Konohagakure no Sato.
To many, it was a simple yet promising village that resides in the land of fire. But for its inhabitants, it was a proof that dreams can be a reality. It has been roughly three years ago since its establishment and Konoha continued to prosper notwithstanding the unexpected trials. From the era of the warring states, it was made possible to establish a village where everyone can live happily despite each other's differences. Of course, everything would not be possible without the man behind it, Senju Hashirama and his co-founder, Uchiha Madara.
The village had grown following its dispute with Kirigakure no Sato a year ago. With the help of his brother and second-in command, the Hokage gathered many allies to strengthen the ties between villages. And with more and more people following his ideologies, Konoha's population eventually grew to the point that they will be needing a land expansion for supplementary resources to maintain the village's needs.
Tobirama gripped the armrest anxiously. He breathed out slowly, assuring each and everyone in the room to relax and apologetically asked for their patience. The fire daimyo only nodded, unbothered by the fact that they've been waiting for more than twenty minutes for a certain man to come. Apparently, the convocation won't start without this man. They were on the daimyo's residence few kilometers away from Konoha. The room was composed of the higher-ups and the white-haired Senju was starting to lose his patience following the last twenty minutes of waiting.
"If you'll excuse me, gentlemen." Tobirama excused himself for a while. Around him were the murmuring officials of the land of fire. Some were having their own meeting discussing political affairs and some were gossiping about their aristocratic daily lives. Neither of it all mattered to him. The younger Senju's forbearance about his brother's tardiness on a very important meeting had him wired.
He marched going outside when suddenly, the door flew open followed by the appearance of the Hokage.
Hashirama was met by Tobirama's scrutinizing eyes.
"What took you so long?!" the younger of two fumed lowly, hiding it from the officials' earshot. He stared watching the completely out of breath Hokage at the doors' opening.
Meanwhile, all eyes were turned onto him. The great Hokage of the flourishing village stiffened, cleared his throat and straightened his posture upon meeting the officials' gazes as if everything in was okay.
"I deeply apologize, my fellow gentlemen, for letting you wait for.." he then glanced at Tobirama who was half glaring and half trying to be cool.
"Twenty minutes." Tobirama whispered with eyes shut, but his words registered to Hashirama's ears as a growl. He knew very well that the younger Senju was only controlling himself because, well, they're on a meeting and it would be improper if he scold his older brother like a child.
Hashirama smiled apologetically at the fire daimyo who simply nodded at him in return. The old man has a liking for Hashirama and he fully believed on his skill as a leader and as a shinobi. The Hokage was a very charismatic man. He can charm even the hardest person to deal with - Uchiha Madara, his co-founder was the living truth of this skill.
As he went on his assigned seat, Tobirama was watching him and noticed that there was something ridiculously wrong.
His red-eyes that were normally narrow grew at the realization that Hashirama badly needed a comb. And oh, was that the same Hokage clothes from yesterday? Was that a faint smell of alcohol? Tobirama cannot quite confirm but it looks like...it looks like...Hashirama hadn't sleep at all.
"Shall we start?" The fire daimyo asked and all the other officials including a sleep deprived Hokage nodded in response.
The discussion went from the main objective of land expansion and additional resources which they tackled pretty briefly since the daimyo was all yes on Hashirama's proposals which was also co-authored by Madara few weeks ago. Later, the topic went to a more complicated one which was the on-going big project of capturing the bijuus. Currently, Hashirama's team with the help of other ninja villages, captured eight bijuus. With only one bijuu remaining left the question: how are they going to seal it?
It's been a year since their fight against Kirigakure which caused a drift between Konoha and Uzushio. Now that everything has settled down, Hashirama was confident to suggest that he can try to talk with the current head of Uzumaki clan - Uzumaki Mito. Tobirama made an awkward facial reaction upon hearing this which Hashirama did not fail to notice despite his obvious drowsiness throughout the meeting. The younger Senju covered his mouth and faked a cough. Hashirama side-eyed at him and continued on his plans and future proposals.
Hashirama knew that his brother was reminding him of something.
The meeting ended with a success followed by Hashirama's knack to slam his head over the table with regards with his lateness. Honestly, the fire daimyo and the other officials were getting used on the act. Tobirama of course subtly stood behind him and pulled his hair to snap him out.
After that, the brothers went back to Konoha and along their way, Tobirama interrogated him. He breathed in and out deeply before speaking when Hashirama immediately answered his question from earlier.
"I was with Sasuke last night."
The younger of the two rolled his eyes - so that's why. He's aware that a night with his brother and Sarutobi Sasuke would only mean one thing - an absolute hang over a day after.
