AN: Well, this one has been a long work in progress. It can be considered a companion to The Chosen Saviours- to kind of explain my story's Madara better. I know I've been a long time in updating TCS, and I'm terribly sorry! School is over in less than a week, so I'll have more time to write. I'm currently working on the next chapter so... Anyways, I hope you enjoy this, R&R! It might seem a bit random, but if you've read any of my other stories you know what to expect. For those that follow TCS I'm trying to choose the next Konohan Team to encounter T7. If you would like to make a request feel free to PM me.
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. Naruto is the property of its creator and My Immortal belongs to the band Evanescence.
As children, no, throughout Izuna's entire life the two brothers had been inseparable. Izuna had been dedicated to his clan and to his brother but hated the killing he had to do as a shinobi. Madara had learned early on not to remark on this ironic circumstance. The two brother's bedrooms were adjoining. Madara had woken that night to tortured, blood-curdling screams from the room next door. He had grabbed senbon and a shuriken and activated his Sharingan. Nobody hurt his brother, his Izuna. Madara threw open the door to see Izuna convulsing on the bed, he was clutching at his head, his screams fading to pained whimpers. As a rule Madara wasn't emotional, but seeing his shivering brother coming out of a nightmare melted his heart.
"Madara? Is that you?" Madara smirked in amusement, his brother should know better than to ask a question when unsure of room occupants- doing so was asking to be killed. Shaking his head he made his way to Izuna's bed, where he had sat up, spiky hair all over the place.
"Yes, little one. What plagued your sleep?" Madara sat at Izuna's side, opening his arms to Izuna as Izuna moved to embrace him. Madara felt the warmth of tears as Izuna rested his head on Madara's shoulder.
"I dreamt I was no longer with you. I had died, and you were left alone. That is my greatest fear Madara," Izuna drew back, fixing Madara with his gentle gaze, "That you will be alone, or that I will be unable to be with you." Izuna wrapped his hand in Madara's hair and placed his forehead against Madara's, looking deeply into his big brother's eyes. "Never forget me Madara. I have a feeling that something is coming. It will be an important time for you and our clan. We will all have to do our parts." Izuna smiled sadly and increased the pressure between them, his fingers kneaded at Madara's scalp comfortingly. "You will have to do what needs to be done. Promise me, Madara, that when the time comes you will remember me and your duty to our clan."
Madara looked at his brother's perfect, tear-streaked face. "I promise, Izuna. I will never forget you. You will forever be at my side. You are my equal in every way, nothing can pry us apart."
"Thank you Madara." Izuna smiled sweetly at his brother, "Let's spar in the morning, maybe you'll manage to tie our score for once." Madara laughed as Izuna stuck his tongue out.
"As if you could beat me Izuna. Now go to bed." Madara made to get up, but was stopped when Izuna grabbed his sleeve.
"Stay with me tonight brother. There is a storm raging outside, I'm surprised you didn't notice and you know how much we detest storms." Izuna twinkling eyes met Madara's as Madara sighed with exaggerated exasperation.
"Budge over," Izuna obliged with a smirk as Madara picked the blankets off the floor where they had been thrown during Izuna's nightmare. "Imagine what the Senju would say if they learned the two Uchiha heirs were afraid of storms."
Izuna laughed. "Go to bed brother, we can worry about re-establishing our reputations tomorrow."
"That we can, goodnight Izuna." Madara combed his fingers through Izuna's hair in a soothing motion. Sometimes he wished these peaceful times could last forever...
"Madara! This needs to be done. You know that if we don't do something now our clan will fall."
"Madara. You said yourself, last night if you will recall, that this truce is needed. You want peace! You hate war, I know. Quit being stubborn and agree to the peace treaty."
"I will have nothing to do with those Senju idiots. They have killed too many of our clan, they are why there can never be peace."
"Madara, that is what peace treaties are for. To ensure peace. To compromise."
Madara levelled a glare at his little brother. The two of them were in the brothers' office. They were discussing the peace treaty that had been proposed by the Senju and the Uchiha clan elders.
"Fine Madara. If I can get the entire clan to agree and petition for it will you allow me to open negotiations?"
"What an enlightening answer Madara. If we're agreed my first term is that you are not to be admitted to the preliminary negotiations."
"Izuna! You are my co-leader. You can't just lock me out of potentially clan-threatening meetings."
