Night and Day

A/N – Rated M for adult themes. Slightly lyrical style. I don't own Naruto but I wish I owned Madara (insert smirk…)

During the day, he is aloof. The same arrogant, self-assured Uchiha she regularly falls in and out of love with. But by night, after hours of lovemaking, when all is still and she has succumbed to an exhausted but blissful slumber, he changes. He doesn't let her see of course. No one could ever see, not even his beloved brother, now lost to him.

His personality shifts like objects in a darkened room as moonlight slips over them, changing their shapes to something mysterious only to return them to normal in the cold light of day. In the dark, when it is too late to be called tonight and too early to be tomorrow, he opens up gradually, allowing the shadows to hide the sudden tenderness in his face.

What would one see if they could behold Uchiha Madara as he is now, unguarded, and almost vulnerable? Perhaps they might see him as he truly is - only twenty, proudly shouldering the burdens of a much, older man. A warrior, a leader, chosen by destiny. But for once he lets go of his vaunted roles and titles. Here the legendary Uchiha is merely a man in the grip of a much greater force.

In the preternatural quiet of night, he too is silent, transfixed by the beauty of her face. Porcelain is a cliché, so is alabaster, he thinks as his hand ghosts over her form. She is whiter than white, illuminated like a Goddess as the moon's rays caress her from above. He is still cast in shadow, the white sheets half slung over his waist, back exposed and cooling. He lies over her, his body still giving hers warmth as their stomachs press together. Madara can feel the trail of hair below his navel grazing the delicate skin of her abdomen as she breathes steadily.

He loves the feel of her against him. Their legs are entwined, one of hers still half wrapped around his hips, the other pressed against his own. One exposed breast pebbles as the temperature drops and he draws the covers over her slightly, knowing if he touches the rounded flesh, he will only have to wake her up to make love again.

Mito's skin is so soft, he thinks the calluses of his hands might catch on it like raw silk. He strokes her gently, careful not to wake her, his long mane of hair falling between them, tangling with her own red locks.

Only here in the sweet darkness, when they are alone, and she is his, can he let his guard down. He can allow himself to acknowledge his love for her. Unbeknownst to others, he loves recklessly and fiercely, but like a fire that craves the wood it burns, he has seen all he loves swallowed up by the depth of his passion - his hunger for the power to protect them. His friend, his brother, even his clan when he brought them to this accursed village.

He does not think these thoughts of course, because as every good Uchiha should, he has learnt to hide them, even from himself. But here, unfettered by the responsibility, the backbreaking ambition that herds him ever on, he dips unconsciously back into the river and lets his emotions flow. Emotions he never dares admit to.

Hatred, however, has always given him power. In its heat even defeat is another step towards victory. He calls it his friend, the last gift of his family and his tainted bloodline. So what is love to that, what does it serve? That shinobi dares to say it's more powerful than hatred, although Madara notes with glee the carefully concealed pain his rival carries every time he sees Mito by Madara's side. He knows it, Madara knows it – love makes one weak – it makes one feel. And with such sensitivity only ever comes suffering.

Hatred focuses the will. Love dilutes it, refracts it into kaleidoscopic colours that confuse the mind and sap the spirit. With love, he would have never risen from his brother's grave. But with hatred he knows he will avenge his death. Yet every night he plays the same game, the same disgraceful self-deception. Waiting for the sun to set and his desire to rise.

He knows how she longs for his love, for the outward sign of his affection. Grudgingly he acknowledges if she had chosen that shinobi instead, she would have had such declarations daily. Perhaps that's one of the reasons he allows himself this little indulgence – he can't have her pine after Hashirama. He'll be damned if he loses yet another precious thing to him. But Uchiha and Senju are like oil and water. The fools of the forest wear their hearts on their sleeve. But Madara has learnt to his cost what happens to others who do the same.

Still he is a man of action, a powerful warrior. What he cannot tell her verbally, he can demonstrate physically, loving her body with all the muscular grace he displays in combat. But in the light of the moon, when she is asleep, he worships her soul with his cursed eyes and his roughened hands. He touches her like a miser in his vault, pouring over his jewels in the darkness, far away from the prying gaze of others.

His heart swells against the tide of his reason and at last he bows to kiss her forehead. She muttered in her sleep and turns, curling into him. He moves to encase her in his arms, surrendering his vision to pure sensation.

He doesn't know what the future holds for them. His, he knows, is painted in blood and he prays, even though he has never believed in the Gods, that hers is full of light. He sees her in a garden, full of flowers and carefully, cultivated trees, pools of koi and elegant bridges. That is not his world and never will be, just as hers is not the fields of war, with its vicious pleasures and bitter despair.

In the morning, he will separate himself from her again, as he must do every morning and shield himself in the armour of indifference. For in the grey dawn, his feelings for her are a weakness and he has no place for them. But although he will never turn his back on the battlefield or reject his heritage, when he trudges back at dusk, blood caked on his sandals, he cannot wait to escape into her embrace. To hold her in this little space between morning and night, under the sheets, while she sleeps. For this, for a little while, is where he calls home…

My depiction of the very hidden, softer side of Madara's character (if he has one, which I have a sneaking suspicion he might). I have been desperate to post something about this pair as I haven't been able to get them out of my head for months. Expect more stories on this pairing from me but most of the things I write somehow turn into multi chapter fics that languish on my hard drive in need of some proper time and editing.

I may add Mito's side of this, I may not, depending on time and inspiration. I am also working on my Obirin story, promise!

And if you don't like this pairing, with all due respect, please don't waste your time flaming and read something else guaranteed to make you happy. Life's too short :) To all others – reviews are gold!