Madara has a secret with Hashirama. Or so he believes.
One night when he returns to the Uchiha settlement later than usual, Izuna catches him and tries to interrogate him. Madara keeps his mouth shut and soon Izuna begins yelling. The commotion causes their father to wake up and investigate. Upon seeing Madara, Tajima pulls him closer by his collar, only to then immediately push him away. More of Madara's skin is visible now that his collar has been roughly displaced.
"Look at you! Disgusting!" Tajima screams at him in the dead of night, "You look like a harlot!"
He's referring to the love bites littering Madara's neck. (He had been happy to receive them.)
"Who did you let do this to you?" Izuna sneered at him from behind and Madara knows better than to answer, (Hashirama). But it doesn't matter, because Izuna continues without waiting: "Let me guess: that Senju moron?"
Madara flinches at the words, watching as Tajima's eyes flash red for a second, and feels a strong desire to just run away. Despite his increasingly worsening eyesight, Madara could win a fight against his father (and brother)... he just doesn't want to.
Shortly after, they leave Madara alone and the encounter ends without anything horrible happening. However, there is a change in the look in Izuna's eyes, which doesn't go away.
Time passes, Madara keeps seeing Hashirama and all is almost well. Then Tajima dies, Madara takes on the mantle of leader, and that's only a small complication. Hashirama and Madara keep sneaking away to cuddle, always hidden by the tender darkness of night.
Butsuma follows not too long after Tajima. In his sleep, people say but something about the story rings untrue in Madara's heart. There's got to be more to his demise but Hashirama doesn't say anything when Madara asks. Hashirama becomes clan head and things still don't change.
The Uchiha get poorer and poorer as time passes. The clan whines when they think Madara is away and can't hear. He's a bad leader, he only knows to fight. Madara disregards them, it's not his fault the land they were backed into isn't very fertile.
Rotten land, Izuna calls it. It's not rotting. It can't be. And yet, under Madara's leadership more people are starving than when Tajima had been clan head. Those had been dark times, it's hard to believe that now is actually worse.
Madara doesn't see well anymore. He really doesn't. Hashirama's figure on the battlefield had always been a treat he looked forward to, but now he wouldn't know what direction to turn in if it wasn't for Hashirama's immense chakra. Chakra so bright, it's almost blinding. Madara delights in the intimacy of their battles.
One day, when Izuna falls injured by Tobirama, Madara doesn't listen to his warnings and instead accepts Hashirama's peace offering.
Konoha is built, Izuna wants nothing to do with Madara and the clanーhow can they trust that horrid Senju, fools, the lot of 'emーwho had eagerly accepted the development, Tobirama looks annoyed from the little that Madara can see... and Hashirama is there too. If only his eyes hadn't failed him quite so badly, Madara would have been happier. Probably. At least he would've been able to see Hashirama from a more publicly appropriate distance.
There's no complaint, though. Madara's used to the blur by now. He remembers the pristine and clear shapes of people and scenery from years ago; juxtaposing them with the almost meaningless blur of color he sees nowadays is nothing short of depressing. There had been a time when he could see so well, when he had felt clarity every time he looked far in the distance. Now, Madara can barely see a palm length in front of his face.
The world feels dark, straining to see makes his head hurt, and inside he feels strange. It's not fear or sadness, that much is certain, but it's definitely not happiness either. Izuna seems irritated most days... Madara sees him less often than most days. Izuna didn't want to participate in thisーfarce of a mockery of peace, he had called itーMadara knows. He remembers well. His memories are all he has. It's a dreadful realization... but life isn't bad, he reminds himself and moves on. He needs to be careful when he walks now, any larger than small dip or raise on the road can cause him to trip. Madara is a fierce warrior who is unsure if he can make it home safely. Laughable, a voice sneers, and Madara can't say with certainty if it's in his mind.
Hashirama is there at least. He helps. He cares. Madara is grateful to have him. Grateful to know he has someone to go home to, someone to embrace in the darkness of the night. He can still see his face if he gets close. Madara is very, very grateful that Hashirama allows him, that he understands and that he tries despite his own issues.
A long time ago Madara had watched (and fallen for) Hashirama's acts. Oh, how he had fallen! Hashirama had played him like a koto. The uncanny way in which he knew exactly how to get people to do what he wanted had been surprising to experience. But, once he had noticed it, Madara had learnedーhe could see through the veil of carefully crafted pretense, delicately built emotions. Hashirama had always carried a certain sadnessーit just usually stayed masked behind a shinning smile. The first time Hashirama had dropped the act in front of Madara he'd felt disoriented and confused before he deciphered reality and understood. Of course, Hashirama had his issues, he had lost so much, been through so much grief. Madara understood well.
That had been years ago. Back then, neither of them had even become clan head yet; it's wild to think about the amount of time that had passed since then. It hadn't been that long ago, but it still feels like an eternity. Time passes.
Madara loves his brother more than he can ever convey; Izuna loves Madara too (but refuses to show it). It's hard working through their differencesーthe god-damned cursed Senju, Hashirama himself, the peaceーand it does take time but they get back on speaking terms, Izuna moves in a house closer to the village's center and stops snarling at Tobirama every time he sees him.
Life is not bad. It could certainly be a lot worse. Madara spends most of his time by Hashirama's side. When he embraces him, he sees him smile and it's enough to make him happy and grateful he can still see. One day, Madara anticipates, his eyes will fail him for the last time and he will be plunged into an endless darkness. Before that time comes, however, Madara can allow himself some indulgence.