- So you don't want this battle to continue, am I right, Hashirama? – Madara spat in a sort of impatience one could easily mistake for some angry feverish blabbering of madman… though Madara technically was one, so the comparison wasn't really that far-fetched; or so Hashirama mused; slowly circling around his sworn enemy.

Indeed, he didn't want this useless fighting to continue – for it promised nothing but destruction, wounded people, the imminent increase of hate towards the already damned Uchiha – an in all honestly, the fight solved nothing.

Madara would continue his assaults; while he, the Shodaime Hokage would keep on performing his duty of protecting the village.

There seemed to be no end to this twisted rivalry.

Hence Hashirama had nothing else to state but agree with Madara's words, that sounded more like a Katon in disguise – if only Madara could incinerate the Hokage with the power of his voice alone – he wouldn't hesitate a second to do just that; consequences be damned (for if he really could be that powerful… He'd be left alone in the wilderness pretty soon. He knew that).

.

- You're well aware I've never wanted to fight you in first place, Madara. – Hashirama tried once again to play the role of the reasonable.

Each time it was getting more and more difficult to involve Madara into a conversation that'd distract him from mindlessly destroying the terrain around them; burning each and every Hashirama's creation to ashes.

Each time Hashirama would attempt to address what human was left in this shell of a ruthless warrior with bloodlust and purest ire shining in his brother's eyes – but again to no avail. Madara wouldn't listen to his rival of all people; or rather; the only one he labeled as a person besides himself.

Oh, sure he was not interested in listening, it was well past the times when words could be of any use, for the frantic joy of slaughter and the exhilarating scent of blood that was gushing from the innumerable throats Madara cut like flower stems with his scythe; all of this cursed murderous bliss had long ago replaced the remnants of human feelings Hashirama knew Madara possessed.

In the past. In that past which no one but Hashirama cared to remember.

Of course, it was fruitless to guard those memories; while the sheer embodiment of evil stood before Hashirama with the heinous laugh proclaiming the Shodaime as weak and worthless.

Sometimes Hashirama was tempted to believe him – maybe he truly was representing that every abominable definition Madara kept in store solely for his persona?

.

What if he really was that disgusting weak fool who couldn't even keep his friendship? Who dwelled on dreams of the past, afraid of facing their inevitable future that contained nothing but death, ugly inexorable death filled with hatred even more than with pain.

May be he, the Shodaime Hokage Hashirama, the bringer of peace to the Fire country; was in fact the sole reason why Madara kept fighting for some distant peace that was real?

May be Madara knew some truth that he himself could not reach, and thus instead of promised life in harmony he was leading the people of Konoha to hell, instead of what appeared to be the peace the people strived for?

Hashirama couldn't answer his own doubts, and Madara would never listen. Not that he was ever going to voice his concerns, especially in front of a lunatic.

A lunatic that used to be his friend; the friend who favoured betrayal to their bonds; the one whose mind was now clouded with arrogant sense of being self-righteous…

But what if Madara really was right?

What if… Yet Hashirama couldn't lose to him on purpose. Madara would recognize the ploy anyways. He would never accept his enemy's intentional weakness – for he was the only one to make others weak; and nobody had the right to express their own free will at that matter.

It was futile; as was everything when it came to Madara.

Hashirama just kept listening to the insults; not even bothering to provide anything in return; which only seemed to enrage Madara more.

.

- If you don't want to fight like a man… If you truly are that hopeless; pathetic so-called leader of the weak… What pride do you even have in that Hokage name of yours? Ruler of the despicable? Detestable the almighty?

- What, you've nothing to disagree with me, right? Or is the truth too painful? Or wait, shocking? What could you possibly know about pain? Clearly nothing! Stop feigning ignorance, Hashirama, and fight me.

- It won't solve anything, Madara. You must know it.

- It's none of your concern what I know and what I want to do. If your Hokagedom rendered you so worthless, then do not fight. Yes, why, you say you're not ready for a battle. Not ready, my scythe! Don't fight then. Really, don't. Just stay here like a fool that you are and bask in the mortification. You have to know who you really are, after all. If so, then – learn it.

.

Hashirama honestly tried to stay indifferent. Madara was known for his picturesque manner of swearing; the battle with him just wouldn't be the same without the flamboyant strings of curses that wove smoothly into the names of deadly spells they cast upon each other.

Thus Hashirama thought he could care less. Truly.

