Here we are again, with another YukiSasu story! They're surprisingly easy to come up with…

I plan to make this one a series of drabbles (?) about how I would have made things happen between the Yukimura/Sasuke moments throughout SDK. However, there will be some chapters that are purely mine (except for the characters) – like this first one.

Oh, yeah. My mum's off in Japan to visit Grandpa – he's not feeling too well. My dad's in Vietnam for his work. My dog has been sent off to this pet hotel, as I can't possibly take care of him with school and all. Which means that my sister and I are home alone! Wheeeee~

I should be working and/or revising, but unfortunately the pull of a fanfic was to compelling to ignore. So there we have it.

Disclaimer: Do you see me fretting over deadlines and scribbling awesome drawings that will be published for money to the drooling public? No? Then too bad.


Atop a lush, green hill the long grass swayed in the wind, tips touching each other as those nearest to the narrow path bowing and waving to form a thin arch over it. Small, budded flowers hid in the emerald barriers, the pink and purples showing clearly through gaps in the weed surrounding them. Suddenly, silvery white bobbed up over the heads of the vegetation, and a short, slim figure came walking up the other side of the slope.

To all eyes but one, she was a small, pretty girl. Her kimono was one made from well materials and hands, the sleeves too long to be a simple day yukata, but it rather resembled those which even common folk use for at least a special traditional ceremony. Either that, or she was a maiden of good up bringing, and were provided those types of clothes every day. The hem of it was of perfect length, never showing any scandalous flesh of leg and neatly brushing the sock enveloped toes, raised from the ground by burnished black geta sandals, held together by fine, twined yellow strings. The kimono itself was white, mostly, and patterned evenly, beautifully, with pale pink cherry blossom emblems all on all areas of the clothing, the dye made in the customary procedure of extracting the essence of the sakura tree, and leaving it to soak into the precious fabric. The petals of the cherry blossoms pressed into it faded gradually towards the center of each flower, a nice gradient added to every single pattern. The long cloth wrapped around the slender waist was a dark, plain one, but it was mostly covered by the main obi bound over it, and the darker pink contrasted gallantly with the little bit of black showing from under it, making it look like as though it was a rim of the obi. White prints of more flowers, this time accompanied with long stalks and narrow leaves, decorated the bright cloth, a length of braided, golden cord holding them together, tied in a butterfly knot at the front.

A thin layer of a dark, undergarment kimono could also be seen at the base of the thin neck. The girl's light hair was fashioned professionally, straight bangs hanging on either side of her sharply shaped face fixed together by criss-crossing hair pins. The hair at the back was kept from blowing forward by a single thread acting as a hairband. Tied in the same way as the one at her waist, the pair loops peeked cutely up from behind her fringe, bouncing and flapping slightly with the maiden's every step. The string left over was long enough to come right down the sides of her head, a bead tied onto the ends of each of them, swinging with her movement. All in all, she was an attractive girl, which, despite her extremely young age, would catch the eyes of many men in the towns – if it wasn't for the fearsome scowl placed stubbornly on her graceful features.

She came to a halt at the topmost peak of the hill, cat-like golden eyes gazing disapprovingly down at the lone cottage way down at the foot of it, where the path led to. The blue sky framed her background, sleek white clouds moving across as she opened her red lips, causing the sheen on it to glaze over.

"You owe me big time for this."

A firm arm looped over her slight shoulders, hugging her tightly. "Now, now. This is part of your job to protect me, you know," said the black haired man behind her happily.

The girl whipped around, eyes flashing in a death glare. "What could possibly be in there that will harm you?" she asked angrily.

Yukimura only smiled. "Don't look so upset. You'll ruin that perfect face of yours, and all that make up I put on you will go to waste."

"Don't mock me!"

The man sighed in exasperation. Obviously they had gone through this before. "Listen carefully, this is the last time I am going to repeat this to you," he said, tone and face so serious the girl beside him could do nothing but stare, entranced, by him. "This mission is of utmost importance, no matter what the others may say. If things go wrong then it could result in me losing my life, and a certain reputation of an individual. Did you get that?"