"Madara, the point of these negotiations is to achieve peace. You and Hashirama Senju despise each other. He is helping with the negotiations, and as I want to avoid war you will not be admitted to the preliminary negotiation. After it is done then you may join, but only if you can keep a rational mind." Izuna's eyes flashed as they met Madara's.
Izuna threw up his hands and sighed. "You're impossible. I'm going to go speak with Hashirama." He then made as if to stalk past Madara and out the door. Madara grabbed his arm in a vice grip before he could. He spun Izuna around until his back was pressed against the wall with Madara blocking any alley of escape.
"You're mine, Izuna." Izuna gave him an angry look.
"I'm no one's possession Madara. I am your equal. Your more powerful, more mature, more beautiful and more intelligent, equal." Madara rolled his eyes.
"Don't take Hashirama's side. That's all I ask. Do what's best for our clan and don't let him push you around."
"Madara. I will never leave you. You're stuck with me, and I with you. And if you need to demand that I do what's in the best interest for you and the Uchiha then you don't know me as well as I thought you did. I am dedicated to the Uchiha, and to you. Nothing will ever change that. I promise." Izuna had given a soft smile then with reassurance and love blazing in his eyes. Madara had never felt more proud. His little brother was grown up. His little brother was his only match. Izuna was definitely the calmer, more diplomatic of the two. He was also the most terrifying. Madara knew that his own strong, silent persona intimidated and scared people while Izuna was slight and had a bright personality. Madara shivered as he remembered when a Senju associate attempted to kill him; Izuna had plucked the flying kunai out of the air and turned to the Senju with a soft smile on his face. Madara would never forget the Senju's screams as Izuna slowly but surely tore him apart, smiling softly the entire time, eyes twinkling. Yes, Izuna was truly his equal in every way. They complemented one another and Madara did not know what he would do without his brother's familiar presence at his side.
Madara watched Sasuke as the young Uchiha stood at the edge of the cliff. He knew the turmoil and despair running through Sasuke's mind. He would be wondering at the hopelessness of it all. What was he supposed to do with his brother dead? Madara smiled. It was him all over again. Together they would destroy Konoha and avenge the deaths of those they had held dearest. Those dear ones that still lingered on their minds, forever dead to the world. Madara turned his head to watch the flying hawk. Izuna. What he wouldn't give to have him by his side. They would look at this situation and laugh, how stupid the world was. War. That was all anyone cared about. War and power. They corrupted. Madara was just glad Izuna would never be able to see what he had become. He wouldn't have been able to meet Izuna's disappointed eyes. You promised Madara. You promised everything would be okay. He had given Madara his eyes, and subsequently his life. Your fear came true little brother. I am alone, and you are not here.
Izuna had been a skilled healer. Madara reflected on one of their spars, Izuna had drawn blood with a kunai accidentally. Madara had wiped his face of any emotion as his little brother fell into near hysterics apologizing for his carelessness and lack of self-control. Madara had shaken his head and berated his brother for apologizing.
"You need to deal with enemies without hesitation, and that's what you did. There is nothing you need to apologize for, just clean up after yourself." That said Madara had held out his cut arm while Izuna beamed up at him, lightly grasping his arm.
Some healers used unconventional means for focussing their healing chakra. Some needed physical contact while others used visual, Izuna used neither. He would take a deep breath in then breathe on the patient's wound. Madara had once teased him and asked what he would do if a person had a fatal illness, Izuna had given him a hard glare and glibly stated that the mouth was as good a place to breathe on as any. That had promptly shut Madara up.
Izuna leaned over Madara's cut and breathed on it, closing his ebony eyes in concentration as his breath ran through the cut. Izuna continued breathing slowly on the wound, his fingers occasionally tightening and twitching on Madara's arm. His eyebrows drew together in a frown and his lips twitched as he continued to supply a steady stream of air onto the wound.
Madara could feel the cut beginning to close from the inside, the itching sensation steadily made its way closer to the surface until the wound had completely closed. Madara's eyes darted to Izuna again as Izuna turned to him, smiling confidently.
"Done! Can you feel any lasting or life-threatening effects?" Izuna asked teasingly.
"No, it's perfect. Thank you." Madara nodded respectfully, staring in awe at the unmarked skin of his arm. Izuna was a master at his art, wounds healed seamlessly and there was never any lasting pain. It was as if there had never been anything there.
This pain is just too real.
