29 December 2009 @ 10:14 pm
untitled gift fic [naruto; au]
For [livejournal.com profile] shadows_in_mind, who plays one fantastically creepy (and heartcrushingly human) Madara. AU, rp-verse. Five acts: some gen, some angst, some awkward porn, some death. Uh. Madara-centric PoV.

I. Black Crow King
(the whole thing's changed in unthinkable ways)

Of course it won't turn out well. Again, the clash of wills, strong, hopeless Itachi against the collective disapproval of the clan itself, nearly two hundred pairs of crimson eyes turned against the solitary figure in the center of the room.

The river might as well rage against the river-stone, for all the good it does. So it has been, since Itachi's prowess began to manifest with its own sort of frightening speed, with it his utterly misplaced sense of compassion, and Madara knows that if any of them paid half the attention to the way Itachi's motives take shape (as of course Madara has), they'd understand that their words and their anger are worthless. They might even find a way to turn him, to use that overwhelming sense of duty to their advantage.

(Itachi does not exaggerate each time he curses his family for a pack of blind fools, there in the early morning silences of his unfurnished room. Madara, ever the patient one, simply runs skinny fingers through the younger shinobi's hair and reminds the boy that this, too, shall pass.)

No surprise at all, Madara muses, that he's taking the idea of weeding out the remnants of the numerous but assuredly inferior Senju clan so poorly. Madara's not particularly keen on the idea of it himself, but knows that there is no real danger of such action going through in the first place. Even among the Uchiha there is enough gray matter between them to understand what sort of backlash such a drastic move would surely create. They may sometimes be fools, yes, but they are not yet to the point of hastening their utter destruction quite so dramatically.

Madara considers just that as he drifts out of the main hall in Itachi's wake, geta clattering softly against polished wood as he reaches inside his obi to withdraw a narrow-mouthed pipe. He slips a small packet of aromatic tobacco from the inside of a sleeve, tamps it gently into the chamber, and lights it with a practiced motion. He breathes in the smoke with a quiet hum of pleasure, eyes shifting to the courtyard, an ancient, stately garden that hasn't changed much in the last eight decades, an insulating lassitude punctuated rather than disturbed by the cry of a nearby cicada.

It's a beautiful evening. Madara makes a note to instruct a serving girl to prepare tea.

As soon as he has finished this particular bit of business, of course. Though some may think otherwise, Madara is a good hand at turning aside inevitable calamaties when he chooses to.

Moments later, he slides aside a fragile rice-paper door, slipping into a shadowed room. Itachi's narrow back faces him (ever a dangerous thing, Madara scolds silently), and it doesn't take the Sharingan to see the way the boy is shaking like a leaf. A tiny frown creases Madara's lips; this is, of course, not the way he has planned things at all.

A light snow of glowing ash drifts towards the tatami as Madara puts the pipe away.

The breath rushes from between Itachi's gritted teeth as Madara's arms circle him in a loose cage, the hard point of his chin resting against a bony shoulder, cheek against neck and the pulse beneath the boy's warm skin is racing racing racing. Itachi shudders once and stands entirely still, the wound-down figure of a lifeless doll.

"There's no need," Madara murmurs, burying a dark smile as fine hair tickles the corner of his mouth. "Calm yourself, child. All will be well."

"They'll destroy themselves, anyway," Itachi grates out, a hollow voice thick with grief and quiet despair. "The only difference is who they take with them."

A slight shake of Madara's head, and he allows himself a single, derisive snort. "Of course not. They will talk until their bones turn to dust, but they are bound."

Like this, he thinks, and squeezes gently. The ninjato clatters to Itachi's feet and the shaking begins again, great vicious tremors that wrack the small body in his grasp until it seems he is all that holds it together. It's cruel, isn't it, to be so young, and to carry such a staggering sense of responsibility? But if it were not so, he would not be Itachi, and he would not be worth even a fraction of the time and energy Madara has already invested in him.

It will do. For what Madara requires of him, it will do.


II. Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?
(if you want me to boy i could lie to you)

The first time is something of a surprise. Madara and Itachi are seated around a low table in one of the many rooms that overlook the temple courtyard. They are drinking warm sake and listening to the crickets, occasionally telling stories of the past, useless but otherwise precious for their unfamiliarity. Madara speaks haltingly of encounters with Hashirama in the times long before Itachi's birth. Itachi offers a few sparse stories of classes at the university.

Madara does not know if it's the alcohol that's warmed his old blood, or the full moon that filters through the half-open door to spread pale light against the tatami. Perhaps it's those brief glimpses of Itachi's life away from home, moments Madara has not shared with the younger shinobi; he finds himself wondering if Itachi has found a lover yet among the men and women of the world they sometimes inhabit, a normal human lover that shares none of his own world of blood and death.

He feels a sharp pang of jealousy, even though he knows Itachi is far too cautious to allow another so close.

He has watched Itachi grow from a boy to a man, quiet witness to his many awakenings, always with one teasing hand outstretched, waiting only for Itachi's acceptance to draw him in yet again.

Perhaps he merely wishes to claim what is his.

Perhaps it is something else entirely.

