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Anyone who knows Uchiha Madara knows that Senju Tobirama is without a doubt on his shit list. It’s always been this way, from the second Tobirama outed the meetings between Hashirama and himself to the then Senju clan leader. From the moment they locked eyes, there’s always been something about the man gets on his nerves. Well, a lot of things do, but there’s also just a vague something that makes Madara want to disappear into enemy territory for a few weeks to let off steam. In fact, he’s been pushed to do just that by said Senju more than once. While it helps, it never fully sates his need to just punch Senju in the face.

At the center of it all is, of course, Hashirama. Hashirama, who gives him fucking calf-eyes every time he makes a pissy remark about his self-righteous prick of a brother. Madara… doesn’t dislike his best friend per se, so occasionally, he gives in, and tries to offer somewhat of an olive branch.

Of course, usually, it backfires.

On this particular occasion, Madara and Tobirama are the only ones in the Hokage office, as Hashirama is off making deals with the newly budding neighboring shinobi village of Suna. Though they may not be moving around much, the energy is nonetheless frantic, as both of them furiously work through paperwork in an effort to get all of the necessary affairs in order. Around the fourth hour, a knock on the window catches both of their attentions. Madara groans at the sight of a messenger hawk, looking expectantly at him from the other side of the pane of glass. He moves to get up to retrieve the bird and relieve it of its duty, big black eyes shining up at him so sweetly-- 

And thanks to the position he’s been resting in, both of his legs happen to be asleep. With a cut off grunt, he lets out a long sigh through his nose, feeling guilty for not being able to let the bird inside for quick thanks before letting it return to its home. He’s about to force himself up when movement out of the corner of his eye alerts him to the fact that Tobirama has gotten up to open the window. Tobirama murmurs softly as he extends an arm, smiling softly to himself when the raptor flutters across the distance to land on the offered appendage.

“Who is it from?” Madara finds himself asking, sitting up once again to watch with keen eyes. The bird is not from his clan--it’s a trained,mature bird from outside of the village, feathers a deep brown and red instead of his clan’s prefered black and tan. His first thought is that it’s likely from Hashirama, if anything, given the fact that he’s only ever seen this kind of bird around that region as it is.

Tobirama’s free hand falls to the bird’s leg at his prompting, freeing the message from the container attached to the thin limb. The man gives it a once over, mouth pulling into a frown.

“I’m unsure. It’s not marked in any way I recognize.”

“Mm.” Madara considers, for a second, the fact that Tobirama was nice enough to get up to let the messenger in, and decides he’ll grudgingly extend an olive branch. “What does it say?”

Tobirama looks in his direction, frowning for a long, hard second. Per usual, he does not meet his eyes, but he supposes that’s typical for most non-Uchiha when met with a sharingan user. The blatant sign of mistrust grates on him. They’re supposed to be one village now, and if one of their chief leaders can’t even trust his comrades enough to meet their eyes--

Though, he supposes hard-earned conditioning like not meeting the eyes of an Uchiha is a rather difficult habit to break, especially when it’s life or death on the battlefield. Still, it irks him.

“Well?” he prompts, expectantly. Tobirama has been staring at him hard, looking slightly irritated. Madara can’t imagine why, given that he should be the impatient one, what with Tobirama stalling.

“What, exactly, are you suggesting I do, Uchiha?”

Tobirama lets the bird hop down onto the desk, frowning at Madara as if he’s made some sort of grievous error. Madara wonders, faintly, if this is a trick question. It certainly feels like one.

“Read it, obviously, Senju. You’re the one holding it, not me.”

That comment is met with another hard look, this time accompanied by an annoyed sigh. Madara isn’t sure why, given that they have a rapidly approaching deadline and a mountain of paperwork to look through and sign. Madara isn’t the one dragging this out--he shouldn’t be the one faced with such petty indignation.

“I really have to finish signing these, Senju. Can you just read it while I finish?”

“No.”

No--?”  Madara is honestly taken aback by the quick, irritable answer. It’s not as if he’s asking for a lot. For all they know, this message is urgent, and Tobirama is just wasting their time . So much for extending an olive branch--now, he’s pissed. “If you could get over yourself for three seconds and read it to me, that’d be great. You already have it open, you’re looking at it, just read it to me.”

“I can’t.” The answer is blunt, flat, and slightly annoyed, emphasis resting on the second word as he looks at Madara like a particularly stupid child. If Madara was irate before, it has nothing on how annoyed he is now. What a stuck up, inconsiderate-- actually.

“How inconsiderate are you, Senju? It’s right there, stop being stubborn. Just read it. You’re literally reading it right now.”

“Just read it yourself, Uchiha. It’ll be faster.”

“You’re such an ass.” Madara reaches across the desk, holding his hand out expectantly for Tobirama to hand him the note. Once offered, Madara wastes no time snatching it out of his grasp, eyes quickly scanning the thin sheaf of paper.

 

Madara!