"You have a very important meeting today and you still went out for a drink!" Tobirama growled followed by a sigh. Sometimes he wanted to cry out for their father from the afterlife why did he even left him with a headache of a brother that was older than him but thinks like a child sometimes. He continued to scold his brother to be more proper and careful the next time. That he should not take the daimyo's trust for granted and kept on telling him that his actions were a reflection of his village.
"Take your responsibility seriously!" Tobirama ended his ramblings with a groan hoping it would go down in his older brother's thick head. All the while, Hashirama was sulking and pouting beside a nearby tree.
The god of shinobi, ladies and gentleman.
Sometimes Tobirama wondered if there was an end to this - this, by means of constantly reminding his brother how to act properly without tarnishing the village's image.
But just like any other moment of sulking, Hashirama's mood turned 180 degrees as he rose and put his arms akimbo while laughing boisterously like a maniac.
"Don't worry Tobi! At least we succeeded on our today's task." He winked. Tobirama realized his lectures were all in vain and sighed exasperatedly.
They arrived on the Hokage office near afternoon.
"Where did you sleep?" Tobirama asked curiously with his arms folded over his chest. "You did not come home last night." He did not fail to see how Hashirama stiffened at the question.
"Here,well..uh, long story." Hashirama answered nervously while massaging his temples.
"Long story." Tobirama repeated waiting for an elaboration. It wasn't rare for Hashirama to fell asleep in his office given that most of the time, the documents keeps on filling up ever since the village continued to prosper.
Hashirama plopped down on his seat still massaging his temples. The hangover was clearly affecting him.
"Wait," the younger Senju waved a hand. "Were you flat out drunk last night?" The answer was obvious, the only reason why Hashirama slept in his office and was late for his morning meeting was because he was too drunk to even go home. But this was not the issue. Tobirama knows that Hashirama's alcohol tolerance was the highest among their clan and to think that Senju were known to be alcoholics, he could only wonder how did Hashirama end up getting wasted.
"To put it simply, yes." Hashirama answered after a long silence. He decided to use his healing jutsu on his throbbing head. A green chakra appears from his palms.
Hashirama's nose wrinkled, he really didn't want to tell the whole story on how did he end up inebriated last night. But knowing Tobirama and his annoying motherly instinct that surpassed even those of true mothers, there was no way to hide it.
Tobirama rolled his eyes for the second time of the day. Hashirama and gambling were the worst combination, after all. He concluded that it has something to do with the result of last night's affair and considering his brother have a terrible luck in any form of bet.
"I can't understand how you're so fond of it when you have never won a gamble before." he casually said while lifting a pile of documents from the floor to the table.
Meanwhile, Hashirama looked away.
"I surmise you cannot work today but you can always ask your second-in command to do the rest of these paperworks. I heard she has arrived from her mission, you should call her."
Hashirama turned pale and quickly glanced at Tobirama.
"I..I don't think she can do it, either." Hashirama replied jittery.
He could practically hear Hashirama's thumping chest.
Her head was pulsating the moment she woke up.
Madara groaned as she positioned herself sideways on the couch of her guestroom. The Uchiha tried so hard to get up but her vision was spinning and so she decided to rest before standing up again.
"I will kill him."
She can still taste the bitter alcohol at the back of her throat. Ah, dammit, she's beginning to question her decision in joining that ridiculous game last night. Her regrets, however, ascended to high heavens when she felt a card between her gloved hand.
Her facade was nothing but an utter dismay. Madara dropped the Botan card from their Hanafuda game - a card game that she wasn't so familiar about but managed to learn it in one night, thanks to her sharingan.
She can clearly remember what happened before the incident and wanted to bury herself alive upon recalling what exactly did she gambled with that Senju last night.
"I can't believe that idiot beat me to it! A thing he's terrible at!" she whimpered, covering her face using both hands.
Later, she decided to pay Yoko a visit.
The younger Uchiha was watering the plants on her backyard when Madara suddenly showed up which made her jump as though she saw a wandering ghost. It wasn't unusual for the Uchiha head to visit her every now and then since they started to rekindle their long lost friendship.
"You look wasted."
She scowled at her and muttered the most sarcastic 'oh thank you' ever. They were inside Yoko's room as Madara's requested for them to get inside. Judging from the older Uchiha's face, what she's about to tell her was something so cursed.
