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Why Shikako Probably Got Dunked In The Ocean During Her Spar With Zabuza

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Haku comes back from escorting the most recent ferry from mainland looking pleased. Amused, even, which is a departure from his usual mood after a day spent rubbing elbows with guests and keeping an eye on visiting ninja.

Mei gestures for Haku to sit — it’s the kind of horrifically informal thing the Yondaime would never have allowed, so Mei takes care to permit it as often as she can possibly justify — and Haku begins his debrief with all the professionalism and restraint that Mei would expect from him.

He does, strangely, skirt around the subject of Senju Tsunade and her retinue for a long time. Almost until the very end of the report, annoyingly enough, and Zabuza slips into the room.

“The Hokage brought Nara Shikako and Uchiha Sasuke as her guards,” Haku says immediately, looking at her but in that particular tone of voice that means he’s really addressing Zabuza.

“The brats?” Zabuza crosses his arms and leans against the back wall of Mei’s office. “At least it’s not Maito.”

Haku twists in his chair to look at Zabuza. “Has Mitarashi-san been winding you up again?”

Mei had been expecting that Tsunade would bring Hatake Kakashi again, and maybe one of the other jōnin they’d seen at the Grass exams. Maito Gai had been a possibility — one floated by Mitarashi Anko solely, Mei suspects, to rile Zabuza up — but Sarutobi Asuma had seemed just as likely, considering the importance of showing off smooth regime changes.

Perhaps she thought that Hatake was too provocative a choice at the last exam, although Mei has never known the Leaf to shy away from controversy... and if that was Tsunade’s aim then she missed the mark, bringing the Nara.

Not that Mei has anything against Nara Shikako. Even if she did perhaps flatten most of Land of Hot Water.

“Anything to report about the Leaf ninja?” Mei asks, prompting Haku to turn back to her.

“Ah, the best part,” Haku says, gleefully but without malice. “Nara Shikako is a special jōnin and she gets seasick.” Not a weakness discovered, just a slightly incomprehensible fact given the fight they’d seen the girl give Gaara of the Sand at the last exam.

“Seasick! Next you’ll tell me she can’t swim.”

“Do we know she can swim?” Haku asks thoughtfully, now with a sort of worried frown. “The water in Land of Waves was too shallow to need much...”

Zabuza is now starting to look a little alarmed — a fine mixture of worry and anger, really — which is the same way he’d look if it were suggested that one of the children at the Academy couldn’t swim. “I’ll check later,” he promises ominously.

“Much later,” Mei interrupts, because she’s sure she’s better off not knowing about whatever Zabuza is going to do until after he’s done it. “I have to go meet Tsunade. Go make sure dinner will be on time.”

Her husband-to-be stands up straight from the wall with the air of an offended cat. “What am I, your errand boy?” he asks.

“Yes,” Mei says, and it’s a struggle not to smile at him but she manages. “Go.”

He goes. Mei sends Haku off to get cleaned up before dinner, and then she makes her way down to the beach to greet Tsunade and the rest of the guests who’d come in with the ferry.