However, this time was different. While he could push off the accusations aimed at his own persona, he still was utterly affected by the mentions of the order he established, of the village he literally built, of the peace he fought for – Madara still managed to get through his mental defenses even without the use of the Sharingan.

.

Hashirama was praised for being incredibly immune to Sharingan which was quite the unique trait among the non-Uchihas. Madara knew it well from first hands, so he developed weapons that worked better than those cursed eyes. Words turned out just the perfect solution, since he wasn't labeled genius for nothing.

Albeit the mad genius. Wicked and seemingly aimless. Hating and probably heartless.

Heartless – whether they told the lies or not; but the heartbeat was here, evident and racing, fueling the blood with rage that only Hashirama's presence could ever provoke.

- Come at me. Drop your weapons. You don't want to fight; so you don't need them.

- I'm not suicidal, Madara.

- Ha, and yet you refuse to fight? Just come at me. See, here I leave my scythe. And here I fade my Sharingan. See, pretty safe. Safe even for a weakling like you. C'mon, closer. Or are you afraid of me even when I'm weaponless?

That was, of course, an understatement; for the amount of kunai and other objects useful in battle were always at one hand seal away from both of them, since being completely weaponless was clearly the disgrace for a shinobi, yet Madara did drop his scythe, much to Hashirama's confusion.

In the established course of things that Hashirama was used to, Madara would just get tired of cursing him, maybe they'd exchange few non-lethal blows afterwards, and the vengeful Uchiha would disappear in the darkness of the impending night once again, promising to return at whichever time would be the less convenient for the ever-so-busy Hokage to defend his village (and his values) again.

.

Yet Madara continued surprising him.

After he dropped the scythe, he really faded his Sharingan back to his regular jet black eyes that were so deep dark they couldn't even reflect the light. Which so suited him, - or so Hashirama thought, slowly and carefully stepping forward.

The distance between them was rapidly decreasing mostly to Madara's long springy steps, his form shaking in some sort of hidden laughter, nothing too new for Hashirama, yet strangely unnerving – Madara never dropped his scythe before willingly, especially on his own volition.

That bravado was just ridiculous.

Though, come to think of it; everything about Madara was.

- You don't want to fight, hah? Do you realize it's not normal for a shinobi; the oh so legendary warrior you claim to be? – Madara seemed weirdly ecstatic with the assumption as he was all but running in order to advance on Hashirama.

Still, the Hokage couldn't sense any weapons and neither was his intuition alerting him of any concealed trick Madara could have prepared for this queer encounter.

.

- You're sick! – as much as Madara wanted to spit into that calm face of the Hokage, he had better ideas. Which however were soon replaced with the thoughts uncalled for, stunning in their bitterness.

"I am sick" - he thought simultaneously with accusing Hashirama, realizing all too well how he was yelling out everything that bothered him for ages.

Everything he was struggling against, initially, and everything that enslaved his mind afterwards, in his quest for justice and peace; it only brought him malice that slowly but inevitably invaded his conscious with sick paranoia.

Oh, he knew he was sick. Yet it wasn't in his powers to fight this disease. He could only abide and keep on serving its demands.

May be his personality was split but he didn't feel that proverbial pain between the good and the bad parts of him – there was a strangely soothing yet encouraging unity of virtuous dreams and sanguinary desires instead, sometimes interrupted with the absolutely irrelevant acknowledgement of this distortion that was once Madara's mind.

That's why he could only continue with spitting out the sick part.

- You're so sick, Hashirama, you can't be cured! You don't want to fight! Do you even realize how morbid this is?

"Do you even realize how morbid my own condition is? Have you ever thought of what you do to me?"

The thoughts were beginning to mingle with reality. But apparently this could not be helped. Not in Madara's state. Not anymore.

.

Hashirama didn't want to waste his time reassuring Madara of his sickness. Let alone he was beginning to doubt his sanity as well as the nature of his latest actions.

They haven't been this close since Kami remembers when, and even then they were constantly fighting.

But at the moment the verbal assault seemed to have taken over Madara's strategy, yet it was doing just great to affect Hashirama as well.

"What if he's right? In his own, twisted way, of course, but what if..? If it's me who's really sick, and he just points out the truth? What if I should have killed him long ago, so that today should have never happened?

What if our friendship only existed in my mind? What if it all was just another genjutsu?

But why did he cease the battle? He never agreed to my conditions before… So why now?" - it was all too confusing for Hashirama to process in the matter of seconds.

