Authors note: Yeah, yeah I know I have things that I need to be doing. Homework and the next chapter of Not Just a Girl (by the way, go read and review). But this drabble would not stop nagging me. It was originally going to be a Team Seven versus the Sannin. But somehow, it mutilated itself.

Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto, would I still be attending school? I think not

Epics and Novellas

Some people's lives become epics. They are long and famous, the kind of lives that are whispered about for centuries. This is the way of the Sannin, of Team seven. It was never assumed that it would be our way as well.

When we were put together as genin, we were expected to slip into the sands of mediocrity. To become another expendable set of soldiers, in an army that is desperately in need of expendable soldiers. We should have been. Apart we are simply shinobi, not good enough to be remembered, not bad enough to be forgotten. Three streams flowing separately, providing little danger except for an occasional damaging flood and little help except for the rare relief offered on a hot day. But together we are the raging river, with currents that can either save or slay. We are stronger, and weaker, than they ever thought we would be.

We are the raging river, we get some of the most dangerous missions (the most dangerous always seem to fall into the hands of Team Seven, who together are the oceans, more powerful than we could ever be, stronger than any three people should ever have to be), and we complete them. Because compared to most, a river is powerful. Compared to most we are strong.

But this is not the way of the shinobi. Shinobi are individuals. Sometimes they work in teams, and knowing how to work in a team is nothing short of a necessity. But we are not meant to form bonds. We are not supposed to feel anything for our fellow ninja. We are to think of them as we think of ourselves, as weapons. One can be fond of a sword, on that is particularly well made, or remarkably beautiful, but one never grieves for a sword once it breaks. So it should be with shinobi. Most of our generation have learned this by now (once again there is the exception of Team Seven, but Team Seven follows only what rules they choose to, it should make them bad as ninjas. But instead it makes them great), but despite the fact that our team is renowned for our genii it is a lesson we have never learned.

One day we will fall. Because we are good, but not great. Because we are strong, but not the strongest. Because our defenses our strong, but they are not impenetrable. Because we are not infallible, because we are not Team Seven, because we can not work with two of us. Because once one of us falls we will all fall. We will not live long. We will not raise the next generation of shinobi. Our lives will never weave an epic. But hat those in the quest for glory sometimes forget that there are epics, and then there are novellas. What is forgotten is that the short stories, the novellas, can be just as famous as the epics. Just as well known.

So we will fall, but we will be remembered. We were never meant to be an epic, never meant to spin a tale told over the course of days. But we are meant to be told of in passing, our names and stories known. It is not the same, but it is just as good. And this path is ours which makes it even better, in a way.