When his hand reaches out to smooth the fabric of the yukata over one slender knee, Itachi does not shy away. Neither do his eyes seek Madara's, offering pointed questions in his own silent way. When the other hand lifts to curl around the point of Itachi's chin and pull him closer, Itachi follows without hesitation, dark eyes unfathomable, the lingering spice of sake on his breath. Madara takes all these things as his due, molding his mouth against Itachi's, holding until the tension gives and a familiar hand curls into his sleeve at the elbow, just as he knew it would. It's the first visible spark of a fire long in the making; no matter how reserved Itachi might wish himself, simple biology is an adversary as fierce as any bijuu and far more invasive.

His is an insular world.

The younger shinobi sighs as Madara's fingers slide beneath the hem of his yukata, long nails tracking gentle spider-lines along the inside of a thigh. There's no real art to it, not in any sense, but there's no need for it either; they are not always artful creatures, nor should they be.

And he remembers then, a late autumn evening just like this, Itachi on his knees before a basin of cool water and peeling a blood-smeared mask from his face, eyes dull and vacant and only barely concealing madness in a way that Madara understood all-too well. Washing blood from coal-black hair that Itachi'd only started pulling back into a thin tail; twelve years old and already a murderer skilled enough to make any shinobi of the old ways proud.

That wasn't so long ago, he thinks, and even though time seems different to a shinobi as long-lived as Madara, it's still enough to make him jerk back, disengaging with a ragged gasp. Itachi lets go; the sudden, inexplicable rejection leaves no trace of dismay to rattle his expression.

Rarely does Madara retreat, especially from a child (grown now but forever a million years distant), especially from Itachi, but his steps are harsh in the quiet as he escapes that suddenly stifling room.

Behind him, Itachi straightens the hem of his yukata and presses a curious hand to his mouth, wiping away an abandoned thread of saliva before reaching out to pour himself another drink.


III. Your Funeral, My Trial
(like a butterfly beaten in a summer rainfall)

It's been raining since June. The violent, darkened waters of the Nakano river are close to overflowing.

Madara pushes aside a glittering veil of wet alder leaves, ignoring the spray of water as the branch snaps back above his head. He knows Itachi's out here somewhere; he can sense the flow of familiar chakras, both faint and one growing fainter, and for the first time in years he knows something that feels suspiciously like real worry, gnawing around his edges.

There's something vicious in the chilly air, cold and treacherous as the muddy bank beneath his sandals, something that has nothing to do with the storm -- a heavy feeling that settles like a tangible weight about his wet shoulders, as if the whole world were just a breath away from ending.

Less than two meters away, the water rushes past his mud-caked feet as black as sin, carrying the twisted bodies of excavated saplings, larger pieces of less fortunate trees and other various debris away from the compound upriver.

It's a terrible day to be out in the weather -- had Madara any say, he'd have suggested tea by the hearth, a warm, dry place to teach Itachi the next sequence of techniques he'd decided upon.

It seems that Itachi had different ideas, today. Madara curses the boy silently for his absolutely shitty sense of timing.

And then that second, fainter chakra winks out in his mind like a sigh.

He moves beyond the last clump of bank-trees, and looks upon his prize, and suddenly everything makes awful, perfect sense. And it's a wonder how Itachi can stay on his feet in spite of the current pushing at his back, even more so with the weight of a body several pounds heavier than his own to drag him down. A part of Madara strains to call out to the boy, to urge him back to the relative safety of the river's edge before he, too, is swept away. Most of the rest of him is caught in a moment of morbid, somber fascination.

Itachi's bone-white hands are fisted into the soaking wet fabric of a shirt cut in the traditional Uchiha style just beneath the collar, and he is obviously struggling to maintain that hold as the current whips past his waist and tries to tug the body free. A furious blast of thunder splits the sky above, but Itachi does not even start at the sound, crimson eyes wide and unseeing, his mouth caught half-open in a silent cry, or perhaps a plea.

He wants to say it's nothing, but it's a lie even he is not cruel enough to give voice to; it's not nothing, no, not at all, because that's not how this bastard scheme works.

It's everything.

(It's too early for this. Itachi is too young, yet, too brittle, too fucking gentle.)

And yet he cannot help but reach ahead, constantly pushing his endurance to the edge.

Madara understands that drive as much as anyone could and probably more. He still remembers with haunting clarity the day he drove his own sharp blade into the heart of his best friend, still remembers the sting of useless self-pitying tears as the blood cooled on his hands. If Itachi is crying now, he cannot see it for the rain, and the blood that slides down pale cheeks and drips down his chin is only to be expected, a vulgar side-effect of the transformation. And oh, Madara can feel it even from here, the dark burgeoning of power that slips through Itachi's weakened chakra like poison, and Madara knows that now Itachi can begin to understand the true essence of his blood inheritance.

Perhaps that in itself will finally be enough to shake him free of the unnecessary compassion he clings to like a lifeline, that crippling sense of empathy that has stunted his growth far more than any deficiency in talent.

But, Madara thinks, perhaps not Itachi, whose grip is slipping on the slick fabric, inevitably losing his battle against the relentless drag of the water. He clings all the harder for it, dark strands of wet hair fanning over his shoulders as he presses his face against Shisui's still chest, wracked for a moment by a violent shudder that nearly drives him to his knees beneath the current. A quiet, sneering part of Madara points out that it wouldn't be entirely surprising if Itachi were to simply let himself go now, offer himself to the raging waters and simply be done with it.

Madara, however, knows better. Itachi has taken his first true sacrifice in the name of power, and he is far too thoughtful to let that tribute go to waste. No, the boy will survive this, and he will reach all the farther as the darkness closes in.

He will not allow himself anything less.