And no, he did not realize what his mere presence did to Madara. What immense killing intent he awoke by his very being and how this feeling was sublimed and corrupted to the demands of this once bright and now dangerously brilliant murderer's mind.

.

Madara wasn't in the mood to spare his rival some time to muse over their condition.

He was fairly sure they both were sick, but Hashirama; of course, was the most helpless and incurable of the two; and if the fool did not want to fight (and even dared to think this was because of his non-existent nobility issues of honour and duty to his damned village) – Madara would be the one to confer on him this privilege of not fighting.

For Hashirama had to know who was the real leader, who could grant permissions and install prohibitions. The Hokage was probably lost in his own ideas of power, enjoying every bit of it and pretending to serve the people instead of his selfish desires.

So Madara would prove him to be the ugliest of liars, who couldn't even confess the horrible truth to himself.

Oh, Madara would make him realize that truth, at whatever cost; would make Hashirama come to an understanding of real power, to which Madara was the living embodiment.

Or so he believed; sick or not, he had to prove his rightness.

- And by the way, if you don't want to fight so ardently, what if I destroy your village and let you watch your forests wither? I'm sure you'll love the sight!

.

Enough was said to be enough; and now Hashirama could feel it.

There was nothing but the village left among the values he would willingly kill for, and Madara was clearly asking for it.

Yet; he was not fighting. Was. Not. Fighting. Madara.

- I'll never let you lay your finger upon my village. Madara. – Emphasizing on the name that was once so dear to him, Hashirama shuddered at the malicious sound of his own voice.

- Oh, don't tell me someone is angry here? – the madman was snickering viciously, licking his lips in some wicked anticipation that made the air thick and electrifying with nearly palpable insanity – just take only one breath to be cursed for the end of times.

Yet Hashirama dared to inhale. There was nothing to be afraid of; they were well past the point of fear – and their own demons were way more dangerous than anything the other could provide.

True, he was angry. Enraged, actually. But he could still process that arguing with Madara was just as productive as talking to his trees. Yet there wasn't any visible way for him to calm down this hatred Hashirama didn't even know he was harbouring for so long inside him.

.

Madara enjoyed the sight of conflicting emotions marring Hashirama's typically serene face, twisting it into various masks of disgust and detestation – not with the Uchiha but rather with his own self.

Madara loved what he saw. The Senju was on his way to enlightenment, and Madara was sure to guide him right.

He felt smug but execrable, yet so incredibly full of himself. He wouldn't even need his scythe to bring Hashirama to his knees. It was just going to be a matter of few words.

.

But Hashirama was still resisting the poison of Madara's carefully thought out compliments.

It was making the both of them impatient – while the Hokage just wished for this argument to come to an end, Madara was itching to witness the submission of the mighty Senju.

And truth to be told, patience had never been his virtue.

- I hate you! – This however wasn't planned. Really, it was not. At first, Madara didn't even realize he pointed this at Hashirama, while originally this was all meant for himself.

All the hatred, the irritability, the insomnia – they replaced everything that was Madara; so he was gladly speaking them out to Hashirama, tricking the latter to believe Madara really intended to hurt him.

In fact, Madara was succeeding in this endeavour – and the great amount of self-doubt effortlessly added itself to the anger Hashirama was all but seeping into the air. True-true, Madara had his reasons; but so did Hashirama, when it came to judging his own actions.

No witty reply could eliminate this simple fact – that Madara was absolutely, divinely right for hating him.

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- I hate you so much. Bastard. Sick immoral bastard! – this was close to exposing his own soul, Madara reminded himself.

Hashirama only fumed and chafed, his temper on the verge of… What?

.

Sick? Yes. Immoral? Yes. But bastard? Hell, no. He was Madara Uchiha, the Madara.

This was the perfect insult to his ego, and it took Hashirama zero effort to land this final blow on him – the Madara did all the work himself.

And damn, he felt offended.

- Your kin be damned! – there went the slap in that arrogant face – so simple yet so effective.

It brought Hashirama out of the mental argument with himself so quickly it hurt, hurt so badly maybe because of the sheer simplicity of the offence.

Madara could have broken all of his ribs and it wouldn't have felt half as humiliating as this.

- You don't dare! – the move Hashirama prepared for an answer was rapidly intercepted with Madara's expert hands, that seemed to burn his wrists even through the thick material of those gloves.

- And what would you do to ensure it? – sarcastic, irritated – and right to the very core. What would Hashirama do?