Madara started it from the moment she arrived Konoha from a personal mission that she didn't really explained because it wasn't the highlight of the story. Then she went to the part where she looked for Hashirama, who, at that time was sitting inside an Izakaya together with his Sarutobi friend. Hashirama was already drunk by the time she arrived and oh, if only the sharingan can erase her memory on how Hashirama embarrassingly announced to everyone inside the bar that the rumours about them dating was true! Madara wanted to smack the hell out of him but was kind of proud about her self-control that she did not.
Hashirama was awfully losing a gamble, over and over. She also get to the point where she shook him furiously and tell her he wasn't using the village's funds whereas Sasuke had to calm her down. The Uchiha of course did not hesitate to ridicule the Sarutobi who by that time was also having a hard time in stopping the enthusiastic Hokage. There were plenty of people inside the Izakaya and Madara did not want to make a scene of dragging Hashirama out - the Hokage of Konoha no less, even if she can.
And before Hashirama humiliates himself (and herself as well) more, Madara sat in front of him and decided to have a duel with the Senju but unlike in the past where they were either slashing each others' weapons, this was a different kind of battle.
Hashirama excitedly handed out the cards to Madara and she began by using her sharingan to learn the game he'd been playing for who knows how long before she got there.
"Mara, place your bet~!" Hashirama gestured his hands disgracefully at the wooden bowl on his left which was on her right side.
Madara despise wasting her money on a silly betting game so she instead asked him on whatever the hell does he wants her to bet with an exception of her hard-earned money (Uchihas were known misers)
The drunkage pondered for a while as the woman was itching to grab him in the throat. Oh, the embarrassment and shame to be forced to sit and gamble with this dork!
In a lightbulb moment, Hashirama grinned mischievously and clapped his hands before telling her;
"If I win, you will wear a kimono on the next time we go out!"
That was a thing they've been arguing for so long because most of the people they encounter always mistook her as a man due to the way she dresses. Hashirama once commented that she would look good in pastel-colored kimonos which Madara immediately rebuked insisting that it's too "feminine''.
Who would have thought that even on his drunken state, Hashirama would still insist on such a thing.
"Hnn," Madara smirked, fully believing that the Senju's luck in gambling was nonexistent and thus won't give him what he's dreaming of -a.k.a her wearing a kimono. He's hopeless when it comes to this kind of thing and so she confidently agreed.
Of course she did not forgot to tell him that he will raise from his seat and go home once she wins - which was the result she's expecting.
She then told the Sarutobi that he can go home and that his wife must've been tired of waiting for him all night . Sasuke was hesitant at first but eventually let her do her thing after receiving the infamous Uchiha glare that Hashirama talked before (and according to his friend, it should not be taken lightly for it's a foolproof that a bloodshed will come soon) The Sarutobi trembled and went home later on.
"Sharingan is not allowed~" Hashirama said in a sing-sang tone followed by a hic, the damned Senju surely drank a lot. Madara's gloved fist turned into ball, this should be stopped immediately.
Whenever one of their cards loses, they should drink a full glass of sake. What the fuck, Madara thought, why wasn't she informed about this mechanics?! She didn't backed away, however, she was confident that Hashirama has no luck on gambling at all. But soon, she found some of her cards losing and so she was obligated to drink a glass of sake, Hashirama (who was getting redder as the time goes by) pinched her cheeks and keeps on telling how much he loves her- okay, this was the part where Yoko laughed her head off until she lose her breath, stomach aching from the madness that she's been hearing. Madara ignored it and continued until the climax of the heinous event.
She could not believe she had lost. She lost a gamble on the worst gambler!
Sometimes she wanted to believe in what Sadao had told her before - that she was cursed.
Hashirama practically stood up and joyfully jumped into her, he reeked of alcohol and so was her. Unlike him, her alcohol tolerance was severely low, she hated the taste of it yet Madara bargained to drink ,not that she liked it! just to send his ass home on which she failed.
Because soon as he came to touch her, Hashirama collapsed and lost consciousness forcing Madara to literally carry him around.
"I freaking hate you!"
"You damned Senju!"
"Why am I in this relationship again?!"
Madara had been sputtering nonstop while dragging Hashirama in the dead of the night. She silently hope to see Tobirama along their way so she can throw the annoying drunkard off her. Unfortunately, that never came until she decided to drop him on his office - a safer place for him to spend the night since the Senju compound was farther deemed that she herself was having trouble in keepin up her pace. The sake was hitting her tremendously and not to mention that she just arrived from a week-long journey, she was tired and the first thing she dealt with was the wasted Senju.
The Uchiha took the office key from Hashirama's pockets to open it and hauled the sleeping man beside her to the only couch inside the meeting room. She carefully dropped him and heaved a deep sigh stretching her sore shoulders from his weight. It reminded her of the last time she carried him and subconsciously smiled at the thought.