Itachi's arms are trembling with exertion now, but he remains steady, slowly lifting his head as if awakened from a long, long sleep. He blinks the last traces of blood away, tugging Shisui's body close just long enough to press a gentle kiss against the cold forehead, an achingly maternal gesture that will no doubt persist until the end of time.

The boy looks up then, pinwheeled crimson eyes finding Madara's place on the bank, the first sign he's shown to have been aware of Madara's presence at all. His gaze is hollow, his expression as slack as that of the corpse in his grip.

It's done.

Of course Madara cannot hear him over the storm, but he can read the words on Itachi's thin bloodless lips, can feel them acid-etched into the shadowed, secret corners of his still-beating heart.

And he lets go, and Madara watches what Itachi does not; the final moment before Uchiha Shisui's body slips beneath the water for the last time. How far it will go, how long it will be before it is recovered, Madara cannot say, and it's always unfortunate when a talented shinobi is overwhelmed by something as unforeseeable as an act of nature, is it not, dear elders?


IV. Stranger than Kindness.
(and this is why I'll never leave you alone)

The second time is a surprise, for entirely different reasons.

It's three and a half days later, and while their outward appearances haven't changed at all, there's something undeniably different, an undercurrent of static, the ozone crackle of electricity just before the lightning strikes that most certainly had not existed before in the spaces between them.

Madara tells himself that it is nothing to worry about and tries to believe it. Itachi's restlessness is a subtle thing that pads down the halls on near-silent feet in the early hours after midnight.

(And he knows that when the storm hits, they both will burn.)

The old ninja is not surprised to find Itachi's door open. He is, however, more than a little startled by his state of undress and the way his legs dangle off the side of the bed, fingers curled loosely around his half-erect penis, dark brows like crow's wings knitted in an approximation of thought, or perhaps deep concentration. It'd be amusing, if it weren't so painfully sincere.

Madara leans against the doorway and considers the situation. He's old enough to know an invitation when he sees one, and in fact has seen more than his share over the years; rarely, however, have they been so strangely laid out, rarely so bold. Another may have sprung some far more blatant attempt at seduction, offering themselves in ways no doubt considered subtle in what would be an undoubtedly laughable affair. But no, not proud, precious Itachi, and that is the heart of this matter; there is no pride in the black-eyed gaze that lifts now toward Madara, only a look that burns with equal parts curiosity and trepidation.

Itachi has ever been precocious.

It seems he's decided to take matters into his own hands -- quite literally, this time.

"Well, now," Madara murmurs as he lets himself inside, feeling the whole world shift and settle around him once again.

Itachi seems to expect it when Madara takes his wrists and rearranges them at his sides. Whatever else he may be expecting, Madara doubts it involves him kneeling quietly between those pale thighs, taking a moment to consider the scars that mark Itachi's belly and legs. He offers a single glance upward, a faint smile laced with irony that fades only when he leans forward to take him in his mouth completely in one smooth motion.

There's a sharp gasp from above, and Madara hears the rustle of cloth, the grind of bone on bone as skinny fingers fist into the comforter, clenching tightly. Madara senses Itachi's Sharingan activate, but there's no hostile intent behind it; the notion fills him with sudden amusement. He glances up to see those wide eyes staring back at him, and he thinks only Itachi would take an opportunity like this to study in such a way. Or perhaps not. Perhaps many Uchiha in their time have used their unique ability to absorb sexual techniques along with those meant for battle.

Well. Madara has ever prided himself on being an excellent teacher, and he has no objections to providing a thorough lesson now. Not that it lasts long, of course -- Itachi is colt-shy and young, as obviously inexperienced as he seems; it feels like only moments later that the thick, salty taste of him blankets Madara's tongue.

Satisfied with his work, the older shinobi pushes himself to his feet with a quiet grunt and turns to leave.

"Is that it, then?" There's still a thread of nervousness in Itachi's tone, a voice turned low and smoky, and Madara debates with himself in silence.

In retrospect, it won't seem all that surprising that Itachi's fingers curl around his wrist tight enough to bruise, pulling Madara back with fierce urgency. "Is that all?"

And Madara cannot help but wonder if he's considering making what might become the grandest mistake of his life. He does not look back, as tempting as the he knows the sight will be. "What else do you want, boy?"

For a moment, the tension escalates, enough that Madara half-expects Itachi to snap under the weight of it. But Itachi holds steady, measuring all those things unspoken in Madara's quiet retort, waiting a few moments before slowly releasing the older man's wrist. And just when he thinks that's the end of that, he feels Itachi press against him from behind, breath warm against the back of his neck, hands gliding along his obi, lightly grazing the top of his hips as fingers find and pluck at the simple bow. Despite the smoothness of the motion, there's something clumsy about it, naive and still somewhat endearing.

Belatedly, he recognizes that tension, the fact that Itachi is in fact waiting for that sharp stab of rejection to rear up again. And that's suprising; Madara has been the one shut out nine times out of ten for as long as he can remember. It seems strange that reactionary, timorous Itachi is the one to press forward.

(After all, is it not the older man that seduces away the innocence of the young lover-to-be in all the movies? He's played those roles with aplomb, but they seem somehow hollow, empty now.)

"Show me," Itachi breathes into Madara's hair, and it's more than enough; all the heat, all the want from that first doomed kiss in the moonlit foyer comes rushing back full-force. Madara forces his shoulders to loosen, and feels Itachi relax against him, almost instantly; Itachi's fingers tug the knot loose, and two and a half meters of dark brushed cotton begins to unravel with languid grace, slipping to the floor in a quiet rustle of cloth.