"Yeah, alright," the girl answered, irritation sparking again. "But how does that got anything with some girl, trying to seduce you, and you calling up a replacement to throw her off???"

"It all comes together, if you listen," Yukimura said dryly. "Now, this girl is certainly a bit…cuckoo, in there," he tapped the side of his forehead meaningfully. "And unfortunately she's gotten a bit…infatuated, with me." The displeasure was evident in his voice. "So, all we have to do, is to convince her that I already have a partner I'm so dearly attached to, enough to prove that I can't ever leave you for anyone else! You know how I hate hurting women's feelings, let's break it to her the easy way."

"But WHY did it have to be me?!"

He scratched his head sheepishly. "I already told her that you were much, much younger than she was. And that you were so cute it should be a crime." His smile was so dazzling it could only be bearable with shades.

"And then, of course, she asked –cough demanded cough– to meet –cough cough interrogate cough– you."

"Well, thanks a lot for that," the girl grumbled, turning her piercing stare back on the tea shop below them. It was a modest place, a shop for weary travelers to take a break as they crossed the wide plains to the south on their way to Edo. A couple of figures moved around it, and the maid wondered if they were customers, or if one of them happened to be the girl in question. "So, all I have to do is act sweet and doting, then?"

Yukimura nodded, delighted that the girl had gotten a hold of things. "Yup! And a tad shy, that's not too bad either. And your name will be Sasuko for the time being."

Sasuko met his cheerful face with a ferocious glower worthy of a bull. "None of those looks now, come on, you look really pretty!"

With a sigh, Sasuke tried to position his expression to a timid, childish one of a girl of his age. It was more difficult than imaginable, as his normal attitude could be said as one of the complete opposite of whatever he was supposed to be now. He supposed he was quite good-looking, in a feminine way, which was something he obviously had not realized before. He marveled at the idea of him looking that in his usual attire too.

Glancing at Yukimura's back as he walked on forwards down the path, he became suddenly nervous. Did Yukimura prefer the girlish side of him more than his usual behaviour and looks?

…Alright. That was scary. What should he care if Yukimura ever gave a hoot about how he liked the shinobi? Shaking his head while kicking himself mentally, he hurried to catch up with his master with the woman problem, pushing past the long grass as he scurried down the dirt path towards the tea house.

The drapes hanging over the open doors of the cottage went flying even before they reached the benches sitting just outside of it. A woman rushed at them, screaming at the top of her lungs, "Gen-chaaan!!!"

Yukimura scooted neatly beside Sasuke. "Good day, Ayu-chan," he smiled, pitch an octave higher than normal. Sasuke had to strain his eyeballs from rolling.

The woman was by no means unattractive; at least not very. She looked somewhere around her mid twenties, high cheekbones and a small nose. However, while her eyes were also big, brown and Bambi-ish, they were stretched wide to an extent it seemed as though she was trying to take in the sight of her beloved Genjirou with all the muscles she possessed around her skull. Long, black hair that looked as though they may have a straw-like texture to it matted all around her, unkempt at the most, and her kimono was one of humble origins, unlike the rich order made design Sasuke was wearing.

She paused when she spotted the 'girl'. "Who's that, Gen-chan?" she enquired, tone questioning, and to Sasuke, suspicious.

Yukimura's grin grew even bigger as he braced himself for the reaction as he drove the point home. "This," he said, circling a strong arm around Sasuke's hips. "Is Sasuko, my girlfriend."

For extra measures, when he saw the woman's face freeze comically at the words, he reached forward and nibbled Sasuke's ear.

The young boy was given a terrible start, as the hotness that enveloped his lobe directly underneath Yukimura's mouth reached his neck and cheek, sending unknown shivers down his frame. The woman, more worriedly, had a gaping mouth large enough to make a bird's nest in, slightly stained teeth displayed like a horse's in the market. But before she could make any kind of response, a strict female voice sounded from inside the shop. "Ayumi! What are you doing out there, lazing around? Get back in here and work for what scrap of money you earn!"

Puffing her cleavage out obdurately, Ayumi gave one last glare down at the blushing Sasuke, and she strode back into the tea house defiantly. The two left outside glanced at each other.

