Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Credits: The lovely ItaSasu doujinshi: 'The World Since That Day' (hopefully my translation is correct). This idea has been boiling for a long-ass time, but when I read that doujinshi, I was like, OMG kinda-SAME IDEA! Which prompted me to finally expand my story snippet into a full fic :D
Warning: Incest, yaoi, shounen-ai, character deaths (though it's not Itachi or Sasuke). Not really spoilers, but you need to know that there are guys named Shisui and Madara in the Uchiha Clan. OOC? I thought a sorta-brainwashed Sasuke would be cool. Total AU. Rated M, for mature content (I don't want to give anything away D: so I won't say much) dark theme(s).
Notes: Eep. I wrote ItaSasu. While I'm not new to writing fanfics or to the Naruto fandom, I'm a total newbie to the ItaSasu world XD;; This is the first fic for me where ItaSasu is the main pairing, so…! LOL I've been converted to the dark side orz I tried to not make this too graphic and… this is ItaSasu. Fluffy ItaSasu plotbunnies doesn't exist in my collection D:
…Hopefully you'd enjoy despite the dark themes? :D Reviews, criticism, comments, etc would be appreciated! I'd like to know if I achieved the feeling I was hoping to invoke XD
It seemed that even if it's in life or death, the Uchiha Mansion would remain as majestic as ever. Bright red-black-blue-and-orange flames licked every possible corner of the huge building, the heat and destruction spreading like rabid wildfire throughout the Uchiha Clan's plaza.
The name 'Uchiha' possessed the similar meaning as 'royalty'—that was three hours ago. Now, 'Uchiha' meant nothing more than the ash on the ground, the suffocating smoke that rose up in the air, the rubble that was left struggling against the dirty earth.
Uchiha Sasuke, a child of mere eight years, stared up at his home with huge, black eyes. They looked glassy with tears that were still queuing up to be shed, waiting to join the tear-tracks that stood out against his cheeks. The brilliant flames were reflected almost perfectly against young Sasuke's eyes.
He has repeated those words for the past three hours, his eyes tinted red around the edges, his nose alternating between curling in disgust of the smoky smell and sniffing alongside his tears, his body trembling with terror, despair and helplessness.
The Uchiha Mansion was painted pristine white, boasting the immaculate cleanliness, order and discipline—characteristics that the Uchihas are supposed to embody and exude in their everyday tasks. As the Clan that serves as the right-hand to the reigning political party, the Uchihas arewere considered to be the best at every endeavor.
Sasuke loved playing with fire, loved striking a small, harmless match against a matchbox, loved creating that warm pinch of light and heat.
"I'm sorry I loved fires, mother, father," and he continued to chant names of cousins, aunts, uncles, "I'm sorry, please come back."
The darkness from behind the young traumatized kid shifted, and Sasuke was carried into its arms in an awkward, but earnest hold. "It's not your fault, Sasuke."
The child turned around slowly, facing the owner of the emotionless voice. Sasuke's eyes were wide with telltale signs of hysteria. "Mother! Father! Itachi, why didn't you save them?!"
Uchiha Itachi, the genius older brother, the shining star, the pride of the Uchiha Clan.
Itachi's hands wound tighter around his sibling's fragile, shivering form. "I could only save you, Sasuke."
Sasuke's tears continued to fall. The destruction that gobbled up the lives of the whole Uchiha Clan, the murky reddish-black rays that turned everything asunder—all of it continued to march towards the duo that was left out of the catastrophe.
Little Sasuke could see the burnt edges of Itachi's clothes, could see the fresh wounds and scrapes that graced his ever-perfect face, could see the dirt that clung to each inch of skin—Sasuke could see those and could see those not present on his own body and he could only hug Itachi harder.
"You're the only one I have left," Sasuke sobbed, a heartfelt statement even though his heart has just been broken and eaten up by this black fire.
Itachi let out a rare smile, hidden by the soot-stained tendrils of dark hair atop his brother's head, "It is perfect with just the two of us."
- Uchiha Itachi x Uchiha Sasuke -
He became my whole world, since that day…
"Sasuke, don't forget your bento."
Eighteen-year-old Sasuke rolls his eyes, but a small smile played on his face anyway. "I'm not a forgetful person," He protests with an almost-pout, positive that despite the newspaper splayed out in front of Itachi, his brother knows the expression he is making anyway.
