It was almost time to go meet the children. The Hokage should be finished with his explanations by now, but I could hardly wait. It wasn’t like I hadn’t seen them for a long time, I saw the girls yesterday and I saw Sango off this morning, but this was something different, from today we will be a team.
The Hokage consulted me about his plans a year after the children’s training began and a week after I informed him about their progress, he was unsure if his idea could be safely implemented. Those words were like a lightning bolt flowing through my mind, it was such a good idea. I was worried about Sango’s future, what worried me was him not having a stage to fully display his worth to the world, such a waste of talent would have been a loss for the whole Konoha, no, the whole shinobi world. I had to convince the Hokage to implement his idea, it wasn’t difficult and with Sango’s own outstanding progress and future prospects, the Hokage had to agree or he would regret it later, ‘It is better to regret having done something than not having done it’ he said and I had to agree, those words also made me think about myself.
I know I had to personally lead his team for the best result, only I knew him best and only I could let him fully spread his wings. Luckily, when I proposed myself as the team leader, it didn’t take long for the Hokage to agree with me, because I knew them all best, because I taught them all so well, he said.
I won’t disagree that I taught the girls well, but their training programs were mostly created by Sango, while I learned much from him myself. At my age, learning from a kid, would be hard to swallow for most people, not for me. That first time I wanted to teach him, he almost cut me, from then on I acknowledged him and we continued to regularly spar and my strength soared, it had to soar, his strength was increasing too fast, chasing me, so I ran with all my might. I owe him much.
He had done much for me, the kid that couldn’t even cook for himself. Look at him now, he is almost as tall as me, I knew there was something special about him, beside his appearance, the moment I saw him. Who knew that with time he would become a big part of my life and I would experience something similar to having a family again.
While many thoughts passed through my head, I saw the Hokage leaving so I knew it was time.
We waited patiently for our team leader, we already knew who it was, but a slight uncertainty still lingered at the back of our minds, mostly because the Hokage seemed to like doing unexpected things. I had to acknowledge the fact that my information network wasn’t wide enough for such a thing to happen without me knowing it beforehand. Improvements were necessary, I recorded that in my mental ‘todo list’ as I like to call it.
“That was incredible!” The high-pitched voice of Sakura broke my line of thoughts, I looked in her direction to see her euphoric face as she talked to Ino and Hinata. “That was THE Hokage! I only saw him from afar!” She continued to say.
“A Special Team he said, wait until I tell this to my parents!” Ino was the same, she too couldn’t hide the excitement from showing on her face.
Only Hinata smiled warmly without saying anything, her self-control was admirable, or she just didn’t think it was such a big deal. She looked at me and I smiled to her, a wink would have been great, but I couldn’t wink, so the next best move was to take her hand in mine. The gesture passed without Ino and Sakura noticing anything, they were both to my right and were still having a lively conversation with each other. Hinata’s face reddened to her ears as she began to sway on her seat, she looked very cute to me, her easily embarrassed character was a plus, but she needed to build some resistance. I wasn’t confident in helping her with that if even after all this time training together there has been hardly any improvement in that regard.
I heard the door opening and I turned around while I let go of Hinata’s hand. It was no surprise to see Kurenai coming in, her red eyes focused on us.
“Kyaa!” Sakura and Ino let out high pitched shouts as they understood why she was here. “You are our team leader!” They rushed to her and embraced her in a tight hug.
“Haha, I’m glad to see you so happy.” Said Kurenai, smiling. Her gaze passed over all of us and stopped to me.
I also smiled to her, if the Hokage selected someone else as our team leader I would have had not choice but to act myself to change that.
“All right, lets go to the usual place, today the tab is on me.” When saying ‘usual place’, Kurenai was referring to the restaurant we go when we eat out, with time we became regular customers.
We all agreed and made our way outside the academy, while leaving the academy I looked in our classroom through the window and I saw Naruto, Sasuke and Shino still waiting for their team leader. It wasn’t a surprise, Kakashi was selected because of Sasuke and Naruto, not Sakura, so her not being in their team changed nothing in that regard.
I walked beside Kurenai and took her hand in mine, such action wasn’t too daring since we were close, nonetheless she was still surprised for a moment, yet she didn’t retract her hand. Despite us being close, I wasn’t sure if such action from my part would be received well by her, but she probably didn’t think much about this gesture. I loved the feeling of my hand and I decided to try and be more daring from now, I was no longer physically or mentally a child, only my official age said otherwise, so it was time to court her. As for my reason of taking such a risk, that was because of a certain spectator, I could feel a burning gaze on my back, and I smiled to myself.