Yukimura spoke first. "So," he started, eyes twinkling. "What do you think?"

Sasuke, on the other hand, was trying to get his blush under control. "I think we need to get out of here," he snapped, fighting the urge to look away from those smiling, teasing eyes. Honestly, was there a need for the ear thing?

"We can't do that," Yukimura said, grabbing his 'girlfriend's elbow. "If we back out now, she won't take us seriously. Just endure this a bit more, Sasuke. Please?" he begged, face one of an abandoned puppy. "For me?"

There was absolutely no way anyone, let alone Sasuke, could defy that pouting bundle of cuteness. Eyes training on the ground, he gave a short nod, and was subsequently dragged inside with a happy chuckle accompanying them.

The teahouse only had a trickle of customers that day. A couple small groups of travelers, mostly three men per one set, was stopping by for a brief rest and some refreshing, locally made green tea. Ayumi was already strutting around the restaurant, tottering with trays this way and that in an effort to keep balance. A different woman, presumably the owner of the shop, greeted them as Yukimura and Sasuke walked in.

"Welcome, Genjirou-sama," The woman bowed as he lifted the drapes hanging over the entrance, and nodded friendlily in return. She was a good ten years older than Ayumi, grey hair and lines already threatening to invade her sharp, stern face, but she seemed a great deal more sensible than her young employee. The owner blinked in surprise when Sasuke ducked under the dangling cloths and followed the older man through, timidly touching the back of Genjirou's dark kimono with his slender fingers for reassurance, as he stopped to look for an open seat. Nevertheless, the woman showed hardly any sign of the same horror that had etched upon Ayumi's face when she saw the two, and led them towards a table for a pair in the middle of the room, somewhere apart from the group of travelers chatting amongst each other. Quite a few of the men looked up as Sasuke – to them, Sasuko – passed, one of them even wolf whistling at him – her. Sasuke's look of repulsion was quickly cloaked by a sudden blush, as Yukimura reached around the young boy's shoulders, throwing a possessive glare over his own as he drew Sasuke even closer to his body as they proceeded across the room. Poor Sasuke's blush knew no bounds, as it flared up again when he caught the scent of his master when his head was pressed sideways against Yukimura's chest, as if to muffle the calls the men were giving him. Still beet red in the face, he was ushered to sit down opposite of Yukimura, who handed him a menu with the coolest grin on his face.

"Sake with the sakizuke of the season, please," Genjirou chirped his usual order to the woman standing near them.

She turned to Sasuke. "And you, dear?"

"…Soup and azuki mochi," Sasuke mumbled, keeping his line of sight low to avoid eye contact, very much aware of the heat remaining obstinately on his visage.

The woman looked around, checking that Ayumi was out of earshot, and spoke to him in a low voice. "It may be rude to ask, but are you and Genjirou-sama…?" She glanced anxiously at Yukimura, who was also looking a little uneasy.

"I'm courting her, yes," Genjirou answered, giving a small smile before reaching over to take Sasuke's small hands with his. The expected reaction came, and Yukimura had to try very hard to stifle the bark of laughter as Sasuke looked like he had been suddenly dunked into freezing water, and the flush that was creeping up his features, but, this time surprisingly, did not pull away. The woman appeared to be close to tearing up, a happy, warm impression of two young couples in love the only thing reaching her motherly eye. However, if that was the case, she knew exactly what – or who – was going to be the first obstacle in their relationship.

"A treat, dear," she whispered, digging her hands into the depth of her apron, and coming up with a little, wrapped sweet. "Try to have patience with Ayumi, will you?"

She placed it on Sasuke's palms, opened up by Yukimura's larger hands and closed once again as she hurried away. Sasuke was busy contemplating how much trouble the working girl actually was, so he did not immediately realize Yukimura was still holding hands with him.

"Yuki –" he started, before Yukimura cut him of with one word.


"…Genjirou," (through gritted teeth) "Please let go."

Genjirou only smiled, bringing the clasped hands up to his lips as he leaned forward. "Let's stay like this for a while," he murmured, placing a soft, chaste kiss upon the back of the boy's hands.