Those slender fingers wriggle inside, reaching, reaching, and when the very tips find the warm, naked curve of a scarred hip, Itachi stops.

The boy has done what he feels he can.

He is waiting now, and his patience is near-endless when he wants it to be.

But it cannot be so easy.

Madara slips the yukata off his shoulders with an easy shrug. He turns to face Itachi with eyes that are dark and cruel, and he is hot and he is hard and he is unwilling to allow Itachi to cut himself free of responsibility this time. No, Itachi will receive exactly what he asks for, and he will understand that by the time Madara is done.

Later, damp and sated, Madara will press his palms against the inward curve of Itachi's belly and bask in the quiver of muscle beneath flesh. He will smile his tiger smile at the younger man who is still arched above him trying desperately to catch his breath, the man who straddles his thighs and cannot completely hide his flushed face beneath the curtain of his jagged bangs.


V. Destined For Great Things
(a world that will never return again)

"A cloudy night," Itachi says softly, and blinks.

(It comes in fits and starts, creeping in like a thief, just as Madara has always known it would.)

Madara's fingers card gently through silky hair, still slightly damp from a shower two hours before. Itachi has managed something close to a dignified sprawl across the porch -- as much as one can modestly sprawl in a yukata -- his head pillowed against Madara's thigh, looking up into the night sky as Madara fans his hair out over his shoulders and chest.

The older shinobi studies Itachi in silence, noting the new hollowness to his cheeks, the dark rings beneath his eyes, the way the flesh seems to have melted from his bones in the last few months. He watches, because for the moment he is unsure of what else to do with this wayward child of twenty-one years, this living vessel of the last two decades of Madara's own existence and focused energies.

His hand slips from scalp to cheek, tracing sharp lines that have only grown deeper since April.

There's moments where things seem almost normal. Itachi has not changed as far as the world can tell, as calm and as bright as he ever was. But Madara has spent a small lifetime studying everything about this boy, leading him by the hand -- deeper and deeper into the darkness, one step at a time.

This, I have done.

The world has changed considerably in the last several decades; medical science grows in leaps and bounds by the month, these days. What was once a crippling end to a shinobi career in his youth might now only be a matter of minor corrective surgery, and if it is necessary to find himself a talented surgeon to coerce and dispose of, he will do it without hesitation. If there's anything else, anything Itachi has somehow managed to squirrel away from his own perfect eyes, he will find out and fix it.

No matter the cost.

Itachi is his, and he has so much yet to do.

Madara hums thoughtfully as he stretches his hand over Itachi's eyes. He feels the younger shinobi stir at last, his words an almost incoherent murmur as he tries to lift his head. But Madara holds him still, pressing him back down to his lap firmly, a bitter smile twisting the corner of his lips.

Because really, what does it matter, anyway? What's the point?

The night is as cold and sharp and clear as diamonds, and Itachi cannot see the stars at all.

Current Music: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - The Cannibals
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[identity profile] ronsard.livejournal.com on February 11th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
Oh wait, here it is. I HOPE THIS IS NOT ABOUT WARLOCKS AND PRINCES. Almost typed 'princess' :|

eta: Okay, so wow, GORGEOUS WRITING + IMAGERY + JFAH;WFKQL. What I love best is the sensuality of this story, the way the prose kind of slides down your throat like slow honey.

I tend to flipflop about this pairing; sometimes I love it, other times it gives me the creep, but you wrote it so beautifully here. Sexiness trumps creepiness every time. And while I couldn't tell if this was supposed to be set in the canon verse - I think it is, but you also mentioned 'university' at some point? - I'm just going to say that the scenes painted were completely vivid and I could totally see them happening.

My favorite part was numero tres. You can probably tell why. Also, NICK CAVE WHERE DO WE GO BUT NOWHERE AHHHH ♥ (something about this song is *so* Uchiha, no? I think I used it for Mikoto once)

Edited 2010-02-11 05:57 am (UTC)
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[identity profile] arclights.livejournal.com on February 11th, 2010 10:13 am (UTC)
SLDKJFLSKDJF thank you! ;___; There are parts I like and parts that I really wish I could have done a lot bit better; all in all, the giftee was pleased and I couldn't ask for much more than that.

Anyway, the basic concept was a world where there were ninjas, but all of it kind of hidden in mostly plain sight in the modern world. It's kind of a fun place to play, really.

And yes, yes -- it's so easy for these two to slide right into creeper territory, but I've totally taken my cues from Lily, here -- I think my favorite bits about her art, at least regarding these two, is the way that it seems a fairly equal relationship. Madara's not constantly pictured topping the shit out of Itachi, and Itachi doesn't come off this wheedling uke thing because it seems to me that a lot of people forget that Itachi, despite his disadvantages, was fully capable and willing to go against the Big Scary Dude, and work their relationship to his advantage to the best of his ability. This is probably why I'm so picky about reading anything involving the two of them, and why I'm so fucking excited it blipped on your radar. ALSO, THERE'S SEXY IN SPADES.

I loved writing three, though it's high on the list of 'god I wish I could have said it better'. SHISUI, SOB. I've stayed away from writing him in general because I don't think I could do it without channeling yours harder than Miss Cleo. And yes, the Nick Cave, it is strong here; I think all the titles are NC&TBS songs or albums with the exception of 'Destined for Great Things', which is a Nick Cave/Warren Ellis (but not that Warren Ellis) collab soundtrack for the movie The Road. Nick Cave does some pretty intense Uchiha-flavored music, though I imagine none quite as heavily as The Good Son which might as well just be alternately titled That Poor Fucker, Itachi.

