Me: Thank you for the long wait. I have not updating for a while because of college. Sorry for the inconvenience, and now I'm gonna sulk.

Don't own Bleach, so going to sulk more.

Chapter 28: Dance of Death

"Ah... the audience have arrived." The blond-haired Diablo said, as the group jumped onto the roof with their weapons out.

It wasn't long for them to reach to the rooftop as they were invited to fight against the two Diablos. With Ururu watching over their gigais inside the building and Tsuyosa putting up a reiatsu shield in the mansion, they were able to pass through walls and floors. For the girls, they were relieved that the makeup was no longer on their faces as they were in their Shinigami forms and their casual looks. Heiwa was able to heal her neck, but the unnoticeable mark was there. Karin hid her wrist that had a slight burn, so she would have to wrap the chains around both of her wrist for hiding the burn and holding her swords at the same time. With two captains from the Gotei 13, one lieutenant from the 6th division, a seated officer in the 11th division, and three unseated Shinigamis, this battle was going to be one of their intense battles since the Winter War. Toshiro already summoned his shikai with the others following his example. It wasn't necessary for them to summon their second form as they were just eliminating Hollows, but with the Diablo situation on high alert, they were going to fight them with their second form. If the battle's getting too critical, Toshiro and Renji would have to use Bankai to wait to more reinforcements.

"I was expecting more Shinigami in the party." The blond-haired Diablo stated. They looked up in the sky where the moon is shining brightly. The Diablos were wearing the same clothing, but the blond-haired Diablo was wearing black and the brunette Diablo was wearing white. They had their swords, still sheathed, and those swords were going to either be revealed or not. Karin glared and was about to make a come back, but Toshiro beat her.

"Unfortunately, we are protecting these humans, so only one of us stayed behind." The blond haired Diablo smirked.

"How about an introduction?" The blond haired Diablo held out his hands and bowed like a gentleman would do.

"My name is Tsunami, and this is my comrade, Flare. We welcome you to play a little game with us." He spun around and held his hands out to the sky where the moon is and to the ground where the team was standing.

"This game is going to be fun because you get to split up into two groups. One group will be dancing with Flare on the roof, and the other group will be dancing me in the sky. If one group finishes dancing, you have to stay out from helping the other group, or we'll have to actually kill you for breaking the rules. You can use your weapons for this game, and I hope you put up a best show." Tsunami disappeared and reappeared higher in the sky, and Flare slowly descended down to the ground.

"It seems that we may have to split up in two groups to fight two Diablos." Toshiro stated. He wondered why the Diablo separated instead of sticking together. In the Winter War, the Vasto Lorde stuck together along with their subordinates. This was very new especially separating that would spell instant defeat. Karin's growl brought his mind out of his ponders.

"I call the guy in black. Just looking at him just pisses me off, and I'm gonna beat the crap out of him." Toshiro glanced at the Kurosaki girl and ordered.

"Calm down, Karin." Heiwa pushed her glasses up and looked up.

"Then, I will fight Tsunami. I'll make sure that he doesn't have that amusement tone." Shuuhei glanced at Heiwa and was surprised to hear her answer. She looked like she was ready to fight, but in her eyes, her cautious eyes turned into rage. He thought Heiwa would go with Karin since they both are best friends, but this was the first time that Heiwa would decide on her own and would not help Karin fight. Shuuhei held his hand out to prevent her from advancing forward.

"Heiwa, we need your defense here to prevent the Diablo from attacking the mansion if something goes wrong." Heiwa bit her lip and tried to reason her captain.

"Hisagi-taichou. Please grant my permission. Let me fight against the Diablo in the sky. My otou-san is capable on defending the area down here." Shuuhei shook his head in anger and worry. She was just like Nasake.

"Iie. Let us, higher ranked Shinigami, deal with the Diablo up there." Heiwa was reluctant to let go of this desire, but the Aohi wielder pushed her desires back with much resistance. However, the resistance came into a halt.