Sasuke's flush darkened considerably, and this time he was gone far beyond the use of coherent words. Not trusting himself completely to form a legitimate sentence, he shut his mouth, biting his bottom lip nervously as Yukimura continued to nuzzle his mouth against his slight fingers.

An unexplainable emotion rose up, however, when he saw the man's dark eyes swiftly flitting to his right under the heavy lashes. From the corner of his own, he spotted Ayumi watching them from a corner table, obviously not listening to the order her customer was giving. The feeling was sudden, and fierce – then it died down again, leaving a hollow, sad space behind in his chest. What was that?

Yukimura finally released their hands as the owner came back with a single tray, a bowl of soup and a plate of neatly wrapped mochi laden on it. "We're just out of sake, Genjirou-sama," she told him, as she placed the tray in front of Sasuke. "Would you mind if I just nip over to the storeroom in the back and find a bottle?"

"Not at all," Genjirou smiled, thanking her as she hurried back to the kitchen. He grabbed the spoon Sasuke was about to pick up, and the soup, bringing them closer to himself as Sasuke bit back protests and only gave him a puzzling look.

"Say, 'Aah'," Yukimura grinned.

It took Sasuke a little more than three seconds to comply with his wishes. He was struggling inwardly to keep the outbursts of shock and humiliation from escaping his lips, all the while contorting his facial muscles to keep things smooth and calm as it could be. Truth be told, he was getting sick of the hot feeling reaching all the way up to his ears with every movement Yukimura made. He leant forward, enveloping the spoon with his little pink mouth, sucking at the liquid there before drawing away. He would have refused the next delivery completely, really, if it wasn't for the delighted beam Yukimura sent over the table to him, obviously pleased that Sasuke had actually eaten from his hand.

Somewhere in the vague direction off his right, Ayumi was standing with a furious expression and a clay plate snapped cleanly in half.

Was Yukimura only doing it to get rid of that woman? Sasuke thought as he pushed forward for another spoon of soup. He instantly ridiculed himself. Of course he was, that was the whole point of the "mission". They weren't here to actually play, or even to date, but to rid Yukimura of a troublesome pest. Besides that fact, there was also the image of both of them being men.

A man and a boy, but really to Sasuke, there was hardly a difference.

But then, what was that feeling he had gotten when he saw Yukimura paying more attention to the girl and not to him? It had been an unpleasant one, but not quite the aggravation or anger he received when pestered too much. It was more…fiery, but lasted only for a mere second. Even then, remnants of it stuck to his mind, making him want to purse his lips at the loss of something important to him.

Was it…jealousy? He steered quickly from that thought and latched onto one of a near topic. Was Yukimura only using him to make Ayumi jealous? Playing hard to get? But then, the girl seemed quite a hanger on, and her proclaimed closeness with Genjirou (he shuddered at her squeaky voice resonating in his brain, going "Gen-chaaan!") was far too perplexing to bear. Plus, knowing Yukimura's types, he liked them drunk and not responsible for their actions; with only loose connections between him and them so that they may be easy to cut for the time he was to disappear from their lives.

He mewed in irritation as Yukimura started to tease him with the spoon, repeatedly inching it away from his open, chasing mouth as he leaned even more forwards in an attempt to capture the evading item. He covered his annoyance up quickly with a playful, doting expression, joining in with the laughter after he swallowed the portion of soup. If they were a normal couple, they would have shared a small kiss of apology by now. Bitterly, he wondered if he really had to go through all this for such a seemingly small matter.

The woman was back from the storeroom, holding aloft a tray with a large sake bottle, and it's side dish. Sasuke watched in dread as Ayumi started towards her, taking the tray from her arms with a pleasant smile, all intents on approaching their table.

"Watch out," he hissed to Yukimura, who was turned away from the exchange between the two women. "She's coming over."

Yukimura may have gone a shade whiter, but he bravely continued to feed Sasuke – until the thin hand reached over, nudging the bowl of soup out from in front of him, almost knocking the spoon out of his hands as a second tray was shoved between his arms.