...my brain totally got hijacked about halfway through this response by www.infomercial-hell.com. What is this. D:

/goes to bed
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[identity profile] ronsard.livejournal.com on February 11th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
Piffle, if anything it's Lily's Itachi who tops the shit out of Madara, at least when he's come of age. Her Madara is such a crazy, bitchy, clingy uke, which I actually like because it is so hilarious and whatever, like I take the jackass seriously enough to care. I do wonder why she was so into drawing him crying and being abused/raped by *cough* someone. Seriously, all the Madara pictures were squarely divided among creepy/silly/molested. Whut?

She did do this one picture of Madara and baby!Itachi that I really liked. This one here. (http://i47.tinypic.com/fc06eq.jpg) Haha, you little bitches ♥ The problem is that the moment Kishimoto revealed Itachi as a 'good guy', a lot of people immediately jumped to the conclusion that he was some kind of weepy, milk-gentle fellow who befriended animals and loathed all forms of violence. Personally, I think you really need to take that 'pacifist' label with a grain of salt, considering the body of evidence leading up to the revelation. Yes, he didn't want war, yes, he was willing to go through hell for it, but he was also very good at killing. People don't get that way from meditating and making daisychains, dude. //tangent

I'm really not fond Nick Cave's soundtrack for The Road so much, but only in the context of the movie itself. It's kind of sentimental (in that Cave-esque way, but still), and the tone of the film is just too grim for that to work. It was distracting. But as music standalone it's great. Just not a great soundtrack. I default to Murder Ballads a lot when I'm writing my darker(?) stuff, which rarely happens but hey, you need to know your inspirations. The Good Son is just one of those songs that's so perfect for the character it might as well have been written for them. Like Viva La Vida and Lelouch from Code Geass.

It took me three tries to get this comment right, wtf.

Edited 2010-02-11 01:55 pm (UTC)
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[identity profile] arclights.livejournal.com on February 12th, 2010 06:59 am (UTC)
Hahaha, this is incredibly true. I suppose love just manifests in strange ways, and being an internets-renowned fanartist gives you a pretty good platform to share? Maybe her Madara is just an intense sort of masochist, idefk, but I do like him. (Sadly, pre-Konoha Madara will always be more interesting to me, though his descent isn't exactly boring.)

Ooooooh, yes. That one still gives me shivers, Christ. And ... yeeeeah. Even if his acts of violence were for (occasionally questionably) good reasons, we watched him kill the shit out of his entire family, demolish the pratty little brother on at least two occasions, fuck up Jiraiya's froggy friend and quietly feed plenty of other jinchuuriki to the crepy statue. Were they not paying attention to the brutal bits? I'm reminded of a quote from Robotech: "He may be anti-military, but he's no pacifist. What'dya think, Gandhi could do spin kicks?" Well, anti-war, but whatever. A ... disliker of violence, especially in mass-scale situations, but not some weepy tenderheart.

Haha, I was surprised when I went to look up a Youtube preview since I'd only ever heard the soundtrack (I got all hot and bothered when I saw the names Nick Cave and Warren Ellis together and was thinking of something along the lines of Odes to Transmetropolitan or even something deliciously Rollins/Shatner-esque), and I started out with White Lunarto begin with and fell in love with the way they did music together and went hunting for the rest. Really, really surprised since it looks like some sort of weird post-apocalyptic thing so I can't muster any sort of surprise at that at all. Hnnngh, yes, Murder Ballads, even though my favorite album is probably God is in the House-- it's hideous and gritty and really does put you in the perfect mood for that sort of raw, dirty violence. (On a tangent, picked up The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford today for five bucks, and wouldn't have looked twice if I hadn't heard the soundtrack. Someday I might even watch it.) I do very much love those sorts of happy coincidences, and will take your word on Lelouch since despite seeing him everywhere I have never seen Geass. D:

I SAW THAT! No less than 21 new emails when I woke up this morning because eljay is fucking up like whoa recently. I'm not judging, I promise. ♥
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[identity profile] ronsard.livejournal.com on February 12th, 2010 07:54 am (UTC)
grieving for alexander mcqueen keeps me up alllll night
Pre-Konoha Madara? You mean like this? (http://i45.tinypic.com/j5b9ck.jpg) Or like this? (http://i47.tinypic.com/29ayv6w.gif) XD Ah, versatility, thy name is Mad Maddie ♥ While I'm rather partial to that bitchass scythe he has in the first picture, canon has it that his weapon was actually a giant... metal fan. Being the Chinese Classic Lit fag that I am, I couldn't help but, um, associate. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Iron_Fan) I will have my princess after all! Princess Iron Fan, she subdues, uh, flaming mountains with her magic whirlwinds! Oh man, that wiki article reads to me like an AU in the making. I'm such a shithead.

The Road is one of those books that I deeply wish to thoroughly cannibalize (irony!) and have it go through my system and into my brain for all eternity. The film was good, but did not live up to my expectation. I don't blame the soundtrack, though. The source material is just impossible to approach, let alone beat. And by The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, you *clearly* meant The Slow Sponge Bathing of Brad Pitt by the Shirtless Casey Affleck. Not that I'm saying this should sway your interest in any way, but... just puttin' it out there.

