“What- what are you doing?”
Hashirama glanced up from the newspaper in his hands and raised an eyebrow at him. Somehow, it made it all worse, because he was looking at him now, instead of just reading. “What do you mean?”
“Wh- what do you mean what I do I mean?” Madara stammered, flabbergasted, waving a hand to encompass his person. “What are you doing?”
Madara couldn’t believe he was this dense. “Naked! You’re naked, Hashirama!” He waved again, twitching. Hashirama furrowed his brow at him.
“I’m wearing a robe,” he said, in a sensible tone, as if Madara was just being silly.
Madara resisted the urge to throw something at him. He knew Hashirama must have been hassling him on purpose. He was sat there, as bare as the day he was born, with only an untied robe on, feet propped up on the coffee table. “It covers nothing!”
Hashirama rolled his eyes at him. “You’ve seen me naked several times by now,” he pointed out, making heat rise to Madara’s rise.
“That’s- that’s different,” he argued, because it was. Each of those times had been in highly different contexts. During the night, when they were intimate. Not sitting in the living room when it was time for breakfast. That was just idiotic. “It’s nine in the morning!”
“Exactly! Time to relax.”
“Why is that so important?”
“How is it indecent?” Hashirama asked, the furrow in his brow turning to wrinkles as he stared at him. “We’re married.”
Madara’s mouth clicked shut. It all sounded unbearably stupid out loud. It wasn’t as if he was a prude, but how on earth was he supposed to ignore Hashirama sitting there ass-naked and go about his day as if it was casual?
“You’re an idiot,” he decided on, pointing at Hashirama’s stupid face before whirling around and blustering out of the room.
Hashirama was, two hours later, still naked.
Madara stared at him from the porch, wishing he’d grabbed the newspaper to brandish as a weapon, as Hashirama stood watering some of his ferns in the back yard. His robe was still there, still covering just as little, in broad daylight. Madara could see, at this point, Hashirama had completely ignored him, and that was simply unacceptable.
“Hashirama.” The man looked up and smiled serenely, gazing at him on the deck as he stood there with folded arms. “Put some damned clothes on.”
“Are you on about this again?” the Senju asked, tilting the watering can to hit some violets. “It’s our honeymoon. I don’t need any clothes when we’ll have no visitors.”
“How do you not need clothes?” The man’s chest was starting to distract him again, making it harder to look him in the face, and it was the exact reason Madara couldn’t manage to do anything. He tried to keep his eyes from drifting lower, past the man’s waist, down to where the thick happy trail on his abdomen led.
He jerked his head and looked up again, realizing he had gotten distracted yet again. Hashirama was smiling at him, head tilted, and it made Madara’s stomach flip.
“Don’t you fucking dare,” he growled, pointing at him for the second time. “Whatever you’re thinking of, it’s not cute-”
“But Madara!” Hashirama tossed his water pot onto the grass with a clang. Later, he would wander around the yard looking for where on earth it had landed before finding it upside-down with a mushroom growing straight through it. He spread his hands out and grinned at him, turning to face him fully, as if he knew where it would make Madara look. “You’re so irritated with me being naked while I’m going about my day, and I can’t make my husband upset, can I?”
Madara paused, suspiciously, and narrowed his eyes at him.
Hashirama’s smile seemed to intensify and, literally, sparkle in the sunlight. He moved his arms and angled his shoulders, letting the robe slide off and hit the grass. “So I should just be naked while I’m doing something else.”
There was a mischievous look on his face as he took a few steps forward. “Hey!” Madara squawked, veering back towards the other end of the porch. “You stay over there! You still haven’t done what I said!”
“It’s our honeymoon, dear! Honeymoons are for having fun.”
“This isn’t about fun, this is about pride, you-”
The Senju took a bounding leap up the steps. Madara gave up his worthless pursuit of competitiveness and shrieked, turning and throwing himself over the porch railing and fleeing towards the other side of the house. “Hashirama!”
An inane amount of giggling followed his footsteps. He would have fled into the woods, to win this game of hide and seek, if nothing else, if the trees had not seemed to close in on them, winding around each other and turning their yard into a pen, a pen Hashirama chased him around a grand total of seven times before finally managing to tackle him and drag him into the soft grass underfoot, laughing the whole time.
