Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.

A/N: A different point of view than my regular stories. Though I wrote this while thinking of Hinata and Naruto, if really can fit any pairing/friendship you want it to.

Because You're a Ninja
By: Zashire

When he falls, you want to pick him up. When he breaks, you want to put the pieces back together. But what about when he dies? What can you do then? You can't fix him—it's not possible. You know this. So what do you do?

You say you want to prevent his death? You can't do that, you idealistic brat. Why not?

Because you're a ninja.

Your duty comes before your friends. Your duty comes before your family. Your duty comes before him. Your duty is all that matters… all that matters in the eyes of everyone but you.

Why is that?

It's because you're a ninja.

When you tied that headband around your forehead, you knew that. When you were assigned your first mission, you knew that. When you saw your first comrade die, you knew that.

But you couldn't do anything about it.

Why couldn't you do anything?

Because you're a ninja.

What exactly does it mean to be a ninja, you ask when you see him fall.

No one answers you. Why? Because it's something you should already know. You gave an oath, you swore you would give your life for your Kage, but did you understand the weight of those words when you said them? The meaning behind them?

Did you ever realize they would stop you from saving him?

You thought that by being a ninja, you could protect him. You're just a child. If you were a real ninja, you would know you can't choose who to save—if you're told to save someone, you do it. There are no 'if's or 'but's to it. You obey your superiors without question. You don't have a choice.

Why not?

Because you're a ninja, you fool.

There was an attack on the village. You are still just a Chuunin—a low one at that—so you are assigned to assist in the evacuation of the eastern sector of the village. You obey the order and begin your task.

Fifteen minutes later finds you lifting a fallen pillar off of a man who lost a leg. All of your comrades are elsewhere, helping the thousands of other civilians get to the Tunnels. No one is in sight. You see the man is conscious, but is obviously in a great amount of pain. You cannot hold the pillar much longer. You urge him to crawl away so you can drop it and help him. He does so, albeit slowly.

You see that there are two children and a mother not ten feet away, stuck under part of a collapsed roof. You believe the man is the children's father, the woman his wife. No one is around you. It is your duty to save them all.

A loud crash breaks your concentration. You shift your gaze to the origin of it to see what happened.

That is when you see him.

He has been impaled by something. He is bleeding. He is unconscious. From where you are, you can see that his breathing is shallow.

Your knowledge of medical jutsu isn't enough for you to be qualified as a medic-nin, but it is useful enough that it might allow you to buy him some time until a specialist is able to check him over.

He needs you. You want to save him, but you can't.

Why can't you?

Because you're a ninja.

You were ordered by your superior to evacuate the civilians—you don't have time to save him. If you were to go to him, not only would you be disobeying your captain, but the lives of the four you are trying to help would most likely be forfeit.

It's four lives versus his life.

What matters more? Do you look at the situation through your captain's eyes or your eyes? The Hokage's eyes?

His eyes?

What would he think if you let four civilians—maybe more—die in order to save him? That he would thank you for it?

He might do that, but he would also be angry. Why?

Because he, too, is a ninja.

He knows what it means to be a ninja. He understands the meaning of dying for what you believe in. Dying for those you want to protect.

He knows the meaning of sacrifice.

The question is: do you?

Could you bear to live your life without him? If you don't save him, he won't be there to smile for you when you're feeling down. If you don't save him, he won't be there to help you through the hard times. If you don't save him, who will?

Could you bear to live your life knowing that you had been the one to cause the deaths of four innocent people? How would the rest of their family feel about that? How would you feel about causing the deaths of two children? They haven't even had a chance to live their lives yet. But you have.

You chose the path of the ninja. This is where it got you.

Make your choice.

What will you do when this happens? You say that something like this will never happen to you. Your village is invincible. You always come out on top.

It is those kinds of opinions that get people killed. How do you think your village stays invincible? Certainly not by being friendly to all others.

Sacrifices are required in order to have such benefits.

That is why true ninja exist. They are the ones that understand the meaning of giving your life for a greater cause. They obey their orders without question. They understand that people can die at any moment in time. They are upset when it happens, but they accept it. That is why they can do the job.

Yet, here you stand, not knowing what you would do in such a situation. Things like this happen often in the life of a ninja. They even happen in the lives of civilians. Sometimes, the sacrifice need not be big. It could be as simple as giving a few hours of your day to do some volunteer work. All of it helps the village function—you just wanted to help it on a greater level.

This is the price you must pay.

You will die at some point. It's how you live your life that counts. So, will you die as the ninja who followed her duty until the point of death? Or will you die the ninja who put her love before her duty and sacrificed the lives of others for it?

It's your choice.

It always has been that way, and it always will be.

That is, until the point when you do decide to disregard your duty. The day you feel that comes, please, just turn in your headband and save others the loss and heartbreak.

There is no saying that once you are a ninja, you will always be a ninja. If such a thing were true, many would not be alive today. If you can't put your duty before all else, turn in the headband. You don't deserve it then.

But what if you have to make this decision when your choice really does matter? In the middle of an attack? That is when most choices are usually made.

You should know the right answer.

Why?

Because you're a ninja, and people believe in you.

Never betray their trust.