Characters from To Be A Female Ninja of Kai.

Disclaimer: I do not own Sengoku Basara, even thought I want it REAL bad. I only own Hotaru.


Hotaru admitted defeat.

From the moment she told Sarutobi Sasuke about her old home life, she realized how pointless it was to try and remain as cold and emotionless as she had been over the years.

A few days after the story of her childhood, Hotaru found herself blushing and stuttering like a fool at every sexual remark he directed at her.

Hotaru did not understand why her body reacted the way it did when Sasuke was near her. She would scold herself after one of them left, thinking that she was a disgrace to all ninjas.

Now, Hotaru was no idiot. She understood why her cheeks flushed when she was in his presence, why her heart stopped when he would casually move a strand of her dark hair from her shoulder, why she couldn't breathe when he directed that beautiful smile at her.

She understood. She just didn't fully understand until three days later.

Hotaru had just came back to the castle after her very first solo sweep of the land, making sure everything was as it should be.

As she rounded a corner that would lead her to her room, Hotaru collided into something unbelievably hard to be a wall.

Hotaru, unwillingly, let out a small yelp and staggered back, one arm already reaching for her sword and the other balancing her body.

"Hotaru, if you wanted to be in my arms, all you had to do was say so."

Hotaru blinked at the voice and slid her eyes up to the familiar face that was grinning at her. Slowly, she backed into the wall and straightened herself.

Silently thanking her father (for the first and last time) that she was wearing her mask as she blushed, Hotaru replied, "H-hold your tongue, Sarutobi. As if I would ever-"

Sasuke smirked and placed both of his hands on either sides of Hotaru's. Leaning down, he put his mouth next her ear and said, "You really should have said that with more conviction, my little bird. It's taking every ounce of will I have not to drag you back to my room."

Gaping at the words that flew from his mouth, Hotaru slid under his arm and swatted the back of Sasuke's head. "Y-y-y-you idiot! From this moment onwards, I do not want you anywhere near me unless the need arises!"

Turning on her heel, Hotaru stormed off to her room, completely missing the smile that slowly etched itself onto Sasuke's face.

"Hee, she looks so cute when she gets mad~!" Smirking, Sarutobi Sasuke walked away, unknowingly to Hotaru leaving as the victor.

Once again, Hotaru admitted defeat.

She realized her feelings for the strange and irritating man. However, she refused to accept them and cut off that part of her heart and brain.

'You are a Ninja that serves under Master Sanada Yukimura and Lord Takeda Shingen. Having these feelings is a betrayal to their loyalty. If I let these….feelings grow, not only will I be more worried about Sarutobi than Master Yukimura, if it comes down to their lives, what would I do?!'

So, for the next two days, Hotaru completely avoided Sasuke. Even went so far as to hide when he was too close.

All in all, Watanabe Hotaru had driven herself to the brink of exhaustion avoiding Sarutobi Sasuke, who reveled in the thought of knowing that his presence affected her so much.

~Present~

Hotaru breathed in and out, calming down her thoughts of the man that was not only sitting so close to her that their knees touched, but finding it necessary to scoot a little closer every time she shifted away.

Hotaru threw Sasuke a glare, which he returned with a toothy smile. Hotaru scowled under her mask and turned her head, intent on listening to her Master speak.

Or, that is, until Sasuke decided to place his hand on her thigh. She immediately stiffened upon contact and turned her head to Sasuke. Sasuke had the barest hints of a smirk playing on his lips as he stared forward, his fingers bringing a uncomfortable (at least she wanted it to be uncomfortable :))warmth to her thigh that was slowly spreading through her entire body.

"Sarutobi," she hissed through clenched teeth, "if you do not remove your hand from my leg, you will be missing a hand."

Sasuke continued to ignore her, despite her many threats and promises to cause him bodily harm, until the end of the speech Yukimura gave them.

Standing, Sasuke grinned down at her and said, "You would never harm me, right Hotaru? You love me too much~."

Hotaru seethed at the way he said her name in a mocking tone. Tilting her head down so her bangs covered her eyes, Hotaru slowly stood up, making Sasuke realize how much he had ticked off the female Ninja.

"N-now, now Hotaru…" he said nervously, raising his hands in a surrending gesture.

Hotaru tilted her head up and grinned under her mask, whispering dangerously, "You have five seconds."

And Sasuke had never ran as fast as he had that day.