Madara's erratic breath was perhaps too close to his liking, and his words – too much to let it go without an answer. His hands – captured in those of Madara's, his legs strangely weak as if in the afterthought of all the self-despite…

.

It's not that Madara planned it to happen this way, so he quickly adjusted his strategy to the newly opened circumstances.

The muffled "Shut the hell up, moron" followed by the crush of Hashirama's battered lips upon his own was indeed shocking, but not enough for Madara to forget his goal.

Thus he bit and snarled, for this was his action to hold out for, and not the other way around!

And oh man was he an expert in biting!

If Hashirama had been expecting some sort of stupefaction to result his actions, he was gravely mistaken. Thus bite Madara did, in all the pent up fervour and need to be the only one who'd be right; in all the glorious hate and desperate emergency to be accepted by the only person who deserved his derision.

.

It was painful yet the metallic taste of Hashirama's blood was sweet like the heaven he hated to believe in, like the heaven that had no moral right to exist in Madara's world, just by the sheer design of his infected mind.

It was radiant to the point of blinding that mind, crashing all its preparations in the whirlpool of blood-stained heat, the blessed moisture of their mixing saliva, the acute jolts of shared heartbeats, the angry hands roaming through each other's hair pulling it out of the scalp as if looking for all the world's answers in these violent moans.

.

It was the fight considered to replace the ordinary battles they had.

The fight that Hashirama for once was losing despite all his attempts to stop Madara's anxious roamings.

Yet it was not the fight.

Something was off about it, Hashirama realized as Madara's bites turned into something completely unexpected. He was licking the blood off his face, whispering some wonderful nonsense; the broken breath intruding his own tries at inhaling; the tangled mass of hair reducing the world to Madara's inquisitive face studying the outcome of his frantic quest of eating Hashirama's face out.

These probing licks stung and unnerved Hashirama even more, 'cause Madara seemed to enjoy his confusion, adding the pressure of those hands to the various places they were exploring oh so eagerly.

In this darkness of Uchiha's hair all Hashirama could see were Madara's eyes, as wicked as ever, shining with ill-concealed triumph, proclaiming something that was yet to be said, celebrating something Hashirama was yet to understand.

And understand he did as Madara pushed him onto the sharp rocks, straddling him in the process, somehow managing to slap him again (and multiple times!) and lick the attacked places again with something akin to care, something that Hashirama could have defined as a kiss if it weren't Madara currently trembling and wriggling all over him, rubbing their armour with that agonizing sound, sucking his scarred skin, probing and definitely advancing into the unknown…

.

All Hashirama could do was keep on with the struggle and the pulling on Madara's hair which only appeared to make the Uchiha coil around him tighter that felt much, much more disturbing, prickling all the senses that were previously numbed in the battle, awakening them to the closer contact; irritating, jumbled, unwanted.

Madara couldn't care less about that last definition – the feeling of victory was intoxicating, and the violent struggling efforts of the Senju beneath him were only adding more to the exhilaration that boiled Madara's blood, infused his hands with the strength yet unknown as he made his progress through divesting his enemy and himself of the armour that got into the way of proving to Hashirama what was right in this world.

"If this is his solution to our battles…" – Hashirama felt his train of thought eluding his conscious, as Madara's actions became more persistent. He was feeling… weird, to say the least, unable to avoid what Madara had in store for him, and may be, may be… Unwilling to avoid it.

After all, Madara hated him for a reason. There had to be a reason behind everything Madara did, even behind the slaughters he enjoyed so dearly.

There had to be a reason behind this kiss Madara was caressing his upper body with, slowly trailing down from Hashirama's suddenly oversensitive neck down to his chest; and no, of course it was the wind that caused his nipples to become so aware of the warm demanding mouth that bit them; of course it was just the wind that made him shiver so severely as his now wet skin was exposed to the incredibly cold air.

There had to be a reason in every beat of Madara's heart that mimicked his own and rang in his ears simultaneously with the almost lewd sounds the heated body above him created while rubbing into every crease and eminence, punching or stroking, combining the painful pleasure of both actions, perhaps to share the insanity, which was totally contagious especially when those expert fingers gripped and teased as if it was the most natural act in the world.

.

Madara was triumphant and it influenced his performance to the point when he actually forgot he was meaning to inflict pain on the Senju bastard first and foremost; for at the moment he was enjoying Hashirama's quiver inflicted by his caresses so much more than his pained whimpers caused by Madara's strikes. And he wanted something different than whimpers.

