A/N: Hello lovely readers and welcome to my newest project. I am extremely excited to write this, more than I can even explain in words, and this is only the beginning. The chapters will probably fluctuate in length, but most will be twice this size. Okay..where to begin..
Okay, first and foremost this is an AU that will follow a lot of canon ideas and morph them to this reality. Secondly, while the beginning has some obvious hashimito references, this story is HASHIMADA. And I am not going to morph Mito into some jealous, angry uzumaki who wants the senju d. Trust me. I will do justice to her character. This story is my new baby and I want to cradle it with love and affection, not completely rewrite the basis of these characters.
Explicit material will probably occur much later..just a warning. And no, hashirama wont always be topping.
Oh, and the cover is one of many works by senju-swag on tumblr who I will shamelessly promote because she is amazing okay?
I don't want to bother you with any more authors note, so just go on ahead. Please review, message me, let me know what you think, ect. I want to know all of your lovely opinions, suggestions, and criticism.
Death was an inevitable part of life; good could not coincide without evil and only some of the world prospered while others failed. Opposites not only attracted to one another, but also thrived in a world where the other survived. While this was not true of his entire life, Hashirama could not deny the principle had done quite a bit of work in his forty-nine years of living.
In his youngest years he had stood before his father, set in his stubborn ways, and balanced out the fiery passion of the battlefield with a more hopeful, idealistic vision of life. While his three brothers debated among themselves, whether it be a silly thing or the more typical conversation about the future, he was the one to give them playful words of hope, stating that it would simply work out in the end.
Befriending a boy from the opposite side of the war was no different.
When they sat by the river, speaking of hope and freedom from the wretched hands of battle, and when they found condolences in each other during times of loss and pain, they had been closer than ever. But the times they sat on their hill, looking out to the forested earth and imagining the many houses and streets that would one day flourish was arguably the highlight of those days.
And then they sacrificed the needs of their clan in an attempt to save one another from a sneak attack on opposite sides of the rushing water.
They had been young, yet had seen far too much war for their age and lost so much family that they couldn't help but want peace. In that aspect, and many more, they were similar. They both held such a firm belief etched deep into their personality that created a big part of who they were as they grew older. However, they did not fully escape the inevitable law of nature. That was impossible, even for the most powerful yet broken of his clan, Madara Uchiha, and the sacrificial leader of his people, Hashirama Senju.
The later years that followed were some of the worse of his, and imaginably his best friends, life. Fights that ended badly, words that were spoken in the heat of battle, things that never should have been said. People that had fought for no other reason then to win. Petty things, really. As much as he had felt the thrill of the fight during that time, he had also always known how to keep it in check.
During their final battle, and even much of his life onwards, however, he felt nothing but pain.
The consequences showed profusely in the later years of his life. After he had done what was necessary, slayed the only true friend he had ever truly cherished not only for his family and village, but for the ideals that he and Madara had held before he fell into the darkness, Hashirama had been in a miserable state. Carrying his heavy body, burdened by the armor and weapons his friend had on him, to konoha had not been the easiest of tasks, however that had nothing to do with weight. It was the tears that clouded his vision as all of these memories resurfaced.
Many great accomplishment had happened in the twenty years that Madara had been gone that undeniably brought joy to him. But true happiness was rarely felt even as he married his wonderful wife shortly after, who gave birth to great children and who in turn had given him an adorable, yet not without some slight corruption, granddaughter. Life for both him and the village continued on, yet every time he looked at the average merchant, the happy newlyweds, and typical families scattered amongst this peaceful place they called home he was always reminded that he had killed a man so important to him in order to ensure this. There was no peace without sacrifice, and it was in these years that he realized just how much he valued this long lost friend of his.
These were the things his thoughts lingered on during his last, shallow breathes.
His battle skills were still one to contend with, of course, but not nearly as strong as he was thirty years ago. Experience usually made up for that, but one of the amazing things about this world was that the next generation tended to surpass the ones before them, and now was a prime example of it.
He supposed as far as deaths went, this one was rather nice. He had been attacked by the enemy during an ambush, one that had taken a full army to bring him down and had driven him deep into the thick forest. It was glorious enough; honor wasn't the highest on his list of priorities anyways.
He entrusted Tobirama to take care of Konoha no matter how devastating his death would be. And while the family he would leave behind would be saddened, he was sure they would recover. Mito and his sons would surely pull through, and because he had died protecting his village he had no regrets..save one.
He could not save Madara from the darkness.
This was the one thing that plagued his mind as he laid back against the stump of what used to be a large, healthy oak. It had been so many years, yet the pain of piercing a blade through his friend never left him. Sometimes he found himself selfishly wishing he had been the one to perish, but in his heart he knew the outcome was simply meant to happen. If it had not, the lives of countless others would have been needlessly sacrificed. So if he could not have had a completely happy ending in this life, he at least had the afterlife to look forward to.
He vaguely wondered if his old friend would be there, waiting to either kill his soul or salvage the friendship they once had.
His body was becoming weaker by the second. He tried to save himself with healing chakra, but the wounds were too extensive and poison too potent — while he worked on one organ, another was failing. He was struggling to keep his heart beating despite knowing enough of his own body to realize his life was ending.
I guess.. I might not be as ready to die as I thought. Looks like I don't have much of a..choice though..but I will be seeing my old buddy, at least. I wonder what he's up to..probably with his brothers..never did get to meet them all. I wonder what his mothers like. He never would tell me much about his family..well..death is a pretty good way to find out...