The funny thing is that I tend to see the films first, then hunt down the soundtracks. Found a lot of great music this way. Seems like we're operating on opposing assembly lines.

Instead of watching Geass and inevitably pulling out all your hair from the massive trainwreck that was the second season, just watch this AMV (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbpcu3C1PQQ) that I made, using Viva La Vida. It spoils basically the entire series, ensuring that you will never feel the need to succumb to the evil clutches of this anime.

And dude, I just want to address this point from your first comment that I somehow neglected: SHISUI, SOB. I've stayed away from writing him in general because I don't think I could do it without channeling yours

DO IT. I have this crazy obsessive habit of combing through FFN (shuddup) every day in hopes that someone has written a new story about Shisui so that I can compare my characterization with how others write him. I don't want to be the sad whiny little girl who adopts a random underused side-character and then bawl at people to indulge my whims, but I am totally that girl.
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[identity profile] nthcoincident.livejournal.com on April 6th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC)
So...please forgive my utter stalkage :( The internet is such an enabler.

A while ago, I became an utter MadaIta freak, and someone recced me over to this after reading my own sad attempt to do justice to the pairing. And so, upon acquiring myself an LJ, I had to run over here and comment on it right away, because in my mind, this is THE MadaIta fic. I haven't been able to stomach another one since reading it, nor have I been able to effectively write it.

Honestly. The proactive Itachi. The careful patience of Madara. The beautiful, fantastically evocative prose. The use of SHEARWATER LYRICS (...I'm pretty sure you had me right there). Could this have been any more perfect? The entire thing reads like a legend, poetry anchored in the simple facts of a convenient relationship, and that is exactly what I think Madara/Itachi should be at its best. I feel like I'm navigating a constellation of stars, moving from one brilliant point to another and liable to fall any minute thanks to the captivating beauty of these two incredible people.

And most surprisingly and wonderfully, you've caught a bit of...tenderness...at the end, between the two of them. I'm just gobsmacked. They're Madara and Itachi, how does that even work? But you did it.

So. You've written the absolute best fic I've read for one of my favorite pairings, and I thought that deserved a creeper stalkeriffic comment. :) Beautiful work!
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[identity profile] arclights.livejournal.com on April 7th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, no no, stalk away! :D I mean -- not that I'm an enabler myself or anything, but.

(You know, I really tried to avoid it but) I understand entirely how that goes, and -- that's actually hugely surprising but flattering as well. I'd have sent you straight to [livejournal.com profile] ronsard because that's what I tend to do when people want to read Wonderful Things. Seriously, I'm entirely flattered that you think that way, but I'm also very selfish and would love to see you get your MadaIta groove back, because we need you.

SHEARWATER! It's funny how easy it is to bond over them (and how wonderful it is when you find someone else who knows who they are) but yessss -- Okkervil River (Black Sheep Boy + Appendix in particular) and (to a lesser extent) Shearwater have been my Itachi music of choice since I first heard them. And um -- I was going to say something grateful and soppy, but I completely forgot what that was because I'm sitting here going oh my god wow that you think so. Just. Aaaaa, I love you. Thank you.

It's weird when that happens, isn't it? Even if it's hugely possessive tenderness, it's there; I don't buy the 'there's nothing human left in there' thing in Naruto, no matter how nasty someone may be. Cos god knows you're getting a heartbreaking flashback at the end of their lives and then you'll hate yourself a little. I blame it on the fact that it's Itachi, and everyone wants to hug him a little. Also, Madara's secretest soft spots are miles wide. :<

Again, thank you thank youuuuuuu, I'm blushing like a madwoman and about three minutes away from having to go to work but I appreciate that in huge ways. ALSO, THANK YOU FOR GETTING AN ELJAY AND POSTING YOUR FIC because now I have you so bookmarked and -- well. I've only had time to read some of the blurbs but a) shearwater! and b) I'm totally intrigued and look forward to reading and there is so much also ItaHina! :D

But work now, so holy crap don't go anywhere I'm not done with you. ♥ My day is intensely made and it's barely 11 in the morning, which is more than I could have possibly hoped for.
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[identity profile] nthcoincident.livejournal.com on April 8th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
This would probably be a good time to tell you that she was the one who linked me to your MadaIta FST, which I pillaged like a Viking marauder to further my ancestuous leanings without so much as dropping a line of thanks. Such harlotry :( I'll make up for it, I promise!

Oh my god, I'm not going to rant about Shearwater, but…fine, lies. The Golden Archipelago loops and loops on iTunes anytime I write Itachi. The arrangements are of course stunning (the chords on Hidden Lakes, after a bazillion listens, still give me chills) but it's the lyrics that got me the first time--such poetry! Such unusual diction! Since when do bands write like that?! Unfortunately, I wasted "Castaways," my favorite, on an Itachi/Shisui travesty. Do not be fooled by the blurb. There's some highly concentrated epic fail in that fic, handle with care.

I've never actually seen anyone humanize Madara to the extent you do without giving him an implausible sob story! It was something I struggled with when I was writing "Shoreless," so I was duly impressed. He's such a difficult, delicious character to write, although admittedly I always end up sobbing and hyperventilating after doing so.

