"Good Morning." A stranger said to me as soon as my eyes were opened. I quickly sat up in alarm. Who was he? And what was he doing at the foot of my bed? "I won't hurt you." He said in a laughing turn, walking around the bed to my side. I scooted away from him and almost fell off the side of the bed. Frowning, he crossed his arms. "You don't believe me?"
"Of course I don't! I just met you, how could I trust you?" I snapped at him, still trying to be as far away from him as the bed would allow me to. I had no idea where I was so bolting for the door would have been pretty useless and every window was on the side as that guy.
"It's me." He said, expecting me to suddenly know. But I didn't. This is our first meeting, how should I know him? He is certainly weird, which makes me want to stay away from him more. The freak thought he knew me. "Stop playing around and get over here. Your wounds are going to open if you don't stop straining yourself to stay at the edge of the bed." He said a bit more forcefully. Now that he mentioned it, I had a nagging pain in my abdomen that was crying for me to get out of this position.
Feeling defiant, I didn't do as he said. The man let out a sigh and suddenly it felt like snakes were crawling around my body. I looked down to see tree roots encircling me. What the hell was going on? I tried wriggling free of them, ignoring the pain that came with my struggle, but it only made them tighten on me faster. "Stop moving, you'll injure yourself further. Listen to me Madara, stop being stupid." He growled. I looked around the room. Nobody else was around. Was I Madara?
Seeing my stupified look, he seemed to share my confusion. "Madara?"
". . . yes . . .?"
"Who am I?"
". . . I don't know."
Suddenly the tree roots came off of me and my body fell limply against the bed. I didn't move because the pain was excruciating. He walked around the bed and I wanted to move away so bad but I couldn't. "I'm so sorry." He apologized, his hand suddenly caressing my cheek. His hands went down to my abdomen and immediatly I wanted to move. "Be still for me, please." He asked in a velvety tone. I did as he said and I could feel some cloth being removed from my torso.
Seeing a green glow emitting from where his hands were, I couldn't help but try to look. "Please keep your head down." He asked, eyes not looking from his hands. What was he doing?
When the pain started to subside on my stomach I relaxed on the bed more. Whatever he was doing, it was helping.
The glow slowly went away then he looked back at me. "Stay here and I'll be right back. Don't move otherwise it will open again." He ordered. I didn't nod and he didn't look like he expected me to respond in any way in the first place. When the door shut, I knew he was gone.
Who was he? And did he really know me? Was my name Madara? As much as I wanted to believe he was telling the truth, I couldn't be sure.
Disobeying the man that was here, I moved my hands and I could feel the bandages that were on my abdomen. What had happened? Was I in an accident? Would this wound be fatal?
I wish I knew the answers to these questions.
WIth a light sigh, I rested my hand back by my side. "You were injured badly." I jumped and turned my head to see the man back once again. How did he sneak into the room? "My brother did this to you, I'm sorry." He apologized, running his hand over my wound. I flinched a bit at his touch.
"Who . . . are you?" I asked.
"Hashirama Senju, leader of the clan that you hate more than anything. I'm your biggest rival." Hashirama replied.
"If you're my biggest rival . . . why are you helping me?" I asked, taking a moment to breathe in the middle of my sentence.
"Because I don't like being cruel." he said, brushing some of the hair that was covering one of my eyes to my side. I could feel a small burning sensation in my cheeks. "What Tobirama did to you wasn't fair and it wasn't at all part of the deal," His hand caressed my cheek once again and the sensation in my cheeks grew, "he was just angry at you . . ." His eyes were half-lidded as he looked down at me and I knew my eyes probably looked the same staring back up at him.
Some comforting, trusting feeling filled me and I felt like I could believe him. Like I should've known that he was telling the truth. I put my hand against his and his stopped moving completely. "Hashirama." The word just seemed to flow out of my lips as if I've said it so many times before. He leaned down a bit and my hand went from his hand to his cheek. This touch seemed so completely new to me. It didn't seem remotely familiar at all. Maybe we weren't like this. We weren't as close as this at all.
He suddenly came so close to my face when his hand moved away from my cheek. My other hand automatically moved to the unoccupied side of his face. My thoughts became clouded with lust when I started pulling him closer. Both of our eyelids dropped slowly as he got close. When he got close enough that I could feel his warm breath against my skin, he pulled back, stopping anything from happening. Hashirama took a few steps back then tried to compose himself. I tried doing the same but my face would not stop burning.
