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They Say We Are What We Are (But We Don't Have to Be)

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Tobirama tenses as he hears the nearly silent footsteps approaching him, footsteps that could only belong to a shinobi; civilians were never that quiet and had no reason to venture out this far. Given where he was hiding, and just how far he was from his closest allies, the chances of it being a friendly shinobi were nil. Normally Tobirama wouldn’t be worried, he wasn’t the second strongest shinobi of the Senju Clan for no reason, but normally he wasn’t poisoned, suffering from severe blood loss, dangerously low on chakra, and fighting off the start of his heat all at once. Usually the universe was kind enough to limit his disadvantages to just two or three things. A quick sniff alleviates some of Tobirama’s fears, at least it wasn’t an alpha coming to take advantage of him.

“Who’s there?” A voice calls and Tobirama is struck by just how young they sound, maybe he would have a chance. 

Holding his breath, Tobirama hopes the kid will just leave but as luck would have it a curly head of dark hair appears around the bend. A flash of red alerts Tobirama to the Sharingan and before the Senju can stop himself, he lunges at the teen, a kunai instantly in his hand.

The Uchiha gracefully dodges and disarms Tobirama in one easy move, much to the Senju’s annoyance. “Easy there, you’re hurt.”

“Why do you care?” Tobirama huffs, struggling to get out of the younger man’s hold, even as he is gently lowered to the ground, “I’m your enemy.”

“Actually you’re Izu-nii’s enemy,” the teen chuckles and instantly Tobirama recognizes Kagami, Izuna’s younger brother, “not mine.”

“I’m a Senju, you’re an Uchiha,” Tobirama points out, batting away the hands tugging at his clothes. “You’re too young to want anything to do with my heat, so knock it off.”

“I’m trying to see your injuries” Kagami states, pausing in his actions to wait for Tobirama to calm down, “you don’t look so hot.”

“No shit.”

“Listen I’m trying to help you, so stop being an asshole and let me see what’s wrong.” Kagami orders and Tobirama reluctantly does as he’s told. They are both silent as Kagami gets the bloody rag that used to be Tobirama’s shirt off. “What happened?”

Tobirama very carefully doesn’t react to the sting as Kagami cleans his wounds, still surprised an Uchiha was helping him. 

“I need to know what I’m dealing with.”

“I was poisoned,” Tobirama finally admits, abelit reluctantly, “I ran out of my medicine and the shit I bought was spiked. An ambush was waiting for me, I got away by the skin of my teeth.”

“That must have been a strong poison,” Kagami remarks, carefully feeling Tobirama’s forehead after off his wounds are bandaged, “Izu-nii often complains about how strong you are.” The Uchiha frowns at the heat radiating off the Senju, it was too much to just be his heat, which spoke to a very potent poison.

“He does?” Now that makes Tobirama blink, he couldn’t imagine Izuna of all people complimenting him, even in a backhanded way.

“I don’t think he means to,” Kagami chuckles, the melodic sound soothing some of Tobirama’s frayed nerves, “but he still does.”

“Why are you helping me?” Tobirama asks, hesitantly taking a drink from the Uchiha’s canteen after the younger man takes a drink first, “isn’t this treason in your clan or something?”

“I know you Senju think poorly of us, but we don’t fight dirty,” Kagami states with a frown, “at least not now that Mada-nii is in charge and has taken care of the child and omega killers.”

“Madara did what?”

“Aniki never approved of Tajima’s policy of taking out people unable to defend themselves,” Kagami says, the use of his father’s name surprising Tobirama; clearly he wasn’t the only one with daddy issues. “The second Madara took over anyone who hunted down children or omegas in heat was severely punished, a few people were executed.”

“Are you trying to tell me that Madara of all people gives a shit about omegas?” Tobirama asks with a raised eyebrow, “because I’m not nearly drugged enough to believe you Uchiha treat omegas any better than the other clans.”

“Of course Madara cares about them, he’s an omega.”

“What!?” Later Tobirama would be embarrassed that his exclamation was less of a word and more of a yelp, but right now he was trying to wrap his head around how an omega had become clan leader.

“I suppose the other clans don’t know,” Kagami mutters sheepishly, scrubbing a hand through his hair as he fidgets, “but it’s well known in the Uchiha about his status; we don’t care. His strength and Mangekyo mean more to our clan than his birth status.”

“How progressive…” Tobirama grumbles, waving off the Uchiha’s questioning hum.

“I need to get back before Mada-nii gets worried,” Kagami says, passing over his supply pouch, “feel free to use any of that if you think it will help. I’ll bring you some real food and medicine tomorrow, so please don’t try and run away.”