"Gen-chan," Ayumi purred, sidling up by drawing another chair next to him. "Do you want me to pour that in for you?" Without waiting for an answer, she grabbed the bottle and splashed clear liquid onto the flat cup, before holding it up to his lips for a sip.

Yukimura's lips thinned, although hardly noticeable, and he thanked the girl all the same. "But I think I can handle it myse –"

Ayumi did not give him the chance to finish, drowning out his next words with a loud, girlish squeal, happily hugging Genjirou's arm and spilling even more sake onto the wooden table. "Ooh, you are so kind, Gen-chan! Here, have some more~"

"No, really, Ayu-chan, I'm not–"

"I insist."

Sasuke had taken back his bowl and was eating quietly by himself, eyeing Ayumi with what he hoped was an intimidating glare. However, he was privately musing why Yukimura wasn't taking the steps to break things off with her.

Just shake her off already!

But no, if he could have done that from the first place, then he wouldn't have needed Sasuke to crossdress and pretend to be his girl in order to scare her away. His master always had a weak spot for women, and had a conscience that prevented him from hurting their feelings, at the very least. Sasuke had nothing personal against the woman, so he could let a simple cuddle slide, getting Yukimura back for all the torture he had put Sasuke through till now.

That is, he had nothing personal against the woman, until he caught her eye as she held the third cup to Yukimura's lips. She stared directly into his golden eyes, and smirked triumphantly.

Okay. Who does she think she is???

It set something off in Sasuke. Fury, reproach and the odd feeling (he brushed off the word "jealousy" the moment it entered his brain) he had experienced time and again, not being able to stop himself. He dropped his gaze down towards his soup (immediately regretting doing so, for it felt as though he had lost the staring game) and tightened his grip on it to relieve the turbulent emotions.

Perhaps Yukimura had noticed the whitened knuckles, for at that moment he had snatched the flat cup from Ayumi's hands, and had offered them to the small "girl" sitting across the table. "Hey, Sasuko, how about you try it?"

Sasuke looked up, a small crease between his trimmed eyebrows. "I don't –"

Ayumi's hand snaked out and grabbed Genjirou's wrist. "Gen-chan, you can't give alcohol to a child!" she said in mock dismay. "They're much too weak for them!"

Sasuke's fur had already been rubbed the wrong way, he could have done without the scathing comment. "Get off," he growled with an increased scowl, slapping Ayumi's hand away. She clutched at it and raised it to her stunned face. Sasuke, of course, ignored her pitiful response. "Go on, Gen-chan," he challenged, lifting his chin. "Let me have a taste."

His proud golden eyes met Yukimura's deep ones. I'll show you how to take care of business.

Yukimura met his gaze, and gave a refreshed smile, which replaced the strained one he had been wearing with Ayumi hanging onto his garments. "Well, then," he said huskily, in a low voice. A swift hand sprang to his chin, fingers caressing the skin there gently before taking hold and drawing them roughly forwards. "How about I give you a taste from my mouth?"

That was it for Sasuke. His mind wiped completely blank, forgetting about the girl watching them and his former defying manner, Sasuke stumbled back, out of his chair and out of his master's grasp. He merely stood there for a moment, petrified under Yukimura's own surprised stare, before fleeing from the teashop and towards the open air outside.

The cloth at the entrance blew out horizontally as the blushing boy barged past them, rushing to the side of the house and collapsing hard against the wooden surface. He was starting to feel slightly dizzy. His face was flushed, he knew – he could feel the heat stretching from his ears across his cheeks and nose, rising from his neck. Sasuke drew in a long, shuddering breath; his lungs seemed compressed underneath the pounding of his heart. He blinked blearily in the bright sunlight, as his racing pulse decided to finally calm down.

He cursed himself for running out like that. What on earth had possessed him? The snotty woman had challenged him, and he had taken it up – yet barely twelve seconds into it he had gotten the sudden urge to take flight and abandon it. It was disgraceful, and humiliating. Still, if Yukimura had not –

Oh, yes. Yukimura. Was he not the very cause of this peculiar feeling? Laughing and teasing, as though he was having fun with his girlfriend, while all the while watching that Ayumi's reactions from the corner of his eye. Did he care about her more than he did about Sasuke? His heart skipped a beat again as he recalled the suggestive actions Yukimura had put on for show, and the mischievous glint in his dark black eyes. Damn it! Why must he receive the blunt of his master's pranks? For the matter, why was he getting so worked up about it?? Guys aren't supposed to fall for other guys!

