I don't own Naruto or Kenshin and I call bullshit on Supa-Easy-For-Noobs-Academy-Graduation-Exam
I won't follow cannon because to me cannon was a huge letdown, I wanted to see Naruto become Hokage in an actual ceremony with acceptance speech, how did Naruto get together with Hinata? You can't just rush things like this Kishimoto.. and whoever drew Naruto in the epilogue with a receding hairline of all things had better hang their heads in shame, swallow their pride in reverse and apologise! Besides Naruto is an Uzumaki where is the damn longevity and vitality?
Naruto, Heart of Sword Chapter 7
Naruto smiled wryly to himself as he clothed himself in his decided ninja outfit. The day he'd been striving for a long time had finally come, the ever anticipated Graduation Day!
Sarutobi Hiruzen's voice boomed across the Shinobi Academy's parade grounds proud and powerful, the Hokage flanked by elite Shinobi in Jonin uniform provided a powerful image for the ambitious young Shinobi to be.
"Today those who pass the examinations will have the honour of fighting for the Shinobi Forces of Konohagakure and Hi No Kuni, from East to West, North to South the people of fire country welcome you into our illustrious ranks!
Just as the Fire's Shadow illuminates the village, May the will of fire burn brightly within all of you!"
A brilliant cheer went up amongst the crowd as the examinations building's doors were opened and the students filed in.
Naruto looked up from leaning against the wall as the examiner called out names and gestured they enter the room, once the admittedly small class was seated, the examiner, a nondescript Jonin spoke.
"Good morning students, each of you are here because you show promise in certain areas, the first half of the day is relegated to theory and bookwork a half hour break for lunch and then the practical will begin.
In this exam general weaponry and history knowledge will be tested, seal barriers are erected in each individual cubicle because while Shinobi advocate cheating as a way of life this test is designed to gauge how competent you are at each subject and if you are ready for the shinobi lifestyle.
You will be given a unlimited amount of paper and will be expected to write everything you know about weaponry, application and general history, you are advised to write this in bullet point format, basically write everything you can think of to gain a point, points will not be subtracted for wrong answers though you will be informed of your mistakes later."
The day continued much like this as the students finished one exam before being given the next and so on, on all general Shinobi subjects like Nin-Gen-Tai-Ken and extra electives such as cryptography, barriers, mapmaking and the like.
At lunch Naruto sat next to Shikamaru on the roof taking small leisurely sips of water from a flask at his side as he gently flexed his tired cramped fingers, these lengthy freestyle exam papers went through the shinobi portion of the council onto the Hokage who gave the final opinion on whether it had passed or not. The true reason the Hokage had so much paperwork is that once you were a registered shinobi you could apply for additional lessons and take more of these exams in other fields to prove you are ready for promotion without taking the chunin exams which were more like advertisement than actual promotion events.
Sandaime himself had implemented the scheme in the aftermath of the Kyuubi attack pulling a fast one on the civilian council who had tried to lower the standards so even fangirls or fanboys could enter the system, an act the Sandaime and his former team mate Shimura Danzo silently agreed must never happen unless they wanted to be the eventual laughingstock of the nations and personally because their dignity would never recover.
Naruto stirred at the loud yawn from his right looking directly at the shocked expression on Shikamaru's face, Naruto chuckled and yawned in return before getting to his feet "Nara-san we best hurry as the practical exam begins soon" Shikamaru looked annoyed and Naruto relented with a slightly teasing tone "Let us at least get into position to hear our names called out, honestly Nara-san I think you're sleeping too much to be healthy, don't you get a headache if you sleep more than ten hours?" Shikamaru's put upon sigh was music to Naruto's ears.
Taking a calming breath Naruto entered the Examinations room sitting in a seat before Iruka who wore a serious expression "Naruto, your scores indicate a adeptness for Theoretical Kenjutsu Application, Kenjutsu, Theoretical Ninjutsu Application, Chakra Augmentation, Ninjutsu Augmentation, History, Politics, wilderness survival, strategy and genjutsu detection. Your Taijutsu needs work in the fact that while your academy forms are perfect you rely too much on the sword so you need to put more power in each movement without it, also have you considered taking up Fuinjutsu?"
Naruto blinked "I intend to wait until I am chunin and therefore have better access to study material before beginning seriously study the subject"
Iruka nodded in understanding continuing "You've also shown budding skill in Cryptography, I suggest that you find the time to nurture these talents as these are valuable in our profession, you have a inventive and sharp mind though interestingly you are a kinaesthetic learner…"
Naruto flashed back with a sweatdrop to his younger years sparring with Kaoru while reciting what lesson he had at the academy aloud while trying desperately to avoid a concussion…
Naruto decided to ignore the wary presence of the Jonin hidden in the trees and spoke to the boy who had accosted him earlier in the Hokage's office as he was turning in his licence for examination "To tell the truth Konohamaru-san I also know what its like to be overshadowed by something inescapable, even my adopted family see someone else when they look at me, so when I was younger I decided I want to become Hokage so I can make them acknowledge the real me and also so that I can protect them."
Naruto watched with a semi-amused smile as Konohamaru jumped to his feet and pointed at him "Right! From now on you're my rival to the Hokage position!"
Naruto smiled peaceably "Just remember Konohamaru to become truly strong you must take no shortcuts, or do you really think the past Hokage's had it easy?" Konohamaru paused as Naruto continued "The true meaning of Hokage is sacrifice, to become Hokage means that the village is the most important thing over everything else. The Hokage assigns missions to his Shinobi but not all of those Shinobi survive to return to Konoha, the way to Kage is the toughest path out there" Naruto yawned and got to his feet with a stretch "Well! Its past time I return home! I need to chase up some of my registration paperwork for Sandaime! Oro? Another downside to becoming a ninja?, ha ha!"