What was I just about to do? I just found out his name not too many minutes ago, why did I want to kiss him? What made me want to do that? What?
"Maybe it would've been best to take you to your clan, I can't do this." He half laughed.
"You can." I said to him, not entirely sure of what I was saying. What can he do?
"You believe I can?" He said the same way he said his first statement.
"I . . . do." I said. I was shockingly telling the truth. I trusted him. I don't know what was in me that made me trust him but I did.
"Do you even know what I have to do?"
"No . . . but . . . I feel like I can . . . trust you . . . Hashirama."
"You think I can take care of you while keeping you from the rest of my family? The only people who know that I have you in my room right now is my brother, Tobirama, and no one else. On top of that, I don't know if what happened a few seconds ago will happen again. Will I be able to stop myself from taking advantage of your momentary blindness to everything that is you? I don't think I can and I'm debating whether or not to return you to your clan. Izuna(1), your brother, probably could do a better job. He knows you better than I do."
"You're the only one I trust. Who knows how long it will take me to trust 'Izuna?' For now, you're good."
"Hearing such trusting words from your lips is almost shocking."
"You're the only person I know right now Hashirama. If I can't trust you, who could I trust?"
The door suddenly opened and my body stiffened. I know that wasn't Hashirama, so who was it? "Has he woken up yet?" A mystery person asked. I closed my eyes to feign sleep and didn't try to quell my curiosity by looking to see who it was.
"Yes, and he doesn't remember anything." Hashirama said to the person who came in. My eyes opened, no use trying to fake it.
Standing in front of Hashirama was a man, about an inch shorter than Hashirama, with spikey white hair. He turned around and looked at me with red eyes. His eyes didn't look at all like Hashirama's which once again begged the question: who was he? "This is my brother I told you about, Tobirama(1)." Hashirama explained when the white haired man stepped towards me. So this was the guy that injured me and made me forget everything. Nice to meet you, jerk.
"It's bleeding through the cloth." Tobirama said to his brother. Hashirama nodded.
"I know but I can't change it. It would involve Madara sitting up and I don't think that's good for his wound at all."
"It'll help in the long run though. I don't think Madara would want to get an infection." He replied back. I didn't like him, he hasn't tried at all to apologize for anything. And that stupid red paint or whatever on his face made me think of an indian.
"Okay, I'll need your help then. I'll try keeping him from moving while you change the bandages." Tobirama began to laugh aloud.
"You just don't want to hurt him when removing these, do you?"
"I'd rather not."
"So you give the job to me, of course. A grown man hiding behind his younger brother."
Hashirama didn't say anything back to that, he instead just walked to my side. He ran his hand through my hair, which felt great even though it made my cheeks tingle once again. "Please try to stay still." He asked. Suddenly roots began to pull me up above the bed. One strong strand wrapped around my head, another one was around my waist, and lastly one was around my feet. I didn't panic, to my surprise and to the others around me.
I trusted this would not hurt me.
"Not even a little bit of defiance, this is different from the great Uchiha leader. I guess you are right that he doesn't remember anything. Of course, if he did remember, he'd probably fight for me not to do this."
"Why?" I asked abruptly.
"Shhhh, just relax Madara." Hashirama said.
Suddenly I could feel the bands of cloth that once were around me begin to be stripped off of my body. It stung a bit but I tried not cringing or showing signs of discomfort.
It was when the new bandages were being put on me that I started biting my tongue to stop myself. It hurt so bad when he pulled tight on the bandages, compressing my wounds. Tobirama wasn't trying to be gentle at all. I wish that Hashirama would've done this. He's gentle . . . at least I think he is.
When I felt my body descending, I sighed in relief. The pain was over. "I think we should change his bandages every few hours or so, he's bleeding badly. I thought you patched it up." Tobirama said to Hashirama. Every few hours? I don't think I can endure that!
"I did but because he was moving earlier, they opened and I couldn't do a good job when I was trying to fix it."
"The next time we go to change it, you will have to redo what you did then."
"I don't want to cut him open Tobirama."
"Your stitches came undone, you'll have to." He snapped at his brother. I gulped. He had to cut me open?! "Unless you want me too. I might hit a nerve or accidentally stab a vital organ in the process." The way he said it was way too sadistic for me. I slowly inched over in the bed but Hashirama put his hand on my cheek to make me stop.
"Stop freaking him out."
"Oh, I didn't notice I was doing that."