Itachi laughs that low laugh—that laugh that Sasuke commented on way too many times, claiming it sounded vaguely creepy. "That's why I had to drive to your school yesterday to bring your food?"
Sasuke flushes slightly, fidgeting with the straps of his bag. Yes, he forgot his lunchbox yesterday, but it wasn't his fault! Besides—"I could have bought my own lunch yesterday."
Itachi lifts his scarlet eyes away from his newspaper. Sasuke curses himself mentally when he felt his cheeks heating up again; he really should be able to withstand Itachi's stares better. How different are Itachi's eyes anyway? He looks himself at the mirror, but he doesn't show this kneejerk blushing reaction to seeing his own eyes.
Sasuke looks away, though he made it a point of holding his chin high, haughty and confident. Itachi chuckles again; Sasuke could hear the undercurrent amusement and superiority in the laughter's notes.
"Don't look away, Sasuke," Itachi reprimands, his voice stern, his visage cold, but his scarlet eyes are intense; and he disappears and reappears within a blink, suddenly invading his younger brother's personal space, "because then, I can do this—"
Itachi shifts his hands, from tapping Sasuke's nose as he spoke, to placing them snug around Sasuke's slim waist.
Sasuke's eyes lose focus for a moment, but then, he sees the clock from behind Itachi, and it happily displays the time, and it was only half-an-hour before school and he still have to ride the subway—
"This is why I left my bento yesterday!" Sasuke protests, though he doesn't shift away, nor does he remove the hands possessively wound around his uniform-clad form.
"Blaming me for your forgetfulness is not very nice, Sasuke," Itachi says and his hands snake away from his brother's waist. Sasuke sighs almost-regretfully and Itachi almost-smiles at his brother's attitude.
"I'll drive you to school," Itachi offers after a split-second lull. Sasuke's eyes are bright as he considers the implications of that offer. It was only a five-minute drive to his high school, given Itachi's driving tendencies. And Sasuke considers the possibility of getting his uniform rumpled and sticky and wearing it for the rest of the day.
Sasuke shakes his head, "I can still catch the train."
Itachi hands him the aforementioned-bento and their hands touch briefly. Sasuke pauses before he seems to think better of it. The last time he gave Itachi a goodbye kiss was the time when the two of them started with a simple goodbye kiss –while fully clothed- near the doorway and ended up with lazy kisses –while entirely naked- near the bathroom doorway.
Sasuke smiles tightly, his lips quirking almost unfamiliarly with the motion.
Itachi smiles back, the expression looking out of place with his entire being.
"Have a safe trip."
And when Itachi closes the door and picks up his newspaper, the expression on his face is nowhere related to that gentle smile.
"I'm surprised that dobe managed to get into the Hyoutei University like me," Sasuke always tells him stories about his day, about how Ebisu-sensei set a bad example to his students, about how Haruno and Yamanaka led his fanclub into practically mauling him, about how his lessons were too easy and he couldn't wait to go to college so he could soon join Itachi in his job. Despite the many stories, there was one person who always appeared in Sasuke's tales.
Dobe. Uzumaki Naruto.
Itachi frowns as he carefully sliced his steak into bite-sized pieces. It annoys him, truthfully, but Naruto appears to be Sasuke's only true friend, so Itachi can't really do anything against the young man.
He reasoned that it might be because they are the same age—both held back by one year. Naruto is incredibly lazy when it comes to studying, granting him red-written scores of F on most of his exams. Sasuke, on the other hand, was held back because of the Uchiha Manor Fire.
It took a little over than one year to convince the welfare services that no, they don't need foster families, and yes, Itachi can take care of both himself and Sasuke and still be able to provide all the necessities. At first, the welfare officials didn't believe Itachi's claim, so they sent the duo under the care of various foster families.
After incidents of the foster parents disappearing, encountering accidents, suddenly being offered an overseas job, wanting a last-minute vacation, and all sorts of things—nobody wanted to have anything to do with the remaining Uchiha siblings, no matter how prestigious their surname was.
After the thirteenth foster family returned them to the social welfare department, Itachi's proposal of the two of them living alone and unsupervised, was finally granted.
