Author's Note: This fic contains what is probably the most epic case of Zabuza OOC-ness possible. If you are offended/irritated/annoyed/confused by a nerdy Zabuza or are wondering why he isn't more of a nerd in the series, you may want to stop reading. Otherwise, enjoy Haku in a skirt, because he's pretty enough to be a princess. 8D
Walt Disney and GothicDancer proudly present:
Haku as Kida or Kishimoto's The Land of Waves: The Lost Empire
In a single day and night of misfortune, the Land of Waves disappeared into the sea.
The flying vehicles raced to the center of the city, a huge wave following them. They shouted at each other in frustration and fear as the water approached them. When the mainland guards saw what was happening, they sounded the gongs and ordered everyone to seek shelter.
"Your Majesties!" a guard called. "Please, come this way!"
The family of three raced towards the shelter, but the child wanted to go back for its dropped toy. Distressed, the father got down on his knees. "Leave it, Haku!" he commanded. "There's no time!"
That was when a bright light shone down on the man. He looked up towards it, and his eyes turned white as he stood. Slowly, he began to float towards the sky, taking his child's bracelet with him.
"Father!" Haku cried. "Father!"
The child's mother held him close. "Haku, look away!"
In a moment, a giant shield covered the center of the city just as the giant waves came crashing down. Slowly, the city fell into the sea, erased from all the earth's maps.
The city was called "The Land of Waves."
"Gentlemen, I'd like to thank you for coming to hear my proposal today," a man said to the audience. He stood in front of a chalk board that read "The Coast of Kumogakure," and several slides were on the desk next to said chalkboard. The man adjusted his glasses and said, "We've all heard the legend of the Land of Waves, right? It was a civilization that was said to have technology far beyond our own. Now, I know what you're thinking. It's just a myth, right? Well, that's where you'd be wrong. According to Plato, the Land of Waves was said to have electricity and advanced medicine before the time of the Great Shinobi Wars, before the main country of Konohagakure was even founded! It was also said that the Land of Waves possessed a power source stronger than steel, coal, or anything! Gentlemen, my proposal is that we find the Land of Waves and bring that power source back to the surface. I have a page from something called "The Shepherd's Journal" that is said to be a first-hand account of the Land of Waves."
The man moved away from his desk and to the chalkboard to continue. "It is also said that this book lies off the coast of Kumogaure, which is far north of here. However, after studying several ruins from the same language root, I've discovered that a few of the letters were mistranslated! The journal doesn't reside in Kumogakure; it's right here in Kirigakure! Heh, Gentlemen, I'll take your questions now."
Suddenly, the phone rang. The man smiled nervously and asked to be excused for a moment. When he picked up the phone, he did not like what he heard. "Uh, yeah, I'll fix it." He turned on the nearby light to reveal that his audience was nothing more than a group of dummies. He then smacked the heater near the audience and turned back to the phone. "Is that better? Yeah, okay, I got it. I won't let it happen again." He hung up the phone sadly.
Just then, the clock in the corner of the room chimed. The man looked up happily and grabbed his papers. "Time to go, Zabuza," he said to himself. He went to walk out of the room but stopped at a small closet instead. In front of it was a photo of a young Zabuza with an older man. Zabuza relived the memory in his mind of when his grandfather let him try on his helmet. He then reached into the closet, pulled out the helmet, and placed it on his head, but it was still too big for him, same as all those years ago.
All of a sudden, a letter came down the chute to the basement. Zabuza opened it and read, "'Dear Mr. Momochi, This is to let you know that your meeting has been moved up from 4:30 to 3:30.' Hey, wait! It's 4:10!" That was when another letter came down. Zabuza read this one, too. "'Dear Mr. Momochi, Due to your absence, the board has decided to reject your proposal. Have a nice day.' Wait! They can't do that!"
In one of the upper levels of the museum, a group of men walked out of their offices laughing. "That Momochi gets crazier every day."
"If I hear anything else about the Land of Waves, I'll walk in front of a speeding bus!"
"I'll push you!"
"EXCUSE ME!!" came Zabuza's voice as he ran towards the men. Scared, they separated and tried to hide to escape the man's antics. One of them was left behind though, and he tried hiding behind a plant, but Zabuza found him. Zabuza ended up chasing him all over the museum until he was outside.
"Hatake-san!" he called. "Please listen to me!"
The gray-haired man jumped into his automobile and told his driver to go. "Forget it, Momochi!" he called. "The museum works with facts, not fairy tales. Besides, we'll need you with the boiler when winter comes!"
"I'M WARNING YOU!!" Zabuza called after his boss. "Hatake-san, if you don't accept my proposal, I'LL QUIT!!"
That got the automobile to stop. It backed up until the man in back was face-to-face with Zabuza. "You'll quit?" he repeated. "What? And throw away your entire career the same way your lunatic grandfather did? You have a lot of potential, Zabuza, so don't throw it all away. If you really want to go on an expedition, take trolley to the seas and jump in! Maybe the cold water will clear your head!" With that, he drove off, splashing Zabuza in the street.
Later that night, Zabuza returned home, exhausted. "Hello?" he called. "Fluffy Bunny?" He tried turning on the lights, but they didn't work. Zabuza looked up and saw someone. It was a woman! She was sitting in his chair!
"Zabuza Momochi," she giggled.
"Who...?" The man was stunned. "How did you get in here?!"
"I came down the chimney. Ho, ho, ho. My name is Konan. I'm acting on behalf of my employer, Momochi-san, and he has quite an intriguing proposition for you. Interested?"
"...Who's your employer?"
The storming rains pounded on the roof of the automobile as Konan drove herself and Zabuza up a long driveway. Once the two were safely dry inside the mansion, the woman directed the guest towards the room where her employer was waiting. She fixed him up as they rode down the elevator.
"You shall address Gato-san as 'Gato-san' or 'Sir.' You will stand unless asked to be seated. Keep your sentences short and to the point. Are we clear?" Konan gave the man a murderous yet playful look as she flipped back her blue hair and opened the elevator door. "And don't worry," she giggled softly, "Gato-san doesn't bite. Often." She smirked and slammed the door shut.
Zabuza walked through the hallway nervously, contemplating what Gato had in store for him. He stopped when he came upon a large painting over the fireplace. "Grandfather?"
"He was the finest explorer I ever met," came a man's voice as he cracked his shoulders. "I'm Gato, Zabu-kun. Nice to meet you. Join me for some yoga?" His back cracked.
Zabuza twitched. "Uh...no, thank you. Did you really know my grandfather?"
