"Can I come in? I have to ask you something," Izuna spoke with a careful gentleness as he stood outside of his sister's bedroom. He knew that Mikoto was really upset right now, and didn't want to put her through any further discomfort – so he made sure to be very selective with his tone and choice of words.

"Izu-Chan, is that you?" She called out, in a tired voice.

Izuna slid the door open just enough to poke his head in and offer a kind smile. "Yes, do you mind?"

She shook her head, to show that she didn't mind, and her brother stepped lightly into the room. Izuna paused then, and took in his surroundings. Mikoto was lying down on her back with so many blankets packed up atop her that it was impossible to detect the gentle curve of her breasts, or the up and down of her shoulders as she breathed. She was nothing but a heap of warmth and illness and despair, and she'd been that way for nearly a week.

"How are you feeling? Any better? Or are you still not ready to talk about it?"

Dry chapped lips parted for a moment, and Izuna was certain that she'd finally tell him what was wrong. When asked if she was in need of medical assistance, Mikoto had answered that she knew exactly what was troubling her and a doctor would not suffice. She wanted time to be alone in her grief – although no one else was quite aware exactly what it was that she was grieving.

Unfortunately, Mikoto's lips sealed themselves shut again, just moments after she'd opened her mouth, and she stared past Izuna into the hallway. He too turned back and nearly snarled in fury as he was greeted with the oddly smug features of his guardian. To a passing man, Hazuki must have looked beautiful. She wore a flowing kimono that pooled gracefully at her feet like a long deep blue river, and it accented the feminine lines of her build. Her hair was combed down her back and hung to her waistline as a glossy forest of deep brown curls.

Izuna saw only imperfection. She may have come up with their family name, but that didn't make her any less the outcast. Her eyes were too light. Darker than most, perhaps – but they would never shine with the iridescent obsidian of a true Uchiha. They would never deepen to an aggressive red – as Izuna's own orbs were now. Uchiha eyes were starting to be legendary.

More and more distant relatives of Izuna and Madara's were discovering where their family had settled, and they were making quite a name for themselves. With the Senju clan's somewhat recent establishment in a nearby area, it was now becoming common for a young Uchiha child to discover around ten or eleven years old that Uchiha eyes were special.

Madara called it Sharingan.

He'd explained why he'd thought up that name to Izuna once, but the younger Uchiha brother had taken to the unfortunate habit of gazing at Madara's lips when the elder spoke instead of actually listening and had therefore missed out on quite a few logical explanations of their kekkei genkai .

Whatever it was – Hazuki didn't have it. Fugaku had managed to teach it to himself, which Izuna found to be quite odd, but perhaps they were also related somehow as well. Madara disagreed. He suspected Fugaku had stolen someone's eyes, but since they couldn't pinpoint whose, it had gone unmentioned.

All of this went through Izuna's mind as Hazuki spoke to him. He was staring blankly at the wall behind her. At this point, he could honestly say that his ears didn't even accept the sound of her voice as something that could be made into words. It was like white noise in the background of his life. He never spoke to her anyway, so he had no need to listen.

As he stepped around her, she may have still been speaking, she may not have. Either way her presence had ruined all chances of him having a good conversation with Mikoto – so he was left to find the only other person in this damnable home who he could talk with. That was, of course, his elder brother.

A glance at the clock told Izuna that Madara was probably taking his bath. His brother had days down to a freakishly scheduled routine, so he was pretty easy to find.

Sure enough, when Izuna walked boldly into the bathroom without knocking – it was his brother that he was intruding on.

Madara didn't even open his eyes, much less look up. He was leaning back in the warm water with his hair wet and dripping. His chest was exposed, but had clearly been submerged in the soapy liquid earlier in his bath, because it glistened lightly from dampness, and his nipples stood pertly as if they'd been recently exposed to the cold air. The sight brought a devious smile to Izuna's face, as his eyes trailed lower. They followed the murky shapes of his brother's body under the water, taking in the darkening of colour around the base of Madara's pubic bone, and the way his cock lazily floated about – clearly not interested in his company. The water hid a good bit of Madara's build, but Izuna knew that when he stood, the perfectly sculpted muscles of his abdomen and legs would be displayed.

Oh yes, Izuna was very aware of his brother's beauty. Too aware, Madara claimed – but they both knew he didn't mean it. He chose to ignore his brother's advances, but he wasn't exactly unappreciative of them. Even then, Izuna caught the gentle smirk on Madara's lips as the elder realized he must have been being gawked at.

"Did you come here to stare at me naked, Otouto? Usually you don't do that until I'm changing."

Izuna smiled, recalling his tradition of slipping into Madara's bedroom just before the end of his bath time and not-so-subtly watching his brother towel off and get dressed.

"I came to take a piss. Finding you naked in here is just a very fortunate mistake." Izuna lied smoothly, although they both knew his words couldn't have been less true. Still, he did manage to force a lazy droplet or two of urine into the toilet, which he then closed and sat on, looking down at his brother's handsome face.

"Not washing your hands?"