Itachi proved himself more than capable of providing food, money, shelter, and clothing for the two of them—earning ample amounts of money from his research work. Sasuke proved to be the only one to coax more than a sentence out of his brother's lips—a feat which all of the foster families failed to perform. Itachi proved to be the only one to withstand the eerie, haunted look on Sasuke's eyes and make his brother smile—something that their foster families never thought to try.
"…How can a dumbass like him get the sports scholarship when I can easily beat him in basketball—"
Itachi's frown seats deeper; it seems that despite Itachi letting his mind wander, Sasuke is still not quite finished with his Naruto-related talk. It is jealousy, he is aware, but admitting it to someone other than himself would only another thing to the long list of sins he has committed, he is committing, and he will commit in the future.
Itachi supposes that it is part of the reason why he wanted to keep all harm away from Sasuke—if Itachi ends up becoming the perfect black blob of shadow, he can only be with Sasuke if Sasuke ended up as his exact opposite, no—his exact complement.
"You really like Naruto-kun, no?" Itachi comments without a trace of a sneer or a frown.
Sasuke splutters, hands waving his utensils around as he denied his brother's accusation. "L-l-like?! How can you talk about that when you know I only—" His brother catches himself from speaking too much, though Itachi's eyes are sharp and he isn't a fearsome prodigy for nothing.
Itachi watches his brother, and tells himself that it's okay that Sasuke likes Naruto as long as he likes Itachi a whole lot more.
The older Uchiha finds himself wishing that Naruto was like those worthless foster families with too-wide-smiles, too-soft-voices and too-bright-eyes, finds himself wishing that Naruto didn't have any sort of bond with Sasuke, finds himself wishing that the remaining pieces of Sasuke's heart will not shatter completely if the blond disappeared.
But as such, there is a very huge risk, and Itachi cannot afford to take it. So, Itachi will have to remain convincing himself that it's okay to share a little, tiny bit of Sasuke, and Itachi will have to remain ignoring the sinister voice inside his head that whispers, no, it's not okay.
"Uchiha Sasuke-kun," A silky voice greets Sasuke on his way home.
Class finished early since the summer vacation is arriving soon and soon, they will be graduates and Sasuke will be a university student. The young Uchiha tilts his head slightly, his mind mulling over the identity of the man with chalk-white skin. His mind comes up with a disappointing blank, so Sasuke regards the stranger with a cautious bow.
"I'd like to speak with you for a while?" The stranger offers, gold reptilian-looking eyes tracking every miniscule twitch of movement Sasuke made.
Sasuke resisted the urge to simply say 'fuck off' to this person because not only does he look like a creepy stalker, he also acts like one.
The Uchiha's earlier anxiety only doubled, quadrupled, as the stranger started saying things that were so nonsense that they actually made perfect sense.
"This is the truth about ten years ago…"
It was ten years ago when Professor Orochimaru met the genius prodigy Uchiha Itachi.
"A young kid as my lab assistant?" Orochimaru asked with more than a little disbelief, his serpent-like eyes didn't bother with masking the curiosity he stared the young Uchiha with. Itachi didn't move, didn't bat an eyelash, didn't frown at the obvious underestimation his new professor gave him.
When Orochimaru's colleagues told him that his new charge was apathetic to the world, the famous scientist didn't think they were speaking the truth. How could someone so young, so naïve, so immature, be like that? It took years, even for someone like Orochimaru, find the necessary apathy needed to survive this world.
Orochimaru, frankly, was surprised that someone from the Uchiha Clan would have interest on science. Especially his specialty branch on science—wasn't the Uchiha Clan the one that is famous for law enforcement and the government?
"Why did you pick this research, kid?" Orochimaru asked as soon as Itachi's chaperones left his laboratory.
Itachi's eyes narrowed, in warning perhaps, with the 'kid' that Orochimaru kept on associating with him. "I want to—"
"The project title you saw was just a cover for my real research," The scientist-professor interjected, gold eyes assessing Itachi's reaction; Orochimaru hoped for disgust, for terror, for disbelief. Instead, Orochimaru saw the kid's lips twitch into a sardonic smile, the expression a sharp contrast against the kid's bland façade.
"I know. The one I'm interested to do is the black fire research."
And it was at that moment, ten years ago, when Orochimaru met with the thirteen-year-old genius whose smile and eyes spoke of nothing but dark ambition, darker than even the flames of the black fire their lab is developing.
