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Fanfic / Man Of Dreams

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Man of Dreams is a Naruto fanfic by ckret2 (tumblr). It is a Slash Fic shipping one-sided Hashirama/Madara, (HashiMada) which does a good job of deconstructing many of the tropes of that genre, lampshading its own tropes and playing with gender and sexuality in general.

Many years before the events of the anime, Hashirama is involved with the Forever War between all the clans. He begins to hear of a legendary shinobi named Madara, and then slowly becomes obsessed with him. After a brief conversation between the two of them, Hashirama decides to create an alliance with the Uchiha and found Konoha.


The rest of the story is set during the first few years of Konoha’s founding, focusing on Madara and Hashirama’s relationship.

Contains some unmarked spoilers for Naruto itself. You have been warned.

In addition to the ones present in canon, Man of Dreams provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Mito. The fic’s commentary on gender and sexuality interprets this in the context of a sexist society. (see Real Women Don't Wear Dresses). From Chapter 11:
    Much to the surprise of Hashirama, Mito did, in fact, know all the appropriate seals to make the technique work. She was actually one of the most talented seal-users in the Uzumaki clan, and had assisted in developing the seal they used on the Yonbi.
  • The Alcoholic: Hashirama starts heading in this direction but then comes back.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Mito and Hashirama are both in love with Madara, despite being married to each other. One exception is Sasuke and Tobirama with their wives, but not a lot of detail given to those relationships. A lesser example is Mito at the end of the story, when she’s married to Hashirama.
    Mito eventually fell in love with Hashirama …Hashirama would have fallen in love [with her] if he could have. He couldn’t.
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  • All There in the Manual: Only the omake makes it clear that the snail-masked man is supposed to be Madara.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Hashirama’s child is only ever referred to as such. This is because, in canon, the audience doesn’t know about that generation, which would be one of Tsunade’s parents.
  • Anything That Moves: The entire concept of a man of dreams.
    a man so desperately obsessed with sex that he would lust after anyone and anything, even a friend’s beloved, even a sibling, even a child, even another man.
  • Arc Words: Many.
    What was wrong with him?
    They knew each inch of each other's bodies. They knew each other's bodies as well as they knew their own.
    Each knew the other's skin, his eyes, his hair. Each knew the other's voice, what it sounded like when he murmured, what it sounded like when he screamed himself hoarse.
    But anyone who has gotten this far should know damn well how this one ends.
    Hashirama liked kids
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  • Armored Closet Gay: Hashirama. As the story goes on, more and more of the conflict results from Hashirama trying to deny his attraction to Madara, creating much Gayngst
  • Arson Murderand Jaywalking: Many:
    • The Uchiha’s three family curses: vengeance, fratricide and a rumor that they are attracted to long hair.
    • Also this description of the rules of the Uchiha clan from Chapter 10:
      the official mourning period for a loved one was five hundred days; all members of the clan had to have a clan sigil at least the width of their palm displayed on their person above waist height at all times; and it was illegal to be seen outdoors with a folding fan or a pinwheel on Tuesdays, the fourth of the month, or any time in April.
  • Babies Ever After: Although Hashirama is initially unsatisfied with his marriage to Mito, he learns to be when they have a kid.
    After all, Hashirama liked kids.
  • The Beard: Mito to Hashirama.
  • Beta Couple: Or, rather, beta Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sauske and Tobirama. Unlike Hashirama and Madara’s relationship, theirs is untainted by any sexual attraction between the two of them.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Uchiha, as consistent with canon. Chapter 10 is dedicated to this.
  • Bookends. The opening couple paragraphs and the closing couple paragraphs both contain these phrases, in reverse order compared to each other, talking about how Hashirama is love with Madara, but can never be with him, for different reasons. In the beginning, Hashirama's Gayngst and the Deliberate Values Dissonance, and, in the end, Madara's death.
    So was it really so strange, really so unusual, really so unnatural?
    When they were on the battlefield, only on the battlefield
    They had known how to respond to each other, how to move as one, how to complement each other. Perfectly.