I'm not falling for him!!!

Sasuke covered his beet red face with his both of his pale, shaking hands. He had never been more self conscious about his behaviour than now…was it the dress affecting him? His master had never bothered holding back his not so unknown affection for his youngest shinobi. But even he was decent enough to keep from affronting the child's innocence, and never went so far as kissing or, well, hinting at other implications. This time was an exception, because of the mission.

It was just because of the mission… he felt a pang in his heart, and the shock sent realization straight to his mind. Throwing his hands down from his face, Sasuke shook his head vigorously in an effort to clear his thoughts. There was nothing to be upset about! He didn't care if Yukimura had absolutely no feelings for him at all! Just what was he getting so worked up about? He was truly getting sick of all these mood swings. What with his mind confused about everything that had happened in the tea shop, he wouldn't be surprised if he started crying his eyes out next.

That must not happen. He was Sarutobi Sasuke (good grief, Sasuko isn't even a real name), the most feared and strongest of the legendary Sanada Jyuuyushi. And he wasn't about to lose his master to some common pig.

Slapping himself lightly on the cheeks, he got off from the house's wall. With a raised head and a new, determined look in his eye, Sasuke marched back towards the front of the shop and back in.

And stopped dead at the spectacle before him.

Yukimura was deathly pale; almost blue. His left eyebrow was twitching, from obvious pain. His grin was no longer forced – if that thing on his face could even be called a grin at all. Overall, a short assessment concluded that he was in great pain.

The woman squealing, hugging, and laughing on top of him was oblivious to all that. She had propped herself up sideways on his lap, legs dangling out from underneath the table, arms encircled around Genjirou's neck with a viper-like ferocity, threatening to choke him to death. Her loud snort-giggles drew many annoyed glances from behind them, and the next second she had drove her head downwards to reward Genjirou with a snacking, big kiss.

The air was pregnant with frizzling tension, during which Sasuke and Yukimura stared into each other's eyes, all breath around them was held, and Ayumi, still smiling with victory, looked up and around to spot the lone figure of the small girl at the doorway.

Naturally she started off with a squeal. "Ooh, Gen-chan, your girlfriend saw us!" she sang, and crows in the west took off in alarm. It wasn't even mating season.

Yukimura tried to push her away and get up. "Ayumi-chan, stop–"

The arms around his neck tightened, and Yukimura whimpered, for once, as he was sucked into the drooping bosom of the possessive girl. "But Gen-chaan," Ayumi whined. "I don't think you should keep this in the dark anymore! Especially not from your girlfriend – in fact, she should know now!"

She turned to Sasuke, who's eyes could not be seen from under her fringe, small hands balled and white knuckled. "You see," she started brightly, "Gen-chan and I are–"

Sasuke's body moved of it's own accord. The thought that he could always just leave his master like that to repent for all his wrong-doings just didn't occur to him quick enough. In three quick strides he was halfway across the room, at their table. In one swift movement a cup of hot tea was snatched up. In the same gesture, he had thrown the still steaming liquid all over the girl, who immediately screeched in response.

Of course, it was unavoidable that a bit of it would have gotten on Yukimura, who was under her, but the most part of it got Ayumi so that was alright.

The tea wasn't hot enough to scald, but it served well enough as a nasty bit of shock. As Ayumi jumped around shrieking profanities, the other customers gaped at her, and the owner rushed out from the back room to see what all the commotion was about, while Yukimura blinked comically in his sopping condition. Sasuke was breathing hard, cup still clenched in one hand, tea dripping from it down onto the floor. In his ears was a rushing sound, blocking out the piercing screams and shocking words the woman was throwing at him.

