Three Days Later
Izuna sat in one of the chairs trying to get comfortable. His arms were crossed over his chest with his legs stretched out. His eyes were closed with his chest rising up and down from breathing. The room smelled like lavender which was very pleasant to his senses. It has been so long since he felt so relaxed. This environment was peaceful- being a healing house and all. Lady Tsubaki sure loves the smell of lavender, he seemed to notice as earlier in the day she was in the room bickering with Madara about getting him fresh clothes and food.
She had placed crushed lavender in a plate small enough to hover over a candle. What surprised Izuna about Tsubaki was how she countered back at Madara. He noticed when she was done placing the lavender over the candle she would stand firm with her hands on her hips. Her glare was not a threatening one, but it was something sort of a mother scolding a child. It was humorous.
Izuna saw the spectacle between the healer and his brother. Both of them retorting with bickering words to one another only to stop when Izuna walked into the room with Ikko behind him. Tsubaki smiled and greeted the two shinobi with a nice curtesy of pleasant talk different from how she spoke to Madara. Izuna has seen his brother talk with respect towards women of their village, but this was something that made Madara look like the villain picking on a helpless leader. By the looks of it Tsubaki could handle her own against his big mean older brother. Lovers quarrel.
The youngest Uchiha could hear his brother breathing by his side. Like any sibling, Izuna worried about Madara. He was invincible on the battlefield. Izuna has come to look up to his only sibling. The power that Madara held within him could not be matched. Their enemies would cower and run from his strength, but there were a few who could give his brother a worthy fight. No one could beat an Uchiha. They were the strongest clan next to the Senju. A for to be reckoned with. Madara was on another level until that day.
Izuna's muscles twitched remembering that battle. A long, tiring fight between the two clans had blood being shed. Both Uchiha and Senju's did not expect such a foe to come out of nowhere. A reaper collecting its bounty of dead slicing through the ranks. The shinobi had an intention; a mission. He was fast and killed without blinking as he moved through the ranks. Izuna faces him head on with a kunai in hand. Two swords clashed against Izuna and he had to move back from receiving the full blow.
The shinobi was not after Izuna- he was after someone. Izuna noticed his glare towards his brother who was fighting off some Senju shinobi. The man pushed aside Izuna against a tree and ran fast past more shinobi. Madara did not see him coming. He could feel the chakra coming from the rouge ninja and with his sharingan activated, the shinobi was not scared. Something about him was strange. He fought barefoot and seemed to know where his opponent was.
Was he blind? Izuna wondered to himself.
The shinobi made impact on Madara with a heavy kick to his armor plated chest. The sound of a loud crack with the impact caused all the breath from Madara to be taken from him. Izuna shouted loudly for his brother when the shinobi threw one of his twin blades at his target. Madara flew across the battlefield with such force he had no time to react when the blade struck him and missed slicing his cheek open. Madara was mad; he was beyond pissed. Someone was able to catch him off guard!
Izuna breathed in deeply trying his hardest to catch up to them. The shinobi stood before a wounded Madara- a ninja of power and was feared by those who fought him. One blade pointed towards his brother ready for the final kill. Izuna was ready to attack this threat. The battle was coming to a close now as bodies littered the ground. The blind shinobi walked towards Madara and grabbed the other blade that had struck a tree and cracked it.
Madara was hurt, wounded, bleeding from the impact. His thoughts were running rampid as he clenched his fist ready to fight and win. The shinobi paced back and forth like a predator ready to make the finale kill. Something about him from the way he hesitated to kill Madara was strange. Through all odds, his opponent disappeared without speaking. He had his chance to strike, to kill, and he did not do it. Izuna ran towards his brother to see the damage caused.
Worry and anger clouded his thoughts when he saw his brother. Madara was not moving and blood was coming from his mouth. Izuna was afraid of moving him in fear of injuring him further. The state Madara was in was unthinkable. His older brother was beaten and almost killed by a shinobi who was fast. What placed some fear in Izuna was that the shinobi was blind. He had to have sense chakra in some way. Through the soles of,his,feet perhaps, but Izuna was,not sure how to test the theory.
They had to find him. They had to know why he was after Madara. Who could have hired him? Izuna had many questions building up in his mind. It was no wonder why he could not find himself to sleep after having a long busy couple of days with the village leader.
"How long are you going to pretend to be asleep, Izuna?" Madara said as he opened his eyes. Looking over to his younger brother, there was a playful smirk on his face. Izuna was taken from his thoughts of that battle.