"You seem eager to die, laying back as if you've given up. I never would have imagined you to do such a thing, Hashirama Senju."
Although surprised by the sudden voice, he was too tired and worn down to do much more than flicker his eyes open in acknowledgement. She was an elderly lady with pale, wrinkly skin and a bright, thin face framed with wisps of silver hair falling down to her waist and piercing blue eyes.
"Don't be. You've life still in you, have you not?"
"Who..are you..?" he breathed out, at this point using every last bit of his chakra to push air into his lungs.
"I..am no one. My purpose is simply to help you."
"My..body..might be beyond help"
"Nothing is beyond help." She stated simply.
"Are you..a friend of Konoha?"
"I have no friends."
He considered this strangers words, suspecting some sort of motive but far too weak to question her. A gust of wind suddenly rushed through the air, strands of his hair blowing in his face. His limbs were too far gone and useless — he couldn't brush it aside if he wanted to. He could only watch through half lidded eyes and past messy pieces of battle damaged hair as she stood tall.
"This could..be worse. At least you're not..my wife. She would kill me..for dying like this. Very picky woman, she is. "
A flash of amusement passed through her worn eyes "Oh? Must be a horrible wife."
Despite the insult, a small laugh left his lips as he tried to shake his head. "Strong willed..maybe. Not horrible. I wouldn't have..married her..if I didn't love her."
It was relatively quiet then, aside from his slight wheezing. She knelt down beside him with a soft look.
"Do you want to live?"
No matter how strange this woman's words were, a light of hope shone in his eyes."If you can heal me..I would appreciate it.."
"You said it yourself, your body is far gone."
A sulky pout appeared. "Ah..well..a lovely chat to have before..my death..at least."
"Do you believe in time travel?"
He gave her a look of disbelief at the sudden change of topic.
"I will assume that is a no."
"It might exist..but it would be impossible without consequence..and..highly forbidden..."
"Negativity is not an option, not in your condition. If not time travel, then what about alternate dimensions?" she asked, emphasizing the last word with a weighted tone.
Despite the deteriorating of his body and the numbness that was overtaking his limbs, these words brought out a certain alertness within the dying man and he began to study her closer. She appeared twice his age with a frail, thin body that was by no means healthy. Bones protruded from her sagging skin, connected by joints that were nearly as lifeless as his at the moment, and prominent wrinkle lines spread across her lips.
"Anything is possible," he clarified. "..Why..do you ask?"
A soft, sweet laugh burst from her upturned lips. "The hokage should be at least a little smarter than that, don't you think?"
"Dimensions," he repeated to himself. A heavy silence delayed the inevitable. "Who are you again, exactly?"
"I have no name, not anymore."
"A private person, then." he answered, shrugging it off as he leaned back into the tree and closed his eyes. He was in a great deal of pain, far too much to pester an old woman, and if he was going to die he at least wanted to be comfortable. A cough racked his body, blood spurting from his lips, and he momentarily gave up on his lungs. They were far past the point of no return and at this rate internal bleeding would kill him before the poison. It was a miracle he remained as composed as he did.
"Do you not understand my words?"
"Do you realize I am offering to perform a jutsu on you that could send you to another time, another reality?"
A small pause.
"And you choose death?"
A small smile.
"No matter how kind your offer.. this jutsu sounds too immoral. No one..should be able to control the world.. the very order of life. If this fell into dangerous hands..much like other forbidden jutsu..the results could be devastating."
"But you are not dangerous hands! You are hokage of Konohagakure, the strongest shinobi alive!"
"Not for long" he joked, blood pooling in his torn clothing to prove his point.
"You will not just die."
"You will not just die. You have too much to live for, too much left to do. I refuse."
He sighed softly, though honored by her determination to save him.
"If you would use...this technique you claim to have...disregarding a dying man's.. wish.. then you are no friend.. of konoha."
"You do not understand. You are no friend to anyone if you give up. Do you realize how many lives you can save by accepting this gift? I can send you back as many years as you desire, send you to a place where you can create a completely different future. You can right any mistake, any misgiving. You can save the human race from inevitable destruction that you do not see because you are blinded by your sense of morality!"
Her words rang in his pounding head, over and over they thumped and trotted around, bringing utter chaos wherever they wandered. As much as he tried to act for the good of everyone, he was no saint. Temptation eagerly pulled at him wherever he went, though it never pierced through his determination, and at his weakest he was most vulnerable to these "what-ifs". The very prospect and idea she presented moved him in directions it shouldn't.
What if he could save his parents? His brothers? His friends?
What if he could save Madara? If he could stop everything that brought darkness into his life, the loss of his brothers and the loss of respect from all of his clan, of every man who betrayed him..
He could make the world a better place. This village..it was prosperous and peaceful..but could he keep it that way? Could he, assuming he chose death, trust the future hokage to the place he called home? Yes.
He made his brother swear to do whats best for the village, to never show prejudice and to always instill kindness and hope in every person. While no man was perfect, this was something he trusted. But trust was not the same as happiness and would not save all the lives lost in the past.
Still, he could not stomach the method to gain this.
"I'm sorry, Hashirama."
He was only half aware of the echoing voices in his head as the man, on the brink of death, was suddenly warped into a collective darkness. He was unaware of what took place afterwords, barely recalling the numbing sensation that overtook his beaten body as his last breath left him. There was no pain or struggle, merely unwanted acceptance as he was sucked away to whatever place in his past she had chosen for him.