Naruto (c) Masashi Kishimoto
"Mama, why are there storms?" Yuzuki glanced at her mother briefly before fixing her gaze back out at the angry black sky that was occasionally split asunder by a bolt of blue-white lightning. Nozomi chuckled softly as she walked up to her daughter.
"Because Susano'o-dono is upset," Nozomi replied, resting her her hand on the five-year-old's shoulder.
"About what?" came the innocent question.
"His elder sister, Amaterasu-dono probably told him not to do something. He didn't like it and is now throwing a tantrum."
"Like Nee-sama does when Nii-sama says she can't pick on me?" Yuzuki asked.
"Yes, exactly like that. Only Susano'o-dono takes his anger out in the heavens, which causes the storms we see."
"Well, I think it's pretty. The lightning flashes makes everything seem alive," Yuzuki grinned, hypnotized by the wrath of the storm. Her imagination was running wild, of a man on a black stallion, dressed in iron grey armour as he rode his fiery steed across the sky. His whoops was the thunder, the slashses of his sword, the lightning strikes and his screams the howling wind, and his tears the pounding rain. "How long will the storm last?" Yuzuki turned to look at her mother.
Nozomi shrugged as she brushed some of her daughter's ink colored locks out of her matching eyes. "Who's to say how long a god's anger will last. But I'm sure it'll be clear skies by morning. Even Susano'o-dono knows that he must respect his sister when she wakes to light the world for the day," Nozomi smiled. "Now, come to bed."
"Hai!" Yuzuki jumped down from the stool she was kneeling on and scampered towards her small futon. The young girl dove into the covers, giggling as her mother hugged her tightly in the thick warm blanket. "Is Amaterasu-dono pretty?"
"Yes," Nozomi tapped Yuzuki's nose, "very pretty. She is the most beautiful of all the gods."
"Wow," Yuzuki's eyes grew wide as she invisioned the mystical sun goddess. "Did she make the world?"
"Oh no dear," Nozomi shook her head, "the world was made by her father, Izanagi."
"How?" Yuzuki asked as she pulled her doll into her embrace, one hand pulling the blanket up closer to her chin to ward off the cold draft from the storm.
"You ask too many questions, Yuzuki-chan," Nozomi chided gently.
"But I wanna story!" the child whined.
"It's well past your bedtime, my sweet daughter, rest and tomorrow I'll tell you how Izanagi-dono made the world."
"Why can't you tell me now!" Yuzuki pouted, "I wanna bed time story!"
"Yuzuki," her mother's voice grew stern, "you need your sleep. I will tell you the story tomorrow night."
"Hmph," Yuzuki turned away, not liking that her mother refused to tell her the story. "But I may want a story about a samurai rescuing the princess tomorrow night. I want to hear about Izanagi-dono tonight! Please Mama! Please! I'll be good!"
"Why not?" the girl's lip stuck out in a cute pout as she looked at her mother.
"You need to sleep, that's why, now good night and go to sleep," Nozomi kissed her daughter's forehead before she gently pushed her back down against the futon. "Sleep well my fair princess."
"Night-night Mama," Yuzuki whispered, her mind finally admitting that her body did need rest. She closed her eyes, dark lashes kissing peach colored cheeks as she surrendered to her dreams of gods and samurai.
Under the cover of the storm, the band of shinobi stared at the wall of Hayashi Castle. It as a simple feat for them to breach the bulwark. Their sanguine colored eyes trapping the hapless guards in nightmarish illusions of terror, allowing them to make their way swiftly into the inner sanctums of the castle.
"Mama?" Yuzuki whisper softly, for the storm had woken her up. She clutched her doll tightly as she made her way down towards her parents' bedroom. "Mama, I had a bad dream," she murmured, reaching for the door to her parents' bedroom. A black gloved hand grabbed her tiny wrist, causing the child to freeze. Yuzuki heard the soft hiss of a blade leaving it's sheath and trembled when she felt the cold steel press against her slender little neck. "Mama," she whimpered, hoping her mother could hear her. "Mama!"