“We’ll see,” Tobirama shrugs, even though they both know he’s still not in any shape to move yet. Kagami just grins before he leaves, careful to cover Tobirama’s scent with his own.

Tobirama puzzles over his newest piece of information, could it be possible that Madara was an omega? He didn’t think so, surely Hashirama would have noticed; sage above he probably would have mated the Uchiha by now if given the chance. It could be that Madara, like himself, used an herbal suppressor to keep his status a secret; even if the Uchiha accepted him that didn’t mean other clans would and an untimely heat could be deadly. Their clan must have a good supplier of the herbs, Tobirama had to grow his own because so few Senju omegas tried to hide their status. It was an easy way out of the war, provided they lived long enough to actually present.

Tobirama’s not sure when he nods off, but the next thing he knows a damp cloth is gently dabbing his forehead as Kagami’s muted scent washes over him. “You actually came back, alone,” Tobirama mutters, unable to hide his awe; he was sure a party of Uchiha would follow the naive boy to kill him.

“Of course,” Kagami scoffs, pouting at the accusation, “why must you think the worst of me?”

“Oh I don’t know, maybe because our clans have been at war for generations?” Tobirama shoots back, wincing when he tries to sit up himself, only for his arm to give out on him. 

“Easy,” Kagami murmurs, carefully helping the Senju into a more comfortable position, “your injuries are bad and my iryo ninjutsu isn’t the greatest.”

“You know healing?” Tobirama asks, unable to keep the accusing tone out of his voice.

“Are you always this critical of what people say?” Kagami huffs, his tone reminding the omega greatly of Izuna.

“Yes.”

“Oh,” Kagami mutters, a startled laugh slipping free as he’s caught off guard by the blunt answer. “Anyway, yes I know some healing; all Uchiha know the basics, but few specialize in it.”

“Are you sure you’re an Uchiha?” Tobirama blurts and Kagami jerks back with a frown, chakra sparking behind his eyes, a warning of the terrors he can inflict.

“Excuse me?” The words are snarled Tobirama feels like he’s facing down Madara, not the gentle young man that was too pure to be a shinobi.

“You are too pleasant,” Tobirama says, hiding a wince as he shrugs, “and too honest. Were it not for your temper just now I would doubt your relationship to the other hotheads.”

Kagami remains silent for several moments, just long enough for Tobirama to brace himself for an attack, before the other man sighs.

“Mada-nii and Izu-nii have protected me from a lot,” he admits softly, unable to meet Tobirama’s eyes as he speaks, “so I do my best to live like our mother did.”

Did, past tense; not that surprising considering the war going on, but clearly it had been a traumatic death. “So what else have the Senju gotten wrong about you Uchiha?” Tobirama asks, wanting to distract Kagami from his darker thoughts for some reason.

Just like Tobirama had thought he would, Kagami quickly launches into a whole spiel about all the misconceptions surrounding his clan. Really the teen reminded him of Hashirama, which is probably what lets Tobirama’s mind drift as his wounds are carefully checked, cleaned, and rebandaged. Tobirama’s not surprised when his thoughts quickly return to his anija; he wondered if the elder Senju had figured out where he’d run into trouble? He should have returned yesterday and given how protective Hashirama had become after Tobirama had presented, he didn’t doubt the alpha was searching for him; he just doubted his anija was looking in the right place. Why would Hashirama think to look for Tobirama of all people deep in Uchiha land?

“You’re not listening, are you?” 

Tobirama blinks in confusion as the words bring him back to the present, only to recoil at the Uchiha staring deeply into his eyes. “What are you doing!?” Tobirama growls, shoving Kagami away from him despite the painful way it pulls his wounds.

“I was admiring your eyes,” Kagami laughs, not at all ashamed of his actions, “you weren’t paying attention and they’re pretty.”

“Do you have any idea how jarring it is to find an Uchiha staring into my eyes?” Tobirama demands, his body protesting at keeping his still injured muscles tensed for too long.

“Oh, yeah, forgot about that,” Kagami mutters, at least having the decency to flush in embarrassment, “sorry.”

Tobirama just nods, neither accepting nor outright rejecting the apology.

“Anyway I can’t stay any longer, Mada-nii will worry since the Senju are restless today,” Kagami explains as he stands up and brushes his clothes off. “I know why but it’s not like I can tell anyone without one of us getting hurt.”

“Just don’t engage them,” Tobirama requests, wishing he was well enough to travel, “I’ll try and rejoin them tomorrow.”

