For CraZZy88 on her (belated) birthday.

Power, Dreams and Dreams of Power

There is a bond of understanding between men in a position of power. They understand that sacrifices must be made, and that power comes with loss and that alliances are necessary but not desired. Why be willingly dependant on others when one can be one's own master?

It is with such a bond of understanding that Uchiha Madara found himself in the presence of Senju Hashirama and his younger brother. He found the elder tolerable company. Though his blood coursed like molten fire through his veins at the knowledge that this man before him was considered by the outside world as his match and equal, though the song of battle threatened to spur his gifted shinobi body into an exhilarating test of just how much of a truth this may be, Madara kept his surface cool. If for no other reason that, as his equal, this man was more like kin than even his clan.

"I propose a village. An alliance of the two greatest clans of the shinobi world. It makes no more sense for us to fight, Madara-san."

That did not mean, of course, that Madara would agree to tie himself down with the man.

"You see it as fighting. I see it as the healthy competition of superiors. Don't be so soft, Hashirama. You're a shinobi, not a Daimyou. We fight, not delegate."

What did the man honestly think he was trying to do? It was obvious, as it had been for a while since he'd stopped responding to their attacks, that Hashirama was infatuated with some novel new-age idealism that clans of fighters could become a continental organisation. A commercial university. He saw senselessness in death. However, Madara saw through his eyes, his brilliant powerful eyes. And without their current way of life, the shinobi would become weak and useless and would fade under idleness and naivite. With nobody to better them and nobody to make them stronger.

"True. Which is why unlike Daimyou I do not seek to monopolise, Madara. This is a proposition of alliance, of mutual assistance, to not only avoid the deaths of our own but to revolutionise the way of the ninja. The need for us is changing. We are no loner needed as soldiers, but more and more we are becoming silent assassins, bodyguards, spies, even medics. Our market has changed, Madara-san. It doesn't take a genius to know what happens when a producer doesn't meet demand. Simple business."

Ah. Business. A passionate speech for one who preaches about 'business'. We are men of power and he understood him well. How far the victorious battles, spoken acclaim and notoriety have gone to his head. He would have been disgusted. In a way, he was. And he certainly wouldn't agree to it, out of principle and out of pride for his clan. He was their leader and he would not lead them to ruin. Not he. Yes. Everything Senju Hashirama was saying was disgusting. However…

"Otouto, I see Madara-san is reluctant. This may take longer than the night. Please return to the camp and make arrangements for our crossing into Fire country. We leave in a week."

The younger brother gave his aniue an assenting glance before leaving seemingly on a gust of the wind. So obedient. Relaxing his stance, Madara unfolded his legs and lay back on his elbows, popping a few slices of seasonal plum in his mouth.

"Mmm. Your brother seems enthralled by your guise as well, Hashirama. Your acting skills are overshadowed only by your skills as a shinobi. Does he know your true purpose for this game of house you propose?"

The Senju leader started. Madara smirked a smirk every bit as lazy as his aura. He had no reason to be tense; the proposal itself was disgusting, but the advantages were starting to look…appetising.

"I have been nothing but honest with you. In the largest sense. I'm afraid any ulterior motive you may suspect of me is misplaced."

Ah. There we go. Convinced of the sheer virtue and truth of his little fantasy. Like a little girl playing with her dollies. Happily every after, indeed.

"On the front, yes very honest. But can you tell me, honestly in the largest sense, that while laying in your bed roll at night, thinking fondly of thisdream of yours, of you, your clan, my clan and every other clan willing to indulge you, that your thoughts didn't turn hot with the simple facts of it. I would always be there. I would be inside those pretty wooden walls for as long as your little fairy-tale lasts. Accessible. The fairy-tale princess in your fairy-tale castle." He purred, and licked the last of running plum juice from his lips, eyes intimately locked with the other man. His rival. His kin. His lover.

Hashirama tried to hold his gaze, but failed to do so as it locked longingly and with such familiarity to the widening expanse of pale chest as it peered seductively from the summer-night yukata. It had been weeks since their last encounter, one that had had been full of tension that even their climax failed to release, unlike the heated worship of beautiful trained bodies and the mind-blowing unity of kindred souls that was fuelled so heartily by the fruits of the forbidden, that they had been indulging in for the last few years now. Passionate though Hashirama's dream was, Madara's obstinate absence through it all had begun to weaken his resolve, making him question which passion what greater: that of his dream or that of his lo…kinship with this man.

"My clan are proud, you know, Hashirama-kun. You should feel a bit silly coming here to propose such a thing to a clan head whose kinsmen would be all too quick and willing to shoot it down." He saw the other man frown and once again match his gaze. The tension had returned again. Idly, Madara wondered if this was why men bemoaned their marriages. The Senju remained silent, holding eye contact as though failing to do so would be to lose his resolve. As if overcoming this obstacle would make it stronger.

Crawling over the soft padded cushions garnishing the floor of his tent, Madara moved his face close to his lover's, letting his breath fan over his skin causing the other man's own to hitch as his eyes fluttered shut. Madara knew what he did to him, how his mere presence affected him. Years of unpleasant encountered followed almost surely by the raw forbidden feel of skin against damp skin and languid gyrating hips had the man almost trained to response.

Moving his mouth, that ever smirking mouth, next to the shell of the other shinobi's ear, he purred a whispered promise that he knew would see him thrown down on his silken adornments and ravished beyond the end of pulsing hot oblivion. He could feel his loins stirring at the thought. "Hashirama-kun." He purred, guiding the other man's hand under his yukata to his hardening arousal. "Let's finish this conversation, ne?"

The conflict was immediate and rampant in Hashirama's eyes. His resolve, the guise of a tall strong oak that had his brother near infatuation, was close to breaking under the smouldering dark looks and sex-laced voice of his other half. But it could not break. It could falter but would not break. He…needed from the other man something he could not give. He needed something to live for, and he would not let Madara take both,. It would be one or the other.

"You know I want to touch your body, Madara, as I have always done. But you also know what I long for and you won't give it to me. I have already given you the most precious thing I can give, with no promise of return. I cannot let you have my dreams as well."

Madara felt like a bucket of ice-cold water had been thrown over him. Why couldn't the man just live and let live? A promise of return was the catch? To get him to stop this ridiculous campaign that would surely destroy his clan in the end, with himself at the reigns, a promise of return? Of something he could not allow himself to give, not any Uchiha could give. It was such dangerous business, that of the heart…

Raising himself from his position, Hashirama's hand slipping from it's place on the warm bulge beneath his clothes, he extended his hand towards the other man, glancing meaningfully towards the large bedroll on the other side of the large tent.

He may not have been able to give return. He may not have been able to willingly give him his mind's ideal. But they could give each other, if indefinite for how long, their body's needs and, even though they would not speak it, their heart's desire.

Because Hashirama had his dreams, and Madara his own.