"Hey, Shuuhei!" Everyone looked at the idiotic, reckless boy, and Natsu lifted his zanpakuto in the air and let Akatsuki rest on his shoulder.

"I'll take Heiwa's place on fighting the dude that looks like me. Let her fight against blonde up there." Shuuhei frowned, not liking how the boy taking this battle in a lax way. Natsu sighed in distress and rubbed his neck with his other hand.

"It's not like I want to fight the Hollow..."

"Diablo." Heiwa corrected him, but Natsu ignored it.

"... but I think you should let her fight the other one. You may be 'dating' her, but that doesn't mean that you should not trust her on doing this by herself." Karin nodded, agreeing to what Natsu said.

"He's right! Heiwa trusts us that we would be all right on our own, so you should too. We're ready to fight against all odds." Shuuhei stared at the two unseated Shinigami and glanced at the Aohi wielder, seeing how Heiwa's eyes shined in happiness and trust toward her brother and friend. If the three were okay on making it on their own, then he should do the same.


"Hai?" Shuuhei smiled at her and nodded.

"Permission granted. You may fight the Diablo." Heiwa was surprised at first, but her smile curved on her face, making her feel happy.

"Roger." Toshiro sighed and commanded.

"We've wasted too much time. Natsu, Karin, Renji, you're with me against the Diablo on ground. Heiwa, Tatsuki, go with Hisagi-taichou against the other above. Split up."

"Hai!" Heiwa, Shuuhei, and Tatsuki disappeared to fight against the Diablo in white clothes, as the remaining Shinigami were preparing themselves against the other in black clothes. The Natsu look-alike stared at the group and crossed his arms.

"Are you ready?" The Diablo said, and Natsu powered up his sword, and the blade was glowing.

"You bet! We're gonna kick your blackie ass to next year." Karin twirled her two swords and grabbed them at the same time, both facing the Diablo.

"I've been dying to make sure that you won't lift another finger on what's my stuff, jackass." Toshiro sighed.

"I will never understand what you are angry about, but just don't get yourself killed." Renji nodded in agreement.

"I agree with Hitsugaya-taichou. Ichigo and your otou-san would have our hides if we bring your body back to them." As everyone was preparing their zanpakutos, the Diablo, Flare, sighed and took out his sword from behind.

"First form, Blindaje del Fuego. (Fire Shield)." The sword melted from his hand, and the hot, melting blade wrapped around his hand and suddenly hardened to form a small shield. The hilt of the blade transferred itself from the palm of his hand down to the middle of his arm, and the metal shield protected his arm without burning him. He held his covered arm before him and stated.

"Come." Natsu growled…

"Gladly!" …and charged straight to the Diablo. Toshiro shouted at Natsu.

"Kazeru! Don't!"

"Hope you like this sword shoved down your throat." He jumped and prepared to stab him, until the shield began to glow and flare out fire, covering the Diablo from sight around him. Natsu's instinct took over and powered up his own sword.

"Atsuihi!" His glowing sword clashed against the fiery shield, as sparks flew out between two flaming weapons. He continued attacking the ball of fire and sent out small bits of reiatsu like he did when he fought Toshiro. No less than fifteen seconds, the Kazeru boy was feeling his reiatsu draining quickly and immediately withdrew back to the group. However, when he was away from the shield, flames shot out and aimed right at Natsu's chest. Reacting to the attack, Natsu put his sword in front of him and blocked the fire, but when he was away from the fire, the boy couldn't maintain his balance and collapsed on his knees while holding his sword like a staff. The flames of the shield died out, revealing an unharmed Flare, and the Diablo smiled calmly.

"Is that all?" Karin frowned and called out.

"Natsu! Are you all right?" Natsu panted and stood up, but his knees were trembling in exhaustion.

"I'm... fine. Just... drained. Give me five." Renji appeared before the boy, holding Zabimaru on his shoulder.