“You’re still too wounded!” Kagami protests, his eyes dropping to all the bandages on the Senju’s torso and the worrying gash on one leg.

“I need Hashirama to get the poison out of my system or I’ll die,” Tobirama points out, “I’m sure you noticed it’s chakra resistant; Anija’s Mokuton can get around that.”

Kagami is silent for a long moment before he wordlessly hands Tobirama the storage scroll he’d brought with and bolts.


Kagami runs from the cave, ignoring the nagging voice telling him to go back and protect his omega; Tobirama wasn’t even his yet! He knew it was a little underhanded to keep hiding his status from the Senju, but revealing he was an alpha when the other’s heat scent had been muted enough to ignore would have just put Tobirama needlessly on edge. Plus it was kinda cute how Tobirama thought he was so young; he was only a year younger than Izuna but clearly the Senju didn’t know that. Coming to the river, Kagami takes a deep breath and looks down at the bloody cloth in his hands; he’d swiped Tobirama’s ruined shirt before he left. Tearing a chuck off, Kagami ties it to the end of a kunai and whips it into the Senju land as far as he can. Now he just had to wait for a Senju to pick up Tobirama’s scent and track it this way, he wasn’t sure who he hoped it would be.

Kagami doesn’t have to wait long, the scent of a furious alpha alerting him to Hashirama’s presence even before the trees start to shake in fear or anticipation, he can’t tell.

“Where. Is. He?” Hashirama demands, biting off each word harshly as his eyes hyperfocus on the shirt.

“Calm down or I’ll keep the omega,” Kagami snarls right back, his normally repressed instincts flaring to life at the clear challenge. Instead of calming the other alpha like he’d sort of hoped it would, Kagami grunts as he suddenly finds his skull bouncing off the ground and an immovable mass of muscle blanketing his smaller form.

“WHAT DID YOU DO!?” Hashirama roars, tree roots twining around the Uchiha’s limbs.

“Nothing!” Kagami yelps, quickly wrapping himself in his Susanoo to force Hashirama back.

“What…?” Hashirama blinks in confusion, seeming to finally realize he’s facing Madara’s youngest brother for the first time.

“Are you calm?” Kagami asks warily, releasing his Susanoo to avoid Madara sensing it and bringing a war party.

“I think so?” Hashirama mutters, head tilting to the side like a curious bird, “I’m sorry but I need to find Tobirama, I don’t have time to fight with you.”

“I know, that’s why I’m here,” Kagami explains, raising his hands in a peaceful gesture, and allowing the protective alpha to visually see that his scent glands are still unmarked.

“I’m confused.”

“Are you alone?” Kagami asks and Hashirama nods, still not understanding the situation, “good, follow me.”

“Tell me what’s going on,” Hashirama demands as he follows Kagami, though his tone just makes him sound pitiful, “have the Uchiha taken Tobirama?”

“No,” Kagami assures, carefully leading Hashirama toward the cave without running into any of the Uchiha scouting parties. “Someone poisoned him, he’s in bad shape and I can’t help him anymore than I have.” The two stop at the mouth of the cave and Kagami nods toward it. “He’s in there, I’m going to run interference for you, leave as soon as you can.”

Hashirama nods and runs into the cave, never once considering it could be a trap as Kagami runs in the opposite direction.

The next time Kagami meets Tobirama is on the battlefield and he’s both relieved to see him recovered and terrified by the glare the Senju sends him. He has a brief moment to try and figure out why Tobirama’s so pissed before he’s forced to block the omega’s blade.

“You lied.” The words are growled right in his face and suddenly Kagami understands. He hadn’t lied per se, merely withheld the truth, but now isn’t the time to discuss it. Pushing Tobirama back leaves Kagami’s arms trembling, omega or not Tobirama was still stronger than him. Kagami’s almost grateful when Touka bulldozes her way past the omega and lunges at him, leaving Izu-nii to go after Tobirama.

Touka wasn’t Kagami’s favorite Senju to fight, she was the overly brash type of alpha Madara had threatened to drown him in their koi pond if he ever turned into. He figured it was due to the Senju’s attitude on women, alpha or not, on the battlefield, so while he understood her behavior, it didn’t mean he liked fighting her. Just before he can truly lose himself in the battle, something makes Kagami turn to check on Izuna; Madara was clearly enjoying himself based on his chakra, so the youngest brother knew his bad feeling wasn’t about him. The sight of Tobirama ruthlessly cutting Izuna down greets him and not even Touka’s blade tearing through his own shoulder as he rushes for his older brother is enough to redirect his rage.