"Damn it Madara! Take them!" Coughed out Izuna, a thin trail of blood trickling out of his mouth.
Madara shook his head, terrified for the first time in his life, "I can't Izuna. There's so much blood… How? No, I can't take them!" Izuna reached a hand up, catching one of Madara's flailing arms. The younger brother slowly twisted the arm until the hand was palm-up before him, Izuna placed a soft kiss on the blood-free palm. Madara had been completely healed by Izuna, unfortunately Izuna had not had enough chakra to take care of himself. Madara had tried to convince him to only close the most serious, but Izuna being who he was had expended his remaining energy for his beloved brother.
"Take them," Izuna looked up at the standing Madara from his kneeling position on the ground. Izuna's beautiful onyx eyes were full of tears, "Please, my brother." Madara trembled, he could barely see his brother's face. He studied it for a moment, wanting to lock it in his memory. The face of his equal, his best friend, the face of his little brother.
"I want you to." The younger of the two whispered, clasping Madara's hand with both of his, "I'm dying and I want to be with you for eternity. We'll fight as brothers. I will not allow you to go blind Madara. If I cannot be with you physically, I will give you sight and stay with you in spirit." Izuna gave a wet cough. "Do it, Madara."
"Don't hate me Izuna" Madara clenched his brother's hand.
"I could never hate you, idiot." A genuine smile graced Izuna's flawless face. Izuna's face was the only part of his body not covered in blood, and now Madara wondered at the irony of it all.
Izuna's grip on Madara's hand tightened as he slowly lead the hand to his right eye. Madara manipulated his fingers into a claw-like vice, perfect for ripping the eyes out of a person's face, tears ran in a torrent down his face as Izuna's eyes locked onto his calmly.
"I can't hate you, because I love you and I would do anything for you. Even this." Izuna plunged Madara's claw-like fingers into his eye socket and just as swiftly ripped them out. The eye remained clasped in Madara's hand as Izuna's agony made itself known to the world.
There's just too much that time cannot erase.
That agonized scream would ring through Madara's mind his entire life. Action from then on had come from that scream and what that scream had embodied. With that scream all love had fled, all notions of a peaceful settlement with the Senju had become dust. From that moment on Madara had planned his revenge. No one fucked with his brother. Specifically no one killed his brother. And they had. They had briefly turned Izuna against him to sign the treaty and then, after getting what they wanted, they had killed him. Madara hated them for it and he let that hatred fuel him. He closed his eyes and shuddered, remembering…
Izuna's screams were heart-wrenching, the pain and sorrow made Madara hate himself for the agony he was causing. Izuna's hands had dropped his in favour of clutching at the bloody cavern on his face. Madara transferred the eye to his other hand and reached forward again, sobbing. He hated that this torture had to be done while the brother was alive. It was horrible. He stared down at his twitching, blood-soaked fingers, his gut twinged and he was glad he hadn't eaten anything recently. He felt nauseous as he recalled the give of Izuna's eyelid and the effort needed to get to the back of the eyeball, the sensation of his fingernails scraping along the inside of his brother's skull as he tore out his eye. The slight resistance Madara had met because of the optic nerve and the squished feeling as he pulled the eye out of the too-small socket. He watched his hand and hated himself for moving it towards Izuna's remaining eye.
Shaking hands gripped his blood-covered one. His brother said something that was lost amidst his screams.
"I am so sorry Izuna" Madara leaned forward and kissed his brother's forehead as his brother's hands pulled his own hand relentlessly forward to his remaining eye. Madara closed his eyes as the now too-familiar sensation of ripping out eyes was repeated. He held the eyes gently in the same hand and looked down at his brother, squinting through his blindness so he could imprint the image of his sin into his memories.
Izuna's gaping and bloody eye-less caverns stared up at him, ruthlessly crying tears of blood. Each drop of blood was an eternity of agony for Madara as he watched his brother's tortured face gather in an effort to scream. Izuna had screamed his voice raw, his agonized and heart-stopping screams had long since faded to soundless whimpers. His gaping mouth was open, Madara could imagine the straining vocal cords as blood from Izuna's eye sockets poured into his mouth. His little brother was literally drowning in his own blood. He watched Izuna's body double over in an effort to cough. There was no sound from Izuna, only the faint sound of drips of blood hitting soft grass.