"You little devil! Look what you did to my uniform! Oh, my hair! And, and my make up is coming off! Ohh, you brat!! Just – just because you had your precious Gen-chan stolen from you, doesn't mean that you had to take it out on–"

In a flash, Sasuke was right up in her face, golden eyes glinting with murderous intent. His hand came swishing up, and struck the shocked girl squarely on the side of her face.

She staggered back, but got a hold of herself quickly. Sasuke had remembered to be lenient on her, reminded by a piping conscience that she was no dweller of the woods, but simply a human girl.

"Why, you bitch…!!!" she yelled, brown eyes narrowed, and rushed up at Sasuke with her own hand raised, the other merely standing there with a cold, appraising look on his face.

Ayumi's hand was caught in midair however, by a larger, warm hand, to both hers and Sasuke's surprise. Yukimura towered over her, warm smile no longer set in place, his thinned lips set in a straight line.

"Ge – Gen-chan!" Ayumi stuttered.

"Yu – Genjirou…" Sasuke said, just as stunned as the girl.

Yukimura gently lowered the arm, and stared at Ayumi with dark orbs that seemed to see through her. She backed away a couple of steps, overwhelmed by the sudden change of atmosphere around her beloved Genjirou. "Ayumi-chan," he said quietly. "I'm really sorry, but I think I'll have to ask you to refrain from attempting to hurt my lover. I don't believe I can claim myself responsible for what I may do to you."

Ayumi's puckered, angered face was washed clean, leaving her astounded. "Lo – lover…?" she said weakly, clutching her wrist closer to herself.

A slight, apologetic look was flashed her way. "Yes, that's right," Yukimura smiled. "Lover." With that repetition, he made his way over to where Sasuke stood stock still. He lowered his dark head, pressing his smooth cheek against the boy's forehead, clasping their bodies closer together by wrapping his arms around the small, slim waist. As if on cue, Sasuke raised a hand, and placing it softly on his master's face above him, stood on tiptoes to plant a small kiss on the flawless skin there. As he drew back he could feel something hot and tingling on the tip of his lips, and it wasn't the droplets of the splashed tea that had clung to them.

As Yukimura blinked rapidly in genuine surprise, Sasuke glared pointedly at the seething girl. "And don't ever," he hissed menacingly. "Try to get near my Genjirou again."

Leaving her spluttering, he dragged the rapidly blinking Yukimura past the cluttered tables. The other travelers gawped at them in awe, as they weaved past them and out of the shop. Eyes then swiveled back to the employee girl, who was predictably shaking in almost uncontainable fury and loathing.

As soon as the two had gotten out of the scene, all hell came loose.

Sasuke and Yukimura paid no mind to the chaos whirling inside, as they squinted in the glaring sunlight, and found themselves in a much different scenery than the shadowed shelter they had previously been in. They walked over to the clearing, some way off from the teahouse. Sasuke was glad for a breath of fresh air, and felt like he had been suffering from claustrophobia ever since he had reentered the shop. He was thankful for the space, with no crazily screeching girls in sight.

He couldn't enjoy it as much, however, when a pair of strong arms grabbed his shoulders roughly, and spun him around to meet two deep spheres staring hard at his lighter ones.

He fumbled to find his dropped words in the shock. "Wha – Yukimura…?"

His master gazed at him for a while, before letting his stern face relax into a carefree smile. "You really do look cute like that."

Sasuke felt the heat rise up again. "You idiot!" he cried, pushing himself away from the grip. "I – get off – let's just go home so I can take this off already!" Grumbling, he tried to walk away as quickly as his thin legs could take him. Yukimura's hand snaked out once more to grasp the child around the wrists.

Sasuke turned, eyes blazing. "Let go–"

"You got me drenched," Yukimura's voice sounded amused, tantalizing. His eyes sparkled with enjoyment. "You didn't have to chuck all that tea on us to get her off, you know."

The little shinobi's face coloured. "Well," he snarled. "I wouldn't have had to if you weren't such a softie in the first place. How she got on your lap is a mystery, and I don't–"

"You ran out suddenly, when you should have protected me," Yukimura corrected. Sasuke squirmed in discomfort, attempting and failing to wriggle away from the man's hold. "You willingly provoked her."