"Itachi-kun has played it quite well, if I say so myself," Orochimaru purrs, his tone and actions not betraying any hatred or resentment he should feel for being in prison for almost ten years, for a crime that he didn't commit.
"It was an accident," Sasuke says slowly, obsidian eyes squeezed shut, as though trying to block Orochimaru's persuasive words, Orochimaru's chilling explanations. Sasuke's world seems to be crumbling down, much like how his Clan's home and properties united with the dirt and the ground a long time ago.
Orochimaru simply watched him, looking interested as to how Sasuke would react.
"It was perfect, you see," Sasuke shakes his head violently, but Orochimaru continues, because after ten years, the culprit is finally inching closer to the surface, "It was a secret project so I'm the only one the police can look for."
Sasuke remains silent and Orochimaru inches closer to the young man. He opens his mouth to say something more, to cement the idea of Itachi being the villain in this interwoven story, but his phone vibrates strongly, suddenly on the tabletop.
Orochimaru mutters a clipped 'excuse me' before talking to the person on the phone. Sasuke blankly looks at his pale hands, gripping his schoolbag's straps with so much force that his pale fingers look ghost-white now.
"Let's meet again on Friday, same time, same place?" Orochimaru asks briskly, his hands holding his cellphone tightly. Sasuke shifts his blank stare from his hands to Orochimaru's face.
Orochimaru nods and leans closer to Sasuke, whispering on his ear, "You should take time to think about things."
With that, Orochimaru leaves, and Sasuke's head is buzzing with multitudes of thoughts, all related to Itachi.
Friday, Sasuke thinks bitterly, is the day everyone died.
Sasuke-kun, if you look hard enough, Itachi has a lot of suspicious actions…
Sasuke thinks about how Itachi always refuses to light up matches using his hands—he always asks Sasuke to do them, even though Sasuke knows his older brother knows how to do it.
Sasuke remembers how Itachi will always be finished cooking whenever Sasuke arrives home, as well as how Itachi never cooks as long as Sasuke is in the vicinity.
Sasuke contemplates about how Itachi always avoids Sasuke kissing his hands, his shoulders, no matter what.
Sasuke wonders if those are the suspicious actions Orochimaru is talking about.
"Why are you so late, Sasuke?"
Sasuke sees genuine worry and relief in the Itachi's eyes bored into his, in the way Itachi's hands trembled slightly as they grasped his shoulders, in the way Itachi's lips burned like fire—
Sasuke pulls away abruptly, and drops his schoolbag on the living room couch. Itachi senses his discomfort and moves away, gesturing for Sasuke to sit down as well.
"Is it the police?" Itachi asks with a somber tone.
The younger Uchiha shakes his head, and says, "I don't know if he's one. It's Orochimaru."
Itachi's eyebrow rises up, "I didn't know he was released."
His fingers fiddle for a moment with the remote and soon, the living room was engulfed with the scenario of blood and destruction as the reporter detailed the massacre of the Akimichi and Koimizu Clan at around noontime today. Not only are their properties burned to the ground, their family treasures are also discovered to be missing. The reporter goes on to say that the police is speculating that it must be a large group of attackers who have grudges against existing Clans in the country. The police being interviewed at the moment is Hatake Kakashi, who then proceeds to say that the police's most plausible theory at the moment is that the Uchiha Clan Incident is related to the recent killings.
Orochimaru is then temporarily released because his team of lawyers finally produced solid evidence proving his innocence. The snake-like man is interviewed next and he opens his mouth to say—
Sasuke turns the television off with an inaudible click.
"Be careful, Sasuke, the arsonists might still be looking for the remaining Uchiha members," Itachi says sincerely, and Sasuke falls into his brother's secure embrace without any hesitation. Itachi's hands easily slip inside his uniform to rub comforting circles on his back, palms warm against the coldness he could feel gripping his form.
I have to decide soon, Sasuke thinks, but he knows that there's only one answer. The idea of living without Itachi, without his world, is something that is never an option.
"You better start learning the word 'thank you' so you can thank me for this," Madara comments with a hard tone, sauntering inside Itachi's apartment, acting like he owned the place.
Itachi follows the much older Uchiha into the living room, head still feeling slightly dizzy from the smell of chemicals they used. The ever-present smoky smell of his hands is more insistent now, more real, and Itachi fervently hopes that Sasuke wouldn't notice.