    Each had known, as no one else in the world could know—how the other one moved. Each had known how the other's muscles pulled, strained, trembled. Each has known the other at his very best, breathing hard, limbs shaking, muscles aching, that unending and exhausting rhythm, the dance of battle that existed for them alone.
    Each had known the other's skin, his hair, his eyes. Each had known how to make the other murmur, how to make the other moan, how to make the other scream himself hoarse. Each had known the sound of the other's breathing as well as he knew his own. They had known each other thoroughly, consummately, and intimately.
    On the battlefield.
    Was it really so strange, if …
  • Breather Episode: When Hashirama goes to see Madara’s lineage in Chapter 10. Chapter 17 is a subversion due to the Mood Whiplash at the end.
  • Byronic Hero: Hashirama appears to be this on the outside because he is conflicted about his attraction to Madara, while also driven by his ideals in regards to the war and Konoha. Ultimately, he’s a subversion because he is often driven by what others think of him. From Chapter 16:
    It [choosing the second Hokage] was the most difficult decision of Hashirama’s life.
    But anyone who has gotten this far should know damn well how this one ends.
    It ends with Hashirama feeling terrified. Terrified of accusations. Of having the villagers accuse him of favoritism towards Madara, of having them all start to wonder what it meant. Of the possibility that Madara might figure it out. Of being seen as nothing more than a man of dreams.
    And so, after all of his concerns about doing the right thing for Konoha—after all of his resolutions to base his decision on the candidates’ capabilities, rather than his own emotions—Hashirama did not base his choice of Nidaime Hokage on merit. He based it on fear of personal scandal.
    Nobody said the Shodai was flawless.
    Actually, quite a few people did. They were extraordinarily wrong.
  • Child Prodigy: Madara, who becomes a world-famous ninja very young. His actual age is a little unclear. The first chapter suggests that Hashirama sees him as a lot younger, but, in reality they’re the same age. Then, later, in chapter 10, Hashirama finds out that Madara is 7 years younger than him.
  • Completed Fic: Even before being published!
  • Continuity Nod: Many. A consistent source of humor throughout the fic:
    • From Chapter 17:
      [Hashirama] got into a heated debate with a branch family Hyuuga about whether or not a “bloodline limit” could, in fact, be literally transferred via blood; this debate would have ended with them slitting their palms and drinking each other’s blood in an attempt to turn into the world’s first men to have both Wood Release and an ocular kekkei genkai, but someone from the Shimura family passed by and pointed out that was the dumbest idea ever. note 
    • From Chapter 10:
      Hiya Uchiha: note  Madara-sama's too paranoid anyway. It's like he thinks somebody wants to massacre the clan or something
    • From Chapter 22:
      The next time ninja from Konoha made it to that bridge, they reported that the paint had mostly faded. All that was left was the words “TOBI” and “HERE” and a small oval spiral.
    • From Chapter 23:
      [Hashirama] would pass on his bloodline limit to Yamato and Danzou’s arm, and his cells to a masked man calling himself Tobi and one hundred thousand clones named Zetsu, but he never knew about that.
    • And:
      Tobirama would insist that Hashirama be buried in Konoha. (To Orochimaru, Danzou, and Yamato’s good fortune, and fifty-nine dead babies’ misfortune)
  • Continuation Fic: Inverted. Man of Dreams is set entirely before canon.
  • Deconstruction Fic: of Slash Fic, according to author. As nothing about sexuality is ever described in Naruto, the author has interpreted that, for the sake of this story, that it never is In-Universe, either. Also see Uke.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Pretty much the point of the fic, especially with regards to LGBTQ+ minorities and women. From Chapter 4:
    In short, nobody had ever heard of such a concept as “homosexuality.” Nobody had stopped and considered that perhaps there were people who exclusively fell in love with people of the same sex—another phrase that didn’t exist, “same sex.” “Same sex” and opposite sex,” who thought like that? You had men and you had women, and men loved women and women loved men, and the sky was blue and the sun was bright and water was wet. There were no alternatives, the world didn’t work that way.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: An In-Universe example with Madara. Justified because Hashirama's in love with him. Lampshaded by the author in her notes on Chapter 11.
