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Gonna Cut You Down

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“My first impression of you is…. pathetic . Meet me up on the roof in two minutes!” Kakashi--or ‘Dog’ as Naruto had first known him as, disappeared in a plume of smoke.

“A shadow clone? Why couldn’t he have just come here himself? Instead of making us wait three hours! ” Sakura raged, her trim form trembling with the force of it. Naruto himself hadn’t noticed the time passing, he had - wisely - chosen to take a nap when the other teams left.

“Kit, let’s go before the banshee breaks our eardrums.” Kurama whined from his mindscape, making his lips twitch. Sasuke sent him an odd look before getting up and making his way to the door.

Dobe ! We’ve only got a minute and a half to get up there!” He called over his shoulder, a courtesy rarely showed to anyone else. Naruto wouldn’t call it ‘friendship’ because Uchiha’s don’t have friends - especially the moody ones like Sasuke.

But it was an understanding of sorts that they look out for each other, borne of having no one else. Still, it warmed him at his core whenever their promise was demonstrated. Sakura glared at him, jealous of the easy attention Naruto was always paid by the top student in their year.

“You better not mess this up for me, dead last .” She hissed, packing up her things before following her idol, calling out to him as if he would actually wait for her.

Naruto tossed that thought to the Fox and relished in the deep rumbling laugh that seemed to be all around him as he languidly slid from his chair and stretched.

‘God, that nap was so good, let’s get this over with now, shall we?’ He thought to his longtime friend, getting a rumbling purr in response as the image of their sunlit meadow was pushed to the forefront. Naruto hummed, yes, continuing their nap sounded like a brilliant idea.

Pushing chakra into his bare feet (He hated wearing shoes, detested the things) Naruto climbed out the window and began walking up the wall to the roof. He climbed over the railing with a full minute to spare, despite leaving well after his new teammates.

Kakashi looked surprised to see him, but soon returned to his porn, though Naruto could tell he had the man’s attention.

“This pervert is our new Sensei? You’d better watch yourself, sweet cheeks, these shameless types usually don’t mind some underage booty.” Kurama snarked, making a startled laugh bubble up from his lips and Naruto quickly stifled it, ignoring the incredulous look his new Sensei was sending him.

‘Kurama!’ he chastised, going over to the steps to lounge against one of the pillars, much like Kakashi was. Though his mirth could still be felt and the Fox only grinned, it surely would have been a terrifying sight if anyone could see him.

“Nonsense, you love it.”

Naruto smiled as warmth filled his chest, yeah, he does. Without Kurama Naruto had been a shell of who he was now, desperate for any sort of affection, even just an acknowledgment of his existence would have sufficed. He pushed all his gratitude and love at the ethereal creature trapped inside his mind, resulting in a very quiet Fox.

It always amused Naruto that the almighty Nine-tails, feared throughout the world, was so easily felled by genuine positive emotion.

“Brat.” The Fox finally hurled back, a note of pride and embarrassment in his voice. There was that warmth again… Kakashi snapped his book shut just as the others burst out onto the rooftop. Sakura swung her gaze from their Sensei to Naruto, breathing like she’d just run a marathon.

‘If she wants to be a ninja, she should have a lot more stamina than that’ Naruto commented quietly, gaining a snort from his Fox. She took in his relaxed posture, no sign of any physical exertion whatsoever and her gaze turned accusing.

“Naruto! How the hell did you get here before us?! When we left you were still half asleep in your chair!”

Naruto and Kurama both winced at the pitch her prepubescent voice had risen to.

“Stupid Banshee, I hate her.” Kurama grumbled and Naruto was inclined to agree, she did nothing but scream at him since she developed that stupid crush on Sasuke. He didn’t even deserve it most of the time.

Thankfully Kakashi decided to step in before things could escalate, piercing her with a disapproving black eye.

“Maa ma, just calm down , Pinkie, I saw him walk up the side of the building using a common chakra exercise--something the two of you should have thought of.”

