since I’ve found serentiy
For @squidspawn, happy birthday! I hope it’s been fabulous for you! 💕
Picking up passengers on Persephone was clearly a massive mistake.
Very massive. So massive. Incredibly massive, and Madara has made some damned serious mistakes in his time so he knows them when he sees them.
This particular mistake looks like red eyes and white hair and a smirk that makes Madara’s blood boil, and the fact that it comes attached to the most moon-brained bastard of an escaped science experiment Madara has ever had the misfortune to lay eyes on just makes things worse.
“This,” Madara says waspishly, hurling himself into the copilot’s chair, “is entirely your fault.”
Tōka, of course, doesn’t even blink where she’s seated on Izuna’s lap, his arms wrapped around her waist and one of her arms curled around his neck. They’re incredibly cute, and it’s absolutely disgusting. “You do know that my family occupies an entire planet,” she says dryly, because of course she knows exactly what he means. “I’m not responsible for everyone who shares a last name with me, or your decision to accept them as passengers because of it.”
Madara hates it when she takes that reasonable tone with him. Harrumphing, he crosses his arms over his chest and slumps back in his chair.
“Is the doctor settled in?” Izuna asks cheerfully, like he can’t see Madara’s scowl. Like he doesn’t remember how Hashirama smuggled a fugitive science experiment on board their ship while the idiot was being followed by the Alliance. Which has, predictably, resulted in the grievous wounding of their mechanic (well, kind of; Madara’s pretty sure an entire Alliance cruiser couldn’t put Mito down for long), the unintentional kidnapping of a bounty hunter, outrunning the Alliance, and more bullshit than Madara has had to deal with since the war ended.
Really, Madara worries about his little brother sometimes.
“Settled in and trying to find something to fix that hing-wah tsao duh liou mahng,” Madara huffs, but despite himself he finds his eyes closing, his head tipping back against the headrest. He can’t help but remember the way Hashirama clung to the thin, shaking form that tumbled out of the box, the way Tobirama curled into his brother’s touch and new him instantly, even though there hasn’t been a single coherent sentence out of the pretty bastard since.
Tōka hums, though Madara can’t tell if the sound is amused, skeptical, or just noncommittal. “Come on, husband,” she says instead of answering, and Madara opens his eyes in time to see her rise to her feet, taking Izuna’s hands and pulling him with her.
“Coming!” Izuna agrees cheerfully. “Well, I mean not yet I’m not but—”
Tōka kisses him to shut him up. Madara takes back all the nasty thing he’s ever said about her.
“Good night, Captain,” she says amusedly, and leaves the bridge with Izuna trailing behind her like a smitten puppy.
Madara snorts softly to himself, eyes fixed out Serenity’s wide window at the stars beyond. A few moments of peace is a welcome reprieve from the stupidity of the last few days, and with most of the crew asleep, he’s more than happy to—
“All the brains are quiet now.”
Madara absolutely does not shriek and almost fall out of his chair. Though if he did that would be an entirely appropriate reaction to a ghost-pale figure suddenly appearing out of nowhere right beside him.
“Wuh de ma! What in the gorram hells do you think you’re doing?” He scrambles to his feet, turning to face the unimpressed stare of their newest burden. “Where’s your brother?”
“Back on Osiris,” Tobirama says, moving past Madara to lean forward and stare out the window.
“That is absolute gos se,” Madara informs him, because there’s no way an idiot like Hashirama managed to go anywhere on Serenity without someone holding his hand, let alone all the way back to whatever planet spawned the Senju as a whole. “Did you sneak out without him noticing?”
Tobirama ghosts a hand across the console, not looking at Madara, and his expression is faintly sad. “Hashirama likes it when things work,” he offers, like that’s any sort of answer at all. “He goes back there when his brain goes quiet.”
Moon-brained, Madara reminds himself, searching for patience. Moon-brained and the product of Alliance experiments and—
Long fingers cup his jaw, making Madara startle, and Tobirama is right in front of him, peering into his face like there are secrets written there.
“You don’t need to search for it,” Tobirama tells him, and those red eyes are crazy, maybe, but in a way Madara knows all too well. “It’s all you have left, isn’t it?”
“What?” Madara manages to get out.
Tobirama casts him a glance through white lashes, even as he pulls away. “You brought the battlefield with you,” he says. “It made you patient, carrying it around all the time.”
Serenity Valley, Madara thinks, because there isn’t anything else Tobirama could mean, but there’s no way he could know. He curls his hands into fists to hide the way they shake and takes a breath, ready to yell—
Tobirama presses a finger over his lips. “All the brains are quiet. Yours should be too. Hashirama went back to Osiris, but you don’t have to go anywhere.”
Carefully, Madara wraps his fingers around one thin wrist and pulls Tobirama’s hand away. “Are you going to start making some gorram sense any time soon?” he demands, willfully ignoring how Tobirama is making far too much sense for comfort.
It gets him a smirk, quick and fleeting. “She’s a good ship,” Tobirama says, and then is gone, slipping out of Madara’s grasp and vanishing like he was never there at all.
“Wuh de tyen, ah,” Madara mutters to himself, raking a hand through his hair. He shakes his head, then laughs a little, helpless and amused, and curls his fingers over the back of the chair for just a moment. “A good ship indeed.”