    A/N: Yes indeed, there's a definite Draco in Leather Pants situation. (Well, albeit from an in-universe perspective rather than an audience perspective.)
  • Dream Intro: Chapter 4 and 13 open this way. Both are Hashirama dreaming about Madara.
  • Elsewhere Fic: A mild example, but none of the characters in this fic have a significant role in canon. The many Continuity Nods downplay this further.
  • Extreme Libido: A man of dreams is this combined with Anything That Moves.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Hashirama and Madara don’t get together, as this fic is canon-compliant. Hashirama, instead, marries Mito. Tobirama becomes the second Hokage.
    (But anyone who has gotten this far should know damn well how this one ends.)
  • Gayngst: In spades with Hashirama. Justified, as the author says the fic is supposed to challenge ideas about sexuality in Slash Fic.
  • Genre Shift: Compared to canon, a Fighting Series, Man of Dreams is angsty Literary Fiction with a side of Romantic Comedy.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Tobirama and Sauske Sarutobi. Also Hashirama and Madara. Lampshaded in Chapter 23:
    Tobirama never married. On the other hand, he spent so much time with Sarutobi Sasuke that people started to jokingly wonder how long it would take before Sasuke’s wife realized he was cheating on her. Tobirama responded by putting on an offended expression and saying, “What are you talking about? Sasuke-san would never cheat on me.”
    Hashirama always wondered how Tobirama brushed those jokes off so easily. If anyone had said the same things about himself and Madara … Hashirama supposed such jokes hurt more when you knew there was some truth to them.
    (Hashirama didn’t know that, for a little bit, when Madara had been the presumed Nidaime, some people had made similar jokes—not because anyone thought there was truth to them, but because that was just what people did. But Madara overheard one, and he’d given the speaker such a revolted, livid glare that the jokes had stopped right then. Such jokes hurt more when you knew there was no truth to them).
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Hashirama to Madara, to the extent where this trope is a defining feature of many of Hashirama’s actions. From Chapter 12:
    So they parted on happy terms: Madara, gleeful at the prospect of running Konoha alone for the day (and at the prospect of doing so much more regularly in the near future); and Hashirama, gleeful at Madara's glee.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All chapters have three word titles. In addition, the story is divided into parts, each of which are titled the year, such as:
    Year Zero: The Year He Met Madara
    Year One: The Year He Founded Konoha
    Year Three: The Year Konoha Gained a Sister
  • Incompatible Orientation: Mito (straight) with Hashirama (gay). Both of them with Madara (asexual). Lampshaded at one point:
    Perhaps it was because on some level Hashirama knew who Mito was really interested in marrying; and on that same level, Hashirama acknowledge it was the same person he was interested in.
  • Ironic Echo: “Favoritism” in regard to Hashirama choosing the second Hokage. Originally, Hashirama thinks this is what people will think if he chooses Madara. After he chooses Tobirama, Madara accuses him of it in his "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Literary Fiction: Contains many elements of the genre, despite being a fanfic. For example, it focuses on the characters’ emotions rather than the plot, and the main story is relatively realistic, with the ninja stuff taking a backseat.
  • Love Hurts: Well, it does for Hashirama.
  • Love Triangle: Downplayed. Mito and Hashirama are both in love with Madara, who shows no intention of returning either of their feelings.
  • Love You and Everybody: One of the ways Hashirama justifies his attraction to Madara. From Chapter 2:
    He just wanted to protect everyone he cared about. (And yes, he would now willingly admit that Madara was on that list; why not? Hashirama just cared about everyone, that’s all.)
  • Married to the Job: Madara and Tobirama. Hashirama is a lesser example, before he marries Mito.
  • Mood Whiplash: Very frequently. A good example is Chapter 17, which begins with a crazy party and ends with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech by Mito to Hashirama.