The door slid open with a loud thunk, and Nozomi stood in the doorway, a mother's protective fury in her eyes. The shinobi's red eyes grew wide for a split second before narrowing in hellish delight. Weaponless, save for a slim dagger she always carried on her person, Nozomi attacked the ninja, dragging her frightened daughter away. "Yuzuki, run!" Nozomi ordered.
Yuzuki whimpered softly, to scared to move as she watched her mother battle the shinobi. A clap of thunder, Yuzuki screamed slapping her hands over her ears and squeezing her eyes shut. The lightning split the sky asunder a moment later; trembling, Yuzuki opened her eyes when she felt something warm and wet beneath her bare feet and face. Gasping, Yuzuki saw the dark blood on the floor, staining the tatami mats a bitter crimson.
Before the child was her slain mother, lying in a pool of her own blood. Her father, a cowardly man, was nowhere to be found. Silently, the shinobi stalked towards Yuzuki, his shinobigatana dripping with the blood of her mother. With a tiny whimper Yuzuki looked up into the sanguine colored eyes of her mother's killer.
"Yuzuki... Yuzuki... Yuzuki!"
"Huh?" Yuzuki snapped out of her daze, fixing her gaze upon Izuna, who was playing go with his brother. "Yes, Izuna?" The three of them were on the veranda of the Uchiha leader's house.
"Are you okay? You seemed rather... out of it for a moment." Izuna said.
"I'm... fine," Yuzuki flicked her eyes back up to the steel grey clouds. "It looks like it's going to rain."
"More like storm," came Madara's baritone voice. "Nothing to worry about, a late summer shower nothing more." The Uchiha leader set down his black stone. "Izuna," Madara called softly, his harden gaze studying the board, his mind already trying to predict Izuna's next move.
"Oh, right," Izuna turned his attention back to the board, "you really shouldn't worry about the storm Yuzuki, like aniki said, it's probably nothing."
"I don't like storms," Yuzuki whispered, more to herself, but she had learn that living with ninja, keeping secrets was almost an impossibility. She watched the sky for a few more moments. "Are you almost done with your game?" she asked.
"You are more than welcome to go to bed by yourself," Madara smirked, "you're a big girl."
Yuzuki scowled at her husband, she still couldn't fathom that her father sold her hand to that brute. "Hmph," the young noblewoman stood up and marched off her bedroom. Madara chuckled softly to himself, ignoring his brother's weary sigh.
Yuzuki turned her head towards the door when she heard it open, frowned upon seeing Madara and fixed her gaze back at the gathering storm outside. "It's just a storm," she muttered softly to herself, "it's just a storm... it's just a storm... it's just a storm... it's just a storm... Eeek!" Yuzuki jumped when Madara pulled her close to him. "Let go of me!" she smacked him on the shoulder. He only grunted and held her tighter. "Must you sleep naked!"
"Hn," he buried his face into her neck, "sleep."
"How can I go to sleep when you are trying to asphyxiate me!" Yuzuki spat. Madara gave an angry sigh as he rolled onto his other side. Yuzuki flicked a gaze to the storm then back to her husband's bare back. No, he'll just think I'm a coward and he'll only rub it into my face even more! I don't need him! He's just an arrogant brute! Yuzuki thought as she pulled the blankets up closer to her chin. "Just breathe, relax... everything will be fine. I've seen plenty of storms since that night everything will be fine."
"Would you shut up and go to sleep?" Madara growled, glancing over his shoulder at her.
"Oh, excuse me! I didn't know the great and terrible Uchiha Madara needed his beauty sleep," Yuzuki sneered. A muscle in Madara's jaw twitched, but he only grunt and closed his eyes.
"Good night, Yuzuki-san," he replied gruffly. Yuzuki pursed her lips together before curling up on her side of their bed.
"I don't need him. I'm a big girl," she muttered to herself.
"You know, I can hear you," Madara grumbled.
"I'm sorry, that I'm bothering your beauty sleep," she replied acidly.
"Go to sleep," Madara replied.
"Or you'll regret it," Madara rolled over to face her, his black eyes narrowing dangerously, as he grabbed her chin, "and trust me my sweet, you will regret it."