Tobirama had given them two whole weeks off.
Two whole weeks he would handle all the work in the office by himself, blessedly alone.
Only a week later they came strolling through the door, predictably, bickering.
A twitch developed in his cheekbone before he even heard what it was about.
“It was an inanely stupid idea to begin with.”
“Madara, please don’t talk so loud! Everyone in the office will hear-”
“What, like your brother? Yes, I’m sure he wants to hear more of your stupidity.”
“I’m not stupid…”
“Well if you’re going to pout like that, it just makes me want to tell everyone I see.”
Tobirama rubbed his forehead. He put down the report from the hospital he’d been reading. “What are you two doing here?” he asked, with the air of a weary man.
Madara turned and cocked his chin at him. “There’s only so long I can stay cooped up in one place,” he said, then jutted his thumb at Hashirama after a moment of thought. “Especially with him.”
“Hey! I’m your husband!”
“If you say ‘I have an idea,’ one more time this week, I’ll file for divorce,” Madara said with absolutely no threat in his voice, making Hashirama’s pout deepen. The Uchiha groaned and reached up to rub his shoulder. “God, my back hurts.”
“I’m leaving,” Tobirama said, standing from his seat with a violent abruptness that made his chair shutter. Back to doing paperwork in the bar again. He didn’t even want to know why Madara’s back hurt, whether it was innocent or not.
“Why?” Hashirama asked him, because he was that dense, as he started to smile like a sunflower turning to look at the sun. “We just got back!”
“Hello, aniki,” Izuna broke in suddenly, swinging in upside-down through the open window, just like he had for three days in a row. Each time Tobirama told him he didn’t want any help doing paperwork. Each time he grinned at him with a devil smile and said he couldn’t possibly let him be lonely with a good conscience. The man was evil. “How was your honeymoon?”
“Pleasant,” Madara replied, taking his seat at his desk. “I’ll tell you nothing more.”
“Oh, come on! What about all the juicy details?”
“What, like how Hashirama made a kettle explode by trying to heat it with his chakra?”
Tobirama shot his brother a sharp look. “You said you’d never try that again.”
With a nervous laugh, Hashirama edged back closer to the area behind Madara’s desk. “I-I thought it would be quicker…”
“Stoves exist for a reason, Hashirama,” Madara said.
His words may have sounded a bit biting- okay, they were naturally biting- but it was obvious the man was enjoying himself. Hashirama’s worst quality, in Tobirama’s opinion, was that he just made himself too easy of a target.
“He doesn’t know what common sense is.”
“That isn’t what you should be telling your new brother-in-law if you want me to stay married.”
Hashirama hunched over with a dim expression, lower lip jutting out. “Stop ganging up on me,” he complained. “I hate that you two talk now…”
With a sudden smile, Izuna lit up and skipped over to him, looking for all intent like a cheerful young man. That should’ve been the Hokage’s first warning. “Don’t worry, new older brother! I’m on your side. Madara has his own brand of stupidity!”
He held out his hand like he was going to shake Hashirama’s, which registered as a bit odd in the back of the Senju’s brain, but he reflexively took it without thinking, starting to smile. “You don’t have to say that, I-”
He startled shout erupted from the man that made the other two in the room jump. He yanked his hand out of Izuna’s grasp while the Uchiha started to cackle, lifting it up to show them all a tiny black object affixed to his hand with several wires. “Isn’t it great? It shocks someone you shake hands with!”
For some reason, that made Madara start to laugh uproariously. Izuna wondered if it was reminding him of something.
Even Tobirama chuckled under his breath. Hunching over completely, Hashirama looked up at them with a baleful look on his face. “You’re evil.”
“You married into it!”
Izuna looked over at his brother, curious as to what was making him laugh like a stoned hyena, and raised an eyebrow. “Share with the class, aniki?”
“This genius,” Madara began, pointing at Hashirama, which made the man’s head shoot up with a startling crack, “got the bright idea for me to run lightning chakra through my fingers and give him a prostate massage, which was clearly a good idea since it worked mildly on his back. I’ll tell you he spent two minutes healing himself and twenty minutes with his face on the floor in shame.”
“Madara,” Hashirama whined, like a depressed kitten mewling for food.