Konohamaru watched as Naruto left, resolving to start seriously training, after he finished the delicious bento Naruto had given him first of course! Ebisu remained cloistered in the tree pondering over Naruto's words 'Perhaps I judged the Jinchuriki a bit prematurely? This bears further investigation nonetheless.'
In his apartment Sabisu Mizuki prepared the satchel of traps and secured his disguise dressed like an ANBU before heading out, mentally going over the hokage tower layout and memorising which guard rotations had been diverted by his masters manipulations.
Two hours later
Ebisu scowled thunderously at the downed and possibly concussed traitor as Naruto expertly tied Shinobi proof knots around his former sensei's wrists.
A silent LOOK from Iruka who was holding the Forbidden Scroll of Seals made Ebisu flinch in self recrimination "Uzumaki-san after this would you like to eat with Iruka and I, I would like to get to know a future comrade better" Naruto smiled taking the peace offering for what it was "Sure"
"Team 7, Haruno Sakura, Uzumaki Naruto, Uchiha Sasuke your sensei is Hatake Kakashi" Iruka announced.
Naruto shifted in place unobtrusively, this would be either very good or very bad…
"I'm your sensei Hatake Kakashi, I'm older than you, I like anything made of Eggplant and reading stuff, My dislikes or dreams are nobody's business"
"Hi my name is Haruno Sakura, I'm 13, I like mochi and playing shamisen, I hate chauvinistic people and my dream… really isn't all that important"
"I am Uchiha Sasuke, I am 13, I like tomatoes and pyrotechnic displays, I hate traitors and I aspire to become a hunter-nin"
"Hello I'm Himura Naruto, I'm 13, I like Ichiraku Ramen and sumi-e, I dislike half-hearted actions and my dream is to become Hokage"
"I suggest you don't eat tomorrow unless you want to puke."
Naruto sighed thoughtfully as his prospective sensei vanished in a swirl of leaves "He doesn't seem too bad"
"I'm eating regardless of what he said, its better to puke than starve" Stated Sakura as Sasuke nodded thoughtfully in agreement.
As Naruto was preparing to leave he walked past the dojo and was greeted by Kaoru's early rising students.
"Good luck Naruto-Sensei!" cheered the Kamiya Kasshin students enthusiastically.
Kaoru smiled as Naruto bolted out the dojo with a embarrassed laugh and utterly infectious smile.
Lee hollered after the boy "Good luck Naruto-kun! If you do not graduate I will do 1000 kata standing on water!"
Bonk! And the faithful and feared bokken made a long awaited reappearance "You'll do 5000 kata regardless of whether Naruto succeeds or not Lee-san!"
"Kaoru-san is scary…" The now huddled students whimpered in awe.
Sandaime with years of training restrained the urge to laugh loudly in the muddy Kakashi's face "I take it team 7 passed?" Kakashi didn't dignify that with a answer and merely hissed before vanishing in a swirl of wet leaves leaving a soggy mess on the floor as he left in a strop.
Team seven never complained about the missions but made it a point to involve their lazy sensei as much as possible, after all they wouldn't want him to get rusty with all that lazing aro- supervising, and they were merely striving to alleviate his obvious loneliness, after all dogs were great companions, it was utterly reprehensible of you to suggest that team 7 had anything to do with the Inuzuka dogs dog-napping their sensei as their long lost pup.
Naruto and Sakura stifled chuckles as their third teammate twitched from under the dogpile of first year academy students they'd been sent to teach, some twisted form of revenge on Iruka part for Naruto's more rambunctious days when he was younger.
It was hard to tell their masked sensei's mood covered in paint as he was, Sakura stared mournfully at the hidden headband mounted camera that had mysteriously disintegrated in her hands, Kakashi was immersed in his book and therefore totally innocent, really.
It had to be the closet thing that Sakura had seen to a negative emotion on Naruto's face as Tora hissed and squirmed mutinously from the unwilling Kakashi's arms where Naruto had thrown it.
Unsurprisingly D-Ranks were completed as fast a humanly possible to reach the 60 D-Rank mission mark after which they would be allowed to proceed with C-Ranks. Kakashi never learned that Sakura and Sasuke paid Naruto to henge his Kage Bunshins and used them to complete easy D-Rank missions as a 'Team' to gain a better mission record, the people in intelligence knew but let it slide, never let it be said that turning in paperwork over three days late covered in dog excrement and blood wouldn't go un avenged by the Shinobi Paperpusher division, Kakashi had been on their shitlist since that particular stunt.
Then one day it happened.
"Your mission should you choose to accept it is to escort the bridge builder Tazuna to Wave Country protecting him from local banditry as he finishes construction on the new mainland bridge, the mission is expected to run anywhere from three weeks to a month so you will be expected to pack accordingly"
This may seem out of character in parts but this is the point of a AU, I'm going to use the Butterfly Effect Excuse! In fact I may change the entire Naruto Universe and add a third crossover if I can swing it.
Also recently I've been having trouble getting this fic to function so expect updates to be very, very, very sporadic.
On the issue of Mizuki I named him Sabisu Mizuki after chucking the Kanji from Mizuki into google translate getting Cornel and then thinking about Popcorn.
Naruto series is founded on Flashbacks and Fillers, I will use this to my advantage!