The younger grinned. "Would you believe me if I told you that I actually enjoy the musky scent of my own-"

"Never mind." Madara cut in, opening his eyes for only a moment, so that he could roll them at his brother , then closing them again.

Izuna felt his heart fluttering slightly, just from that single moment of eye contact. He kneeled down next to the bath tub and leaned over Madara. He didn't even think about it. One moment he was on the toilet seat, the next his lips were against Madara's. It was a soft kiss, and it didn't really seem that unexpected on the elder's part. He moved his lips slowly against his younger brothers, and didn't pull away until he felt Izuna's tongue against his lips. Even as he pulled back, it was not in shock or disgust. He removed his lips only for a second, before leaning in again to offer his otouto another soft peck – only then did he push the younger Uchiha away.

His eyes remained closed the whole time.

Izuna frowned down at the damp spot on his shirt where his brother's hand had gently pushed him. A part of him wanted to apologize. He knew Madara must have had a reason for never showing romantic determination towards him before, so it only made sense that the elder would push him away now. Still, his mind could not shake the fact that Madara hadn't simply pushed him away. He'd kissed him, also. Not only kissed him back, but he'd been the one to move forward and press their lips together a second time. Even as Izuna sat frozen in emotional turmoil, Madara's silky voice answered all of his uncertain questions.

"If you don't even wash your hands after you piss, god knows whether or not you've brushed your teeth. I refuse to have your tongue in my mouth until you display some more hygienic habits."

Izuna grinned, and stepped excitedly over to the sink – somehow managing not to notice his brother's eyes open and glance at his ass when he bent over to rinse the toothpaste from his mouth.

"My teeth are clean!"

"I don't believe you." Madara drawled out easily.

"What? You just heard me brushing them!" Izuna pouted, and contemplated the likeliness of Madara hitting him over the head if he threw a tantrum. He deducted it eighty out of one hundred percent plausible, and made a difficult attempt at resisting the urge to whine and flail about.

"You could have done a bad job," The elder teased, opening his eyes completely, and standing up in his bath, disappointing the younger as he secured a towel around his waist.

"I didn't, though. My mouth is clean."

"Prove it." Madara dared, and Izuna saw a familiar playfulness in his brother's eyes. He stepped closer, and pressed himself against his brother, ignoring the slow wetness that attached itself to his clothes and made its way at a tortoise' pace to his skin. He pressed his lips against his brothers and was allowed to let his tongue dive freely into Madara's warm orifice. It was his first kiss, and he was confused about where to put his hands, and what to do, but that was all solved quickly. His hands were gripped by the wrist and placed above his head, as Madara pinned him up against the wall. His tongue no longer lingered awkwardly in his brother's mouth. It was captured by Madara's teeth, and nibbled at slightly before the elder sucked at it, providing Izuna with a new sensation that he felt immediately addicted to.

He relaxed then, and pushed closer to Madara's body, knowing that whatever he was lacking in experience, Madara made up for in grace and confidence. This must have been the older Uchiha brother's first kiss too, but he didn't act like it.

Their lips detatched from one another, and Madara's hot tongue trailed down the defined line of Izuna's jaw, and came to a stop just below that, at his neck – where it was accompanied by his teeth.

Izuna felt like his body was on fire, and he felt his heart beat rapidly, as if it was trying to impress the lips, tongue, and teeth, that were pressed against his pulse – but Izuna knew that the blood pumping wildly through his veins was headed elsewhere. He could feel a throbbing ache between his legs, and it didn't go ignored. At once, he shoved his pelvis forward- just as Madara's push down against him, and they both gasped at the pleasant shock of their barely restrained erections grinding against each other.

The cold tile against Izuna's back wasn't enough to settle the boiling of his blood, and he couldn't stop his breath from speeding up and coming out as desperate pants, as he rocked his hips against Madara's. His hands squirmed and clenched, and his arms and legs were both shaking from the new found pleasure, but Madara held firmly to his wrists, and would not let him fall.

"BOYS! HURRY UP IN THERE!" Izuna's world was shaken with displeasing aggression, and he pushed against his brother and threw the door open, not considering his actions at all as he thoughtlessly backhanded his guardian across the face.

"Would you just, leave me the fuck alone?" He screeched down at her as she dropped to the floor in a furious, but helpless heap of forgotten blue silk, and abused flesh.

As cruel as the moment was, it was also the first time that Izuna had ever spoken to Hazuki – which was for some reason suddenly very funny to the Uchiha brothers.

Madara was the first to laugh, but Izuna joined in quickly, and before they could control it, they were doubled over and gasping for air from the hilarity of it all.

Fugaku found them like that. His wife on the floor, un-amused, and her wards cackling to themselves like children. And they were children.

Madara and Izuna were only sixteen and thirteen years of age, and not yet intelligent enough to be paying attention to the little things. They laughed easily that day, but were completely unaware, that in only the last twenty-four hours, their whole world had already been irrevocably changed.

A/N: Like I said somewhere, I'm done writing beginning authors notes. They always make me not know what to say at the end!

I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I enjoyed writing it. Whether you liked it or not, please share your thoughts with me via review!

Lots of love and appreciation to you for reading!

-Beloved