DO YOU LIKE ITAHINA?! Is there any chance of fic? *shadily slips cash under table* I have read a total of one ItaHina story I like. ONE. And I notice you have Merlin fic, so I will be popping over there as well, this being one of those fandoms I love reading but am so godawfully intimidated I would never dream of writing anything for it. This is the problem with FFN, you think your writing's fine, and then you pop over to LJ and are just bludgeoned over the head with the talent of all the LJ writers, present company included. Despite the fact that my head's still reeling from the crushing weight of reality, I'm totally friending this journal to keep on top of fic :)

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[identity profile] arclights.livejournal.com on April 8th, 2010 09:03 am (UTC)
Aw man, she does that sometimes -- and I think I get the sneaking suspicion that you are the person I have been thrown at and have been meaning to read the hell out of but then work swung me around by the pigtails. In fact, I'm fairly certain of it because she recced me Shoreless and just -- kyaaaaa. For one, you are completely full of shit because it's lovely and also WE HAVE BEEN LONG IN MEETING AND I CAN HEAR HER CACKLING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTRY. :o No harlotry involved; I'm woefully bad about commenting most of the time, because most amazing writers don't speak unintelligible sound/keyboard smash/gleeful arm waving and I tend to hoard whatever respect I can get from our contemporaries. :D

I love them so much even when I'm a little retarded (http://arclights.livejournal.com/182678.html) -- also, seeing them live for the first time two weeks from today and vibrating with absolute glee even now. Weirdly enough, it took me more than a few tries to fully appreciate TGA, probably because I was expecting another Rook which I fell hopelessly, helplessly in love with from beginning to end on the very first listen. Still, once I got past the expectations, it became my favorite and it and I are living happily ever after, amen. (It's kind of hilarious that you say that about TGA, because I have absolutely kidnapped it from the usual Itachi+Shearwater/Okkervil River thing to offer it to Arthur/Merlin -- which I have absolutely abused here in particular (http://gunners-view.livejournal.com/9298.html).) Jonathan Meiburg's lyrics are undoubtedly some of the best in the music industry, even if I do think Will Sheff's just slightly the better lyricist -- Jon's absolutely got the voice contest bagged, though, oh my god. Sadly, they're the only ones I can think of off the top of my head that write like that at all -- there's sadly not that many storytelling bands left, and fewer worth listening to. (OH GOD OH GOD RANT, I am so sorry. D:)

As much as I'd love to take credit for him, I blame this gorgeous, painfully human Madara entirely on [livejournal.com profile] shadows_in_mind, who apparently can't RP anyone without making them terribly human and pretty much amazing -- hell, she even got me to like Deidara, and he was one of those that I really, truly just didn't care about at all.

About ItaHina -- you know how you mentioned this in regards to that end-all, be-all fic that makes you just not really want to go near it ever again? Above Reproach did that to me, and while I'll read it when I feel very sure of an author, after years I am still too awed by it to go anywhere near trying to write my own. D: But if I ever actually do get around to imagining something I don't think would fail horribly (and wouldn't set my ItaNaru heart screeching in misery because they're sort of my OTP a little) I will remember you and Make It Happen. And YESSSSSS, Merlin is my current baby -- I love it so much you have no idea and am currently nursing at least four plot bunnies at any given time which is more inspiration than I've had in over a decade of fic writing. I TOTALLY GET YOU THERE, especially with Merlin fic because the talent is terrifying but I'll live. And shhh, you totally get to come to LJ fic Valhalla, don't even. ♥ Friended in return here and again on my personal journal because I actually check that flist sometimes.

Also oh my god wall of text I AM SO SORRY but fucking Mai was right (again, shh) and I'm already a little in love with you and tend towards babbling in these times. Forgive!
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[identity profile] nthcoincident.livejournal.com on April 8th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
Oh my God, Shoreless--on your personal journal you mention trying to plow through that monsterpiece "Atlas Shrugged," ( why? ) so it may entertain you to hear that "Shoreless" was actually written as the direct result of a debate on whether Madara counts as a Randian protagonist or not (verdict: Itachi--yes, Madara--no) D: And--yes! long in meeting, she's even mentioned you a bunch before and my lazy ass just *barely* made the connection...and I never know what proper etiquette is in these fannish interactions, but, I'll somewhat properly introduce myself--I'm Shivi, I'm a college student, and I totally started writing fanfic to escape econ lecture :)

Seeing Shearwater LIVE? OAIFJAOIF jealousy, its waves radiate towards you! I can't even imagine the music live; the first time I heard it, I had to stop multitasking and lie down and just listen not wanting a single other sense to distract me from what I was hearing... your words are a healing balm--I ask people if they know Shearwater and they're like "a boat. a bird." NO! What kind of world do we live in!? I actually prefer their work to Okkervil River's, probably because they vary their instrumental arrangements so much more. And since I'm a n00b, I heard TGA first--which was lucky, or I'd likely have had the same reaction you did; Rook is a really. hard. act to follow.

"Above Reproach" is exactly that fic! Although I honestly don't think Mai could write anything I wouldn't like...(I read and loved her Earthian fic, and I don't even have any idea what the fuck Earthian is, good god) And really, I used to think the Naruto fandom was just sort of normal, and THEN I started reading in Merlin and KHR and...my GOD. I have hope for humanity after encountering the writers there.
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[identity profile] arclights.livejournal.com on April 8th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
It's the first actual novel my SO has read in five years we've been dating and then he made my brother read it and then they both hounded me and did not in any way understand my seething rage. And that's hilarious, and I think I completely agree -- Itachi totally gets to go to Industrialist Heaven in the Sky but Madara's a bit more like D'Anconia gone utterly batshit crazy, coming to mutilate Dagny rather than carry her off to go be relatively useless except for the tits thing. Oh geez, I'm both flattered and desperately hoping these mentions aren't followed by 'bitch be crazy' -- I'm Miri, I started writing fic to escape being a lonely high schooler, and next year's the ten-year reunion I'm going to blissfully ignore.