"We were classmates way back when. Stuck by each other until the end of your grandpa's days." His legs and toes cracked. "He often spoke of you."
Zabuza laughed nervously. "Funny. He, uh, never mentioned you. By the way, should I be wondering why I'm here?"
"Check out the package on that table!"
Zabuza did as he was told and observed the rectangular box. "It's...from my grandfather?"
Gato walked behind a curtain to change into his suit, for he was previously in nothing but a bathrobe. "Your grandpa told me to give it to you when you were ready, should anything happen to you."
Zabuza opened the package and gasped. "Its...the Shepherd's Journal. Oh, my God, Gato-san, this has everything we need! All the clues are right here!"
"It looks like gibberish to me."
"That's because it's written in an ancient language. It's not impossible, just difficult."
"No way! I'll stake everything I know that this is the real journal!"
"What to you want to do?" Gato sat down at a long table and stared down the young man.
Zabuza narrowed his eyes angrily. "I'll have to get funding from the museum..."
"They'll never believe you."
"I'll make them believe!"
"Like you did today?"
"What?! No! Listen, if I have to, I'll rent a tiny rowboat out to sea!"
Suddenly, Gato grinned. "Congratulations, Zabuza Momochi, that was EXACTLY what I wanted to hear. But forget the rowboat! We'll travel in style." He pressed a button under the table, and a model of a top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art submarine and all its attachments appeared. Zabuza stared, awestruck.
"Why would you do all this for me?" he asked.
"Your grandfather was so insistent on finding the Land of Waves that he'd never shut up about it. I told him I'd fund the entire expedition if he ever found the Shepherd's Journal. Plus, I told him I'd kiss him. You can imagine the mouth wash I went through that day." Gato grinned and walked to the fireplace. He stared up at the painting and said, "Ya hear that?! I'm keeping my promises!" Suddenly, he sighed. "Your grandfather was a great man, Zabuza, greater than you'll ever know. Those idiots at the museum made a laughing stock of him, and he died a broken man. So what are we waiting around here for?! We've got work to do!" He turned back to the table.
Zabuza was flabbergasted. "But," he began, "for us to do all of this, we'll need a crew!"
"Taken care of. I've got the best of the best." Gato pulled out a stack of papers with photos attached. "Tobi Uchiha, geology and excavation. Deidara Iwa, demolitions. I busted him out of prison for this! Sasori Akasuna, engineering. This and many more. They were the ones who brought the journal back."
Zabuza grinned. "Where was it?"
"Off the coast of our own backyard."
"I KNEW IT!!"
"Now all we need is an expert in gibberish. What do you want to do, Zabuza? Follow your grandfather's legacy or go back to the boiler room?"
Zabuza slumped down in a chair. "This is for real."
"Now you're catching on!"
"Okay, I'll need to quit my job."
"You did it this afternoon."
"I'll need to leave a notice on my apartment."
"Taken care of."
A rabbit jumped into his hands.
Gato stood. "Your grandfather had a saying, Zabuza. He said that our lives are remembered by what we leave our children. This journal is his gift to you. The Land of Waves is waiting. What do you say?"
"I'm your man, Gato-san! I'm so excited I can barely hold it in!"
Zabuza puked over the side of the ship taking him and the crew out to sea. He rubbed his temples and listened as a monotone voice came up over the loudspeaker, instructing all the people on board to report to the launching pad. Zabuza did so and ran into a familiar face. "Konan?"
"Yes, Momochi-san," the woman laughed.
"Hey, Konan!" came another man's voice. "I've got a bone to pick with you!"
The woman turned. "Yes, Kisame?"
"What the heck is my truck full of?! Look at this!" He pulled up something green.
"That," Konan replied, "would be lettuce. It's a vegetable. The men need their four basic food groups."
"I've got your four basic food groups!" Kisame snapped. "Beans, bacon, whiskey, and lard! Maybe some fish in there..."
Suddenly, an alarm sounded. "Alright, ya redneck," the woman hissed, "get to launch pad!"
Kisame shook his head. "But I've got a blue neck!"
Zabuza followed the woman down to the lower levels of the ship. There, he saw the submarine ready to go. He was in awe of the device, for it was the most technologically-advanced thing he had ever seen.
"Hey, Junior, un," came a voice, "if you're looking for Disney World, you're on the wrong boat."
Zabuza picked up something. "Excuse me! I think you dropped your...dynamite? Um, what else do you have there?"
"Uh...cherry bombs, nitro glycerin, note pads, fuses, matches, paper clips...big ones. Office supplies, un."
"Zabuza!" Gato called. "I'd like you to meet someone. This is Commander Pein, the man who led the expedition to retrieve the journal."
Pein was a tall, well-built, orange-haired man with many piercings across his face and body. He shook Zabuza's hand firmly. "It's nice to meet you, Momochi-san. I'm excited to get started on this mission. Quite a display, no? You can't put a price on knowledge, but I'm sure this'll be enriching for all of us."
That was when the alarm sounded for the final boarding. Pein, Zabuza, and the others boarded the submarine and waved goodbye to Gato. Konan commanded the sailors to let their vessel go, and it was soon submerged in the water. In no time, the crew was off.
Zabuza walked down to the living quarters of the submarine as the monotone voice read off the night's menu for dinner. Zabuza rested himself on one of the lower beds and tried to take a nap, but a set of eyes staring at him from the upper bunk prevented that. "You..." came a hostile voice. "You...have disturbed...the dirt."
Suddenly, a man in a large, furry coat jumped down from the bunk and pushed Zabuza to the floor. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! You have squished my Holy Roman Empire!" The man pulled the bed sheets away to reveal little mounds of dirt with flags sticking out. He then looked to Zabuza and demanded to know who he was. Before he could answer, the man pulled out his tweezers and snatched a speck of dirt off him. He observed it carefully for a moment and then glared at Zabuza. "Zabuza Momochi. Birthday: August 15. Leo. Twenty-six years old. Height: 163 inches. Weight: 159 pounds. Blood Type: A. Owns a pet named 'Fluffy Bunny'." (2) He then paused to gasp. "ALL THAT AND YOU WORK FOR A MUSEUM?! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!! LEAVE AT ONCE!!"
"Whoa, hold it!" another man snapped as he appeared in the doorway. "Tobi, what have I told you about playing nice with the other kids?" He pulled out a white bar from his pocket. "Look! I've got soap and I'm not afraid to use it!"