Madara stepped forward and clenched his brother's shoulder in a strong grip. He leaned down so he could speak steadily into his tortured brother's ear, "I will never forget you, my brother. Thank you, and I will love you eternally. Wait for me, little one." Madara straightened and placed one hand on top of Izuna's head and the other on his chin, still softly gripping the eyes. "I am so sorry Izuna." Madara sharply twisted, a crack being the only indication that anything had happened. Madara dropped Izuna and felt his stomach begin to give on him, tears streaming down his face, he ran away from the brother he had killed. The sounds and images from that night would remain forever imprinted upon his memory, the eyes he now possessed ensured that.
As a child Izuna would often steal Madara's weapons to practice. Madara recalled fondly a time when Izuna had stolen a bag of senbon, the weapon that later became his favourite to use. Somehow Izuna, genius little brother that he was, had managed to get the entire bag of senbon stuck in him. Madara had heard his screaming from the house and had ran to the training green to help his brother, only to find him stuck with the senbon. Choking back his laughter he had slowly knelt in front of his young brother. He had solemnly looked up at the now-silent Izuna, he had taken in Izuna's pout and defiantly crossed arms and he had grinned.
"Need some help?" Izuna looked at him with big eyes, a single tear slowly made its way down his pouting cheek. Madara used his thumb to remove it, smiling amusedly.
"Izuna, you are the only genin I know that could manage to somehow be impaled by an entire bag of senbon." Izuna had stuck his tongue out at Madara then as Madara gingerly began pulling out the sharp needles, leaving any that seemed to be in potentially dangerous locations, "Come, we'll get mother to take care of your wounds, and the rest of the senbon removal." Izuna eagerly grabbed Madara's hand and the two brothers had shuffled their way to the hose.
After delivering his brother to their mother, Madara went to his room. He flopped on his futon and closed his eyes, the image of Izuna still imprinted on his eyelids. He finally gave in to temptation and laughed, rolling on his blankets convulsively. He is never going to live that down. Madara decided his brother's new name then…
"Porcupine" Izuna's six year old eyes stared, un-amused, at Madara's accusing finger. Izuna blinked as the comment settled in.
"Madara!" Laughing, Madara ran out the door into the yard, the look on his brother's face had made any retaliation by him worthwhile. He would always be there for his little brother. He would clean up after him, help him to recover from wounds and tears, and he would definitely be there to tease Izuna about it after...
Izuna's chilling scream echoed through the almost empty house. Madara, who had been working on reports in his room stood up quickly and followed the scream. He walked into the bathroom to see his brother pointing fearfully at the tub. Madara quietly walked up to Izuna and laid a hand on his shoulder.
"What is it?" he asked, as Izuna mumbled incoherent words in response. Seeing that he would get no help from his brother he turned to look into the bathtub.
It was a spider.
"A spider, Izuna? I thought you were being attacked."
"It's big and hairy." Madara snorted.
"Izuna, it's tiny. I could squish it with my thumb." Izuna glared up at him, pouting once again. Madara turned, amused, towards the spider once again. The brothers stood, silently contemplating their dilemma, "Well then, shouldn't you kill it?"
Izuna looked up at him in disbelief, "Madara! It could bite me!"
"Izuna. I'm sure even with your minimal weapons skills you could manage to stab a tiny spider to death without it biting you. Even if it were to bite you, I'm sure you would survive." Izuna looked up at him doubtfully, "Izuna, just be a man already! Kill the stupid spider!"
"Why can't you do it?"
"Because" Izuna raised an eyebrow at the weak response, "I'm not the one that's afraid of it. As a ninja and a part of the Uchiha you have to learn to overcome your fears."
"Madara, would you please just kill the spider?" Madara growled, stupid little brother making him feel guilty with puppy-dog eyes.
"Fine." Madara withdrew a kunai from one of his many sheathes and turned towards the bath tub, "Er, Izuna?" Izuna fixed him with a flat stare, "It isn't there."
Izuna flew up onto the counter, perched on the edge, he stared intently down at the floor. Madara could honestly say he had never seen his brother move that fast before. He watched as Izuna's eyes travelled frantically across the bathroom, intelligently noting escape routes and spider-less surfaces. Madara's eyes lit with mischief, he just couldn't help it.
"I see it…"
"What? Where?" Izuna moved to glare in the direction Madara was looking.
