Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of its characters.

Warning: Manga spoilers.


Reassurance

"You wanted to see me, Hokage-sama?" Kakashi's one uncovered eye flicked around the room, taking in the other occupants of the Hokage's office. Sarutobi sat behind his desk, while Danzou, Koharu, and Homura stood in a loose semicircle behind him.

"Yes, Hatake-san." Sarutobi placed his hands on a stack of three manila folders that sat in the center of his desk. "As you know, the most recent class of Academy students has just graduated, and I'm in the process of splitting them into three-man teams and assigning them to jounin-sensei. There's one team that I would like you to take charge of." He pushed the folders toward Kakashi.

The masked jounin picked up the folders and flipped through the dossiers inside. "They could be an interesting bunch," he said noncommittally. And it explains why the three councilors are assisting in as trivial a matter as assigning new genin to training teams. "However, you should be aware that I won't go easy on them just because one is a jinchuuriki and one is the sole survivor of the Uchiha Massacre. I'm sure you know my record with regard to new graduates."

"In fact, your record is part of the reason I want you leading this team," Sarutobi replied. "Naruto-kun and Sasuke-kun both have the potential to become very powerful shinobi, but power isn't the only qualification for being a great Konoha ninja. One must also be disciplined and understand the proper use of one's power. A ninja with extraordinary skill who uses those skills only for personal glory, who doesn't recognize that being a shinobi sometimes requires great sacrifice, is at best useless and at worst dangerous. You're the best person to train Sasuke-kun because you also have the Sharingan, and since you know whose son Naruto-kun is, you're less likely to shortchange him in his training than some other sensei might be. But more importantly, I know that you would place an emphasis on tempering their power with a sense of responsibility to the village."

"I'm honored that you have such faith in my teaching abilities, Hokage-sama." Kakashi turned his attention to the three councilors, who stood silent and stony-faced behind the Hokage. "Is that your opinion as well?"

"It is," Koharu said, nodding so that the sunlight coming in through the window glinted off her hair ornament. "The Sharingan and the Kyuubi are powerful weapons in Konoha's arsenal, and their bearers must be properly taught so that they don't misuse them."

"In particular, a close eye must be kept on the Uzumaki child in case his seal shows signs of weakening," Homura added.

"If worse comes to worst," Danzou put in, "you've already shown that you know how to deal with a jinchuuriki."

Sarutobi fastened a glare on Daznou so sharp that Kakashi was amazed it didn't cut his throat. "Danzou-san!"

"It's all right," Kakashi said with a negligent wave of his hand. "Danzou-san is quite correct; I do know how to deal with a jinchuuriki. I know that agents of other villages may try to kidnap him, like they did with Hinata-chan. Of course, after how quickly Hiashi-sama dispatched that kidnapper, I would expect anyone going after Naruto-kun to use a more subtle approach. They might try to make the murder look like a mission gone wrong...or even impersonate, say, Konoha ANBU. It really is a worrying scenario." His visible eye crinkled as he smiled beneath his mask. "But you don't need to worry, Danzou-san. If anyone tries to attack Naruto-kun, I'll kill them."

Danzou stared at Kakashi in silence for a few seconds while the jounin held his smile in place. Finally, with no change in facial expression, he said, "Your determination to protect Konoha's assets is commendable."

Kakashi inclined his head. "Thank you for the compliment, Danzou-san." He turned to Sarutobi. "If you don't need me any longer, I'd like to read up on my new team."

"You're dismissed," Sarutobi told him, and watched with the tiniest hint of a smile on his face as the Copy Ninja ambled out of the room.


A/N: This story came about because my husband suggested it would be interesting to see a fic where Kakashi is being chosen as Team 7's sensei and someone (obviously not Sarutobi!) insensitively comments that he's a good choice because if Naruto's seal breaks "you already know how to deal with a jinchuuriki." Danzou seemed like a natural choice for who would say something like that, and the presence of both Naruto and Sasuke on the team makes it likely that the councilors would take an interest in the assignment of a sensei.

As always, reviews are welcome!