That day when she confessed on this oaf.
"Ma..da...ra?" Hashirama mumbled reaching for her arm with closed eyes. She took it as sleep-talking but more like 'drunk-talking while sleeping'.
"Do you...like me?" he continued, words slurred and weak.
She sat beside the sleeping figure and stared at him.
"I'm literally dating you for a year, what do you think." Madara grunted.
When the man did not talk further but instead started to snore, she sighed and decided to leave.
But before just right when she reached for the door knob, he mumbled again.
"Why won't you….marry me?"
The question had struck her harder than it should. Madara glanced softly at the snoring Hokage for one last time before going home.
Yoko nodded with closed eyes after hearing the full story. She cannot count how many times she'd been asking Madara about Hashirama's proposal. It's been a year and the man haven't received an answer, not even a yes or a no.
Madara always responded with an exasperated "I have my own reasons!" whereas Yoko can tell it might be because of their clan's traditions. It would be way easier it she's an average Uchiha clan member but no, she was no less the head of the clan and it would be considered taboo once she married someone from outside the family. But Yoko knows that Madara doesn't really abide every law, heck she even befriended and later on established a relationship with someone from their rival clan, and that left her wondering why was Madara keep on stalling?
"And you're here because?" Yoko asked deliberately, knowing Madara, there must be a real reason why she's telling her these.
"I need your help." Her voice cracked upon dropping the last two words. Yoko can't tell if that was because of the alcohol she consumed last night or because she's nervous on asking her this particular favor.
"But what 'help' exactly?" Yoko stared at the other Uchiha with careful eyes. Going back on Madara's story, there wasn't a single thing she should be asking from her except for…
"I lost the bet, were you even listening?!" Madara growled.
Yoko stumbled upon the realization and after several seconds, she jumped out off her bed followed by a shrill of excitement that could alarm the whole compound. Madara had to pin her down and cover her mouth otherwise their clanmates would think she's homiciding her cousin.
Hashirama was on his daily duty as a Hokage doing endless of paperworks. He paused and sigh after finishing a document, setting it beside his table. His gaze landed on the cherry blossom bonsai sitting beside the windows. Its petals were in full bloom given that they're in the middle of spring. He smiled, remembering that it was the very first gift he received from her and it was also spring at that time.
A knock from the door broke his recollections. He had expected Toka to appear from the back of the door like the usual, but after giving an authorization to enter, Uchiha Yoko marched inside instead and was smiling.
"Yoko-chan." He greeted back.
He developed a sort of friendship with Yoko ever since she helped in so many things regarding Madara. She claimed to be the very first friend of the Uchiha head and made it clear that it wasn't him. Hashirama didn't argue about it, him being the first real friend or not, he knows that it's a good thing Madara have another person she considers a friend and he was really glad by that.
The Hokage scrambled on his feet, there could be only one reason for Yoko to summon herself.
"I have a message from Madara."
Panic started to flood in him. "I-Is she still mad?" he asked nervously. He can faintly remember what happened two days prior. One afternoon when Sarutobi Sasuke casually strolled to his office and asked him to hang out. It was a lowkey day and Madara was out of the village for her personal mission so he doesn't really have anything to do at that time. And despite coming to an understanding, they seldom have time to see each other with their busy schedules. Madara was frequently out of the village due to her active participation in battle missions. Tobirama once commented that it looks like she was the one wearing the pants in their relationship given that Hashirama always wait for her return.
"She said she wanted to see you."
There was something that spelt trouble in the way Yoko delivered it, at least, for Hashirama's standards. Because it was atypical of her to invite him.
"Tell me she's not that mad." Hashirama was apprehended.
Yoko controlled herself from giggling and forced an impassive face.
"Beside Konoha library, 3pm - she said." Yoko spun her heels and spared one glance above her shoulder.
"...oh and, you better prepare." she winked, dropping ambiguity.
Yoko knows that he would take it in a negative fashion and she wanted to enjoy his suffering.
Uchihas and their sadism tendencies.
Just as expected, the innuendo worked wonders and Hashirama sprung from his seat after finishing his chore and directly went outside. His heartbeat raced and anxiety rose from all the negative thoughts.
"Brother?" Tobirama saw him passing by as he was carrying scrolls with different colors. "You're early today."
"Yeah, yeah." Hashirama replied curtly, his younger brother noticed the rigidity of his tone while walking briskly.
"Where are you going?" Tobirama asked again, keeping his pace just behind Hashirama.
"At the library."
"Ah, me too, will return these scrolls from the librarian." Tobirama's reply however was unheard by the man he's talking with because Hashirama's mind was scattered all over the place and he wasn't really paying attention to his younger brother.
