At least that's what Uchiha Izuna at the age of twelve thinks when the elders of the clan forces him a responsibility that's unusual for his age even when considering the fact that he's a prodigy.
Each time a new member was born into the family, the elders of the clan visited the parents and decided out from the infant's health and the glint in its eyes – its presumed intelligence, its future. Would he/she be worthy to be called a member of family? Or were he/she doomed to fail and bring shame on the family?
Uchiha Madara and Izuna, sons of the parents Shinji and Ikumi (1), were at their birth proclaimed prodigies and were therefore forced to grow and become strong as fast as possible through all kinds of training, so that they at the age of fifteen, or even fourteen, could bring pride to the family by participating, and of course become victorious, on the battlefield.
"What?" Izuna exclaimed perplexed with disbelief in his wide eyes.
"You heard me, Izuna." His father murmured while rubbing his neck in an awkward way that showed his discomfort. "The elders believe you start taking part of the battles as soon as you turn thirteen."
"… But that is so unfair! I never asked for this!" Izuna argued determinedly. "I mean, fourteen and fifteen is already too early an age to kill!"
"… I know, Izzie, but since your brother was an instant success at the age of fourteen, they believe that the other prodigy, that means you, should be able to do well on the battlefield already now." Shinji tried to explain without upsetting his son further. "Besides, try to look at it this way; you have been complaining the last half year that being home alone when I, your mom and brother is at war, is boring and that you're running out of new things to do."
"… I know, but –"
"And besides, this way you won't feel lonely because you will be joining us, or your brother, on the battlefield or on missions all the time."
"… I know that, too, but –"
"And you never seemed to have had a problem training to become a great warrior through your childhood. Actually, you seemed to enjoy sparring with Madara."
"I do enjoy sparring with Madara-nii!" Izuna admitted, though it was obvious he was still upset about the news. "But it has always been a hobby! A hobby proclaimed by the elders of the clan, but a hobby nonetheless! And I would prefer if it could continue to be just a hobby!"
"… You know we would allow it if we could, but the elders have spoken. We tried to reason with them, knowing how you feel about war (2), but they didn't bend."
"… But I'm only twelve! It should be completely illegal to force a child into war!"
"… It should, but that doesn't change the fact it isn't."
A thick and tired tension spread in the room as Izuna and his parents contemplated how to each win the fight as peacefully as possible. All three of them knew that both Izuna and Shinji each had a reasonable point and that Shinji and Ikumi had tried the best they could to get their youngest son out of the deal, but it still didn't mean that Izuna would go along with the elders' decision, at least not peacefully.
His upset face expression then suddenly turned into a deep scowl, and before he knew what was happening, he lost control;
"I don't care what the elders say! I don't want to no matter what the clan says and how they'll treat me out of disappointment! And you two can't force me! Nobody can!"
With those statements thrown at his parents, and indirectly at the rest of the clan, Izuna turned on his heels and ran out of the room, and then out of the house. Both Shinji and Ikumi sighed in defeat as they watched their son leave. Neither of them wanted to force Izuna to take part of the war, but they had no choice.
Shinji was just about to run after the younger Uchiha, when a deep and slightly confused voice sounded from behind him and his wife.
"… What's going on?"
"Madara?" Ikumi questioned, before turning around to face the intruder. They came face-to-face with their oldest son who was drenched in sweat and dried blood that presumably wasn't his. "Welcome home."
Madara nodded in acknowledgement.
"What's going on? There's more tension here than on the battlefield."
"Not much except for the fact the elders have decided that Izuna should join you and the rest of the young members of the clan on the battlefield."
"… But he's so young. Isn't that a bit of a rushed decision? Are you honestly telling me that the elders have contemplated the consequences of sending someone so young out to a place where people kill without blinking, through?"
"… To be honest we thought the same thing, we even questioned their authority," Shinji explained, before sighing in defeat. "But in the end we had no choice than to pass on the news to Izuna."
"But Izuna has no heart of a warrior, he's too soft… No wonder he's upset." Madara voiced everyone's thoughts with a sigh. He then made eye contact with both of his parents, giving them a determined look. "Don't worry; I'll go talk to him. I'll convince him to come back home peacefully."
Madara found the younger Uchiha at a small lake, which was one of their "secret" places where they usually went together to talk, or alone to just think.
"It's not fair!" Izuna complained to him, when he noticed his presence – it hadn't really surprised Izuna that it was his brother who decided to talk with him. Madara took his brother's complain as an invitation to join him, not that he actually needed one, and therefore sat down beside him on the soft grass. "I didn't ask to be a warrior…!"