Tobi hissed bitterly and buried himself back underneath the sheets of his upper bunk. Zabuza smiled at the dark-skinned man before him and shook his hand, for he seemed friendly enough. "Hi, I'm Zabuza Momochi."
"The name is Kakuzu," the other man replied. "I'm the doctor on the expedition. Check this out!" He put the soap away and pulled out a saw. "The catalogue said it could cut through a femur in twenty-eight seconds, but I'm sure I can cut that time in half. Now stick out your tongue and say, 'Ah'!"
"Ah?!" Zabuza repeated just as Kakuzu stuck a tongue depressor in his mouth.
"So where are you from?"
"Really? I have family up there! Beautiful country. You like fishing?"
"Me? I hate fishing!" Kakuzu stuck a thermometer in Zabuza's mouth and pulled out two glass jars. "Now I'm going to need you to fill these up."
Zabuza spat out all the things in his mouth. "WITH WHAT?!
"Zabuza Momochi," came the monotone voice, "you're wanted on the bridge."
Without saying a word, Zabuza said goodbye to his new friends in the lower levels. Kakuzu waved and said, "I'll send you the bill for the check-up later!"
"So I say to him, 'Sasuke, we don't have any ripe tomatoes. Just eat the dango.' And he's like...Ugh, hold on a second, Shisui, I've got another call." The man with the monotone voice flipped a few switches. "Commander, we're reaching coordinates." Another switch. "Yeah, Shisui?"
Zabuza carefully walked up to the top of the bridge and met with the rest of his crew there. "Okay," Pein began, "I want all of you to give Momochi-san your undivided attention."
Zabuza looked into the crowd and recognized the people from Gato's photos and resumes. "Uh, hi," he said awkwardly, "can everyone hear me okay? Good! Um...how about some slides? You know, it's said that there's a horrible monster, some terrifying creature guarding the entrance to the Land of Waves." He stuck a slide into the projector, but it was the wrong one. "Um, sorry," the man said, embarrassed, "that was from my...vacation."
Sasori snorted. "I used to steal lunch money from kids like him."
"Okay, I've got it!" Zabuza announced as he put the proper slide in. "This is a depiction of the creature. It's said that it shoots fire from its eyes, but I'm guessing it was just a refraction of light. The whole thing is probably just a sculpture."
"So what do we do once we've found this masterpiece?" Pein asked.
"We go down into a chasm that takes us to an air pocket. From there, we go down a path until we reach the Land of Waves. It's like that pipe in your sink!"
Konan shook her head amusedly. "Cartographer, linguist, Fluffy Bunny owner, plumber...I can't believe this guy is single."
"WHEN DO WE DIG?!"
"Do I get to blow something up, un?"
"Commander!" a sailor suddenly called. "You have to see this!"
The external lights on the sub illuminated, and the crew could see destroyed ships littering the ocean floor. Zabuza could recognize them from every era in known history, and something was coming up on the radar.
"Commander?" the monotone voice said. "Commander?"
"What is it, Itachi?" Pein asked.
"I think you should hear this." The man flipped a switch, and a loud sound came up on the speakers.
The commander was baffled. "Is that a pod of whales?"
"It sounds like metal," Konan observed. "It may just be some sound wave bouncing off the rocks."
"You wanna do my job? Be my guest."
Suddenly, the sound disappeared. "Well," the woman continued, "whatever it was, it's gone."
And then, out of nowhere, the entire submarine jerked. Something had latched onto it, and the crew was guessing it was the monster from Zabuza's presentation. When the scholar himself looked out the window, he gasped. "Holy Seven Swordsmen, IT'S A MACHINE!!"
The monster shot a powerful beam from its mouth that hit right in the bottom of the ship. Sasori ran down to the lowest levels and blocked off all the paths so no more water could floor, but the sub was still going down. He called out to the upper levels. "Pein! We've got trouble! We took a major hit, and I think the water is going to hit the boilers. We've got twenty minutes!"
"Make that five."
"YOU HEARD THE BOY!! LET'S MOVE!!"
Despite the crew's best efforts to torpedo the monster, they could barely damage it, though the sub did manage to break free. Konan and Pein called for the crew to abandon ship, and everyone ran down to the life ships.
"Honestly, Shisui, Madara's no prize. Trust me, he's not worth your time."
"Sorry, Shisui, I'll have to call you back. No, no, I'll call you."
With Itachi in one of the subs, the crews blast away from the main ship just as it exploded. The many little ships drove down into the nearby crevice Zabuza pointed out from the book, but the monster was still on their tail. It clawed at the little subs until the path became too narrow. When the surviving ships emerged, they were in the stated air pocket. Before them on land were several ruins.
Once everyone was safe on shore, they lit a candle and set it out to sea. Pein took off his hat and said, "Seven hours ago, we started this expedition with two hundred of the finest men and women in the business. We are the only ones who have survived. I am not going to sugar coat this, People. We have a crisis on our hands. It looks like our only hope for survival rests in you, Momochi, you and that little book."
Itachi sighed. "We're all gonna die."
Everyone set off to work in order to get their surviving vehicles and supplies moving. Pein stopped Zabuza and asked him if he could drive one of the trucks.
"It's the same as a bumper car in Tanzaku Town, right?"
Pein face-palmed and tied the truck to the back end of another one, where Tobi, who could drive, led them both ahead.
As the days and nights passed, the crew slowly inched closer towards the road that they hoped could lead them to the Land of Waves. Zabuza would point the way, and the crew would follow, completely putting all their faith into him. That backfired a few times, but, for the most part, everyone felt that the end of the path was coming.
Along the way, Zabuza did his best to get to know his crew mates, but he got the feeling they didn't like him that much. While they ate, he studied the Shepherd's Journal, trying to make sense of it all. The others played a few jokes on him, too.
"Did you just drink that?!" Deidara asked as Zabuza brought the canteen away from his mouth. "That's not good, un. That's nitro glycerin! Don't move, don't breathe, don't do anything! Just pray, un!
"BOO!!" Tobi cried, scaring Zabuza half-to-death, as if he wasn't terrified enough already. Tobi and Deidara got a serious laugh out of that one.
At another point, the crew came upon a large totem pole-like ruin. "It must have taken thousands of years to carve," Zabuza observed.
Deidara threw a few sticks of dynamite around it and smiled as they exploded. "Hey, look, I made a bridge, un, and it only took me, like, ten seconds."
At another point, the crew came upon a roadblock. Deidara didn't have enough explosives to blow it up, so Pein commanded Tobi to dig through it. "It will be my pleasure!" the man replied as he set up the drilling machine. It started to bust through the stone, but it broke down after a moment. "WORK!! WORK!!" Tobi cried.