"Take a break. I'll deal with this." The redhead swing his sword down as the blades grew in length, and Flare activated his shield, making the sword clash against the flames like a whip against a boulder. The white haired genius observed the tired boy with intense thinking. Natsu looked like he was out running a marathon, and his dangerous reiatsu dwindled down to a nonlethal feeling. He glanced at the large fireball and sensed that the shield was taking Renji's reiatsu by each strike. Toshiro strategized a plan and called out to the girl.

"Karin." The raven-haired girl glanced at Toshiro before he continued.

"I need your speed. Something about his shield is making everyone tired, and I have a hypothesis. After Renji is done, try hitting him once but move away quickly with shunpo." Karin glared at him and muttered.

"So now I'm a lab rat? Thanks a bunch, jerk." Toshiro shook his head.

"Just go, but don't attack him too much." Renji stopped swinging his sword, but when his zanpakuto returned to him, the 6th division lieutenant panted and was on his hands and knees. Toshiro was right beside the exhausted Shinigami, and Renji swore.

"Kuso! What the hell is that ability? I feel like I ran nonstop while using shunpo and using kido on Ichigo." Toshiro glanced at Karin and mouthed, "Go." Karin took immediate action and charged straight at the ball of fire. Her black sword hit against the dome, but she quickly removed her sword and shunpoed away before the fire hit her. She reappeared beside Toshiro but fell on the ground from imbalance.

"Itai..." Toshiro's eyebrow rose at the girl.

"You're already tired?" Karin glared at him and stood up without a hint of tiredness.

"I tripped over because I'm still not used to shunpo." Natsu and Renji dropped their jaws and shouted, standing up straight and making Karin's hair fly by their loud voices.

"NANI?" Natsu yelled out.

"We've been attacking his shield, and you managed to have more energy than us? What the hell is going on?" Karin had to clean out her ear and make sure that she doesn't go deaf. Fighting the Diablo with the lack of knowledge is bad, but being deaf while they are fighting against the Diablo is even worse. Toshiro sighed and knew what was going on.

"Shut up and listen to what I say." They all had their mouths shut and had their ears open to what the prodigy boy has to say. Toshiro looked at the flaming shield and pointed out some facts.

"His shield seems to absorb our attacks and our reiatsu on contact, and he can counter by firing flames. However, if we were quick enough to strike him once and move out of the way, we wouldn't be tired and still have energy. I have a plan, but you all need to take immediate action." The flames burned out, and the Diablo appeared.

"Renji!" Toshiro shouted, "You have the advantage of long range attacks. Hit him!"

"All right!" Renji swung his zanpakuto down, and Flare stated.

"You're plan is futile." He activated his fiery shield again, and the flames surrounded him. Renji's sword clashed against the ball of fire, and the redhead called back his sword.

"Kazeru! Strike him quickly with a large amount of reiatsu!" Toshiro shouted out.

"You don't have to tell me about it!" Natsu charged forward and lifted the tip of the sword straight at the shield. With a loud war cry and increasing his reiatsu, Natsu managed to stab through the shield and withdraw in time to avoid the shooting flames. When he was away from the shield, the defense went down to reveal an injured Diablo holding his shoulder. It worked.

"Karin!" Toshiro shouted.

"Gotcha!" She disappeared and later reappeared in front of the Diablo with a smirk that matches to her brother's.

"Eat this!" Karin thrust her dark katana straight at the Diablo's heart, but Flare blocked it with his own shield. In a moment that her blade clashed, Karin flash-stepped.

"Shunpo Zashu!" A flash appeared behind Flare, and he immediately was knocked down with a cut on his back. Karin reappeared and skidded against the ground away from the Diablo and from the group. Toshiro took his chance and twirled his crescent blade, ready to freeze the Diablo. Since he knew that ice didn't stand a chance against fire, he would have to attack from far away, and he better make it quick. He threw the chain straight at the Diablo and successfully wrapped him around. In a quick instant with a flow of reiatsu, the Diablo was frozen into a block of ice, immobile to any movement whatsoever. Toshiro pulled his crescent blade back, and Karin reappeared next to him with a scowl on her face.

