Meet Team Zabuza
Chapter 5: Meet Team Zabuza
Haku made his way downstairs to Zabuza's hideaway kitchen.
"Good morning, Zabuza," the boy (?) said to Zabuza when he spotted him.
"Oh! Good morning, Haku!" Zabuza replied. Apparently, Haku had caught Zabuza by surprise.
Zabuza returned to the task that had kept him busy before Haku entered - polishing his sword with a banana, then sharpening the blade with a slowly-dying Sasuke.
"Zabuza, do you want me to make you some coffee?" Haku asked, making his way to the coffee maker to prepare some for himself.
"Sure, whatever you want, Haku," Zabuza said absently. "Swordy and I just want to be left alone for a few minutes."
Haku bit back a sigh. He was determined to be a good tool and not show emotional weakness. But sometimes it seemed that even though Haku had been a loyal servant to Zabuza for years, the Demon of the Hidden Mist always treasured his over-sized sword more than Haku.
He turned his head one more time to look at Zabuza. He sweat - dropped when he noticed Zabuza had pulled off his bandages around his face and was kissing his sword. Rather than comment, Haku simply sneaked out of the room, too shocked to say anything more.
Time passed and Haku returned to hand Zabuza a steaming mug of coffee. Haku sat down beside him, waiting for Zabuza to pay some sort of attention to him.
Zabuza took his coffee mug and handed it to Swordy, now sitting in the chair between Haku and Zabuza.
"Drink up, little boy – or whatever - sword!" Zabuza said cheerfully.
It was then that Gatō came waddling down the stairs. He was only living with them because he was paying them to assassinate the bridge builder. And he paid them to kill the bridge builder because, well, Gatō just plain didn't like bridges. They gave him nightmares. He constantly hoped that he would not end up being pushed off a bridge by a demon ninja who had had a change of heart. (This does in fact happen to him in the future, but don't tell him yet. He'll just order Zabuza to kill you too.)
There was only one thing that Gatō liked, and that thing was money - loads of it. He wanted to buy a lifetime supply of pineapples because pineapples are awesome!
"Okay, guys, today we'll need a good plan to earn lots of money! Anyone got any ideas?" Gatō asked.
"I'm up for anything as long as I don't get blood on my precious sword." Zabuza said, softly running his finger along the edge of his beloved blade.
Gatō gave Zabuza a strange look. "What are you talking about?"
"Swords are for loving, not for hurting. Isn't that right, Swordy?" Zabuza cooed.
Haku pouted. "You call your sword Swordy? Why don't I have a cute nickname like that? You just call me Haku, or boy, or your weapon! I'm starting to think you like the sword more than me!" Okay, if he had to admit it: Haku was jealous of a sword. Gatō, Zabuza, and Swordy all just looked at Haku in astonishment, their mouths wide open.
"SWORDS DON'T HAVE MOUTHS!" – That is what Neji would have pointed out if he wasn't too busy questioning whether or not Haku was really a boy. (Yeah, like he was one to talk.)
"Haku, don't talk to your elders with that tone of voice! Go to your room!" Zabuza ordered sternly.
Haku obeyed reluctantly, sniffling the whole way.
Once Haku got to his room he flung himself on the bed. He thought back on some of he and Zabuza's past misadventures. Never once had the man ever treated him like a normal human. It was always Haku the tool, Haku the boy, Haku the bridge builder assassin. Zabuza had never shown kindness, all he cared about was his sword.
Bang, Haku thought he heard something hit his window. He walked over and saw Naruto looking up at him eagerly.
"Hey Haku, do you want to play ninja with me?" Naruto asked. "I can be the really awesome ninja and you can be the assassin! Believe it!"
Haku smiled. "Sure Naruto. I'll be right down!"
Haku was about to leave the room when suddenly he remembered what had happened earlier. Zabuza had told him to head up to his room. Zabuza didn't use punishments often, but when he did he expected the boy to obey them.
Haku sighed. He did not think it was fair how Zabuza treated him. Why did he have to obey if he was only going to be mistreated again? Then an evil idea wormed its way into the boy's mind. He could always disobey Zabuza. He knew it was wrong and part of him felt guilty, but he shook the feeling off.
The boy tiptoed out of his room, past the kitchen, and out of the front door. He had never disobeyed Zabuza before so he was kind of surprised just how easy it was to do.
He then caught up with Naruto who lead him away from the hideout and into the woods where they met up with Neji, Hinata, Sakura, Ino, and Kankurō.
"Ok I've got the last member for our game! Believe it!" Naruto said.
Neji moved in close and studied Haku. "Are you a guy or girl?" He asked after a long moment of staring.
"I'm a guy!" Haku retorted.
"Where's Sasuke? I thought you said you were going to bring him here too." Sakura asked.
"Please don't tell me he's already dead." Ino added.
Naruto nodded solemnly. "Zabuza used him to sharpen his sword again …"
Kankurō rolled his eyes. "Socko says; someone really needs to get him a whetstone."
"Darn, and his birthday just past too." Naruto said seeming upset. "Next year we should all chip in and get him one. Believe it!" The others nodded at Naruto's fabulous idea.
"Anyways, how do we play ninja?" Haku asked; he was anxious to start having fun and forget about Zabuza.