They continued walking going to the same place, the albino talked about the progress of his jutsus, he even made it clear that what he's doing now was not about the edo tensei anymore on which Hashirama just replied with short and quick 'alright, alright' and that's when Tobirama confirmed that there was definitely something going on.
"Seriously, brother, what is happening?"
Hashirama halted and exhaled before facing his brother.
"Tobirama! What should I do?" He cried like a little orphan (they're orphan though but not little anymore)
The said man almost dropped his scrolls to the ground from Hashirama's tight grip. It was as if he's going to kneel or cry or maybe both from the way he clings to him.
"Okay, okay, what did you do this time?" Tobirama asked, judging Hashirama and the way he begged for an advice, it looks like he made something idiotic (yet again) It doesn't take a genius to conclude that it was because of Madara due to the fact that she was the sole person who can evoke a face like that to his brother (minus the time one of Hashirama's bonsais died where he mourned for weeks)
"I told you about when I got drunk, right?" Hashirama asked.
"Mh-hm." Tobirama nodded.
"The thing is, Madara refused to see me after that."
"I know that."
Tobirama sighed. Sometimes he wondered why does he waste his time for listening to his older brother's silly stories but reminded himself that it's purely because no one else other than him would. In times like this, he can't help but miss their late siblings. Itama and Kawarama always loved to listen to Hashirama's tales, no matter how unbelievably foolish it was.
"And now, she wanted to see me." Hashirama shuddered and was literally trembling in fear. The albino was confused, what was so wrong about that?
Meanwhile Tobirama sensed that someone was watching them. Soon, his peripheral vision caught an incoming figure.
"Tobirama! What if she's still mad at me?!" Hashirama lamented and made a dramatic hand motions as if the world was ending soon.
"What if she say-"
"..Hashirama, I can't stand your ape-looking buddy and your moronic love for gambling-" Hashirama said it mimicking the way Madara curses and criticize Sarutobi Sasuke's fashion taste because honestly, what's with those thick furs around his chest and how many gorillas did he tweaked to make his clothes. She even said Tobirama surely got that sick fashion from their friend.
"WHAT IF SHE BROKE UP WITH ME?!"
Tobirama put a hand on the terror-stricken Hokage and growled.
"SENJU HASHIRAMA!" It was one of the rarest time that Tobirama call him by his full name. He does it only whenever he wanted Hashirama's undivided attention though.
Hashirama blinked following his brother's vision. He noticed how Tobirama's eyes were growing and the color of his face was fading.
"It's..It's.." Tobirama faltered with furrowed eyebrows. Hashirama cannot tell whether he's constipated or in awe.
When Hashirama turn his head on the side, he felt his heart lurch and his tan face somewhere in between ashen pale or grey. A shockwave of feelings as he gazed at the most enchanting woman he had seen in his entire life bursted. Did the time stopped? Definitely, did his heartbeat stopped? Almost.
He gathered all of his Senju strength and rubbed his eyes using the back of his hands before saying;
"I'm sorry, who are you?"
Tobirama can't believe what he just heard. Forget Itama and Kawarama, he will edo tensei his brain that committed suicide the moment Hashirama asked the obvious. For once, he agreed with Madara - his brother was really stupid.
But instead of answering like a normal person, the beautiful woman in question grabbed the Hokage's ear and pulled it until they're on eye level.
"You idiot, it's me!"
There was only one woman who could say and do such thing to him.
Hashirama fell into his knees.
"M-Madara?" he stuttered, eyes almost leaving its sockets, staring up at her.
And that voice and 'hnn' were enough for him to turn into a statue.
Standing in front of him was Madara wearing a pastel-colored homongi kimono. Its hue was mostly composed of white and pink with extravagant print of peach blossoms from the hem downwards. It perfectly matched her aesthetic painted face. Her hair was tied in a loose bun with a striking red ribbon that flows up to her waist.
Oh my Sage.
Hashirama felt like his jaw hit the floor on how wide he gaped. The title goddess of shinobi perfectly defined her since the day she became notorious on the battlefield. In his eyes, Madara had always been stunning. Her beauty was incomparable just like her intellect and skills. That's why it should not surprise him once she transformed herself into a kimono-wearing maiden, but jokes on him, Hashirama was wonderstruck, unable to move or react.
Tobirama (who was also glued in his spot for the last few seconds) found his voice back and coughed awkwardly in the background.
