Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.

Well, here goes my first Bleach story. Yay! And can I just say that I'm so glad that episode 132 came out. I've been a fan of KH for a couple of weeks (impressive, I know), but the only story back then was by Kellen, an excellent author might I say, and I'm hoping now that more people will realize the 'amazingness' and rightness of this pairing and will begin creating more fics based on them.

Summary: He should have known that her father wouldn't have been able to kept a secret, especially from one of his daughters. Karin/Hitsugaya. OneShot.

The Art of Asking

He should have known that her father wouldn't have been able to keep a secret, especially from one of his daughters.

"And you couldn't ask my opinion first, Toushirou?"

Hitsugaya pinched the bridge of his nose trying to keep himself from arguing back with her, because he really didn't want to argue with her right now. Yet despite his will and better judgment, it was getting harder and harder to keep his mouth shut.

"I don't know about the shinanagins," she meant traditions, "that go on in Soul Society, but here, in the real world, we women want to be included in the decisions about our lives."

A cross shaped vein popped out of the side of his tanned forehead as he continued listening to her chastise him. Chastise - him of all people! Didn't she know who exactly he was, how much power he wielded in one little finger? He could only shake his head in a defeated manner. Of course she knew exactly who and what he was, but that didn't stop her from lecturing him. Karin had always been too stubborn, or stupid, like her brother was, to care about things like that.

"You got me?"

She was the only one to ever talk down to him and he wasn't quite sure, even after all these years, if it was a good thing or not. It wasn't everyday that he was lectured by a young woman, one who was many, many years younger than him. He was one of the twelve captains of Soul Society, and laughingly she was the only one who had the permission to talk to him like he was but a five year old lad. Damnit, he hadn't even given her permission to do so either - she just decided it on their first meeting. She didn't like asking him his opinions; he just had to tell her.

"God, now I can't even be surprised!"

Weren't girls supposed to like surprises? He knew Hinamori did, but then again Karin was not a normal girl. For one, she did not cry. In fact, he'd never seen her cry once. There were times when her eyes became watery and he waited in anticipation for her tears so that he could comfort her, but she'd always shook her head and smiled instead, her tears all but gone within the span of a few seconds. He loved to see her happy, her eyes alight with joy, but he yearned for her to be able to share her sadness and sorrow with him. And honestly, he felt that she should cry while with him. It was his right. He was the man who loved her.

"That idiot father has to always be in my business ever since I was a little girl. He's so annoying."

Hitsugaya recalled Ichigo's face when he approached him and Isshin to ask for their permission and blessing for Karin's hand in marriage. The stupid man, Ichigo in this case, had stuttered but wasn't surprised. Kurosaki-san had been so overwhelmed by pent up emotions that he started crying and calling him son. The man, after a few serious words of course, had even flown to his rather large mural of his wife and said that he'd finally had their second son. It was hard to believe at times that the man before him was one of the greatest past captains of Soul Society.

"I mean, I can't believe him; giving people permission to wed me, his daughter, without even consulting me first. What type of world is this? Where is my right?"

Ah, and she was still yelling at him, and she was making it sound as if she were trapped in an arranged marriage when in truth he'd just asked for her father and brother's blessings. Another cross shaped vein popped in Hitsugaya's forehead and he tightened his fists, but continued to look at Karin with calm eyes. She looked very beautiful when she was angry, but he preferred her playful smiles; that and when he saw her beat up other men. Yes, she was like Ichigo in many ways, but then again Ichigo was an idiot and she was not...Well, not to his degree.

"So you are opposed?" Hitsugaya asked tiring of her yelling and a little annoyed, but that was nothing new. He'd been a little annoyed with her since the first time she talked to him.

There he had been sitting and enjoying the sunset, looking for Hallows as usual during that chaotic time, and she had waltzed up to him and started thanking him for this or that and then asked him, out of the blue, to join her little group for a childish game of soccer. He was pretty sure, as well, that his attraction with her had started a little after that first conversation...well second really. He told her to be more careful the first time they met and she still hadn't heeded his words then. She didn't heed his words now, either.

Karin had the decently to look stunned at his comment before a shy, uncharacteristic flush spread across her cheeks; she was adorable, as usual. "W-What?"

He leaned against the wall, crossing his arms and sliding his blue tinted shades down his nose.

"I said," and he never had to repeat himself except with her. She had always been the exception. "Are you opposed to my advances?"

She once told him that he needed to lighten up because he was too serious all the time.

She stuttered, gaping for a few moments at a loss for words. He smiled gently taking her smaller hand in his own and holding it to his chest, and she only gaped more unused to his current behavior. He wasn't the type of sensitive man that showed his tender emotions, but he supposed that this situation called for it. Even if it was different that he thought or desired it to be; he would have preferred this conversation to be happing over a nice, personal dinner and midnight walk. He'd always been a man of tradition after all.

"I don't...no...No...It's just that..." she said breathlessly, her flush turning brighter. He smiled at her dismay loving the show of emotions crossing her face. He thought it a pity she tried to hide them from him on most occasions. "You didn't talk to me first." she finished lamely as if she couldn't remember the reasons why she'd been mad in the first place.

"Not everything is about you, Karin." Hitsugaya said firmly, but he knew Karin would catch his teasing undertone. Her eyes ignited in flames at his words and he wanted nothing more than to laugh at her. She didn't know how much she amused him.