"That's it?" Toshiro could hear the disbelief, and he knew that she has already experienced strong pressures coming from Diablos. She was no fool.

"Be careful. Something's not right here." Natsu sighed in sarcasm.

"Great." The ice was starting to melt, and the melting water turned into vapor. The vapor fogged the Diablo, hiding him from the Shinigami sight and surrounding the Shinigami to prevent them from seeing.

"I can't see anything." Renji stated and accidentally bumped into Karin.

"Itai! Renji-san!"

"I don't like this fog." Toshiro stated, and Natsu held his sword out.

"Me too." Suddenly, the pressure hit the group in one shot, sending them flying away from the Diablo. They all crashed on the ground and groaned slightly. Realizing the trouble they were in, all Shinigami immediately stood up to hear a chant from the mist.

"Infierno de Aumento! (Raising Hell)" A large rumble on the ground was making them nervous until they all felt something hot under their feet. Toshiro's instinct screamed to tell him to run.

"Move!" His command sent everyone out of the way before a pillar of fire erupted where they stood. Natsu and Karin had their mouths open at the close call; Renji's eyes widened about how fast that Diablo could send fire under their feet; Toshiro eyed the Flare in caution. The Diablo smirked and muttered out another spell.

"Llover de fuego. (Raining Fire)" Clouds gathered above their heads, and a flash of red appeared in the dark clouds. In an instant, the cloud was shooting out fireballs at the same time and was heading straight were everyone was standing.

"Get away! Make sure you don't stop!" The 10th division captain shouted, and everyone was running before the fire would hit the targets. Natsu was running normally while cursing outloud, and he would get blown away from a close-call hit before sprinting away from the next set. Renji was running around while swinging his sword to hit the other fireballs from hitting Toshiro, Karin, and Natsu, but he could only save them for a little while before he would get either hit or run again. Karin was using shunpo to move out of the way by each fireball, but she was losing reiatsu fast. Toshiro was appearing and disappearing in each place, trying to get close to the Diablo and to end this fight. However, Flare sensed him nearby and smirked.

"Hi-" Toshiro's eyes widened.

"-gaki." A large wall of fire shot up from his side and engulfed Toshiro into flames.

"Toshiro!" Karin shouted and heard Toshiro's scream of pain. The captain moved away from the flames and reappeared far from the group. He lost balance and fell down, unable to stand tall and strong. She could see that he was in bad shape as his battle clothes were burned. What was worse that she could see his left side of the face pink, his chest red-pink with a dash of brown, and his arms charcoaled black. Karin was about to go over there and help him get away from the incoming fireballs, but she saw something moved from the corner of her eye. She turned her head to the source and felt a hand gripping around her throat.

"Karin!" Toshiro shouted when the Diablo held her up by the throat, and Karin dropped her swords to use her hands to try wrenching herself free. She was feeling her neck burning by his hand, and she was trying to free her neck by her hands. However, her hands were getting burned as well. Toshiro stood up but collapsed in an instant. He cursed his weakness against fire and glared at the Diablo. He was badly burned and had no strength left to stand up against the fire-wielding Hollow. Karin was getting burned, and the favors seemed to turn against them.

"Hold on, Karin!" Another voice shouted, and Toshiro swore.

"Kazeru! Stand down!" Natsu stopped running and stood in one place, looking at Toshiro's commanding eyes. The Kazeru was surprised that he also shown a small concern to him, and the boy stepped back, watching from the distance.

"It seems that your taichou knows what exactly is going on." Flare smirked at the struggling Karin. Karin could only glare at him, but since she was trying to break free from the grip, she could only grimace.