"I am resting, brother. Speaking on your behalf with Koga about some matters which I think you need to look into." Izuna opened his eyes to look to his brother.
The only time he has ever seen Madara in such a weak state was when they trained with their father. Always bandaged up and sore from the training he would put them through all to prepare to be used as tools in an ever changing battle. As a grown man who was considered a perfect prodigy for the Uchiha clan his older brother seemed invincible. Madara was sitting up looking healthy and ready to go back to the battlefield. The color of his skin had come back instead of looking ghostly white. His eyes even looked darker and his hair has a shine to it. Tsubaki was a God send. She made Madara look stronger and much healthier.
"Koga?" Madara asked.
Ah! I forgot He doesn't know who that man is. Izuna thought feeling a bit foolish. He was tired, but it was no excuse. Excuses annoyed Madara beyond belief.
"He is the village leader. He wanted to speak with you but Lady Tokiko pushed me into your place." Izuna shuddered at the thought.
Madara stretched his sore limbs hearing pop after pop from his aching bones. He felt like some old man getting out of bed to begin life slowly waiting to die. It wasn't a thought he liked to think about. Izuna yawned in boredom as his older brother swung his legs over the table. Three days of healing has done Madara some good for his body. Lady Tsubaki had some her work on him and made sure he was for to walk. I am sure Madara is eager to fight again. Izuna thought with a smile.
Madara stood up feeling the cool ground on the soles of his feet. "What did the village leader want? I am sure an alliance and what are the conditions he is willing to give the Uchiha clan." He stretched again with his arms over his head. The pain in his ribs were still there but it was at minimum. The soup had surely done wonders for his body. He could feel his chakra flowing through him. Maybe not full strength yet, but it was enough to break bone.
"The same conditions any village wants. They have resources we can use and a daughter willing to marry you." Izuna stated remembering Koga's words. Koga himself felt to eager to give his daughter away. Not to mention she had the voice of a cat being strangled. That woman would flirt with anything that moved and had… well, potential to bare an heir.
Madara scuffed with much disappointment. Resources can be traded with any allied village at a good price. He was no stranger to it because of past dealings with other surrounding villages. Even the marrying of daughters was becoming an old trick that seemed to not phase Madara. He was no man of marriage, no matter what the elders say. He was a man meant to fight. He was to shed blood of his enemies and to bring the Senju clan to its knees.
"What resources is he willing to provide for us?" Madara said as he walked around the room.
Izuna knew the marriage proposal was something Madara had no interest in. It was pushed on his,older brother every meeting with the elders. Since the day he was made leader of the Uchiha clan, Madara was expected to marry and provide an heir in case Madara was killed in battle. Izuna was also pressured into it, but he always seemed to have come up with excuses as Madara would ignore it.
"I hear this village is a mining community and has some rich farm lands. It is rare to find something of the like in these times." Madara could not agree more with his brother.
"But we can talk about it when you get fresh air." Izuna stood up from his seat. Walking over to his brother, he slapped Madara on the back with a smile.
His older brother did not see the humor in it and there was a holy of pain that went up his spine. Izuna saw the pained expression on Madara's face and did it again.
"Can you stop that!" Madara yelled.
Tsubaki picked the perfect moment to walk in on the little banter between brothers. Madara had placed his brother in a headlock and Ikko (who had been with Tsubaki helping her with a simple task) chuckled seeing Madara was now back to being himself again. Ikko could not help to think of that was a good thing or bad.
"Lady Tsubaki?" Izuna said with a sheepish grin on his lips trying to get out of the headlock his brother held him in. The pressure around his neck loosening enough for him to breath.
"Are they always like this?" Tsubaki looked to Ikko for an answer.
"They are brothers, Lady Tsubaki. They always do this." Both Madara and Izuna glared at their comrade.
Tsubaki sighed, "If you hurt yourself Lord Uchiha I am not held responsible."
Izuna and Ikko chuckled, which Madara's glare only hardened. Tsubaki smiled her innocent smile. That face which Madara had seen many times before caused him to frown a bit. He let go of his younger brother, but not without Izuna hitting the floor. Ikko walked towards his clan leader with what seems to be clean clothing.
"Now that you boys had your fun, Lord Uchiha please follow me. I will show you the bathhouse." Tsubaki turned around as Ikko handed the clothing to Madara.
Izuna recovered quickly when Madara walked past him. His older brother was never the one to listen so willingly. It was strange to see him obey like this. Then again, wounded animals stay loyal to those who saved them from death. Madara wanted to repay his dues to Tsuanki who helped him and cares for him. Izuna wondered if she was the saving grace his brother needed, but it was too early to tell at this point. Tsubaki may be good at what she does, but she was a simple healer.