"It's good to have connections, no?" Madara comments again with a lazy nod of his head, while Itachi suppresses the urge to snap the other's fingers because yes, Madara helped him out, but he doesn't have to sound so irritating about it.
"I implanted the Akimichi treasures to the Hyuuga's vault," Itachi says, feeling smug about the fact that he managed to infiltrate one of the more secured places. Madara gives him a clap of approval—the instant his hand met Itachi's shoulder, it took all of Itachi's willpower to not let the black fire run freely across his hands.
Lately, the control of the black fire's flow is becoming more and more erratic.
Itachi makes a mental note to look up meditation techniques; the last thing he wants to do is to accidentally burn his beloved brother because of his carelessness.
"I'm still wondering you know, Itachi," Madara drawls slowly, "if I went for the Uchiha Anniversary Party ten years ago… would you have killed me as well?"
"That's a ridiculous thought," You just got lucky, that's why you're still alive, "Madara-san is like a senpai to me."
Madara laughs, a sonorous sound echoing in the apartment that housed the life Itachi and Sasuke shared.
"Orochimaru volunteered to be a spy, you know. To lure out that brat Sasuke," Madara mutters, his hands itching for a smoke because it's been exactly ten years now since that fateful day and the Uchiha Anniversary Party is a tradition celebrated every decade.
"Sasuke should be home by now," Itachi mumbles, before standing up, moving away from Madara. "I'll go look for him."
"Orochimaru met up with him today," Madara offers the information like it was a cheap piece of data, easily ignorable, "Today is the deadline to bring Sasuke to the headquarters so we can get conclusive evidence on your guilt."
Itachi's scarlet eyes widen marginally, his hands jerkily putting on his coat and fumbling for his car keys.
Madara laughs again, "Don't worry—any evidence against you will be rendered useless by me."
"I have to find Sasuke," Itachi repeats, before he fixes Madara with a piercing gaze, "Be gone by the time we return."
"Orochimaru probably has drugged him now, you know? He values his freedom so he'll definitely bring Sasuke back to the headquarters." Madara sounds amused, and knowing him, he probably is really amused.
Itachi's glare hardens immediately, crossing the distance between him and the older man with rough strides. His hands are clenched tightly by his sides.
"You should worry about yourself more, if Orochimaru sees you," Madara reasons out, not sounding afraid even though Itachi's hands are already fisted at his collar, "That kid doesn't even know about the black fire and he's just useless—"
"Sasuke is not useless," Itachi grounds out, his usually-unaffected composure breaking down and morphing into something enraged and animalistic.
"That kid is a burden to you, isn't he? You can't focus full-time on the black fire because of him," Madara points out, acting as the more practical voice of reason, "Just leave him."
Itachi punches him, unimaginable force hidden in those knuckles despite possessing a harmless-looking frame.
Madara's eyes show a sudden dawning of understanding, taking in Itachi's narrowed eyes and harsh breaths. He laughs again, but this time, it sounds mocking, chilling. "You're a sick, sick man."
Itachi smiles, and if Sasuke only knew how right he is about it being creepy and evil—it was a human expression only bringing misery on its wake.
"Sasuke is my whole world."
"It's nice to see you again, Sasuke-kun," Orochimaru remarks with practiced ease. Sasuke returns his greeting with a dismissive nod of head.
"I've decided," Sasuke says, with only a little hint of hesitation.
Orochimaru's expectant smile grows at hearing the young man's words. Of course, he is prepared for all possible outcomes, but Sasuke looks like he might join their side in the end.
"I… I know where Itachi always locks himself up. He brings some briefcases there… sometimes."
"Sometimes?" Orochimaru asks, milking the situation for what it's worth. Sasuke almost looks fragile, sitting there, perfectly-ironed clothes encasing his figure. It seems that Itachi doesn't treat Sasuke too well, since he seems okay with volunteering information about his brother—evidence that will soon lead to Itachi finally getting what he deserved.
"Sometimes we go there on the way home, but he doesn't always fetch me," Sasuke explains and Orochimaru notices that Sasuke looks a bit meeker today. He decides it's because of the uncertainty of doing the right thing, of saying things that should have stayed as secrets.
"Can you bring me there?"
Sasuke blinks, before he looks down, contemplating the next step.