"Shut up." She croaked out, and Flare had that twinkle in his dead eyes that indicates that his victim was giving up. He began laughing maniacally.

"How pitiful. It would be enjoyable to see your family and friend's misery after I kill you. Not even the ice boy and water girl could protect you from this event." Flare's shield reverted back into a sword, and he was prepared to stab Karin through the heart.

"Any last words before I kill you?" Karin glanced behind the Diablo and grinned.

"Three things… one, you won't kill me because I'm not easy to kill, and two) don't underestimate my friends." Flare raised an eyebrow.

"And what's three?" Karin grinned.

"Three) you suck." Glaring at the girl in anger, Flare was about to stab through the girl's heart until a stronger force slammed him away. He was forced to release Karin and crashed onto the ground. Karin's eyes widened when she saw who saved her.

"Tsuyosa-ji!" Natsu knew whom she was talking about and shouted in surprise.

"Otou-san? What the hell are you doing here?" The muscular man glared at his son.

"I noticed that the pressure was getting stronger, so I decided to interfere. I also noticed that you guys were about to lose when that Hollow had Karin-chan around the neck." The uncle turned to the Diablo and glared at the him.

"Are you finished yet?" Flare sat up and wiped the black blood off from his mouth before spitting out the remaining blood.

"It appears so." Fire suddenly engulfed his entire body and burned out.

"It seems that he escaped like the other Diablo, Tsunami." Tsuyosa looked up and grinned.

"Heiwa-chan! You're finished already?" A sudden force dropped on the Kazeru father, and he was squashed flat with his face on the ground. Heiwa, irritated as hell, was sitting on her shield. She glared at her father and stated.

"May I need to remind you that you do not interfere the battle between the Hollows and us?"

"Demo…" Her father whined, and Heiwa jumped off her father, ignoring her dad and walked to Karin and her group. Shuuhei and Tatsuki appeared behind Heiwa and followed her to regroup. Toshiro stepped up and faced Shuuhei in a serious tone.

"Report." Shuuhei sighed.

"We won, but the Diablo disappeared on us. There was minimal to none damage due to Heiwa's barrier, and we're in good condition. You?" Toshiro sighed.

"We were about to lose if it hadn't been for Tsuyosa saving us from death. Our damages are not critical, but we need medical assistance." Everyone knew Toshiro's obvious burns on his body, and they wondered if he was going to hate fire even more. Two girls glanced at Natsu and wondered if Toshiro could even stand a chance against him on a duel again. Depending on the burns, it seems that the Diablo was definitely stronger than the water Diablo and capable of burning the 10th division captain. Heiwa looked at her father and frowned.

"Otou-san. Do you know how to take care of burns?" Tsuyosa nodded.

"Hai. I do know, but it's not the best like Unohana-taichou's skill. Naze?" Heiwa didn't say anything but eyed two Shinigami having trouble staying still.

"Hitsugaya-taichou. Are there any members in need of medical treatment? He will treat the burns, but you may have to see the 4th division to get rid of those marks." Toshiro nodded and looked at Karin and Renji. He may be the worst on burns, but seeing Karin's burn on the neck and on the wrists that were now revealed, it made the 10th division captain feel weak.

"Hai. Karin, Renji, do you have any objections for medical treatment?" Karin and Renji glanced at each other for the moment before shaking their heads. Toshiro sighed in relief and sat down.

"Good. Prepare the medical treatment." Heiwa nodded and looked at Karin and Renji.

"Karin, Renji-san. Sit behind Hitsugaya-taichou. It will only take for a few seconds." Renji obeyed and sat behind the captain for the treatment. Karin wasn't going to argue against Heiwa because she had a burn on her wrist and on her neck, and she sat behind Toshiro. Tsuyosa walked toward the group and held his hands out. His hands began to glow blue and emitted reiatsu around the group.