"Oh right!" Naruto said, somehow he already seemed to have forgotten about the game. "Ok, well this game takes place on a bridge which is named after me because I'm the star of this series! Haku you're the villain, Kankurō is the crazy man who talks to his sock puppets, Sakura and Ino you're the two damsels in distress. You two want to build a bridge, but mean old Haku won't let you. And I'm the amazing, and handsome hero! Believe it!"
"W-what role do I have?" Hinata asked timidly.
"Your job is fainting. Believe it!"
"I'm good at that job!" Hinata cheered, and then she promptly fainted with a smile on her face.
"Socko says you did a good job at picking her role." Kankurō said.
Naruto beamed. "Thanks. I've always wanted to be a movie director. Believe it!"
Haku faked a smile. It did not help that this game reminded him so much of Zabuza, but he was willing to try and join in the fun just the same.
"Save us Naruto!" Sakura cried. She was dressed sort of old fashion in a long black dress. Ino, also dressed old fashioned, hugged onto her friend.
"Naruto, where are you?" She asked.
Haku stood in front of the girls looking ready to fight them.
"Haku is only going to play fight these girls. He wouldn't actually hurt them, especially not in a pretend game of ninja." Neji pointed out to nobody in particular.
"Socko says there's no way Naruto will allow you to harm these girls!" Kankurō stated.
"He's right!" Naruto shouted while jumping in front of Ino and Sakura to defend them. "Even though I love pineapples as much as most ninja it's not worth it! Believe it!"
Pineapples, that word reminded Haku of Gatō and Gatō reminded Haku of Zabuza. Haku tried to get his mind focused on something else a rock, a duck, Naruto's toy kunai, anything, but everything just reminded him of Zabuza. And Haku had disobeyed Zabuza.
"Is something wrong? Believe it!" Naruto asked. He was looking over Haku closely as if there was something wrong with him.
"Uh … Yeah; why?" Haku asked.
"It's just you haven't said anything for a while. What's on your mind? Believe it!" Naruto asked.
"Oh!" Haku exclaimed in surprise. He hadn't realized it, but Naruto was right. He had been so busy thinking about Zabuza that he had lost track of time. "It's nothing, but I should … uh … probably get home." He explained.
"Are you serious? But we haven't done anything yet! Believe it!" Naruto said.
"Naruto's right." Neji agreed.
"I'm sorry guys, but there is someone I want to talk to." Haku said before running back home.
Haku knew that he was going to get in trouble if Zabuza found out that he escaped, but Haku didn't care. Despite everything Zabuza had always been a great friend. Haku just wished that he had remembered that sooner. As soon as Haku was out of sight Naruto turned to face Kankurō.
"Looks like you'll play the villain. Believe it!" Naruto said.
Kankurō smiled devilishly at this news. "Socko says he'll gladly fight with you Naruto, but he can't assure you that this will only be play fighting."
Naruto gulped. What had he just gotten himself into?
Haku snuck back in the house. He thought that he had gone unnoticed, but the second that the door shut behind him, Haku saw Zabuza's face and the Demon of the Mist didn't seem happy.
"Where were you?" Zabuza asked sternly. "When we found out that you weren't home, Gatō went out searching for you. He's currently checking everywhere, but the bridge, because of you know; his phobia thing."
"Sorry master Zabuza. I was on the bridge playing ninja with Naruto." Haku explained.
"What have I told you about hanging out on bridges?" Zabuza growled, his hands clenched into fists.
"You said they were dangerous and unless I have your permission then I should stay away from them." Haku said with a sigh.
Zabuza nodded. "Indeed. He pulled the sword off his back. "You can go on a bridge whenever you want." He cooed to the sword in a voice similar to how one would praise a child or small animal.
Haku stomped his foot down. "Zabuza, how come you like that sword better than me?" He snapped.
Zabuza gave Haku a puzzled look. "I don't love Swordy more than you."
"Then how come you treat him, it, better than you treat me?" Haku asked.
"Because Swordy doesn't go around breaking rules and complaining that I like you better than him!" Zabuza grunted.
"Oh …" Haku replied half heartedly.
"Haku, remember last week when you wanted to go back home to pay tribute to your mother? I told you that was out of the way and I wasn't sure if I could take you, but we went any way. Do you think I'd do that if I didn't love you? You're like a son to me." Zabuza explained.
"That's true." Haku said. He was still crestfallen, but his face perked up a little.
"Then there was that time when you wanted a pet rabbit. Do you remember what I did?" Zabuza asked.
"No what?" Haku asked.
"I spent all day and night trying to track one down for you."
"So you do love me!" Haku exclaimed.
Zabuza snarled. "I suppose you can say that."
Haku gave Zabuza a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you Zabuza. I feel a lot better now. I'm sorry for disobeying you."
Zabuza was about to reply when suddenly his cell phone rang and he took the call. (Yes ninja have cell phones too.)
"Hello?" Zabuza asked curiously.
It was Gatō's voice on the other end. "I checked everywhere that you told me to and I still can't find Haku. Has he come back home yet?"
Zabuza used his hand to block the speaker so that Gatō wouldn't hear.
"Hey Haku, what do you say about playing a nasty trick on Gatō?" He whispered.
"Sure." Haku said, paying Zabuza a mischievous smile.
Zabuza let go of the speaker and spoke back to Gatō. "He's not here. I think you may have to check the bridges for him."
-phantom130 5 (August 2010)