  • Mundane Utility: In the last chapter, the Uchiha use their Sharingan-enhanced memories to build a perfect statue of Madara. Also:
    Mito … had been trying to create a technique that used both shape transformation—molding the chakra into a funnel—and nature transformation—making use of her personal affinity toward wind-natured chakra. She now used the results of her efforts to dry her clothes via tornado. And kill enemies.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Invoked in Chapter 17, when Hashirama is drunk:
    He spent another fifteen minutes spreading the news to other partygoers and discovering that some of them took issue with the name, and then amended it to Village of Hunks and Babes and Hunks and Dogs and Bugs and Sake and Ino-Shika-Chou and Lots of Trees and Monkeys and People and Madara. Upon further reflection, Hashirama realized that this excluded Madara from being either a hunk or a hunk, at which point he promptly withdrew his support for the name change. Which was fine, because everybody had forgotten what name change he was talking about.
  • Omake: the last chapter is composed of several of these. One of them parodies the fic as whole, while the rest are Revised Endings to various chapters.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Tobirama’s reaction when the normally sober Hashirama starts drinking.
  • Original Character: Fewer than typical for a story set so far from canon. The most important three are Koori Kayagaki and Byakko and Hiya Uchiha.
  • Painting the Medium: The opening of Chapter 17 is written like the author is drunk. In addition, caps, italics and ellipses are used to show when someone’s thoughts are getting incoherent.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Practically the Aesop. Most of the conflict early in the story is caused by this, which can be justified as most of the story is Hashirama over-interpreting Madara’s every action. An egregious example is when Hashirama takes his day off and puts Tobirama in charge of village. Madara sees this as a slight, interpreting it as Hashirama not wanting him to take over village. Hashirama doesn’t appoint him to be the second Hokage, but for other reasons.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: This view is lampshaded from an In-Universe perspective.
    After all, a woman as high-ranked as Mito was always at risk of being seen as weak, as emotional, as feminine. So of course she only wanted to marry for purposes of political alliance, or at least she would pretend that was the case. She couldn't allow herself to be accused of marrying for any other reason.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given to Hashirama by Madara. And later by Mito.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: When it comes to their outlook on life, Madara is red to Hashirama’s blue. Madara is the Red Oni in so far as he continually disobeys Hashirama’s orders and is more focused on his own self and clan. Hashirama is the Blue Oni because he’s focused on the village as a whole, and is a calm and moderating influence. In regards to their own emotions, it’s the other way around, as Madara is The Stoic and doesn’t show emotion towards anything/anyone, while Hashirama is constantly obsessing over his emotions and is stuck in a one-sided Love Hurts relationship with Madara.
  • Rule of Three: The Uchiha have three family curses.
  • Running Gag: Stationary. The lack of Strong Family Resemblance between the Senju. Hashirama likes kids and doesn't know what a half-niece is.
  • Significant Haircut: When Hashirama forgets to cut his hair. Narrative makes it clear that he doesn’t think it is significant. This plays into the theme throughout the story of Hashirama denying his attraction to Madara, who allegedly likes long hair.
    Hashirama liked his hair.
    However, Tobirama was worried enough about somebody using against it against him that Hashirama agreed, just to keep his brother off his back, that he wouldn’t let it grow any longer than it already was. At Tobirama’s insistence, that meant getting about an inch off every other month.
    The next month around, he skipped it.
    Well, he was just busy. Besides, it was like he’d been in any big battles lately, or anticipated being in one in the near future. And Tobirama didn’t get to decide what Hashirama did with himself, and that included his hair. And, really, why do this every other month? It was just going to grow back, after not getting much longer anyway. He’d cut it in another couple of months.
    In another couple of months, he didn’t cut it.
    It was just because it took too much effort and really wasn’t worth it.
    There wasn’t any other reason.
    After all, why did he care about what Madara thought about his hair?
  • Slash Fic: One-sided HashiMada.