This reiatsu was calm and soothing. The burns and intense pain were going away, but the pain was still lingering. This medical treatment wasn't the best like the 4th division's medical treatment, but it healed her burns down to a minimum. Moving her wrist where the first burn was, she noticed the burn was disappearing and left a mark on her wrist. Her neck was healed and left the hand mark, and Karin felt relieved that she was finally rid of those burns. However, she was worried about her best friend and brother's best friend and glanced at Toshiro and Renji.

Renji was calming down and felt a little better from those fiery attacks. His tattoos were coming back from those burns, and his back looked like he just got back up from resting instead of coming back with those burns. Toshiro looked like he was calming down a lot, and seeing him calming down made her feel more relieved. The burns were disappearing slowly, and the horrible burn on his hand was disappearing, returning his hand back to health. With the three members healed, Tsuyosa ceased his reiatsu from flowing and immediately panted.

"Otou-san?" Heiwa asked, as she saw her father sitting down. Everybody noticed something was wrong with him and got worried. His hands had a tight grip on his knees, and he was panting harder than before. Toshiro and Karin knew what the Kazeru twins were thinking. They were worried about their father and were surprised that a healing technique made him weaker. Tsuyosa looked up and gave them a reassuring smile.

"It's nothing… I haven't trained myself for a long time, so you'll see me like this sometimes." Toshiro frowned.

"Are you still able to fight?" Tsuyosa nodded and stood up.

"Hai. Without using any kidou or too much fighting, I'm still able to defend." The white-haired captain sighed in relief and closed his eyes.

"That's good to hear." Karin sighed mentally.

Thank goodness.

However, their relief was broken by five seconds. Everyone felt a sudden pressure around him or her, and they all knew that they were back… with reinforcements.

"Kuso! I thought we had them!" Natsu shouted out and held his sword in front. Toshiro, Renji, and Karin stood up and held their zanpakuto. Everyone was holding his ground from succumbing to the intense pressure. The pressure suddenly stopped, and the Diablos appeared in the sky.

"It seems that we have to go," said Tsunami with a grin.

"It was fun to play with you, but our time with you Shinigami are done. Instead of leaving you with nothing," roars were heard around the mansion, and Tsunami laughed.

"We decided to bring out Hollows." Flare finished and disappeared along with the other Diablo. Without a warning, all of the Hollows jumped out of their hiding places. They were all in different shapes and sizes, and they all had the same menacing eyes behind the masks. Many were ordinary Hollows; some were Menos; a few were imperfect Arrancars. They had all different powers, and they jumped straight for the mansion and Shinigami.

"Kazeru-san! Make a barrier!" Toshiro shouted, and Heiwa frowned.

"I don't know who you are talking to, but all right. Otou-san…" Tsuyosa nodded.

"Hai. Kyuukyoku Benso! (Ultimate Defense)"

"Mizuiro Kagami!"

A crystal barrier formed over the mansion before it camouflaged with the water covering the shield. The Hollows slammed against the shield and wondered how to get in. They tried to use their claws, mouth, swords, and everything they have to get in; the monsters also tried to use cero to blast their way in. Heiwa and Tsuyosa held their hands up to hold the shield and focused sending reiatsu to prevent the shields from shattering.

"Go, and make sure these Hollows are eliminated. Otou-san and I will hold up the shield. After this, we'll go back to that party." Heiwa said. Karin nodded and looked at Toshiro.

"Let's go." Toshiro smirked back and ran ahead with Karin following behind him. Renji and Tatsuki took the other way and were eager to smash Hollows after winning and losing against the Diablos. Natsu grinned and took off in another direction, and Shuuhei sighed as he was left to deal with the ones that were near the barrier.

Time slowed down for everybody… until it fast forward when Karin slashed a Hollow.


"I got one!"


"Karin! Watch your back!"


"That was a close one. Arigato, Toshiro!"

"It's Hitsugaya-taichou!"