“You bastard!!!” Kagami snarls, forcing Tobirama back and away from his wrongly still brother. He feels wetness on his cheeks, but the Uchiha ignores it, his desire to make Tobirama pay his only focus right now.

“You deceived me,” Tobirama growls, his anger slamming right into Kagami’s own.

“What!?” Kagami pushes the Senju back with new found strength, how dare that pale bastard act like he had any right to be furious!

“You’re an alpha!”

“So you killed my brother!?” Kagami shouts, his Magekyo spinning to life behind his tears, “I tried to keep you calm while you were hurt and you fucking killed my brother!!”

That must stun Tobirama because Kagami manages to break through the Senju’s defenses and bury his sword in the other’s armor. Tobirama staggers back a few steps, his eyes widening as he meets Kagami’s glare.

“Next time we meet you’re dead.” The promise is spoken and then the elder brothers are there, Hashirama blathering on about peace while Madara is ordering a retreat. Kagami’s instincts rage about allowing an omega to order him around, but he quickly shakes it off as he glances back at Madara supporting their brother’s weight alone. He had more important things to deal with right now than hurt pride and rage without a proper target.


Tobirama can only stare at the place the Uchiha had been moments ago. Surely he didn’t mean that right? The Senju couldn’t ignore the way his instincts screamed at him that Kagami would be the perfect alpha for him, but now it seemed like he’d messed that up.

“Otouto?” Hashirama mutters, snapping Tobirama back to the present as warmth slowly spreads over the shallow wound Kagami had given him.

“I didn’t kill him,” Tobirama states quietly, because he needs someone to know that, “I could have, but I didn’t.”

Hashirama is silent for a long moment as he really looks over his younger brother, wanting to make sure the physical injuries are taken care of before he tackles the mental ones. “Were you thinking about courting him Otouto?” Hashirama can’t help but ask, a little giggle slipping free when Tobirama’s nose wrinkles in disgust.

“Of course not, he’s an Uchiha.” The response is expected but it lacks the usual heat Hashirama has come to expect when his brother talks about Uchiha.

“An Uchiha that saved you,” Hashirama points out, “and made sure I could find you.”

“He’s still an Uchiha.” 

Hashirama doesn’t stop Tobirama as the omega leaves the clearing, he knew his brother needed some time to process his feelings. He could only hope the trees would alert him before his otouto inevitably tried something stupid. Shaking the thoughts from his head, Hashirama catches up with the rest of his war party.


Kagami can only stare helplessly at Madara as they wait for the medics to reveal Izuna’s fate. “I had the chance to kill him Aniki, but I didn’t…” The alpha finally mutters, unable to take the silence anymore, “I am so sorry...if Izu-nii dies it’s all my fault!”

“Kagami…” Madara startles when his baby brother suddenly bursts into tears but he quickly pulls him close and runs his fingers through Kagami’s curly locks. “Shh Otouto...it’s not your fault…”

“I should have killed him!”

“That would have made you no better than Tajima.”

The words break through the cloud of grief and Kagami finally meets his brother’s eyes. He can tell Madara is just as worried as he is, but he’s putting on a brave face because that’s what an older brother does, what a clan leader does. Before Kagami can try and come up with a response, the door opens the medic steps out of Izuna’s room.

“How bad is it?” Madara asks, though it’s clear he’s really asking how soon he needs to start funeral arrangements.

“All his ribs on the left side of his body are broken and he’ll have to remain off the battlefield for the foreseeable future but he should make a full recovery.”

“What?” Kagami murmurs, just barely audible, afraid anything louder will shatter this beautiful illusion.

“It’s more like he was struck with a blunt object than a sword,” the medic explains as he gestures for the two to go into the room, “but I have no idea why a Senju would do that.”

Kagami has an idea but he doesn’t allow himself to even consider it as he and Madara rush in to see Izuna. The middle brother is still unconscious but it’s clear he’s not on death’s door like they thought he was.

“Thank the sage,” Madara breaths in barely more than a whisper as he drops to his knees beside the futon, “I swear to Indra himself I’m going to dunk you so hard in the koi pond once you’re okay.”

“Aniki,” Kagami laughs as he sits beside his brother. The two just watch over Izuna, needing to see him awake to confirm he’s fine. Some time later, Izuna’s eyes start to twitch and they watch him intently, waiting with bated breath.

“Fuckfuckfuck!” Izuna whines, jerking awake as the pain hits him, “did that bastard break all my ribs?!”

“Only half of them,” Kagami supplies helpfully, just grinning when Izuna glares at him, “you’re not dead.”