"Right here." And with that Madara lightly moved his fingers up Izuna's spine, he felt his brother shudder as a high pitched scream escaped his lips. Madara withdrew his fingers as Izuna lost his grip on the counter and landed face first on the floor. He threw back his head, laughing heartily until an ominous feeling came over him. His laughter died as he looked at his little brother, or more specifically the murderous aura now surrounding his crouching brother.
"You have ten seconds before I kill you, you bastard." A pissed off Sharingan met Madara's wide eyes as he decided to use those ten seconds to the fullest. Madara squealed and ran out of the room the whole time wondering when his brother had picked up such a vulgar word. As he ran he felt a squish on his foot, screeching to a halt he looked down and saw a crushed spider. He snickered and began running again, he really did not want to know what Izuna would do to him if he caught him...
"You hear that?" Izuna shook his head in response to his brother's question. He activated his Sharingan and held out a hand to grasp Madara's arm. He squeezed steadily in their own code, detailing how he could see three Senju some ways before them. Madara nodded and slowly crouched closer to his brother, waiting patiently until the Senju were out of range. Their mission today was to observe, not kill.
Izuna gave a final squeeze sequence, signalling that the area was clear.
"Well, that was a bit close." Madara observed with a flat tone.
Izuna gave him an annoyed look, "What kind of idiot asks if a ninja can hear something? Did all of that knowledge die when the Elders took your balls?"
"It's true. Ever since they berated you for fighting Hashirama Senju you've been listless. I'm starting to worry I'll have to go on some high profile mission to retrieve your fucking manhood, you pansy." Madara growled and punched at his brother.
"Shut up, those old ones can still be scary when they want to be."
"Considering the fact that we are the heirs to the clan leadership, and not them, they are the ones who should be grovelling, not you." Izuna nodded.
"Don't even start Madara. You know I'm right, I'm always right." Izuna gave him a cocky smile, "I am aware of the precarious balance we are treading with the Senju, but the balance must remain as it is. You can't just go attacking their heir, but even if you did that's no reason for you to be cowed by old people scolding you."
"Izuna, you've never been on the wrong end of one of their lectures."
"That would be because they know what I would do if they were to even try to scold me. You have to admit brother, I am much scarier than you are." Izuna smiled mischievously while Madara rolled his eyes at his brother's idiocy.
"Whatever, let's go report in." Izuna nodded and began walking along the forest floor.
"Oh, and Madara?"
"If they ever go after you again inform them that I will take it as a personal insult. I will not stand for you being bullied by senile idiots that couldn't throw a kunai straight to save their own lives." Madara nodded, "I'm here for you brother. I know you're new to the diplomacy thing, but I will be there if you need any help with the politics of things."
Madara sighed, "Thanks Izuna. I really am hopeless when it comes to talking."
"Well, we both know that I'm the brains of this operation." Madara cuffed Izuna over the head at his words.
Izuna laughed, "And you love me for it. Last one back cooks dinner!" He threw a senbon at Madara and took off, sprinting quietly through the trees. Madara shook his head, smiling before chasing after his brother. Izuna would help him navigate the treacherous politics of their clan, and with both Uchiha genii at the same task nothing was impossible.
But you still have
All of me.
Madara looked down at his brother's gaping eyes. This had had to happen, just as everything was falling together. The Uchiha and the Senju were working together, and their collaboration to build a village had begun the construction of other villages as well as the creation of strong alliances between former enemies. Then something like this happened. Madara sighed, running a hand through his long, unruly hair. He stared down at Izuna's body, thinking. Everything was about to change. Madara knelt next to his brother's body and placed gentle fingers over his eye sockets.
"Thank you" He blinked, sensing a presence. His head shot up as a shinobi landed in front of him.
"What the hell happened here?!" The shinobi was an Uchiha, his eyes were wide in disbelief as he looked at the scene before him. The two leaders of the Uchiha covered in blood, one dead, the other crouched over his body. The Uchiha sentry narrowed his eyes at Madara's hands. "You disgusting monster. Why would you kill him?"
Madara slowly shook his head. He was still getting used to his newly-found perfect sight. Izuna had given him that gift, he would have perfect vision with no possibility of blindness for as long as he lived. Madara felt a change in the air as the sentry tossed a kunai at him.
"Step away from him, blood traitor. I'll be taking you back to the compound for interrogation."
Madara sighed. He would flee away from here, he would be blamed. Deemed a traitor and a murderer by his own clan. With one last sad, lingering, look at his brother's form, he vanished in a swirl of leaves.
