Sage Paths

Hashirama stared at the mirror with unbelieving eyes. Also, with Rinnegan eyes. It seems his final battle with Madara was what it took to finally unlock the most powerful dojutsu in all of existence, the six path sage's eyes themselves. He gave one last look before moving to the hokage tower where his brother, Tobirama, was undoubtedly waiting. He cast a small genjutsu over his eyes to brush off any questions and sped through the roofs.

He stepped into his office, a decently spacious area with a wooden desk by the windows in the back. Other than the desk, there was little furniture or other extremities; Hashirama liked to keep his office tidy. Scratch that, Tobirama liked to keep it tidy, Hashirama was actually fairly messy. Speaking of his brother, Tobirama was waiting for him, standing by the Hokage's desk with a dark look.


"So." Hashirama stared back with an unnatural seriousness to his face and responded in a neutral manner, choosing to replicate the more responsible of the two.

Tobirama sighed and looked down for a second, before lifting his head in impatience and slight anger.

"Want to tell me what the hell happened last night?" It was clear what Tobirama was referring to, but Hashirama could only grimace.

"Madara betrayed the village."

"I can see that, I already knew that and saw it coming from a mile away but you refused to listen." Tobirama's temper only grew as he spoke.

"I believed in a friend, and hoped for the best. This never would have happened had he become Hokage like I wished. The responsibility lays not on my shoulder alone, Tobirama." Hashirama could not abandon his lifelong friend, no matter what had transpired the last few days, and emphasized his brother's name as if to make this clear.

"Don't lecture me as if you know what's best for everyone, Hashirama," Tobirama spat out his own brother's name. "Imagine if he had become Hokage, the village would be in ruins not from his own power, but by the power granted by the village itself."

Tobirama was referring to the election which he had insisted on to decide who would become the Hokage between the two clan heads: Uchiha or Senju. Hashirama had won by a landslide, even garnering votes from the Uchiha's side for his efforts in building the village's infrastructure. Of course, the Senju clan head was also incredibly charismatic and drew votes from both citizens and ninja, despite his own wishes of wanting Madara to become Hokage.

"You say that, yet how could you know?" Hashirama refused to raise his voice any higher, however. "There's no point in talking about this anymore, Madara is dead."

That gained silence from Tobirama. He knew how close the two had been, and even considered Madara to be closer to a brother of Hashirama than he considered himself at some points.

He sighed, "So it's finished?"

Tobirama was almost scared for the reply he would get. Only a few months ago, the future looked bright and promising, but now it was clear that things had only begun.

"I suppose so," Hashirama lied, hoping to end the subject. They both knew that this was only the start.

"Then do you also want to explain why you have a genjutsu over yourself?" Tobirama inquired. He had tried to be polite about it and not bring it up first thing, but now that their earlier spat was finished he had no qualms interrogating his brother of the matter.

Hashirama shuffled, and seemed almost awkward, even. This gave Tobirama pause, causing him to raise an eyebrow. Hashirama was never nervous, ever.

"I've noticed that it's over your eyes," Tobirama's tone grew dangerous, his suspicions growing every second.

Hashirama quickly realized what Tobirama was implying, and immediately refuted it, "It's not Madara's eyes, I would never do that to him."

Tobirama only slightly withdrew physically, but let out a breath of relief.

"Good, relations with the Uchiha are bad enough as it is. They're going through enough issues such as finding a clan head without having to start a bloodline war, again." The matter of taking another clan's dojutsu, no matter the circumstances, was dire. Add that into the fact that it was a Senju and the former clan head of the Uchiha, which said Senju had killed, and the result could undo any attempts in Konoha for peace.

The two stood in awkward silence, well awkward for Hashirama at least. Tobirama just stood there menacingly, waiting for his brother to elaborate further.

"The weather is really nice today, huh?" Hashirama started, laughing sheepishly while scratching the back of his head. It really was a nice day, far too nice for what had occurred the other day.


The older of the two dropped his head and gained a depressed look.

"Hashirama." The younger sibling repeated the name, in the same forceful manner as the last. There was another silence as the clan head dropped his head further into depression. Tobirama was about to repeat himself when his brother finally responded.

"I have the Rinnegan." Hashirama rose back up and stared back into Tobirama's eyes, shocking him as his black pupils faded along with the genjutsu, leaving ringed, purple eyes in their place.

"H-how?" For the first time that day, and probably for the first time in a long time, Tobirama took a step back in absolute shock. Of course, he knew the story behind the eyes, more than others might. As a genius and shinobi, Tobirama had researched all there was to ninjutsu that he could, gaining control over every basic nature transformation as well as space-time ninjutsu. But his greatest strength, in his opinion, was his knowledge. He had studied the three jutsu arts to an extent only dreamed of, alongside history and tactics to an extent a Nara could only dream of. So of course he knew the story of the Rinnegan, and the original wielder to the legendary eyes.

"Hell if I know. But I have it now, I guess," Hashirama's nonchalant attitude completely threw off the atmosphere and made Tobirama stumble.

After regaining his footing, Tobirama pointed a finger and shouted loud enough that those wandering outside the Hokage's tower at the time gazed up in confusion as to the source of the large noise.

"What do you mean you don't know? How the hell do you even end up with that in the first place, and why the hell didn't it open itself until now? What are we going to do about this now? Why do you always have to make things so difficult all the damn time?" Tobirama shouted a series of questions, as if expecting his brother to actually respond to all of them. Of course, the questions merely came from stress and rightfully earned confusion.

"I guess killing Madara was finally enough to awaken it, how I have it is another issue entirely," Hashirama gave a fairly calm answer, and to a bystander the conversation would've looked entirely hilarious if not for the subject matter simply due to the switching of positions of the two brothers in emotion.

Tobirama quickly calmed himself down, giving a deep sigh. He said nothing for a few seconds, looking to be in deep thought. Those few seconds were incredibly long for Hashirama, who was never one to think in the same place for too long. Suddenly, Tobirama brought his head up so fast that it would've given him whiplash if he weren't considered the fastest shinobi alive.

"Follow me."