"Life is unfair sometimes, yes, but there's not always something to do about it." Madara reasoned in a soothing way, while patting the younger Uchiha on the head softly. "Sometimes you just have to do what is expected of you. Besides, you have always known that this day would come eventually."
"… But I'll be hurting and killing innocent people without wanting to or understanding why it has to be done." Izuna argued softly, while fiddling with a few of the blade of grass at his feet with one of his hands.
"Because it's in your blood, Izu." Madara tried to reason yet again in a gentle voice. "It's in your blood to be victorious of the Senju Clan whose members brought shame on our family. You know that."
"… I know, I know." Izuna admitted quietly without looking at his proud and elder brother, who had always taken pride in being a prodigy. Izuna wasn't the jealous type, but he couldn't help to envy the older Uchiha when it came to being able to take the responsibility with pride that they had been giving. "But why can't somebody else do it? There are lots of other clan members who wish to take my place."
"Exactly." Madara nodded, which made the younger Uchiha tilt his head slightly in confusion. "You're special, and you should be proud of it."
Izuna was immediately touched at his brother's words. The elders of the clan and their parents had always claimed he was special; his parents in more ways than one, but hearing it from his youngest role model always touched a special spot inside him.
"… I just wish it was possible to establish peace in a non-destructive and aggressive way." He murmured without taking his eyes off the beautiful landscape he and Madara were currently sitting in.
The two Uchiha prodigies then sat in a comfortable silence for a few minutes, just enjoying the view of the lake that was glistening because of the sunbeams, the cooling summer breeze in their hair and the warmth from sun's rays on their pale skin.
"Me too, Izu… Me too." Madara then agreed with a thoughtful and dreaming expression. "What would you choose if you actually had a choice to do whatever you wanted with your life?"
"Hmm… I actually don't know, I never really considered it, but probably something peaceful and helpful to others."
"Why doesn't that surprise me?" Madara almost laughed, but ended up giving a lopsided smile instead. "You have always been a sensitive and devoted soul after all."
Izuna's still slightly upset expression from earlier finally turned a bit softer at the praising words. His brother always knew exactly what to say to cheer him up no matter what had upset him.
"What would you choose, Aniki, if you had a choice that is?"
"That's easy." Madara answered without a moment of hesitation. "I want to become the best warrior that have ever existed, and then later rule the world and by that create peace."
There was an intimate and comfortable silence for short moment, and then they burst out laughing simultaneously.
"Why doesn't that last part surprise me?" Izuna joked with a gentle smile.
"Maybe because you know me well?" The elder Uchiha responded, while returning the teasing smile.
"Presumably." Izuna agreed with an amused smile. His expression then changed into a slightly frown as he considered the first part of his brother's dream. "… Why are you capable of doing what your clan members believe you are destined to do from birth, when I'm not?"
Madara, who had instantly noticed the frown that had formed on his brother's features, frowned lightly, too, and then sighed as he contemplated his answer.
"… Maybe because I am destined to do what is expected of an Uchiha." He responded with a thoughtful yet reassuring smile. "And maybe because I'm the oldest."
"Aren't you the one who usually claim that a person's amount of dominance depend on your place in the family hierarchy?"
"Right." The younger Uchiha confirmed with a thoughtful nod. "You have an excellent point."
"Don't I always?" Madara responded with a smug smile.
Izuna, who Madara had as usual somehow managed to cheer up yet again with his older sibling power, watched the older male out from the corner of his eye for a few seconds, before allowing a soft yet slightly teasing smile grace his lips.
"Yeah." He confirmed with a nod. "Yeah, you do."
To their parents surprise and pleasure, as well the elders satisfaction, Izuna agreed a few weeks later on his birthday, without further protest, to accept the responsibility he had been given, which was of course all thanks to Madara, and because he knew deep down that he had full support from the home front that was "ready to catch him if he fell".
Well, at least his older brother would.
(1) The names for their parents are completely random since Kishimoto has never given us any hints of what they might be named.
(2) Despite being part of the aggressive and prideful Uchiha clan, Izuna was kind and devoted and therefore presumably a peacemaker.
I have no particular idea of where inspiration for this fanfic came from :P Okay, maybe it was because my big sister suddenly called me out of nowhere the other day and we chatted for about an hour just because it was fun/nice 3 :D
But the idea popped into my head yesterday, and I just couldn't let it be even though I'm currently writing a ridiculously big assignment/project in school… :P
As I was writing it, I thought it would only be one page long, maybe two, but as usual it became a lot longer than expected – in this case 5 pages long! :P
Hope you enjoyed!^.^
I would appreciate your thoughts, A.K.A. a review! :3