Sasori opened up the back door to the truck. "I don't get it! I just fixed this thing! Ugh, it looks like it's shot. I'll have to get some spare parts."
Zabuza tried to speak. "Could I...?"
"NO TOUCHY. I'll be right back."
Zabuza took a moment while Sasori wasn't looking to smack the appliance there. In a moment, the truck was working again. When the redhead returned, he punched Zabuza twice.
The rest of the time along the road passed slowly. Zabuza continued to stay up all night studying until, one night, the other invited him to eat. "Hey, Zabuza, come over here!" Sasori called. "You've been staring at that book for hours."
"Yeah, I know," the man replied as he walked towards the group. "It's just that there seems to be a page missing." He went to sit down just as someone placed a whoopie cushion beneath him.
"I'm sorry!" the man in the coat laughed. "I could not resist!"
Zabuza shook his head amusedly but then cringed. "Ow..."
"Something wrong?" Kakuzu asked.
"Oh, it's nothing. My neck just must be stiff."
"No problem!" The doctor twisted Zabuza's head to the side, and the pain disappeared.
Zabuza was amazed. "How did you do that?"
Kakuzu grinned. "I was studying at medical school down near the Waterfall Village a couple years back. That was where my father met my mother. But then a war broke out. One minute, I'm studying to be a surgeon, the next, I'm sawing off limbs on the battlefield. That explains the scars all over me."
"Get outta here," Zabuza joked. "That's incredible."
"Dinner anyone?" Kisame offered. He laughed when the entire crew turned down his offer. "Don't you worry about that. It'll keep and keep and keep."
Itachi puffed on a cigarette. "Thank God I lost my taste buds years ago."
After dinner, the crew started to pull out their sleeping bags and tents for the night. Deidara stared at Zabuza's messy tent and groaned as he fixed it up. "Sorry about that," the man laughed. "I haven't been camping since my grandpa was alive."
"I never met your grandfather," Sasori commented as he rolled out his sleeping bag. "What was he like?"
Zabuza smiled and got down on his sleeping bag. "He practically raised me. Mom and Dad died when I was really little, so Grandpa took me in. He's the reason I got interested in the Land of Waves in the first place. He was always telling me stories and teaching me about how things came to be in the world. One time, I found an arrowhead in a pond, and he went off on a whole rant as if I had just discovered some lost civilization!" He paused to laugh. "By the way, Sasori, you're so young. How did you end up as the engineer on this trip?"
"Well, I just look young, first of all," the redhead explained. "I'm actually the same age as anyone here, but I got my parents' baby faces. Heh, they died when I was really young, too, so I can relate, Zabuza. My grandmother took me in and told me that if I wanted to get by in the world, I'd need to know how it worked, so she started to teach me everything she knew about building and working things. I'm saving up my money so she and I can open an appliance shop."
At that moment, Itachi walked by in a large coat. "Did you forget your pajamas, Itachi-san?" Zabuza asked.
The man put out his cigarette. "I sleep in the nude."
Kakuzu threw a blindfold over to Zabuza. "You're gonna want one of these! He sleepwalks!"
"As for me," Deidara sighed as he set himself under his tent, "I just like to blow things up, un."
The doctor eyed him. "Come on, Dei. Tell him the truth."
The blonde groaned. "My family owned a flower shop, un. We'd sell like...roses, tulips, lilies...yeah. One day, I'm making, like, three dozen corsages for this...prom, and all these kids are shouting at me about things like if it matches a dress, if it'll be on time. It was a nightmare, un. Anyway, I guess there must have been a gas leak next door. BOOM, UN. No more Konoha Laundry. Blast me right through the wall. It was like a sign from God, un. I found myself with that boom."
The crew then heard the strange noise of someone digging underground. Zabuza glanced towards a large hole on the side of the camp and asked, "What's Tobi's story?"
"Hold it!" Kakuzu interrupted. "You don't wanna know. Sasori, don't tell him. You shouldn't have told me, but you did, which is why I'm telling you that you don't want to know. Good night!"
In the quietness of sleep, the crew members were unaware that they were being watched. Human-sized creatures with disfigured faces jumped out from the darkness and opened the bags scattered about the campsite, but they jumped back when a light came on. Zabuza emerged from his tent with a flashlight and a roll of toilet paper. When he was just outside the camp he held the flashlight underneath his chin, and the light shone into a large lamp-like rock in the center of the ceiling. Suddenly, millions of little, bright, aggravated flies flew out of the structure, and a fire swept through the camp. Zabuza, forgetting about everything else, ran through the camp and called for everyone to wake up. Pein was about to scold him when he saw just how bad the fire was.
"LET'S MOVE!!" the commander called. "We can't put it out!"
The crew saved whatever it could and started up the vehicles to move across a nearby stone bridge. Zabuza jumped on at the last second just as the ceiling structure fell and destroyed the bridge. The vehicles slammed into one another and crashed down at the bottom of the passageway. Then, there was darkness.
Pein lit one of Itachi's matches and said, "Okay, who's not dead?" The crew replied with groans of pain. "Sasori, how's the damage?"
"It's not as bad as it could have been," the redhead replied as he checked everything with a flashlight. "We did lose some good materials and supplies though, so it's gonna be tough to keep going."
"This is not dirt," Tobi suddenly announced. "We're sitting on ashes! This is a volcano."
Konan pointed her signal flare gun towards the top of the passage and set it off. It didn't explode until it was very far away. "It just keeps going. I guess that's not our way out."
Tobi nodded. "And the volcano is sleeping. If something were to happen, it could awaken."
"Sounds like what happens when I feed my otouto natto," Itachi commented.
"Back up!" Kakuzu called. "Are you telling me this whole thing could blow at any moment?"
Tobi shook his head. "That would require an explosion of great magnitude."
Deidara suddenly stopped tinkering with one of his bombs. "Maybe I should work on this later, un..."
Suddenly, Pein realized something. "Where's Momochi?"
Zabuza was actually lying unconscious at another part of the passageway. Several whispering voices awoke him from his slumber, and he was shocked to see the disfigured faces of the strangers staring at him.
Suddenly, one of the hideous faces was lifted away. It was just a mask! And underneath was a sweet, angelic face, one with genuine concern and curiosity. Wordlessly, the stranger pulled away the sleeve of Zabuza's shirt to reveal a deep, bleeding wound. It then brought its necklace forward and touched the cut. In a second, the wound was stranger smiled at Zabuza and then scampered away quickly, for the rest of the crew had started up the machines to keep going.
