Gosh. Zabuza is such a difficult character. I mean, SQ points it out–from the outside he’s completely inconsistent: murders his entire class as a kid, adopts and raises an orphan, joins the Mist Rebellion(maybe only in DoS canon?), takes a mission to kill Tazuna but doesn’t go about it in the most efficient way despite being known for assassination etc etc
No doubt in his own POV his actions make sense, but still. What’s going on in that head of his? Canon (and DoS canon) Zabuza is so bewildering to me that I just… I’m probably gonna have to slap an AU on this, anon.
For some reason I kind of want the ghosts of his classmates to haunt him? And, yeah, some of them are the typical “you killed me and now I’ll make you suffer” but some of them are just kind of assholes who bug the shit out of him until he does something.
Like. Become one of the Seven Swordsmen. I mean, he was going to be one of the strongest Mist shinobi anyway, but there’s something like prestige/honor (or, at least, there ought to be but we know SO DAMN LITTLE about them) in being a member that it doesn’t seem like Zabuza’s style. Being part of a group is very… orderly. And I’m pretty sure Zabuza is a Chaotic Neutral (DoS version, at least. Canon is probably Chaotic Evil, let’s be honest).
Oh. Maybe, like, in order for the ghosts of all of his classmates to pass on he has to fulfill one request. And, you know, they’re literally thirty different people and their requests are all over the place and that’s the reason why Zabuza’s actions don’t make any sense. Because he has thirty different motivations.
Also, I don’t actually think Zabuza killed all thirty. I think it’s more like–everyone was paired up to kill their partner as per tradition, so fifteen killed fifteen like usual. But Zabuza’s first kill aka his assigned partner’s request was for him to kill the other “winners.” Because, eh, if I just got murdered by my classmate my last request would be part spiteful part wild guessing.
I don’t know what tone would work for this fic, though. Because on the one hand, there has to be those beautiful crystalline moments in which a Yuki clan ghost spots Haku in the snow. And that ghost had been pretty quiet, one of the least annoying of Zabuza’s passengers, and hadn’t ever considered what their last request might be. Except then they see Haku and suddenly they know. “You have to take care of him,” they say, “Promise.”
And, shit, even if it weren’t going to help that ghost move on Zabuza’s grown reluctantly fond of that ghost in particular (he’s reluctantly fond of a lot more of them than he’ll admit) that he’d probably do it anyway. And it’s poignant because Zabuza keeps his promise but that means the Yuki clan ghost moves on and so there’s no way for Haku to even secondhand meet a clan member of his.
… and then on the other hand, I’m pretty sure there are some ghosts who are just like, “Hey dumbass, you just got outplayed by a twelve year old girl,” when Shikako catches him in her shadow. And just heckle the shit out of him no matter what he does:
“Why are you talking when the whole point is silent killing?” and
“Did you really buy Haku a pet rabbit–who knew the Demon of the Mist was such a softie?” and
“You know what would be cool? (*snorts*) Cow print leg and arm warmers and (*laughs*) striped pants (*would be dying with laughter if they weren’t ghosts and thus already dead*) and no shirt” – I bet at least one ghost decided to ‘sacrifice’ their last request just to put him in that walking fashion travesty.
Which is basically the kind of redemption arc I’d want to put Zabuza through: some poignant touching scenes interspersed with a lot of heckling and mocking from a bunch of assholes to King Asshole. And some sass from young Haku who may not be able to see or hear or even perceive the various ghosts haunting his guardian, but somehow learns from them how to make fun of Zabuza.
Straddling the line between horror and comedy, I guess, considering the reason why all these ghosts exist in the first place is because Mist actively encourages their children to kill each other (and one in particular went overboard).
Anyway, here’s the summary:
Freedom’s Just Another Word
Everyone who ever knew him from before is dead–so one would think that’d be enough to cut his ties to the past.
Too bad they won’t shut up.
(edit: oh, whoops. I meant to queue this… ah, well, I guess I’ll just have two posts for today then?)