"Ikko." Izuna said once both Madara and Tsubaki were out of the room. Ikko turned his attention to the younger brother.
"Yes?" He said unsure on where to go next.
"I think it is best you go back to our village. I am sure by now the council is wondering where we are. It would be best to give them good news that Madara is not dead." Izuna stated getting up from the floor. His neck burned a little from having being in a headlock, but he would live.
"I agree with you. They might have sent out a recovery party for Lord Uchiha by now. I will leave later in the night once I pack what I need." Ikko said. "Should I send a messenger hawk in advance?"
Madara looked up to the blue clear sky. Not a cloud in sight with the wind blowing gently and crashing into his skin. Tsubaki noticed a far off look on Madara's face when he noticed his surroundings. Being inside for his recovery could drive a man mad and having to be outdoors is good for the soul. Tsubaki smiled gently at Madara when he noticed her staring at him. This woman. He thought not giving her glances a second thought.
Tsubaki felt a sense of pride. She had managed to heal her most toughest patient she has ever come to cross. All of those years of learning, making mistakes, and having to see people die had made Tsubaki the healer she is today. Madara was an example of her hard work and sleepless nights. She wondered if he knew how much sleep and endless mixing of herbs she lost during his healing process. Of anything he might feel the need to thank her, but Madara was not the type of man to do that.
Tsubaki frowned at the thought. She knew only the world of healing to make people better. Sure there were men like Madara out there that never took a second thought of saying thank you or feel appreciated at the sacrifice the healer made. Madara looked to Tsubaki noticing the frown. Something was disturbing her but he did not know what it was.
She was looking at me with kind eyes and now she is frowning? Did I do something to wrong her? Madara did not understand women.
They walked in a peaceful silence not to far from the healing house. The bath houses were in an isolated area used for the patients to recovery in the peace and solidarity without having to walked into the village. Tsubaki may not have said it but Madara needed to be clean. She was used to having to clean after her patients who could not do it themselves so she had no shame in seeing the naked human body. When her patients were well enough, she gave them their freedom at an expense they do not strain themselves.
Madara was not like the other shinobi she had come to healing. He was very independent and bull-headed. Maybe it was what made him interesting for Tsubaki. When they arrived she gave him some instructions. She told him that if he were to drown she would not perform mouth to mouth and let Tokiko handle it. In the usual manner in how Madara dealt with her supposed humor, he flicked her nose causing her to move back from him. Rubbing her sore area she noticed a smirk on his face. He was playing with her. That handsome jerk! She mentally slapped herself for the thought.
"That was unnecessary." She said as she continued to run her nose.
Madara basked in the glory of her defeat. "War can be an unfair advantage when one does not know when to attack." He placed his hand on the top of her head.
Tsubaki's eye had twitched. He was mocking her! "Go and clean yourself before I end up throwing mud at you."
Madara smirked at her annoyed behavior. Tsubaki is easy to anger, but Madara wanted to push his limits. If he wanted her, he would have to see what she can do in the face of an simple attack. Something so small, so minuscule. Tsubaki had to be tougher, stronger, and Madara could mold her. A healer of her skill could be passed down, but would the elders of the Uchiha clan accept her? An outsider?
Do not get attached like this. His thoughts scolded him.
He took his hand off her head. This was not his character. He was not suppose to become this personal to some woman he only met a few days ago. This woman was a healer and meant to interact with her patients as they recovered. Madara cursed himself and turned from her. He was not going to let this happen, whatever it was. He was going to keep her for her healing knowledge and nothing more.
But the Gods have bigger plans.
Tsubaki watched in confusion as Madara stormed off inside the bath house. He seemed angry, agitated, and it was causing her to be a bit more cautious now. Madara was recovering at a good pace, but it did not mean he was any less dangerous now. She had to be careful with him, her heart felt broken as she was sort of confused at his emotions. One moment they seemed peaceful and the next something more. She knew what it could have been for she saw it before with her male patients. It was something she grew to fear.
Male patients would grow attach to her for her caring and nurtering behavior. She sighed heavily knowing that these emotions would end once Madara leaves the village and never returns. A sad thought but one she grew to get used to over time.
Tsubaki left Madara to his own device and headed back to the healing house. Tokiko was outside tending to the garden of herbs. Tsubaki loved the garden more then anything the world could offer. It was her peace and serenity when everything seemed dark. Tsubaki knew most of the herbs that grow in the garden and how it is obtained.