"Wait!" Zabuza shouted. "Wait a second! Hold on!" He chased the group to the edge of the passageway and found that the explosion had actually opened up another one. When he emerged from the darkness, he stepped into a world surrounded by water with a small village at the center. He was soon greeted by the other members of the crew, and they could barely believe their eyes. "It's...the Land of Waves."
Suddenly, the creatures in masks jumped out of nowhere and pointed their weapons at the crew. Pein panicked and went to attack, but Zabuza stopped him. "They must be Land of Waves natives!"
And then, one started to speak in a foreign language. "I think it's talking to you, Momochi," Tobi said.
The conversation went on for a little while until the two were starting to speak in noticeable languages. That was when the stranger Zabuza had seen pulled its mask off. It truly was a native, and it was a beautiful little girl!
"Parlez-vous français?" Zabuza asked.
"Oui, Monsieur!" the girl replied.
"She speaks my language!" Tobi said to himself. He approached the native and said, "Excusez-moi, would you like to...?" He whispered the rest into the girl's ear, and she suddenly punched him in the face.
"I like her!" Kakuzu whispered to Sasori.
The redhead snorted amusedly. "It's about time someone hit him. I'm just sorry it wasn't me."
The other natives took their masks off to reveal their faces, and they greeted the explorers. Zabuza figured that their language must have been based off a root dialect, allowing them to learn all the other languages of the world. "Then maybe Japanese is in there somewhere," Pein suggested. "Hello! We are explorers from the surface world! We come in peace!"
The little girl smiled and said, in perfect Japanese, "Welcome to the Land of Waves! Come, you must speak to my mother!"
The crew started up their engines again and followed the native group onto the mainland of the city. Konan rolled her eyes at how excited Zabuza was and whispered, "Commander, there weren't supposed to be people here. This changes everything..."
The commander shook his head. "This changes nothing, Lieutenant."
Eventually, the little girl brought the crew to the throne room of the kingdom. There sat her mother, the Queen. "Greetings, Your Highness, Mizukage-sama," she said in her native language, "I have brought the visitors."
"You know the law, Haku. No outsiders may see the city and live."
"Mother, these people may be able to help us."
"We do not need their help."
"Enough. We will discuss this later."
"Your Majesty," Pein began, "on behalf of my crew, I must say it is an honor to be welcomed here."
"You assume far too much," the Mizukage replied. "You are to pack your things and leave immediately."
"We are but humble explorers."
The woman laughed shortly. "And yet, you bring weapons with you."
Pein bit his lip. "Our weapons allow us to remove...obstacles that block us from what we seek."
The Mizukage shook her head. "I know what you are seeking, and you will not find it here. Your journey has been in vain. You are to pack your things and leave at once."
There was a long pause before Pein said, "May I request that we stay one night? That will give us time to relax and restock so we may leave in the morning."
The Mizukage's daughter nodded enthusiastically, and the Queen sighed. "Alright," she agreed. "One night."
"Thank you very much." Pein and the others walked out of the throne room, and the guards closed the doors behind them.
"You've grown soft, Haku," the Mizukage sighed. "A thousand years ago, you would have slaughtered them on sight."
"A thousand years ago," the girl began, "our people were not scavenging for food at the base of a crumbling cliff! Our ancestors would weep if they could see what we have been reduced to. We used to be a great people."
"The people are content."
"They do not know any better! Our way of life is dying."
"Our way of life is preserved. Someday, when you take the throne, you will understand, Haku."
Pein, Konan, and Zabuza met up with the rest of the crew once they exited the throne room. "How did it go?" Kakuzu asked.
Zabuza sighed. "Not so well. The princess seems to like us well enough, but the Queen doesn't. I think the princess called her the 'Mizukage'."
"Well," Pein began, "if the Mizukage won't talk to us, someone will have to go talk to the princess."
Konan smirked. "One of us will just have to volunteer."
"I will do it!" Tobi announced.
"Someone with good people skills, un," Deidara added
"I will do it!"
"Someone who won't scare her away," Kakuzu thought aloud.
"Someone who can speak the language," Itachi exhaled along with a puff of cigarette smoke.
"For the sake of the mission, I will do it!"
"Thanks for volunteering, Momochi," Pein laughed as her pat Zabuza on the back.
Tobi burst into tears as the crew walked back to their vehicles. Sasori winked. "Go get her."
A few minutes later, the princess emerged from the throne room, and the breath caught in Zabuza's throat. There was no doubt that she was quite beautiful, but he knew he had a job to do. "I have some questions for you," he said to himself, practicing the lines, "and I'm not leaving this city until they are answered. Yeah, that's good." He went to turn to the princess, but she was gone.
Suddenly, someone grabbed him from behind and covered his mouth. "I have some questions for you," the princess giggled, "and you are not leaving this city until they are answered." She dragged him through the land and water until they reached an abandoned area. "I have so many questions for you!" she squealed. "You seem to be the scholar among the group, no? Though I don't understand why, considering you look more like an assassin with glasses! Ha! There is so much I want to know about your world. Where did you come from? How did you get down here? When did the water recede?"
"Hold on a second," Zabuza interrupted. "Why don't we exchange questions?"
The princess rolled her eyes and smiled. "Very well. What is your first question?"
"Um...how did you and your city get down here?"
"It is said that the gods were jealous of the Land of Waves and banished us here. All I can remember are bright lights, lots of water, and people shouting. Then there was something in the sky, like a giant star. My mother said it called my father to it. I never saw him after that."
"Wow," Zabuza sighed, "I'm sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I know how you feel. I lost my parents when I was really young and...Wait a second! You mean you remember it because you were there? But that would make you over...eighty thousand years old!"
The princess nodded. "Yes?"
"Uh...whoa. Hey, heh, looking good! Now, um, do you have a question?"
The princess nodded again. "How did you find your way down here?"
Zabuza reached into his bag and pulled out the Shepherd's Journal. "We used this. Now then, legend has it that your people had some kind of power source..."
But the princess ignored him. She was too busy looking through the book at the ancient writing. "Can you...read this?" she suddenly asked.
Zabuza nodded. "Yes, I can read the language, just like you!"
The princess frowned and shook her head. "No one can. Such knowledge has been lost since the flooding. Please teach me!"
"Alright," Zabuza agreed, "but, tell me, how's my accent?"
"You sound like a southern hick who speaks through his nose."
"I figured as much."
