Wanted to try out this idea I've had for a while

xxx

"Suiton: Daibakufu no jutsu! (Water Element: Grand Waterfall)" Kakashi called out as Zabuza stood across from him on the lake's surface. The water beneath the copycat began to twist violently as it became a funnel over six feet tall and wide.

"This can't be!" Zabuza cried as the torrent over took him and he was swept away. The Mist jonin was tossed around like a row boat in a maelstrom. When he thought he was right side up, he was already upside down.

Zabuza felt a new level of pain as he was slammed into a heavy tree. Before he could move, Zabuza cried out in agony as two kunai were plunged into his shoulders and struck bone.

"Can you…can you see the future?" the demon of the Mist asked Kakashi as the jonin crouched on a branch above his head.

"Yes I can," Kakashi said as he drew a kunai. "And the only thing left in yours…is death."

Before the masked jonin could fulfill his prediction, a glint of metal caught his eye. The next second, Zabuza gave a gasp of pain as a large kunai pierced his chest, nearly striking the heart. He looked down at the deadly weapon, and then up just in time to see one final kunai enter his forehead and kill him.

Kakashi turned around and saw a hunter nin in a green robe and white mask on a branch a dozen yards away. He saw from the four wavy lines etched into the mask that this hunter was from Kiri. The figure vanished from the branch and reappeared at the corpse's side. From the size and build, Kakashi concluded that this hunter was no more than fifteen.

"Thank you for your help in taking down this notorious missing nin," the figure said as Kakashi dropped down from the branch. Kakashi decided not to antagonize the Mist village by pointing out that he did all the work and this nin came out of nowhere to steal his kill. He simply replied, "You're welcome."

Hearing footsteps, Kakashi looked behind him and saw his genin and Tazuna coming over to see what was going on. Both Sakura and Tazuna looked slightly sickened at the dead body, while Naruto and Sasuke held a visage of masculinity.

Kakashi was about to make sure Zabuza was still dead, when the hunter nin spoke. "I will now perform the final ceremony." He then pulled a small wakizashi from his waist and positioned it above Zabuza's neck. "Would anyone like to say some words?" he asked, looking back to the Leaf ninjas plus Tazuna.

Sakura, Sasuke, and Naruto looked at each other, as though they were afraid to say anything, least the corpse rise from the dead. Kakashi replaced his headband over his Sharingan and stepped forward.

"Momochi Zabuza was a jonin from the Hidden Mist village. I did not know him personally, but he fought bravely and battled in the name of his beliefs. He was a true embodiment of what it means to be a ninja. May his soul rest in hell where I'm sure he'll enjoy the company."

The copy ninja was the only one to notice the hunter's fist briefly clench in anger. "I am sure that Zabuza would have approved of that eulogy. He may have been a murderer and a rebel, but he is still a great man."

Kakashi quickly caught that misuse of verb, but said nothing as he was positive himself that this hunter nin was not in league with Zabuza.

Before anything else could be said, the hunter lifted the blade and brought it down quickly and powerfully to insure a clean cut through the entire neck. Sakura and Tazuna actually did throw up at the sight of the bodiless head as the hunter nin picked it up by the hair.

The nin put the head in a pouch at his side and brought out a small vial of red powder. He sprinkled it on the corpse and lit a match. The smell of burning clothes and boiling flesh nearly made Sasuke and Naruto throw up too.

The hunter nin then gave a small bow to Team 7. "Kirigakure thanks you again for your assistance and assures you that you will be compensated for this." He then disappeared without a sound.

Kakashi turned back to his students and was about to congratulate them, when he felt his body suddenly start to go numb. Ah crap, Kakashi thought miserably. Used too much chakra.

"Somebody catch me," he said before he face planted into the dirt.

"Kakashi-sensei!" Sakura and Naruto cried as they rushed to lift him off the ground, while Sasuke looked on in indifference.

The copy ninja gave his famous eye smile as he leaned on Naruto's shoulders. "I'm okay. Just used too much chakra. I'll be fine in a week as long as I rest."

As Team 7 followed Tazuna back to his house, Kakashi though about how proud he was of his students. The three of the displayed excellent teamwork; Naruto and Sasuke's Kage Bunshin/Windmill Shuriken combo was genius. The two of them worked extremely well together under such dire circumstances.

Kakashi was then struck with an idea. "How would you kids like to learn tree climbing?"

xxx

The hunter kept to the trees as he traveled to his destination. The mission was a success and he now had to get back to the rendezvous point.

He suddenly heard an inhuman roar of rage followed by several curses and then childish laughter. He was close.

Haku landed outside a large concrete bunker just in time to see an orange and black blur shoot out of the entrance followed by another figure with a large zanbato raised above his head.