Sasuke huffed, the only acknowledgment he would give that their Sensei was right and came to sit at Naruto’s feet, leaning back slightly so they were touching. Another pleased smile twitched at the corners of his mouth as he folded his arms and looked back to Kakashi.

Sakura’s face reddened in either embarrassment or anger, maybe both, but by some miracle she kept her mouth shut and sat down on the steps. Naruto could tell she wanted to sit next to Sasuke but she also didn’t want to be that close to him.

“Maybe that’s why the Uchiha insists on being so close.” Kurama mused, shifting around in the warm meadow his Kit had created for him when they met almost a year ago. It was much nicer than the sewer.

Naruto tilted his head--a mannerism he’d picked up from his Fox--and watched the way Sasuke paled when he caught the look Sakura was sending him. He felt a warm back press fully against his calf and smirked.

‘You might be right about that,’

“I’m always right, brat !”

He was then pulled out of his musings by the clearing of a throat.

“Right, I want a name, likes, dislikes, hobbies...whatever...Goals, that kind of thing.” Kakashi waved a hand as if he was suddenly tired of speaking, pulling out that neon orange book that seemed to be as much a part of his character as the face mask he wore.

When a few moments passed in silence, Kakashi sighed and looked up from his book.

“Why isn’t anyone speaking? I’ve got places to be, things to do, important things…” He urged, meeting each of their eyes.

“Yeah, like making eyes at Iruka.” Kurama retorted, despite the fact only Naruto could hear him. He almost choked, forcing himself to be still as he tried so very hard not to laugh.

‘Stop it, they’ll think I’m crazy or something!’

He could practically feel the Fox’s eyebrows wiggle. “But I am right, though, right?”

Naruto had to bite his lip, and hard , forcing himself to ignore the cackling laughter echoing inside his head. He must not have been as successful as he’d hoped, if the way Sasuke was looking at him was any indication.

No one knew that he could communicate with the Kyuubi, hell, his classmates didn’t even know he was a Jinchuuriki in the first place! No, it would raise some serious red flags upstairs if anyone knew. And it would get back to them, the nosy bastards.

“Sensei, why don’t you go first? That’s normally how this kind of thing works, after all.” Sakura asked politely, though the tick mark on her forehead kind of ruined it.

‘God, that girl is perpetually angry, isn’t she.’ Naruto sighed, eyeing the slowly fading sunlight with regret. It looked like they weren’t getting that second nap in. The best naps were always taken in the sun, it was proven fact. There was just no point in trying now that the warmth would be taken over by the chill of night.

Kakashi eye-smiled, clearly also done with this conversation.

“Kakashi Hatake, I like stuff, I dislike stuff, my hobbies...hmm, and my goals are none of your business.” He said cheerfully.

“Broody! You’re up next!” Sasuke glared at that, but obeyed.

“Sasuke Uchiha, I dislike most things and my hobbies are training. As for my goals...no, my ambition is to kill a certain someone.” There was silence, Kakashi’s shoulders tensing slightly - and if it were anyone but Naruto, they wouldn't have noticed.

He knew why, it was pretty concerning to hear that kind of thing coming from a 12 yr old, after all - especially broody mcbroodinson who had yet to move from his spot huddled up to Naruto. Saying things like that was surely a red flag for the state of his mental health. Despite this, the Jonin recovered quickly enough and turned - albeit reluctantly - to Sakura.

“Pinkie! Your turn!” Said ‘Pinkie’ glared, but like Sasuke, obeyed.

“Sakura Haruno, I like... well ,” She blushed, sending a heated glance the Uchiha’s way and Naruto could feel the whimper trapped in the teme’s chest, wanting to get out. But the dark-haired boy had more control than that and the only visible sign of his discomfort was the paling of already alabaster skin.

