If you had walked up to Momochi Zabuza five years ago and told him that no only would he be a Missing-nin and on the run from his people but that he'd be taking care of a young charge rather then going after his goal of becoming Mizukage, it would not have gone over well. Sufficing to say, you wouldn't have lived long enough to see his full reaction to such preposterous news.
No, Zabuza's life had not traveled down the path he'd anticipated. Nevertheless, if there was one grain of wisdom he'd picked up in his short life, it was that life never gave you what you expected and a good shinobi adapted and rolled with the punches so to speak. So when Haku came running up the path towards him, a happy smile glowing on that effeminate and beautiful visage, the jounin watched his young ?weapon' with jaded eyes.
He had never been as young as innocent as Haku though the boy had certainly suffered enough horrors in his own short time on this earth. The boy was a baffling puzzle to the far more jaded and cynical Zabuza though he rarely went out of his way to squash the boy's enthusiasm.
If his life depended on the answer and there was a kunai poised at his throat, maybe Zabuza would admit to the fact that one of the few pleasures and joys in his life was the boy's smiles . . . maybe . . . .probably not though. He did have an image as a soulless monster to keep up after all.
Therefore, when Haku came running up to him with that happy smile on his face and with an armful of squirming white rabbit, the older man merely raised a brow and paused in his scouting of their campsite for the night. "Zabuza-san!" That breathless greeting came as Haku skidded to a halt in front of him and beamed upwards with a happy curve of his eyes. "Look what I found!"
Zabuza eyed the somewhat wilted and chagrined snow rabbit for a long moment, the faint twitching of the cloth covering his lips betraying the smile though he only hoped Haku read it as a frown. "You got dinner? Good job." He said it more in an attempt at unskilled, heavy-handed teasing but regretted it when that look of abject horror overcame the boy's delicate features. The rabbit made a strange noise as Haku's grip tightened about its frail form and the young man took an unwitting step backwards.
"D . . . dinner?" Tears started to glisten in those doe-like expressive eyes and Zabuza could feel a trickle of nervous sweat run cold and chill down his neck. "Zabuza-san . . . " The unspoken protest in that stuttered off sentence was as clear as a shout.
"I'm kidding . . . " The self-proclaimed Demon of Mist grumbled as he mussed Haku's hair with a rough sort of affection. "We're not going to eat it but you can't keep it."
Cue the Glistening Eyes of Doom!
He was getting soft.
"Geh . . . oh alright, it might come in useful but if you can't control it, that damned thing is going into the stewpot." Hating himself for giving into a pre-pubescent's silent guilt trip, Zabuza made a mental promise to kill his next target in an especially gruesome manner if only to prove to himself that he wasn't becoming weak.
"Thank you, Zabuza-san!" Haku's smile was back now as he bowed deeply and granted his guardian a million-watt smile, the kind guaranteed to even make a jaded old soul like Zabuza smile, if only a little bit. "I'll train him really hard and he'll be useful to us, I promise."
"Hn . . . see to it that you do." He could feel his lips giving another traitorous twitch before he turned away. It would be unseemly for him to outright smile at the boy's downright adorable actions after all.
He did have a reputation to maintain.
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