"Get back here you annoying little fucker!" the second figure screamed as he swung the large sword down. The first figure dodged and gave what sounded like a scream of terror combined with laughter. The cleaver split the earth but missed its intended target. The figure tried to lift his weapon up but found it impossible. He tried again but was sent to his knees in a coughing fit.

Haku stepped forward and removed his mask. "That's what happens when you over exert yourself after chakra depletion, Zabuza-sama."

The source of Zabuza's fury turned around at the sound of Haku voice and gave an excited wave. "Hi, girly-chan! Tobi has missed you and eyebrow-less-san has gotten sick again!"

Since Haku was a peace loving person, ironic when you think of his current employment, he decided not to shove all the senbon he could into the masked little bastard. He instead drew a calming breath.

"I've told you many times, Tobi-san, I am a boy. So there is no need for the chan suffix. And my master's name is Zabuza, so please do not call him anything else."

Tobi, however, was not listening. His attention was focused on a small blue butterfly that he was trying to catch.

Haku rolled his eyes as his anger melted away. It was impossible to stay mad at Tobi for long. It was like trying to stay mad at a kitten. You just couldn't do it.

He instead went over to Zabuza and lifted the large man onto his shoulders. The demon of the Mist looked as if he would like nothing better than to pass out. But he persevered to ask Haku a question.

"So the mission went as planned? You acquired the necessary data?"

"Yes Zabuza-sama," Haku said as he reached into his side pouch. "The Ishoku Gisei Bunshin (Living Sacrifice Clone) was more effective than we could ever hope for."

The head he pulled out of the pouch wasn't the same one he placed in there earlier. Instead of brown, spiky hair with bandages around the face, this head had blonde hair, green eyes, and a cleft chin. The eyes were frozen in surprise and the kunai wound that had killed him had already coagulated.

"It was a good thing Iota-san was still loyal to you, Zabuza-sama. From the look on his face I suppose he didn't exactly plan to be killed."

"Iota always was too trusting," Zabuza said. "The other members of my coup always said that was useless in a shinobi and that it would get him killed." The missing nin doubled over with another coughing fit, this one worse than the last.

Haku replaced the head and increased his pace as he led his ailing master into the bunker. The inside wasn't exactly homey, but it worked as temporary lodgings. A couch sat in the middle of what could possible be called the living room. A small Arial TV was positioned on a soapbox a few feet away, playing what appeared to be a cartoon show. A kitchen area was placed in the east corner of the room, and a hallway to the north led to the washrooms and two bedrooms.

The ice user led his master to the couch, but Zabuza somehow acquired the willpower and strength to steer Haku to the hallway leading to the bedroom. Looking at the couch, Haku saw why Zabuza didn't want to be placed there: action figures of the very show playing on the TV were strewn about the floor in front of the couch, and a blanket with designs of adorable puppies lay innocently on the seat, just waiting to be cuddled.

Haku sighed as he recalled the events of them harboring the childlike menace called Tobi came about.

(Flashback--3 days ago)

"I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable with doing this, Zabuza-sama," Haku said as he and his master walked to the hideout of the Demon brothers to "convince" the two to help with the mission they recently acquired.

Zabuza snorted as he looked at his apprentice. "And what, may I ask, I are you uncomfortable with? All we have to do is kill the bridge builder when he comes by and that fat, little rat Gatou will pay us all that money. Simple."

Haku shifted nervously as he thought about his worries. "Gatou has been oppressing the people of Wave for years. They live in poverty and are befriended by death. Wouldn't it be better to let the bridge be built so hope could return to them?"

Like a viper, Zabuza struck the side of Haku's face with lightning speed. "I told you that a shinobi's greatest weakness is his emotions. If you don't freeze your heart like you freeze water, than I have no more use for you."

The Kiri jonin almost started walking again, but stopped at the sight of hurt and betrayal in Haku's eyes. He'd be damned if he said it out loud, but he did care for the kid.

"I'm sorry Haku," he said in a tone that wasn't very sorry. "I've just been under a lot of stress lately, and if we don't accept this job, then we just might starve."

"Its okay, Zabuza-sama. I was out of line to say it. I still let my emotions control me too much." Zabuza nodded and turned back around.

As the two continued down the path, Zabuza suddenly tensed up as he felt two chakra signatures that hadn't been there a moment before. He raised his killer intent toward the tree line where the two interlopers sat just out of site.

"You two better come out here and face me before I get really pissed off!"

Two people jumped from the foliage and landed before the Kiri ninjas. Haku looked in surprise at the two figures before them. The one on the right was wearing a black cloak with red cloud designs on it. His head was split into black and white and was encompassed by a Venus fly trap.