  • The Stoic: Madara. Lampshaded by trope name in Chapter 9:
    Madara was the most stoic man Hashirama had ever met.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Played straight and continually lampshaded with the Uchiha. Inverted with the Senju, as many of the Uchiha don’t even believe they are related, which becomes something of a Running Gag.
    Byakko Uchihanote : Is it true that you and Tobirama-san aren't related?
    Hashirama: Why do you say that?"
    Byakko: That's just what it looks like, Hokage-sama. I would never have brought it up except... you don't look much alike. It's grown into something of a debate, in my clan—whether or not the Senju clan is an actual family, or more of a... loose coalition of unrelated ninja, more or less.
    Hashirama: Of course we're a family. [Beat] I mean, when we marry, someone will marry in from outside the clan, and the new spouse joins Senju, but... we're still related. [Beat] Tobirama and I are fully related, same mother and father. One hundred percent.
    Byakko: I see… [Beat] You don't look like you're related. If you'll forgive my saying so.
    Hashirama: Sometimes these things happen.
    • Referenced again in Chapter 12 and 16:
      • 12:
        Madara:Somebody forgot to tell somebody they adopted him. [Beat] I'll leave their request with you, [Beat] and let you get back to your, ah... 'family' reunion.
      • 16:
        Madara: I have a clan to look out for—a clan I'm actually related to, something I'm sure you know nothing about!
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Senju and Uchiha in beginning of the village, Tobirama and Madara for rest of the story.
  • There Are No Adults: Despite the fact that the story starts when they are teenagers, no mention of Madara’s or Hashirama’s parents is ever made. Presumably, they died in the Forever War, allowing them to take over the Senju and Uchiha.
  • Title Drop: Chapter 4
    If the issue of homosexuality ever came up in the Senju clan, it had its own beliefs that could be used to address it. Specifically, the clan had a single concept, drawn from old folk tales: the “man of dreams"
    Despite the pretty name, “man of dreams” is not something any sane man would like to be called. In fact, a more accurate name might be something like “man with unhealthily elaborate sexual fantasies.” The man of dreams was named for a fictional character of the same title. This character was a lustful man with an insatiable sexual appetite, a man who was so obsessed with sex that he would do anything to get some, a man so thoroughly obsessed that he could not even function as a healthy human being because his life was completely consumed by lust… a man so desperately obsessed with sex that he would lust after anyone and anything, even a friend’s beloved, even a sibling, even a child, even another man.
    The man of dreams was a comical and a disgusting character. To be one was to be willing to bang anything on two legs. It was the lowest of the low, the most pitiful, pitiable pervert in the world.
    And it was the ONLY concept the Senju clan knew that offered any explanation for one man’s falling in love with another.
    Is it any wonder Hashirama believed something was wrong with him?
    • It’s mentioned again in many of the later chapters, most notably during Chapter 17, during Mito’s "The Reason You Suck" Speech Directed at Hashirama:
      Mito: And do you know what your problem is?
      Hashirama: Oh, please enlighten me! I’ve been—I’ve been trying to figure that one out for YEARS!
      Mito: What?
      Hashirama: What’s wrong with me! What’s wrong with me! What the ''fuck'' is wrong with me! YOU tell ME, Mito-ch—san! I have been trying to figure it out for, for—whatever I don’t know how long I have been trying to figure it out! I have been trying to figure it out for years and you know what? You know what! I don’t know what! You, you, tell me what’s wrong with me!
      Mito: I—
      Hashirama: You know what? You know what my problem is? I’ll tell you what my problem is, damn it! My problem is, my problem is Madara is too damn Madara for my own good, all right? My problem is I don’t know how to wake up. I’m a man of dreams!
      Mito': What the hell does that even mean? So … so what, you think you’re some kind of a visionary, right? Dreaming of some grand new order? Is that it?
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Tobirama and grilled eel.
  • Tragic Dream: Hashirama wants to get together with Madara. However, Madara’s stoic personality, Hashirama’s Gayngst and the Deliberate Values Dissonance of the Naruto-verse prevent that from happening.
  • TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life: In-Universe. From Chapter 11:
    A/N: May I again recommend checking out a certain wonderful site called TVTropes? It will ruin your life. But in a good way.
  • Uke: Hashirama. Deconstructed in regards to the fact he will do anything to get Madara. attention, including founding the village. In return for this, Madara never returns his affections and rarely does anything for him.
  • Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: Hashirama. Even after Madara leaves him and betrays the village, Hashirama is still in love with him.
  • "Walk on the Wild Side" Episode: Chapter 17, wherein Hashirama gets drunk in order to forget how angry Madara is that he appointed Tobirama as his successor. Tobirama (and many of the other characters) treat this as OOC Is Serious Business.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 16 “Hits the Fan,” when Hashirama decides to give up on chasing Madara, leading to the second part of the fic, which describes how the latter decided to leave Konoha. In it, Hashirama appoints Tobirama as successor, while Madara gets angry and yells at him. The author jokes beforehand that it’s the shit hits the fan chapter.
    A/N: I've been thinking of this as the "crap hits the fan" chapter for a long time, and then I realized, hey! Fans, Uchiha! That's... that's really the only justification I have.
  • Wham Line: At the end of Chapter 13.
    He couldn't keep doing this. He couldn't keep torturing himself. He couldn't keep deluding himself.
    He couldn't keep dreaming about Madara.
  • Where There's a Will, There's a Sticky Note: Hashirama writes down his last will on a note on top of his head at the Valley of the End.
    Tell my family that I love them
    Give all my weapons to my brother and leave all my other property with my wife. Give my necklace to my granddaughter.
    Tell the village that I’m still with them in the Will of Fire, and I’ll never leave them. Tell them that they were always a part of me, and I will always be a part of them.
    Don’t try to avenge my death, because vengeance will never lead to peace.
    Scatter my ashes at the Valley of the End.
    • The trope is subverted in the sense that Tobirama doesn’t follow the last request.
  • Who Watches the Watchmen?: A comedic example. Tobirama invokes this when Madara is the acting Hokage by asking who’s supervising him.
Hashirama: Tobirama, he’s acting as Hokage today. Who usually supervises me?
Tobirama: Madara-san does.
Hashirama: And Madara-sama is perfectly capable of supervising himself as well.

In addition to the ones present in canon and the main story, the omake provides examples of:

  • Dead Fic: The mutual HashiMada fic ("An Impure World") that the author says she’s working on. Man of Dreams was finished in 2011. As of 2018, there is no sign of this story, either on the author’s FFN profile or tumblr. Since the first chapter is included in the omake, that also makes this a case of Real Trailer, Fake Movie.
  • Died Happily Ever After: Izuna.
    Everyone was happy forever except Izuna who died before the story started.
    The end.
    P.S. Okay, so maybe Izuna actually is happy but he’s still dead. He’s chilling with the Sage of the Six Paths. The dude’s legit. No lie.
  • For Want of a Nail: Several of the alternate endings. The one on “Hits the Fan” is about what could have happened if Hashirama appointed Madara as his successor.
  • Like Is, Like, a Comma: the first omake is written like this to increase humor.
  • Omake: It’s this to the main story.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them! Subverted.
    Madara: Dude, so wanna move in together so we can do sexy sexy things like all the time?
    Hashirama: Dude, how ‘bout we do one better and get married?
    Madara: Dude, that’s not even legal.
    Hashirama: Dude, I rule this village, I could totally make it legal.
    Madara: Dude, that’d just be weird. Let’s just live in sin, sin is sexier.
  • Totally Radical: The first omake is intentionally written like this, which helps contrast with the highbrow prose of the main story.
  • Tying Up Romantic Loose Ends: Mito marries Tobirama in the first one.
  • Uke: More clear and played straighter in the first omake than in the fic itself:
    So he [Madara] totally fell in love with Hashirama because it was like, hey, he could get fawned on 24/7. And Hashirama was all like super excited because it was like, hey, he could fawn on Madara 24/7.