Zabuza hated being hurt. Nobody did, of course, but it was the being bedridden part that was the problem for him. It was almost the same as being sick. Sure, Haku took care of him well enough, but he got so bored being in bed all day.

As Haku could attest to, Momochi Zabuza was a horrible patient.

Leaned against the wall, he glanced to the end-table on his left. There was a steaming cup of something, probably tea, waiting for him there. He wasn't really in the mood for tea at the moment, but it'd probably be better for him in the long run to finish it before Haku came home. The girl could be scary.

His sword was leaned against the far wall, definitely and purposefully out of his reach. He looked around again. Booored!

There were a few scrolls on the edge of the table. Nothing better to do. He reached over.

They were just out of reach.

"Dammit!" He swore to himself, leaning forward a little bit. He still couldn't reach the scrolls. "Of all the…" He grunted. "Fine, I'll just get up and get them." But he didn't move, glancing at the door of the hideout. "I mean, what's she gonna do? She's the tool, and I'm the master. I can do what I want, right? Right." He nodded to himself, still not moving an inch. He looked at the scrolls for a few moments, and then at the door again. "This is getting ridiculous. She's not that scary. I'm getting up."

"Zabuza-sama!" Haku's voice called out from behind the door just as he lifted the blanket he was covered in. The blanked dropped in an instant. "Zabuza-sama, are you awake."

"Yeah, Haku, I'm up." She came in a moment later. Too close.

"Zabuza-sama, we have a problem."

"I didn't move." He answered quickly.

"What?" The girl blinked for a few moments. "No, I can see that. I mean, with the situation at the bridge."

"Oh." Zabuza let out a breath he didn't realize he was holding. Dodged that kunai. "What kind of problem?"

"A samurai kind of problem, Zabuza-sama."

"… What?"

"The Fire Daimyo sent a pair of samurai to reinforce the Konoha shinobi."

"Well that's just fan-fucking-tastic." Zabuza sighed, smacking his head back against the wall. "Just what I needed. Do you know who they are?"

"I didn't manage to get their names. I met with one, about my age, black hair with very thick eyebrows, dressed in a green kimono. He mentioned a brother. He also said he was 'scouting the enemy', which I presume means us."

"That sounds vaguely familiar." Zabuza sighed. "Alright, go get Gatō. We'll have to renegotiate after all."

"At once Zabuza-sama." She turned to the door, before stopping and glancing back. "Zabuza-sama, why is your cup of tea still full?" She stared at him evenly.



Lee didn't come back to the house until late at night. Naruto and the two jōnin stayed up waiting for him at the dinner table.

"Sorry for coming so late." He sat down, accepting a cup of tea from Naruto.

"What did you find out?" Naruto took a sip from his own cup.

"There's a compound on the eastern edge of the island I assume is his, guarded by several dozen men. Around thirty would be my best guess."

"Less than I thought." Naruto hummed. "Good for us. What about Zabuza and his unknown accomplice?"

"No trace. I'd guess they're hiding somewhere."

"Of course they are, they're ninja." Naruto commented, before sending a side glance at the two jonin. "No offense."

"Right." Kakashi muttered, not glancing up from his book. "I'd say, given the state we left him in, it'll be another few days before he's well enough to fight."

"No less than a week, my hip rival." Gai added. Kakashi nodded at him.

"So a week. I suppose you two will take some time to train your genin?" Gai nodded enthusiastically while Kakashi grunted in agreement, flipping a page. "Good. You do that then. Lee and I will walk around the village, see what we can find out." He leaned back in his chair. "We should probably go hunting tomorrow as well, or maybe fishing. See if there's something in town we can buy."

"I will go to the town." Lee volunteered quickly. His blonde brother shot him a questioning look. "I think it might be a good idea if you… do not." Naruto looked at him for a long moment.

"I'll go get some food in the forest, then." He got up. "Tsunami-san found some futons for us to use, they're set up in the back of the living room. Don't be long."

"Of course. Good night, Naruto-kun."


The village of Nami itself had definitely seen better days. Stores were barren, there were far more beggars and urchins for such a small place, and evil-looking thugs littered the streets. Lee was glad he had the foresight to leave his weapons at the house. And, watching as the thugs smacked a beggar out of the way, definitely glad Naruto didn't insist on coming along.

It was only at the third store that he found something worth taking back, priced ridiculously high. He sighed in sadness, acknowledging the apologetic smile the shopkeeper sent him, but payed the bill.

"Well, what have we here." It was those same thugs from before, now entering the store. "Somebody's paycheck was today. You got some to share with your buddies?"

There were four of them. A burly, quiet one in the back, arms crossed and beady eyes glaring down at him. Obviously the muscle, good at hand to hand fighting. The two in front of him were both wearing katana at their hips, no wakizashi, so they weren't rōnin at least. The one in the front, the same one that spoke up, had his katana drawn and leaned against his shoulder.

"Yes, well, I was lucky to get some work today." Lee grinned, scratching the back of his head in a way Naruto would when embarrassed. "And I am very sorry, but I just spent it all."

"Now ain't that a shame. Hear that, boys? Green bean's all spent." The thugs chuckled, earning a raised eyebrow from Lee. He wasn't entirely sure what that was supposed to mean.

"There you are, Lee-kun." A black-haired woman in dressed in a pink kimono appeared as if from thin air, grabbing him by the hand, much to his confusion.


"I see you did the shopping. Come on, your brother is waiting for us to make lunch back home." She started dragging him off.

"Now wait just a minute." The head thug yelled after them as they left the store. They followed the pair to a secluded alleyway. "Like I was saying to your boyfriend over there, sweetheart, me and the boys are famished. We'd be super grateful if we could come along and get some grub." He reached out to grab her shoulder. "Maybe get some-" He was cut off by Lee grabbing his arm, putting pressure on it.

"I would advise not finishing that sentence." He sighed, looking at the other three, who were momentarily caught off guard. "I was really hoping to avoid this. Haku-san, get behind be." He lashed out with a quick kick, sending the thug back, knocking his air out. "I will handle them."

"Kisuke!" The two sword-wearing thugs yelled out, grabbing their leader. "You alright, man?"

"F-fine! Get 'em!" The largest thug cracked his knuckles and charged at Lee, swinging his fist back in a mighty punch. Lee sidestepped the charge easily, sending a quick punch into his solar plexus, before coming around and chopping him in the back of the neck, sending him to the ground.

"W-what the hell!"

"He took Daisuke out with two moves!"

"Is he still alive?"

"Your friend is still alive." Lee turned to the others. "I suggest you collect him and move along while I am still in a forgiving mood."

"Kosuke, Hyosuke! Cut him up!"

"You got it Aniki!" The two drew their swords and ran at Lee in a straight line. The green-clad samurai jumped over them, bending their arms at awkward angles. Two identical, sickening snaps rang out.

"Gah!" They yelled out in pain.

"You… bastard!" The leader grunted out. "I'm going to kill you." He readied his sword to charge as well, but was stopped by an empty bottle that hit between the eyes, sending him down in a heap. Lee turned to Haku.

"Oh my." She gasped. "I was aiming for his sword. What a lucky shot."

"Lucky indeed." Lee smiled at her. "Thank you for the help, Haku-san. Would you allow me to walk you home today?"

"Maybe tomorrow." She giggled.

"Tomorrow it is, then."