The second figure had spiky black hair, an orange mask hiding his face, and black clothes over his body. The right arm had several bolts and pins running through it.

The two pairs stared at each other, neither side saying anything. The silence was broken when the masked individual raised his right arm and began waving excitedly.

"Hi! Tobi is a good boy!"

A large sweat drop appeared on both Haku and Zabuza at this strange greeting. The plant man merely smiled and stepped forward.

"You'll have to excuse my friend here. He gets excited meeting new people," he said in two voices, one calm and normal, the second deep and scratchy.

"Just who the hell are you two and what do you want?" Zabuza said as he grasped his sword.

Before the plant man could answer, the other one named Tobi jumped forward and grasped Haku's hand in his own.

"Tobi thinks you are a very pretty girl. Tobi would love to take hime-chan out for a milkshake sometime."

Haku felt both embarrassed and angry. He couldn't help it if he turned out to be more effeminate looking than other boys! "I'm sorry, Tobi-san, but I'm a boy."

The other three could practically hear Tobi's heart break in his chest.

"Noooo!!" he cried as he fell to his knees. "This isn't fair! Why must Tobi suffer like this!? Tobi is a good boy and good boys get--ooh a caterpillar!" His heartbreak seemed forgotten as Tobi spied a small green caterpillar on the ground and began to follow it.

Haku and Zabuza stared at this most peculiar behavior before directing their attention back to the Venus fly trap.

"My name is Zetsu and you already know Tobi's name," said the plant man as he motioned to Tobi who was now poking the caterpillar with a stick. "We represent a syndicate of missing nins known as Akatsuki and we have a business proposition we would like to run by you."

Zabuza eyed the Grass nin suspiciously. He hung out with the worst of the worst that renegade ninjas had to offer, so of course there was always talk of the latest happenings in the ninja world, and he hadn't even heard a single rumor about this Akatsuki group.

"I don't know what bullshit you're trying to pull," Zabuza growled, "but I've never even heard of Akatsuki."

Both sides of Zetsu's face split into a grin. "But isn't the most dangerous enemy the one you don't know is there? Isn't that the whole point to your Silent Killing technique?"

Haku could practically feel his master's anger rolling off him after having his own logic thrown back at him. Zabuza did not take being made a fool of very kindly. And judging by the grip he had on his cleaver, heads were going to roll.

"Please, master," Haku whispered to Zabuza. "Let's hear them out. Then, if you still wish, I will kill them myself."

Zabuza continued to glare at Zetsu for a few seconds, and then relaxed his grip on his sword.

"Excellent," Zetsu said. "As much as I enjoy a good fight, Leader-sama requested there be as little bloodshed as possible."

"Cut the bull shit right now and tell us whatever the fuck it is you want to say," Zabuza snapped.

"Straight to the point the, I see," Zetsu said as he dropped his smile. "The bridge builder known as Tazuna is currently en route from Konoha and has procured bodyguards in the form of Hatake Kakashi and his genin team. We would like you to gather information on two of said genin." He held up two pictures. One was of a pale skin, black haired boy in the middle of shuriken practice, and the other of a blonde boy with six whisker marks on his cheeks laughing as he was chased by a tanned chunin with a scar across his nose ...and lime green hair.

Zabuza took the pictures and studied them for a few seconds before handing them to Haku. The feminine boys looked at the pictures then placed them in his pocket for future reference.

"I have just two questions for you," Zabuza said. "First, what kind of 'information' do you want us to gather? Judging from the pictures, you've had ample time to acquire info about them. And second, why the fuck should we even do this?"

Zetsu calmly reached inside his robe and pulled out a large stack of bills. He threw the money to Zabuza who caught it in surprise. He could tell just from the weight that it was even more than Gatou was paying them for the assassination!

"It's true we have data on them from inside the village walls, but we need to know how they will deal in a life or death situation," Zetsu said in his two voices."This is where you come in. Your mission is to engage Kakashi and his genins in battle. We don't care what happens to the copy cat or the girl; just make sure those two survive while learning how they really fight."

Zabuza stood in silence as he mulled the deal over in his head. While it was always easier to kill an enemy than not killing them, the amount of money he was being offered was too good to pass up. Combine this payment with Gatou's, and he would have more than enough to build a brand new coup d'état and finally free Kirigakure from the oppression that the bastard known as the Sandaime Mizukage held over the people.

He looked from the money, to Haku, to Zetsu, to Tobi (who was now moving like the caterpillar by laying flat on the ground then lifting his rear into the air), then back to Haku. With a hefty sigh, the Demon of the Mist gave his answer.

"We'll do it."

Zetsu gave his creepy smile again. "Excellent. Leader-sama will be most pleased. But there is just one more thing."