The cat-like eyes looked away, not meeting his face. The child's own was glowing, but Yukimura made no effort to relent.

"You looked as though you were going to snap anytime," he said in a low, if not seductive, voice, bringing his lips closer to Sasuke's ear. The younger shivered, fighting the urge to turn around and let skin meet skin. "You called out 'my Genjirou' right in front of everyone."

Yukimura's delight knew no bounds, and he drew back just slightly and watched the boy struggle to keep his line of sight trailed on the ground. "S – So…?" he stammered. "It's not like I wanted to… that – that was just…"

The lord waited for a response that he knew will never come. When finally Sasuke's voice had trailed off into an inaudible mumble, it was his turn to speak up.

He took Sasuke's small, limp hand, and pressed it tenderly to his cheek. "You kissed me," he smiled, very, very softly. Sasuke flinched, fighting hard to keep his blush under control. "Now, why is that…?"

He couldn't say it. He couldn't force out the words. It was just an act, he tried to say. But his voice stuck in his throat, and he couldn't bring himself to make a sound.

Because it wasn't just an act? Sasuke wasn't sure of it himself. He had done it without thinking; it had been instinctive. Was there something else to it?

Yukimura could see that Sasuke was confused. He held back a sigh, exasperated with the young boy's slow reaction.

Well, he is only a child. He'll figure it out himself in time.

"You know what I think?" he said aloud, beaming widely. Sasuke snapped out of his reverie and started expectantly. Had he been found out?

"I think," Here Yukimura pursed his lips in a thoughtful, mulling way. "Thaaat…Mission Accomplished."

Sasuke blinked. "Huh?"

Laughing, the older man turned and started stalking up the hill. "Come on, Sasuko, we have a long way till we get home!" he grinned openly. "You'll have to stick right beside me, or else some naughty men will spot you and take you with them!"

"Wai – Yukimura – what do you mean, 'Mission Accomplished'?? Hey! Are you listening?! And what the hell with the whole 'Sasuko' thing! Wait up – and just so you know, there's no way that any man will want to pick me up!!"

Sasuke's yells carried down the valleys, accompanied with Yukimura's laughter. Back inside the shop, the owner turned away from the huddle of flailing limbs in the centre of the room, as several travelers battled to keep Ayumi from laying destruction on the rest of the room. Sighing heavily, the older woman caught sight of the retreating figures from a nearby window, and smiling lightly, watched as they proceeded up the hill stretching towards the open, blue sky ahead.

For once the heavy pounding that had started up in her head ceased, and the yells of the troublesome to-be-fired waitress and panicking definitely-never-coming-back customers were drowned out, as she settled to wallow in her own, brief thoughts.

"I do hope that little boy notices his feelings for Genjirou-sama," she murmured. "He is quite a feisty cutie."

Oh yes, the shrewd eyes of an old lady never misses a thing.

I actually got the idea of Sasuke cosplaying as a girl from a loooong time ago, but that was when I was setting drafts for all my previous works as well. It was only after getting my hands on the SDK Character Guide Book that I finally got an idea of what he'll really look like. There's this section on fanarts that readers have sent to Kamijyo, right? Apparently, there had been a LOT of Sasuko drawings included in the Jyuuyushi pages. Quoting Yukimura, who gave his comment in the corner of the page (Sasuke looked quite shocked, on the other hand), "If Sasuke dressed up as a girl, then I think he'll definitely be really cute!"

I think so too, Yukki!! XD

That's why I drew some pictures of Sasuke in this chapter. I've only just figured out how to draw a character that even remotely looks like him, but I still need to work on Yukimura. This is so that viewers will have a clearer image of what I thought he might look like (doesn't have to be, you know – it's good to let your imagination run wild) and, of course, I thought there were some cute scenes in this chappie! They're still work in progress, hopefully I'll have them done and coloured by the next chapter. I'll put in a link there when I'm finally finished. Deviantart, by the way.

Anyway, read and review! Tell me what you think – or what you don't think, but if you think it'll make me think better about myself, then think and feel free to do so – and don't forget to check the pics when I get them up!

YukiSasu4eva ^^