"Well, guess I'll see you around, brother." The white-haired Senju straightened up, still with the scrolls around his arms and glimpsed at the Uchiha whose eyebrows were twitching in annoyance (he concluded that it was because of his presence which she didn't expected)
"I'll be going now, Neesan." Tobirama said mockingly and simpered.
Madara was about to whack him when her rational side of brain kicked in. She calmed down after remembering that she was wearing a kimono and punching him might tarnish the exquisite garment that she and Yoko argued for hours. Neesan, the way he said it brought shivers to her spine. No, there will be no other person who can call her 'big sister' other than Izuna!
The two of them were left alone soon as Tobirama was out of their sight.
Konoha library was the only place in the entire village which she believes doesn't have much people. But much to her dismay, Hashirama was with his younger brother. Madara hesitated to reveal herself at first but knowing that Tobirama alreadys sensed her (the best sensory type shinobi, oh well) she grunted and then decided to take it all on Hashirama.
"You bloody told him!" she accused, raising her fists.
"Tobirama won't let me live in peace not until I told him how I end up getting wasted! Madara please," Hashirama had a hard time reasoning with the mortified Uchiha
The thought of Tobirama knowing that she joined his disappointment of a brother on gambling and drinking instead of stopping him brought her cold sweat. What would happen to her dignified reputation?
"Whatever! Just make sure to keep his mouth shut!" she grumbled.
Few village had seen them somewhere along their way outside Konoha, on which Madara was quite thankful. Their relationship was an open secret. No one talks about it publicly but it was understood. People doesn't flinch anymore whenever Hashirama tried to touch her hair, hold her hand or even pull her close. Madara however still refuse to go out with him around the village because according to her, they should be viewed as the 'founders and leaders of the village' not as a couple. Hashirama understand that there should be a thin line between their personal matters and the village although he usually sulk whenever she slapped his hand away from her.
The said woman snapped her head to meet his eyes. Hashirama cannot stop smiling from the moment she saw her.
"You're, uh." Hashirama scratched his head and blushed furiously. He can't think of an absolute word to describe her and it left him speechless.
Madara looked at him deadpan. "You finally got what you want."
"Yes," he chuckled, still blushing. Truthfully, he wasn't really looking forward for her to do it. He was drunk at that time and alcohol was partly to blame for him to expose his heart's desire. But whether she did it or not, he won't force it. Yet the Uchiha took it from her heart and swallowed some of her pride so she can make true to her words.
"You're lucky I am a woman of my words." She said half-jokingly.
"Indeed I am lucky." Hashirama glimpsed at her face once again, yes he's really lucky. A bursting determination that he won't make this day to waste came up.
"Hnn, so where are we going now, Mr. Can't-take-his-eyes-off me?" She asked teasingly and flashed a conceited face.
"How about on the place where we had our first date?" he answered with such energy.
"The one where you forgot your wallet? Not bad."
Hashirama sulked. "T-that's what you first thought on our first date?!"
"Well yes." she replied cooly Hashirama sulked more.
"Stand up Hashirama! Let's get going before I get tired of wearing this heavy-ass mantle."
When they arrived on the tea...house, as per Madara's term, they noticed how the place improved for the past year. It expanded twice its original size and became fancier with brand new furniture.
"Hello there, Akina." Hashirama greeted the blonde waitress while cleaning one of the tables.
"Oh! it's been a long while,sir," Akina's eyes shifted from Hashirama to the beautiful woman beside him. Madara felt uncomfortable at they way the waitress was looking at her.
Hashirama had a brief idle talk with Akina while taking their orders. The good natured lady asked what took them so long to return where Hashirama agreed that they should visit more often.
When their orders arrived, Madara asked about his latest meeting with the daimyo (Hashirama avoided the little details that might ruin her day,like how late he was and went to the daimyo's house with a hair that could rival a wet rat and Tobirama scolded that he could've at least comb it given that he haven't take a bath and breakfast just to make it on time)
"So you're going back to Uzushio?" Madara tried to be unnerved but Hashirama knows better.
"I don't think so, I'll send Tobirama as my representative."
"Why?" she smirked mockingly. "Don't you want to visit Uzumaki Mito?" and placed a hand over her pretty face.
"Madara," Hashirama meant to cease her, he really doesn't like it when she brings out a past drama especially about things that they should never talk about again. That past incident pained them both and it should be forgotten - something that Hashirama kept on telling her on which she always counter argue on how he almost marry that woman. Past is past, according to him but 'past is a part of present' according to her. They were total opposites in so many things yet both decided to stay together.
He found it funny that her grumpy face didn't match her captivating beauty. Hashirama placed a hand over hers and he was instantly rewarded by a scowl.