If it was bringing Hashirama down to his knees, then he was doing it right, even if the Hokage was experiencing the pleasure in the process; though Madara didn't not grant him the permission to moan like he did now…

But he'd let it go for the time being; he'd let go of everything that tormented him – and hence there came the nails. Oh, he'd make sure to let all of it go but suppress Hashirama nonetheless. And indeed the Hokage was yet again caught off-guard with the onslaught of sensations Madara sent through his raking fingers that maimed what they once caressed.

.

The worst part however was that when it dawned upon Hashirama how guilty he felt for making his friend act this way.

Madara was in so much pain all he could do was inflict it on others; and what Hashirama hated the most upon this sudden realization is that he thoroughly began to enjoy that pain Madara caused him, oblivious to his own inner turmoil.

Hashirama was baffled – for there still had to be a way to save his friend. All he could think of was returning the favours back – and so he awkwardly tried to respond, which was difficult enough given Madara's enthusiastic biting and even more agitated stroking that provided everything to make Hashirama forget not only of responding, but of breathing and all.

.

Sensing the change in his enemy's moves, snickering at the pathetic attempts to respond, Madara instantly knew the way he'd strengthen his achievements, as if they could become any more firm than they already were.

He'd pretend to be benevolent, he would grant Hashirama the access to forgiveness; but the Hokage would have to earn it.

Preferably the hard way, the one just as hard as he himself was in his frenzied crusade, - though all Madara's thoughts went blank when Hashirama intuitively knew what to do next, when these slender fingers moved awkwardly yet divinely all the same, when he got as much of Madara as he could in his unnaturally hungry mouth, displaying so much urgency and obedience that Madara felt his eyes rolling out of the sockets as the intensity of sensations shuddered throughout him in the rush of something too great to be just the victory.

.

Oh, Hashirama would do anything it could take to release his friend from his horrible pain. After all, he had been the one to introduce Madara to this pain of loneliness, so it was purely his way to amend for his past behaviour.

He would suck and kiss, unlike the angry bites Madara (rightfully!) delivered him; but for real, for that elusive real he himself was definitely unworthy of – but if his strokes and shivers, the least he could do! – if they were capable of bringing Madara back to sanity…

If this was even possible…

He would do it, and proudly.

.

He would allow himself to come undone, and for once it would not be for his beloved Mito.

No, it would be for his friend whom he almost deemed to be the ultimate evil, but whom he condemned to this hell all by himself. It was all Hashirama's fault, and his resolve was rapidly growing unreservedly stronger the harder he himself got.

It felt like Madara was moaning his name – for Hashirama could not distinguish hearing; seeing and touching from the amazing overall feeling of forgiveness washing through his very being in the white hot wave of blessed oblivion flooding his senses.

He would not allow Madara to be gentle with him – even as the latter attempted to kiss his forehead as the gesture of gratitude, Hashirama yanked his own head away and turned his back to Madara, but thankfully the Uchiha clearly didn't like it this way – the rough smack on Hashirama's face followed by a bruising kiss was a better continuation than any possible caress, and the nails probing his entrance were so much better than the tender lips which tried suckling on his nipples.

.

Madara should be emboldened to act rougher, Madara would think it to be the act of his own mercy – entering Hashirama without much preparation, pressing hard enough to tear the sensitive skin apart and elicit the myriad of anguished cries from the Hokage; whilst in truth it would all be just the parts of Hashirama's complex apology to his friend.

For the sake of their friendship, for the sake of ceasing this futile war between them; Hashirama would endure all the violent thrusts and punches Madara would deliver in his wildest agony of an arousal - Hashirama would even make himself find as much delight in that ruthless penetration as possible, for these sufferings would be his own versions of pleasure at the moment of atonement.

Madara might even think he'd be punishing Hashirama with this glorious pain – and Hashirama would make everything in his abilities to never ever let Madara know this was his own choice of the punishment from the very beginning of their battle.

Madara would crave for more and thus would force Hashirama to submit to him again and again – but Hashirama would welcome his every assault with open arms and legs spread wide to contain all the hatred of the Uchiha.

.

And may be, one day, he would amend enough for their past and the friendship he screwed without realizing.

May be, one day he could welcome Madara in a way that would not be the part of redemption.

...

.

...

A/N

The finale is open for interpretation; yet there's no telling whether this could ever have any continuation or not.