Izuna guffawed. It was a laugh that made his belly ache, and he nearly fell over, tears gathering in the corners of his eyes.
He couldn’t tell if Tobirama was laughing, but he did see the Senju with his face in his hands, and that made it just all the more hilarious.
The Senju banquet that Madara was invited- no, expected- to attend felt oddly formal. It was in the forests, with large groupings of tables spread out for the many members of the clan. They had strung decorations across every path and in the trees, banners that held symbols representing peace and happiness, and there were golden bells hanging every few yards.
Most of the clan was already there by the time Madara arrived, hand threaded through Hashirama’s. Various Senju immediately came up to them, all smiles, saying the same thing to him- “Congratulations, and welcome”- before giving Hashirama more informal greetings. Madara stayed quiet, unsure of how to act. He was used to his own clan banquets, but being in the Senju…it just felt weird.
“You don’t have to imitate a statue,” Hashirama told him as they sat down at their table, in a considerably better mood after his brothers and husband had finally stopped laughing at him a few hours before. He was probably amused now, vengeance upon him for being so teasing earlier.
Madara huffed. “I don’t know what to say. What are you all even celebrating? I don’t even know the purpose of the banquet.”
Hashirama looked at him with a grin that told him he thought his current stupidity was cute. Madara recognized it very well after he’d spent almost ten minutes fruitlessly attacking the closed up wall that had been the doorway into their living room to attack Hashirama and get him back for tickling him out of nowhere in the shower before remembering there were windows and going around. “I just got married, Madara. It’s celebrating you!”
“What?” Madara squawked. “You should have warned me!”
“Well, it isn’t my fault if you can’t piece two and two together…”
“Hashirama,” Madara growled, but the man was already ignoring him again. He reached forward and rung the golden bell sitting on their table.
“Let us break bread together,” he called to the gathered shinobi around him, looking relaxed and pleasant as the sealing tags on their plates exploded with a small puff of smoke and left food in their midst.
It felt like everyone else knew what to do at once and Madara didn’t, which wasn’t a sensation he liked, and everyone there picked up their fork, speared a piece of the food on their plate, and held it to the person beside them. Hashirama was holding out his fork to him, and Madara jolted when he realized what he was supposed to do. Quickly taking hold of his own, he held it to Toka, who had been pretending she couldn’t hear their whispered conversation.
Her hand passed over her own, holding food out to Hitomi, and grabbed the fork from him. The rest of the Senju did the same, all at once, for a moment in time forming one long chain between them all as they were connected.
Madara took his fork from Hashirama and sat there, unsure. A hand on his knee made him glance at the man beside him. He smiled at him reassuringly.
Hesitantly, he began to eat. It seemed to be smooth sailing from there. The food wasn’t quite like the Uchiha’s recipes- they were more spicy- but it wasn’t bad. There was primarily salad, roasted meats, and bread that dissolved like butter in his mouth.
Well, he could get used to this every once in a while.
He even felt more comfortable- in the midst of every single Senju in the village, no less- as they ate. He wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but eventually they were each done.
It was just when he thought it may have been nearly over with that two Senju came out of nowhere and cleared the table, leaving a wide wooden bowl in front of him. It was too large to use to eat anything, and it left Madara staring in confusion. He looked at Hashirama, but the man just smiled like he had a secret.
A snort caught his attention. He turned and found Tobirama approaching, having at some point gotten up from his place, with something in his hands.
“Don’t look so startled, Uchiha,” he muttered to him, ribbing him a little, as he set what appeared to be a woven garment into the bowl. “You’ll live.” Then, louder, “Welcome to our family.”
Madara stared at him dumbfounded. He and Tobirama were friendly, sure, but he couldn’t fathom why the man would do something like that out of the blue.
Tobirama wasn’t paying attention to him, though; he turned and left. Toka was right behind him, smiling, with something folded up in her hands. She set it into the bowl. “Welcome to the family, Madara.”
A slow sense of dawning horror settled over him. Hitomi was somehow directly behind the woman. Turning to look at Hashirama, he dropped his voice to a whisper. “Are they all going to do that?” he hissed frantically.
Hashirama smiled demurely at him. “Of course. It’s tradition.”
“Welcome to the family,” Hitomi said warmly, dropping her gift into the bowl, then trotting off. Madara’s head snapped back around, and he found his face heating up. He wanted to jab Hashirama in that finicky spot he had on his right side, but he didn’t want to look rude either.