"Why don't you go downstairs and get Madara some soup. I bet he's hungry since he hasn't eaten in two days." Hashirama suggested. I could hear some protesting murmurs from his brother but when I heard the door slam shut, I felt a sense of relief run through my body. "You are hungry, aren't you?"
I hadn't noticed it before but I was starving. Right now I feel like I can eat anything. "I am."
"Good, I wouldn't have wanted to send him to get something for nothing." Hashirama chuckled. I turned my head onto his hand and started rubbing my cheek against it.
"Hashirama," I said in a pleading voice, "could you change my bandages instead of him?" Hashirama pulled his hand away and I looked back up at him.
"I think he should do it though. He's better at wrapping the bandages than me. Plus, I don't want to hurt you." He explained.
"But it hurts when he does it." I said.
"If it hurts, it's working." Hashirama sighed.
It went silent in the room after that. We basically have nothing to talk about. Well, we would if I would ask him the question that is now burning in my mind. What was our true relationship before? It seems like he could be my . . . lover. He's kind and sweet to me. He doesn't want to hurt me and his touch could calm me in an instant. It's very comforting and I'm wondering if it's normal for him to do that. More and more I keep doubting the fact that him and I were rivals. There's no way rivals would act in this manner. He must've had some feelings for me in the first place to take care of me.
"What are you thinking?" He asked, studying my face carefully.
"Just . . . trying to think of how it was before . . . and what our relationship was." I confessed. His cheeks turned a light shade of red.
"We were rivals. You're head of the Uchiha and I'm head of the Senju. Both of our clans hated each other so naturally we were enemies."
"Well, of course that but what is our relationship behind the scenes? There must be something because." I stopped talking because the door opened.
"Some other time." Hashirama whispered to me.
Tobirama walked over to me and in his hands was, sure enough, a bowl of soup. Carefully, Hashirama sat me up. It hurt a bit but I was okay with it. A tray was set on my lap and on top of that was the bowl of soup. "Chicken noodle soup, don't like it, don't eat anything." Tobirama said to me. He seemed a bit angry with me but I have no idea why.
Before I could show any sign of gratitude, Tobirama was out the door. I turned back to the soup. It looked good. Though it looked like something was missing.
"Eat." Hashirama urged me, sitting at me side. He watched as I picked up the spoon in my right hand and brought it to my lips. As soon as I tasted it, I knew there was something missing. The soup that I usually had was different from this. "Something the matter?" Hashirama asked.
"There's . . . something missing."
"I don't know . . . I just know there's something missing."
"Well, there's many things that people put in the soup: ketchup, salt, pepper, hot sauce-"
"That's it!" I said, amazed that I could even recognize that.
"Hot sauce? Heh, not surprising Madara," He chuckled, putting his hand to my cheek then softly brushing his fingertips against it as he pulled it away, "I'll go get it for you." And with that, he was gone.
I looked back to my soup and thought of the conversation I was trying to start earlier. There was another thing that hinted our relationship. He keeps brushing his hand against my cheek. And it was not surprising for me? Did he know that I liked hot sauce? Have we had a meal before together?
When I ate, he watched me with a loving expression like he wanted to resume what we almost did earlier. Like at that moment, he wanted to push the spoon away and quench my thirst with his love being poured into me by his lips. I would not need the heat of the hot sauce for this because any touch from him makes me warm.
Then I had to think what if all this was one sided? What if we had been truely just rivals earlier and all this time I've always had this longing to be with him like this? For him to take care of me when I felt bad and for him to whisper sweet nothings in my ear. Did I want him or did I already have him?
It dawned on me again that we were rivals. Maybe because of these so-called clans we belong to, we can't be together for it would be treason. It made sense that way. But we could have this Romeo and Juliet relationship where we're actually together and under the moonlight we spend our time together just as any lovers do. Picturing Hashirama as Romeo was a satisfying thought. He was just as enticing as Romeo. Although, me in a dress as Juliet didn't seem to fit.
My thoughts subsided for the moment when Hashirama returned with a miniature sized bottle of hot sauce. "This is all we have. We don't usually use it and it's shocking that we even have this stuff." Hashirama said, setting it next to my bowl. "You don't have to use all of it."
I picked up the small bottle, unscrewed the top, then poured out the flaming red liquid into the bowl of soup. It turned the broth into a ruddy red color when I finished pouring all of it. "Do you think that's too much?" Hashirama asked, staring uneasily at the bowl. For some reason, this amount seemed perfect, if not, it needed more.
