It wasn't enough that she was already baffled to see him in his handsome visage after 6 years. Oh no, he just had to walk around with his torso bare for the world - or Karin, for that matter- to see.


Never would anyone define the scene where the Winter War occurred to be a place with the slightest hint of romantic. But that didn't stop Hitsugaya Toshiro to drop his sword next to Aizen's corpse, waltz up to Kurosaki Karin and kiss her breathless.


Hitsugaya Toshiro's deepest wish was simple, really. "Can't you keep yourself away from danger?" Though blood soaked with the blood of the Arrancar, Karin grinned like she was completely pure, and shook her head. Toshiro sighed.


Everyone wondered, how was it that Hitsugaya Toshiro and Kurosaki Karin, being so different from each other, managed to mantain a peaceful relationship. Matsumoto Rangiku laughed when a bold shinigami came for her knowledge in such matter. "You people are so blind sometimes! You never wondered why Taicho's element is ice, and Karin-chan's is fire? They complete each other!"


Many thoughs crossed Karin's head at the moment -along with a nice string of curses that would make Renji blush- as she dodged yet another attack from Kenpachi. But the most aggravating one was worrying that Toshirou wouldn't come to pick her up at the scheduled time. If that was the case...oh...someone was sleeping in the couch tonight.


There better be a reasonable explanation to why Kurosaki Karin, 5th seat of 11th squad, would force Hitsugaya Toshiro to go fetch peaches in the middle of the night. It wasn't pregnancy - Kami bless him for that - , no, oh no, Karin's explanation was completely understandable - from her point of view, at least. "I'm feeling whimsy."


Matsumoto could only shake her head in pity and mourn over the sake bottles Karin threw at Toshiro, teaching him never to call her shorty again. "Seriously, what a waste."

Whiskey & Rum

The first time Hitsugaya Toshirou got drunk thanks to a mix between Whiskey and Rum -courtesy of his fukutaicho-, was when he declared his love for Kurosaki Karin. And when he asked her to be his girlfriend, she promptly threw an ice bucket at him. "Next time you ask that," She bellowed "you better be sober!"


No one would deny that the 11th barracks are a war-zone. So when Kurosaki Ichigo, taicho of the 5th division, walked in to ask for some files, he found himself suprised to find everyone lined up, Karin inspecting them, much like in the army. "Listen well, you maggots! If you're going to my wedding, you all need to behave! Specially you Ikkaku!" The shinigami's backs straightened, as they yelled 'Yes ma'am.' in unison.


It's obviously unusual to find a 'Just Married' couple running along the streets, killing some hollows right after their wedding. But hey, it's their choice.


Karin paced around, trying to find a suitable birthday present for her husband. Maybe something related to his age...she halted. "Wait." She turned in his direction, "How old are you anyways?" Toshiro smirked.


Never had Hitsugaya Toshiro been more afraid in his life. Asking for blessings from a Kurosaki is not what he wanted to do. Specially if he had to ask to the two of them. After that, Toshiro found himself wearily watching as his former taichou fought with his son, their opinions diverging from 'Oh yes!' and 'Heck no!', respectively.


"You know that until you die...your relationship is very secret and very dangerous...right?" Karin closed her eyes and let the wind bash her face in the summer day, as Jinta waited for her to answer. "Yup...but the thing is..." She opened her eyes, and grinned at him. "I don't care."


So intent in their fight with the hollow, Karin didn't even notice that the direction where she pointed her Fire Lotus was way to close to where Toshiro was fighting. So when she attacked, she was shocked to see Toshiro's right side of his haori burning, and when he whipped his head in her direction with a murderous intent while discarding the much useless piece of fabric, she simply looked away, whistling.


Forget the concept that he was doing that to shield her from the explosion. The moment a bare-torso Hitsugaya Toshiro wrapped her in his arms, Karin mentally cursed for forgetting on how to breathe.


Having the Taicho of the 5th division at your door, zanpakutou at hand and murderous expression, was not a good thing. "I'm breaking every fiber in your bones for daring to date my sister!" And as Kuchiki Rukia strolled by the Seireitei the next morning, the only thing she replied when she saw her fiancee with his head popping out of a huge ice cube, was 'Told you.'


Two figures watched from afar as Toshiro took Karin back to her barracks in a piggyback ride. "Sir?" "Hmm?" "...do you think they'll work?" "Aa. I believe they will, Nanao-chan. Now please pass me that sake bottle." "...Kindly die, sir."