Yuzuki gulped, the courage she had before gone. "R-Right," she licked her lips nervously, as she rested her head on her pillow, "sleep. G-Good night," she turned her back to him and closed her eyes. She heard her husband's soft sigh as he followed her example.
Yuzuki squeaked when the clap of thunder vibrated through the house, she jolted up in bed, trying to clear her mind of visions of blood red eyes. "Madara-sama?" Yuzuki whispered looking over her shoulder, expecting to see her sleeping husband. But his side of the bed was empty. "N-No..." fear began to cloud her mind as the thunder boomed again and lightning splitting the sky asunder while illuminating the room at the same time. Yuzuki noticed a shadowy figure on the veranda. It's pants and hair billowing in the wind as it watched the storm.
Another clap of thunder and Yuzuki yelped, causing the figure to look in her direction, it's blood red eyes spinning. "No," she shook as memories of that night flooded her mind. Of the red-eyed man and how he butchered her mother. "No, no... stay away!" Yuzuki shakily got to her feet, her body acting more on instinct and fear, than logic and reason. "Stay away!" she screamed before running away, ignoring as the red-eyed shade called her name.
The frightened young woman gasped when she saw the red-eyed man at the opposite end of the hall, lightning flashing behind him, casting him deeper into shadows yet brightening his already demonic sanguine eyes. Screaming, she skidded to a halt, stumbled a few steps but was able to turn the corner. Her only thought was to get away from the man with red eyes.
She stopped for a moment to catch her breath, tears leaking out of her eyes. "Yuzuki." At the sound of her name the woman looked up and froze as her gaze was fixed in the hypnotic stare of the man's scarlet gaze.
"Stay away... please stay away! Don't kill me! Please, don't hurt me, I'm begging you," Yuzuki sobbed, whimpering when her back met the wall. She looked around, her pulse fluttering in her neck as she looked for a way to escape, but she realized that no matter how she tried to get fear the man was faster and would grab her. Regardless, she bolted for the left, and as expected the man grabbed her by her waist, forcing her back against the wall. "Please," she sobbed, tears cascading down her cheeks, "don't kill me."
"I'm not going to kill you," the man laced his fingers with hers. "Look at me," he ordered, his voice soft. Timidly, Yuzuki looked up at the man and as her eyes adjusted to the dim lightning she could make out his face. A firm jaw, a straight unbroken nose, high cheekbones of the aristocracy which caused his eyes of that almond shape look to them. And a shock of midnight colored hair over his left eye.
She felt the man press his forehead against hers. "Yuzuki, deep breathes, breath, everything will be alright," Madara told her calmly.
"Y-Your eyes... they... they look just like his..." Yuzuki whispered.
"Shh, breathe Yuzuki. Deep slow breaths," he stroked her thumbs with his. "Everything will be alright, the storm is almost over, calm down. Breathe, just keep breathing."
"He... he had red eyes... he killed my mother..."
"Shh," Madara shushed her. "He's not going to hurt you."
"Yes... yes he will."
"No," Madara's voice became steely, the three tomoe in eyes whizzed rapidly before settling back down into a lazy spiral around his pupil. "He won't. I won't allow him to harm my wife. And if he tries, I'll protect you."
"Protect me? But you hate me... why protect me?"
"I may hate you, but regardless you are my wife, and as such a member of my family. I protect my family, even if I hate certain members of it."
"Th-Thank you..." Yuzuki leaned forward, pressing her forehead against his shoulder. Her knees buckled and Madara swiftly caught her.
"Yuzuki?" he asked, but she didn't respond,for the girl had passed out. "Hn," the young leader hoisted her into his arms, carrying her bridal style as he head back to his room.
Now, this won't appear in SotM, but I've been toying with the idea that maybe it really was the Uchiha that killed Yuzuki's mother. But that'll just cause more unneeded drama between the two. But there is nothing stopping me to alluding to the fact that Madara thinks it's his clan. Fufufufufu...
Astraphobia is the morbid fear of thunder and lightning. As always, enjoy.