"Follow me now! There's something I want to show you!" She brought Zabuza further into the abandoned area to find something that looked like a vehicle. "No matter what I try, the thing won't start."
Zabuza knelt down to read the inscription written on the vehicle. "Place your hand on the pad...Insert crystal key...Turn clockwise with your hand on the pad..."
The princess perked up. "I didn't try that." She did as the instructions said, and the machine instantly hovered off the ground. She gasped. "It works!"
"I wonder how fast it goes." Zabuza pressed one of the little buttons on the side, and the vehicle sped off into the air, crashing into the ground when it hit a ruin. "Oh, that fast. Um...are you hungry?"
The princess smiled, nodded, and took her new friend to the center of the village to eat. "By the way," Zabuza interrupted as they walked, "we never got to introduce ourselves. My name is Zabuza Momochi. You?"
"My real name is far too complicated," the princess laughed. "My nickname is Haku. Your doctor is...Kisame, no?"
"No, it's Kakuzu."
"No, they're not related. Their names are just similar." Zabuza tried to explain the rest of the crew to Haku, but the poor princess was so confused. She was still trying to figure it all out by dinnertime.
"So...your doctor is named Kakuzu, and he is not a fish. Kisame is a fish but is not related to Kakuzu. Sasori plays with engines but does not blow them up, so Deidara does it for him. And...the little man named Tobi...He is...the team mascot?"
Later that night, Haku took Zabuza to a nearby lake where a big piece of a ruin lay. A huge chunk of the ruin was missing though, and Haku explained that it was at the bottom of the lake. "We are a dying people," she sighed. "Every day, a little piece of us chips away, lost forever, just like these ruins. That is why I have brought you here. If you can read our language, maybe you can tell me what we're missing here."
"Alright, I'll give it a shot," Zabuza offered. He started to read the writing on the remaining ruin until he heard some kind of rustling sound. He turned and his face lit up bright red. "Haku! What are you doing?!"
"You swim, do you not?" the princess asked as she undid the skirt from her lower half and slipped her top off.
"Yes, I swim," Zabuza replied, flustered, "but...what are you doing?! Why are you taking your top off?!"
"You swim fully clothed?"
"No! It's just that, um, where I'm from, girls usually don't take their tops off to swim."
"I'm a boy."
Harsher words were never spoken.
Zabuza stared. This person, this beautiful little girl who had healed his wounds, answered his questions, and taken him on a tour of the Land of Waves...WAS A BOY?! A prince, not a princess?! But, the more Zabuza thought about, the more he could see it. Even though Haku was young, the man figured that, for a girl, the chest was rather flat. Still, when Zabuza asked why Haku covered his top half at all, the boy simply replied, "I like my modesty, and, before you ask, the skirt is traditional wear. Can we go now?" That face was still way too soft and feminine to belong to a male though, even a sweet little boy.
"Uh, yeah," Zabuza replied, still in shock. He stripped down to his boxer shorts and jumped into the water. The two dove down and swam to a small air pocket. There, they caught their breath, and Haku showed Zabuza where the missing piece of the ruin was. Using the light emitted from Haku's necklace, the man read a few of the lines quickly and motioned for them to swim back to the air pocket.
"It's incredible!" he gasped. "It's a whole timeline of the Land's history!"
"But what does it say about the star?" Haku asked, desperate.
"I don't know. Let's go back!"
The two dove back under the water and swam to the ruins again. This time, Zabuza read a different section of the piece. He would have gasped if he were not underwater, so he called Haku back to the air pocket.
"I've got it!" he cheered. "You thought it was a star, and I thought it was a power source, but we're both wrong. It's made of the same material as your necklace!"
Haku shook his head. "No, that's can't be right."
"But it is!" Zabuza insisted. "This is the key to the Land of Waves. This is what is keeping you and your people alive! Oh, my gosh, I have to find the others. Wait until they hear!"
When the two swam up to the surface, Zabuza took a moment to catch his breath and take in his surroundings. The other members of the crew were waiting for him, each one armed. "Did you have a nice swim?" Pein asked innocently.
Zabuza frowned. "I was such an idiot."
"And now you know!" the commander laughed. "Welcome to the team, Momochi-san."
"I'm not joining you, especially with what you're all after. It's all about the money, isn't it?"
Haku tried to sneak away from the crew but was quickly captured. He tried to fight them off, but Pein shot his weapons away. Seeing he couldn't fight against a gun, he fell to the ground, not knowing what to do.
Pein grinned. "If that little girl there isn't reason enough to help us, maybe this will spark your interest." He held up a piece of paper written in the native language of the Land of Waves.
Zabuza gasped. "It's the missing page from the Shepherd's Journal." He paused and shook his head. "First of all, Haku isn't a girl. He's Prince Haku of the Land of Waves!"
That confused everyone. Pein did a double-take on the native and cocked an eyebrow. "Well, I'll be darned," he realized. "You have got to be the most feminine boy I have ever met. Anyway, Momochi, you have two options. You can help us, or you can die. What do you say?"
"I'll never help you! Not if you're going to hurt these people!"
"Momochi, if you gave back every piece in a museum, you'd have a bunch of empty rooms! We're giving the gift of intelligence to mankind." He smirked when Zabuza gave him a deathly glare. "Well, if your own life isn't enough of a threat, maybe this will work. Lieutenant!"
Konan grabbed Haku's wrists and held them behind his back. She pointed a gun to his head and smiled. "Help us. Or the princess boy dies."
The door to the throne room exploded. "Knock, knock, un," Deidara greeted, tossing a stick of dynamite in his hand.
Konan walked forward with Haku in hand. She held up her gun and said, "We have the boy."
The Mizukage stood. "Drop your weapons," she commanded to the guards. They did so and exchanged nervously glances.
"Hey, did you know Haku was a boy?"
"Me? No, I honestly thought he was a girl."
"We've lived together for eighty thousand years!" Haku gasped. "And you guys didn't even know I was male?! Oh, come on, this gag is getting really old!"
The crew immediately set to work trying to find the place where the crystal was hidden. Pein grew frustrated very quickly and demanded to know where it was. "I don't know!" Zabuza shot back. "The book only says that the treasure lies within the eyes of the Mizukage. I can't figure out anything else."
The orange-haired man sighed and walked over to the Mizukage herself. "My friend there says that you know where the crystal is. Tell me."
The woman shook her head. "Never."
The commander suddenly punched the woman in the stomach and tossed her to the ground, where she hit her head. Haku cried out for his mother, and Kakuzu quickly knelt to her side. "Commander, this is a bit extreme," he commented. "You didn't say we'd have to do this."