YESSSSS I can't wait; I have enough live experience via youtube and the download thread on the band's messageboard (http://board.shearwatermusic.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1950) (check the later pages for things still up) to know that it's quite likely going to be life-altering and a cause for Tears of Beauty (which I haven't had for music since, er, the last Lilith Fair but that's Sarah MacLachlan and she had ten thousand people in tears so it was okay). I'm totally that way; as soon as I got TGA it was straight to the player, headphones, curtains drawn, and roughly an hour lying in bed going yessssssss. Truthfully, since the bands have split I've found myself more inclined toward Shearwater's music as well, but I can't deny the power of Will's lyrics -- even if they're mostly about groupies and whatnot these days. Just -- I love that sort of storytelling, and the way he strings words together will make me forgive just about anything else. And hey, there's nothing wrong with that -- the fact of the matter is you heard them, and you love them, too. ♥

Hahaha seriously I have dreams about writing something half that beautiful. And -- yeah, she's kinda that way, isn't she? Weirdly enough, I haven't read her Earthian yet, and I do know canon -- gay angels, bad animation, that's about all you need to know, haha. Still, she can make KHR poignant so I don't really think there's anything I'd put past her. Naruto writing in general is -- well, there's a reason I don't read at FFN. There's absolutely no quality control or even care, much beyond wanting as many OMG I LUVVVV IT reviews as you can, and it shows. There are some gems there, but I think I can count you all on one hand? Maybe two. :| I came off my no-fanfic thing for Merlin, because I hadn't read fanfic that wasn't by one of my hand-picked favorite writers and most of those dwindled away in those years so -- yeah. I've been spoiled and got really picky but this fandom has been an absolute joy to play around in. I JUST WISH IT WOULD GIVE ME SOME NARUTO INSPIRATION BACK :|
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[identity profile] nthcoincident.livejournal.com on April 9th, 2010 10:02 am (UTC)
D: Atlas is a bad introduction to...anything, really, have you tried "The Fountainhead"? That one is so much better it's actually disturbing--she stays away from a lot of the malevolence and senselessness present in Atlas, not to mention the econ-babble she knows nothing about, so it's about 35892385 times more readable. And now I'm kind of picturing a bunch of jaded jonin-type people walking around going "What's the use, who is Uchiha Itachi? OMG crossover I think the context of what Mai said was something about Shearwater :D because I found your fic, lost it, and then was all "blah blah blah MadaIta fic with Shearwater lyrics!" to her, so she found it for me again based on that oh-so-excellent description.

Ooh, thank you! I will certainly abuse that download page. I remember the first Okkervil River song I ever heard was "Missing Children," and the lyrics were SO CREEPY I was just caught. Even if the lyrics make no sense for a lot of the songs, you're so right--it's just the diction, and the syntax...Lyricists nowadays seem to forget how much the lyrics are a part of the song, which is just sad :(

Gay angels. Now I want to read it, because it sounds so yummy and slashable EXCEPT the last gay angels I read were in "The Amber Spyglass" and that was a less than pleasurable experience. See I got so lucky on Naruto fic, because I went solely with recs and THEN only was I thrown headfirst into the sea of FFN to fend for myself. Maybe it's because the fandom is younger and hence has no idea what it's doing? Another problem is that I...don'tlikeSasuNaru *flinch* The genfic in the fandom, surprisingly, seems really good thus far (too bad no one reads it...)

Re: Merlin...I have a horrible addiction to Gwen/Morgana, of all things, having wanted to ship the archetypes of these characters ever since I first encountered the shadow of them in "The Mists of Avalon" or hell, "The Once and Future King," although naturally they're TOTALLY different in the actual series. If I ever do write for this fandom, they'll be first on my list :D Too scared to attempt Arthur/Merlin. Too scared by FAR.

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kalliel: ulquihime[personal profile] kalliel on June 25th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
I was recced here by [livejournal.com profile] nthcoincident and am gloriously glad of it. I'm not sure that 'beauty' is a term I apply to the Uchiha often (though aesthetically, I suppose they are!), just because it seems counter to 'fucked up,' which they certainly are. But both of these qualities come together excellently here. My favorite section was III; I have a soft part for the many various incarnations of the drowning scene, and the depiction of Madara's perspective on the events was masterful. The whole scene felt like a dark calm before the storm.

Excellent work! Thank you for writing this~
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[identity profile] arclights.livejournal.com on June 25th, 2010 06:16 am (UTC)
So she says! And my first impulse was blind panic -- I recced her, unknowingly, your teeny tiny piece of Madara genius that has defined him for me (in ways that I recognize I'll never be able to emulate) for like ... years. Seriously, up there, on the golden line of awesome links in firefox, for years. They're totally fucked up, but beautiful also fits, sort of like the scattered light from a busted-out car window. Morbidly so, but there -- what? It's late. :<

I could write the drowning scene from different perspectives forever and never get bored. Just -- what the hell was going on in that kid's head? Both of them? All of them?

I am so ridiculously pleased you liked it though, thank youuuuu! ♥
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