A/N: Okay... We all know that Haku is dead, but... Well, it's explained in there, somewhere...

This is sort of an experimental fic... Please give me your opinions on this:)

My first attempt at writing a crack pairing. There's more to come... soon.

Disclaimer: Don't own.

: Like Spring :

He'd always looked like that. His eyes always seemed to be empty to her; hollow. His face wore no expression or feelings.

She thought it a pity, really, that something so beautiful could look so dull and lifeless; devoid of any emotion.

The smiles that he gave, though frequent, were soulless. It was almost as if they were pasted on; that he was using them as a mask.

Sometimes, when she saw him, she would long to make that pretty face light up out of pure happiness.

Naruto confined in her the day before Sakura and his wedding, that his biggest worry was him. He told her how they'd brought Haku and his companion, Zabuza, back to the Leaf village after their mission at the Wave Country.

How the Hokage accepted them even though Zabuza was a missing-nin. And how the Mist village had come to know of it and demanded that the Leaf hand Zabuza over to them.

Zabuza had fought the Mist hunter-nins; all twenty of them on his own, to prevent straining the relationship between the Mist and the Leaf.

He had instructed Naruto and his team to hide Haku and not allow him to interfere in his fight. Naruto told her they had to knock him unconscious to do so, with him screaming and kicking desperately for them to release him and let him aid Zabuza.

And then, when he had woken up and rushed outside, he saw Zabuza's dead body along with ten others, lying in dark red pools of blood.

Haku had gone berserk and screamed non-stop, his face ghostly white and eyes wide with horror. Until he finally dropped down onto the ground from exhaustion. When he had attempted to kill himself, he was knocked unconscious once again, and brought to the hospital.

Tears had leaked out of Hinata's eyes by this point. She knew how painful it was when someone precious was taken away by Death's strong grip.

She finally realised why he was like what he was-an empty shell.

He lost every meaning of his existence that day.

Now, it was as though he was alive; breathing, and yet not living.

He was like a finely-chiseled statue come to life, but without a soul.

A wonderful creation, and yet, imperfect.

Hinata had thought of him as that until that day.

She had went to visit Zabuza's grave after hearing his sad tale, and had found Haku there.

And then, she had realised, that he was only human after all.


She still remembered the sadness she had seen, overflowing from his eyes.

She found herself unable to tear her gaze from him. That was the first time she had seen so much emotion coming from him.

When he finally looked away, back to the grave, she collected herself and placed the flowers onto the ground beside Zabuza's sword.

He stared at her again and mumbled a thanks.

And she reached out her hand, feeling emotions rippling through her as she stroked his cheek tentatively.

How she wished she could lessen his hurt and misery, and make that face smile for her.

He did not hide the surprise he felt, but neither did he move away from her touch. Instead, ever so slightly, he leaned towards her, enjoying her warm finger on his cheek which comforted him endlessly.

She drew circles on his cheek with her finger, which went over his nose next and to his forehead. Then she went downwards again and stroked his lips with her thumb.

It was as if she was looking at him thoroughly, but using her hand and her sense of touch. It felt truer and clearer that way; like he couldn't lie or slip on any mask.

He almost caught her hand to prevent it from stopping its action when she removed it from his face. He wanted her to continue. The places where she had touched felt cold now, and the blanket of warmth he had felt was taken away.

But she only reached lower and placed her palm on his left chest.

And then, with her eyes on him, she had said in a soft tone and he hung on to her every word, feeling himself wanting to hear that voice for the rest of his life.

"He's still alive, you know... In here."

She'd pushed her palm lightly, and felt his heart beat beneath the layers of cloth and skin.

And then, she remembered how she couldn't breathe when she saw him reaching his hand out and caressing her cheek.

And his smile. Like snow melting under the Sun. Like spring.

: End :