"I'm willing to do anything to get that crystal," Pein laughed as he sat on the woman's throne. "Mizukage-sama, I'm giving you until the count of ten to tell me where it is. One...two...nine..." But he suddenly stopped and looked ahead. In a small pond was a rock formation that matched the picture on the front of the journal. "Holy Rinnengan," he gasped, "that's it! Come on!" He grabbed Zabuza and threw him into the pond, Konan still hanging onto Haku and following him. The four of them stood in the middle of the water, and a pillar brought them below where a shining orb was surrounded by several carved structures floating in the air. Haku gasped.
"The Mizukages of our past..." He had tears in his eyes as he dropped to the floor and began to pray. Pein rolled his eyes and ordered Zabuza to pick him back up and get him to shut up. Zabuza looked nervously as Konan, who was even a little unsure herself. Slowly, the man knelt down and got Haku's attention, bringing him back to his feet.
Pein, curious as to how the crystal worked, kicked a nearby pebble into the water at the base of the pond. The crystal suddenly began to glow bright red, and when the commander demanded an explanation, Zabuza was at a loss for words. "All it says is that this crystal is the source of the people's lives!"
The two argued it out while Haku stood at the edge of the water. When one of the red lights shone down on him, it turned blue, and the crystal around his neck pointed towards the source of the light. He started to walk towards it, his eyes glowing blue as well. Suddenly, he turned back to the group, catching their attention. In his native tongue, he said, "All will be well, Zabuza Momochi. Be not afraid."
Haku then took a step out onto the water. Before long, he was walking on top of it and towards the structure. Once he was directly underneath it, the light reacted to the necklace, and he began to float towards the top of the cave. He came into contact with the crystal, and it started to merge with his body until he shone a brilliant silver. He then floated back down to the water, and the stone carvings crashed around him. When he made it back to shore, Pein saw a perfect opportunity.
Haku was placed inside a large metal container, and Sasori shut it tight. The redhead refused to make eye contact with Zabuza as the man began to talk.
"I'm sure you'll all live wonderful lifestyles now," he hissed. "You'll all be filthy rich, and all it cost was an entire civilization. Sasori, I bet you and your grandma could open that shop now. Deidara, your family could probably open a whole line of flower shops. Because that's all that matters in the world, right? Money."
Pein rolled his eyes. "Don't go all moral on me, okay? Now then, I've got the crystal, the supplies, the crew...I think something's missing. Oh yeah!" He suddenly turned and punched Zabuza in the face, knocking him to the ground. The contents spilled from the man's bag, and Pein stepped on the photo of a young Zabuza with his grandfather. Satisfied, he turned back to the crew and ordered for them to leave.
Sasori watched as Zabuza tried to salvage the photo from the broken glass. Suddenly, the redhead couldn't take it anymore. He kicked the truck door open and stomped over to the man, picking up his glasses and helping him stand. He glared at the rest of the crew, and, one by one, they all followed him. First Deidara, then Tobi, then Kisame, and, finally, Itachi.
"We're all going to die," the man said in his monotone voice, but he joined them anyway.
"Oh, give me a break!" Pein groaned. "We're on the edge of becoming multimillionaires, and you pick NOW to grow a conscience?!"
"This is wrong and you know it, Pein!" Sasori snapped.
"I don't mind blowing things up, un," Deidara added, "but no one ever got hurt! At least...not on purpose."
"Fine then! Have it your way!" the commander spat. "More money for me! Lieutenant Konan, let's move!" The woman started up the engine, and the truck drove over the bridge, back to the outside of the city. Zabuza tried running after him, but Deidara stopped him. The bridge suddenly exploded, and the bomber let him go.
"Zabuza!" Kakuzu called from the throne room. "Come here!" He waited anxiously as the man appeared in the room, and his expression was devastated. "There's nothing I can do for her," he whispered. "It's internal bleeding from Pein's attack."
"Save him..." the Mizukage suddenly whispered. "Zabuza...Momochi...please save Haku...and the Land of Waves."
"What can I do?" Zabuza asked, crouching down to the woman's side.
"The crystal is the Heart of the Land of Waves," she gasped. "In times of peril, it chooses a host of royal blood to protect its people. It thrives on the collection of emotions from previous hosts and, in return, gives us protection, longevity, and power. In time, the crystal began to take on a mind of its own. I tried to use the crystal as a weapon of war, but it was too powerful and lead to our demise. I hid the crystal do that history would never repeat itself. I already lost my husband, so I didn't want to lose my son. If Haku is merged with the crystal too long, he'll die. Please save the Land of Waves, Zabuza...Please save my son..."
The Mizukage handed her necklace to the man, took her final breath, and died. Zabuza, Kakuzu, and the guards had a moment of silence for their fallen leader, and the doctor asked what to do. "There's nothing we can do," Zabuza replied, defeated. "I can't go after Pein. He's too powerful."
Kakuzu picked up the Shepherd's Journal and raised an eyebrow. "You know," he began, "Pein might have gotten here because of you, but we also made the discovery of a lifetime because of you. Pein couldn't get here by himself. I know you just work for a museum, Zabuza, but maybe sometimes power isn't the only form of strength. Plus, that little boy...He means a lot to you, doesn't he?"
Zabuza stared at the crystal necklace in his hand. He thought about Haku, how the little boy had been so sweet and helpful. He remembered his kindness, his adorable face, his innocent, trusting nature...He was too precious to let go. The Land of Waves was too important. Zabuza stood and walked outside the throne room to meet with the others. "We're going after Pein," he announced. "I don't care if it's crazy; it's the right thing to do! We'll use the flying vehicles to reach him. Everyone! Arm yourselves and follow me!"
Zabuza quickly went to work turning on all the machines and helping all the native warriors fly them. When the entire group was ready, they flew off towards the volcano, where Pein had fired an explosion to open the top part that could take him to the surface. He opened up his truck to reveal a giant hot-air balloon. He tied the end of the metal tank containing Haku to the end and started it on its way. That was when Zabuza and the others appeared to fight.
"I've got a great plan, un!" Deidara called. "Don't get shot!" He slapped his hand down on one of the symbols of the vehicle, and a laser shot a cart, creating a huge explosion. "Whoa...un."
"Deidara!" Zabuza called. "You need to distract Konan! Sasori! Kakuzu! You two free Haku! I'll take on Pein!" He and the others fanned out to take their positions, and some of their firepower managed to hit some parts of the balloon. While Deidara occupied Konan, Sasori went to work trying to saw the chains holding Haku with Kakuzu's saw. Konan noticed this and threw a barrel overboard to stop them. Kakuzu pulled the redhead out of the way in just the nick of time, and they flew off to see if they could be of help otherwise.