"Let's not talk about politics for the mean time, shall we? I wanted us to enjoy this moment." he smiled. He can literally count the times they spend time together and doesn't want to ruin it.
Madara glanced upward and said;"Fine."
And he was right, setting aside the topic of politics brought them on a lighter mood. Hashirama did want to ask about her latest mission but the Uchiha's mood will surely drop and so he saved it for later.
While walking back to the village, Madara suggested going to Hokage rock, where Hashirama teased her that she won't be able to climb due to her kimono. Madara scoffed and proceeded to try.
Uhg, stupid dress.
The Uchiha was determined to show him that she can but was obviously getting anxious in accidentally destroying the dress . The Senju chortled with his hands covering his mouth.
"Stop standing behind me Hashirama! Or else I cannot concentrate!" she was ashamed of the lie herself but also too stubborn to admit defeat.
As she stepped forward, she felt a pair of arms pulling her and was caught off guard, falling right into his arms.
"What are you doing?! Put me down!"
Laughter with faint sound of slaps filled the air with Hashirama insisting to carry her. Madara soon gave up unless she wanted to deface the kimono.
"We're here!" Hashirama announced giddly upon reaching the top of Hokage rock which was also the giant rock version of his face.
"Can you not shout? People might hear you." she warned. "..and put me down."
"Hashirama, put me down."
"Put. me . down"
The Hokage unleashed the three-year old version of him and pouted.
Madara sighed, why does this Senju get all the things he wants? But she won't allow it again this time. He better pay the price of making her wear the kimono.
"Hashirama." she said with indignation and that was enough for him to put her down gently.
"That was the first time I carried you!" he tittered with his booming voice.
"I simply do not want to ruin this kimono that Yoko and I looked for hours." she scorned.
Judging at how delicate and graceful the dress was, he assumed that there was someone who helped her in choosing it, for there was no way Madara picked it for herself. Hashirama nevertheless knew whom to thank after.
"I grew up without a mother and was raised by my father with three brothers, so I never experienced a very feminine life. She's the closest to sister that I have now." Growing up to be the future clan leader despite being a female was one of the hardest thing to do. She spent her childhood life on training grounds and battlefield when children at her age back then were helping their mothers on household chores. Madara reminisced on her past remembering the last time she last wore a kimono. It probably was during the forgotten time when her mother was still alive.
She cannot even remember her face anymore.
Hashirama can feel the yearning in her tone.
"Since the day I lost Izuna, I always thought I'm all alone."
He did not fail to see the miniscule change in her facial expression. Sadness and anger combined.
"That's why I brought that guy the most painful way to die." she said bitterly.
Hashirama only listened in silence as it was unusual for her to speak about the things that upset her. Most of the times she only whine through actions. Just recently, Konoha received a lead on one of the seven swordsmen whereabouts, specifically the guy who killed Izuna. Madara was quick to resolve it alone and went on a solo mission which he did not try to stop, for it was the one thing that he couldn't.
She savored every moment upon killing the person who stole her brother's life. Putting him in the highest form of her genjutsu until he took his own life. So much for the bastard's luck that he experienced Uchiha Madara's genjutsu before death, the only person in the world who could rival the god of shinobi.
"But it didn't return Izuna's life back." Sorrow and regret invaded her.
Hashirama's gaze softened and dipped his head in sympathy. He, too, had those same thoughts when his brothers died. Revenge changes nothing and only satisfy someone's ego.
"Yet after that, I feel free. Free from the burden of thinking that the person who killed my brother was still alive."
He smiled and took her hand. Hashirama can still remember the last conversation he had with Izuna.
Take care of my sister.
"Izuna-kun once told me to take care of you."
She looked at him with a somber face.
"That's what I'm going to do for the rest of my life!" he winked and grinned to make her feel at ease.
Madara snickered. "We never settled things like that. How could you take care of me when you have so much things to do? Besides, I can take care of myself just fine. I don't need you to pamper me."
Her statement ultimately send him into depression mode. The Uchiha's ego was just as big as his love for her. But moments later, he heard her chuckling saying something he did not expected to hear that day.
"You're the one who needs me so I decided that I should just marry you."
Hashirama craned his neck from sulking to the woman beside him. Eyes wide as a saucer, his voice clearly abandoned him.
"I said I'm marrying you."
It took them a long pause with Hashirama just staring at her with unbelievable face. Madara's eyes turned to annoyed slits. "Well because I realized that you're so careless and needs me to organize many things in your life! But seriously, the next time I deal with your gambling I won't hesitate to summon susanoo."
Her threats were left unheard because the Senju had turn into a stone, and moments later he sniffed like something got stuck in his nose.