"No." I said, going to take another spoonful of the soup. Hashirama watched as I gulped it down without so much as breaking a sweat.
It wasn't hot at all.
"Too hot?" Hashirama asked.
"No, it's . . . not hot enough." I said. Hashirama's face showed a sign of shock.
". . . you need . . . more hot sauce? And here I thought that that would be too much for you to use." He said.
"You said you had no more, it'll be fine." I explained.
"Are you sure?"
I finished the bowl without once complaining about it being hot-because it wasn't. Though after having it, I wanted more. I decided not to ask for more since they were out of hot sauce.
Hashirama stood up and took the bowl from the tray. He looked down at me then smiled, "You're still hungry, aren't you?"
"Yes." I said, blushing a bit from embarassment.
"Don't worry, it's understandable."
"I'll be fine though . . ."
"No, I'll get you something else. What do you want?"
"I don't really care what . . ."
"Okay." Hashirama said, then walked out of the room.
As soon as he was out, I remembered that I had to resume our talk about out relationship. I exhaled deeply but I decided to wait longer to talk about it. After all, I am still hungry . . .
I sat in silence until he returned since there was no one to talk to and basically nothing to talk about. When he returned, he had another bowl. He set it down on my tray and sat down next to me. "It's ramen. Normally I don't eat away from my family but I don't feel hungry and I'd rather you eat." He said kindly. Suddenly I wasn't as hungry as I was before.
"Hashirama, it's yours." I said, picking up the bowl to give it to him. He put his hands over mine and guided it back onto the tray. "I don't feel right eating now."
"So I went through all of that trouble to get you food for you to refuse it?"
"I . . . darn you." I said, picking up the chopsticks and slurping up a few noodles. "These are good."
"My mother's a good chef." Hashirama agreed.
Although I didn't want to, I ate all of the soup. I was full after that and even Hashirama could tell. When he came back from bringing the bowl downstairs, I decided to resume our talk. I want to know about our relationship before and I will find out. "Hashirama, about what we were talking about earlier . . ."
"Ah, yes, our relationship. We were rivals, there was nothing else to it."
"Yeah, but I have to disagree. You act so . . . loving towards me. Everything you do for me, you do it with care. You're so gentle and . . . you don't want to hurt me. You seem to know that just by putting your hand against my cheek, you calm me down, no matter how mad or sad I may get. There's something else that was between you and I, Hashirama."
Hashirama stared at me for a minute or two before saying anything. "Maybe I just want to be nice."
"Or maybe we . . . maybe we were lovers!" I said, probably louder than I had originally wanted it to be.
"And what makes you think that?" He questioned. Maybe I hit the dot and he wants to see if I truely know of what he's talking about.
"Everything. Everything that has happened since I woke up earlier."
"Just friendly actions."
"You would caress a stranger's cheek and know that they love hot sauce just by looking at them?"
"I was trying to calm you down and as for the hot sauce, you're an Uchiha. What Uchiha doesn't like hot sauce? That's why it was no surprise." He explained. I pursed my lips he was countering everything I was throwing at him.
Then I remembered. The very first event that happened. "You almost kissed me." I stated plainly. He looked to the ground, blushing, and I saw him mutter a curse word. I knew it. Him and I were more than just rivals. It was like a Romeo and Juliet relationship, wasn't it? "So I'm right, aren't I?"
"In a way . . . yes."
"In a way?"
"Well . . ." He began to say but just like earlier, as soon as I started getting to the juicy parts of my conversation, Tobirama came in.
"We have to change his bandages and you have an 'operation' to do on the patient." Tobirama said, standing right at my side. I glared at him and he returned it harsher. It was like he was literally going to throw a dagger at me with his eyes. I looked away quickly.
Like before, the roots came up and held me above. It didn't come as a surprise this time so I wasn't alarmed by it. Slowly, Tobirama began peeling off the bandages as fast as he could. I hated him at the moment. He knew that would hurt if he did it fast. Strip by strip, he took off the bandage and every one was like hell. It hurt so bad. when he was getting down to the end, I had to say something. "Hashirama!" I cried, clenching my teeth.
"Go slower Tobirama. Don't hurt him." He said harshly to his brother. Tobirama breathed through his nose then started pulling the bandages off carefully.
I expected then for Hashirama to come and sooth me by brushing his hand agianst my cheek but he didn't. I guess he didn't want to do anything because of the recent discovery that I had made.
(1) Tobirama and Izuna are the actual names of their brothers. It was released in Masashi Kishimoto's 3rd data book