I will never forget you. I can't forget you.
Madara watched his brother's funeral. It was a family affair, and Madara was happy to see that the Senju had been banned from attending. He leaned against a tree, surprised that no one had registered his presence. That lack of notice truly showed how the Uchiha clan had fallen- that they would not recognize a possible blood traitor. Disgusting.
The last elder placed a flower on Izuna's casket, a hand lingered on the closed black box as the elder whispered inaudibly to the spirit of his brother. Madara registered this with narrowed eyes. Anything to do with the elders was not to be trusted, they were corrupt old fools that had no ambition for the greatness of the Uchiha. The elder smirked and turned away from the casket to address the family gathered.
"We are here to address the tragic death of one of our own. He was among the best of us, and without equal. It is thanks to his efforts, and his sacrifice that we have peace with the Senju clan. We, the elders, hope that this alliance will provide peace throughout the land. As many of you know, Izuna Uchiha suffered a bitter betrayal. His own blood brother killed him and did the most despicable and selfish act. He stole Izuna's Sharingan to prevent his own blindness. As such we must accept that treachery was a part of Izuna's death. There is no possible way that Madara could have defeated Izuna through fair means. With the passing of our hero comes a new threat- that of Madara. Without Izuna we have no one to curb his strength, as such I would like to declare Madara Uchiha's life officially wanted. If he is seen he is to be killed on sight. We will not allow this treachery and betrayal to breed, nor to carry on the name of the Uchiha. We believe that this attack on Izuna was facilitated by Madara's rage at his acquaintance, Hashirama Senju, being chosen as Hokage over him. No matter the reason, this was a despicable act and the word is to be spread that the life of Madara Uchiha is at forfeit in the Land of Fire and, especially, in Konohagakure. Thank you for your time." The elder finished to a smattering of applause.
Madara glared, seething, at those in the crowd who were cheering. He noted with wide eyes, as those known to be loyal to the elders took note of those who did not applaud. He wouldn't be surprised if there was soon a purge of those Uchiha who were loyal to Madara. He did not care, Madara decided. After tonight, he would have nothing more to do with this generation of fools and hypocrites. He turned to leave, he would return to his brother in the night to pay his final respects and give Izuna his death oath.
He laid the white rose on Izuna's casket reverently. It was night, after the sentry watch. He looked down on the black box, lightly stroking the wood. He hated the fact that it had already been nailed shut and that he would be forever unable to see his brother's face again. Tears ran deep tracks down Madara's cheeks. The Sharingan in one of his eyes would not stop. He wore a cloth patch over it to avoid it interfering with his normal eye. He thought it was a side effect of his brother's sacrifice. He had also noticed that his Mangetsou had also changed- now it seemed like it was a mixture of both his and Izuna's. It was beautiful.
Madara knelt by the casket, placing his forehead on the smooth wood. He began whispering his death oath, "I will destroy them. I will raze Konoha and the Senju if it is the last thing I do. I will avenge your death, and make them suffer a thousand hells for their sin of killing you. And after I have avenged you, I will raise the Uchiha to their full potential. So they will be respected throughout the world once more." With that, Madara used a kunai to cut a deep line across his palm. He rested his palm on the casket. He would not heal that wound. It would heal on its own, and leave a scar so that he would always remember his duty. His duty, from now till the end. He would conquer the world, if only to avenge his brother and to give the Uchiha name the prestige it deserved. The fools that made up the clan now were weak. In order to raise the Uchiha, he would have to achieve immortality. And he would. For his brother, he would.
That first night after Izuna's funeral, Madara dreamed.
He dreamt that he was giving his oath to his brother's spirit. He watched as he gave his oath while Izuna shook his head, shouting silently, his hand reaching out to Madara as if to stop him.
He dreamt that Izuna's eyes, when he had sliced open his hand to seal the oath, had blazed with disapproval and disappointment.
He dreamt that Izuna sensed him watching, and turned his accusing eyes from the past-Madara to the dream-Madara. "Why?" Izuna stared at him solemnly, eyes cutting through to Madara's soul, "Why have you done this to yourself? You will destroy yourself, and all that we worked for. We had peace! And you will give us nothing but war. War and pain. You will destroy the ninja honour." Izuna shook his head sadly as Madara cowered from his brother's ominous prophecy. "You have destroyed us, brother. Hear the pain of a thousand deaths. A thousand deaths which you will cause if you choose to continue down this road of vengeance."
