Disclaimer: Naruto is not mine, nor are any associated characters. The story, however, is. No money is being made, so, really, wouldn't a lawsuit be silly?

A/N: Warming, there be tears ahead.


"Dead Last"

Caylin Webster


They always called me "dead last." It's kind of funny, really, when you consider it. Funny in that "I've gone beyond the point of tears" way.

…Not so funny… really…

Sakura used to tell me that I could laugh in almost any situation, that's why she loved me. She was like my sister, my confidant. She was the person I could turn to for advice, or if I just needed a hug or something.

You know, there are times when you think you've got it all figured out. Like, you begin to believe there's a certain kind of order to the world. For starters, those who live fast, die young. Those you were careful, lived to a ripe old age of, like, a hundred. This is something you learn while living in a hidden village. The normal civilians lived to see their grandchildren and great grandchildren. However, if you were shinobi, you were lucky to have the ability to procreate at all, even if you did manage to grow old and decrepit. Such is the risk of a ninja. The unofficial code of the shinobi: "Live fast, die young, and leave one hell of a mangled corpse!"

They forget to tell you that in real life, things like that don't really happen. Statistics are misleading. Just because a person with a red sports car is more likely to get into a car crash, it doesn't mean a guy with a black SUV can't mangle himself in a crash that mister sports car managed to avoid. Call it fate, chance, whatever. Shit happens the way it happens. There's no predicting it. You can make a lucky guess, but still loose the bet.

Lee was a good man. Strong, determined, inspiring. The first person to make Gaara feel pain. The first man to make Sakura take her "Sasuke Blinders" off and notice the world around her? How is it, that, in a world of twisted irony, they managed to hid near center? The guy everyone thought's indomitable will would make him immortal was also the guy who first made me realize that maybe, just maybe, there was no real order to the universe.

It wasn't until Sasuke that I was a dead on believer in the "roll of the dice" theory. Yeah, choice had a lot to do with it. The bastard didn't have the sense to let someone take the kunai with their name on it. Of course, the fact that it was my name possibly had something to do with it.

Temari was next. She got the one with Gaara's name. Amazing what a family bond will make someone do. She smiled at Gaara as she died. Smiled and told him the one thing he was never really sure about: Whether or not someone loved him.

The answer was yes. He was loved.

That night I proved it to him.

Hinata's death was a blaze of glory, which everyone was too stunned about to actually cry. Who'd have thunk it? Take a timid little creature like Hinata, throw some explosives into the equation, and you have yourself a good amount of dead Akatsuki. I actually laughed at her memorial. It was infectious.

Kakashi was never quite right after Iruka's murder. And to be honest, nor was I. Though, there had to be something to be said for the fact that I haden't bee quite right since Sasuke's grand exit.

After tracking down and utterly destroying the missig nin who killed my old academy teacher, Kakashi became recluse. Not to say he was extremely social before then, but it got to a point where Gai had to physically drag my former trainer out of the little flat he and Iruka had shared to get him to a medical nin. To think, the ever powerful "Copy Cat Ninja" brought down by a broken heart. It took all of a week for him to pass. He simply stopped living, Sakura later told me.

It wasn't until Gaara was killed for the second and final time that I really understood and sympathized with Kakashi. Sakura watched over me vigilantly for the weeks that followed, worried I'd follow Kakashi's example. Obviously, I didn't, but I considered it. As if a long distance relationship hadn't been hard enough… I hadn't even found out he was dead until Kankuro had showed up with this look on his face that said it all.

I think… No, I know something broke inside of me after Gaara's death, for when Shikamaru, Chouji and Ino all died together, I simply blinked. Blinked and kept on going.

Not long after them followed Neji, and Ten-Ten in an attack on the villiage. Still, nothing.

Kiba died on a mission, Akamaru had come racing through the gates of Kanoha dog-boy's arm in his mouth, dragging him along. The poor dog sulked forever after that.

No… really, I didn't feel anything again until Sakura was killed trying to get to me to tend to a gash down my side. Second fucking person to die on my account, and the one person I would have needed the most in the upcoming days, cause right now…

Jiraya was killed guarding Tsunade. Gave his life to protect the woman who until the last couple of years wouldn't give him the time of day. Died protecting her, and it was all in vain. All in vain 'cause not two days later was she was killed.

That happened to be another one of those "you mean she's not immortal?" cases. I know this because I was the one shaking her corpse screaming at her, telling her she wasn't supposed to outlive me, that none of them were.

I'm the Kyuubi vessel, and I've let that son of a bitch out repeatedly. He's supposed to be taking years off my life when I use his chakra.

Fucking bastards.

They always called me "dead last."

-The End-


A/N: …So… if this story made you cry, please let me know. It means I've done my job right. Well, I mean, if the story made you cry because of the tear jerking-ness. Though, I guess the "The story sucked so bad it made me cry." way I should also be notified of as well. Just make it constructive, please. It's the only way I'll get better.

Also, please don't ask for updates. This story is FINISHED.