Naruto sighed and nudged the boy at his feet, a warning he was going to move so the other boy didn’t embarrass himself by falling backward. It was another of those little instances of ‘looking out for each other’ and Sasuke sent him a panicked stare, but obligingly leaned forward. Naruto shuffled the couple of feet to plop down beside the teme on the stairs, directly between his new teammates and making sure to angle his body to block off the fan-girl’s view.

Sasuke huffed a small smile and bumped shoulders with Naruto. A silent show of gratitude.

Now disgruntled, the fangirl itched to bury her fingers in that sunshine yellow hair and pull --but that would be undignified and Naruto also had the uncanny ability to know what she was going to do just before she did it. It was like he could read her mind, talk about disturbing!

Even now, he was side-eyeing her like he knew exactly what she wanted to do to him! She pushed air through gritted teeth and instead chose to be mature and get on with the introductions.

“I dislike… ” A glare aimed at a certain whiskered blond.

“My hobbies are sewing and reading, and my goal for the future would be…” Another blush, this one deeper. Kakashi looked faintly disgusted, grey eyes turning to the Uzumaki in hopes of hearing at least something redeemable about this pathetic group. They would never work out, he could already tell he had his work cut out for him - despite how well the two clan heirs seemed to get along.

Maybe he should enlist Anko to help him straighten out his team, she’d beat the ‘fangirl’ out of Haruno one way or another, even if it cost the girl her life as a shinobi. He tried not to flinch when familiar--too familiar--blue eyes met his in curiosity.

Kakashi eye-smiled, slouching to give off a more relaxed aura and pulled out his book, aiming to look as bored and unaffected by that intense stare as he could. He was vividly reminded of Kushina and her ability to know exactly what he was hiding, the gaki had that same sparkle in his eyes, despite the colour difference. Hers had been a deep forest green, but the kid in front of him had Minato’s sky blue eyes.

“Foxy! Now you!” He said with false cheer, seeing the Uchiha send him a glare, the heat of it felt like he’d just thrown a fire jutsu at him.

‘Kowaii’ he thought, despite not being scared. A little gaki wouldn’t be able to frighten someone like him, not after everything he’d done. Everything he’d experienced. Kakashi focussed back on his Sensei’s kid, the last painful reminder of what he’d lost all those years ago.

Naruto grinned, looking like the sun itself.

“Look, kit! It’s happening already! Whatever you do, don’t take any candy from him!” Naruto ignored his Fox, instead straightening his spine as he placed his hands behind his head.

“Naruto Uzumaki, I LOVE taking naps in the sun, they’re the BEST! I like hanging out with Sasuke--though he’s always busy training these days--” He ignored the splutter from next to him and continued on.

“and Ramen. I dislike traitors and bullies--also capsicum, hate the stuff!” Naruto made a face and stuck out his tongue like he could taste it.

“My hobbies are probably training and learning about seals, and my goals….” Naruto frowned and closed his mouth, he did have one, but that was only because he wanted people to look at him with something other than contempt. He had Kurama and Sasuke now, he didn’t need anyone else.

“...I don’t have any, I guess.”

Kakashi was surprised by that, the Hokage had given him an overview of his favourite Jinchuuriki. The old man, deeply amused, had told him of the boy’s wish to take the famous red and white hat. Had he given up? That also didn’t align with what he heard.

"What do you mean?! You're always going on about being the Hokage!" The way Sakura said it, they could all hear the implied 'even though it's impossible for someone like you' and it made Kakashi like her even less. He expected the blond to erupt and strike a dramatic pose while declaring that, yes , he was going to be the Hokage. But instead he only shrugged, looking nonplussed at the pitch her voice had risen to.

But damn , if she didn't have Banshee blood in her, Kakashi would strip right now and do the macarena.

"Nah, I don't think that's what I want to do anymore. Too much paperwork." Kakashi wasn't the only one surprised by the mature (for Naruto) response and he mentally filed away what he'd learned so far to be examined and reported to the Hokage later tonight.

Apparently the old man didn't know him as well as he'd thought.