The first time they both met was not when she was 10 at the football game incident. No, he had met her before, when she was 4. When she was still a crybaby, and when he saw her cry when her green balloon slipped from her fingers and vanished before Isshin could catch it, he couldn't help it but to feel sorry for her. The next morning, Karin woke up with a huge grin as she met a huge amount of balloons of all shades of green tied to her bed, plus a dragon plushie.


It was there, at that balcony, that Matsumoto Rangiku realized for the first time that her taicho had feelings for the onyx haired Kurosaki, as he stared down lovingly at the moon bathed lotus flower left behind by Karin, gently caressing it with his fingers.


Thinking back, he amused himself as he remembered Matsumoto saying she was going to be the bane of his existence, the first time she came to the Seireitei. Well, he thought, playing with the silver band in his ring finger, would you look at where they were now.


He liked those quiet afternoons, where Matsumoto would be out, and she would be with him in his office, making his tea, helping him with the paperwork, and then sit on his desk with her own tea, both speaking softly, and trading those quiet, loving gestures they could rarely afford to do in public, like brushing her cheeks or her long, slender fingers combing his winter white tresses.


It was one of the quirks in life, he mused, as he observed Karin sleeping under the sun, her bare feet curled and her legs folded, her knees lightly brushing her stomach, as her long, silk onyx tresses flew all over the white linen sheet she had stretched over in the lawn a few hours ago.


No matter how innocent that question sounded by the tone she used -which was fake, he knew it was-, Hitsugaya tripped in his own feet and went against the pillar when Matsumoto's clear blue eyes blinked in a -fake- innocent manner. "Oh? And how do you know that Karin-chan doesn't have a birthmark on her hip, taichou?"


There was no such thing as 'A Lover's Quarrel' between Hitsugaya Toshiro and Kurosaki-future-to-be-Hitsugaya Karin. If anything, it was A Lovers War, where it ended with (a) Toshiro sleeping in the yard (b) Karin going to sleep with Hinamori or (c) They both solved it out with a Bankai fight.


Even on her knees before Grimmjow, bleeding and with limbs failing to function, she still stood up, fire burning in her eyes identical to the one in Toshirou's as he watched her yell a battle cry, pointing her zanpakutou to the ground, "I am never going to quit! Bankai!"


People say that in love, there's always someone that jumps before the other. Well, Hinamori believed that in Karin's and Toshirou's case, they ran smack against each other.


Toshiro groaned as people applauded Karin's skills with fruits, as she threw them in the air and then, with various quick movements of her sword, they fell down on the bowl, completely peeled, and perfectly cut. Circus tricks. In his office. Seriously, what was the world turning into?!


Oh, she could imagine it. Toshirou and Ichigo, in a middle age fight, to decide what her future was. Whenever she married Toshiro or not. Yep, she could imagine them lunging at each other's throats. Pointy sticks and everything.


Ever since she first saw his attack, Karin had always been mesmerized by the ice droplets that fell down upon her when he protected her. They looked like tiny jewels falling down on her, and sometimes, she looses some spars because she stops to close her eyes and feel them basking her skin, almost feeling like it was all of him embracing her.


Everybody knew, and didn't even dare to deny, that Hitsugaya Toshiro was a strict and just person. And shortly after that incident with his burning haori, you could deduce that justice had been made as you found Kurosaki Karin stomping around the Seireitei, zanpakutou in hand and a murderous intent, wearing the 10th Captain's Haori, and only the 10th Captains haori. "Toshiro! Where did you hide my shihakusho you icy bastard!"


There is only one thing Hitsugaya Toshirou can do to make Karin refuse to give him her forgiveness. And that, is smirking after she yelled at him. For the fact that today, she did so only wearing his white haori, and he couldn't resist that quirk of lips, Hitsugaya Toshirou had some bonding time with the concrete of the doorstep of his room tonight.


Inside the dimly lit room, two figures stayed in the soft silence hanging in the hospital room. Toshiro stood there, slightly crouched, so that his hand could reach her cheek, her black eyes boring into his, both holding their gaze. When she pinched his arm -in a rather painful way actually- he looked down to see her glaring at him. "Don't look at me like that." Then she gently grasped his hand, mumbling, "too much sorrow."


