeding to death and impaled with a bunch of kunais and shurikens. She fainted immediately! Thought she would at least try to help him. Geez, she's pathetic!

Sasuke - excellent skills for a kid his age, smart too, even anticipated that I would know where he was from his shurikens, set up a nice trap for me, some good taijutsu moves and speed, was able to use a fire jutsu, surprising for a genin, but then again that's a Uchiha trademark. Had to use a higher level ninjutsu, but it was fun taking him down. Rubbed it in a bit to wipe that arrogant smirk off his face, ha-ha! But he was heads above the other two. Very impressive, lived up to being the #1 rookie. Didn't get to read Make-Out Paradise at all against him. Will definitely make a great shinobi, just needs attitude adjustment.

Caught Naruto trying to cheat and eat lunch. That really made me mad, such a selfish act. But he did grow up alone. The team concept must be completely alien to him. Of course Naruto got tied to the log. Told them all to quit as ninjas, that they didn't deserve to be ninjas. Sasuke actually showed some emotion and attacked me. Finally told them the test was about teamwork. Sakura is actually pretty bright, she asked me about the two bells. Lectured them on their shortcomings and the importance of teamwork. Enjoyed holding that kunai to Sasuke's throat. Arrogant little bastard. Still thought he had a chance against me. That fool Naruto was ranting about how he wanted his name on the shinobi memorial until I told him they were all shinobis who died in the line of duty. Told them my best friend's name was engraved there. Of course I know many more of those names there. But his death was a turning point in my life. What I am today I owe to Obito.

Surprise! These three jokers passed my second chance test. Sasuke and Sakura offered Naruto their lunch, defying my orders. They even said they were one. It's not as good as consciously acting as a team to get the bells, but it's still better than nothing. At least they had the audacity to think for themselves. Shinobis should not be mindless drones despite being tools of their country. I'm very pleased that they passed. Gives me something different to do and gets the Hokage off my back. It will be interesting to mold and lead them. Now I feel like a real sensei.

That Sasuke definitely needs guidance. There's no one else who knows the powers of the sharingan. Maybe Naruto and I can get him to lighten up. It's not good to go through life alone like that. I should know. Naruto definitely needs guidance too. I hear he's formed a father-son type relationship with Iruka. That takes some pressure off me. Don't want a needy kid clinging to me for emotional support. Sakura seems.normal though unmotivated. Her only motivation seems to be Sasuke. Not sure how to handle her. Dealing with females is always tougher.

I'm thinking more about their skills and how to develop them. Have a feeling it's going to be difficult with these personalities. Was I as arrogant and anti-social as Sasuke? I'd like to think I wasn't but I probably was, maybe even worse. I'm a much better person now, so I'd like to think, but it's been a hard road to travel. Can't help but lapse into old habits once in a while, but I've been trying hard to be unlike the old me. It's most important to make these kids into better human beings, not just better shinobis, better killing machines. Acting as a team, watching out for your team members, means more to me than the official shinobi rules. If you don't care about your teammates and protect them, how can you care about and protect something less tangible like ideals or the village?

~end~