Zabuza narrowed his eyes. He extremely detested it when someone added on to an already agreed deal.

"I shall be leaving Tobi here with you to make sure no information is withheld from us," the plant man said with an air that was almost pitying.

The elder Mist ninja looked to his apprentice in a questionable manner, silently asking if this was all right with him. Haku just shrugged.

The Grass nin chuckled. "All righty then. I'll just say my goodbyes to Tobi then be out of your hair." He walked over to the mask wearing ninja. "Listen up Tobi."

"Yes Zetsu-san?" Tobi said as he paused in the motion of trying to eat a leaf through his spiral mask in imitation of his newest friend.

"If Tobi is a good boy and does as he is told…," Zetsu paused here to think of the perfect bribe. He smiled as it came to mind. "Then Zetsu will take Tobi to see the new Princes Yukie movie when it comes out. How does that sound?"

"Yatta!" Tobi screamed as he began jumping up and down in joy. "Tobi will be the bestest boy he ever could!"

Zetsu smiled at Tobi's elation. "Very good. I'll see you when the mission's over. Ciao!"

With that, he melted into the ground and was gone.

Zabuza gave an impressed grunt and began again on the journey to the Demon brothers. "Haku, Tobi, let's go," he said when he noticed the two lollygagging behind.

"Yes sir, eye brow-less-sama!" Tobi said as he gave a salute.

"DON"T CALL ME THAT!!" Zabuza screamed at Tobi as he swung his fist and clobbered the masked nin.

"Owie! You big meanie!" Tobi cried in pain.

Haku gave a bowlful smile as he watched the two ahead of him. But for some reason, he had the worst feeling that Tobi would not only make life a lot more interesting (if not a living hell the way those two interacted with each other), but his presence would mean the end for both of them.

(End Flashback)

Haku placed Zabuza onto a bed, where the demon gave a groan of pain. The haggard but steady breathing made the apprentice think for a moment that his master had finally passed out.

But Zabuza showed how truly hard headed he was by opening one eye and motioning for Haku to come closer.

"Bring the idiot here," Zabuza said with his teeth clenched in pain. "He's the only one who knows the hand seals."

"Right away, Zabuza-sama," Haku said.

Moving back to the designated living room, Haku saw Tobi watching TV with his puppy blanket wrapped around him. He made to call out to him, but Tobi made a spastic hand movement and said, "Shh! It's almost over," as a bald character with a faint scar running down his right eye said, "We have to move the Island," before the show went to credits.

Tobi sat there in silence for a few seconds before exclaiming, "Whoa! This show keeps getting better and better! The second Tobi thinks Tobi knows something, they completely turn it around on him! Genius!" He then remembered that Haku was right behind him. "You wanted something, girly-chan?"

Oh how easy it would be to shove a senbon into his spine right below the skull. The annoying one would be dead before his brain fully caught up to the fact.

But no. Master Zabuza needed him alive. Keeping his master happy was the only thing that mattered to the ice orphan. But Tobi would soon get his comeuppance and Haku would enjoy giving it.

"Yes, Tobi," Haku said as he let go of his anger and stored it away for later. "We need you to show us what Iota did when he fought Kakashi and his genin team. I was there myself, but it's always better to have a first hand experience."

Tobi didn't move for a few seconds before placing his fist under his chin in the classic Thinker pose. After contemplating for a few more seconds, he said, "Nah. Tobi doesn't really feel like it right now. Tobi will do it after his afternoon nap."

The senbon was in his hand and heading for Tobi's spine before Haku fully realized what he was doing. By the time he regained his senses, it was too late to stop his hand's momentum.

But instead of the soft sound of metal piercing flesh, there was a clanging sound of metal meeting metal. To Haku's very great surprise, Tobi's right index finger was behind his head and had stopped the senbon with enough force to dent it.

Tobi then spoke, not in his excited, perky voice, but one that was calm, cool, and held a slightly malicious edge to it. "I would very much appreciate it if you didn't do that again, Haku-san. We don't want any accidents to happen, do we?" Turning his head ever so slightly to his right, Tobi gave Haku the briefest glimpse of red behind the eye hole, before turning back around.

"No we don't," Haku replied in a calm tone, while inside he was sweating bullets at this new, darker Tobi that sat before him.

Tobi then stood up from the couch and said in his normal, childlike voice, "Awesomeness! Let's go watch a mind movie!" With that, he made his way to Zabuza's room, Haku behind him with a calculatating look on his face.

xxx

This sounded like an interesting theory, so I went with it.

This was just the introductory chapter, showing how and why Tobi will be at the bridge battle.

I think Team 7 met the Demon Brothers on their first day, but let's just change that up a bit shall we?

Reviews and comments are always welcome.