Zabuza, on the other hand, didn't have such a great plan for himself. He flew the vehicle right into one of the balloons, causing the whole mass of balloons to lose altitude. Konan tossed the other barrels over the edge to lighten the load. Pein grinned. "Ladies first!" With that, he tried to throw his partner overboard, but the woman jumped back up and kicked him in the face.
"YOU SAID WE WERE PARTNERS!!" she roared as she punched him. "YOU PROMISED ME A PERCENTAGE!!"
Pein suddenly stopped the woman's attack and glared at her. "Promises are cheap," he laughed, and he threw her to the ground below. "Nothing personal!" He then turned back to the balloon only to meet with Zabuza's feet. The two men fought it out on the edge of the balloon's deck until Zabuza fell backwards, hanging onto one of the fallen railings for dear life. "So this is how it ends, huh?" Pein asked, grinning like a maniac. "SAY HELLO TO YOUR IDIOT GRANDFATHER FOR ME!!" He grabbed an axe and swung it down on the man.
From the bottom of the volcano, Konan groaned as she felt the blood spilling from her body. In her final moments, she reached for her gun, pointed it at the balloon, grinned, and said, "Nothing...personal..." She shot her final round, destroying the main balloon just as Pein's axe crashed a window of glass within Haku's chamber. Zabuza grabbed a piece and sliced it into Pein's arm. The orange-haired devil cried out in pain as he began to crystalize, but his body rejected the matter. Just when Zabuza thought he was safe, the man reached out for him, but once he met with another piece of moving metal, he exploded into a million little crystals, which cut the chains and set Haku's chamber free.
Zabuza jumped down from the balloon and pushed the chamber out of the way of the fall wreckage. That was when the volcano started to rumble. "It has awakened!" Tobi cried as the crew worked to connect the chamber back to one of the flying vehicles. They flew out of the volcano as fast as they could, and they landed back in the center of the city just in time for Zabuza to force the chamber open.
Haku, still merged with the crystal, flew into the air and lifted his arms, and the entire city began to glow. The carved stones of the past Mizukages rose out of the water, and several other stones followed to create giants creatures that spread their arms wide. Just as the lava from the volcano began to flow out towards the city, a protective forcefield appeared within the stone structures' hands, and the entire city was covered. The lava flowed over the shield but never penetrated it.
Once the eruption was over, the shield forced the lava to cool and crack, revealing a safe Land of Waves. Zabuza looked up at the crystal only to see a safe, normal Haku floating down to the ground. He ran to catch him, and when the light disappeared, the prince's eyes fluttered open. "Zabuza-san?" he gasped. He then looked at his hand only to see the bracelet his father had taken so many years ago. Overwhelmed, he jumped into Zabuza's arms and started to cry. Zabuza did his best to calm the boy down, and he showed him the safe city, which immediately put a smile on the boy's face.
Later, Haku placed necklaces upon each one of the crew members. "The Land of Waves will honor your names forever," he explained. "I just wish we could do something more for you."
"Thanks a lot, un," Deidara replied, "but I think we're good." He pointed to a giant flying vehicle packed with gold.
Zabuza smiled. "That ship will take you to the surface."
"We're really gonna miss you, Zabuza," Sasori said.
"Are you sure you want to stay?" Kakuzu asked. "There's a hero's welcome for the man who discovered the Land of Waves."
"The world doesn't need another hero," the man laughed. "Besides, I hear there's an opening for an expert in gibberish."
"You know what?" Deidara interrupted. "I'm going to reopen the flower shop, un, and I'll think about you every single day, Monday through Friday, five to nine."
"I want you to have the grease from the trip's cookouts," Kisame confessed, handing the pot to Zabuza.
Sasori ran up to the man and hugged him, but he quickly followed with two light punches. "Heh, see you, Zabu-kun."
"It was a pleasure working with you," Kakuzu said as he shook Zabuza's hand. He grinned when the man pointed to his neck and cracked it to the side. "Heh, no charge for that one."
"And we'll take care of Fluffy Bunny," Itachi muttered in his monotone voice. "Can we go now?"
"Let's get a picture in front of the ship!" Kakuzu suggested. And everyone posed for a final shot.
Gato looked over the photos and eyed the crew carefully. Everyone had traded in the gold for money, so they were all happy they had managed to get away with some cash. "Let's go over this again," the employer laughed. "You didn't find anything."
"Nope," Deidara replied. "Just some rocks...some little fish...un."
"Squished to death in the fight for the Land of Waves!" Kisame announced just as Itachi smacked him upside the head. "Missing."
"Nervous breakdown," Kakuzu replied.
"Went down with the sub," Sasori confirmed as he pet Fluffy Bunny. He watched in disgust as Tobi dug his way down into a potted plant.
Gato sighed. "I'll miss that boy. At least he's in a better place with this lovely...girl?"
Everyone groaned. "Boy."
Gato laughed. "Well, at least he's happy." He flipped through the last few photos until he came upon a small package. When he opened it, he found it was the photo of young Zabuza with his grandfather. Written on it was a note next to a Land of Waves necklace. It read, "Gato-san, thank you so much for everything you've done. Here's a little proof for you! Thanks again, from both of us. Zabuza Momochi."
Not long after that, Zabuza took Haku under his care, and the young boy became the new Mizukage. They carved the image of the boy's mother into a stone and sent it up with the stones depicting the other former leaders. Happily, Haku took Zabuza to the top of the highest peak to look out over the Land of Waves. From then on out, they would move forward to rebuild the empire. Zabuza took the boy in his arms and said, "You've got to go where the dream takes you." Haku smiled and returned the hug.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Next: Yugito as Nala
(1) Obviously, this was not Plato's exact quote, but I kept his name for historical purposes.
(2) Those are Zabuza's actual stats. Well, except Fluffy Bunny. XD
Author's Note: This story means a lot to me for one very specific reason. As many of us know, Michael J. Fox, the actor who played Milo Thatch in "Atlantis," has Parkinson's Disease. This is a serious degenerative brain disease that affects such things as motor control and speech. As of now, there is no cure, but Fox and so many others are fighting to change that. For more information and to find out how you can help, you can visit and join Team Fox. I'd like to dedicate this fanfic and the entire "Haku as Kida" project within NaruDisney to Fox and his foundation.