With a mighty stomp of her foot, one so used to firing numerous soccer balls and winning many tournaments and games, Karin exclaimed, "That conversation was!"

"So you agree to be my wife, then?" He sure hoped she would.

She looked flustered again for a few seconds before a determined, burning look glazed over her eyes. She stared up at him intensely, trying to read him while all he wanted to do was take her into his arms and hear those words he longed for so many years to spill from her lips. She was so tempting right now, staring into his own green eyes, trying to read him with her own beautiful and lively eyes. He could spend forever gazing upon her, and that's exactly what he would do once she gave him her answer.

"Are you serious, Toushirou?" His eyes narrowed, but she didn't waver. Taking her by the shoulders, he pulled her into his strong embrace, gritting his teeth, and wanting to shake her senseless for her stupidity.

"I love you, Kurosaki Karin, despite your idiocy." Hitsugaya whispered resolutely, holding onto her firmly when she tried to shake him off. "Why in the world would I go to your father and ask him for his permission and blessing if I was not serious?"

His voice was pure heat as he embraced her closer to him until she could no longer move and he could no longer think correctly. He could never. Not when she was this close. Not when she smelled so tempting and innocent against him.

"You didn't even ask properly." She mumbled much too grumpily for a woman who was being proposed to by the man she loved to be, but he conceded her point. Let no one ever say that he wasn't a fair or understanding man.

He pulled away from her a little and looked into her eyes. "Forgive me."

She smiled up at him brightly, leaning back into him and snuggling her face between his neck and shoulder. "It's okay, I guess. I mean, it's only once in a life time that a girl get proposed to by the man she loves, right?"

He wanted to roll his eyes but refrained because it was beneath him to do so. Captains did not roll their eyes at anything; that was a job for first lieutenants. He knew Matsumoto did it enough, but no matter how many times he lectured the woman she never stopped. She reminded him of a certain woman in his arms, the woman he chose to remain by for the rest of his life.

"You agree then?" he asked a little nervously despite her words. Even captains were scared of the rejection of a loved one. Well, he was. She punched him in the side making him grunt, but he didn't loosen his hold on her.

"And you said that I was an idiot."

"That's not an answer, Karin." He said arrogantly as though speaking to a child. Karin rolled her eyes at him, snickering a bit.

"Then ask me properly to be your wife." She said firmly holding him tightly to her so that he couldn't get away. Hitsugaya gulped and Karin touched his cheek. "Don't be so nervous."

"I'm not nervous." Hitsugaya said quickly.

"Then ask me." Karin said moving backwards, but he pulled her towards him again so that he could feel the warmth and curves of her body. He closed his eyes and breathed in her scent one last time before swallowing the lump that was growing in his throat.

He didn't know why he was so nervous, especially when he knew her answer, but asking was harder than he ever thought it would be. He would have rather fought a Vasto Lorde than have to go through this, and he couldn't believe himself. A genius captain of Soul Society was afraid of a mere human girl, but that was wrong too. Karin was more that just a mere human girl; she was his and his alone; his other half, the woman who made him and his life better. This mere human girl held his heart, his soul in her fragile hands. It was more than he could take.

Bending down on one knee, he rested his head on her stomach and then pulled back to look in her eyes. She was blushing again, looking just as nervous as he felt.

"Karin, I won't say that I can give you the world, because I can't no matter how much I want to, but I can give you all of myself. Whatever I have just ask and it will be yours. I love you more than I ever thought I could love somebody." He swallowed watching her eyes fill with tears, a shaky smile splitting his lips. "I remember, Karin, during those first days when we met, you asked me why I was always sitting in that place near the steps on the side walk. Do you remember?"

Karin nodded, her eyes shinning with unshed tears, a smile appearing on her lips. She tightened her grip on his hand. "Yeah, you said that it was the best place to see the sky, the sunset."

He nodded once, his throat constricting with what he was about to say. He blamed Karin. "That's right, but, Karin..."

"Yeah." she said shakily.

"I don't want to watch the sky alone anymore. I want you to be there with me...forever. Marry me?"

Hitsugaya watch Karin's eyes tear up. He held her hand, feeling every moment that passed more keenly than he ever felt in his life. Suddenly, she whipped her eyes and smiled, laughing and lunching herself into his waiting arms. He was pushed back a tad with her force, but maintained his kneeling posture closing his arms around her body like the many times he had done in the past.

"You didn't even have to ask," she said happily kissing his neck, cheeks, and eyes.

"You said I did." he pointed out between her kisses, but either she didn't hear him or ignored his comment. Maybe that's how their life together would be he thought stopping her movements and taking her face gingerly in his hands. Maybe she would always ignore his orders and comments. Maybe she would always go against him. Closing his eyes, Hitsugaya brushed his lips against her soft ones, deepening the pressure until she moaned into his mouth. Maybe he would never be used to her ways, her personality, or her natural contrariness to him.

Then again he rather liked her defiant nature.

The simple fact though was that he loved her and she loved him, and that was all that mattered to him.

She pulled away flashing a quick silver smile. "By the way, Toushirou, your speech was pretty corny."

...even if she was a bit annoying.

A/N: So there is my first Bleach one shot, and I hope ya'll enjoyed it. I just pray that I didn't completely slaughter the character's personalities with the amount of cliché fluff. I can admit that some of the lines I used were completely and utterly cheesy, so sorry about that.