So he sat there, while every single Senju came up and gave something to him, each one uttering the words “Welcome to the family.”
By the end of the hour, he was wearing a black haori with the Senju emblem sewn into the back in bright red. There was a smaller, less obtrusive Uchiha fan in the background above it, made so they connected with a wounding thread that formed the Konoha emblem between them. An ancient-looking, hobbling old woman had come up to him, the last one, and he didn’t think she’d even opened her eyes- he didn’t think she could- as she smiled and welcomed him and laid the cloth over his shoulders. He got the feeling it usually would have only had the Senju’s emblem emblazoned on it, and it would have been green like most of what they were wearing, but she was being sensitive to his pride, and something about it was touching.
Hashirama had lowered his head the whole time she’d come up to them. “She’s the grandmother of the clan head before my father,” he murmured, which made Madara wonder how lineal their leadership had been.
Madara couldn’t find any words to say. He knew he should have said thank you, but the forest felt too warm to talk. He wasn’t embarrassed, he told himself. It was just a lot to take in.
He put the bowl- which by now had corn, wheat, jewelry, and clothing, but thankfully nothing supremely expensive or complicated- it all looked handmade- into a storage seal on his arm, made by Mito. The Senju had large drums, a little different from the Uchiha drums, and a few stringed instruments they sat with under the trees, plucking away in a gentle tune while the other members of the clan started to mingle.
At some point, the tune picked up, though it was nothing too crazy, and everyone began doing some sort of relaxed but cheerful dance that involved moving in a pattern not too complicated and rhythmically clapping in unison with the music. It almost looked like they were skipping around each other, a little bit, and the bells in the trees had started to gently ring with the breeze.
Hashirama pulled him into the dancing by his sleeve, already laughing, and though he felt too quiet to join in, a smile graced Madara’s face as he joined in and clapped in beat with everyone else as they moved about in square patterns.
Eventually, they started to swirl in branching patterns, joining hands. Madara couldn’t help but laughed as he somehow got clear across the clearing from Hashirama. Toka had her arm around him, and she was grinning while they held onto three other pairs spinning around.
“Come on, you goose!” someone yelled at Tobirama, dragging him into a circle of people who promptly started guffawing and wouldn’t let him out. Madara got a sense of déjà vu as he thought of their wedding.
“Goose!” someone shouted, sounding delighted. “There’s a goose!”
And that, apparently, meant they were all trying to steer Tobirama into their group and end up holding onto him, and then it got even more complicated when someone, somewhere, passed out eggs they all had to keep ahold of and not drop.
Certainly not fun. Not at all.
So what if he was a little bit gleeful when he managed to grab the younger Senju?
“Goose,” he cackled, tossing him in the direction of his brother, which he gathered was the goal, because Hashirama caught his scowling brother and patted him on the head before letting him join a normal group.
He was scowling, but he didn’t look unhappy. It was all just for show.
“Come on!” someone yelled behind him, a giggle in her voice. Hashirama swept over to him and wrapped an arm around his waist, beaming at him with a sparkle in his eye.
Several lines of Senju had lined up with their linked hands held above their hands. They ducked under the row, along with several other couples, but the others darted to the side when they were done. Hashirama twirled him around, then again, then took his hand and circled the field with him, smile never leaving.
Madara’s face heated again when he realized the purpose was to put everyone’s focus on him. It was such an odd game, he was used to having all the focus on him in his own clan’s dances, but this one was so lighthearted and unfamiliar he felt flushed.
But it didn’t feel like anyone was laughing at him, so he couldn’t help but enjoy it.
Maybe he’d deny it to his dying breath, but he so enjoyed it. There was something particularly warm and amicable, familial, about the Senju’s gathering. They were treating him like he was just another one of them. And past any blustering, he couldn’t find any problem with it.
The golden bells still rung, and the harpists and violinists kept playing, and the drums beat gently as they danced for over an hour, though more of them got sloppier when they broke the alcohol out. Then they returned to the village in tightly-knit groups, more than one Senju woman holding onto him to make sure he was warm and didn't trip, some groups in the back chanting cheery songs as they went.
Perhaps, it was a little enchanting.