"Oy, Tatsuki! Watch where you throw that punch!"

"That was your fault for not watching your back!"

"How can it be my fault when we are in a middle of 'Who can kill the most Hollows?' game?"

" 'cause you didn't look!"


"Ha! That's 10 to 9! Now, who says that who didn't look?"

"Move it, Renji! That Arrancar's mine!"


"YAAAAHOOOO! This is fun!"

"Baka! Watch out!"

"Holy crap!"



"Are you trying to kill me, Toshiro?"

"Maybe, Kazeru."

Slash, Slash

"How are you two holding up?"

"I'm fine, Hisagi-taichou. You?"

"I'm still warming up."

Slash, Slash

"Hmph. I could do better than he does."


"Hai, Heiwa-chan?"

"Shut up."

Five minutes later…


"I think that's the last of them." Karin stated and wiped the sweat on her forehead. There were a lot, and with the pent up frustration and anger, the group was exhausted. Plus, five minutes were a long five minutes just by cleaning up the Hollow infestation. Tsuyosa and Heiwa were out of breath, and the 9th division captain was holding Heiwa up with what strength was left. Renji and Tatsuki were arguing who had the most Hollow exterminations in this battle, and Natsu just flopped on the ground, too exhausted to beat another Hollow out of its misery. Toshiro was holding his stance weakly, and Karin just fell to her knees. Looking up, Karin watched the full moon go red and frowned. She had a bad feeling about this, and she would probably blame Heiwa for rubbing herself off on the Kurosaki girl. Nonetheless, Karin can't help but feel that this wasn't the last of them, and they yet had to see who was pulling the strings behind this battle.

"Oi! Kurosaki! We're going, Fruit Face!"

But that time will come later. She has a stick-in-the-ass friend who needs some beating before they return to their gigais.


After some time with throwing their energy at the Hollows and killing them, they all went back to the party for some relaxation. Heiwa was calm once again, and Natsu was no longer getting the heat from her. He also wasn't worried about her too much because Shuuhei was with her, but the Kazeru boy felt a small dislike toward the captain. Renji and Tatsuki were still arguing about who won their contest of eliminating the most Hollows, so Toshiro had to give them the icy dragon glare to shut up about it. Karin noticed that Ururu didn't look at the two hotheaded couple, and the melancholy girl would blush every time she would look at one of them. Tsuyosa would chat with the other adults as usual, but when Shuuhei and the Kazeru father would make eye contact, the father would glare while the date would sweat a little, wondering what was eating him.

Sitting at the tables, Karin was staring into space. It was strange for the girl to space off without knowing what is going on. However, it was a party, so the normal people would brush her off. Her friends would look where she is and wondered if she was talking to her zanpakuto. However, a different thought was drifting in her mind.

"A penny for your thoughts?" Karin jumped a little and looked to her side. Toshiro was sitting next to her with his arm supporting his head. He was watching the couples dance on the floor with the music on, and he looked attentive to watch people do their things. Karin was staring at him for some reason, but she couldn't point out what. Her date finally looked at her smirked, and Karin rolled her eyes.

"Where did you get those human quotes? Internet?" She asked back, and Toshiro shrugged.

"I hear it all the time in your school when one classmate would be thinking deeply. Back to reality, what were you really thinking?" Karin frowned and stared at the couples. Two certain couples caught her eyes, and it made her heart dropped a little.

"I was just thinking about all of our futures." She smiled sadly, and Toshiro looked at the direction she was looking. Her two best friends, Natsu and Heiwa, were enjoying themselves with their dates. Heiwa and Shuuhei were dancing gracefully on the floor, as other couples watched them in awe. Natsu was still grinning like an idiot, and Ururu was hiding her embarrassed face on his shoulder.

