Hi everyone! This is my first fanfic, so I want to say something right here at the beginning. First, I know my chapters are really short, but I put up this story all at once, so no one really had to wait for anything. Second, there are 3 parts to this story, and they really all should be together in one story, but they're not (the other two parts are called "Advice" and "Sacrifice"). And third, I used a lot of Japanese in this story. I put a list of terms at the end in case you don't know the words. I apologize for using so much but, as I said, this is my first fic. I know I misspelled a lot of words and misused some of my grammar, but seeing as all the Japanese I know comes from watching anime, you'll have to forgive me. I do ask a favor: please don't correct my Japanese in the reviews. I know a lot of it is wrong, and I apologize if it is annoying to those of you who know Japanese, and I promise not to do that in future fics, but I'm way too lazy to go through this fic and fix all the Japanese mistakes, so please bear with them.
Ok, and with that, I give you "Hatsukoi"! I hope you enjoy it!
"Taicho!" Matsumoto yelled playfully, bounding into the room in Orihime's house that she and Hitsugaya Toushiro shared during their stay in the human world.
"Nani Matsumoto?" replied a rather annoyed Hitsugaya. She always irritated him when she was too cheerful.
"Taicho, it's your turn to do the grocery shopping!"
"Nande!" shouted Hitsugaya. "Why me! That's your job."
"Demo taicho," whined Matsumoto. "You've never done the shopping. Besides, Renji's still training Chad, Ikkaku is out on patrol, and," she paused, switching to a more serious tone, "Yumichka and I want to train." Hitsugaya looked at his fukutaicho in wonderment.
"Matsumoto," he said slowly, slightly amazed. "You're really doing bankai training?"
"Hai," Matsumoto replied shortly, slightly embarrassed.
"Fine, I'll go shopping," Hitsugaya said with a sigh. "But only if you really promise to train. If I find out you were goofing around, you'll be sorry."
"Arigato taicho!" Matsumoto sang, instantly back to her cheerful self. "Ja ne!" Hitsugaya rolled his eyes and headed out to the market. He had never been there before. He never went grocery shopping in Soul Society. Taichos were not responsible for such mundane chores as purchasing and preparing food. He had no idea what he was even looking for. He gazed aimlessly around the shop looking desperately for something familiar. He was so absorbed in his search that he wasn't paying attention and accidentally bumped into a girl, knocking her to the ground.
"Oi, watch where you're walking shorty," the girl snapped at him. Tick marks appeared around his head at the insult, but he had knocked her down, so he ignored it.
"Gomenasai," he said quietly and reached down to help her up.
"I don't need your help, thank you very…" she stopped short as she realized who it was.
"Toushiro!" Karin cried cheerily!
"Kurosaki!" Hitsugaya gasped, slightly aggravated that he had crashed into the one human he knew.
"What are you doing here?!" Karin asked with a smile, glad for the chance to see the soccer star/shinigami again.
"Baka, what does it look like I'm doing. I'm shopping," he said rather irritated, as he started grabbing random items off the shelf.
"Ano, what exactly are you going to make with that?" she asked, glancing at the Orihime worthy foodstuffs in his hands.
"Urusai," he said shortly, realizing what he had taken, but not wanting to admit that he had no idea what he was doing. "We don't have stores like this in Soul Society."
"Soul Society? What's Soul Society?" Karin stared at him confused. The shock of this statement made Hitsugaya drop his pickles and red bean bread.
"Nani!" he exclaimed wide eyed. "You're Kurosaki's sister, you can see hollow, you know about shinigami, but you've never heard of Soul Society? Where do you think shinigami live?"
"Live?" Karin asked, even more confused. "Don't they live here, like Ichi-nii? And what's a hollow?" Hitsugaya stared at her. He knew he shouldn't discuss these topics with a human, but this girl had a right to know.
"I'll make you a deal," he said, finding an opportunity to finally navigate his way through this store. "Do my shopping for me and I'll tell you everything you want to know about shinigami."
"It's a deal!" she said brightly. "But I've got to do my shopping too, or Yuzu will worry."
"Yuzu?" Hitsugaya looked confused. "You call your mother by her first name?"
"Baka, of course not!" Karin snapped as she filled her basket with an edible combination of items. "Yuzu's my twin sister. She's been doing the cooking every since our mom died when we were four. I can't cook at all, but I try to help her out by going shopping when I can."
"What a strong girl," Hitsugaya thought. To lose your mother at such a young age…Well, he knew about death, and loss, but it must have been hard on her. He felt like he understood her, and Ichigo, a little better.
"Arigato gozimashta!" the store clerk smiled, handing Karin her change.
"Here," Karin said, shoving a shopping bag into Hitsugaya's hand. "Your groceries. Now it's your turn."
"Fine," he said "but not here. Let's go for a walk. We'll be less likely to be overheard. What I'm going to tell you is for your ears, and your ears alone. You are not to share this information with anyone. And besides, no one would believe you if you did."