"Hashi-, what, why are you crying?!"
"I'm...I'm just happy." Hashirama wiped the tears in his eyes. For a man who can literally stomp everyone, he's way too soft. Tears of happiness burst from a man who waited for so long.
"You are always happy, dammit!" Madara felt ashamed of the situation and looked away. She knows how long he waited and him getting emotional was understandable considering Hashirama got a soft, dramatic heart, an opposite of his extreme abilities.
The Senju cuddled her from behind.
"Will you ever stop standing behind me?!" she snarled, avoiding to look at him and pinned her eyes watching the village from above.
Hashirama's face suddenly turned frightened after a long minute of Madara telling him to stop being so dramatic.
"Madara, I don't know how to tell you this.." He was petrified, expecting she might take back her words. "But I haven't bought a ring for you yet!"
She sighed, after knowing him for a long time,nothing could surprise her anymore.
"That's not necessary, you idiot."
Tobirama entered Hokage's office after a long journey from Uzushio. Together with him were a small troop of Uzumaki shinobi. He handed out the scroll to his older brother.
"This contains the seals we need for the bijuus. Lady Mito was generous enough to lend us a handful of her students. They are sealing experts." He gestured to the people behind him. A group of young males and females greeted the shodai with utmost respect. Hashirama stood up and greet them back one by one and hoped to enjoy their stay in the village.
"Thank you, Tobirama. You must be so tired now."
"Overall, I'm fine. It's just...Uzushio was farther than I expected. The guys here are probably as tired as me now." the Uzumakis smiled shyly at them.
"Then it's time to give them some rest." The shodai announced, at the same time, Toka entered as she was tasked to guide their guests.
"Must be a good feeling that there is someone taking care of you after a tiring day." Tobirama said with amused tone. It's been a month since he last saw his brother and admitted that he kinda missed their exchange of witty remarks in addition to his scoldings that lessened greatly, thanks to a certain Uchiha. At least now, he got someone to school his brother, he wasn't alone in that job anymore.
The younger Senju snapped his head towards Toka and squinted upon noticing her new hairstyle.
"It suits you." he commented.
Toka squinted back and tilted her head in confusion. Her hair grew longer and longer over the years. The first time she received a compliment from him was back in the day she delayed to take her monthly hair trim and ever since, she lost the interest to cut it.
Hashirama smothered a laugh from behind. "Well, why don't you take someone out, so in the future someone will also look after you." his gaze turned to Toka.
All of them forgot the presence of the young Uzumakis who was chuckling at the shodai's suggestion. Tobirama reddened and so did Toka, scrambling at her feet to guide their guests outside the office.
"Tobirama-sama," She called before closing the door.
"Y-yes?" the white-haired Senju almost freaked out.
"Thank you." Toka bowed and finally left the brothers alone.
Hashirama's rambunctious laughter filled the office upon seeing how his younger brother reacted. It was all over his face - over the years, he took a liking for Toka.
"Not funny, brother!" he glowered.
Hashirama first discovered Toka's feelings towards his brother few years ago. With the three of them being childhood friends, he could relate with them on some level except that they were both Senjus.
"Trust me, the two of you will work." Hashirama winked as he made his way outside, leaving his brother in peace. "I'm going home now and you should, too, later."
Tobirama clicked his tongue but smiled. "She won't try to kill me or boss me around, so yes maybe."
"You got me there." Hashirma gestured a finger gun.
He then left his younger brother, the Nidaime Hokage in his office.
It was all like a dream.
Gazing up to the Hokage rock where they talked about building the village together brought memories back in his childhood. The smiles of the villagers passing by everyday kept him going, believing and continuing to work harder even after passing the title Hokage to Tobirama. Hashirama still participate actively in running the village as the founder. Although this time, he have more time to focus on plenty of things.
Together they had lost and gained, sacrifices that resulted in blood and tears - which he will never allow to be for naught.
He stopped in front of a humble house located just beside the Uchiha compound. He entered the house - their home, and was greeted by three cats simultaneously meowing at him. He stood silently, watching the woman who just walked from the kitchen holding a book - a cook book. Being a shinobi never required someone to be a good cook but being a wife clearly does.
"What are you waiting for? The dinner's ready."
Even her still actively participates in missions from time to time, reason for him to miss seeing her in an apron with her hair in a high ponytail, looking so ladylike - a view that was reserved only for him.
Hashirama smiled lovingly, everything was worth it.
My good friend commissioned me this marvelous piece as a gift for everyone who managed to read until the ending. A scene from Chapter 25.
Thank you very much for reading!