A/N: Madara is quickly becoming one of my favorite Naruto characters. His remembrance of Izuna was extremely touching in a painful way, and from all the information I can gather and considering their characters I do think Izuna offered his eyes willingly, but Madara felt great guilt for taking them regardless.

I don't own Naruto. I'm saving up to buy Madara when they kill him off so he can star in his own spin-off series. He deserves it.

What older brother would hurt his little brother?

Their mouths move silently, because he is still trapped within the confines of his own personal hell as he kneels by his brother's coffin, arms hanging limply by his sides for once. Izuna's face is as smooth and peaceful as an angel's in rest, and Madara bites his lip hard enough to draw blood. He can sense the words issuing from their mouths, even though he cannot hear them, and his mouth tightens. They have no right to speak of the sorrow of Izuna's death, for they know nothing of it; the brothers' sensei, their parents, too many of those close to them has died. The rest of the clan, they thought they knew him from seeing him as a warrior, but as Madara's hands squeezed his brother's lifeless one convulsively, he has never felt so apart from them.

It's not Uchiha Izuna, second-in-command of the Uchiha clan, who is dead.

It's his otouto. His precious otouto who had been by his side since they were nothing but children, who had watched his back until they had started to lose their sight, and then had sacrificed everything for him.

Those who they fought with would pay for this; this wretched war has taken away Izuna. Madara feels hatred welling inside him, dark and bitter and almost strong enough to numb the pain. He will destroy them, crush them into the ground; for his otouto's sake he would ensure that the war ended with the Uchiha clan victorious. It's a small price to pay in return…

"Please, nii-san, take them - please!"

He brushes a kiss against his brother's pale hand, a promise, and closes his eyes before any tears fall on the pale skin.

"Foolish little brother…"

He lays Izuna's hand down gently.

"I will do this in your honor, Izuna."

They couldn't end the war.

That's all the young man was able to repeat, in tones of blank disbelief, for a fair few minutes after he received the news. Madara swallowed hard as he came to himself and saw their faces, their eyes, asking like tired animals for reason, for the end to the horror.

He doesn't want it to end, his hatred still burns hot and strong inside him, but when all is said and done and his throat is worn raw from screaming when he finally lost it, one man can't stand against the will of the clan, not even the head. He tries to remind them of Izuna, of the boy who gave everything he had for his clan to keep fighting, and is struck dumb by an elder's cold accusation.

"Spare your breath, Madara. We will not have your lust for power keeping us from peace. It was that same greed that lost us Izuna when you stole his eyes!"

He can't say anything then, and soon finds he's missed his chance to say anything at all and as he forces himself through the motions of the treaty, painfully, for the good of the clan, that his 'theft of Izuna's eyes' has become common knowledge.

He wishes he could be only angry, but painful guilt gnaws at his heart when he remembers - weeping with agony as he pressed his palms over his eyes, Izuna kneeling at his bedside. His otouto had been distraught at seeing his beloved, seemingly invincible brother brought to this; Madara couldn't see anything but vague shadows then, but he remembers the damp of Izuna's tears on his fingertips as his otouto brought his hand to his face.

"Take them, nii-san…"

He hadn't been able to refuse, he had been weak and he had accepted too great a sacrifice. His otouto was as good as dead from the moment he gave up his eyes, and Madara knows with a clawing pain that by taking them he had written his brother's death sentence.

Years later he tells the boy who looks so much like his otouto that he killed Izuna, and to him it doesn't contradict anything that comes after.


Otouto = little brother.

Nii-san = older brother, with a touch of respect.

Don't say you never learned anything from fan fictions.

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