Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto

Always the Summers are Slipping Away

by MidnightWhisper7 1 review

Haku, from the beginning to the end. Snapshots from a life of ice and snow, and a childhood never fulfilled.

Category: Naruto - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama - Characters: Other - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2007-02-23 - Updated: 2007-02-23 - 815 words - Complete

Always the Summers are Slipping Away

Author's Note: This story was inspired by a song, like most of my works. It's called "Trains" by Porcupine Tree. Haku breaks my heart every time I write him. This is a snapshot of sorts, covering the years of Haku's brief life.

Always the summers are slipping away

Find me a way for making them stay

-- "Trains" by Porcupine Tree


When Haku was born, he was quiet and still, and the midwife who delivered him feared that he was dead. But then he opened his eyes and stared right at the old woman, and she said he had the eyes of an angel. His exhausted mother took him in her arms, cradling him in her warm arms. He laughed for the first time, a spritely gurgle like the streams that ran down the mountain in spring. His little pink fist wrapped around her smallest finger, like a promise. Her husband walked in then, dark eyes crinkled with mirth and, laughing, kissed her on her cheek. "We'll name him Haku," the mother said. The midwife smiled wisely. "A name for love and prosperity," she said. That night, his mother sang him to sleep.

At three years old, Haku was often mistaken for a girl. He had his mother's eyes and his father's quick smile. Gifted with a nearly insatiable curiosity, he asked many questions and searched with little chubby fingers into every space. His mother often took him with her into the village, where he stared wide-eyed at the buildings and the colors and the people, many of whom stopped to comment on what a beautiful child he was. He was a gentle child, with a sense of kindness and charity even at a young age. When he found an injured bird lying outside the house, he picked it up and begged his father to help it, his chin trembling as he asked if the bird would die. It didn't, and he watched with innocent happiness as it flew away.

When Haku was five, the midwife who had delivered him and became something of a surrogate grandmother died. He couldn't understand when his mother told him the woman wouldn't be coming back. He went outside and sat in the grass for a long time. He was mad that the midwife had left him, and upset that his parents couldn't make her come back. It began to snow, and snowflakes gathered in his dark hair. His mother came out to him, brought him inside, and explained about death. Haku hugged both of his parents tightly, as though afraid Death would swoop down and take them away.

Haku killed his father when he was six. He didn't understand the deep-rooted hatred of the unusual powers he had inherited from his mother. The minutes were a blur; his mother, unmoving, red in her hair and trailed across her outstretched arm. He cried out for her, but she didn't answer. His father stepped over her body, his eyes unseeing and scary. Haku was trembling, trapped against the wall, confused and afraid. He closed his eyes, thoughts of death running through his mind. When he opened his eyes, his father was dead, and so was every other man with him. Haku screamed and ran from the house in terror, stumbling blindly, and finally falling exhausted into the snow. The tears froze against his pale cheeks. He wandered for a year, cold and lost and alone. Strangers passed him on the streets, but he never found compassion in their eyes.

Seven and starving, Haku could do nothing but watch the snow fall. Then he met Zabuza. The man was tall and angled and had a strange emptiness in his eyes. The boy could see himself in those eyes. "You have something I want, boy," said the man, and suddenly he was pulling Haku to his feet, the callused hands rough against his smooth arms. Something warm and lovely and dangerous was moving within Haku, and he forgot the cold and the loneliness. Haku followed Zabuza, clutching the man's sleeve tightly as they left the village. He never looked back.

Haku was thirteen and deadly, swift as a falcon or a gust of icy wind, sharp and cold as a killer, with a boy's gentle eyes. His dark hair was a veil around him as he sparred with his master. He knocked Zabuza off his feet then collapsed himself. Zabuza stood, wiping the blood from his brow. He said nothing, but there was an acknowledgement in his eyes that Haku craved. "I'll make a shinobi of you yet," he said, readying himself for another attack. Haku got wearily to his feet. His master would allow no weakness. Sometimes at night, he dreamed of the home he'd once had and the simple days he lost forever.

When he was fifteen, it snowed at last in the Wave Country.
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