Each herb had its difference and use for medicinal purpose. From helping pregnant women with nausea to old people with their arthritis. Tsubaki was the woman to come too when you needed help and shinobi were no different. They happen to hurt themselves in battle. Tsubaki had seen it all in her line of work. Not that each time made it harder.
"Ah, Tsubaki come and join me." Tokiko said with a wave of her hand.
"I must check on my other patients before I can tend to the plants." Tsubaki stated when she looked at an empty spot in the ground. We are running low on astragalus. Tsubaki thought.
Tokiko smiled and stood from her place. Dirt covered her knees and hands. "I am sure Ami and the others are caring for them. You work to hard Tsubaki, come and join me. Let us talk."
Tsubaki did not like those words. Tokiko usually had something to say when it came to Tsubaki growing dangerously close to a patient. Tokiko would be wise and tease the young woman, but it was not without caution. Tsubaki held mutual feelings and respect to the Uchiha leader, if she had to say.
"It depends if I am going to like what I am going to hear." Tsubaki was weary of the old woman. Tokiko smiled.
"You know me well." Tsubaki's eye twitched.
"I hear Asumi was causing a bit of a ruckus a few days ago. I believe she wanted to see Lord Uchiha if I am correct." Not this again, Tsubaki thought as she began to dig a hole in the dirt.
"She was, but it was nothing I could have taken care of. Asumi thinks she can bully me into submission, but my patients are here for their own recovery. You know how she is when she has eyes on the men." Tsubaki rolled her eyes at the thought of that arrogant woman. So in love with herself that thinking about Asumi would have giving Tsubaki a headache.
"She truly gets under your skin." Tokiko teased with a grin. "But it seems Lord Uchiha has his sights on you." Tsubaki rolled her eyes as she picked up a clump of dirt. There goes Tokiko again seeing something is not there.
"We are not getting into this discussion about love you old crow. Were you not the one who told me that a make patient will only show the greatest gratitude to one who heals him?" Tsubaki threw a lump of dirt towards Tokiko. "And let's not forget that the patient only has feelings for his healer for a short period of time before he is sent home when he is healthy. This is not a fantasy where love magically happens."
"Why are you against the prospect of love?" Tokiko pretended to act hurt.
Tsubaki would welcome love with open arms. She was not against that aspect and saw herself as a romantic in the right setting. But her mind was focused on other matters. She wanted to know every medicinal herb there is to know. She wanted to find new and better ways to keep patients alive and without infection. She wanted to see change within the world before the whole love and marriage thing. If she did happen to find love along the way it was meant to happen.
"I am not against love, you old crow. Can we stop trying to get me a husband." Tsubaki pleaded looking to the sky for help.
"But I want grandchildren." Tokiko whined and hugged Tsubaki tightly until she couldn't breathe.
"We are not even related!" Tsubaki retorted trying to get out of the old woman's grip.
No matter what she tells herself, getting Madara out of her mind was going to be a tough battle. One she knows she'll overcome.
Of all her patients he was the one that would be the toughest to be rid of. Gods have mercy on her. She was growing attached.
AN: I am coming to enjoy this story. Its fun to write out these characters, especially Madara. We also get a glimpse on this shinobi that hurt Madara. I thought having this character be blind would be a good challenge for him since we all know Madara can pretty much beat anyone without using his sharingan. Kinda want to get him off his high horse type of thing to show he is not invincible as he may think himself to be.
Hershey, Guest, Halley Vanaria: Thank you for the reviews. Glad to know that you love this story and is willing to take time out of your day to read and comment.
Katara Tojiro: Thank you for your review on the last two chapters. I wrote Asumi because we need that character to be a rival in some way. I don't plan on having the two fight over a man because it's less funny as I want it to be a one-sided fight. Asumi loves herself and just wants Madara for the namesake. We love drama as humans. I want to show that even though Madara is this Godlike being we are introduced to, he has human qualities. We see hiim as being this defiant being who can do things on his own. I want to show the audience that even though they are strong, when they are weak they have to have someone there to heal them so they can be strong again. I hope that is what the audience sees and you too. Also, Thank you for the input of Tsubaki. I try to keep her balanced when I write her.
If Madara gets out of characters me know ASAP and if the plot gets to rediculous also let me know. I am trying to let this romance thing happen naturally. Its kinda showing that Tsubaki and Madara are attracted to one another just that they don't know it yet... Or they do. You readers decide.
Shout to everyone who has followed and favorited this story. You guys are awesome!