She realized that she was losing her friends to others, and the thought of losing them was painful. They were once so close for almost six years, and now they were leaving her behind. Yuzu was hanging out with Jinta more often, and Ichigo and Rukia were expecting their own baby. Her father didn't marry any other woman and held onto her mother longer than any other dad. Time was running out for the close bond Karin had with all of her friends, and the bond seemed to be eroding.

"You were wondering what the future would hold for you?" Toshiro asked, and Karin nodded. The white-haired captain sighed and stood up, making Karin look at him in wonder.

"I would say that stop thinking about the future. It's going to make your head hurt." Karin scowled and was about to make a comeback, but Toshiro held his hand up to her.

"I wasn't finished." The Kurosaki girl closed her mouth and reluctantly listened to his little speech.

"Nobody knows what the future will hold, not even the Shinigami knows when you die or how you would live. However, you have the power to shape your own future. Think about the past experiences you encountered: your gain and awaken power within you, your first fight against more powerful entities other than Shinigami and Hollows, your success, your failures… what have you learned from them? You can think about the future later, but right now, think about the present. You have learned and experienced challenges in the past, and now you must use that to make a future." Karin was shocked. He was right. Who knows? Ichigo may have to kill any boy if he had a baby girl, or his son would be trying to wrestle him for food. Natsu would be the most reasonable guy, and Heiwa would have a fit of trying to figure Karin out. Yuzu would grow a backbone and probably would fry her dad if he would make one stupid mistake in the house. All of her friends may have drifting apart into different paths for the future, but they still have a bond together that would not be broken. She could worry about the future later, but now… she would make something happen today.

"You're right." Karin stood up and genuinely smiled at Toshiro.

"I'm worried over nothing. Who knows what could happen in the future?" Toshiro nodded.

"That's right. Who knows what could happen? However…" Toshiro's hand held out for Karin, and the white-haired captain spoke in confidence.

"… there's one thing that we all know what is going to happen in the future." Karin was confused and tilted her head, wondering what he was thinking and what is the hand for.

"What's that?" She asked, and Toshiro smiled.

"We're going to win against the Diablo and make sure that everyone survives this battle. We are the one who could make our future." Karin grinned, feeling happy from hearing his words.

"That's right. We're not going to lose." She took his hand, and they both walked to the dance floor for the final dance. It didn't matter where they are heading in the future, but only one thing mattered for all of them. They were going to survive and make sure that these Diablos would be destroyed.


"Taichou! Karin-chan! You look so cute together!" Rangiku smothered both Toshiro and Karin, and the two Shinigami gasped for air. After the party mission and submitting both reports to Yamamoto about the Diablos' appearance, three of the couples brought in souvenirs from the real world, but they weren't ordinary souvenirs.

"Matsumoto! Get off me! And that thing is meaningless in here!" Toshiro yelled at her and tried to get away from her hug.

"Yeah, Rangiku!" Karin broke free from her grasp.

"It's just a trophy award. It doesn't mean anything." Karin stated at the lieutenant an obvious fact, but Rangiku didn't seem to be persuaded enough.

"Then, why does it say 'The Special Couple Award belongs to Toshiro Hitsugaya and Karin Kurosaki?" She pointed at the trophy on the shelf where Toshiro's books were, and it gleamed gold with gems around its body. Toshiro rolled his eyes and gave her an answer.

"That was a contest that nobody, including the Kazeru twins, didn't know about. It must have happen when we were fighting those Diablos." Karin supported his reasons by pointing out other awards.

"Natsu and Ururu won the Cute Couple Award because of their faces. Heiwa and Shuuhei won the Graceful Couple Award because of their dance. Natsu and Ururu aren't officially dating because Natsu is dense equal to Ichi-nii. Heiwa and Shuuhei were just dating because Heiwa was 'required' to have a date, so that didn't count." Rangiku was confused and asked.

"Then, why did Tatsuki-chan and Renji won the 'King and Queen' titles in the dance?" Karin and Toshiro looked at each other and frowned.

"That's one mystery that we are trying to find out." Toshiro answered.