The sky blue water cascaded easily, glimmering with gems of droplets reflecting under the sun. It flowed even when the sturdy rocky banks snaked into sharp curves and sometimes it divided the river into different paths, separating the whole body of water into two streams. The waves kept gurgling and rolling, and with it, crashed the rocks with its power. It nourished the grass and the trees nearby with its supplement, and water creatures that crawl onto the walls of its banks. This place became a sanctuary for the two lovers who met there for the first time beside the river. They make up a quick excuse and hush themselves out of their villages, and with an unspoken agreement, they met each other two hours past noon.
For both men, it was more than to find space for their love towards each other, but also a space where they could share their visions of the future. They hoped that the senseless war would end, and that the clans made peace with each other for once and for all, maybe even forming an alliance. Their dreams weren’t just hopes whist into thin air, they were determined to achieve their ambition, and at the same time fulfil their role as dutiful sons. They trained arduously, often sparred to match their skills and honing them against one another. Madara launched his fists into a series of punches which Hashirama dodged with ease. The Senju did not attack at once, but observed for an opportunity for his opponent to create an opening. The Uchiha had a strong defence and attack forcing Hashirama to block and step back. He stepped on a twig and slipped, falling down on his back side. Madara prepared to give him the final blow, confident that he was going to defeat him, but to his dismay, Hashirama brushed off some earth into his opponents face. The black haired men instinctively closed his eyes, taken aback but the unsuspected attack and left himself open for the Senju to sweep his feet onto the other male’s legs. Madara fell down, and Hashirama quickly took the advantage and scramble back onto his feet. He pulled out a kunai from his back pocket and pointed at the Uchiha’s throat.
‘I win this round’ the man’s lips curled into a cocky smirk
‘That was underhanded’ Madara protested indignantly as he propped himself up by resting on his elbows
‘There is no such thing in war’ Hashirma replied and lowered his kunai, placing it back in his pocket and stretched his hand to help the other to get up.
Madara shot him a glare and took his hand but instead of getting up, he pulled Hashirama with him, making him topple over him
‘Now who’s being underhanded?’ the Senju lifted his head flinching him with a deviant look
‘That was in need for my revenge’ Madara replied with a smirk
The two continued practicing until their clothes were soaked with their sweat and their limbs felt heavy as lead. During the sparing Hashirama lifted his palm, signalling the Uchiha to stop.
‘I suggest we take a break’
‘I’m not tired’ Madara protested
‘Really? Your attacks were getting very slow, I was holding back most of the time’
There was a slight satisfaction in watching the black haired man changing his expression from a clear sky to a cloudy storm. His eyes widened in between shocked and offended look, his lips parted showing slightly his teeth into a low snarl, and his uncouth hair standing out naturally, extending his wild appearance. It must be the most endearing trait that Hashirama finds in him, the brown haired man couldn’t help but smirk.
‘I said I am not tired!!’ he growled softly and clenched his hands into balls of fists
‘Well then you can just stand there’ Hashirama casually walked a few steps until he found a bare stone. He sat down on it and pulled out a bamboo container gulping some water. He watched him, amusedly as the Uchiha crossed his arms, flashing a flaring look in his direction.
‘What are you doing there?’
‘I am waiting for you to continue’
In a very nonchalant way the Senju offered him his drinking container by pointing it towards him. Grumbling Madara stepped closer and snatched it from the other male’s hand. The black haired man gobbled it down and dried his lips with the back of his sleeve. He climbed up the stone next to him. Since they were a little elevated so there was a pleasant breeze, combed through their hair and cooled their sweating bodies. Hashirama’s chin lifted and his profile gazed at a distance, he seemed to be pondering about something.
‘What’s so mesmerizing over there?’ Madara spoke half mockingly as he curiously eyed the other male
‘Actually I was thinking about our clans, what if we can make them allied with each other and build a new village, we could then structure new systems which will help young shinobi to train and improve their abilities, but won’t force them to go on a battlefield’
‘Did you hit your head when I pulled you, by any chance?’ Madara grinned showing his teeth and cocked his head to the side.
‘…’ Hashirama hung his head low, with a depressing aura hanging around him
‘DON’T GET DEPRESSED OVER NOTHING!’ Madara gritted his teeth at his reaction, and a vein popped on his forehead.
‘But you really enjoy crushing my hopes like that’ Hashirama responded gloomily
‘I didn’t say that it’s a bad idea!!’ Madara blurted out defensively
Tears formed at the corner of his eyes, but quickly Uchiha realized that it wasn’t because of an emotional response, but rather trying to hold his laughter. It was so easy for the Senju to wrap him around his finger, that he enjoyed it way too much.