Dream-Madara clutched his head in pain as tortured screams and cries of agony tore through his mind. He felt the heat of an inferno against his skin, the choking presence of smoke, and could smell the burning of flesh. He felt a thousand swords cut his body, the clean slice of the blades stinging before giving way to waves of agonized torture. He shook with it, this prolonged torture of a thousand deaths.
"You will die, brother. Many thousands of times for this oath. You will never rest. You will kill and be killed for eternity. And you will feel the pain of every person you choose to kill. You will become addicted to it, dependent upon it. Death and destruction. War and hate. You will never feel love again, and eventually your love of me and my memory will fade into hatred and resentment. When that day comes you will understand. You will understand just what you have done. And maybe then you will die." Izuna spoke monotonously, but the words still bit Madara like a snake. He could feel the immense pain, the promise of unimaginable pain and dependency.
Izuna's hand reached out, and instead of being stopped it touched Madara's cheek, "I have given you a gift, my brother. Out of love for you I sacrificed my life. Do not let my death have been in vain. Fight your destiny. I may not be physically with you brother, but should you ever need me, rest assured that I'll be there. Watching and waiting. Go now, Madara. Wake up."
"I promise to avenge you Izuna." Madara choked out between sobs, Izuna shook his head and made a dismissing motion with his hand.
"You will not see me again. In your dreams or otherwise. Do what you must, but go now. Awake!"
Madara lurched from the bed, panting. He closed his eyes, he could still feel the phantom pain of a thousand deaths and of Izuna's horrible prophecy. He didn't care, Madara resolved. He would do what he thought was right, Izuna's prophecy be damned.
Madara didn't know whether to scream or cheer. He had just received the message that Konoha had been destroyed by Pein. Why, oh why had that idiot taken matters into his own hands? Honestly, if Madara wanted something, like the capture of the Nine-Tails, done right, it was evident that he would have to do it himself.
He walked to the big antechamber within the cave to await Pein's arrival. The pierced 'diety' had better have a good reason for his insubordination. He had never said to destroy Konoha, only to capture the Nine-Tails. Honestly! How hard was it to catch a blonde-haired, dressed-in-orange, hyper-active, ninja?!
Madara watched Pein and Konan walk in. Konan gave him a level stare as always, Madara just glared until she walked past. Not that they could tell, they could only see his one eye after all. His eye which was permanently fixed into the Sharingan twitched. The chakra needed to maintain it really pissed him off sometimes.
"What happened?" He asked, maintaining a perfectly level tone of voice and facial features. Pein was one of those annoying people who could hear emotions in the voice, and so Madara did his best to cover his true thoughts. He couldn't begin to become predictable after all. Madara cackled, for no apparent reason. He was starting to doubt his sanity at times...
A small breeze blew itself between the two titans, Madara and Pein. Madara felt it tease his face and breathed a slight sigh of relief. Izuna was with him in this. He could still remember his words from all those years ago, and all of those deaths. He felt Izuna's presence around him all the time. He would try to tell himself that it was just his imagination, and that Izuna and his spirit were truly dead, but he couldn't help but hope that somehow, somewhere, Izuna was looking after him and keeping him safe. Like all those times before.
Madara fixed his attention back on Pein as he explained about the coup plot in Konoha, and lamented that it wasn't his fault Konoha had burned. Madara nodded at all the right points. He may be ruthless, but he was still fair and would let others make explanations if a mistake were made.
I've been alone all along.
How he wished he could consult with Izuna. Unfortunately, as much as Madara could feel Izuna's persistent presence around him, he was completely alone. He had been alone for too many years to count. His eyes hardened and his back straightened as he gave a smirk.
He sighed in satisfaction. It was almost time to act. "A coup?" Pein nodded, and Madara felt a malicious grin slowly crawl across his face.
It was time. Everything was coming together. His sadism rose as he imagined Konoha tearing itself apart. Oh, the irony!
Behind Madara Izuna stood, watching in horror as Madara accepted his destiny of blood and war. There had always been chances to turn back before now, but Madara had never truly embraced his destiny. Now Izuna watched as Madara fully embraced it, there would be no turning back. Izuna could only hope that his brother's spirit would not be completely tainted and that there would still be a ninja world after Madara's intended conquest and need for revenge was sated.