"And you are getting in the way of my reading break," he turns the tables effortlessly. "Have you even finished half of your own work? Hnn."
But you know what
Tobirama and Madara are the biggest gossip repositories of Konoha
Like one week into the building of the village
They already know who’s fraking who
Who owes money from whom
Who’s lying through gritted teeth
All the one million gossip
It’s a good thing these two men aren’t talkative or else
"I don’t think that is a wise idea," he manages a short chuckle. "Perhaps they will be more frightened of me than before."
It was Hashirama’s sincerest wish that people would view Madara the way he did - hardworking, disciplined, determined, and most of all, kind. He stoutly believed first impressions were trash, and that a person was worth getting to know of, if only for his merits and a thousand other good qualities that his reputation in war has otherwise drowned.
Hashirama waged a battle against his lover’s reputation.
His battle was fought with daily walks around the budding village hidden behind the leaf, starting as soon as the sunrise peeked from the eastern mountains and dewdrops still clung to leaves. Hashirama would wake up, greet the world good morning, and harass Madara Uchiha for an early morning walk and breakfast-on-the go, before they went to their respective temporary offices.
They would visit every street, every district, every corner.
Hashirama would smile charmingly at everyone who greeted him, returned their bows. If it wasn’t otherwise so public, he would have risked Madara’s hand, or maybe the edge of his sleeve - give it a tug as if to say, Madara, come on, greet them back, try to smile - here, look, not that hard, see? Smile!
But Madara is simply a silent shadow beside him, not a step behind and not a step ahead, lips pressed into a neutral line, dark gray eyes observing every person - man, woman and child, who greets them. It is one of the instances Hashirama wishes he too is a sensor; for sensors perceived beyond eyesight and dojutsu, and he can never know nor fully understand what Madara sees in the multitude of chakra that now flock their Konoha like butterflies attracted to the nectar-bearing flowers.
At the Academy, the children flocked to Hashirama. He would regale the young ones with stories while Madara hung back, watching from the edge of an invisible circle, his sleeves fluttering in the morning breeze, his fingertips barely visible. Without fail and with the patience of a lifetime, Hashirama would wave him over, and the Uchiha would hesitate, and approach.
The children were scared of him.
Hashirama dismisses this with a boisterous laugh and a bold move - he claps a hand to Madara’s back, briefly - but oh, how he longs to be able to hold that calloused hand and twine their fingers; raise those rough knuckles to his lips so he may kiss them under the morning light. He suggests a haircut, and the faintest of smiles caresses Madara’s lips, although he does not say anything else.
They finish their customary morning walk around this budding Konoha, and Hashirama walks his lover to the doors of the treasury, still a hodge-podge of haphazardly pitched tents in different patches and colors by the foot of what would eventually be known as Hokage Mountain. He watches Madara head in to work, and Hashirama knows as he knows his own heartbeat that Madara may actually prefer the company of Konoha’s shadowed and cold vaults than actual noisy people, but he will not give up.
For a part of Hashirama’s dream is to make the people see the starlight that lies hidden behind Madara’s charred and seemingly unbreachable walls, and he will stop at nothing to share that brilliance with the people of Konoha.
"Frightening?" He repeats. "Do you still think I care about what people think about me? I never have, Hashirama." He leaves the flower on, though.