The candlelight flickered into the dimness of the chamber. They rested on the table that was laid out across the tatami mat. A green feathered branch peeked from the slight opened shoji doors, and the light filtered through its thin rice paper. Two men were sitting across the table, both seated comfortably on a cushion. The older man whose back was facing against the wall was kneeled with his elbows kept close to his body in a relaxed manner and his hands rested on his thighs. He was facing his youngest son Izuna, the man placed his hands on the tatami and bowed. He then, straightened up
‘Are you sure about what you said?’ the older man spoke in a firm but tainted with a bitter tone. Izuna nodded solemnly.
‘Take him in’ Izuna’s father lifted his head and spoke in a louder tone, in order for his voice to reach on the other side of the door. The man was none other than Tajima Uchiha, the current leader of the Uchiha clan.
The sliding doors opened from within the house, and revealed two men holding a prisoner between them. They let him go as he soundlessly fell on his knees. He was bound by tight ropes around his arms as well as his wrists which were kept behind his back. His thighs were also bound and connected to his ankles making it difficult for him to move freely. His black mussy hair was more dishelved then it’s natural state, and behind his wild eyes, laid a familiar face as he looked up to see his capture.
‘It pains me dearly to put you through this’ he muttered gravely as he pitifully watched his prodigious son being humiliated. ‘Unfortunately being stubborn won’t get you anywhere, heed my words son, you ought to tell me everything you know about the Senju-clan’ he crossed his arms and waited patiently
Madara’s restrains were biting into his skin, and no matter how he tries to move his fingers, they became numb and he couldn’t feel them at all. He found a little difficulty to speak because his body was weakening and dehydrated from being restrained like that for three days, and his lips were pale and chapped. He found a little strength enough to voice his answer ‘I don’t know anything’
There was an evident frustrated frown from the men around him, since yet again, Madara kept valiantly from betraying his lover. Tajima could no longer hold his patience and found his son’s behaviour to be unacceptable. In a surged anger he stood on his feet and toppled the table over when he slapped his son across his face.
‘This is ridiculous! You are suffering through this torture to protect your own enemy!’ Tajima cracked his voice, could barely hold the anger. Izuma quickly jumped on his feet and seized onto his father arm, afraid that he would injure his older brother.
‘Is it more ridiculous that you would stoop so low to get to your enemy?’ Madara’s voice was blatantly cold and calm.
Tajima grabbed onto Madara’s yukata and lifted him, his blazing eyes met with his father’s eyes and his nostrils flared. ‘You ignorant child! You can’t even imagine the position you are putting me through because of your stupid impudence!’ he threw him across the floor. Madara helplessly fell on his back and heaved, he slid on his side trying to soothe his ache, but he ended up curling his body and coughing because his lungs took the impact without any shield.
Tajima approached him looking down at him ‘how can you disgrace our family like this?!’ Izuna scurried alongside his father to act as an arbiter between the two men. ‘Perhaps he has a reason why he is doing this?’ Izuna spoke, anxious to his brother’s wellbeing. Madara felt disgusted that his little brother betrayed him and then acting as his protector. The older man grabbed onto the older son’s arm and pulled him up in a sitting position. I love him – his mind repeatedly battered his mind in response, but he couldn’t say it out loud, that cheesy line would only make things more complicated right now.
‘He and I...had made a promise, that will help our fellow clans and stop the futile deaths and destructions that we are bringing to ourselves. If I betrayed him now I would only be scum that will bring more hatred and pain’ his words were true, but they fell to deaf ears because Tajima could not bear on his shoulders the same perspective that his older son did. He had pride and he needed to maintain the favour and order of his people, to him this preposition will only bring chaos. The older man snorted ‘Fine keep your tell-tale to yourself but understand this, you will never see him again, and I will make sure of it’ Tajima walked past his two sons and headed out of the room while Madara hung his head but he stood motionless.
The sky was the same, bleached blue with a lonely wandering cloud floated by. The leaves fluttered and scattered as they delicately descended on the ground and in the surface while the water rushed into rivulets down the stream. The ground smelled of damp fresh earth, sticking easily to his fingers and the sturdy bark of the tree provided as a good support for his back to rest. Nothing has changed since then, Hashirama thought about this as he rested patiently waiting as the time passed by, and diverge into another day, and another but Madara never came.
The ground was bare of any life, a wide desert that reached beyond one’s sight. Grey and choking fumes rose above the ground and flashes of battle appeared now and then in the distance. Flags with the varja symbol on a white background, wavered in this wasteland, and a few men with heavy red clad armour regrouped to revaluate the progress of the war. They were in the no man’s land, but they were progressing quite rapidly, their enemies and been pushed to the extremities of the wasteland, and reduced to a few hundred, while their army retained a few platoons despite the large amount of casualties. The leader of the clan was standing, his shoulders drooped and the crane of his neck was slightly crooked, and his head titled forward. He was looking at the map that he drew by driving a twig in the ground and produced linear grooves. His familiar chocolate brown hair was unbound and grown longer, reach to the end of his back. His facial features were more full and structured, there was a subtle maturity in his expression; bearing wisdom and kindness.