"This is the place?" Orochimaru asks, pushing the door open and closing it behind him cautiously. Despite the dim lighting, there are indeed briefcases that most probably contain samples of the black fire research that Itachi is doing on his own.
"Are you taking those briefcases?" Sasuke asks, lingering behind Orochimaru, but that's okay because the briefcases' contents are most likely dangerous for people like Sasuke, people who have no idea how the handle it.
"Yes. I appreciate your assistance with this, Sasuke-kun," Orochimaru says, busying himself with collecting the briefcases. He figures that he should just bring the briefcases to the headquarters instead of calling first, because his hands are currently occupied. His complete freedom is within reach and his revenge for Itachi's little stunt of framing him for his crimes will finally be achieved.
"No, this is to show my thanks." Sasuke says and there is something in his tone that prompts Orochimaru to turn around and look at the speaker.
With the insufficient lighting of the empty warehouse, Sasuke almost looks like Itachi, grayish hair, lines beneath piercing eyes, lips set in a cruel smirk.
"Thank you for telling me those things," Sasuke clarifies, walking closer towards Orochimaru. The meekness the snake-like man saw earlier has vanished, along with the hesitation and the child-like nervousness.
Orochimaru's hands are occupied with holding the briefcases and he can't drop them hastily—the black fire samples are very volatile, after all. He warily shifts to feel for his gun but he can't feel its usual pressure against his hip. Orochimaru slowly crouches down, preparing to carefully slide down the important briefcases in his hold.
At this angle, with Orochimaru kneeling and Sasuke towering in front of him, Sasuke's eyes look as red as Itachi's.
Orochimaru's blood runs cold at the thought of Itachi, once again, thwarting his plans.
"Those were certainly interesting information," Sasuke comments with an edge of something sinister coloring his words, "though don't you agree that the truth always sounds so irritating when it's said the second time around?"
"I'm back," Sasuke calls out into the apartment, leaving his slightly-muddy shoes outside. His once-pristine-looking uniform is streaked with dirt and grime, rumpled in a very displeasing way.
Sasuke is not expecting Itachi to call out, "Welcome back," from the kitchen though. He can hear the sound of running water from the entrance to their apartment.
"I thought you said you'll be at work until late today…?" Sasuke asks, unbuttoning his shirt so he can dump them in the laundry. He feels sticky with sweat and it is an unpleasant feeling.
"My work finished early," Itachi's gaze catches his ruffled and dirtied appearance and raises a questioning brow. "You're supposed to have early dismissal today."
Sasuke winces slightly, rubbing at a sore spot on his elbow. "I got held up by bastards on the way home."
Itachi pauses while washing the kitchen knife. The chopping board is ready along with some freshly-washed vegetables and the knife gleams from beneath the fluorescent lights.
"Dinner can wait," Itachi decides, "I'll treat your wounds first."
Sasuke protests but allows his hand to be taken, easily accepting the doting Itachi showers upon him.
Itachi asks Sasuke about his day, hums and nods at appropriate intervals, taunts Sasuke at some times, but doesn't mention Orochimaru. Sasuke tells tales about his teachers and his persistent fangirls, flushes when teased and prods at Itachi when he seems disinterested, and also neglects to talk about the man he met earlier this afternoon.
It is an illusion of normalcy—with two brothers, two lovers, contently wrapped in their happy home.
As soon as the last band-aid was placed upon the cut on Sasuke's hand, Sasuke reaches up and pulls Itachi's head down for a passionate kiss. Itachi returned the aggressive movements with equal –or even more- fervor, nimble fingers scattering searing touches across Sasuke's back.
They kissed everywhere, as though the two of them were separated for a long time and were just reunited, losing sense of the surroundings and somehow ending up with Sasuke sitting on the kitchen table, with Itachi nestled between his legs. Itachi lips are now marching down from Sasuke's chin to his collarbone, leaving red marks on its path. Marking Sasuke, reaffirming the fact that became the real truth since ten years ago—
"It is perfect with just the two of us," Sasuke breathes out against the reddened shell of Itachi's ear, legs tightening their hold around Itachi's slender hips.
They were perfect: perfect actors, perfect matches, perfect accomplices.
Those were the last words spoken during the rest of evening, as Itachi and Sasuke immersed themselves in the darkness and each other, and Madara's eyes could only watch them from its resting place on the kitchen floor.