Captain Hitsugaya is a genius, everybody knows that. So either he had temporary stupidity or he's an amazing machoquist to smirk at Kurosaki Karin right after she went after him, zanpakutou waving in the air, with a murderous intent for hiding her clothes and only have his Captain's haori to wear.


Her own serenade wasn't someone standing outside the balcony and sing -or shriek- their love for her. No, it was something Toshirou did. He sat down in the garden at night, and started playing the flute. Somehow, that always made her relaxed.


"Oh, of course, because I'm too violent to possibly have any sorts of a romantic relationship with you because I'm Kurosaki Karin, and Kurosaki Karin doesn't have any romantic interest towards-mmph!"


Karin stood there rooted on the spot, not knowing if she should be embarrassed or horrified that Momo had caught them in the middle of a rather...heated make-out session. Well, it wasn't her fault. Toshiro was too high on hormones when he saw her only in his haori, so he shunpoed with her with his arms to his barracks, and had her lips locked with his right before sitting her on top of his desk. Momo smirked, before turning around and skipping out, a grin on her face. "I'll leave you to your sordid affairs and come back later okay? Buh-bye!"


It was something none of them did. Well, except for Karin, when she wanted to annoy people - mainly Toshirou. "Oh hi, I'm Kurosaki Karin! My best friend Toshirou is incredibly short! No seriously, really short!"


He assured himself, it would only be a short trip to cloud 9 until she realized they were both in the middle of a fight with a hollow, and with that, he ran a hand across her creamy thigh, before releasing his shikai, leaving a baffled Karin standing in the middle of the field.


It was cute, Ukitake mused, to see Toshiro feeding some of his bento to Karin - since her idiotic of a brother decided to steal hers and eat it - as they both sat in the grass of the yard from the 13th division, and pretends to look away as Toshirou licked off a small piece of onigiri that was left in the corner of Karin's mouth.


He rested his chin on her shoulder, as she chuckled in his lap, continuing to fumble with those annoying things. "You do realize that..." "Hmmm?" "No one plays that game in years." "True, but it doesn't make you any less frustrated fir not getting anything tonight." The fierce Captain of 10Th division groaned, and Karin laughed.


"Where would I be without you?" She asked, eyes closed in content, feeling the grass caressing her skin, as he lay beside her under the pleasant summer afternoon. "The same place I would be without you." He replied simply, glancing at her peaceful face once, before turning his gaze to the sky. "Nowhere?" she inquired, finally turning her face in his direction, whilst he simply nodded, and reached his hand to clasp it in hers.


"There is no way you're going to ask for my fathers blessing! Where are we? Middle age?!" "It's not about middle ages, it's about respect and tradition." "Well, what do you think Momo?!" Both asked at the same time, turning to the nervous girl, attacked by the mad couple. She did, probably, the worst choice possible. "I-I'm neutral." That, Momo realized with exhasperation, led to more fighting.


It was a vague nuance, but Toshiro's observant eyes picked it up. The way she smiled told it was about him, the way her hand played with her other wrist told they both would enjoy it, and the twitch of her foot told it implied office soccer.


Everybody had a Kurosaki Sense. They used it to sense when a Kurosaki was near, and if he was angry, to get the heck out of there. But Toshiro took it like a man, and each time his fiancee came to him angry and he didn't even move a step, taking the full blows of anger from the scariest female in her squad, the men of 11Th division couldn't help up admire the Captain's courage.


Apparently it was natural for them, Nanao's eyes noticed, to constantly touch each other when they were together. Be it a simple brush of hands or a hand resting in their elbow. Anyways, it became a second nature, to be unable to stay apart from each other.


"You know...I always preferred this horizon than the one in Karakura..." Toshiro couldn't help it but to smile. "Because the memories you have in here are different are all about me." She concluded, and Toshiro nodded, smirking. He knew it.


Toshiro made a valiant attempt to hide all his happiness during the ceremony, but he couldn't help but to let out a small smirk, much like the one Ichigo and Kenpachi did, when he saw Karin slipping on the Captain Haori with the number 9 printed at the back. She was now officially a taicho from Gotei 13.


Once Hitsugaya Toshiro and Kurosaki Karin start to play dirty, it's impossible to know who will go out victorious in a football match.


But of course, since in all the basics, Kurosaki Karin is a girl, and has both the body and the brain, with a simple wink and arch of the back, Toshiro blinked and tripped, falling flat on the floor, defeated by the hormones.