‘They will have no other choice but to give in’ Tobirama stood next to his older brother, his shoulders jutted back and his chest protruding forward giving him an appeal that made him look taller then he actually is, his arms crossed and his chin slightly raised as he gazed watchfully a the his people with his red blood eyes.
‘The strongest force is right in front of us, it’s a sign on their part that they are not going to give up any time soon’ Hashirama spoke gravely.
‘Then we ought to advance and crush our enemy once and for all’ Tobirama stated firmly
‘Let’s go there’ Hashirama neither agreed not disagreed with the younger Senju. He just marched on until black figures appeared in the distance not long away from where they were. As the leader of the Senju clan expected, Madara was there crossing his arms, appeared to be waiting.
In an unspoken agreement, Hashirama sped to lounge an attack with his sword, which was quickly deflected by the Uchiha’s sickle, but it wasn’t enough to make his opponent waver. The Uchiha waved his large war fan, sending a strong vale of wind towards Hashirama Senju. He flew back and made hand signs using his kekka genkai and shields himself from Madara’s fireball technique that he sent in his way. Luckily the wood was thick and sturdy enough to withhold the soaring high temperature until it faded away.
Hashirama pulled out the large scroll behind his back and rolled it over the ground, making further sign seals he palmed his hand over the seals and produced a special kind of wood technique which would seal the Uchiha. Madara jumped high and threw shuriken, but their sharp edges were barely adequate to scrap the stout bark. One of the wood hands grabbed hold of his arm and leg but he quickly charred it off with his sickle and continued doing so, trying to gain ground. When he was close enough he produced hand signs and took a deep breathe, producing a flaming attack against his opponent. The Senju quickly stopped his technique and flew high on a hill, watching Madara roaring fire more powerful and enduring than he expected.
The Uchiha’s sharingan was activated and he was able to locate him within the perimeter, he launched a fire tag, which quickly Hashirama avoided circled around the Uchiha. He used earth technique to create a powerful earthquake, Madara turned into the direction of the source but there was no one there. Hashirama used it as a decoy so that Madara would be open for a next attack, and he succeeded, slashing his sword in his direction. Madara barely managed to parry and fell onto the ground. There was a moment of silence, only the occasional breeze whooshed by. The two stood still, as though time froze, recalling a time when their battle ended in a similar way, back when they were training next to the river.
‘Just end it’ Madara lowered his head, resigning to his fate
‘I don’t want to kill you’ Hashirama’s voice strained, trying to control his conflicting emotions
‘There will never be an end of this, my brother died, killed by your clan’ he slowly lifted his head and gazed at him with intense black eyes of his
‘It grieves me to watch it turn this way’ the Senju spoke with a grave voice ‘How we could make up for such losses? It would pain me too, if I lost my own brother’
‘The only way you can make up for it, is kill your brother or yourself’ Madara spoke bitterly
‘This is nonsense! Just finish him already’ Tobirama interjected with an urgent voice
Hashirama did not reply, but rather he pondered about Madara’s choice. He didn’t have the strength to take his brother’s life, he mustered that he was left with one choice. The older Senju lifted a kunai pointing it at himself, ready to take the Uchiha’s ultimatum. Tobirama watched in horror and disbelief. Hashirama was about to strike the kunai to his heart when he was stopped by someone’s grip. To his surprise, he found that he was stopped by none other than Madara himself. He watched him puzzled and confused. It was then, that he realized that Madara was testing him, however Hashirama’s feelings never changed, he would rather sacrifice himself rather than causing pain to others. For Madara this was proof enough, and his love for him had never ceased, even if they were forced to battle to the death.
Two shadows appeared like statuettes as they were sitting down on top of a high ground. Madara and Hashirama were on the highest cliff mountain that overlooking the newly built village named Konoha; the village of the leaf. They finally fulfilled their dreams, and have the liberty to be together without any strife or obligations towards their clan to pull them apart. Hashirama smiled and appeared very content resting his elbow over his knee, and watched the busy village bellow, its people mingled between the two clans as they together carrying wood and building new houses. Madara watched him, fascinated by his radiance, and the man that he has become. The Senju was most likely be the one who will be elected as Hokage and Madara didn’t mind, as long as he will be alongside him and be his right hand man. He vowed to himself that he will protect and support him at all costs.
‘Look Hashirama, this is our future’ after a long silence Madara spoke, waving his hands towards Konoha
Hashirama turned his head and looked back at the Uchiha ‘I too am seeing my future’