Last chapter!!

Animalgun: I love your idea, so I will write it soon, but top priority right now is the sequel for this story. Maybe I'll do two fics at once, never done that. Hmmm…

A year later, Ichigo and Isshin left a captain's meeting having a heated argument.

"I want to tell her!" Isshin whined. "She's my daughter!"

"She'll never believe you!" Ichigo retorted. "I'm going to tell her…!" but he was cut off by a punch to the face.

"You'll never get there first if I beat the crap out of you!" Isshin said triumphantly. But he was soon knocked to the ground by Ichigo, who jumped on top of him, punching wildly. Hitsugaya, who had exited the meeting just behind them, rolled his eyes then left to find Karin.

Karin and Haruka were in their room in 4th squad, making onigiri with Masaki. Haruka had lived in Karin and Yuzu's room ever since she and Masaki had moved to Seireitei a year ago. Masaki of course, was living with Isshin in 3rd squad and Haruka felt that she should give the couple their space. Hitsugaya had offered to let her stay in 10th squad, but in the end she had taken Karin's offer and moved in with her sisters. Karin and Yuzu really did feel like they had a third sister. Haruka was the perfect blend of sweet and sharp to complement both Kurosaki girls, so she fit right in. And Haruka loved the feeling of being part of such a large and active family. Everyone was satisfied with the situation.

But at the moment, Karin was not particularly satisfied with her situation. She looked down at her hands, which were covered in fish and rice, and shuttered with disgust.

"Why do I have to do this?" she asked for what felt like the hundredth time. "I hate cooking! How did you rope me into this again?"

"Because Yuzu's still on her date with Hanataro and we can't make enough for everyone by ourselves," Haruka replied. "You know how much the men eat. Plus, it's fun."

"Not for me," Karin groaned. "Besides, I suck at this." It was true. Her onigiri looked more like squashed bugs than the perfect triangles Masaki and Haruka were creating.

"But Karin," Haruka cooed, "don't you want Onii-chan to see what a good cook you are?" Karin laughed.

"My cooking skills are nothing to brag about. And anyway, I don't need to impress him. He'll take me as I am and be damn grateful for it. Just because you seem to feel the need to attract every guy in Seireitei doesn't mean I do."

"That's mean Karin," Haruka pouted. "I don't need to attract every guy in Seireitei."

"Oh?" Karin said sarcastically. "How many guys have you dated this month?" Haruka thought about it for a second.

"Five. Because that guy from 8th squad doesn't count, it wasn't really a date." Karin shook her head.

"I don't know what you consider a 'date' Haruka, but buying you flowers and taking you out for a fancy dinner sure qualifies as a date to me."

"Yes, but he didn't even try to kiss me!" Haruka protested. "He was such a wimp." Karin chuckled.

"Don't let Toushiro hear you say things like that. All of Soul Society would be frozen over in a second if he actually knew how many guys you've kissed. That's why you're off limits in 10th squad." Haruka sighed.

"Yes, and I really wish Onii-chan would lighten up and lift that ban. There are so many cute guys in that squad. Onii-chan shouldn't have so much control over who I date."

"It's not a ban," Karin said. "More like a death threat. And since when did Toushiro have control over anything you did?" Haruka giggled.

"Never," she replied.

"So Haruka," Masaki chimed in. "Have you decided what you're wearing to Ichigo and Rukia's wedding?" Haruka's face lit up.

"Yuzu and I bought this gorgeous green kimono for me! It's the same color as my eyes."

"Sounds lovely!" Masaki replied.

"First cooking now clothes!" Karin moaned. "What's next, flower arranging?"

"Well, now that you mention it…" Haruka began thoughtfully.

"Shut up!" said Karin, and all three of them started laughing.

"This looks like fun," Hitsugaya said sarcastically, leaning on the doorframe. Karin's face lit up when she saw him.

"Onii-chan!" Haruka said joyfully. "Want to join us?"

"No thank you," he said with conviction. "Karin, can I borrow you for a minute?"

"Of course!" Karin said, very grateful for the excuse to stop cooking. She washed the sticky rice and fish guts off her hands and followed him outside.

"Gross, I reek of fish!" Karin complained, sniffing her fingers. "That smell's going to last for a week! I can't believe they convinced me to help them."

"Just don't touch me," Hitsugaya teased. "I don't want to smell like fish any more than you do." Karin grinned.

"So anyway, did you want to talk to me about something?" she asked.

"Actually," he said airily, "I thought you might be interested in hearing about a proposal that came up in the captain's meeting today. As you know, 5th squad still doesn't have a taicho, and Yamamoto soutaicho suggested that since we already have two Kurosakis, why not just round it out and add another." Karin stopped walking and gaped at him.

"You don't mean me, do you!?" she asked, completely floored. Hitsugaya shrugged.

"Well, just so you know, I'm against the idea. I think two Kurosakis are quite enough. Soul Society can't handle a third. However," he continued, highly amused by the look of confusion and fury on Karin's face, "10th squad is one of the most stable squads in the Gotei 13. I wouldn't be at all opposed to adding another Hitsugaya to the ranks." Karin stared at him. She blinked several times, trying to wrap her head around what he was saying.

"Toushiro," she said slowly, not fully believing it to be true. "Are you asking me to marry you?" Hitsugaya smiled. His genuine smiles were still few and far between, but they were becoming much more common. This one however, was definitely genuine.

Karin didn't think she could possibly be any happier than she was at that moment. She was engaged and she was going to be a taicho! And to top it all off, she was no longer in 4th squad! She threw herself at Hitsugaya, forcing him up against the wall behind him as she kissed him with all the passion and excitement she could muster. He responded in kind, trailing his hands up and down her back as she ran her fingers through his hair.

Eventually they broke apart and Karin beamed at him. She leaned forward and brought her lips to his ear.

"By the way," she whispered seductively, smirking as she felt his body stiffen with anticipation. "Now your hair smells like fish!"

The End!

I'm sad to see this story end, but I'm excited for the next one. For those of you who stuck with me, thank you. And for those of you who contributed to this story, doubly thank you. There wouldn't have been a story without you all!

Just so you all don't go anywhere, here's a sneak preview of the sequel, which is entitled "A Midsummer's Nightmare" (yes, the Shakespeare reference gives a hint about what it's about, but trust me, it's not entirely what you think-grins evilly). It should be up in a few days, this weekend is pretty hectic for me.

Hitsugaya Toushiro had four very important women in his life. The first was his fukutaicho, Matsumoto. The second was his fiancé, Kurosaki Karin. The third was his sister, Haruka. And the fourth was his best friend, Hinamori. Now, most men would trade their right kidney to be in Hitsugaya's shoes, but unfortunately, Hitsugaya was not one who had an easy time dealing with the opposite sex. And with so many strong-minded women pulling him in all directions, he rather envied those men who spent their days looking for people to give their kidneys to. Especially, when the women in question began to butt heads.

It all started with a rose. Well, actually, it started long before that, but the rose was the trigger that set the events in motion. More specifically, the rose aroused one Hinamori Momo to act on feelings and desires that had been in place for quite some time, but that she had been too shy and unconfident to do anything about. But with time running out, Hinamori decided that it was time for action.

I hope that has you all wanting more! Come back and read it, I think it'll be a really fun story!

And for those of you still waiting for a proper sequel to "I Remember This One Time," (I mean, something more expansive than "The Girl Next Door"), I want to write one but am having a little writer's block about a good solid plot. I've got some ideas, but if anyone has suggestions of things they'd like to see (in that sequel or this one) please let me know. Thanks a ton!