Look at this cool hawk! Isn’t he cute? His name is Fushi, he likes head pats and is really fast! He’s one of the smallest in his clutch, but he’s a good boy! I figured you’d like him, so I wanted to show you! I’m not sure if they’re too different from whatever you usually use for messengers, but I wanted to show you just in case we could use them. Also, I want to keep him, he’s a really good hawk. Falcon. Bird. Anyways! I hope all is well, and that you and Tobirama haven’t killed each other yet. I should be back by the end of the week, ideally. Mito sends her regards!

Fondly,

Hashirama

 

Madara is silent for a long time after reading the completely useless, perfectly innocuous note. He gives it three seconds to stew before he groans out another sigh and hits his head on the desk. So much time wasted, for this.

He hates his life, sometimes. But not as much as he hates Senju Tobirama.

Chapter Text

There are many things that bother Uchiha Madara. Loud people. Dogs. Paperwork. Bright lights. A grumpy white haired man that killed his little brother. Also on this long, winding list are bright, gaudy colors.

That said, it is understandable as to why he would actually verbally groan upon seeing one Senju Tobirama walking towards him—wearing nothing less than four different painfully bright colors on his person, all clashing in the worst of ways. His robes, normally a dark, muted blue, are now a garish purple. His obi, typically grey, practically assaults his eyes it’s so yellow. The cloth of his face plate is a light green, his tabi an odd shade of orange, and he seems completely nonplussed by the strange but fond looks being sent his way by the people he passes by. Madara is honest to gods baffled by the sight.

“Senju.” His greeting, clipped, leaves his mouth almost unwittingly as he takes in the sight. Tobirama is among the most serious people he knows—if not the most among them.  Seeing him looking so completely mismatched and out of place is enough to make his head spin.

...That said, it could be used for some deadly blackmail later on. Without thought his Sharingan whirs to life, memorizing every detail of this completely unfortunate event that he’d honestly rather forget.

Tobirama comes to a stop next to Madara, head cocked slightly as he considers the other man.

“Uchiha. I’m assuming we’re headed in the same direction?”

“Unfortunately.”

They resume walking towards the Hokage tower in relative silence, the air between them tense and awkward as it always is when they’re left alone to their own devices. Madara can’t help but look over every few minutes, just to make sure that his eyes are not in fact failing him. Eventually, he breaks. He has to ask.

“What’s with the get up today, Senju?”

That seems to give the man pause, eyes shifting in his direction to give him an odd look. “What do you mean?”

Madara cannot believe how entirely thick Hashirama’s genius little brother can be at times. The Senju is undoubtedly brilliant, but at other times, he seems to be completely ignorant.

“Your clothes, Senju.”

“What about them? I ironed them this morning, they’re fine.”

Madara has to give him pause at this. There’s only one reason he could be acting like this, and it’s to purposefully piss him off. He feels his blood pressure rising rapidly, and has to tamp down on his emotions before they escalate out of control. He’s not going to take the bait.

Tobirama must think himself so clever; Madara’s not going to fall for it this time.


Later that day, Madara isn’t all too surprised to find that Tobirama is still in that ridiculous get up, working diligently at his desk seemingly unaffected by the complete disturbance to the peace that is his outfit.

Madara pauses outside his door after he drops off a set of files wordlessly, needing a minute to collect himself before he heads back to his own desk.

A shadow flits out from the darkness of the shadow of the hall, childish snickers reaching his ears. There are many sounds he knows in an instant, but there are none he dreads more than the mischievous giggles of his little cousin, Kagami.

Kagami, Tobirama’s shadow, ever present at his side. If his little cousin is, on the off chance, not around the Senju, he’s glued to Madara. Odd, how a boy could become so fond of two polar opposite men.

A sigh escapes Madara without his permission, and his eyes slide over to the preteen approaching him with the silliest of grins on his face.

“Kagami, what did you do?”

Kagami’s face transforms into an expression of pure innocence, lips trembling under the strain of holding down a smirk. “I think it’s pretty obvious what I did. I don’t have the heart to tell him. I don’t think anyone else has, either.”

Madara arches a lone eyebrow, eyes narrowing—“You’re behind Senju’s clothes, then. What don’t you have the heart to tell him?”

It’s Kagami’s turn to arch a brow, looking at him strangely. “I don’t want to tell him about his clothes, shishou.”  The slow pace of his speech sets Madara on edge, making his thoughts race as he tries to figure out what Kagami is implying.

“...Don’t tell me Senju is trying out a new set of gear. I might gouge my eyes out if it means I don’t have to put up with that.”

Kagami sighs long suffering, expression inexplicably fond but no less exasperated. “Don’t worry about that . He’ll be back to normal tomorrow. This is the result of a bet, is all. I think he pulls it off as well as it could, right? I mean, those shoulders —“ Kagami’s grin is wide and teasing at Madara’s horrified and disgusted expression.

The older Uchiha storms off with a scoff, more disturbed than he would have expected by the insinuation. Madara’s never hid his… inclinations from those he’s close to, nor is he ashamed of them. He’ll answer honestly if asked about them; he’s just not similarly “inclined” to share the information with everyone he meets because it results in teasing .

As Madara turns the corner of the hall, he hears his little cousin call out after him—

“You wouldn’t be this upset if it wasn’t a little true!”

That thing he said about hating nothing more than Senju Tobirama? Yeah, scratch that. Kagami’s at the top of his shitlist.