“I should be though…”

Madara and Kagami share a look before the clan head fills Izuna in on what happened. Kagami flushes as he realizes how badly he overreacted; sage above he’d been such an ass to Tobirama when the omega had actually spared his brother. Deciding he needs to set things straight right away, Kagami sneaks out when his brothers are distracted and heads for the river where he can faintly sense Tobirama.

“Have you come to kill me?” Tobirama asks, his eyes never leaving the river he’s seated by.

“You could have killed him…” Kagami mutters, and finally the Senju looks up at him, his beautiful red eyes clouded over with too many emotions to try and decipher.

“I could have.”

“But you didn’t.”

“I did not.”

“Why?”

“You didn’t take advantage of me,” Tobirama explains as he slowly stands up, never once reaching for the sword carefully placed next to him, “you could have forced a bond between us, but you didn’t.”

“Of course not,” Kagami agrees, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion, “no decent person would.”

“Some would,” Tobirama points out, looking anywhere but Kagami’s face as he talks, “I was hurt that you lied to me but that doesn’t mean I would return your kindness with Izuna’s death.”

“I didn’t intentionally lie,” Kagami points out because now is the time to have this discussion, “I had just come from a mission and my scent suppressor hadn’t worn off yet. I should have told you I was an alpha, but I was afraid you wouldn’t let me help if you knew the truth.”

“I wouldn’t have,” Tobirama begrudgingly admits, “but how come my heat didn’t affect you? Is my scent that repulsive?”

“No!” Kagami yelps, not wanting Tobirama to think that, “your suppressant was still partially working and the smell of poison was overpowering.”

“Oh…”

The two lapse into silence as they process the new information. The day’s events finally crash into Kagami, overwhelming relief making him sway on his feet. Tobirama catches him instantly and pulls him close. A calming, almost sweet, scent washes over him and it takes Kagami a moment to realize it’s coming from Tobirama. “You smell nice.”

“I ran out of my suppressant,” Tobirama admits grumpily, even as he leans down to inhale Kagami’s own smoky scent, “though I’d be lying if I said I was hoping you wouldn’t notice.”

“Why?” Kagami asks, taking a step back once he’s sure his own legs will support him again, so he can really look at Tobirama; the omega was so much prettier now that he wasn’t half dead.

“I...you smell nice too.” Tobirama mumbles, shuffling awkwardly as he flushes.

“Are you saying you wish to court?” Kagami questions, unable to keep the hope and joy out of his tone, especially when Tobirama doesn’t immediately say no.

“You still want me?” Tobirama asks, his tone smaller than Kagami’s ever heard it and the alpha just grins.

“Of course I want you! I’ve liked you ever since you fished me out of the river when were kids!” Kagami smirks at the lovely blush that spreads over Tobirama’s face, “and it's just my luck that you became even prettier as you grew up.”

“Shut up,” Tobirama huffs, yanking Kagami forward for a kiss.

A moan slips free as Kagami kisses back, finally getting to taste the omega he’d wanted even when he thought Tobirama was an alpha. The Senju pulls back much too soon and Kagami whines, keeping his arms wrapped tightly around Tobirama, so he can’t runaway.

“Our brothers are coming!” Tobirama hisses, not sure how he feels when Kagami just shrugs and pulls him impossibly closer.

“So what?” Kagami asks with a raised eyebrow, “if they don’t understand that you belong to me, then they will learn.”

Tobirama wants to protest, but a heated pair of lips meets his and suddenly he can’t remember why their brothers finding out is a bad idea. That is until Hashirama and Madara crash through the trees like a couple of bulls.

“Get away from my otouto!” Madara screams, lunging for Tobirama since the two shinobi are closest to the Uchiha side of the river.

“Isn’t this great Madara!?” Hashirama exclaims excitedly, intercepting Madara and pulling him into a bear hug. “We can finally have our peace! After all even you wouldn’t make a bonded pair fight, would you?”

“Let me go you stupid stump!!” Madara roars, struggling vainly against the larger Senju, “they aren’t bonded yet.”

“Yeah isn’t it great Aniki?” Kagami asks with a shit eating grin as he steps in front of Tobirama, “you can finally get the alpha you’ve been pining over for years!”

“KAGAMI!!!!”

Kagami just cackles as he grabs Tobirama’s arm and runs in the opposite direction, trusting Hashirama to keep a good hold on his brother until he finds out the truth.

As the two run, Tobirama can’t help but roll his eyes as he watches Kagami laugh; the Uchiha’s entire face is practically glowing with happiness and that makes Tobirama grin. He finally had an alpha he could stand, a cute one at that, and he couldn’t wait to see what their future held.